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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)

General remarks on the manners and fashions of the past and present times,   pp. 20-25


Page 21


GENERAL REMARKS.
at the feet of woman, we see, by the sculp-
ture yet remaining to us, that the dames of
Greece (the then exemplars of the world)
were true to the simple laws of just;taste.-
The amply-folding robe, cast round ffie har-
monious form; the modest clasp and zone
on the bosom; the braided hair, or the veiled
head; these were the fashions alike of the
wife of a Phocion and the mistress of an Alci-
biades. A chastened taste ruled at their toilets;
and from that hour to this, the forms and
modes of Greece have been those of the poet,
the sculptor, and the painter.
  Rome, queen of the world! the proud dic-
tatress to Athenian and Spartan dames, dis-
dained not to array herself in their dignified
attire; and the statues of her virgins, her
matrons, and her empresses, show, in every
portico of her ancient streets, the graceful
fashions of her Grecian province.
  The irruption of the Goths and Vandals
made it needful for women to assume a more
repulsive garb. The flowing robe, the easy
shape, ihe soft, unfettered hair, gave place to
skirts, shortened fbr flight or contest,-to the
                     c
921


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