Page:Blaise Pascal works.djvu/427

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
419
MINOR WORKS

why a great and definite mind loves with ardor, and sees distinctly what it loves.

There are two kinds of mind: the one geometrical, and the other what may be called the imaginative (de finesse).

The former is slow, rigid, and inflexible in its views, but the latter has a suppleness of thought which fastens at once upon the various pleasing qualities of what it loves. From the eyes it goes to the heart itself, and from the expression without it knows what is passing within.

When we have both kinds of mind combined, how much pleasure is given by love! For we possess at the same time the strength and the flexibility of mind essentially necessary for the eloquence of two persons.

We are born with a disposition to love in our hearts, which is developed in proportion as the mind is perfected, and impels us to love what appears to us beautiful without ever having been told what this is. Who can doubt after this whether we are in the world for anything else than to love? In fact, we conceal in vain, we always love. In the very things from which love seems to have been separated, it is found secretly and under seal, and man could not live a moment without this.

Man does not like to dwell with himself; nevertheless he loves; it is necessary then that he seek elsewhere something to love. He can find it only in beauty; but as he is himself the most beautiful creature that God has ever formed, he must find in himself the model of this beauty which he seeks without. Every one can perceive in himself the first glimmerings of it; and according as we observe that what is without agrees or disagrees with these, we form our ideas of beauty or deformity in all things. Nevertheless, although man seeks wherewith to fill up the great void he makes in going out of himself, he cannot however be satisfied with every kind of object. His heart is too large; it is necessary at least that it should be something that resembles him and approaches him as near as may be. Hence the beauty that can satisfy man consists not only in fitness, but also in resemblance; it is restricted and confined to the difference of sex.

Nature has so well impressed this truth on our souls, that we find a predisposition to all this; neither art nor study is