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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
(1811)

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


Page 15


PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS.
adorn the structure without any danger to its
safety. When a girl is instructed on the great
purposes of her existence ; that she is an im.
mortal being, as well as a mortal woman ; you
may, without fearing ill impressions, show
her, that as we admire the beauty of the rose, as
well as esteem its medicinal power, so her per-
sonal charms will be dear in the eyes of him
whose heart is occupied by the graces of her,
yet more estimable, mind. We may safely
teach a well-educated girl that virtue ought to
wear an inviting aspect; that it is due to her
excellence to decorate her comely apparel.-
But we must never cease to remember that it
is viR'ru~we seek to adorn. It must not be a
merely beautiful form ; for that, if it possess
not the charm of intelligence, the bond of ra-
tional tenderness, is a frame without a soul ;
a statue, which we look on and admire,
pass away and forget it.     We must im.
press upon the yet ingenuous maid, that
while beauty attracts, its influence is transient,
unless it presents itself as the harbinger of that
good-sense and principle which can alone se-
cure the affection of a husband, the esteem of
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