A beautiful person, among the Greeks, was thought to betray by this sign some secret favor of the immortal gods: and we can pardon pride, when a woman possesses such a figure, that wherever she stands, or moves, or leaves a shadow on the wall, or sits for a portrait to the artist, she confers a favor on the world.
And yet—it is not beauty that inspires the deepest passion.
Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.
Beauty, without expression, tires.
Abbé Ménage said of President Le Bailleul, “that he was fit for nothing but to sit for his portrait.” A
Greek epigram intimates that the force of love is not shown by the courting of beauty, but when the like desire is inflamed for one who is ill-favored.
And petulant old gentlemen, who have chanced to suffer some intolerable weariness from pretty people, or who have seen cut flowers to some profusion, or who see, after a world of pains have been successfully taken for the costume, how the least mistake in sentiment takes all the beauty out of your clothes,—affirm, that the secret of ugliness consists not in irregularity, but in being uninteresting.