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As with the original incident, the play hinges on the idea that Chinese bodies are imitable: according to Carson, all it takes to achieve the illusion of a 'Chinaman' is the recreation of specific physiognomical features like slit eyes, a pigtail and yellowish skin.
Evans, 'Roman descriptions of personal appearance in history and biography', HSCP 46 (1935) 43-84, at 64-67, 82 with references to ancient physiognomical texts; E.
Conquered by the women warriors, a man is 'crippled' simply by his physiognomical state of ignorance:
As he sought enlightenment in the bottom of his bamboo cup of Scotch-and-water the Squarehead's face was a physiognomical question-mark.
Certainly no great American painter has more fascinated and eluded art history than this physiognomical sphinx.