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"She stood up to receive me, saluting me after their fashion, putting her hand to her heart with a sweetness full of majesty, that no courtbreeding could ever give. She ordered cushions to be given me, and took care to place me in the corner, which is the place of honour. I confess, though the Greek lady had before given me a great opinion of her beauty, I was so struck with admiration, that I could not for some time speak to her, being wholly taken up in gazing. That surprising harmony of features! that charming result of the whole! that exact proportion of body! that lovely bloom of complexion unsullied by art! the unutterable enchantment of her smile!--But her !eyes large and black, with all the soft languishment of the blue! every turn of her face discovering some new grace.

"After my first surprise was over, I endeavoured, by nicely examining her face, to find out some imperfection, without any fruit of my search, but my being clearly convinced of the error of that vulgar notion, that a face exactly proportioned, and perfectly beautiful, would not be agreeable; nature having done for her, with more success, what Apelles is said to have essayed, by a collection of the most exact features to form a perfect face. Add to all this a behaviour so full of grace and sweetness, such easy motions, with an air so majestic, yet free from stiffness or affectation, that I am persuaded, could she be suddenly transported upon the most polite throne of Europe, nobody would think her other than born and bred to be a queen, though educated in a country we call barbarous. To say all in a word, our most celebrated English beauties would vanish near her.

"She was dressed in a caftan of gold brocade, flowered with silver, very well fitted to her shape, and showing to admiration the beauty of her bosom, only shaded by the thin gauze of her shift. Her drawers were pale pink, her waistcoat green and silver, her slippers white satin, finely embroidered her lovely arms adorned with bracelets of diamonds, and her broad girdle set round with diamonds; upon her head a rich Turkish handkerchief of pink and silver, her own fine black hair hanging a great length in various tresses, and on one side of her head some bodkins of jewels. I am afraid you will accuse me of extravagance in this description. I think I have read somewhere that women always speak in rapture when they speak of beauty, and I


cannot imagine why they should not be allowed to do so. I rather think it a virtue to be able to admire without any mixture of desire or envy. The gravest writers have spoken with great warmth of some celebrated pictures and statues: the workmanship of Heaven certainly excels all our weak imitations, and, I think, has a much better claim to our praise. For my part, I am not ashamed to own I took more pleasure in looking on the beauteous Fatima, than the finest piece of sculpture could have given me."

P. 238, 1. 9.

As the boughs stir-the birds all join in harmony.

"Among other spectacles of rare and stupendous luxury was a tree of gold and silver, spreading into eighteen large branches, on which, and on the lesser boughs, sat a variety of birds made of the same precious metals, as well as the leaves of the tree. While the machinery effected spontaneous motions, the several birds warbled their natural harmony." -GIBBON'S Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. x. p. 38, 8vo. edit.

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O stupenda opra, O Dedalo architetto;
Qual fabrica tra noi le rassimiglia ?

ARIOSTO, Canto 34, stanza 53.


By opal battlements engirt appear,

In workmanship as chaste as in design, Of diamond framed and gold high gates that near The castle built by Taste for Beauty shine;

On earth inimitable, work-divine;

Rich with a thousand rooms, that multiplied By crystal mirrors, deepen like a mine

Exhaustless and illumed, a circle wide:

Pillars of emerald grace the hall in column'd pride.


Here Beauty smiles ineffably enthroned;

Her smile diffusive is as solar light; Her voice is musical as harp fine-toned, Conveying to the senses such delight

As the world feels when sunrise chases night

Away. Her robe is as the upper sky, If there one milky-way o'erpower the sight, Brilliant; angelic shapes around her fly; The loveliest maids with these fine spirits cannot vie!


Diversely splendid, as o'er foliage glow
Autumnal colours, which the noonday sun
Mellows with golden light-or, as the bow
Arching the heavens, where mingling into one
Well-blended glory hues unnumber'd run—
As various flowers adorning gardens gay,
Where art completes what nature hath begun,
They shine; or as the intermingling play

Of splendours flashing forth from gems Sultanas vain display!


Theirs is undying loveliness; while years

Flow on they are the same; nor grief nor pain
Stain or impair their charms! They have no fears,
No unavailing chase of pleasures vain ;

No love that withering, seldom blooms again!
Such are the ministering sprites that wait

On Beauty, fairer than the fairest train

Of virgins that adorn a monarch's state;

Or fays that bright as stars inventive bards create.


Such seraphs are; they may idealized

Be, but no sculptors e'er their forms have wrought In marble; no, nor painters highly prized

Ever on canvas have their features caught, Though by such art the poesy of thought Is bodied forth; no poet can reveal (His mind with treasured imagery fraught) Those superhuman beings that the zeal Of Fancy would disclose, but Nature will conceal.


The glories of the fane well harmonize
Simplicity and grandeur; to and fro
Like sunbeams, or quick glances of bright eyes,
Rapid, ideal changes come and go,

Of living pictures an unending show

Here Fancy brightens with unwearied wing; Tides of celestial music onward flow

For ever! voices sweeter than in spring Philomel's notes, in praise of Beauty ever sing!

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