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being, and so justly venerable upon all accounts, tervention of the senses. We ought therefore hinders us from having that entire love for him to consider attentively in what manner those that we have for our mothers, where the pa- sensible qualities are disposed, in such things rental authority is almost melted down into the as by experience we find beautiful, or which mother's fondness and indulgence. But we excite in us the passion of love, or some cor generally have a great love for our grandfathers respondent affection. in whom this authority is removed a degree from us, and where the weakness of age melows it into something of a feminine partiality.
BEAUTIFUL OBJECTS SMALL.
HOW FAR THE IDEA OF BEAUTY MAY BE
APPLIED TO VIRTUE.
The most obvious point that presents itse! to us in examining any object, is its extent or quantity. And what degree of extent prevails
in bodies that are held beautiful, may be gatherFrom what has been said in the foregoing ed from the usual manner of expression consection we may easily see, how far the appli- cerning it. I am told that, in most languages, cation of beauty to virtue, may be made with the objects of love are spoken of under diminupropriety. The general application of this tive epithets. It is so in all the languages of quality to virtue, has a strong tendency to which I have any knowledge. In Greek the confound our ideas of things; and it has given iwv and other diminutive terms are almost rise to an infinite deal of whimsical theory; as always the terms of affection and tenderness, the affixing the name of beauty to proportion, These diminutives were commonly added by congruity, and perfection, as well as to quali- the Greeks, to the names of persons with ties of things yet more remote from our natural whom they conversed on the terms of friendideas of it, and from one another, has tended ship and familiarity. Though the Romans to confound our ideas of beauty, and left us no were a people of less quick and delicate feelstandard or rule to judge by, that was not even ings, yet they naturally slid into the lessening more uncertain and fallacious than our own termination upon the same occasions. An fancies. This loose and inaccurate manner ciently in the English language the diminishing of speaking, has therefore misled us both in ling was added to the names of persons and the theory of taste and of morals ; and induced things that were the objects of love. Some us to rernove the science of our duties from we retain still, as darling, (or little dear,) and their proper basis, (our reason, our relations, few others. But to this day, in ordinary conand our necessities,) to rest it upon foundations versation, it is usual to add the endearing name altogether visionary and unsubstantial. of little to every thing we love: the French
and Italians make use of these affectionate diminutives even more than we. In the animal
creation, out of our own species, it is the small SECTION XII.
we are inclined to be fond of; little birds, and some of the smaller kinds of beasts. A great beautiful thing is a manner of expression
scarcely ever used; but that of a great ugly HAVING endeavou ed to show what beauty thing, is very common. There is a wide dif. is not, it remains that we should examine, at ference between admiration and love. The least with equal attention, in what it really sublime, which is the cause of the former, consists. Beauty is a thing much too affecting always dyells on great objects, and terrible; not to depend upon some positive qualities. the latter on small ones, and pleasing; we subAnd, since it is no creature of our reason, mit to what we admire, but we love what subsince it strikes us without any reference to use, mits to us ; in one case we are forced, in the and even where no use at all can be discerned, other we are flattered, into compliance. In since the order and method of nature is gene- short, the ideas of the sublime and the beautirally very different from our measures and pro- ful stand on foundations so different, that it is portions, we must conclude that beauty is, for hard, I had almost said impossible, to think the greater part, some quality in bodies acting of reconciling them in the same subject, with mechanically upon the human mind by the in- out considerably lessening the effect of the
THE REAL CI USE OF BEAUTY.
one or the other upon the passions. So that, whole decreases again to the tail; the tail takes attending to their quantity, beautiful objects a new direction; but it soon varies its new are comparatively small.
course: it blends again with the other parts; and the line perpetually changing, above, lielow, upon every side. In this description I
have before me the idea of a dove; it agrees SECTION XIV.
