If you have a bad voice, rather speak in a low tone
Advice to Young Ladies in 1830
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Established by Joseph Robins in 1824, The Ladies’ Pocket Magazine was one of few publications to cater for women of the Georgian era—a small, monthly magazine filled with stories, readers’ letters, etiquette guides, and fashion. In the first issue of 1830, sandwiched between a piece called “Effects of Beauty” and another titled “The Ladies’ Toilet”, was printed this list of “Advice to young ladies.”
ADVICE TO YOUNG LADIES
If you have blue eyes, you need not languish.
If black eyes, you need not leer.
If you have pretty feet, there is no occasion to wear short petticoats.
If you are doubtful as to that point, there can be no harm in letting them be long.
If you have good teeth, do not laugh for the purpose of shewing them.
If you have bad ones, do not laugh less than the occasion may justify.
If you have pretty hands and arms, there can be no objection to your playing on the harp, if you play well.
If they are disposed to be clumsy, work tapestry.
If you have a bad voice, rather speak in a low tone.
If you dance well, dance but seldom.
If you dance ill, never dance at all.
If you sing well, make no previous excuses.
If you sing indifferently, hesitate not a moment when you are asked, for few people are judges of singing, but every one is sensible of a desire to please.
If you would preserve beauty, rise early.
If you would preserve esteem, be gentle.
If you would obtain power, be condescending.
If you would live happily, endeavour to promote the happiness of others.