"All forms of beauty, like all possible phenomena, contain an element of the eternal and an element of the transitory--of the absolute and of the particular. Absolute and eternal beauty does not exist, or rather it is only an abstraction creamed from the general surface of different beauties. The particular element in each manifestation comes from the emotions: and just as we have our own particular emotions, so we have our own beauty."
"Beauty consists of an eternal, invariable element, whose quantity is excessively difficult to determine, and of a relative, circumstantial element, which will be, if you like, by turns or all together, the era, its fashion, its morals, its passions."
"The past is interesting not only for the beauty which the artists for whom it was the present were able to extract from it, but also as past, for its historical value. The same goes for the present. The pleasure which we derive from the representation of the present is due not only to the beauty in which it may be clothed, but also from its essential quality of being present."
"The idea which man forms of beauty imprints itself throughout his attire, rumples or stiffens his garments, rounds off or aligns his gestures, and, finally, even subtly penetrates the features of his face."
"All beauties contain, like all possible phenomena, something eternal and something transitory,--something absolute and something particular. Absolute and eternal beauty does not exist, or rather it is only an abstraction skimmed from the common surface of different sorts of beauty. The particular element of each beauty comes from the emotions, and as we each have our own particular emotions, so we have our beauty."
"A man needs no arguments to make him discern and approve what is beautiful: it strikes at first sight, and attracts without a reason. And as this beauty is found in the shape and form of corporeal things, so also is there analogous to it a beauty of another kind, an order, a symmetry, and comeliness in the moral world. And as the eye perceiveth the one, so the mind doth by a certain interior sense perceive the other, which sense, talent, or faculty, is ever quickest and purest in the noblest minds."
"Music, feelings of happiness, mythology, faces worn by time, certain twilights and certain places, want to tell us something, or they told us something that we should not have missed, or they are about to tell us something; this imminence of a revelation that is not produced is, perhaps, the esthetic event."
"... when you do get a job everybody says, "Well, they wanted a black woman," which necessarily puts you on a level where you haveto prove yourself above being a woman and being black.... Now, I would say, in certain situations, it helped me simply because I was mildly attractive, not because I was black or a woman. That gets you more mileage than anything else.... God help you if you're not an attractive woman."
"This artless young creature [Evelina], with too much beauty to escape notice, has too much sensibility to be indifferent to it; but she has too little wealth to be sought with propriety by men of the fashionable world."