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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 22


22       MIRROR OF THE GRACES.
hardened vest, and head buckled in gold or
silver.
  Thence, by a natural descent, have we the
iron boddice, stiff' farthingale, and spiral coif-
fure of the middle ages. The courts of Char-
lemagne, of our Edwards, Henries, and Eliza-
beth, all exhibit the figures of women as if in
a state of siege. Such lines of circumvallaticn
and outworks; such impregnable bulwarks of
whalebone, wood, and steel; such impassable
mazes of gold, silver, silk, and furbelows, met
a man's view, that,betore he had time to guess
itw.s awoman that he saw, she had passed from
his sight; and he only formed a vague wish
on the subject, by hearing, from an interested
father or brother, that the moving castle was
one of the softer sex.
  These preposterous fashions disappeared, in
England,a short time after the restoration; they
had been a little on the wane during the more
classic, though distressful, reign of Charles L;
and what the beautiful pencil of Vandyke
shows us, in the graceful dress of Lady Car-
lisle and Sacharissa, was rendered yet more
correspondent to the soft undulations of nature,


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