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



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Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Adorer

Is a common term in the love-cant, but begins to be somewhat obsolete, from its being hackneyed out.

Chambermaids, milliners and sempstresses are very fond of adorers: and who can resist such an humble, pathetic strain as See at your feet your poor adorer dies?


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

To Adore

This sacred word is adopted into the love-language, and proves two things.

First, That the men are perfectly knowing, and acquainted with the vanity of women, who are apt to take themselves for little goddesses, or at least divine creatures.

The Second, That they are not sparing for any expressions they thing may make them lose the small share of sense their vanity may have left them.

I love: love did I say? I adore you! The true meaning of which fine speech is, “The secret of pleasing consists in flattering your self-love, at the expence of your understanding. I am straining hard to persuade you, that you have distracted my brain; not that it is so in the least; but, whilst I laugh at you in my sleeve, for your swallowing this stuff, I may gain wherewith to laugh at you in good earnest.”


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

Added text:
“…but, whilst I laugh at you in my sleeve, for you swallowing this stuff, I may gain wherewith to laugh at you in good earnest.∗” (∗A truth worth remembering.)
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  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)


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  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)


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Adventures

Adventures in gallantry being to lose much of their relish, by the want of their former seasoning, fears and dangers. Assignations are now so easily made, that a man must know little of the world, who thinks there is any need of a masquerade to make them at. It is just as insignificant, and as much out of use, as rope-ladders or long cloaks.


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Agreeable

A term often used for a modest cover of one's real sentiments, to a very ordinary woman, with too much sense not to suspect the sincerity of one, who should pretend to assure her seriously that he thought her handsome. Thus the saying, “Madam, I see no-body so agreeable as you,” means, “Since I have gone so far as to tell you that I loved you, I must look out for some reason to assign for it: Now, the quality of agreeable being one of those ideas of caprice purely arbitrary, a je-ne-sçai-quoi, that admits of no dangerous definition, it may serve till I have gathered impudence enough, or you are grown silly enough, for me to tell you you are handsome.”


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Alarms

Is one of those poetical words often employed, especially in sonnets, madrigals, odes, and the like productions of the small workers in poetry, where it chimes to charms, or arms; as strife to wife, pleasure to treasure, and other the like station'd rhimes. It seems to express the state of a heart agitated by desires and fears: but now, when one says, I feel the tenderest alarms; it only means, “You have doubtless heard it said, that love is never without anxious desire, founded upon an old-fashioned maxim, that this passion is a state of torment and disquietude, and very apt to take alarms at a shadow: you would then dislike too tranquil a lover; and since you must have find words to please you, what can be finer than these: I feel the tenderest alarms.” And no doubt the nymph must be very ill-natured if she does not employ herself instantly to calm them.


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Amusement

Love, Passion, are often terms used to cover what is no more than amusement. It is generally only used by way of confidence to intimate friends: as, I court such an one: I visit her: she is an amusement for me.


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Argus

Confident to Juno, who kept Iö changed into a cow, for being one of the mistresses to Jupiter. He had an hundred eyes, and yet could not acquit himself of his charge with honour. Mercury found out the means to lay them all asleep. His name has been since given to all who are set as spies over women.

When an husband assumes that character, it is not only piquing his wife in honour to a trial of skill, but makes a sauce of the highest taste for a gallant, who might himself go to sleep over his intrigue, without such a difficulty to enliven it.

One of the gallantest poets of antiquity employs a whole elegy, to engage his mistress's husband to clap an Argus or two upon her, without which he declares to him plainly, that he will not do his drudgery for him; for that, as it was, he might as well be her husband, as to go to bed to her with so little let or impediment.

Your cautious mamma's [sic] are very often the dupes of the Argusses in petticoats, they plant round their daughters dear, and who often call the enemy that would not perhaps think of them, instead of guarding their charges from him.


Modified text:
Your cautious mamma's are very often the dupes of the Argusses in petticoats, they place over their daughters dear, and who instead of being a guard, are often a snare to the young lady
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Beauty

Socrates called it a short-lived tyranny; Plato, the privilege of nature; Aristotle, one of the most precious gifts of nature; Theophrastus, a mute eloquence; Diogenes, the most forcible letter of recommendation; Carneades, a queen without soldiers; Theocritus, a serpent covered with flowers; Bion, a good that does not belong to the possessor, because it is impossible to give one's self beauty, or to preserve it. After this most scientific display of quotations, all bristled with Greek names, may be added the definition of a modern author, who calls it, a bait, that as often catches the fisher as the fish. The serpent took the beauty of Eve for his text, to cajole her to perdition, and succeeded. Now, has this method of that knowing-one not descended to posterity? insomuch that one of the best baits to catch a woman, is to persuade her that you are intimately persuaded of her beauty. Such is the powerful influence of this branch of flattery, that rarely does that woman refuse the man any thing, to whom she has been weak or vain enough to listen to his praises upon this chapter. On the other side, she never forgives those, who, she has reason to think, look on her as disagreeable, or ugly. In short, with women themselves, their first merit is that of beauty; which they would lay less stress upon, if they were to consider how short a time they have to enjoy it; and how long an one to be without it.

