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of beauty(论 美)
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VIRTUE is like a rich stone, best plain set; and surely virtue is best,
in a body that is comely ,though not of delicate features; and that hath
rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect. Neither is it almost
seen, that very beautiful persons are otherwise of great virtue; as if
nature were rather busy, not to err, than in labor to produce excellency.
And therefore they prove accomplished, but not of great spirit; and study
rather behavior, than virtue. But this holds not always: for Augustus
Caesar, Titus Vespasianus, Philip le Belle of France, Edward the Fourth
of England, Alcibiades of Athens, Ismael the Sophy of Persia, were all
high and great spirits; and yet the most beautiful men of their times.
In beauty, that of favor, is more than that of color; and that of decent
and gracious motion, more than that of favor. That is the best part of
beauty, which a picture cannot express; no, nor the first sight of the
life. There is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in
the proportion. A man cannot tell whether Apelles, or Albert Durer, were
the more trifler; whereof the one, would make a personage by geometrical
proportions; the other, by taking the best parts out of divers faces, to
make one excellent. Such personages, I think, would please nobody, but
the painter that made them. Not but I think a painter may make a better
face than ever was; but he must do it by a kind of felicity (as a musician
that maketh an excellent air in music), and not by rule. A man shall see
faces, that if you examine them part by part, you shall find never a good;
and yet altogether do well. If it be true that the principal part of beauty
is in decent motion, certainly it is no marvel, though persons in years
seem many times more amiable; pulchrorum autumnus pulcher; for no youth
can be comely but by pardon, and considering the youth, as to make up the
comeliness. Beauty is as summer fruits,) which are easy to corrupt, and
cannot last; and for the most part it makes a dissolute youth, and an age
a little out of countenance; but yet certainly again, if it light well,
it maketh virtue shine,and vices blush.

美德好比宝石,在朴素背景的衬托下反而更华丽。同样,一个打扮并不华贵,却端庄严肃而有美德的人是令人肃然起敬的。
美貌的人并不都有其他方面的才能。许多容貌俊秀的人却一无所有,他们过于追求外形的美而放弃了内在的美。

仔细分析起来,形体之美要胜于颜色之美,而优雅行为之美又胜于形体之美。最高的美是画家所无法表现的。因为它是难以直观的。这是一种奇妙的美,曾经有两位画家――阿皮雷斯和丢勒滑稽地认为,可以按照几何比例,或者通过摄取不同人身上最美的特点,加以合成的方法,画出最完美的人像。
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