Dictionary of Love
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JOHN CLELAND
RALPH GRIFFITHS
J. F. DU RADIER



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Dictionary of Love: Selections
The Dictionary of Love
Select GENDER: women

Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

To Address one's self

To whom do you think you are addressing yourself?

This phrase severely pronounced, may be employed by a lady to dash, or disconcert her lover, to inspire him with respect, or check his forwardness. It is as much to say,

“Let us see whether you are a novice or not? Whether you have duly taken your degrees of assurance? or whether you are not in your horn-book of gallantry?”

You address yourself to the wrong person, I assure you.

This little affectation means at bottom, that one is not sorry to have a lover, but that it is necessary to put on an air of dignity; to remind him of one's value; to give the spurs, whilst one reins in the bridle.

However, these finesses of love-rhetoric over-awe none but the fresh-water adventurers: and that terrible expression, To whom do you think you are addressing yourself? is oftener a trap for a compliment, than a denotation of anger.


Omitted text:
To Address
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Added text:
To whom do you think you are adressing yourself? is oftener a trap for a compliment, than a denotation of anger∗. (∗ A proper hint to all prudes!)
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Advances

When these are made on the woman's side, they either suppose an excessive superiority, or an excessive love.

A woman who has made advances, never remembers them without rage, unless she has reason to remember them with pleasure.


Added text:
When these are made on the woman's side, they either suppose an excessive superiority, or an excessive love. Neither very modest
A Dictionary of Love (1777)

Added text:
A woman who has made advances, never remembers them without rage, unless she has reason to remember them with pleasure. It is the man's part to make the first advance.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Age

When relative to years, is a term very seldom employed in love: for to talk of age to a young person is no part of praise. It is a cruel offence to a woman anything advanced in years; and even a middle-aged woman takes no delight in those chronological discussions.

It happens indeed sometimes (but very rarely indeed) that an antient coquette will venture to pronounce the word age; but then it is only to make a particular merit of it to herself. How can you like a person of my age? This is far from meaning, “I am too old; I know it; and am persuaded I have not the charms to captivate a young man.” What she would be at is to tell you, “If I have not all the bloom of youth, neither have I its failings: mellow fruit is not so ill-tasted.” Upon which, the cue of him who has his reasons for courting her, is to answer, “At your age! madam; at your age! you are but too charming! Where, without flattery, shall one see a nobler air, a fresher complexion; and then so much fine sense!” with a thousand other impertinences in support of an evident falsity.

The cruelty of Age is, to destroy beauty, at the same time that it leaves every desire standing, of which that beauty alone could procure the satisfaction.

The word age may also be employed to oblige a lady with a critical observation on the age of her rivals in beauty. See Mrs. Fillamott, in her rose-coloured gown, or pink ribbons; can it become one of her age to lay schemes for smiting?

AGE, in the love-measure of time, applied to absence or impatience, is often employed to signify a moment: but moments are ages, to a lover with his mistress, in a very different sense, before, or after enjoyment.


Modified text:
…for to talk of age to a young person is disgust. It is cruel offence to a woman already advanced in years;
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Added text:
… with a thousand other impertiences, in support of an evident falsity∗ (∗ False indeed!)
A Dictionary of Love (1777)

Omitted text:

The word age may also be employed to oblige a lady with a critical observation on the age of her rivals in beauty. See Mrs. Fillamott, in her rose-coloured gown, or pink ribbons; can it become one of her age to lay schemes for smiting?

AGE, in the love-measure of time, applied to absence or impatience, is often employed to signify a moment: but moments are ages, to a lover with his mistress, in a very different sense, before, or after enjoyment.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Calm

The state of an heart without a passion. Whatever praises women may give to this tranquility, it is a thousand times more insupportable to them, than all the anxieties of love. Whenever, then, they talk in this manner, I admire the calm of a disengaged heart, this means, “Custom has absolutely forbid our sex to complain of having no lovers: it is confessing too many disagreeable things, and almost equal to owning that one has no merit. What is to be done then? dissemble.”

After having once loved, a calm is yet more odious; and indifference, at best, an isipid, uncomfortable state. To get out of it, there is nothing like spreading one's sails to a fresh breeze, though it should blow from another quarter.


Omitted text:
After having once loved, a calm is yet more odious; and indifference, at best, an isipid, uncomfortable state. To get out of it, there is nothing like spreading one's sails to a fresh breeze, though it should blow from another quarter.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Danglers

An insipid tribe of triflers, with whom the women divert themselves, in perfect innocence, when they have nothing better to do. They are in a class of being beneath their monkeys, parrots and lap-dogs.


