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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 88 pages of information about The Ladies' Vase.
tight-lacing which the modern belle steadily inflicts without shrinking, and bears without repining sometimes to her very grave.  True, they might sometimes have broken a bone, or plucked out an eye, and been silent; but they never grappled iron and whalebone into the very nerves and life-blood of their system.  They might possibly have passed a dagger too deeply info the heart, and died; but they never drew a ligature of suffocation around it, and expected to live!  They never tied up the mouths of the millions of air-vessels in the lungs, and then taxed them to the full measure of action and respiration.  Even Pharaoh only demanded bricks without straw for a short time; but the fashionable lady asks to live without breathing for many years!

“The ancient Stoics taught that the nearest approach to apathy was the perfection of their doctrine.  They prudently rested in utter indifference; they did not attempt to go beyond it; they did not claim absolute denial of all suffering; still less did they enjoin to persist and rejoice in it, even to the ‘dividing asunder of soul and body.’  In this, too, you will perceive the tight-laced lady taking a flight beyond the sublime philosopher.  She will not admit that she feels the slightest inconvenience.  Though she has fairly won laurels to which no Stoic dared aspire, yet she studiously disclaims the distinction which she faced death to earn—­yea, denies that she has either part of lot in the matter; surpassing in modesty, as well as in desert, all that antiquity can boast or history record.”

We quote the following from Miss Sedgwick:  “One word as to these small waists:  Symmetry is essential to beauty of form.  A waist disproportionately small is a deformity to an instructed eye.  Women must have received their notions of small waists from ignorant dress-makers.  If young ladies could hear the remarks made on these small waists by men generally, and especially men of taste, they would never again show themselves till they had loosened their corset-laces and enlarged their belts.”

LETTER-WRITING.

It sometimes happens that, in fashionable penmanship, the circumstance that it is to be deciphered seems to have been forgotten.  “To read so as not to be understood, and to write so as not to be read, are among the minor immoralities,” says the excellent Mrs. Hannah More.  Elegant chirography, and a clear epistolary style, are accomplishments which every educated female should possess.  Their indispensable requisites are, neatness, the power of being easily perused, orthographical and grammatical correctness.  Defects in either of these particulars, are scarcely pardonable.  The hand-writing is considered by many, one of the talismans of character.  Whether this test may be depended on or not, the fact that letters travel farther than the sound of the voice, or the sight of the countenance can follow, renders it desirable that they should convey no incorrect or unfavorable impression.  The lesser niceties of folding, sealing, and superscription, are not beneath the notice of a lady.

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