ONE of the earliest records of modern history in regard to the race which peopled the Old England and the New refers to its beauty. Most of us have heard the story: how three young captives, brought from an almost unknown island on the verge of civilization, and indeed at the western limit of the then known world, were exposed for sale, in Rome; and how Gregory the Great, not yet Pope, seeing them, was struck by their beauty, and asked what they were, and being told, Angli (English), replied, "Non Angli, sed angeli" (not Angles, but angels), --which was a tolerable pun for a future Pope and saint. This was twelve hundred years ago; and since that time the English race has enjoyed the reputation (subject to some carping criticism, due to the self-love of other peoples) of being the handsomest in the world. It is well deserved; indeed, if it were not, it would long ago have been jealously extinguished.
Not improbably, however, the impression made upon Gregory was greatly due to the fair complexion, blue eyes, and golden brown hair of the English captives, which, indeed, are mentioned in the story. For Southern Europe is peopled with dark-skinned, darkhaired races; and the superior beauty of the blonde type was recognized by the painters, who always,