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rendered incapable of duly appreciating the merits of any other. Thus, then, has it been with the Laplander, the Kamschadalian, the Tartar, and the Chinese. Shut out from all intercourse with society, they have had no opportunity of comparison ; and have very naturally formed their ideas of beauty and deformity from the objects which have daily met their eyes. If, on the contrary, a person is in the habit of daily intercourse with the world, he has frequent opportunities of comparison, observation, ard, consequently, cultivation of judgment; inasmuch, as from that very intercourse, his sentiments become more distinct and clear -his judgment more steady and exact, and capable of discrimination-his feelings more nice and acute -and his organs thereby attain a greater degree of perfection. He then becomes capable of discovering the ratio of difference between one object and another; and of observing the several excellencies and defects in each. Of this we have a particular instance recorded in history. The men of Hispaniola, when visited by Columbus, considered the Spaniards as divinities, and the discharge of their artillery as thunder, at the sound of which they were seized with such sudden fright and perturbation, that they simultaneously fell down on their faces. The women, on the contrary, seemed to entertain no such awe nor apprehension at the new comers. For, they no sooner beheld the beauty of their faces, and the comeliness of their persons than, disgusted with their husbands, they freely offered their favours to, and courted the embraces of, the strangers. It was, indeed, in the arms of those wantons of Hispaniola, that the Spaniards were infected with that fatal malady which has proved so destructive to the inhabitans of the old world ; and “which," says Russell, “ if human happiness is to be computed by the balance of pain and pleasure, will be found to be more than a counterpoise to all the gold of Mexico, the silver of Peru, and the diamonds of Brazil.'
It is amusing to read of thc extravagant opinions, which different nations have formed respecting perfection in beauty ; opinions, which seem only to excite our laughter and contempt ; but which are, nevertheless, stoutly maintained ; and we are only repaid with reproaches, for our apparent want of taste and discernment. « Touching their women,” says Howell, speaking of the Spaniards in his Familiar Letters. « Nature hath made a more visible division 'twixt the two sexes here than elsewhere : the men, for the most part, are swarthy and rough, but the women are of a far finer mould, and are uncommonly little ; and, whereas, there is a saying that makes a complete woman-- Let her be English to the neck, French to the waist, and Dutch below ;' I may add, for hands and feet, let her be Spanish, for they have the least of any. They have another saying,
French woman in a dance, a Dutch woman in a kitchen, an Italian at a window, an English at board, and the Spanish a-bed.”
Heylin gives an account of the French women in his time, and from the description of the learned Doctor, they could not have been very prepossessing in their appearance. “ The bodies of the women,” says he, “ are straight, ani their waists uncommonly small; their shoulders and backs so immensely broad, that they hold no proportion with their middle; their hair is long and black; their hands are long, white, and slender; but their arms are covered with scales, which seem to have overrun them like a leprosy." Such was a French beauty in the days of the erudite Heylin.
Captain Lyon, in his African Travels, lately published, thus describes the wife of Shiek Baroad, who was celebrated throughout the country, as the very model of female perfection : “ On my entrance, she so veiled herself, as to exhibit to advantage her arm with all its gay ornaments; and on my requesting to be favoured with a view of her face, she, with very little reluctance, gratified me. Her chin, the tip of her nose, and the space between her eyebrows were marked with black lines; she was much rouged; her neck, arms, and legs were covered with tattooed flowers. She had a multitude of gold earings and ornaments set with very bad counterfeit jewels, and weighing, altogether, I should think, two or three pounds. She was excessively fat, and, I must say, I never beheld such a monstrous mass of human flesh. One of her legs, of enormous size, was uncovered as high as the calf, and every one pressed it, admiring its solidity, and praising God for blessing them with such a sight !" Mr. Ward has favoured us with the following account, which may be considered as descriptive of a perfect Hindoo beauty : “ This girl," says the writer, speaking of Sharuda, the daughter of Brumha,“ was of a yellow colour, had'a nose like the flower of a sesamum ; her legs were taper, like a plantain tree; her eyes large, like the principal leaf of the lotus ; her eyebrows extended to her ears ; her lips were 'red, like the young leaves of the mango tree; her face was like the full moon; her voice like the sound of the cuckoo ; her arms reached to her knees; her throat was like that of a pigeon; her loins narrow, like those of a lion : her hair hung in curls, down to her feet; her teeth were like the seeds of the pomegranate ; and her gait like that of a drunken elephant or a goose. At this exquisite specimen we may, with equal justice as did Permino, when he beheld the beautiful slave which Gnatho was conducting to Thais, exclaim, while entranced with admiration-Pape !
The Tartar women have been characterised as having large wrinkled foreheads, and black hair"; flat faces, thick and short noses, very small eyes. sunk in the head, high cheek bones, and the lower part of the face very narrow ; long and prominent chins, teeth large and distinct from each other, and skins tawny. And the American women, independently of their tattooing and
painting, do not think themselves sufficiently captivating, unless they have the gristle of the nose perforated, or their under-lip pierced, to admit a goose quill or a small piece of wood.