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Declaration of Love

A word that wants little or no definition. There are several sorts of declarations, and differently made by word of mouth; by writing, in verse or in prose. But where nothing is more intended than an occasional scheme of pleasure, there is none of more efficacy, or more compendious, than a purse, a bank bill or a settlement.

It happens sometimes, that a lady not thoroughly versed in the love-language, and the value of its terms, may mistake, for a declaration, what is no more than a compliment, especially from a man she likes. Prudes, and women not so handsome as one would wish, are apt to fall into this error; and are not always extremely pleased to find it one.


Added text:
Additional text: ∗Prudes, and women not so handsome as one would wish… (∗ A mistake not at all uncommon)
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Defence

There are several sorts of defences against the attacks of a lover. A cool, disdainful one is the best: a passionate one can only awe a novice; and rather emboldens an experienced engineer, who then proceeds safely upon that maxim, that so much emotion supposes heat; and that no man will ever be thoroughly well with his mistress, till he has done something to make her angry with him.

The weak defence of a fair-one who resists faintly, and coys it attractingly, is such a plain cue to a lover, that not to laugh at her resistance, would be insulting her, and deserving its conversion into a real one.

Too much depending on a future defence, has often ruinously led women into the danger of not dreading the attack. They flatter themselves with having sufficient forces to repel any bold invasion, never considering that reason is often a treacherous pilot, that deserts his charge in the midst of its danger; and that when one feels the want of a defence, it is often too late to begin it.


Added text:
Additional text: …and that when one feels the want of a defence, it is often too late to begin it∗. (∗Not more frequent than true.)
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Discreet

To be discreet, reserved in one's actions and words, is a virtue now rarely practiced. The lovers of former times, used to complain loudly of the rigours of their mistresses, and kept a religious silence as to their favours. That system is now reversed: Vanity makes them very sure to keep the secret of their refusal, and to publish with pleasure all the favours they receive. Sooner than burst with a retention of them, they would have recourse to the invention of Midas's barber. But lovers, who know full well that a character of indiscretion is a great obstacle to their successes with the Fair, take special care to quiet any scruple upon that head

I am discreet. The true meaning of this phrase is: “It is not my game that you should have any doubts of my discretion; this is then to remove that obstruction, as far as words may do it; reserving, however, to myself the relief of giving broad hints of the favours you shall have granted me; and I will recommend such particular secrecy to some of my friends, over a bottle, that you will not have much to fear upon that head.”


Omitted text:
I am discreet. The true meaning of this phrase is: “It is not my game that you should have any doubts of my discretion; this is then to remove that obstruction, as far as words may do it; reserving, however, to myself the relief of giving broad hints of the favours you shall have granted me; and I will recommend such particular secrecy to some of my friends, over a bottle, that you will not have much to fear upon that head.”
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Disdainful

A disdainful air may be supportable, and even become a beauty, on proper occasions for it: but it is terribly ridiculous when there is no call for it, or when employed as a grimace, by a woman who does not deserve the honour of a provocation to it.


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Dress

A general term, which comprehends all the ornaments employed to set off one's person. There is no giving all the points of it here: that would require a dictionary apart; and then it would be like hedging the cuckoo: for the fashions are so fleeting, and the terms so changeable, that before the impression was worked off, the old ones would be of no significance. It may however be remarked, that nothing is more studied, nor less understood, in general, than dress: most of its professors, in both sexes, being liable to such grievous mistakes in it, that the very points in it they affect the most, are precisely those that the most expose their defects, and render them the most ridiculous. A high mall, a birth-day, the side-boxes, assemblies, all subscribe thousands of examples in support of this observation. The wrong-drest and the over-drest, every where offend the eye, whilst it is a miracle to see one drest with that propriety in which elegance alone consists.

The women are however grosly deceived, if they think that diamonds, jewels, embroidery, impose on any, but such as are not worth imposing on. Others easily abstract from ornaments the real figure; and, in scorn of the attempted deception, reduce it perhaps beneath the value it might bear without them.

It is also vain to seek to modernize an antient face with paint, patches, washes, and the like. They are only a vain representation, or unlucky remembrances of what ought to be there. There is no plaistering can ever cover, or obliterate, the monumental inscription of wrinkles, graved by the hard hand of time.

The glare of jewels, especially, extorts an attention to a person, rather pointed out than embellished by them, for which the eyes are not very thankful, when thus forcibly drawn to fix on a disagreeable accompaniment.


Omitted text:
The glare of jewels, especially, extorts an attention to a person, rather pointed out than embellished by them, for which the eyes are not very thankful, when thus forcibly drawn to fix on a disagreeable accompaniment.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Eternal

There is no eternity in any sublunary thing, and least of all in love.

