The following description of a Sinhalese beauty shows that interesting race to be remarkably acute connoisseurs of the sex, and corroborates the fact recently stated that each nation has its own exclusive type, the description fitting accurately, according to Davy, "the general external character" of the Sinhalese women. " Her hair should be voluminous, like the tail of the peacock, reaching to the knees, and terminating in graceful curls; her nose should be like the bill of the hawk, and her lips bright and red, like coral on the leaf of the young iron-tree. Her neck should be large and round, her chest capacious, her breasts firm and conical, like the yellow cocoanut, and her waist small—almost small enough to be clasped by the hand. Her hips should be wide, her limbs tapering, the soles of the feet without any hollow, and the surface of the body in general, soft, delicate, smooth and rounded, without the asperities of projecting bones and sinews." Barring the flatness of the feet, this description is good enough to satisfy the most fastidious, even among ourselves.
"A small round face," remarks Gastrin, "full rosy-red cheeks and lips, white forehead, black tresses and small dark eyes, are marks of a Samoyede beauty;" while among the Tartar women, who have much smaller noses than are seen ordinarily in Europe or America, "the smaller their noses the handsomer they are esteemed."1
In Fiji the peculiar broadness of the back of the head is regarded as a great mark of beauty;1 and among the Egyptian ladies, as we are informed by Mr. Lane, we seldom meet with that corpulence which is so much admired by most other African peoples.3 The negro loves thick lips, the Kalmuk Tartar the turned-up nose, the Aztec the flattened head, the North American Indian the flat forehead, the natives of Sumatra, Tahiti and Samoa, the pressed nose and broad occiput, the Caucasian the high, broad forehead, and large eyes, the Samoyedes from the middle Obi, small eyes, and the native of Central Africa, the split-lip and stretched ear-lobes. But although these divergencies from a common physical type are startling, and often ludicrous from our point of view, the anthropologist who strives to deduce from them an argument against the scriptural theory of special creation, might just as well argue that a lady ceases to be herself the moment she changes her dress.
1. Tempora mutantuT, поз et mutamur in illis; and the fashions of the face, the walk, the smile and the bow, are not less fickle than are those of our dress.