I am always stunned when people sneer at beautiful people with the bitter snipe “beauty isn’t everything”. Well, no, it is not everything but if you can spend a fortune to fly around the world to stare at a thing of natural beauty for a few hours, or queue for an hour to watch a museum hang a thing of artificial beauty, can you not honour a similarly endowed fellow human being in the same way? We may not be so lucky-of-face but we can and should admit that the eye is drawn to them.

Maybe we should adapt the old mother’s adage about not saying anything at all, if you cannot say anything good.

My prescriptive is that true beauty is best admired in contemplative silence or in the wistfulness of poetic prose. You may choose either while you gaze at these two beauties.

Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner



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