Female beauty, as was said, is always seen to improve about the age of puberty; but, if we should attempt to define in what this beauty consists or what constitutes its perfection, we should find nothing more difficult to determine. Every country has its peculiar way of thinking, in this respect; and even the same country thinks differently, at different times. The ancients had a very different taste from what prevails at present. The eye-brows joining in the middle was considered as a very peculiar grace, by Tibullus, in the enumeration of the charms of his mistress. Narrow foreheads were approved of, and scarce any of the Roman ladies that are celebrated for their other perfections, but are also praised for the redness of their hair. The nose also of the Grecian Venus, was such as would appear at present an actual deformity; as it fell in a straight line from the forehead, without the smallest sinking between the eyes; without which we never see a face at present.
Among the moderns, every country seems to have peculiar ideas of beauty [Mr Buffon].
Text taken from Oliver Goldsmith, An history of the earth, and animated nature. By Oliver Goldsmith. In eight volumes. London: printed for J. N, 1779.
Picture: Sir Joshua_Reynolds, Elizabeth Gunning, Duchess of Hamilton and Argyll.