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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

On the female form,   pp. 26-41

Page 28

the other, we call it grave or gay, majestic or
graceful. Not but that the same person may,
by a happy combination of charms, unite these
qualities in different degrees, as we sometimes
see graceful majesty and majestic grace. And,
certainly, without the commanding figure soft-
ens the amplitude of its contour with a gentle
elegance, it may possess a sort of regal conse-
quence, but it will be that of a heavy and
harsh importance. But, unless the slight and
airy form, full of youth and animal spirits,
superadds to these attractions the grace of a
restraining dignity, her vivacity will be deem-
ed levity, and her activity the romping of a
wild hoyden.
  Young women must, therefore, when they
present themselves to the world, not implicitly
fashion their demeanors according to the le.
veiling rules of the generality of school-gover.
nesses ; but, considering the character of their
own figures, allow their deportment, and select
their dress, to follow and correct the bias of
  There is a class of female contourwhich bears
such faint marks of any positive character, that

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