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been in, without the fall of Adam, and its confequences we had been perhaps as unexperienced, ignorant, raw, and infipid animals as any in it. We had been like little infants, tenderly nurfed up indeed in an affluence of every thing good in itfelf, but without much relish, taste, or fenfe of it. We had been ignorant of the high and noble qualities, gifts, and endowments of our own fouls, which had lain hid, like ore in an untried mine; ftrangers to moft of the principal attributes of God; and of course liable hereafter to furrender up our innocence (without remedy) to the firft temptation perhaps that has befallen us, either from within or without. And even had we stood firm, we could never have been (naturally) fo fit and proper fubjects of thofe 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 fafely con'cluded, that the fall of Adam was, in fact, the rife 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 prefent. For though the evils which we now feel, may fometimes make us wish perhaps, that things had been otherwife constituted than they are; yet, upon a calm review of the whole, we shall fee reafon to conclude that THAT WHICH IS, IS BEST.'
Thus have we given our readers a short view of our author's fcheme, which towards the clofe of his performance he endeavours to clear from the difficulties that attend it; whether a clear and fatisfactory anfwer can be given to the objections that may be urged againt it, every reader must determine for himself.
ART. XXVIII. CRITO: or, a Dialogue on Beauty. By Sir Harry Beaumont. 8vo. 1s. Dodfley.
HE truly ingenious author of this fmall piece has given us his thoughts on an agreeable fubject, in a very entertaining manner, His fentiments are, many of them, equally delicate and uncommon, and the illuftrations he has drawn from the poets and painters extremely beautiful, and such as fhew, that he has not only an exquifite tafte 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 fummer, leaves the noife and buftle 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 fubject which, as he obferves, is ufually rather viewed with too much pleasure, than confidered with any thing of judgment. He does not confider beauty in its fullest extent, but real perfonal beauty, and not fuch as is only national and cuftomary; for I would not have you imagine,' fays 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 exceffive fmall 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 foul of beauty. Tho' colour be the lowest of all the conftituent parts of beauty, he observes that it is commonly the most striking, for which he tells us there is a very obvious reafon to be given, viz. that every body can fee, and very few can judge.
You would laugh out perhaps, fays he, if I was to tell you, that the fame 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 fky, about the fetting of the fun, 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 fometimes darker ones, with the azure bottom appearing here and there between them, which makes all that beautiful compofition that delights the eye fo much, and gives fuch a ferene pleasure to the heart. In the fame manner, if you confider fome beautiful faces, you may obferve, that it is much the fame variety of colours, which gives them that pleasing look; which is fo apt to attract the eye, and but too often to engage the heart. For all this fort of beauty is refolvable into a proper variation of flesh colour and red, with the clear bluenefs of the veins pleafingly intermixt about the temples and the going off of the cheeks, and fet off by the fhades of full eyebrows;
brows, and of the hair, when it falls in a proper manner round the face.
It is for much the fame reafon, that the beft landscapepainters have been generally obferved to chufe the autumnal part of the year for their pieces, rather than the fpring. They prefer the variety of fhades and colours, though in their decline, to all their frefhnefs and verdure in their infancy; and think all the charms and liveliness, even of the fpring, more than compenfated by the choice, opposition, and richness of colours, that appear almoft 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 tells us, gives a luftre to all the other colours, a vivacity to the eyes, and a richness to the whole look, which one feeks in vain in the whitest and most transparent skins. Accordingly he obferves, that Raphael's most charming Madonna is a brunette beauty, and that all the best artists in the nobleft age of painting, about Leo the tenth's time, used this deeper and richer kind of colouring.
With refpect to form, he obferves, that it takes in the turn of each part, as well as the fymmetry of the whole body, even to the turn of the eye-brow, or the falling of the hair: he likewife thinks that the attitude, while fixed, ought to be reckoned under this article; meaning not only the pofture of the perfon, but the pofition of each part, as the turning of the neck, the extending of the hand, the placing of a foot, and fo on, to the most minute particulars. He tells us, that the general cause of beauty, in the form or fhape of both fexes, is a proportion, or an union and harmony, in all parts of the body; that the diftinguishing character of beauty in the female form is delicacy and foftnefs, and in the male, either apparent ftrength or agility; and that the fineft exemplars that can be feen for the former, is the Venus of Medici, and for the two latter, the Hercules Farnefe, and the Apollo Belvedere.
