“In the walk of ladies, the step ought not in general to exceed the length of the foot; and the pace should be neither too slow nor too quick, but natural and tranquil, without giving the appearance of difficulty in advancing, and active, without the appearance of being in a hurry.
Nothing can be more ridiculous than a little woman, who takes innumerable minute steps with great rapidity, to get on with greater speed, except it be a tall woman, who throws out long legs as though she would dispute the road with horses.”
This interesting and very helpful advice is taken from Exercises For Ladies Calculated to Preserve & Improve Beauty by Donald Walker. We were reminded of this small gem by our colleague’s post on Scientific Self Defense. The two volumes sit close by each other in the fabulously rich Mercantile stacks. Written in 1837, the profusely illustrated Exercise for Ladies lays out a sort of Jacksonian tai ch’i and supplements that regimen with tons of useful scientific and physiological information.
How forward thinking the Young Men of the Young Men’s Mercantile Library must have been to have acquired such useful knowledge for the Young Women in their lives.
Readers who find this book helpful may also want to spend some time in the Library’s nineteenth century golf advice area. Nobody understands the complexities of gutta percha better than the Mercantile Librarians.