I will love you eternally: My flame will be eternal. Ridiculous phrases! which signify, “My passion will last as long as it will last.”

Note, that in the Love-kalendar, as moments are sometimes years, and years ages, it happens too, that ages become years, and years moments: thus, It is an eternity since I saw you, sometimes means, “I have not seen you these two days:” and “My love will be eternal,” often signifies, “It will last two days.”

Hyperboles are the familiar language of lovers, who are always in extremes; and too often “in extremes by change more fierce.”


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Fate, Destiny, Stars, &c.

Words of great help to young persons, who catch at every thing to cover or excuse their weakness. Medea is not the last, or only one, who made use of that word as a reason for doing a foolish thing. Many have, since her time, taken their fate or starts to task, for the faults of their inclination. Nothing so frequent as predestinarians in love.

How can a poor creature help her fate? This signifies that the fair-one is too resigned to the system of fatality, to pretend to stem the force of a passion that borrows the plea of it, and is hurried down the stream; whilst the term serves her to yield honourably, and makes a sort of decent figure in a letter or speech.


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Faults

The person one loves never has any. Either the lover does not see them, or is as much reconciled to them as to his own. If they offend him, he is so far from being a true lover, that he is scarce more than an acquaintance, and less than a friend.


Added text:
Either the lover does not see them, (blinded by Cupid's fillet) or is as much reconciled to them as to his own.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Favours

All that a mistress grants to her lover is called so.

They magnify or lessen the favours according to the exigence of the case: but, generally speaking, a lover magnifies small favours, and lessens great ones. Thus, when he pretends to exalt a trifling favour he has obtained, it is by way of insinuation how grateful he would be for greater ones, and thereby inspires the fair-one with a mind to try him with them.

When a lover lessens a great favour, all he says to that purpose signifies, “If I was to form to you too hight an image of the favour I am solliciting, you would think twice before you granted it me.”

The last favour is so called with great propriety; it being out of a woman's power, after that, to grant another; she then commences the person favoured, not favouring.


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

A Fop

Is one who has not the honour to be a coxcomb; there is not stuff enough in him to reach that character. He is extremely satisfied with his person; fancies every woman that sees him cannot help dying for him: and that he may give the poor creatures as much excuse for their fatal weakness for him as possible, (which by the bye is very good-natured) adds to his person one reason more for their liking it, in dressing irresistibly taudry, and keeps them withal in countenance, by his own example, in loving himself to distraction. He passes most of his time in ogling himself in a glass; priming his figure, and caressing his curls and toupee. He verifies that general maxim, that a thing that can do no harm, will never do much good: for, as no woman can fall to him, that is not as perfectly worthless as himself, of which the damage is not great, so may you safely defy him to make any woman happy, who deserves to be happy. Nor indeed is it in his power to marry, being properly speaking so married to himself, that it looks to him like cuckolding himself, to afford any love to any other but his own sweet person.


Modified text:
…so may you safely defy him to make any woman happy, who deserves to be happy. In short, whoever he may pretend to be in love with, he has very little for any object but his own sweet person.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:
A Fop
A Dictionary of Love (1795)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Fortune, A Man of Fortune

When a wise worldly-minded mother makes use of this expression, in an emphatic tone, to a daughter, whom she is going to sacrifice to a sordid consideration of interest and maintenance, it means, that the man is worth nothing but his fortune. It strictly implies, by the rule of never calling a man by an inferior title, when he has an higher one, that he is not a man of worth, of honour, of virtue, of fine sense, but merely a man of fortune; a man of chance, one who would not in short have been a man in any sense but as made such by fortune. A gambler may also, with great propriety, be called a man of fortune.


Modified text:
When an avaricious mother makes use of this expression…
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:
…that he is not a man of worth, of honour, of virtue, of fine sense, but merely a man of fortune ; a man of chance, one who would not in short have been a man in any sense but as made such by fortune. A gambler may also, with great propriety, be called a man of fortune.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Fribble

