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Hogarth, William, 1697-1764 / The analysis of beauty : written with a view of fixing the fluctuating ideas of taste
(1753)

Chap. XVII: of action,   pp. 138-153


Page 140

AXNALYSTS         f "EAUTY, 
uneducated common people generally have when they 
appear before their betters. 
It is known that bodies in motion always defcribe 
fome line or other in the air, as the whirling round of a 
fire-brand apparently makes a circle, the water-fall part 
of a curve, the arrow and bullet, by the fwiftnefs of their 
motions, nearly a ilraight line; waving lines are formed 
by the pleafmg movement of a fhip on the waves. Now 
in order to obtain a juft idea of acion at the fame time 
to be judicioufly fatisfied of being in the right in what 
we do, let us begin with imagining a line formed in the 
air by any fuppofed point at the end of a limb or part 
that is moved, or made by the whole part, or limb; or 
by the whole body together. And that thus much of 
movements may be conceived at once is evident, on the 
kafi recolle&ion, for whoever has feen a fine arabian 
war-horfe, unback'd and at liberty, and in a wanton 
trot, cannot but remember what a large waving line his 
rifing, and at the fame time preffing forward, cuts 
through the air; the equal continuation of which, is 
varied by his curveting from fide to fide; whilit his long 
mane and tail play about in ferpentine movements. 
After thus having form'd the idea of all movements 
being as lines, it will not be difficult to conceive, that 
grace in adion depends upon the fame principles as 
have been fhewn to produce it in forms. 
The next thing that offers itfelf to our confideration 
is the force of habit and cuRom in aaion ; for a great 
deal depends thereon.                         The 


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