Michael Kiernan (ed.), The Oxford Francis Bacon, Vol. 15: The Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall
pg 132 [2K2] Critical ApparatusOf Beauty.Critical ApparatusXLIII.
Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus3Vertue is like a Rich Stone, best plaine set: And surely, Vertue Critical Apparatus4is best in a Body, that is comely, though not of Delicate Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus5Features: And that hath rather Dignity of Presence, then Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus6Beauty of Aspect. Neither is it almost seene, that very 7Beautifull Persons, are otherwise of great Vertue; As if 8Nature, were rather Busie not to erre, then in labour, to Editor’s Note9produce Excellency. And therefore, they prove Accomplished, 10but not of great Spirit; And Study rather Behaviour, then Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus11Vertue. But this holds not alwaies; For Augustus Cæsar, Titus Editor’s Note12Vespasianus, Philip le Belle of France, Edward the Fourth of Editor’s Note13England, Alcibiades of Athens, Ismael the Sophy of Persia, 14were all High and Great Spirits; And yet the most Beautifull [2K2V] 15Men of their | Times. In Beauty, that of Favour, is more then 16that of Colour, And that of Decent and Gracious Motion, 17more then that of Favour. That is the best Part of Beauty, Critical Apparatus18which a Picture cannot expresse; No, nor the first Sight of Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus19the Life. There is no Excellent Beauty, that hath not some Critical Apparatus20Strangenesse in the Proportion. A Man cannot tell, whether Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus21Apelles, or Albert Durer, were the more Trifler: Whereof the 22one would make a Personage by Geometricall Proportions: 23The other, by taking the best Parts out of divers Faces, to 24make one Excellent. Such Personages, I thinke, would please 25no Body, but the Painter, that made them. Not but I thinke pg 133Editor’s Note26a Painter, may make a better Face, then ever was; But he 27must doe it, by a kinde of Felicity, (As a Musician that 28maketh an excellent Ayre in Musicke) And not by Rule. Critical Apparatus29A Man shall see Faces, that if you examine them, Part by 30Part, you shall finde never a good; And yet all together doe 31well. If it be true, that the Principall Part of Beauty, is in 32decent Motion, certainly it is no marvaile, though | Persons in [2K3] Editor’s Note33Yeares, seeme many times more Amiable; Pulchrorum Editor’s Note34Autumnus pulcher: For no Youth can be comely, but by Critical Apparatus35Pardon, and considering the Youth, as to make up the 36comelinesse. Beauty is as Summer-Fruits, which are easie to 37corrupt, and cannot last: And, for the most part, it makes 38a dissolute Youth, and an Age a little out of countenance: Editor’s Note39But yet certainly againe, if it light well, it maketh Vertues 40shine, and Vices blush. |
Emendation of Accidentals.
At the very first, even in his child-hood, there shone forth in him, the gifts both of body and minde: and the same more and more still by degrees as hee grew in yeeres: A goodly presence and countenance, wherein was seated no lesse majestie than favour and beauty: a speciall cleane strength, albeit his stature was not tall: but his belly bare out somewhat with the most, (trans. Holland , Z1V)
Now for Alcibiades beawtie, … he was wonderfull fayer, being a child, a boye, and a man, and that at all times, which made him marvelous amiable, and beloved of every man. For where Euripides sayeth, that of all the fayer times of the yere, the Autumne or latter season is the fayrest: [quoted in lines 33–4 below] that commonly falleth not out true. And yet it proved true in Alcibiades, though in fewe other: for he was passing fayer even to his latter time, and of good temperature of bodie.
- And then by Durers rules survay the state
- Of his each limbe, and with strings the odds tries
- Of his neck to his legge, and wast to thighes.
(Satires, Epigrams and Verse Letters, ed. W. Milgate [Oxford, 1967])