This word signifies one of those ambiguous animals, who are neither male nor female; disclaimed by his own sex, and the scorn of both. There is ever a silly insipid simper in their countenances. Without any of the good qualities of their own sex, they affect all the bad ones, all the impertinences and follies of the other; whilst what is no more than ridiculous, and sometimes even a grace in the women, is nauseous and shocking in them. A wretch of this no-species, loves mightily the company of the ladies, that he may come in for a share of the amusements that are going amongst them, and which are more to his taste than manly employments or exercise. He even endeavours to make himself necessary to them; combs their lap-dogs, fancies their ribbons, recommends the best scented powder, and loves to be consulted in the cut of their cap, their tea, and the placing of their china-baubles: helps them in their knotting, fringing, embroidering, or shell-work: understands pastry, preserving, pickling, and the like. They are as fond withal of scandal, and all the tittle-tattle of the tea-table, as the veriest woman. They are great critics of dress, and the assortment of colours; can tell which will suit a complexion, and which not. One of them can pronounce emphatically, that yellow does not become a fair one, that colour is not sufficiently contrasted to her skin. That, on the other hand, an olive-beauty does not agree with a brownish light grey, because of the too great opposition of this colour to that of her hair and eye-brows, which will therefore appear harsh: That a yellow, a lemon, a pale, or a straw-colour, should be avoided by the fair-complexioned; and the sky-blue, the light-green, or black, by the brown; with other decisions of the like importance. Nor is their own dress neglected: the muff, the ermin-facing, a cluster-ring, the stone-buckle, and now and then a patch, that on them does not always suppose a pimple, are the plague-spots, in which the folly of these less than butterflies breaks out. Even their swords hand at their sides garnished with a taudry sword-knot, purely for ornament, like bobs at a lady's ears. Some of them too have their own toilettes, and wash in three waters. One would think, in short, that these equivocal animals imitated the women, out of complaisance to them, that they might have the higher opinion of their own sex, from seeing that there were men who endeavoured to come as near it as possible. But so far are they from succeeding, that they disfigure the graces, caricature the faults, and have non of the virtues of that amiable sex.


Modified text:
…and loves to be consulted in the cut of their cap, the colour of their gowns and the placing of their china-baubles
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:
He is a great critic in dress…
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:
One of them can pronounce emphatically…
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:
…the stone-buckle, and now and then a patch, which does not always cover a pimple, are the tokens which ususally recommend these genius's to notice
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:
…that they might have the higher opinion of their own sex, from seeing that there were men who endeavoured to come as near it as possible
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Address  Advances  Age  Calm  Danglers  Declaration  Defence  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Eternal  Fate  Faults  Favours  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  General  Giddy  Gloat  Grant  Gradations  Happy  Honour  Hope  Husband  Inclination  Knights-Errant  Languish  Level  Nature  Obey  Rakes  Reputation  Reserve  Respect  Rigour  Sacrifice  Shame  Sick  Slave  Tattle  Toy  Transports  Union  Unjustice  vanity  Who  Wit  Yielding  TOP

Friend

This character, from a man to a lady, is often no other than a mask worn by a lover obliged to disguise himself, and who is the more to be feared, for his dissembling his designs, and watching the advantages of a critical moment. The women should admit no friend that may possibly become a lover. They love their danger who do not attend to this advice.


Omitted text:
The women should admit no friend that may possibly become a lover. They love their danger who do not attend to this advice.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Gallant

Is in plain English, a favoured lover.

A professed gallant is one who is master of the whole academy of Love: who is perfectly versed in the language and practice of that art. He abounds in sentimental expression, without having one grain of sentiment. They are stoics in love, neither moved by what they say or do. Cool observers of every emotion they excite in the hearts of the women they attack, their disorder is regulated, their transports concerted, their successes, murder propense. Perfect comedians, it is hard to know them but by fatal experience. The best guard against the danger of them, is not to suffer their approaches, and for a woman to dread the gallant in every lover who addresses her, till she puts him to the only test, that of an honourable engagement.


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General

A general lover is one who makes a profession of a passion he does not feel. He is a great dealer in those fulsome protestations, to which women must be fools indeed to give any credit, as there are none of them who have a tolerable face, or personal charms, that can escape them from him. They talk of love as indifferently as of the weather, and possess all the cant of it; but are the less dangerous, as they want that unction which the passion, when real, never fails to bestow. A woman of sense may feel, that what they say does not come from the heart: it has none of its warmth, and ought to have as little of its persuasion.


Omitted text:
He is a great dealer in those fulsome protestations, to which women must be fools indeed to give any credit, as there are none of them who have a tolerable face, or personal charms, that can escape them from him.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:
They talk of love as indifferently as of the weather…
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Giddy

He is a giddy young fellow, is not always said in a bad sense. It means sometimes, that such an one is capable of those happy airs of forgetting himself, and that respect, which is better lost than preserved on some occasions.


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To Gloat

To leer, or look liquorish upon a woman

It is a kind of goatish stare, chiefly used by superannuated letchers.


Omitted text:
Entry omitted. A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Grant

The signification of this word is restrained, or extended, according to the occasions, and the person who employs it.

At least, madam, grant me… means in petto, “There is no coming to my point but by degrees. Neglecting one step may set one back twenty: this slight favour I now sue for will bring on others. My play is to disguise the danger. I petition now, that I may get into a condition of giving laws hereafter.”

