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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 33


            ON TII FEMALE FORM.        3
ought to be, we know is not always adopted,
St. Everemond has told us, that ,, a woman's
last sighs are for her beauty ;" and what this
wit has advanced, the sex have ever been too
ready to confirm. A strange kind of art, a
sort of sorcery, is prescribed, by tradition and
in books, in the form of cosmetics, &c. to pre-
serve female charms in perpetual youth. But
I fear that, until these compots can be con-
cocted in Medea's caldron, they will never
have any better effact than exercising the
faith and patience of the credulous dupes who
expect to find the Elixir Vite in any mixture
under heaven.
  The rules which I would lay down for the
preservation of the bloom of beauty, during its
natural life, are few, and easy of access, And,
besides having the advantage of speakingfrom
my own wide and minute observation, I have
the authorities of the most eminent physicians
of every age, to support my argument.
  The secret of preserving beauty lies in three
things :-Temperance, Exercise, Cleanliness.
Under these few heads we shall find much
good instruction.  Temperance includes mo-
                    1)


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