An author, without considering how arbitrary the idea of beauty is, has given the following detail of the capital points of it; in which every one will make what alteration his own taste may suggest to him.


Modified text:
After this most scientific display of quotations, all blazoned with Greek names
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:
…if they were to consider how short a time they have to enjoy it; and how long an one to be without it
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:
Agentleman,without considering how arbitrary…
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:


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


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Choice

The action of the mind, that determines it to one object sooner than to another. Admitting this definition, it follows,

1st, That in love, there is no such thing as choice, the mind not being a free agent enough; and passively receiving its impressions, without the power to reject them.

2dly, Supposing even a free-agency in the mind, it is yet liable to mistake grievously in its choice, especially when in an hurry to choose. All lovers have much the same air, equally submissive, equally complaisant, equally lavish of oaths of fidelity, and all formed upon the same model: so that the preference given to the happy man, is but too often the effect of some unaccountable fancy or circumstance. Caprice, then, and chance, choose a hundred times, at least, for once of judgment; so that choice is but seldom matter of vanity on either side.


Omitted text:
…is but too often the effect of some unaccountable fancy or circumstance.Caprice, then, and chance, choose a hundred times, at least, for once of judgment; so that choice is but seldom matter of vanity on either side.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:
First That in love…
A Dictionary of Love (1787)

Modified text:
Second Supposing even …
A Dictionary of Love (1787)


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  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.


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Desire

A wish of possessing the object beloved. A lover, without such a desire, is an imaginary being, and if even existing in nature, an insipid one.

Desires then are not only the lifehold of love, which is sure to die with them, but the very power of it. They mark out the lodging.


Omitted text:
Desires then are not only the lifehold of love, which is sure to die with them, but the very power of it. They mark out the lodging.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  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)


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  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.


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  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)


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Enchantment

A term much used in the white art-magic of love. An enchanting fair-one, &c. This word, like that of charms, irresistible attractions, &c. is founded on the principle, that praise always pleases; and that, however one may at first distrust these expressions, they are soon received as obliging truths. In general, however, it is a word of much more sound than sense.


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Engagement

Was formerly a word of serious import: at present it is but little respected; since lovers have found out the commodious expedient of having a number on their hands at once.

I am engaged, often means no more than a temporary put-off, without consequence to a future accommodation. Sometimes too it is only used as a whet to give a lover the pleasure of surmounting an obstacle, or to humour his vanity with a sacrifice.


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Eyes

Lovers praise the mouth, the teeth, the hair, the complexion, &c. of their mistresses; but theeyes have always a chief share of their compliments: it is upon their beauty they particularly insist. All that can be said of them, is not obscure to those who understand the signification of charms, attractions, &c. to which the reader is referred.


Omitted text:
All that can be said of them, is not obscure to those who understand the signification of charms, attractions, &c. to which the reader is referred.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  TOP

Fair

A fair beauty is rarely so lasting as a brown one. They are less lively, less animated; but generally they are more dazzling, more tender, more affecting, and pass for more susceptible of a constant passion. 'Tis a great question, yet undecided, in gallantry, which is the most amiable: but in this the taste is arbitrary; some love the fair, others the brown; and some both.


Adorer  Adore  Address  Advances  Adventures  Agreeable  Alarms  Amusement  Argus  Beauty  Choice  Danglers  Desire  Discreet  Disdainful  Dress  Enchantment  Engagement  Eyes  Fair  Fop  Fortune  Fribble  Friend  Gallant  Gallantry  General  Giddy  Gloat  Graces  Gradations  Homage  Hope  Hunting  Inclination  Indifferent  Instinct  Knights-Errant  Know  Languor  Lovely  Maggot  Maid  Maidenhead  Object  Obstacles  Ogle  Passion  Praise  Provocatives  Rakes  Reserve  Simpleton  Sympathy  Tattle  Wants  Wit  Women  Youth  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)


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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)


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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)


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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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Gallantry

Is often a synonymous word to Love, which see.

Nothing is commoner than gallantry without love; but there can be no love without gallantry: and the best master of it in the world, is love itself.


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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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Graces

The Heathens, who defied every thing that was amiable, acknowledged three divinities, under the names of Thalia, Aglaë, and Euphrosine, who presided over all the charms of the form and soul. Venus was never without them at her side: they were her premier ministers. Our poets, and our lovers, ever fond of fiction, have adopted these fine ideas: “The Graces accompany you every where.” This stale, thread-bare compliment, and a number of others, in which the Graces are most ungracefully dragged in, have the same signification as charms, beauty, attractions, &c. They have a romantic sound, and do very prettily in poetry.

Sometimes the word is used ironically: as, “Here she comes, with all her airs and graces.”


