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ART OF DETERMINING
THE PRECISE FIGURE, THE DEGREE OF BEAUTY,
THE HABITS, AND THE AGE,
NOTWITHSTANDING THE AIDS AND DISGUISES OF
External indications as to figure are required chiefly as to the limbs
which are concealed by drapery. Such indications are afforded by the
walk, to every careful observer.
In considering _the proportion of the limbs to the body_--if, even in a
young woman, the walk, though otherwise good, be heavy, or the fall on
each foot alternately be sudden, and rather upon the heel, the limbs
though well formed, will be found to be slender, compared with the body.
This conformation accompanies any great proportional developement of the
vital system; and it is frequently observable in the woman of the Saxon
population of England, as in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, &c.
In women of this conformation, moreover, the slightest indisposition or
debility is indicated by a slight vibration of the shoulders, and upper
part of the chest, at every step, in walking.
In considering _the line or direction of the limbs_--if, viewed behind,
the feet, at every step, are thrown out backward, and somewhat
laterally, the knees are certainly much inclined inward.
If, viewed in front, the dress, at every step, is as it were, gathered
toward the front, and then tossed more or less to the opposite side, the
knees are certainly too much inclined.
In considering _the relative size of each portion of the limbs_--if, in
the walk, there be a greater or less approach to the marching pace, the
hip is large; for we naturally employ the joint which is surrounded with
the most powerful muscles, and in any approach to the march, it is the
hip-joint which is used, and the knee and ancle-joints which remain
If, in the walk, the tripping pace be used, as in an approach to walking
on tiptoes, the calf is large; for it is only by the power of its
muscles that, under the weight of the whole body, the foot can be
extended for this purpose.
If, in the walk, the foot be raised in a slovenly manner, and the heel
be seen, at each step, to lift the bottom of the dress upward and
backward, neither the hip nor the calf is well developed.
Even with regard to the parts of the figure which are more exposed to
observation by the closer adaptation of dress, much deception occurs. It
is, therefore, necessary to understand the arts employed for this
purpose, at least by skilful women.
A person having a narrow face, wears a bonnet with wide front, exposing
the lower part of the cheeks.--One having a broad face, wears a closer
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