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When the barbarians overran Greece, desecrated her temples, and destroyed her beautiful works of art, even their savageness was somewhat tamed by the sense of beauty which prevailed everywhere. They broke her beautiful statues, it is true; but the spirit of beauty refused to die, and it transformed the savage heart and awakened even in the barbarian a new power. From the apparent death of Grecian art Roman art was born. " Cyclops forging iron for Vulcan could not stand against Pericles forging thought for Greece." The barbarian's club which destroyed the Grecian statues was no match for the chisel of Phidias and Praxiteles.

"What is the best education?" some one asked Plato many centuries ago. " It is," he replied, " that which gives to the body and to the soul all the beauty and all the perfection of which they are capable." The life that would be complete; that would be sweet and sane, as well as strong, must be ornamented, softened, and enriched by a love of the beautiful.

There is a lack in the make-up of a person who has no appreciation of beauty, who does not thrill before a great picture or an entrancing sunset, or a glimpse of beauty in nature. Savages have no appreciation of beauty. They have a passion for adornment, but there is nothing to show that their esthetic faculties are developed. They merely obey their animal instincts and passions.

But as civilization advances ambition grows, wants multiply, and higher and higher faculties show themselves, until in the highest expression of civilization, we find aspiration and love of the beautiful most highly developed. We find it manifested on the person, in the home, in the environment.

The late Professor Charles Eliot Norton of Harvard University, one of the finest thinkers of his day, said that beauty has played an immense part in the development of the highest qualities in human beings; and that civilization could be measured by its architecture, sculpture, and painting.

What an infinite satisfaction comes from beginning early in life to cultivate our finer qualities, to develop finer sentiments, purer tastes, more delicate feelings, the love of the beautiful in all its varied forms of expression! One can make no better investment than the cultivation of a taste for the beautiful, for it will bring rainbow hues and enduring joys to the whole life. It will not only greatly increase one's capacity for happiness, but also one's efficiency.

A remarkable instance of the elevating, refining influence of beauty has been demonstrated by a Chicago school teacher, who fitted up in her school a " beauty corner" for her pupils. It was furnished with a stained glass window, a divan covered with an Oriental rug, and a few fine photographs and paintings, among which was a picture of the Sistine Madonna. Several other esthetic trifles, artistically arranged, completed the furnishings of the " beauty corner." The children took great delight in their little retreat, especially in the exquisite coloring of the stained glass window. Insensibly their conduct and demeanor were affected by the beautiful objects with which they daily associated. They became more gentle, more refined, more thoughtful and considerate. A young Italian boy, in particular, who had been incorrigible before the establishment of the "beauty corner," became, in a short time, so changed and softened that the teacher was astonished.

One day she asked him what it was that made him so good lately. Pointing to the picture of the Sistine Madonna the boy said, " How can a feller do bad things when she's looking at him? "

Character is fed largely through the eye and ear. The thousand voices in nature of bird and insect and brook, the soughing of the wind through the trees, the scent of flower and meadow, the myriad tints in earth and sky, in ocean and forest, mountain and hill, are just as important for the development of a real man as the education he receives in the schools. If you take no beauty into your life through the eye or the ear to stimulate and develop your esthetic faculties, your nature will be hard, juiceless, and unattractive.

Beauty is a quality of divinity, and to live much with the beautiful is to live close to the divine. " The more we see of beauty everywhere; in nature, in life, in man and child, in work and rest, in the outward and the inward world, the more we see of God (good)." There are many evidences in the New Testament that Christ was a great lover of the beautiful especially in nature. Was it not He who said: " Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin; yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these"?

Back of the lily and the rose, back of the landscape, back of all beautiful things that enchant us, there must be a great lover of the beautiful and a great beauty principle. Every star that twinkles in the sky, every flower, bids us look behind it for its source, points us to the great Author of the beautiful.

The love of beauty plays a very important part in the poised, symmetrical life. We little realize how much we are influenced by beautiful people and things.

