Those who are esteemed umpires of taste, are often persons who have acquired some knowledge of admired pictures or sculptures, and have an inclination for whatever is elegant; but if you inquire whether they are beautiful souls, and whether their own acts are like fair pictures, you learn that they are selfish and sensual. Their cultivation is local, as if you should rub a log of dry wood in one spot to produce fire, all the rest remaining cold. Their knowledge of the fine arts is some study of rules and particulars, or some limited judgment of color or form which is exercised for amusement or for show. It is a proof of the shallowness of the doctrine of beauty, as it lies in the minds of our amateurs, that men seem to have lost the perception of the instant dependence of form upon soul.
I was utterly convinced that an intellectual could never be anything but an intellectual, was simply not capable of being anything else, that his intellectuality would, sooner or later, erode his faith or erode whatever he'd masked it with . . . For example, intellectuals like to dress themselves up as peasants . . . but it never works. The intellectual's constitution is impervious to such things - it permits only one object of worship - oneself. Generally speaking, an intellectual in the contemporary version is an exceptionally resourceful and, essentially, pitiful being.
That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending - performing. You get to love your pretence. It's true, we're locked in an image, an act - and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you're trying to steal their most precious possession.
So may the outward shows be least themselves:The world is still deceived with ornament.In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,Obscures the show of evil? In religion,What damned error, but some sober browWill bless it and approve it with a text,Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?There is no vice so simple but assumesSome mark of virtue on his outward parts.
Look on beauty,And you shall see 'tis purchased by the weight;Which therein works a miracle in nature,Making them lightest that wear most of it:So are those crisped snaky golden locksWhich make such wanton gambols with the wind,Upon supposed fairness, often knownTo be the dowry of a second head,The skull that bred them in the sepulchre.Thus ornament is but the guiled shoreTo a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarfVeiling an Indian beauty; in a word,The seeming truth which cunning times put onTo entrap the wisest.
[E]verywhere I'm looking at kids, adults mostly don't seem to like them, not even the parents do. They call the kids gorgeous and so cute, they make the kids do the thing all over again so they can take a photo, but they don't want to actually play with them, they'd rather drink coffee talking to other adults. Sometimes there's a small kid crying and the Ma of it doesn't even hear.