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INTENDED TO ILLUSTRATE THE HISTORY AND PROGRESS OF AN ART

ENNOBLED BY HER MAJESTY'S PRACTICE, AND BY HER EXAMPLE

RECOMMENDED TO THE

WOMEN OF ENGLAND,

IS,

BY HER MAJESTY'S MOST GRACIOUS PERMISSION,

INSCRIBED,

WITH THE UTMOST RESPECT,

BY HER MAJESTY'S MOST GRATEFUL

AND MOST OBEDIENT SERVANT,

THE AUTHORESS.

PREFACE.

If there be one mechanical art of more universal application than all others, and therefore of more universal interest, it is that which is practised with the NEEDLE. From the stateliest denizen of the proudest palace, to the humblest dweller in the poorest cottage, all more or less ply the busy needle ; from the crying infant of a span long and an hour's life, to the silent tenant of “ the narrow house,” all need its practical services.

Yet have the NEEDLE and its beautiful and useful creations hitherto remained without their due meed of praise and record, either in sober prose or sounding rhyme,—while their glittering antithesis, the scathing and destroying sword, has been the theme of admiring and exulting record, without limit and without end !

The progress of real civilization is rapidly putting an end to this false prestige in favour of the “Destructive” weapon, and as rapidly raising the

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