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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 10

delights which shoot from mind to mind, in
the pressure of a hand, the glance of an eye,
the whisper of the heart. Shall we then de-
spise this ready and obedient vehicle of all
that passes within the invisible soul ? shall we
contemn it, as a lump of encumbering clay,
as a piece of corruption, fitter for the char-
nel-house than the bosom of affection ?
  These ascetic ideas may be consistent with
the thankless superstition of the ancient Ze-
nos, or the modern faliatic$, who see neither
beauty nor joyfulness in the works of the
bounteous Lord of Nature ; but the rational
and fair-judging mind, which acknowledges
" use and decency" in all the Creator's works,
while it turns from the pagan devotion which
the libertine pays to his own body, regards
that inferior part of himself with the respect
which is due to it in consideration of its Maker
and its purpose.
   '" Reverence thyself!" says the philosopher,
not only with relation to the mind which di-
rects, but to the body which executes. God
created the body, not only for usefulness, but
adorned it with loveliness; and what he has

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