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Forty Modern Fables, by George Ade, [1901], at

The Fable of Woman's True Friend & The Hopeful Antique

    THE Beauty Doctor sat in her Pink Reception Room hoping  that she resembled her Lithographs. Her Income was a Dollar every time he took a Full Breath. She got it by selling Freckle Food and a Preparation for getting rid of Moles, called Moline. Her hot Specialty was to Calcimine the Has-Beens and feed them a little Ginger and send them into the Arena looking like Vassar Girls. It did not take her long to put an Extension on an Eye-Brow, and she could provide a Blush for those who had been going to Card Parties so long that they had forgotten how to Blush. When she got after a Wild Hair the Hair simply threw up both Hands and quit. In a little Folder entitled "How to Fool Everybody except those who live in the Same House," she had proved that there was no Reason why a Girl of 60 should not look 19 if she put on enough Shellac and kept out of the Light.

    The Beauty Doctor had seen many a Derelict float in for a new Coat of Armor Plate, but the Nobody's Darling that wafted in this Day established a Record. She was something like Poultry. That is, if she carried any Adipose, it did not show in her Face or Feet. And she would n't have torn under the Wing. She had a Bird's-Eye Maple Complexion and wore one of these Gowns that you get by measuring yourself with a String and sending Two Dollars. Without saying anything in Disparagement of her Private Character or denying that she may have been kind to her Relations, it may be added that she resembled a Daily Hint from the Short Timber.

    "I saw your Card in the Bee-Keepers' Bazaar, and I have decided to back in for a few Repairs," said the Visitor. "If you can build me a Set of Curves the same as I see in the Cigarette Pictures and cause my Hair to Bush out and hang to the Belt Line the same as it used to in 1882, and give me some perfumed Dope that will restore a Peaches and Cream Complexion on or before May 1st, I will do the Generous Thing by you and pay Seven Dollars."

    The Beauty Doctor seldom took the Count, but this was one of the Times. "My Private Secretary will take charge of your Case," she said faintly, and then she went into another Apartment and lay down.

    The Private Secretary was the Last Resort.

    He had no Conscience. For two seasons he had been a Cloak Salesman. "Surely you have not come here for Treatment," he said, smiling at the Caller. "You have the Shape that they are raving about in Paree this Spring, and we could not improve your general Tint no matter how many Coats we used. The quiet and unobtrusive Elegance of your Get-Up, combined with what Nature has so generously parcelled out to you, makes it unnecessary to attempt any Alterations. All that you need to do is to retain intact your present Category of Superlative Charms. This you can manage by a careful Perusal of our Book: 'How to stay Pretty.' It comes to Ten Louies."

    So she had the Volume wrapped up and went away tickled.

MORAL: The only Ones who need Patching are those who Think they need it.

Next: The Fable of This Year's St. George and The 800 Microscopic Dragons