We may see them so often that they become common in our experience and fail to attract much of our conscious attention, but every beautiful picture, every sunset and bit of landscape, every beautiful face and form and flower, beauty in any form, wherever we encounter it, ennobles, refines and elevates character. There is everything in keeping the soul and mind responsive to beauty. It is a great refreshener, recuperator, life-giver, health promoter.

Our American life tends to kill the finer sentiments; to discourage the development of charm and grace as well as beauty; it over emphasizes the value of material things and under estimates that of esthetic things, which are far more developed in countries where the dollar is not the God.

As long as we persist in sending all the sap and energy of our being into the money-making gland or faculty and letting the social faculty, the esthetic faculty, and all the finer, nobler faculties lie dormant, and even die, we certainly can not expect a well-rounded and symmetrical life, for only faculties that are used, brain cells that are exercised, grow; all others atrophy. If the finer instincts in man and the nobler qualities that live in the higher brain are under-developed, and the coarser instincts which dwell in the lower brain close to the brute faculties are overdeveloped, man must pay the penalty of animality and will lack appreciation of all that is finest and most beautiful in life.

" The vision that you hold in your mind, the ideal that is enthroned in your heart-this you will build your life by, this you will become." It is the quality of mind, of ideals, and not mere things, that make a man.

It is as essential to cultivate the esthetic faculties and the heart qualities as to cultivate what we call the intellect. The time will come when our children will be taught, both at home and in school, to consider beauty as a most precious gift, which must be preserved in purity, sweetness, and cleanliness, and regarded as a divine instrument of education.

There is no investment which will give such returns as the culture of the finer self, the development of the sense of the beautiful, the sublime, and the true; the development of qualities that are crushed out or strangled in the mere dollar-chaser. There are a thousand evidences in us that we were intended for temples of beauty, of sweetness, of loveliness, of beautiful ideas, and not mere storehouses for vulgar things.

There is nothing which will pay so well as to train the finest and truest, the most beautiful qualities in us in order that we may see beauty everywhere and be able to extract sweetness from everything. Everywhere we go there are a thousand things to educate the best there is in us. Every sunset, landscape, mountain, hill, and tree has secrets of charm and beauty waiting for us. In every patch of meadow or wheat, in every leaf and flower, the trained eye will see beauty which would ravish an angel. The cultured ear will find harmony in forest and field, melody in the babbling brook, and untold pleasure in all Nature's songs.

Whatever our vocation, we should resolve that we will not strangle all that is finest and noblest in us for the sake of the dollar, but that we will put beauty into our life at every opportunity. Just in proportion to your love for the beautiful will you acquire its charms and develop its graces. The beauty thought, the beauty ideal, will out-picture themselves in the face and manner. If you are in love with beauty you will be an artist of some kind. Your profession may be to make the home beautiful and sweet, or you may work at a trade; but whatever your vocation, if you are in love with the beautiful, it will purify your taste, elevate and enrich your life, and make you an artist instead of a mere artisan.

There is no doubt that in the future beauty will play an infinitely greater part in civilized life than it has thus far. It is becoming commercialized everywhere. The trouble with us is that the tremendous material prizes in this land of opportunity are so tempting that we have lost sight of the higher man. We have developed ourselves along the animal side of our nature; the greedy, grasping side. The great majority of us are still living in the, basement of our beings. Now and then one rises to the drawing-room. Now and then one ascends to the upper stories and gets a glimpse of the life beautiful, the life worth while. There is nothing on earth that will so slake the thirst of the soul as the beauty which expresses itself in sweetness and light.

An old traveling man relates that once when on a trip to the West he sat next to an elderly lady who every now and then would lean out of the open window and pour some thick salt-it seemed to him from a bottle. When she had emptied the bottle she would refill it from a hand-bag. A friend to whom this man related the incident told him he was acquainted with the lady, who was a great lover of flowers and an earnest follower of the precept: " Scatter your flowers as you go, for you may never travel the same road again." He said she added greatly to the beauty of the landscape along the railroads on which she traveled, by her custom of scattering flower seeds along the track as she rode. Many roads have thus been beautified and refreshed by this old lady's love of the beautiful and her effort to scatter beauty wherever she went.

