THE DELSARTE SYSTEM 119
tumes for me, but had them cut and made under his own supervision. They were decried at first, as new things generally are, but in a short time even "old-stagers" voted them both beautiful and effective. There was a particular pleasure in merely donning the simple and flowing draperies. Heels and wigs were given up with alacrity to obtain the desired effect, and in freeing one's self from the iron grip of stays (a Greek dress cannot be worn well with them), the figure became immeasurably more supple and graceful; for, even when not laced tightly, their stiffness gives a wooden, dead look to the torso, which is the mainspring of easy movement.
My attention had been called some time before to the Delsarte system. Always on the alert for improvement, I determined to study it. As far as mechanical exercises were concerned, it seemed
to me perfect, for it overlooks no muscle or ten-*
don of the face or body, and gives strength, suppleness, and control over them all. The rest of the system I afterwards found it best to discard. One of its weak points is the theory that outward expression and movement awaken and control emotions; that it is only necessary to place the body and fix the muscles of the face in certain