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Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

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The mirror of the graces; or, the English lady's costume: combining and harmonizing taste and judgment, elegance and grace, modesty, simplicity and economy, with fashion in dress; and adapting the various articles of female embellishments to different ages, forms, and complexions; to the seasons of the year, rank, and situation in life: with useful advice on female accomplishments, politeness, and manners; the cultivation of the mind and the disposition and carriage of the body: offering also the most efficacious means of preserving beauty, health, and loveliness. The whole according with the general principles of nature and rules of propriety

Preliminary observations on the subject,   pp. [9]-19

Page 11

made so pleasing, shall we disesteem and re-
fuse to apply to its admirable destination ?-
The very approving and innocent complacency
we all feel in the contemplation of beauty,
w hether it be that of a landscape or of a flower,
is a sufficient witness that the pleasure which
pervades our hearts at the sight of human
charms was planted there by the Divine Fra-
mer of all things, as a principle of delight
and social attraction. To this end, then, I
seek to turn your attention, my fair country-
women, upon YOURSELVES !--ot only to
the cultivation of your minds, but to maintain
in its intended station, that inferior part of
yourselves, which mistaken gravity would, on
the one hand, lead you to neglect as altoge-
ther worthless; and vanity, on the other,
incline you too much to cherish and egregi.
ously to overvalue.
  From this you will gather that the person
of a woman is the primary subject of this
  Mothers perhaps (those estimable mothers,
who value the souls as the better parts of their
daughters,) may start at such a text.   But

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