If we would all cultivate a love of the beautiful and scatter beauty seeds as we go through life, what a paradise this earth would become!

What a splendid opportunity a vacation in the country offers to put beauty into the life; to cultivate the esthetic faculties, which in most people are wholly undeveloped and inactive! To some it is like going into God's great gallery of charm and beauty. They find in the landscape, the valley, the mountains, the fields, the meadows, the flowers, the streams, the brooks and the rivers, riches that no money can buy; beauties that would enchant the angels. But this beauty and glory can not be bought; they are only for those who can see them, appreciate them-who can read their message and respond to their affinity.

Have you never felt the marvelous power of beauty in nature? If not, you have missed one of the most exquisite joys in life. I was once going through the Yosemite Valley, and after riding one hundred miles in a stage-coach over rough mountain roads, I was so completely exhausted that it did not seem as though I could keep my seat until we traveled over the ten more miles which would bring us to our destination. But on looking down from the top of the mountain I caught a glimpse of the celebrated Yosemite Falls and the surrounding scenery, just as the sun broke through the clouds; and there was revealed a picture of such rare beauty and marvelous picturesqueness that every particle of fatigue, brain-fag, and muscle weariness departed in an instant. My whole soul thrilled with a winged sense of sublimity, grandeur, and beauty, which I had never experienced before, and which I never can forget. I felt a spiritual uplift which brought tears of joy to my eyes.

No one can contemplate the wonderful beauties of Nature and doubt that the Creator must have intended that man, made in His own image and likeness, should be equally beautiful. Beauty of character, charm of manner, attractiveness and graciousness of expression, a godlike bearing, are our birthrights.

Yet how ugly, stiff, coarse, and harsh in appearance and bearing many of us are No one can afford to disregard his good looks or personal appearance.

But if we wish to beautify the outer, we must first beautify the inner, for every thought and every motion shapes the delicate tracings of our face for ugliness or beauty. Inharmonious and destructive attitudes of mind will warp and mar the most beautiful features.

Shakespeare says: " God has given you one face and you make yourselves another." The mind can make beauty or ugliness at will. A sweet, noble disposition is absolutely essential to the highest form of beauty. It has transformed many a plain face. A bad temper, ill nature, jealousy, will ruin' the most beautiful face ever created. After all, there is no beauty like that produced by a lovely-character. Neither cosmetics, massage, nor drugs can remove the lines of prejudice, selfishness, envy, anxiety, mental vacillation that are the results of wrong thought habits.

Beauty is from within. If every human being would cultivate a gracious mentality, not only would what he expressed be artistically beautiful, but also his body. There would indeed be grace and charm, a superiority about him, which would be even greater than mere physical beauty.

We have all seen even very plain women who, because of the charm of their personality, impressed us as transcendently beautiful. The exquisite soul qualities expressed through the body transformed it into their likeness. A fine spirit speaking through the plainest body will make it beautiful. Some one, speaking of Fanny Kemble, said: " Although she was very stout and short, and had a very red face, yet she impressed me as the supreme embodiment of majestic attributes. I never saw so commanding a personality in feminine form. Any type of mere physical beauty would have paled to insignificance by her side."

Antoine Berryer says truly: There are no ugly women. There are only women who do not know how to look pretty." The highest beauty - beauty that is far superior to mere regularity of feature or form - is within reach of everybody. It is perfectly possible for one, even with the homeliest face, to make herself beautiful by the habit of perpetually holding in mind the beauty thought, not the thought of mere superficial beauty, but that of heart beauty, soul beauty, and by the cultivation of a spirit of kindness, hopefulness, and unselfishness.