very well with most of the conditions of beauty. It is smooth and downy ; its parts are (to use that expression) melted into one another,
you are presented with no sudden protuber. The next property constantly observable in ance through the whole, and yet the whole is such objects is smoothness :* a quality so essen- continually changing. Observe that part of a tial to beauty, that I do not now recollect any beautiful woman where she is perhaps the most thing beautiful that is not smooth. In trees beautiful, about the neck and breasts; the and flowers, smooth leaves are beautiful; smoothness; the softness; the easy and insensmooth slopes of earth in gardens; smooth sible swell; the variety of the surface, which is streams in the landscape ; smooth coats of never for the smallest space the same; the de birds and beasts in animal beauties; in fine ceitful maze, through which the unsteady eye women, smooth skins; and in several sorts of slides giddily, without knowing where to fix or ornamental furniture, smooth and polished sur- whither it is carried. Is not this a demonstrafaces. A very considerable part of the effect tion of that change of surface, continual, and of beauty is owing to this quality; indeed the yet hardly perceptible at any point, which most considerable. For take any beautiful forms one of the great constituents of beauty? object, and give it a broken and rugged surface, It gives me no small pleasure to find that I can and however well formed it may be in other strengthen my theory in this point, by the respects, it pleases no longer. Whereas, let it opinion of the very ingenious Mr. Hogarth want ever so many of the other constituents, whose idea of the line of beauty I take in if it wants not this, it becomes more pleasing general to be extremely just. But the idea of than almost all the others without it. This variation, without attending so accurately to seems to me so evident, that I am a good deal the manner of the variation, has led him to surprised, that none who have handled the sub- consider angular figures as beautiful: these ject have made any mention of the quality of figures, it is true, vary greatly; yet they vary smoothness, in the enumeration of those that in a sudden and broken manner; and I do not go to the forming of beauty. For indeed any find any natural object which is angular, and at ruggedness, any sudden projection, any sharp the same time beautiful. Indeed few natural angle, is in the highest degree contrary to that objects are entirely angular. But I think those idea.
which approach the most nearly to it are the ugliest. I must add too, that, so far as I could
observe of nature, though the varied line is that SECTION XV.
alone in which complete beauty is found, yet there is no particular line which is always found in the most completely beautiful, and
'which is therefore beautiful in preference to all But as perfectly beautiful bodies are not other lines. At least I never could observe it composed of angular parts, so their parts never continue long in the same right line.f They vary their direction every moment, and they change under the eye by a deviation continually
SECTION XVI. carrying on, but for whose beginning or end you will find it difficult to ascertain a point. The view of a beautiful bird will illustrate this observation. Here we see the head increasing An air of robustness and strength is very insensibly to the middle, from whence it lessens prejudicial to beauty. An appearance of deligradually until it mixes with the neck ; the cacy, and even of fragility, is almost essential neck loses itself in a larger swell, which con- to it. Whoever examines the vegetable or anitinues to the middle of the body, when the mal creation, will find this observation to be
founded in nature. It is not the oak, the ash, *Part IV. sect. 21 | Part V. sect. 23. or the elm, or any of the robust trees of the
forest, which we consider as beautiful; they principle it is, that the dubious colour in the are awful and majestic; they inspire a sort of necks and tails of peacocks, and about the reverence. It is the delicate myrtle, it is the heads of drakes, is so very agreeable. In orange, it is the almond, it is the jasmine, it is reality, the beauty both of shape and colouring the vine, which we look on as vegetable beau- are as nearly related, as we can well suppose ties. It is the flowery species, so remarkable it possible for things of such different natures for its weakness and momentary duration, that to be. gives us the liveliest idea of beauty and elegance. Among animals, the greyhound is more beautiful than the mastiff'; and the deli
SECTION XVIU. cacy of a gennet, a barb, or an Arabian horse, is much more amiable than the strength and
RECAPITULATION, stability of some horses of war or carriage. I need here say little of the fair sex, where I On the whole, the qualities of beauty, as believe the point will be easily allowed me. they are merely sensible qualities, are the folThe beauty of women is considerably owing to lowing ; First, to be comparatively small their weakness or delicacy, and is even en- Secondly, to be smooth. Thirdly, to have a hanced by their timidity, a quality of mind variety in the direction of the parts; but, analogous to it. I would not here be under- fourthly, to have those parts not angular, but stood io say, that weakness betraying very bad melted as it were into each other. Fifthly, to health has
any share in beauty; but the ill effect be of a delicate frame, without any remarkable of this is not because it is weakness, but appearance of strength. Sixthly, to have its because the ill state of health which produces colours clear and bright, but not very strong such weakness, alters the other conditions of and glaring. Seventhly, or if it should have beauty; the parts in such a case collapse ; the any glaring colour, to have it diversified with bright colour, the lumen purpureum juventa, is others. These are, I believe, the properties gone ; and the fine variation is lost in wrinkles, on which beauty depends ; properties that opesudden breaks, and right lines.
rate by nature, and are less liable to be altered by caprice, or confounded by a diversity of tastes, than any other.
