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“ hibited the marks of a most benevolent " and cheerful disposition, of an open and « unreserved temper, of a sincere love of “ truth and virtue, of a most vigorous and “ comprehensive mind, which was ever ac" tive and ever communicative." .

ESSAYS

ON

VARIOUS SUBJECTS,

ESSAY S.

ESSAY I.

ON THE BEAUTIFUL IN THE HUMAN FORM, ETC.

In order to judge whether the Grecian imitations, or any other imitations, of the Human Form be the most beautiful, it appears necessary that some standard, some general law or rule, should be admitted, in conformity to or in deviation from which the sentence of beauty or deformity may be safely passed. That this standard has an existence in nature can hardly be doubted; for, if man be the work of a designing artist, he must have been formed according to some model; and this model in the conteinplation of the artist must be the standard of

B

what offends

what is the most perfect of the species, and, as far as the form is concerned, of what is the most beautiful in the form. The mind of the artist may then be investigated in his work, and it might seem to be no very difficult thing to collect a tolerably accurate idea of what answers to the more perfect idea of the artist, by omitting what is incidental and peculiar to every individual of the species, and retaining what is universal. And perhaps by a standard thus collected, though insensibly, and without any deliberate purpose, every one does judge of what he deems to be beautiful in the form of his own kind, and in every form whatever. We find therefore that, in the estimation of the beautiful in the human form, there is a general agreement as to the contour or outline of the whole and of the parts, the comparative magnitude of each part, the proportion that each bears to each other and to the whole, and the order and degree in which each swells and falls. Whatever is remarkably excessive or defective, whatever strikingly

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