The basis of all real personal beauty is a kindly, helpful bearing and a desire to scatter sunshine and good cheer everywhere, and this, shining through the face, makes it beautiful. The longing and the effort to be beautiful in character can not fail to make the life beautiful, and since the outward is but an expression of the inward, a mere out-picturing on the body of the habitual thought and dominating motives, the face, the manners, and the bearing must follow the thought and become sweet and attractive. If you hold the beauty thought, the love thought, persistently in the mind, you will make such an impression of harmony and sweetness wherever you go that no one will notice any plainness or deformity of person.

There are girls who have dwelt upon what they consider their unfortunate plainness so long that they have seriously exaggerated it. They are not half so plain as they think they are; and, were it not for the fact that they have made themselves very sensitive and self-conscious on the subject, others would not notice it at all.

In fact, if they could get rid of their sensitiveness and be natural, they could, with persistent effort, make up in sprightliness of thought, in cheerfulness of manner, in intelligence, and in cheery helpfulness, what they lack in grace and beauty of face.

We admire the beautiful face, the beautiful form, but we love the face illumined by a beautiful soul. We love it because it suggests the ideal of the possible perfect man or woman, the ideal which was the Creator's model. It is not the outward form of our dearest friend, but our ideal of friendship which he arouses or suggests in us that stirs up and brings into exercise our love and admiration. The highest beauty does not exist in the actual. It is the ideal, possible beauty, which the person or object symbolizes or suggests, that gives us delight.

Everyone should endeavor to be beautiful and attractive; to be as complete a human being as possible. There is not a taint of vanity in the desire for the highest beauty. The love of beauty that confines itself to mere external form, however, misses its deepest significance. Beauty of form, of coloring, of light and shade, of sound, make our world beautiful; yet the mind that is warped and twisted can not see all this infinite beauty. It is the indwelling spirit, the ideal in the soul, that makes all things beautiful; that inspires and lifts us above ourselves.

We love the outwardly beautiful, because we crave perfection, and we can not help admiring those persons and things that most nearly embody or measure up to our human ideal. But a beautiful character will make beauty and poetry out of the prosiest environment, bring sunshine into the darkest home, and develop beauty and grace amid the ugliest surroundings.

What would become of us if it were not for the great souls who realize the divinity of life, who insist upon bringing out and emphasizing its poetry, its music, its harmony and beauty?

How sordid and common our lives would become but for these beauty-makers, these inspirers, these people who bring out all that is best and most attractive in every place, every situation and condition!

There is no accomplishment, no trait of character, no quality of mind, which will give greater satisfaction and pleasure or contribute more to one's welfare than an appreciation of the beautiful. How many people might be saved from wrong-doing, even from lives of crime, by the cultivation of the esthetic faculties in their childhood! A love of the truly beautiful would save children from things which encoarsen and brutalize their natures. It would shield them from a multitude of temptations.

Parents do not take sufficient pains to develop the love and appreciation of beauty in their children. They do not realize that in impressionable youth, everything about the home, even the pictures, the paper on the wall, affect the growing character. They should never lose an opportunity of letting their boys and girls see beautiful works of art, hear beautiful music; they should make a practise of reading to them or having them read very often some lofty poem, or inspirational passages from some great writer, that will fill their minds with thoughts of beauty, open their souls to the inflow of the Divine Mind, the Divine Love which encompasses us round about. The influences that moved our youth determine the character, the success and happiness of our whole lives.

Every soul is born responsive to the beautiful, but this instinctive love of beauty must be fostered through the eye and the mind must be cultivated, or it will die. The craving for beauty is as strong in a child of the slums as in a favorite of fortune. "

The physical hunger of the poor, the yearning of their stomachs," says Jacob A. Riis, " is not half so bitter, or so little likely to be satisfied as their esthetic hunger, their starving for the beautiful."