BEAUTY IN COLOUR.
As to the colours usually found in beautiful
THE PHYSIOGNOMY. bodies, it may be somewhat difficult to ascertain them, because, in the several parts of na- THE physiognomy has a considerable share ture, there is an infinite variety. However, in beauty, especially in that of our own species. even in this variety, we may mark out some- The manners give a certain determination to thing on which to settle. First, the colours of the countenance; which being observed to corbeautiful bodies must not be dusky or muddy, respond pretty regularly with them, is capablo but clean and fair. Secondly, they must not be of joining the effects of certain agreeable quali of the strongest kind. Those which seem most ties of the mind to those of the body. So tha appropriated to beauty, are the milder of every to form a finished human beauty, and to give it sort ; light greens ; soft blues ; weak whites; its full influence, the face must be expressive of pink reds; and violets. Thirdly, if the colours such gentle and amiable qualities, as corre be strong and vivid, they are always diversi- spond with the softness, smoothness, and deli fied, and the object is never of one strong cacy of the outward form. colour; there are almost always such a number of them, (as in variegated flowers,) that the strength and glare of each is considerably abated. In a fine complexion, there is not only
SECTION XX. some variety in the colouring, but the colours: neither the red nor the white are strong and glaring. Besides, they are mixed in such a manner, and with such gradations, that it is I HAVE hitherto purp ely omitted to speak impossible to fix the bounds. On the same of the eye, which has so great a share in the
ELEGANCE AND SPECIOUSNESS.
beauty of the animal creation, as it did not fall things. Gracefulness is an idea belonging to so easily under the foregoing heads, though in posture and motion. In both these, to be grace fact it is reducible to the same principles. I ful, it is requisite that there be no appearance think then, that the beauty of the eye consists, of difficulty; there is required a small inflecfirst, in its clearness ; what coloured eye shall tion of the body; and a composure of the parts please most, depends a good deal on particular in such a manner, as not to incumber each fancies; but none are pleased with an eye other, not to appear divided by sharp and sudwhose water (to use that term) is dull and den angles. In this case, this roundness, this muddy.* We are pleased with the eye in this delicacy of attitude and motion, it is that all the view, on the principle upon which we like dia- magic of grace consists, and what is called its monds, clear water, glass, and such like trans- je ne sçai quoi; as will be obvious to any obe parent substances. Secondly, the motion of the server, who considers attentively the Venus eye contributes to its beauty, by continually de Medicis, the Antinous, or any statue gene shifting its direction; but a slow and languid rally allowed to be graceful in a high degree. motion is more beautiful than a brisk one; the latter is enlivening; the former lovely. Thirdly, with regard to the union of the eye with the neighbouring parts, it is to hold the same rule
SECTION XXIII. that is given of other beautiful ones ; it is not to make a strong deviation from the line of the neighbouring parts; nor to verge into any exact geometrical figure. Besides all this, the eye affects, as it is expressive of some qualities of
When any body is composed of parts smooth the mind, and its principal power generally without shewing any ruggedness or confusion,
and polished, without pressing upon each other, arises from this ; so that what we have just said and at the same time affecting some regular of the physiognomy is applicable here.
shape, I call it elegant. It is closely allied to the beautiful, differing from it only in this regu.
larity; which, however, as it makes a very SECTION XXI.
material difference in the affection produced, may very well constitute another species. Under this head I rank those delicate and
regular works of art, that imitate no determiIt may perhaps appear like a sort of repeti- nate object in nature, as elegant buildings, and tion of what we have before said, to insist here pieces of furniture. When any object parupon the nature of ugliness ; as I imagine it to takes of the above-mentioned qualities, or of be in all respects the opposite to those quali dimensions, it is full as remote from the idea
those of beautiful bodies, and is withal of great ties which we have laid down for the constituents of beauty. But though ugliness be the of mere beauty; I call it fine or specious. opposite to beauty, it is not the opposite to proportion and fitness. For it is possible that a thing may be very ugly with any proportions, and with a perfect fitness to any uses. Ugli
SECTION XXIV. ness I imagine likewise to be consistent enough with an idea of the sublime. But I would by
THE BEAUTIFUL IN FEELING, no means insinuate that ugliness of itself is a sublime idea, unless united with such qualities THE foregoing description of beauty, so far as excite a strong terrour.
as it is taken in by the eye, may be greatly illustrated by describing the nature of objects, which produce a similar effect through the
touch. This call the beautiful in Feeling. SECTION XXII.
