And Alexis, in the drama entitled Isostasium, thus describes the equipment of a courtesan, and the artifices which some women use to make themselves up—
For, first of all, to earn themselves much gain,
And better to plunder all the neighbouring men,
They use a heap of adventitious aids—
They plot to take in every one. And when,
By subtle artifice, they've made some money,
They enlist fresh girls, and add recruits, who ne'er
Have tried the trade, unto their cunning troop,
And drill them so that they are very soon
[p. 909] Different in manners, and in look, and semblance
From all they were before. Suppose one's short—
They put cork soles within the heels of her shoes:
Is any one too tall—she wears a slipper
Of thinnest substance, and, with head depress'd
Between the shoulders, walks the public streets,
And so takes off from her superfluous height.
Is any one too lean about the flank—
They hoop her with a bustle, so that all
Who see her marvel at her fair proportions.
Has any one too prominent a stomach—
They crown it with false breasts, such as perchance
At times you may in comic actors see;
And what is still too prominent, they force
Back, ramming it as if with scaffolding.
Has any one red eyebrows—those they smear
With soot. Has any one a dark complexion—
White-lead will that correct. This girl's too fair—
They rub her well with rich vermilion.
Is she a splendid figure—then her charms
Are shown in naked beauty to the purchaser.
Has she good teeth-then she is forced to laugh,
That all the bystanders may see her mouth,
How beautiful it is; and if she be
But ill-inclined to laugh, then she is kept
Close within doors whole days, and all the things
Which cooks keep by them when they sell goats' heads,
Such as a stick of myrrh, she's forced to keep
Between her lips, till they have learnt the shape
Of the required grin. And by such arts
They make their charms and persons up for market.