But not to look so widely for examples ; among ourselves, we daily perceive a contrariety of opinions, and a difference of taste. One will prefer black eyes, and black hair ; another cares not for these, but places the acme of perfection in beautiful teeth, and a well-formed mouth ; a third, only considers the form of the neck, and the fairness of the skin ; and a fourth, the formation of the arms, waist, ankles, and feet. Again, one loves the hearty open generous girl, who, on every occasion, is frank and free; will laugh and talk, and, thereby, make herself the life and soul of the company : a second prefers the modest young lady, who turns up her nose at every word which is addressed to
thinks herself superior to every individual, and, when fattered, simpers and affects confusion : a third, chooses her with soft, blue, and roguish eyes, who endeavours to excite passion in the breast of every young fellow, then laughs with warm satisfaction at the mischief which she has so wickedly occasioned. Before I saw the lovely Miss R- I imagined Amie the sweetest girl I had ever beheld ; but when I met with the beautiful Clara, I bowed with the most abject humility at the shrine of her resistless charms. Such, alas! are oftentimes the fatal effects of comparison.
INDIAN WOMEN DIVING FOR SEA-EGGS.
The youngest of the two women, taking a basket in her mouth, jumped overboard, and, diving to the bottom, continued under water an amazing time; when she had filled the basket with seaeggs she came up to the boat-side, and, delivering it so filled to the other woman in the boat, they took out the contents and returned it to her. The diver then, after having taken a short time to breathe, went down and up again with the same success; and so several times for the space of half an hour.
It seems as if Providence had endued this people with a kind of amphibious nature, as the sea is the only source whence almost all their subsistence is derived. This element, too, being here very boisterous, and falling with a most heavy surf upon a rugged coast, very little, except some seal, is to be got anywhere but in the quiet bosom of the deep. What occasions this reflection is the early propensity I had so frequently observed in the children of these savages to this occupation, who, even at the age of three years, might be seen crawling upon their hands and knees among the rocks and breakers, from which they would tumble themselves into the sea without regard to the cold, which is here often intense, and shewing no fear at the noise and the roaring of the surf.
This sea-egg is a shell fish, from which several points project, in all directions, by means whereof it removes itself from place to place. In it are found four or five yolks, resembling the inner divisions of an orange, which are of a very nutritive quality and excellent flavour.
AN ICELANDIC DINNER.
The arrangement of a dinner table is attended in Iceland, says Mr. Hooker, with little trouble, and would afford no scope for the display of the elegant abilities of an experienced English housekeeper. On the cloth was nothing but a plate, a knife and fork, a wine-glass, and a bottle of claret
for each guest, except that in the middle stood a large and handsome glass castor of sugar, with a magnificent silver top. The natives are not in the habit
of drinking malt-liquor or water, nor is it customary to eat salt with their meals. The dishes are brought in singly: our first was a large turene of soup, which is a favourite addition to the dinners of the richer people, and is made of sago, claret, and raisins, boiled so as to become almost a mucilage. We were helped to two soup-plates full of this, which we ate without knowing if any thing more was to come. Nosooner, however, was the soup removed, than two large salmons, boiled and cut in slices, were brought on, and with them melted butter, looking like oil, mixed with vinegar and pepper : this, likewise was very good, and, when we had with difficulty cleared our plates, we hoped we had finished dinner. Not so, for there was then introduced a turene full of the eggs of the Cree, or great Tern, boiled hard, of which a dozen were put on each of our plates : and for sauce, we had a large bason of cream, mixed with sugar, in which were four spoons, so that we all ate out of the same bowl, placed in the middle of the table. We petitioned hard to be excused from eating the whole of the eggs upon our plates, but we petitioned in vain : “You are my guests,” said he, “ and this is the first time you have done me the honour of a visit therefore you must do as I would have you ; in future, when you come to see me, you may do as you like.” In his own excuse, he* pleaded his age for not following our example, to which we could make no reply.. We devoured with difficulty our eggs and cream; but had no sooner dismissed our plates, than half a sheep, well roasted, came on, with a mess of sorrel (rumex acetosa,) called by the Danes scurvy-grass, boiled, mashed and sweetened with sugar. It was to no purpose we assured our host that we had already eaten more than would do us good : he filled our plates with the mutton and sauce, and made us get through it as well as we could: although any one of the dishes of which we had before partaken, was sufficient for the dinner of a moderate man. However, this was not all ; for a lage dish of waffels as they are here called, that is to say, a sort of pancakes, made of wheat-flower, flat, and roasted in a mould, which form's a number of squares on the top, succeeded the mutton. They were not more than half an inch thick, and about the size of an octavo book. The Stiftsamptmant said he would be satisfied if each of us wonld eat two of them, and with these moderate terms we were forced to comply. For bread, Norway biscuit and loaves made of rye were served up; for our drink, we had nothing but claret, of which we were all compelled to empty the bottle that stood by us, and this, too, out of tumblers, rather then wine-glasses. It is not the custom in this country to sit after dinner over the wine ; but we had, instead of it, to drink just as much coffee as the Stiftsamptman thought proper to give us. The coffee was certainly extremely good, and we trusted it would terminate the feast. But all was not yet over ; for a huge bowl of rum-punch was brought in, and handed round in large glasses pretty freely, and to every glass a toast was given. If at any time we flagged in drinking, “Baron Banks" was always the signal for emptying our glasses, in order that we might have them filled with bumpers, to drink to his health ; a task that no Englishman ought to hesitate about complying with most gladly, though assuredly, if any exception might be made to such a rule, it would be in an instance like the present. We were threatened with one more bowl, after we should have drained this; and accordingly another actually came, which we were with difficulty allowed to refuse emptying entirely; nor could this be done but by ordering our people to get the boat ready for our departure, when, having concluded this extraor
* In Kamtschatka, according to Kracheninnikow, when a feast is given to a person for the purpose of gaining his friendship, the master of the house-eats uothing during the repast ; *a la liberte de sortir de la jourte quand il le veut ; mais le convie ne le peut qu' apres qu'il s'est avoue vaincu.
+ The Governor.