Will Durant, author and philosopher, was also in Hollywood lecturing at UCLA. He was an old friend and occasionally dined at our house. They were amusing evenings. Will, an enthusiast who needed no stimulant to intoxicate himself but life itself, once asked me: “What is your conception of beauty?” I said I thought it was an omnipresence of death and loveliness, a smiling sadness that we discern in nature and all things, a mystic communion that the poet feels–an expression of it can be a dustbin with a shaft of sunlight across it, or it can be a rose in the gutter. El Greco saw it in our Saviour on the Cross.’

(Charlie Chaplin, My Autobiography. pp 458-9)