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The Women of New York

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Pages: 362

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: George Ellington

Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. THE NEW YORK LADY'S TOILETTE. T was a saying of old Dean Swift, after witnessing the great improvements which man was everywhere making on the face of the earth, that " Nature must give way to art." We have always supposed, until we came to reside in the city of New York, that woman, the next after man, was the most perfect being created " in the beginning." Even at this day we give her the praise of being the better half of mankind, the fairest portion, the most graceful and the " altogether lovely." But it seems there is something more. Women are not satisfied with themselves, and so'they have invented an elaborate process for improving their own appearance. This is called making one's toilette. In other words, it is an attempt to improve upon Nature, to employ various arts for the purpose of touching up a shabby face, or rounding out a lank form, that the eye of the beholder may not be offended, at least, if it is not charmed. Well, who blames a woman for wishing to be considered beautiful ? We do not. It is a natural instinct implanted within the breast of all womankind, from the Indian maidens of our own Western forests, to the housemaids i+ of Yorkshire, England. Not long since a' duchess in Yorkshire gave a lecture to a lot of country girls who were destined to do housework—as we call it in this country—and among other things she scolded them for their love of flowers and bright ribbons. Imagine an American mistress talking to a Yankee girl in that way ! We came near weeping for the Yorkshire lasses when we read this duchess' speech, and we shall never forgive her for it. It is a woman's privilege to be as handsome as she can be. If fashion tells her to put her head into a barrel of flour, and thus powder it, who shall object? If some Mad...  


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