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a web of many textures

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Page 303


An immense business is done merely in preparing
ornaments for the person, and many people make up
dismal faces as they mention personal ornaments among
the frivolities of life. Used according to the dictates
of taste and judgment, they greatly enhance personal
attraction; but, when used merely for the sake of display,
they take from the effect of the personal, and
become merely a pecuniary consideration, — a glittering
bait to tempt some covetous gudgeon, or to drive
to despair some rival, whose diamond mine has not
yielded so prolifically. A correct taste sees in the
simpler adornment more grace than in the profuse, and
never exceeds the propriety of decoration; and, though
her jewel-box sparkle as richly as Golconda with diamonds,
she who possesses this taste will never endanger
the effect of beauty, if simplicity is its best adornment,
to display a fortune in gems that a princess might covet.
The vulgar shine in the ostentation of decoration, —
they blaze in the quantity of magnificence, like a decoration
of a temple for a fête-day by one who believes
that in the amount of bunting and Chinese lanterns is
the summum bonum of decorative art.