Mr. Riis has often tried to take flowers from his Long Island home to the " poors " in Mulberry Street, New York. "But they never got there," he says. " Before I had gone half a block from the ferry I was held up by a shrieky mob of children who cried for the posies and would not let me go another step till I had given them one. And when they got it they ran, shielding the flower with the most jealous care, to some place where they could hide and gloat over their treasure. They came dragging big, fat babies and little weazened ones that they might get a share, and the babies' eyes grew round and big at the sight of the golden glory from the fields, the like of which had never come their way. The smaller the baby, and the poorer, the more wistful its look, and so my flowers went. Who could have said them no?

" I learned then what I had but vaguely understood before, that there is a hunger that is worse than that which starves the body and gets into the newspapers. All children love beauty and beautiful things. It is the spark of the divine nature that is in them and justifies itself! To that ideal their souls grow. When they cry out for it they are trying to tell us in the only way they can that if we let the slum starve the ideal, with its dirt and its ugliness and its hard-trodden mud where flowers were meant to grow, we are starving that which we little know. A man, a human, may grow a big body without a soul; but as a citizen, as a mother, he or she is worth nothing to the commonwealth. The mark they are going to leave upon it is the black smudge of the slum.

" So when in these latter days we invade that slum to make homes there and teach the mothers to make them beautiful; when we gather the children into kindergartens, hang pictures in the schools; when we build beautiful new schools and public buildings and let in the light, with grass and flower and bird, where darkness and foulness were before; when we teach the children to dance and play and enjoy themselves - alas! that it should ever be needed - we are trying to wipe off the smudge, and to lift the heavy mortgage which it put on the morrow, a much heavier one in the loss of citizenship than any community, even the republic, can long endure. We are paying arrears of debt which we incurred by our sad neglect, and we could be about no better business."

There are many poor children in the slums of New York, Mr. Millionaire, who could go into your drawing-room and carry away from its rich canvases, its costly furnishings, a vision of beauty which you never perceived in them because your esthetic faculties, your finer sensibilities, were early stifled by your selfish pursuit of the dollar.

The world is full of beautiful things, but the majority have not been trained to discern them. We can not see all the beauty that lies around us, because our eyes have not been trained to see it; our esthetic faculties have not been developed. We are like the lady who, standing with the great artist, Turner, before one of his wonderful landscapes, cried out in amazement: " Why, Mr. Turner, I can not see those things in nature that you have put in your picture."

" Don't you wish you could, madam? " he replied. Just think what rare treats we shut out of our lives in our mad, selfish, insane pursuit of the dollar! Do you not wish that you could see the marvels that Turner saw in a landscape, that Ruskin saw in a sunset?

Do you not wish that you had put a little more beauty into your life instead of allowing your nature to become encoarsened, your esthetic faculties blinded and your finer instincts blighted by the pursuit of the coarser things of life, instead of developing your brute instincts of pushing, elbowing your way through the world for a few more dollars, in your effort to get something away from somebody else?

Educated to the perception of beauty; he possesses a heritage of which no reverses can rob him. Yet it is a heritage possible to all who will take the trouble to begin early in life to cultivate the finer qualities of the soul, the eye, and the heart. " I am a lover of untainted and immortal beauty," exclaims Emerson. " Oh, world, what pictures and what harmony are thine ! "

A great scientist tells us that there is no natural object in the universe which, if seen as the Master sees it, coupled with all its infinite meaning, its utility and purpose, is not beautiful. Beauty is God's handwriting. Just as the most disgusting object, if put under a magnifying glass of sufficient power, would reveal beauties undreamed of, so even the most unlovely environment, the most cruel conditions, will, when viewed through the glass of a trained and disciplined mind show something of the beautiful and the hopeful. A life that has been rightly trained will extract sweetness from everything; it will see beauty everywhere.

Situated as we are in a world of beauty and sublimity, we have no right to devote practically all of our energies and to sap all our life forces in the pursuit of selfish aims, in accumulating material wealth, in piling up dollars. It is our duty to treat life as a glory, not as a grind or a purely business transaction, dealing wholly with money and bread-and-butter questions. Wherever you are, put beauty into your life.


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