Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/93

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their train. A physician distinguished by practical knowledge of the Protean forms of insanity, asserted, that he gained many patients from that cause. Another medical gentleman of eminence, led by philanthropy, to investigate the subject of tight-lacing, has assured the public, that multitudes annually die, by the severe discipline of busk and corset. His theory is sustained by collateral proof, and illustrated by dissections.

It is not sufficient, that we mothers, protect our younger daughters, while more immediately under our authority, from such hurtful practices. We should follow them, until a principle is formed, by which they can protect themselves, against the tyranny of fashion. It is true, that no young lady acknowledges herself to be laced too tight. Habits that shun the light, and shelter themselves in subterfuge, are ever the most difficult to eradicate. A part of the energy which is essential to their reformation, must be expended in hunting them from their hiding-places. Though the sufferer from tight-lacing will not [78] own herself to be uncomfortable, the laborious respiration, the suffused countenance, the constrained movement, perhaps, the curved spine, bring different testimony.

But in these days of diffused knowledge, of heightened education, is it possible that any female can put in jeopardy, the enjoyment of health, even the duration of existence, for a circumstance of