The Good Book: Proverbs, chapter 14: Beauty

The marvelous commonality of human experience: like all men, Grayling has encountered a ruthless beauty, and resented at least the ruthlessness, and possibly the beauty as well.

But then he’s confusingly mixed it with the more general concept of beauty, in its purely aesthetic sense. Still, it shouldn’t be too hard to separate the two meanings from context.

1. Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
Aesthetic beauty.
2. All heiresses are beautiful.
A third type of beauty: one we might call an hallucination of avarice.
3. Beauty and folly are old companions.
Ruthless beauty (although to be sure, a beauty need not be conscious nor using their beauty in order to inspire folly).
4. Beauty and honesty seldom agree.
Ruthless also.
5. Beauty carries its dower in its face.
Pointless.
6. Beauty is its own excuse.
Aesthetic. I think.
7. Beauty is a natural superiority.
Aesthetic.
8. Beauty provokes thieves sooner than gold.
An hallucination of avarice again.
9. Where beauty is, there will be love.
And yet this would seem to be the opposite, unless love and folly are one.
10. Beauty is as good as ready money.
And now who’s hallucinating in avarice?
11. Beauty opens locked doors.
Ruthless. (In addition, it opens many an unlocked but bouncer-staffed door also.)
12. Most women would rather be beautiful than good.
Sexist, ruthless and indeterminate…
13. Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.
Aesthetic.
14. There is beauty enough where there is goodness enough.
A nice companion to 12, above. Not excusing the sexism of the above, though.
15. Rare is the union of beauty and modesty.
Oh, indeed…
16. Beauty is a short-lived reign.
You hope, Grayling. You hope.
17. Beauty is a fading flower.
Repetition.
18. When the candles are out all women are fair, with money in hand all men are handsome.
Again with the needless sexism. As if the wisdom of the ages finds no contribution from our own age…