A lover resembles Sinon, the introducer of the Trojan horse: he puts on the air of a captive: an humble wretch who fears death, makes a moving speech: the enemy relents, pities his complaint, unties his hands, and grants, what not? Then, if he has but a lucky impudence to assist his treachery, the town before it is aware of its danger, admits the insidious conqueror, that will surprize it, whilst all its guards are asleep.


Omitted text:
To Grant
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Gradations

Nothing is more necessary in love, than the art of gradations. An enjoyment which has not had its due preparation of desire, and courtship, is generally an insipid one. Gradations are the art of cookery in love. A lover, to be thoroughly happy, should see the tender shades of his dawning desire give way by degrees to the meridian of fruition. There is no diversion in being up at the first hand. A thousand preliminary enjoyments should lead him to the last and grand one. Our sense love to be prepared. Retrench from architecture, the portico's, and avenues, which shew you a superb castle at a pleasing distance; take from operas those overtures that prelude so deliciously to them, and you destroy a great part of your pleasure. In love, those preludes are often more engaging, more delightful, than all that follows.


Omitted text:
Gradations are the art of cookery in love. A lover, to be thoroughly happy, should see the tender shades of his dawning desire give way by degrees to the meridian of fruition.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:
…take from operas those overtures that so delightfully precede them and you destroy a great part of your pleasure
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Happy

Term employed in different senses, and may be figuratively understood. Why will you not make me happy? This phrase, justly construed, not seldom signifies, “Why are you prudent enough not to make yourself unhappy, by believing me?”

How happy am I, now you tell me you love me? means,“You rid me of a great deal of plague I have had to bring you to my point: I have no further occasion for all the drudgery of courtship; you have happily relieved me: and I am henceforward to be on the free and easy footing with you.”


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Honour

In women, consists essentially in their chastity; nor has it so faithful a guardian as true love. A lover who deserves that name, so far from attempting to destroy it, becomes, even for his own sake, the protector of it. A regard to it is the true test of a real passion. Every design against it, the instant it is penetrated, is a certain sign of falshood, and unmasks the pretender to love, who thenceforward should be considered and treated as a capital enemy; a way-layer in ambush to rob one of the richest jewel a woman can possess. If she neglects so fair a warning as the first discover affords her, to stand on her guard, her loss should be on her own head. She will but with a very ill grace complain of a man's wronging her honour, when she herself has been false to it. No woman worth pitying was ever so suddenly surprized our of it, as not to have had sufficient notice of her danger; and she who has not dreaded it in time, may be supposed to have loved her fall.


Modified text:
She will with an ill grace complain of a man's despoiling of her honour…
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:
No woman worth pitying was ever so suddenly surprized our of it, as not to have had sufficient notice of her danger;and she who has not dreaded it in time, may be supposed to have had very little regard to her own virtue
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Hope

A giddy passion, fond of believing every thing that pleases it, be it ever so chimerical; has a great deal of imagination and no judgment. A lover who pretends to say he loves without hopes only means to throw a veil over his pretensions, that he may bring that mistress to his point, whom otherwise her modesty might have restrained. Wherever love is professed, a regard to the end of it, enjoyment, is ever understood. It is the hope of that, which is the true basis of the love-passion.


Omitted text:
Wherever love is professed, a regard to the end of it, enjoyment, is ever understood. It is the hope of that, which is the true basis of the love-passion.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Husband

What is a Husband? Hear a lady's definition, who composed a vocabulary to express the character of one, from her own experience, and which proves how copious our language is on that article. He is, she said, a snarling, crusty, sullen, testy, froward, cross, gruff, moody, crabbed, snappish, tart, splenetic, surly, brutish, fierce, dry, morose, waspish, currish, boorish, fretful, peevish, huffish, sulky, touchy, fractious, rugged, blustering, captious, ill-natured, rusty, churlish, growling, maundering, uppish, stern, grating, frumpish, humoursome, envious dog in a manger, who neither eats himself, not lets others eat.

Love has a strange spite at husbands, and is rarely very favourable to the definition of their character.


Omitted text:
He is, she said, a snarling, crusty, sullen, testy, froward, cross, gruff, moody, crabbed, snappish, tart, splenetic, surly, brutish, fierce, dry, morose, waspish, currish, boorish, fretful, peevish, huffish, sulky, touchy, fractious, rugged, blustering, captious, ill-natured, rusty, churlish, growling, maundering, uppish, stern, grating, frumpish, humoursome, envious dog in a manger, who neither eats himself, not lets others eat.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:
Love has a strange spite at husbands, and is rarely very favourable to the definition of their character.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Inclination

To have an inclination, is to declare one's self, openly or secretly, in favour of the person one loves; to take a bent towards him, like a tree to the water. When reason leans with it, it is even a virtue.


