English v. American Beauty.
While the beauty of the English girl may endure longer than that of her American sister, yet American beauty lias this sovereign advantage—that it best bears closer observation. The English beauty appears best at a distance, and grows homely as we approach her ; the typical American beauty ajDpears more attractive near at hand ; in her case nearness'brings enchantment. The American face bears the microscope mainly by reason of its delicacy, firmness, and mobility of expression—qualities that are only appreciated on nearness of inspection. The ruddiness or freshness, the health-suggesting and health-sustaining face of the English girl seems incomparable when partially veiled, or when a few rods away, but as she comes nearer these excellent characteristics retreat behind the irregularities of the skin, the thickness of the lips, the size of the nose; and the observer is mildly stunned by the disappointment at not finding the nimble and automatic play of emotion in the eyes and features without which female beauty must always fall below the line of supreme authority. The English beauties of national and international fame, at whose feet the empire of Great Britain is now kneeling, are of the American type, and in that country they would be held simply as of average rather than exceptional excellence. The attractiveness of American women would appear to be the direct effect of climatic conditions, since beauty of the most precious sort requires fineness of organisation, delicacy of features, nimbleness, and sprightliness of expression. The same influence that makes the American female more handsome also causes her beauty to decay earlier than in Europe. The English woman is less beautiful, less delicate and attractive between fifteen and twenty-five, yet she retains her beauty longer. Women, like plants, need abundant moisture, else they wither. The rains, the clouds and the storms that enrobe castles and cathedrals in ivy, keep the meadows green throughout the year, bring freshness and color to the face, so the English matron of forty-five or fifty is, perhaps, sometimes handsomer, as well as healthier, than at fifteen or twenty. — journal of Science.
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