"We are a darker, a thinner, and a paler people. The best specimens of the English have the advantage in manliness of form and carriage; the American is superior in activity, in the expression of intelligence and energy in the countenance. The English peculiarities in their worst shape are, coarseness and heaviness of form; a brutal, dull countenance; the worst peculiarities among the Americans are, an apparent want of substance in the form, and a cold, cunning expression of features. I used often to wonder, when travelling in Europe, particularly in France and Germany, at the number of heavy forms and coarse features, which strike one so often there, even among the women, and which are so very uncommon in America."
"Yes; that brutal coarseness of features, which stood for the model of the old Satyrs, is scarcely to be met in this country, though by no means uncommon in many parts of Europe," observed Hazlehurst.
"I was very much struck the other evening, at the dance, with the appearance of the women," continued Mr. Ellsworth. "Not that they are so brilliant in their beauty--one sees beautiful women in every country; but they are so peculiarly feminine, and generally pretty, as a whole. By room-fulls, en masse, they appear to more advantage I think, than any other women; the general effect is very seldom broken by coarseness of face, or unmanageable awkwardness of form."
"Yes, you are right," said Mr. Stryker. "There is a vast deal of prettiness, and very little repulsive ugliness among the women in this country. But it strikes me they are inclining a little too much to the idea, just now, that all the beauty in the world is collected in these United States, which, as we all know is rather a mistaken opinion."
"Certainly; that would be an extremely ridiculous notion."
"You think delicacy then, the peculiar characteristic of American beauty?" said Mr. Wyllys.
"Yes, sir; but I could point out others, too. Brown hair and hazel eyes are another common feature in American beauty. If you look over the pretty women of your acquaintance, you will find that the case I think."
"Like Mrs. Creighton's," said Elinor, smiling.
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