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Knights-Errant

This name was given to a set of hardy adventurers, whose profession was to run about the world in quest of broken bones, to redress wrongs done to widows, orphans, to the honour of ladies, or gentle damsels. One might as soon conceive the sun without light, as a knight-errant without love: not one of them but had his fair-one to invoke in all perilous occasions. The race of these has been long extinct. In their room we have a species of modern Knights-errant, whose institutes are very different. They are far from vagabonding it to Trebizond, or Cataya, in search of dangerous adventures. They stay at home contentedly. Their business is to promote or do wrongs: to deceive the damsels they do know, and scandalize those they do not. An orange-wench, a washer-woman, or a bagnio-hack, is the lady they invoke in their pressing occasions: the taverns, or piazzas, are the theatres of their exploits; and the coffee-houses, the place where they trumpet their Romances.


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Languish

Is a term of great significance in heroic love: it is the delicate effect of a pure flame, that consumes one agreeably: it is a dear and tender love-sickness, that makes one hate the thought of a cure, and secretly nourishes the disease at the bottom of the heart: and when it ventures a discovery of itself, the eyes, silence, a sigh that escapes one, involuntary tears, express it more pathetically than all the eloquence of words.

The reign of these heroic passions is pretty well over. The Celadons, and the Philanders, are now only to be found in soft pastorals, or pure and silly romances. To languish then has no longer the same signification that it has in Astrea, or in the mouth of a Cyrus, or Oroondates. At present it means a state of stupidity, or ignorance of the means of succeeding; as when a money'd cit addresses a fine lady, without bethinking himself of putting his hand to his purse; or a soft fop gives himself the air of languishing metaphorically, and ogles amorously a gay coquette, who laughs at his white hand, and his slimy figure.


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Level

Love levels every thing.

This is a shrewd persuasive turn, often employed by a lover of a superior rank to a mistress of an inferior one, to induce her to conceive chimerical hopes, and stun her reflections upon the consequences of the sly sap they serve him to carry on. Sometimes he joins to it the examples of some famous fools, who have thrown themselves away upon Pamelas, and winds up with some insidious praises of the beauty and merit of the person upon whom he is designing. This conclusion is generally very forcible: but before she determines, she would do well to consult upon the value of it, one of those numberless deserted damsels, who have been the dupes of their hopes from it.


Omitted text:
This is a shrewd persuasive turn, often employed by a lover of a superior rank to a mistress of an inferior one ,to induce her to conceive chimerical hopes, and stun her reflections upon the consequences of the sly sap they serve him to carry on.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Nature

Is one of those words, in which the eloquence of lovers shines with success. Nothing is more persuasively employed than the appeals made to it, against the rigid prescriptions of duty. Thus when a lover makes use of this trite argument: “Either nature is imperfect in itself, by giving us inclinations that the laws condemn, or the laws are justly accusable of too great severity, in condemning inclinations given us by nature.”

This profound sophistry means, “Since you have scruples, my game is to remove them. Reason may give itself what airs it pleases; but if you love me, nature will do the rest of my work for me.”


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Obey

Is a word never to be construed too literally. Thus when a lover says, “I look on it as my duty to obey you: your will is my law.” He means, “I treat you as a sovereign in order to make you my slave. I fob you with appearances, that I may obtain realities.”

The conduct of most lovers justifies this interpretation.

There are moments in which a woman would be very ill pleased with a blind submission, and an obedience without reserve. Any lover, novice enough on those occasions to dread the fair-one's displeasure, would infallibly incur it. It is misconstruing her intention to obey orders pronounced only for form's sake, and on which she would have just reason to complain, if you was [sic] to act as if you thought her in earnest.


Modified text:
…and on which she would have just reason to complain, if you were to act as if you thought her in earnest.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Added text:
…as if you thought her in earnest.

It is the only word so disgusting to the fair-one in the matrimonial service


A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Rakes

Of all the general maxims that seduce women, there is not one falser than that which recommends to them a reformed Rake. He is a being worn out, and unfit to proceed on so great a voyage as that of matrimony. Nature, in him, is drained to the very lees, both in sentiment and actual powers. His lavished vigour and youth have deserted him, before he has dreamed of founding a healthy progeny. A woman who ventures upon him is like one who would choose to put to sea in a shattered, leaky, worm-eaten vessel, that is sure to founder before half the voyage is over.


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Reputation

One of the great centinels upon female virtue.

Think of what your love exposes me to: Consider what may be said of us; signifies, “At least we must save appearances: cover our game, and throw dust in the eyes of the world.”

Thus in some women, reputation is but a crime, the more in them, since they owe it to the vice of hypocrisy.


