"be most barbarous warriors of the world will boast frequently of the beauty of their wives,1 and more than one savage, as well as civilized, warfare has been fought for " the light that lies in women's eyes."
But while feminine beauty, in every land, stimulates passion and begets love, the concept of beauty differs very materially among different peoples; and the ideas of what constitutes it in either sex are by no means always similar. As Hume correctly says, "beauty is no quality in things them-selves; it exists merely in the mind which contemplates them, and each mind perceives a different beauty;" and yet it is hard to make the enthusiastic young man believe that his Dulcinea can appear less beautiful to another eye than to his own. This kind of beauty, as an astute English writer remarks, "is peculiarly a female perfection;"1
"That loveliness, ever in motion, which plays Like the light over autumn's soft, shadowy days, Now here and now there, giving warmth as it flies From the lips to the cheek, from the cheek to the eyes, Now melting in mist, and now breaking in gleams, Like the glimpses a saint has of heaven in his dreams; "* but, although the fugitive quality has been analyzed by the philosopher, and rhapsodized by the poet, and deified by the lover, and dissected by the physiologist, and idealized by the painter, and worshipped by the priest; though it has been made in all ages of the world the spur of ambition, the reward of genius, the sword of conquest, the arbiter of fate, and the secret source of empire; though a lifetime would not suffice to read the books written about it, nor two lifetimes to recount the tragedies it has wrought; though it has caused more drunkenness in the world than alcohol, more wounds than war, more suffering than disease, more insomnia than gout, dyspepsia and toothache put together; and although probably no human male biped living, or dead, has wholly escaped its influence, yet if all its victims and devotees were to rise up, and with one voice attempt its description, no two would probably agree; and there would be such a babel of sound as was never heard on the plains of Hilleh.*
' Concerning the power of physical beauty all writers are agreed. Alcibiades, though drunk, whs by his beauty alone more powerful than Achillea, as Favomius asserts; and Adrian IV, the bastard of an English priest, by the same quality won the papal throne. Shakespeare claims that when Venus ran to meet the ray-cheeked Adonis, even the air fell in love with her, "the bushes in the way did twine about her legs, to make her stay, and did covet her for to embrace;" and Heliodonis makes the чате remark about Daphne when she fled from Apollo. The old men of Troy, when they saw Helen, said that the war was well undertaken for her; and Venus, when she lost her son Cupido, offered as a reward for him seven kisses, a greater price than seven provinces would be, since any one of them, as the gallant Apulius remarks, would brinR a dying man to life. But to write of the conquests of beauty would be to write a history of not only the world, but of both heaven and hell.