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

Chap. XVII: of action,   pp. 138-153

Page 142

ferpentine line, for as all our mufcles are ever ready to 
ad, when one part is moved, (as an hand, or arm, by 
its proper movers, for raifing up or drawing down) the 
adjacent mufcles a& in fome degree in correfpondence 
with them: therefore our moft common movements are 
but feldom performed in fuch abfolutely mean lines, as 
thofe of jointed dolls and puppets. A man muff have 
a good deal of pra&ice to be able to mimic fuch very 
ftraight or round motions, which being incompatible 
with the human form, are therefore ridiculous. 
Let it be obferved, that graceful movements in fer- 
pentine lines, are ufed but occafionally, and rather at 
times of leifure, than confrantly applied to every adion 
we make. The whole bufinefs of life may be carried 
on without them, they being properly fpeaking, only the 
ornamental part of gefture; and therefore not being na- 
turally familiarifed by neceffity, muff be acquired by 
precept or imitation, and reduced to habit by frequent 
repetitions. Precept is the means I fhould recommend 
as' the moft expeditious and effedtual way. But before 
we proceed to the method I have to propofe, for the 
more ready and fure way of accuftoming the limbs to 
a facility in the ornamental way of moving; I fhould 
obferve, that quick time gives it fpirit and vivacity, as 
flow time, gravity, and folemnity, and further, that the 
.latter of thefe allows the eye an opportunity of feeing 
the line of grace to advantage, as in the addrefs of he- 
roes on the Rage, or in any folemn a6a of ceremony; 

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