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Reserve

Nothing gives so great a set-off to beauty, or raises its value so much as reserve, when unaffected, and owing to a just sense of one's dignity. A ∗philosopher of this age attributes to it the source of politeness, and the very essence of power in beauty. Hear him.

“Politeness of manners is the work of the women. They have opposed to the superior bodily strength of men, victorious arms, when by their reserve they taught us to acknowledge the empire of beauty: a natural advantage, greater than that of strength, but which supposes the art of managing it properly. For the ideas which different people have of beauty, are so singular, so opposed, that there is all reason to believe, that women have gained more by the art of making themselves desired, than even by this gift of nature, of which men judge so differently. They agree much more uniformly about the value of what is in fact the object of their desires, the price of which augments to them in proportion to the difficulties of obtaining possession of it. The women then were greatly the more beautiful, for respecting themselves enough to refuse the addresses of all who attacked them in any other way but that of sentiment; and from sentiment once introduced into this passion, the politeness in manners followed in course.”

(∗Buffon.)


Omitted text:
A philosopher ∗(∗ Buffon)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Respect

True love never goes without respect: and its counterfeit is often obliged to feign it, till an occasion serves to throw it out of the windows.

I have too much respect for you, in the mouth of a sly prostrate engineer, signifies, “I know better things than to hazard freedoms, prematurely, before the way is cleared for them.”

In the mouth of a novice, it means, “I have too much bashfulness.”

There are occasions, in which the plain English of it is, “I despise you too much to tell you that I love you.” And this is generally addressed to those figures made to inspire rather a prudential respect, than rude desires.

Cruel is the situation of a woman treated with a respect, for which she is forced to blush, by the consciousness of neither deserving, nor desiring it.


Omitted text:

In the mouth of a novice, it means, “I have too much bashfulness.”

There are occasions, in which the plain English of it is, “I despise you too much to tell you that I love you.” And this is generally addressed to those figures made to inspire rather a prudential respect, than rude desires.

Cruel is the situation of a woman treated with a respect, for which she is forced to blush, by the consciousness of neither deserving, nor desiring it.


A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Rigour

This word formerly signified a hardness of heart, and insensibility, on which there was no making any impression. At present, it is the art of irritating the passion of a lover, of preserving the longer one's power, and of raising one's value or price upon him.


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Sacrifice

I Sacrifice to you my heart, my liberty, &c. This sacrifice is generally of no great importance, and is accordingly accepted for what it is worth.

To sacrifice an old mistress to a new one. Nothing costs a gallant so little, or flatters a Fair-one so much. Thus,

“I had a passion for Lucinda: I had inspired her with an equal one for me; and she will be desperately vexed at finding I sacrifice her to you.”

This means, “I know there is nothing of which you women are fonder, than being enriched with the spoils of another.”

But the sacrifice is doubly welcome, when it is that of her dear friend, and her rival in beauty. Thus, You reproach me with this conquest? Well; I sacrifice it to you: Can you desire more?

This means,“ I will use you one day just as I use her at present. Your vanity shuts your eyes to this certain consequence: but when a sad experience shall make you open them, you will have no reason to complain. Had not my conduct given you sufficient warning?”


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Shame

Is one of their principal restraints, placed by nature and the world, to defend women by the apprehension of it, from doing silly things. A woman who knows her interest, will preserve at least the shadow of it, even in the instants she sends the substance of it a packing.

Are you not ashamed of yourself? said by a Fair-one, in certain circumstances, and with a certain tone, is a hint to proceed, which the shame would be not to understand.


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Sick, Sickness

I am sick with Love. Sure you cannot refuse to cure the pains you cause. — All this pretended sickness, and pain, never intrench [sic] an instant on the lover's pleasure. They never confine him to his room. He can, for all them, go to the plays, gardens, masquerades, and even to a bagnio. They are so little troublesome, that a lover would be sorry to be cured of this imaginary disorder, that amuses him so agreeably, and flatters so much the vanity of the women. In short, lover-sick and sham-sick are synonymous terms.

It were to be wished, that in the states of love there was no more real illness than of this sort; our youth would be less liable to disorders, that send them very seriously to consult the sons of Esculapius.


Modified text:
In short, love-sick and sham-sick are the same thing
A Dictionary of Love (1777)

Omitted text:
…are synonymous terms. It were to be wished, that in the states of love there was no more real illness than of this sort; our youth would be less liable to disorders, that send them very seriously to consult the sons of Esculapius.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)


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Slave

I am your slave; you use your slave too cruelly; signifies, “The more power I can make you believe you have over me, the more I shall gain over you.”


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Tattle

He is nothing but a Tattle, means, First, that there is no safety with him. Secondly, that he talks too much to be solid performer. This is almost the worst character a man can have with the women.


