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be a favourite Scat of yours, whenever you came hither; which I wish your Affairs would suffer to be much oftener." Indeed the Spot was so well chofen, that it made not only their Dinner, but even their Conversation together after it, the more agreeable ; and as they were still fitting and enjoying themselves there, for some Time into the Afternoon; a Servant came to let TIMANTHES know, that MILESIUS was just alighted; and was coming toward them. “ Though in general I should not have chosen to be interrupted To-day (says TIMANTHES,) I am not forry for Milesius's Visit at present; because his Gaiety may ferve a little to divert you.” “ And I, says Crito, love every thing that you love; and shall therefore go with Pleasure with you to meet him. MILESIUS came up to them with his usual Vivacity in his Face, and Behaviour; and, after a fhort Compliment, or Two, they all sat down together again under the Tent.
They soon fell into a Conversation, which, though it might not be fo folid, was at least more lively and joyous than their former. TIMANTHES could not help observing upon it. “ You (says he) MILESIUS give Life to the Company wherever you come ; but I am particularly glad of your coming hither To day, because my Friend CRITO, on his Arrival this Morning, seemed to have the Remains of something of a Melancholy on his Face; but, since your joining us, the Cloud has been gradually clearing up, and seems now quite driven away. I would not then take any Notice of it to him, for fear of oppressing the Mind
Friend whilft too much afflicted; but as it now appears to have been only a paffing Cloud, I could wish to ask the Cause of it; that I might endeavour to alleviate his Concern, if in my Power; and if not, that at least I might share it with him.” “ I am very much obliged to you (replied Crito, with a Cast of the same Concern returning on his Face,) for your Tenderness for me, on this, and all other Occasions : But if you observed any thing of Sorrow about me on my First coming in, I can assure you, that it was not for any Misfortune that has happined to myself; nor any new Misfortune to any of our Friends : Whatever you saw in me of that kind, must have been occasioned by the Visit I made this Morning. You both know the Beauty and Merits of Mrs. B * * * as well as what a Brute of a Husband she has the Misfortune to be married to. I just called there, before I set out; and, on the Servant's telling me, that his Lady had been up some time, and was fitting in the Room next the Garden; as my near Relation to her gave me the Liberty of going on without sending in 'my Name, I walked toward the Room; and found the Door only just open enough to let me see her leaning on a Couch, with her head refted negligently on one Hand, whilft, with the other, she was wiping away a Tear, that stole silently down her Cheek. The Distress in her Countenance, and the little Confufion that appeared about her Eyes, on her first discovering me (juft as I was doubting whether I should retire or not,) added so much to the other Beauties of her Face, that I think I never saw her look so charmB 3
ing in my Life. Stay, Sir (says she ;) for you, I am fure, can excuse this little Overflow of Weaknefs in me. My poor, dear, Jacky ! - If Heaven had fpared him to me, he would this very Day have been Seven Years old. What a pretty little Companion should I have had in him, to have diverted me in fome of the many Hours that I now pass alone !" I dissembled my being but too well acquainted with the real Occasion of her Sorrows; joined with her in Jamenting the Lofs (he had mentioned ; and, as soon as I could, led the Converfation into another Channel; and said every thing I could think of, to divert her Mind from the Object that I knew afflicted her. By Degrees, the recovered her afnal Behaviour ; but, through all the Calmnefs and Pleasingness of it, there was still a Cloud hanging about her Eyes, which betrayed Part of the Uneasiness that the daily fuffers under in her Heart. Good Heaven! how is it poffible that any human Creature fhould treat so much Goodness, and fo many Charms, with so much Barbarity of Behaviour !"-We all know the Vileness of the Maa, cried MILESIUS, as well as the Beauty and good Qualities of his Lady; but, pray, how eome you to think, that her Sufferings should add to her Charms? or that a Distress, like her's, could ever be pleasing to the Eye? Some People have got fuch ftrange, unintelligible Notions of Beauty !-“ Was I to let you into all my Thoughts about Beauty, replied Crito, what I happened to mention just now would, perhaps, appear far from being unintelligible to you. To own the Truth, I have thought on this Subject (which is usually rather viewed with
too much Pleasure, than considered with any thing of Judgment) more gravely at least, I dare fay, than ever you have: And if you was to provoke me a little farther, I do not know whether I could not lay down to you a sort of Scheme on it; which might go a good Way not only toward clearing up this, but most of the other Difficulties that so often occur in talking of it." - I hould as soon think of diffecting a Rainbow, says Milestus, as of forming grave and punctual Notions of Beauty. Who, for Heaven's Sake, can reduce to Rules, what is so quick, and so variable, as to be shifting its Appearances every Moment, on the most delightful Faces ? -" And why are those Faces the most delightful, in which that happens?” says Crito.-Nay, that is one of the very things I could leaft pretend to account for, replied MILESIUS. I am fatisfied with seeing that they are fo; 'tis a subject that I never yet had a single Defire to reason upon; and I can very willingly leave it to you, to be a Philosopher in Love.—But seriously, interposed TIMANTHES, turning toward Crito, if you have ever found Leisure and Calmness enough to think steadily on fo uncertain, and so engaging a Subject; why should not you oblige us with the Result of your Thoughts upon it? Let me beg it of you, as a Favour to both of us; for I am sure it will be agreeable to both : And if you refuse me, I am resolved to join with Milesius in believing, that it is incapable of having any thing faid systematically, or even regularly, about it. _“You know, says CRITo, how little I love to have all the Talk to myself; and what you propose may take me up an
Hour, or Two: But if I must launch out into so wide a Subject, it will be very necessary, that I should begin with telling you what I chiefly propose to consider, and what not.
VERY Object that is pleasing to the Eye,
when looked upon, or delightful to the Mind, on Recollection, may be called beautiful ; so that Beauty, in general, may stretch as wide as the visible Creation, or even as far as the Imagination can go ; which is a sort of new or secondary Creation. Thus we speak not only of the Beauties of an engaging Prospect, of the rising or setting Sun, or of a fine starry Heaven; but of those of a Picture, Statue, or Building; and even of the Actions, Characters, or Thoughts of Men. In the greater Part of these, there may be almost as many false Beauties, as there are real; according to the different Tastes of Nations, and Men; so that if any one was to consider Beauty in its fullest Extent, it could not be done without the greatest Confusion: I shall therefore confine my Subjest to visible Beauty ; and of that, to such only as may be called personal, or human Beauty; and that again, to such as is natural or real, and not such as is only national or customary ; for I would not have you imagine, that I would have any thing to do with the beautiful thick Lips of the good People of Bantam, or the exceffive small Feet of the Ladies of Quality in China.