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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 147

ANALYSIS of BEAUTY. 
knew nothing: adding, that I was happy in my pro- 
feflion as a painter, in that fome bounds might be fet to 
the ifudy of it. No doubt, as the minuet contains in it 
a compofed variety of as many movements in the fer- 
pentine lines as can well be put together in diftind 
quantities, it is a fine compofition of movements. 
The ordinary undulating motion of the body in com- 
mon walking (as may be plainly feen by the waving line, 
which the fhadow a man's head makes againft a wall as 
he is walking between it and the afternoon fun) is aug- 
mented in dancing into a larger quantity of waving by 
means of the minuet-flep, which is fo contrived as to 
raife the body by gentle degrees fomewhat higher than 
ordinary, and fuik it again in the fame manner lower-in 
the going on of the dance. The figure of the minuet- 
path on the floor is alfo compofed of ferpentine lines, 
as fig. *, varying a little with the fafhion: when the *Fig. i z 
parties by means of this ftep rife and fall moft fmoothly T. p. z. 
in time, and free from fudden flarting and dropping, 
they come neareft to Shakefpear's idea of the beauty of 
dancing, in the following lines, 
------What you do, 
Still betters what is done,---- 
----When you do dance, I wifh you 
A wave o'th' fea, that you might ever do 
Nothing but that; move fill, fill fo, 
And own no other fundion.--    WINTER'S TALE, 
U 2 
i47 


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