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veral of their Profpects; and may be, in the great Compofition of the Univerfe, a little fingle Stud in a noble Piece of mofaic Work.
And yet all the Profufion of Beauty I have been fpeaking of, and even that of the whole Univerfe taken together, is but of a weaker Nature in Comparifon of the Beauty of Virtue. It was extremely well faid by Plato, That if Virtue was to appear in a vifible Shape, all Men would be enamoured of her: And it feems as if the Greeks and Romans in general had had this Idea of her Beauty, becaufe the Godclefs of Virtue, and the Goddefs of Wifdom (which was often taken for one and the fame Thing among them, as well as in our Sacred Writings,) were always reprefented with the greateft and moft commanding Beauty. The fame appears yet ftronger from their ufmg the Words Good [«] and Beautiful indifferently for each other; as if all Beauty was contained in Goodnefs.
Indeed the Beauty of Virtue or Goodnefs exceeds all other Beauty, as much as the Soul does the Body.
. The higheft Object of Beauty that we can fee is the Goodnefs of God, as difplayed in the Works of the Creation. In him all Goodnefs and Beauty dwells; and whatever there is of moral Beauty in the whole Univerfe befide, is only as fo many Ema
, . ["] KaXcv, rijETrcr, Pukhrum, Honeftum.
nations nations from the divine Author of all that is Good
We foretimes fee a few feeble Rays of this Beauty reflected in human Actions, but much difcoloured by the Medium through which they pafs; and yet how charming do they even thus appear in fome Perfons, and on fome Occafions? All the Grandeur in the World is as nothing in Companion of any one of thefe good becoming Deeds. How many more Charms are there, for Inftauce, in the Actions of fuch an humble Perfon as the Man of Refs, than in all the Victories of our Edwards and our Harries? or (to go farther back in Hiftory) how much more amiable is the Death of Socrates, than the whole Life of Alexander the Great?
As Virtue is the fupreme Beauty, fo is Vice the moft odious of all Deformities. I do not know how to make this more evident to you by any Inftance, than by that of the different Conduct of Two very celebrated Poets, Milton and Ta/tt in defcribing the fallen Angels: Taffo's Devils are chiefly made hideous by their Shape; their Horns and Tails are the principal Ingredients of Deformity in his Defcriptions of them; whereas Milton generally omits thofe little Particulars, and paints out the Deformity of their Minds; their Pride, Impiety, Malignity, and Obftinacy; by which Means his Devils are tenfold more Devils, and more odious and horrible to the Reader, than thofe of the Italian Poet.
There is a mighty eafy Confequence to be drawn from all this, which well deferves to be more generally obferved. If Virtue be the chief Beauty, Peofle, to be beautiful, fhould endeavour to be virtuous; and fhould avoid Vice, and all the worft Sort of Paffions, as they would fly Deformity. I wifh the more beautiful Half of the human Creation, in particular, were thoroughly fenfible of this great Truth; "That "the readieft Way to be beautiful, is to be good;" and fuch of them as are more folicitoils about choofing and adjuftingwhat they wear, and how that will appear, than about forming their Minds, and regulating their difagreeable Paffions, will really fall under the Cenfure I mentioned before, from one of the Latin Poets ; and fhew too plainly to all the World, that they, in their own Hearts, confider their Drefs as the better Part of themfelves.
I muft have quite tired you, I believe, added Crito, rifing; and fhould be glad if you would take a little Walk, to refrefh us all after this long Harangue. It has been far from fceming long to us (replied Milesius, as they \vere all going together out of the Tent:) 'Tis a Subject that can fcarce ever be tirefome; and your Manner of treating it has, in general, been very pleafing; only I muft fay, that, toward the Conclusion, it began to grow a little too like a Sermon. I with, fays Timanthes, that fome Ladies of your Acquaintance had been prefent at the whole Difcourfe, and particularly at that Part of it; for I don't know whether it might not have
done done them more Good, than any Sermon that they ever were at in their Lives. However, as there were no Ladies here, I wifh Crito would give us, who were of his Audience, Leave to beg he would be fo good as print it, for the Benefit of the Fair Sex in general; for, I dare fay, it would be of good Ufe to fome of them. I know not whether it would be of any Ufe to thefn, replied Crito; but if you really thought fo, and could recoiled! enough of it to write it down, it is entirely at your Service; and you have my full Leave to fend it to the Preli, as foon as you pleafe.