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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)

On the female form,   pp. 26-41


Page 30


30        MIRROR OF THE GRACES.
carry this idea yet farther by analogy, and
recollect that she has a summer as well as a
spring; an autumn, and a winter! As the as-
pect of the earth alters with the changes of
the year, so does the appearance of a woman
adapt itself to the time which passes over her.
Like a rose in the garden, she buds, she blows,
she fades, she dies
  When the freshness of virgin youth vanish-
es ; when Delia passes her teens, and fastly
approaches her thirtieth year, she may then
consider herself in the noon of her day, but
the sun which shines so brightly on her bea"-
ties, declines while he displays them, and a
few short years, and the jocund step, the airy
habit, the sportive manner, all must pass away
with the flight of Time.   Before this hap-
pens, it would be well for her to remember
that it is wiser to throw a shadow over her
yet-unimpaired charms, than to hold them in
the light till they are seen to decay.
  From this, my fair friends will easily ap-
prehend that the most beautiful woman is not
at forty what she was at twenty, nor at sixty
what she was at forty. Each age has an ap-


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