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and will never sojourn anywhere. He diminishes all geographical distances, and increases all moral ones. He makes rougher all social inequalities, or levels them. He has power over all trades. He procures repose, and banishes sleep. He is the strong arm of tyranny, and the guarantee of independence. Virtue despises, and yet cannot do without him. His presence gives birth to pride ; his absence humbles it. He is audacious, imperious, and impudent : he is benevolent, and willing to relieve. He is the best of friends, and the most dangerous of enemies.; the wisest, and most fatal of advisers. At the voice of the prodigal, he transforms his land and house into dust which may be given to the winds; and he assists the provident man to heap up his savings. Innocent himself, he corrupts innocence. He provokes all crimes, protects all vices, and attacks all virtues. He is no less the idol of universal worship. Nations, individuals contend for his exclusive possession, although he is their mutual and necessary interpreter. He causes pleasure and satiety. He is equally serviceable to Caprices and wants, as to taste and passions. He gives nourishment and toys to infancy, and he is nourishment and toys to old age. He conveys bread to the mouth of the paralytic, and daggers to the hand of the assassin. He is deaf to the poor who implore him, and he forces himself upon the rich who prostitute him. He is the maker of all marriages, and the divider of all families. His natural disposition is to travel unceasingly. He is fit for every kind of service, but withal a wanderer. If he comes to you, it is but to leave you. If you retain him, he is good for nothing—he sleeps. Take care that he returns, for he knows how to do everything ; he is successful in all. If you want employment, orders, titles, honors, or even absolutions, address yourself to him ; he knows all the magazines ; he has all the keys. Are you weak, or powerful ? No matter, he will make you either a Croesus or an Irus. He is in the midst of all good and all evil. He burned Copenhagen, and built Petersburgh. He is inactive, and yet the universal mover. He is inanimate, yet the soul of the world. In the plenitude of his power, would he bestow health, he sends Hippocrates; would he defy death, he raises pyramids. Lastly, sprung from the dirt, he is regarded as a divinity. But of whom or what are we speaking 7–
“Smilingly fronting the mirror she stands,
Dean Swift proposed to tax female beauty, and to leave every lady to rate her own charms. He said the tax would be cheerfully paid, and very productive.
The intimate relations between woman's beauty, and her toilet-glass render it impossible for the fair possessor to be unconscious of her endowment, and consequently it would be always at a premium. We remember a young surgeon once professed he would any day prefer a good dissection to a good
dinner; we question his taste, and if the dinner challenge were 93
presented to us, in behalf of beauty, we would greatly prefer to accept of it. A good dinner, it is true, makes its appeal to the hungry, but a vision of beauty is a delectation to the eye, if less substantial, far more refining.
Beauty is inflexible : it appears to us a dream, when we contemplate the works of the great artists; it is a hovering, floating, and glittering shadow, whose outline eludes the grasp of definition. Mendelsshon, the philosopher, grandfather of the composer, and others, tried to catch Beauty as a butterfly, and pin it down for inspection. They have succeeded in the same way as they are likely to succeed with a butterfly. The poor animal trembles and struggles, and its brightest colors are gone ; or, if you catch it without spoiling the colors, you have at best a stiff and awkward corpse. But a corpse is not an entire animal, it wants what is essential in all things, namely, life—spirit, which sheds beauty on everything.”
Lord Bacon observed justly, that the best part of beauty is that which a picture cannot express.
Beauty is indescribable and inexplicable ; it fascinates, dazzles, and bewilders us with its mystic power. Woman has been defined something midway between a flower and an angel ; as the sunny half of earth. It has been well said that woman's beauty does not consist merely in what is called a pretty face. An old lyric writer of the seventeenth century thus apostrophizes it.
“There is a garden in her face,
“These cherries fairly do enclose
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
Yet these no peer, nor prince, may buy,
Till cherry ripe themselves do cry.
“Her eyes, like angels, watch them still ;
“Women are the poetry of the world, in the same sense as the stars are the poetry of heaven. Clear, light-giving, harmonious, they are the terrestial planets that rule the destines of mankind.” - “I saw her, upon nearer view, A spirit, yet a woman too. Her household motions light and free, And steps of virgin liberty; A countenance in which did meet Sweet records, promises as sweet. A creature not two bright or good For human nature's daily food, For transient sorrows, simple wiles, Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.”
Wordsworth's charming portraiture of womanly sweetness is worthy alike of the subject and the writer : it is doubtless familiar to the reader.
Another pen has dilated upon it in prose, as followeth :
Those who are accustomed to enlightened views of female beauty, well know that there are different kinds of personal beauty, among which that of form and coloring hold a very inferior rank. There is a beauty of expression, for instance, of sweetness, of nobility, of intellectual refinement, of feeling, of animation, of meekness, of resignation, and many other kinds of beauty, which may be allied to the plainest features, and yet