He now proceeds to expreffion, by which he means the expreffion of the paffions, the turns and changes of the mind, so far as they are made vifible to the eye, by our looks or geftures. Under this head he obferves, that all the tender and kind paffions, in general, add to beauty, and that all the cruel and unkind ones add to deformity.
• The finest union of paffions,' fays he, that I have ever obferved in any face, confifted of a juft mixture of modefty, fenfibility, and fweetnefs; each of which, when taken
fingly, is very pleasing; but when they are all blended together, in fuch a manner as either to enliven or correct each other, they give almost as much attraction, as the paffions are capable of adding to a very pretty face.
The prevailing paffion in the Venus of Medici is modefty: it is exprefs'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 reafons, why fide 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 chufe to give a fide face rather than a full one; in which attitude, the turn of the neck too has more beauty, and the paffions more activity and force. Thus, as to hatred and affection in particular, the look that was formerly fuppofed 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 firft parents in paradife, and the fascination or ftroke of love, is, moft ufually, I believe, convey'd at first, in a fide-glance.
It is owing to the great force of pleafingness which attends all the kinder paffions, that lovers do not only. feem, but are really more beautiful to each other, than they are to the reft of the world; because, when they are together, the most pleasing paffions are more frequently exerted in each of their faces, than they are in either before the reft of the world. There is then (as a certain French writer very well expreffes it) a foul upon their countenances, which does not appear when they are abfent from each other; or even when they are together, converfing with other perfons, that are indifferent to them, or rather lay a reftraint upon their features.'
He further obferves under this head, that the chief rule of the beauty of the paffions, is moderation; for too fullen an appearance of virtue,' fays he, a violent and prostitute fwell of paffion, a ruftic and overwhelming modefty, a deep sadness, or too wild and impetuous a joy, become all either oppreffive or difagreeable.'
He now proceeds to confider grace, the nobleft part of beauty; and this, he tells us, is in a great meafure inexplicable, as it is perpetually varying its appearances, and therefore much more difficult to be confidered, than any thing fixt and steady. Though grace may, at times, vifit every limb or part of the body, yet he obferves, that the mouth is the chief feat of it; as much as the chief seat for the beauty of the paffrons is in the eyes. In a very graceful face,' 'fays
he, by which I do not fo much mean a majestic, as a foft and pleafing one, there is now-and-then (for no part of beauty is either fo engaging, or fo uncommon) a certain deliciousness that almost always lives about the mouth, in fomething not quite enough to be called a fmile, but rather an approach towards one; which varies gently about the different lines there, like a little futtering Cupid; and perhaps fometimes difcovers a little dimple, that after juft lightening upon you difappears, and appears again by fits. This I take to be one of the moft pleafing forts of grace of any; but you will understand what I mean by your own memory, better than by any expreffions I could poffibly use to defcribe it.'
Though grace is fo difficult to be accounted for in general, yet he obferves that there are two particular things which hold univerfally in relation to it; the firft is, that there is no grace without fome 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,' fays he, wou'd become ungraceful in a character of majesty; as the majeftic airs of an emprefs 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 fome occafions, may be quite fhocking when extremely mis-tim'd, or extremely misplac'd.'
In the farther confideration of his fubject, our ingenious author has many curious obfervations; and towards the close of his performance, after taking a fhort furvey of that variety of beauty which is to be found in the works of nature, he leads the thoughts of his readers through the afcending fcale of beauty, to the contemplation of virtue, the most beautiful object in the univerfe, and to that of the goodness cf God, the inexhauftible fountain of all that rich profufion of beauty, which is diffused through the boundless expanfe 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, fince they cannot but perceive that Sir Harry Beaumont * is a fictitious 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.