The French jurist, Méderic Louis Élie Moreau de Saint-Méry (1750-1819), was driven into exile during the French Revolution by Robespierre's accession to power.

From 1794 to 1798 Moreau lived in the United States. In the journal he kept during these years, he described American young girls as follows:

American girls are pretty, and their eyes are alive with expression; but their complexions are wan, bad teeth spoil the appearance of their mouths, and there is also something disagreeable about the length of their legs. In general, however, they are of good height, are graceful, and, in enumerating their charms, one must not forget the shapeliness of their breasts.

Philadelphia has thousands of beauties between fourteen and eighteen. To offer but a single proof: on the north side of Market Street, between Third and Fifth Street, on a single winter's day I saw four hundred young maidens promenading, each one of whom would surely have been followed in Paris, a seductive tribute that could be offered by perhaps no other city in the world.

But these girls soon became pale, and an indisposition which is reckoned among the most unfavorable for the maintenance of the freshness of youth is very common among them. They have thin hair and bad teeth, and are given to nervous illnesses. The elements which embellish beauty, or rather which compose and order it, are not often bestowed by the graces. Finally, they are charming, adorable at fifteen, dried up at twenty-three, old at thirty-five, decrepit at forty or fifty.

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