An ardent love and admiration of virtue seems to imply the existence of something opposite to it, and it seems highly probably that the same beauty of form and substance, the same perfection of character could not be generated without the impressions of disapprobation which arise from the spectacle of moral evil.
Charity is never lost: it may meet with ingratitude, or be of no service to those on whom it was bestowed, yet it ever does a work of beauty and grace upon the heart of the giver.
Courtesy is a science of the highest importance. It is, like grace and beauty in the body, which charm at first sight, and lend on to further intimacy and friendship, opening a door that we may derive instruction from the example of others, and at the same time enabling us to benefit them by our example, if there by anything in our character worthy of imitation.
Love hates people to be attached to each other except by himself, and takes a laggard part in relations that are set up and maintained under another title, as marriage is. Connections and means have, with reason, as much weight in it as graces and beauty, or more. We do not marry for ourselves, whatever we say; we marry must as much or more for our posterity, for our family. The practice and benefit of marriage concerns our race very far beyond us. Therefore I like this fashion of arranging it rather by a third hand than by our own, and by the sense of other rather than by our own. How opposite is all this to the conventions of love!
We easily enough confess in others an advantage of courage, strength, experience, activity, and beauty; but an advantage in judgment we yield to none.
Art is reaching out into the ugliness of the world for vagrant beauty and the imprisoning of it in a tangible dream.
Truth is congenial to man. Moral truth is then most consummate when, like beauty, it commends itself without argument. The righteous not only does right, but loves to do right.
What is good” I asked in a musing mood. Order, said the law court; Knowledge said the school; Truth, said the wise man; Pleasure, said the fool; Love, said the maiden; Beauty, said the sage. Fame, said the soldier; Equity, said the seer. Spoke my heart sadly: “The answer is not here.” then within my bosom softly this I heard: “Each heart holds the secret: Kindness is the word.”
The all-round liberally educated man, from Paleolithic times to the time when the earth shall become a cold cinder, will always be the same, namely, the man who follows his standards, of truth and beauty, who employs his learning and observation, his reason, his expression, for purposes of production, that is, to add something of his own to the stock of the world's ideas.
It is sound, I think, to find the primal source of Love in a tendency of the Soul towards pure beauty, in a recognition, in a kinship, in an unreasoned consciousness of friendly relation.
Many times it has happened: lifted out of the body into myself; becoming external to all other things and self-centered; beholding a marvelous beauty; then, more than ever, assured of community with the loftiest order; enacting the noblest life, acquiring identity with the divine; stationing within It by having attained that activity; poised above whatsoever in the Intellectual is less than the Supreme: yet, there comes the moment of descent from intellection to reasoning, and after that sojourn in the divine, I ask myself how it happens that I can now be descending, and how did the Soul ever enter into my body, the Soul which even within the body, is the high thing it has shown itself to be.
The musician we may think of as being exceedingly quick to beauty, drawn in a very rapture to it: somewhat slow to stir of his own impulse, he answers at once to the outer stimulus: as the timid are sensitive to noise so he to tones and the beauty they convey; all that offends against unison or harmony in melodies and rhythms repels him; he longs for measure and shapely pattern.
We ourselves possess beauty when we are true to our own being; our ugliness is in going over to another order; our self-knowledge, that is to say, is our beauty; in self-ignorance we are ugly.
Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: he cuts away here, he smoothes there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work. so do you also: cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labor to make all one glow of beauty and never cease chiseling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendor of virtue, until you shall see the perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine.
Conceit is to nature what paint is to beauty; it is not only needless, but it impairs what it would improve.
Gaze not on beauty too much, lest it blast thee; nor too long, lest it blind thee; nor too near, lest it burn thee. If thou like it, it deceives thee; if thou love it, it disturbs thee; if thou hunt after it, it destroys thee. If virtue accompany it, it is the heart’s paradise; if vice associate it, it is the soul’s purgatory. It is the wise man’s bonfire, and the fool’s furnace.
Happy is he the place of whose affection is founded upon virtue, walled with riches, glazed with beauty, and roofed with honour.
Let the foundation of thy affection be virtue, then make the building as rich and as glorious as thou canst; if the foundation be beauty or wealth, and the building virtue, the foundation is too weak for the building, and it will fall: happy is he, the palace of whose affection is founded upon virtue, walled with riches, glazed with beauty, and roofed with honor.
The fountain of beauty is the heart, and every generous thought illustrates the walls of your chamber. If virtue accompanies beauty it is the heart's paradise; if vice be associate with it, it is the soul's purgatory. It is the wise man's bonfire, and the fools furnace.
God, if I worship Thee in fear of hell, burn me in hell. And if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise; but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, withhold not Thine everlasting Beauty.