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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 13

of the Graces, the discriminating Chesterfield,
declared, that 1, a prepossessing exterior is a
perpetual letter of recommendation."  To
show how dif1brent such an exterior is from
affectation and extravagance, is one object of
these pages; and I hope that my fair and
candid readers will, after perusal, lay them
down with a conviction that beauty is a bless-
ing, and is to be used with maidenly discre-
tion ; that modesty is grace ; simplicity, ele-
gance; and consistency, the charm which
rivets the attracted heart of well-judging
  That you have sought my sentiments on
these subjects, makes it easier to me to enter
into the minute detail I meditate. Indeed, I
have ever blamed, as impolitic, the austerity
which condemns without distinction any at-
tention to personal appearance. It is surely
more reasonable to direct the youthful mind
to that medium between negligence and nicety
which will preserve the person in health and
elegance, than, by leaving a young woman
ignorant of the real and supposed advantages
of these graces, render her liable to learn the

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