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[ Also see Appearance Art Blushes Charm Cosmetics Countenance Deformity Dimples Display Eyes Face Grace Hair Ornament Physiognomy Sexuality Sublimity Ugliness Women ]

In ourselves, rather than in material nature, lie the true source and life of the beautiful. The human soul is the sun which diffuses light on every side, investing creation with its lovely hues, and calling forth the poetic element that lies hidden in every existing thing.
      - Giuseppe Mazzini

The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.
      - Felix Mendelssohn

Beauty is the first present Nature gives to women, and the first it takes away.
      - George Brossin Mere

Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.
      - Michelangelo (Michelangelo Buonarrotti)

Too fair to worship, too divine to love.
      - Rev. Henry Hart Milman, Apollo Belvidere

Beauty is God's handwriting,--a wayside sacrament.
      - John Milton

When I approach
  Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
    And in herself complete, so well to know
      Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
        Seems wisest, virtuousest, discretest, best;
          All higher knowledge in her presence falls
            Degraded. Wisdom in discourse with her
              Loses, discount'nanc'd, and like folly shows.
      - John Milton

Beauty is Nature's coin, must not be hoarded,
  But must be current, and the good thereof
    Consists in mutual and partaken bliss.
      - John Milton, Comus (l. 739)

Beauty is nature's brag, and must be shown
  In courts, at feasts, and high solemnities,
    Where most may wonder at the workmanship.
      - John Milton, Comus (l. 745)

She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. IX, l. 489)

Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
  Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
    Shot forth peculiar graces.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost (bk. V, l. 13)

. . . for beauty stands
  In the admiration only of weak minds
    Led captive. Cease to admire, and all her plumes
      Fall flat and shrink into a trivial toy,
        At every sudden slighting quite abash'd.
      - John Milton, Paradise Regained
         (bk. II, l. 220)

And ladies of the Hesperides, that seemed
  Fairer than feign'd of old.
      - John Milton, Paradise Regained
         (bk. II, l. 357)

Yet beauty, tho' injurious, hath strange power,
  After offence returning, to regain
    Love once possess'd.
      - John Milton, Samson Agonistes (l. 1003)

I don't mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. But what goes with it can be a burden . . . people take a lot for granted and expect an awful lot for very little. A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.
      - Marilyn Monroe

Lord Bacon makes beauty to consist of grace and motion.
      - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Beauty is the true prerogative of women, and so peculiarly their own, that our sex, though naturally requiring another sort of feature, is never in its lustre but when puerile and beardless, confused and mixed with theirs.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

The first distinction among men, and the first consideration that gave one precedence over another, was doubtless the advantage of beauty.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

We call comeliness a mischance in the first respect, which belongs principally to the face.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

The maid who modesty conceals
  Her beauties, while she hides, reveals:
    Gives but a glimpse, and fancy draws
      Whate'er the Grecian Venus was.
      - Edward Moore, Spider and the Bee (fable X)

Die when you will, you need not wear
  At heaven's Court a form more fair
    Than Beauty here on Earth has given:
      Keep but the lovely looks we see
        The voice we hear, and you will be
          An angel ready-made for heaven.
      - Thomas Moore p. 36,
        a versification of "Life" by Lord Herbert of Cherbury

Not more the rose, the queen of flowers,
  Outblushes all the bloom of bower,
    Than she unrivall'd grace discloses;
      The sweetest rose, where all are roses.
      - Thomas Moore, Odes of Anacreon (ode LXVI)

To weave a garland for the rose,
  And think thus crown'd 'twould lovelier be,
    Were far less vain than to suppose
      That silks and gems add grace to thee.
      - Thomas Moore,
        Songs from the Greek Anthology--To Weave a Garland

How goodness heightens beauty!
      - Hannah More

Beauty makes idiots sad and wise men merry.
      - George Jean Nathan

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