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been in, without the fall of Adam, and its consequences we had been perhaps as unexperienced, ignorant, raw, and infipid animals as any in it. We had been like little infants, tenderly nursed up indeed in an affluence of every thing good in itself, but without much relish, taste, or jenfo of it. We had been ignorant of the high and noble qualities, gifts, and endowments of our own souls, which, had lain hid, like ore in an untried mine ; strangers to most of the principal attributes of God; and of course liable hereafter to surrender up our innocence (without remedy) to the first temptation perhaps that has befallen us, either from within or without. And even had we stood firm, we could never have been (naturally) so fit and proper subjects of those high degrees of refined happiness in heaven, as we now are, according to the present scheme of providence. On all which accounts it may be safely concluded, that the fall of Adam was, in fact, the rise and exaltation of his pofterity ; and has introduced into the world infinitely more good than evil : however irksome the concomitant evils may be to us at present. For though the evils which we now feel, may sometimes make us with perhaps, that things had been otherwise constituted than they are ; yet, upon a calm review of the whole, we shall see reason to conclude that THAT WHICH IS, IS BEST.'
Thus have we given cur readers a short view of our author's scheme, which towards the close of his performance he endeavcurs to clear from the difficulties that attend it; whether a clear and satisfactory answer can be given to the objections that may be urged against it, every reader must determine for himself,
ART. XXVIIT. CRITO: 01, a Dialogue on Beauty.
By Sir Harry Beaumont. 8vo. 15. Dodfley.
'H E truly ingenious author of this small piece has
given us his thoughts on an agreeable subject, in a very entertaining manner,
His sentiments are, many of them, equally delicate and uncommon, and the illustrations he has drawn from the poets and painters extremely beautiful, and such as shew, that he has not only an exquisite taste for the fine arts, but that he has had many advantages for cultivating and improving it. Nor is agreeable writing his on
ly merit ; he appears in a higher character, viz. as the friend of virtue, and as one who is concerned for its interests.
The dialogue is only continued for a few pages, after which Crito, a gentleman, who on a beautiful morning, in summer, leaves the noise and bustle of the town, to spend an agreeable day or two with his friend Timanthes in the country, takes all the talk to himself, and, at the request of Milefius and Timanthes, entertains them with his thoughts on beauty; a subject which, as he obferves, is usually rather viewed with too much pleasure, than confidered with any thing of judgment. He does not consider beauty in its fullest extent, but real personal beauty, and not such as is only national and customary; for I would not have you imagine,' says he to his friend, that I would have any thing to do with the beautiful thick lips of the good people of Bantam, of the excessive small feet of the ladies of quality in China.'
Every thing relating to beauty he thinks may be reduced to one or other of these four heads; colour, form, expreffion, and grace; the two former of which he looks upon as the body, and the two latter as the soul of beauty. Tho' colour be the lowest of all the constituent parts of beauty, he observes that it is commonly the most striking, for which he tells us there is a very obvious reason to be given, viz. that every body can see, and very few can judge.
• You would laugh out perhaps, says he, if I was to tell you,
that the same thing, which makes a fine evening, makes a fine face, (I mean as to the particular part of beauty I am now speaking of) and yet this, I believe, is very true. The beauty of an evening sky, about the setting of the sun, is owing to the variety of colours that are scattered along the face of the heavens. It is the fine red clouds intermixt with white, and sometimes darker ones, with the azure bottom appearing here and there between them, which makes all that beautiful composition that delights the eye so much, and gives such a serene pleasure to the heart. In the same manner, if you consider some beautiful faces, you may observe, that it is much the same variety of colours, which gives them that pleasing, look; which is so apt to attract the eye, and but too often to engage the heart. For all this sort of beauty is resolvable into a proper variation of Aeth colour and red, with the clear blueness of the veins pleasingly intermixt about the temples and the going off of the cheeks, and set off by the shades of full eye
brows, and of the hair, when it falls in a proper manner round the face.
• It is for much the same reason, that the best landscapepainters have been generally observed to chuse the autumnal part of the year for their pieces, rather than the spring.
They prefer the variety of shades and colours, though in their decline, to all their freshness and verdure in their infancy; and think all the charms and liveliness, even of the spring, more than compensated by the choice, opposition, and richness of colours, that appear almost on every tree in the autumn.'
In our author's opinion, a compleat brown beauty is preferable to a perfect fair one; because the bright brown, he telis us, gives a lustre to all the other colours, a vivacity to the eyes,
and a richness to the whole look, which one seeks in vain in the whitest and most transparent skins. Accordingly he observes, that Raphael's most charming Madonna is a brunette beauty, and that all the best artists in the noblest age of painting, about Leo the tenth’s time, used this deeper and richer kind of colouring.
