For the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness.

I just drew these little stick figures to help me figure out this equation. There’s honesty right, which, when beauty comes around, gets transformed into a bawd. Then there’s beauty and when honesty comes around, what might beauty be transformed into? His likeness? Whose likeness? Honesty’s?
It doesn’t add up. And that’s the point – to a certain extent – that beauty has more power to transform honesty than honesty has to transform beauty. But the analogies aren’t equivalent – his likeness – if it’s honesty or something like honesty – the transforming agent is then absorbing the transformed, which is not what happens with beauty in the previous equation. In all cases, beauty is the loser.


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