CRITICISMS on the lives of our neighbours are abundant enough, and some of them turn upon the lack of proportion their lives show--now undue devotion to business, now want of useful occupation, now absorption in a favourite pursuit, and so on. But while the art of living is thus recognized as a subject which concerns everyone, there is no deliberate study of it: haphazard thoughts occupy the place of rational conclusions. None try to estimate the relative values of ends--how much energy may fitly be expended in achieving this class of satisfactions, and how much in achieving that class. Choice is made without any pre-conception of the need for giving each kind of mental or bodily activity its share, and only its share, in the aggregate activity. The result is that all lives are more or less distorted--usually very much distorted.
This general remark is preliminary to a special remark. There is one pursuit which nearly all suppose may be carried on without limit--the pursuit of beauty; or rather, the pursuit of prettiness. Women