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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 37

broken ; and the principles of health, being
in a manner decomposed, the finest parts fly
off, and the dregs maintain the poor survivor
of herself, in a sad kind of artificial existence.
Delicate proportion gives place either to mi-
serable leanness or shapeless fat. The once-
fair skin assmnes a nallid riuidity or a hlnaterI
redness, which the vain possessor would still
regard as the roses of health and beauty.
  To repair these ravages, comes the aid of
padding, to give shape where there is none ;
long stays, to compass into form the chaos of
flesh ; and paints of all hues, to rectify the
disorder of the complexion. But useless are
these attempts. Where dissipation, disease,
and immoderation, have wrecked the fair ves-
sel of female charms, it is not in the power of
.Esculapius himself to refit the shattered
bark; or of the Syrens, with all their songs
and wiles, to conjure its battered sides from the
rocks, and make it ride the seas in gallant
trim again.
  It is with pleasure that I turn from this ruin
of all that is beauteous and lovely, to the
cheering hope of preserving every charm un-

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