With respect to form, he observes, that it takes in the turn of each part, as well as the symmetry of the whole body, even to the turn of the eye-brow, or the falling of the hair ; he likewise thinks that the attitude, while fixed, ought to be reckoned under this article ; meaning not only the poo fture of the person, but the position of each part, as the turning of the neck, the extending of the hand, the placing of a foot, and so on, to the most minute particulars. He tells us, that the general cause of beauty, in the form or shape of both sexes, is a proportion, or an union and harmony, in all parts of the body; that the distinguishing character of beauty in the female form is delicacy and softness, and in the male, either apparent strength or agility; and that the finest exemplars that can be seen for the former, is the Venus of Medici, and for the two latter, the Hercules Farnese, and the Apollo Belvedere.
He now proceeds to expreffion, by which he means the expression of the passions, the turns and changes of the mind, so far as they are made visible to the eye, by our looks or gestures. Under this head he observes, that all the tender and kind passions, in general, add to beauty, and that all the cruel and unkind ones add to deformity.
• The finest union of pasions,' says he, that I have ever observed in any face, consisted of a just mixture of modesty, sensibility, and sweetness ; each of which, when taken
singly, fingly, is very pleasing; but when they are all blended together, in such a manner as either to enliven or correct each other, they give almost as much attraction, as the pasiona are capable of adding to a very pretty face.
« The prevailing passion in the Venus of Medici is modefty: it is express’d by each of her hands, in her looks, and in the turn of her head. And, by the way, I queftion whether one of the chief reasons, why side faces please one more than full ones, may not be from the former having more of the air of modefty than the latter. However that be, this is certain, that the best artists usually chuse to give a side face rather than a sull one ; in which attitude, the turn of the neck too has more beauty, and the passions more activity and force. Thus, as to hatred and affection in particular, the look that was formerly supposed to carry an infection with it, from malignant eyes, was a flanting regard; like that which Milton gives to Satan, when he is viewing the happiness of our first parents in paradise, and the fascination or stroke of love, is, most usually, I believe, convey'd at first, in a fide-glance.
It is owing to the great force of pleasingness which attends all the kinder. passions, that lovers do not only seem, but are really more beautiful to each other, than they are to the rest of the world; because, when they are together, the most pleasing passions are more frequently exerted in each of their faces, than they are in either before the rest of the world. There is then (as a certain French writer very well expresses it) a foul upon their countenances, which does not appear when they are absent from each other; or even when they are together, conversing with other persons, that are indifferent to them, or rather lay a restraint upon their features.'
He further observes under this head, that the chief rule of the beauty of the passions, is moderation ; • for too fullen an appearance of virtue,' says he, • a violent and prostitute (well of passion, a ruftic and overwhelming modesty, a deep sadness, or too wild and impetuous a joy, become all either oppressive or disagreeable.'
He now proceeds to consider grace, the noblest part of beauty; and this, he tells us, is in a great measure inexplicable, as it is perpetually varying its appearances, and therefore much more difficult to be considered, than any thing fixt and steady. Though grace may, at times, visit every limb or part of the body, yet he observes, that the mouth is the chief seat of it; as much as the chief seat for the beauty of the paflions is in the eyes. - In a very graceful face,''says he, - by which I do not so much mean a majestic, as a soft and pleafing one, there is now-and-then (for no part of beauty is either so engaging, or so uncommon) a certain deliciousness that almost always lives about the mouth, in some. thing not quite enough to be called a smile, but rather an approach towards one; which varies gently about the different lines there, like a little Auttering Cupid; and perhaps sometimes discovers a little dimple, that after just lightening upon you disappears, and appears again by fits. This I take to be one of the moft pleasing forts of grace of any; but you will understand what I mean by your own memory, better than by any expressions I could possibly use to describe it.'
Though grace is so difficult to be accounted for in general, yet he observes that there are two particular things which hold universally in relation to it; the first is, that there is no grace without some genteel or pleasing motion, either of the whole body or of fome limb, or at least of some feature; the second is, that nothing can be graceful, that is not adapted to the characters of the person. The graces of a little lively beauty,' says he, wou'd become ungraceful in a character of majesty, as the majestic airs of an empress would quite destroy the prettiness of the former. The vivacity that adds a grace to beauty in youth, would give an additional deformity to old age ; and the very fame airs, which would be charming on some occasions, may be quite shocking when extremely mis-tim’d, or extremely misplac'd.'
In the farther consideration of his subject, our ingenious author has many curious observations, and towards the close of his performance, after taking a short survey of that variety of beauty which is to be found in the works of nature, he leads the thoughts of his readers through the ascending fcale of beauty, to the contemplation of virtue, the most beautiful object in the universe, and to that of the goodness cf God, the inexhaustible fountain of all that rich profusion of beauty, which is diffused through the boundless expanse of univerfal nature.
After the short view we have given of this work, few of our readers, we apprehend, will be at a loss to know who the real author is, since they cannot but perceive that Sir Harry Beaumont * is a fiĉtitious name.
* Since the first edition of this number, we have been affured, that the public is obliged to the ingenious Mr. Spence, for this performance.