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To Toy

Love-toying, with delicacy and refinement, is the science of very few. It is the very sauce to enjoyment, and of course more relishing than the meat itself. It is the very girldle of Venus, which wives should, like Juno when she visited Jupiter on Mount Ida, know how to put on, upon proper occasions.


Omitted text:
To Toy
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Transports

I am no longer master of myself: I give way to my transports This said by a lover, whilst he throws himself at his mistress's feet, or tips her some other dangerous attitude, means, “Whatever impertinent caution your reason may suggest to you, I would have you rather believe my madness, &c.”

There is no entering into the infinite detail of all the effects, emotions, revolutions, that these affected transports may produce: be it sufficient to observe, that as they have a show of deliriousness, such as a violent fever exhibits, in a sick person, so when the fit is over, what has passed is as little remembered by the one as by the other.


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Union

Can you deny yourself the pleasure there is in the union of two hearts? means, “I am drawing you the luscious picture of Love, such as it was in times of yore, that I may disguise to you the present state of it, which might not serve my purposes so well.”


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Unjustice

To reproaches of unconstancy, the answer often is, You do me great unjustice. The meaning of which is, “It is true, I saunter, I flutter from beauty to beauty; but why should you find fault with me? it is the way of the world. Would you have me set up for a reformer of it? Pleasure is my property; and I have a right to take my own wherever I find it.”


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Vanity

Has brought more virtues to an untimely end, than any other vice. A woman, whose vanity is hurt by the apprehended desertion of a lover, to keep him, will very often take the very step which will bring on that desertion; and, in the loss of her virtue, rob her of all real foundation for vanity for the future.


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Who Knows but he may marry me at last?

A common term, or at least a common thought of girls, who have seen little of the world. It is the usual conclusion of those soliloquies which love, supported by vanity, engages them to make. A man of condition, rich, and struck with the charms of a young person, addresses her, and soon finds the way to her heart. He makes proposals to her, and promises in course. The young creature, full of the prejudices of a virtuous education, tho' poor, rejects them at first. The gallant then sets himself to work to dissipate her fears, and vanquish her scruples. Letters, presents, and especially some female intriguer, who talks all the while of honour, whilst she is labouring to undermine the principles of it, are employed to turn the girl's head, and induce her to accept a lodging well furnished, and a table well kept. The reflexions of the young creature disturb this happiness, she declares she had rather return to her needlework than live in infamy. Then the difficulties and inconveniences of marrying, at least for the present, are pleaded, and at length believed. The girl returns to her old seducing thought, Who knows but he may at last marry me? which had before prevailed, and tranquillizes herself, “I am adored, says she to herself; I am adorable. So much pains, so many rich presents, are sure proofs of my lover's sincerity: then he is so fine a gentleman: would he deceive me? Why should I despair of my fortune? Why should not I grace a coronet as well as another? Have I less charms than lady such an one, who jumped out of the street into a title and a coach?”

But soon the scene changes, and the illusion vanishes; when my Lord, satisfied with having taken with her the copy of a marriage, proceeds to finish an original one with some lady of fortune or rank equal to his own, or, what is worse, changes one copy for another. Then the Who Knows is converted to rants of madness and despair. Then succeed the exclamations of Traitor, Villain, and the like, till Madam, now wiser at her own expence, acquiesces in the ordinary course of things, and suppresses the Who Knows for ever.


Modified text:
…till Madam, now wiser at her own expence, is under the melancholy necessity to acquiesce in the ordinary course of things, and condems most heartily her own folly and credulity
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Wit

The wit of these times consists in a defiance of common-sense, a licentious impertinence. Its chief employment is to put off false sentiments for true ones: to carry off the most worthless proceedings with an air of triumph in them: to ruin women, to debauch the wife or sister of a bosom friend: to feign a love one never felt. In short, it makes many comedians in love, and not one true lover.

The primitive acceptation of this term was an honourable one. A wit was formerly a character of worth and solidity. It supposed a refined, shining understanding: one who had the courage to think before he spoke or wrote: who stuck to the standard of reason and propriety. But this was too grave a character to maintain long its estimation. Such as yet adhere to it, are called, in derision, Philosophers, and are very little valued by the men, and not at all by the women, who look on them as odd, sober, insipid personages.

Opposed to these is another species of wits, who are now in high reign. Every thing with them is lively, sparkling and frothy. These are the idols of the women, and are by them preferred to all except to moneyed men, whose substantial eloquence out-cuts even the powerful charms of their nonsense.


Modified text:
…to pretend a love that was never felt
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Yielding

The great art of yielding consists in studying well before-hand the time, place, person, and above all, the consequences.