The most valuable and lasting species of beauty is that
which is least cultivated. The young and capricious Miss, with an elegant
person and finely modelled face, illuminated by brilliant orbs, and splendidly
bedecked with dark shining locks, very often destroys the moral beauty
of her nature merely to humor the perverseness of her physical attractions.
She trusts in the power of her bodily charms, and even refuses to provide
herself with those of a less perishable nature, which are not only serviceable
whilst bodily beauty remains, but especially so when it is fled forever.
She prides herself in her wardrobe of silk and satin,
and would encounter any species of pain or hardship to increase it, and
to furnish herself with gold and with diamonds; but the wardrobe of the
mind and the heart she takes little care to replenish, as if a young beauty
were independent of this, and if she played her cards well, might make
her fortune without it.
It is time enough to begin to be amiable when you begin
to be ugly, say some young ladies, or they seem to say it. But nature
punishes the perversity in a very striking and remarkable manner. They
who refuse to cultivate the moral beauty during the reign of physical
beauty, lose the opportunity of possessing themselves of it. And moreover,
they destroy their favorite species of beauty by their independence and
neglect of the other.
The temper imprints its mark upon the countenances, which
very speedily reveals the character of the disposition which lurks behind
it. Being a growing power, and a vigorous power, which is even strongest
at death, it gradually overcomes every obstacle which stands in the way
of its own escape into outward observation. It wrinkles the brow, lowers
the eyebrows, bend down the curves of the mouth, and pouts the lips whenever
it happens to be of a kind and generous character. It comes out at last
and shows itself; and once shown and impressed upon the face, it is there
so long as it continues to act from within and that is generally for life.
It is no easy matter to begin to be amiable with an unamiable expression
of countenance, and an unabiable and fixed habit of behavior. –
Few have strength of will sufficient to make such a change
in their mode of life. It is by a mere moral resolution that such a conversion
can take place. We are far more likely to become worse than better, when
we find attractions of the person to cease after a heartless and imperious
reign of saucy beauty. It is no easy task, indeed, to resign ourselves
to our fate when our attractions have disappeared, and all at once to
correct the scowl and the frown, and the haughty air, and the satirical
grin, and the heartless sneer which have already left their footprints
on the face, and made themselves quite at home in the very citadel of