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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)

The same subject, of female beauty, more explicity [sic] considered,   pp. 42-58 ff.


Page 51


ON THE FEMALE FORM.
dead beauty which is composed of white
paints and enamelling. In the first place, as
all applications of this kind are as a mask on
the skin, they can never, but at a distant
glance, impose for a moment on a di3cerning
eye. But why should I say a discerning eye?
No eye that is of the commonest apprehen-
sion can look on a face bedaubed with white
paint, pearl powder, or enamel, and be de.
ceived for a minute into a belief that so inani-
mate a " whited wall" is the human skin.
No Rush of pleasure, no shudder of pain, no
thrilling of hope, can be descried beneath the
encrusted mould; all that passes within is con-
cealed behind the mummy surface. Perhaps
the painted creature may be admired by an
artist as a well-executed picture; but no man
will seriously consider her as a handsome
woman.
  White painting is, therefore, an ineffectual,
as well as dangerous practice. The proposed
end is not obtained; and, as poison lurks
under every layer, the constitution wanes in
alarming proportion as the supposed charmĀ§
Increase.
51


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