It corresponds wonderfully with what causes the same species of pleasure to the sight.
There is a chain in all our sensations; they GRACEFULNESS is an idea not very different are all but different sorts of feelings calculated from beauty; it consists in much the same to be affected by various sorts of objects, but
all to be affected after the same manner. Al * Part IV. sect. 25.
bodies that are pleasant to the touch, are so
THE BEAUTIFUL IN SOUNDS.
by the slightness of the resistance they make.
SECTION XXV. Resistance is either to motion along the surface, or to the pressure of the parts on one another: if the former be slight, we call the body smooth; if the latter, soft. The chief In this sense we find an equal aptitude to pleasure we receive by feeling, is in the one
be affected in a soft and delicate manner; and or the other of these qualities; and if there be how far sweet or beautiful sounds agree with a combination of both, our pleasure is greatly our descriptions of beauty in other senses, the increased. This is so plain, that it is rather experience of every one must decide. Milton more fit to illustrate other things, than to be has described this species of music in one of illustrated itself by an example. The next his juvenile poems.* I need not say that Milsource of pleasure in this sense, as in every ton was perfectly well versed in that art; and other, is the continually presenting somewhat that no man had a finer ear, with a happier new; and we find that bodies which continu- manner of expressing the affections of one ally vary their surface, are much the most plea- sense by metaphors taken from another. The sant or beautiful to the feeling, as any one that description is as follows: pleases may experience. The third property And ever against eating cares, in such objects is, that though the surface con- Lap me in soft Lydian airs; tinually varies its direction, it never varies it
In notes with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out; suddenly. The application of any thing sud
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning, den, even though the impression itself have The melting voice through mazes running, little or nothing of violence, is disagreeable. Untwisting all the chains that tie The quick application of a finger a little
The hidden soul of harmony. warmer or colder than usual, without notice, Let us parallel this with the softness, the windmakes us start; a slight tap on the shoulder, ing surface, the unbroken continuance, the not expected, has the same effect. Hence it easy gradation of the beautiful in other things; is that angular bodies, bodies that suddenly and all the diversities of the several senses, vary the direction of the outline, afford so little with all their several affections, will rather help pleasure to the feeling. Every such change to throw lights from one another to finish one is a sort of climbing or falling in miniature ; so clear, consistent idea of the whole, than to that squares, triangles, and other angular figures obscure it by their intricacy and variety. are neither beautiful to the sight nor feeling. To the above-mentioned description I shall Whoever compares his state of mind, on feel add one or two remarks. The first is; that ing soft, smooth, variegated, unangular bodies, the beautiful in music will not bear that loudwith that in which he finds himself, on the ness and strength of sounds, which may be view of a beautiful object, will perceive a very used to raise other passions; nor notes which striking analogy in the effects of both; and are shrill, or harsh, or deep; it agrees best which may go a good way towards discovering with such as are clear, even, smooth, and their common causo. Feeling and sight, in weak. The second is; that great variety, and this respect, differ in but a few points. The quick transitions from one measure or tone to touch takes in the pleasure of softness, which another, are contrary to the genius of the is not primarily an object of sight; the sight, beautiful in music. Such transitionst often on the other hand, comprehends colour, which excite mirth, or other sudden and tumultuous can hardly be made perceptible to the touch: passions; but not that sinking, that melting, the touch again has the advantage in a new that languor, which is the characteristical idea of pleasure resulting from a moderate de- effect of the beautiful as it regards every sense. gree of warmth ; but the eye triumphs in the The passion excited by beauty is in fact nearer infinite extent and multiplicity of its objects. to a species of melancholy, than to jollity and But there is such a similitude in the pleasures mirth. I do not here mean to confine music to of these senses, that I am apt to fancy, if it any one species of notes, or tones, neither is it were possible that one might discern colour an art in which I can say I have any great by feeling, (as it is said some blind men have skill. My sole design in this remark is, to done,) that the same colours, and the same dis- settle a consistent idea of beauty. The infiposition of colouring, which are found beautiful nite variety of the affections of the soul will to the sight, would be found likewise most suggest to a good head, and skilful ear, a grateful to the touch. But, setting aside con
* L'allegro. jectures, let us pass to the other sense; of
f I ne'er am merry, when I hear sweet music