The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Appearance

Appearances are not held to be a clue to the truth... But we seem to have no other. ~Ivy Compton-Burnett, Manservant and Maidservant, 1947

I have always a sacred veneration for any one I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher; because the richest minerals are ever found under the most ragged and withered surface of the earth. ~Jonathan Swift

...and even polished brass will pass upon more people than rough gold. ~Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, 1747

It is only when mind and character slumber that the dress can be seen. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only. ~Samuel Butler

It is hard that a man's exterior should tally so little sometimes with his soul. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919  ["Dirk Stroeve had the passion of Romeo in the body of Sir Toby Belch... What a cruel practical joke old Nature played when she flung so many contradictory elements together, and left the man face to face with the perplexing callousness of the universe." —tg]

The soul of Antony was fastidious, and he disdained a slovenly appearance. ~Florence Bone (1875–1971), The Morning of To‑Day, 1907

All that is false in this world below
Betrays itself in a love of show;
Indignant Nature hides her lash
In the purple-black of a dyed mustache;
The shallowest fop will trip in French,
The would-be critic will misquote Trench;
In short, you're always sure to detect
A sham in the things folks most affect;
Bean-pods are noisiest when dry,
And you always wink with your weakest eye...
~Bret Harte, "The Tale of a Pony," 1860s

Of all the organs of sense, the eye is the most liable to make a person superficial. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

There is no actual law that says that a person of inner beauty cannot also maintain an appearance. ~Robert Brault,

You need not think
It's vanity that makes me prink,
And take much care
To keep myself both fit and fair.
'Tis not false pride or vain conceit
That keeps me trying to be neat,
But just the plain and simple truth
That I have held to since my youth
That this old frame in which I dwell
Is nothing more than the hotel
In which my Soul and Hopes must stay
Until I'm called to move away,
And for their dwelling-place I plan
To give them quite the best I can,
And keep the place up spick and span.
~John Kendrick Bangs (1862–1922), The Cheery Way: A Bit of Verse For Every Day, 1920

The care that we bestow on our person is a species of politeness towards others... ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875

She doesn't neglect her outside looks, though, just because her mind is so full of great thoughts. No indeed! Her fountain pen jostles against her looking-glass in her hand-bag, and her note-book gets dusted over with pink powder. ~Kate Trimble Sharber (b.1883), The Annals of Ann, 1910

Think of living up to the ideal Charlie has of me. My hair would turn a hydrogen yellow in a week... I could never venture to be natural in case I shocked him. And notwithstanding all my efforts I should see the illusions tumbling about his ears one by one till he realised I was no ethereal goddess, but a very ordinary human woman... ~W. Somerset Maugham, Lady Frederick, 1907

D'you suppose I don't know that behind that very artificial complexion there's a dear little woman called Betsy who's genuine to the bottom of her soul? ~W. Somerset Maugham, Lady Frederick, 1907

We should be thankful that we are all good-looking. Ain't we?... it's none of our personal business if a man has carroty hair, eyes like a new moon, nose like a split pear, mouth like a pair of waffle-irons, chin like a Dutch churn, neck like a gander's, and a body like a crowbar; comparatively, he is good-looking; that is, there are homelier men and animals than he; so everybody is good-looking and has a right to put on airs. ~Dr. Le Grand, A Thanksgiving Sermon, as quoted in Charles W. Sanders, Sanders' Union Speaker, 1864

A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love... ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes I wonder — if I were drop-dead handsome, and every woman I met actually dropped dead, would I ever get tired of it? ~Robert Brault,

Question:  What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Walter Cronkite:  Quadruple chin.
~Proust questionnaire, in Vanity Fair, 1997

The world is governed more by appearance than reality, and therefore it is fully as necessary to seem to know something, as to know it in reality. ~Daniel Webster

Things do not pass for what they are, but for what they seem. Most things are judged by their jackets. ~Baltasar Gracián, translated from Spanish

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