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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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Homage

A term used to express the offer of one's heart, of which the vanity of women is often the dupe, especially when they look on it as what they have a right to exact from all who see them; in which case they are often the jest, where they take themselves to be the admiration of those who employ this expression.


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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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Hunting

The love-chace [sic] has this in common with that sport, that a multiplicity of game distracts and spoils it: as dogs confounded between two equal burning heats, pass the hare first sprung, and come to a dead default.


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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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Indifferent

How indifferent you are? That is as much as to say, “I wonder you can have so little attention to my merit.”

A state of indifference is either an insipid or a foolish one. There are no pleasures for the indifferent, which is no balance for there being no pains for them. Love can less bear indifference than hatred.


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Instinct

The merest girls possess an instinct worth all the philosophy of the schools, and which may justly be called the wisdom of nature; since, by the pure light of that, they distinguish between the man and the fortune; between the beast and the trappings; whilst a sordid, money-ridden father shall think he does wonders for his daughter, in cramming unhappiness for life down her throat, in the shape of a coach and six, or an empty title; all the joys of which are poisoned by the wretch to whom they are tacked.


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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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To Know

In love, most persons, instead of desiring to know, before they fix their choice, choose first, and learn to know afterwards. When, as Davenant expresses it, “As knowledge is but sorrow's spy, it might be better not to know.”


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Languor

There is an air of languor, which, when a lover knows how to put on, is devilish contagious to a young unexperienced heart. Nothing so powerful to inspire the fair with a dangerous forgetfulness of themselves, and throw them into those tender reveries, in which a lover is sure to find his account.


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Lovely

See Amiable


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


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Maggot, Whim, Fancy

No man is without his maggot, either in life or love.


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Maid

Is a general term for women before they are married; and often no more than a nominal title. The condition of a Maid is a state of fears, wishes, subjection, and slavery. A maid is often one who is heartily tired of domestic regularity. Marriage is the great gate by which she gets out of her captivity, tho' some make their escape out of it through the sally-port of an intrigue.

Old maid is an atrociously abusive expression, generally employed to signify one who could get no-body to make her otherwise; and always means a repenting one.


Modified text:
A maid is often one who is heartily tired of being so.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:
Old maid is an atrociously abusive expression, generally employed to signify one who could get no-body to make her otherwise; and always means a repenting one.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


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Maidenhead

Vulgarly for Maidenhood.

An ideal bliss, of which most men are extremely fond, from the notion they entertain of a superior joy, in leading rather than in following. Prince Henry, the son of James the first, accounted for it, when he said, in relations to the celebrated Lady Essex, that he did not care to wear a glove which another had stretched.

There are whole nations, however, who underprize it so much as to make it an article of marriage, not to be obliged to perform the ceremony of it, and get some friends to rid them of the trouble on the wedding night. This only proves however, that this point, like many others, is only a matter of opinion.


Modified text:
This only proves however, that this point, like many others, is matter of opinion only
A Dictionary of Love (1777)

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


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Object

The object of my tenderness, often means, “One who serves me for amusement, or for one, upon whom I have the very worst intentions, under the colour of love.”


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Obstacles

They are the whets of love, the great incentives of a desire to overcome them, of which that passion has all the benefit. They have often created, often revived, often perpetuated, and never destroyed it. They are the zest of an intrigue, which would without them have perished with languor and wearisomeness. See Difficulties.


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To Ogle

To fix one's eyes amorously upon a woman, to catch hers, and strive to fix them. This is one of the first methods of attack practiced by fortune-hunters.


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


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Passion

See Love

It is the lively, continual desire of possessing its object. It is rarely a merit in the person affected by it. He is a passive machine, and suffers, not chooses, the impression by which he is actuated. If that was duly considered, there would be less violent complaints against folly, or inconstancy in Love. It is for those who are the aim of a love-passion, to weigh well the nature of it, and take their precautions accordingly.


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


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Praise

Flattery. Almost synonymous terms.

No woman loves a divided share of it. There is no pleasing two mistresses at a time with it. The women are yet greedier of praise than their lovers are lavish of it. Thus, when they say, “I am not the dupe of these compliments: I hate praise.” These are only traps for more of it; nor is there any danger of over-doing it with them. They all think, whatever they may pretend, like the Queen of Naples who said to her favourite minister, Tu m’aduli, si, ma tu mi piacci.
“Though I know you flatter me, still you please me.”
Too many women have been praised for their virtue, till they have been praised out of it. Next to interest, it is the love-engineer's instrument of attack.


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Provocatives

There are no provocatives like youth and beauty on one side, and a healthy constitution on the other. It is all over with a man, when he is to be indebted for his powers of enjoyment to Spanish-flies, or inflammatory food; when he is obliged to cry out with the worn-out letcher,


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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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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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A Simpleton

This is a term very often misapplied. The character of Wycherley's Country-Wife gives some idea of it; or at least of the danger of trusting one.

Some only feign a childish simplicity, a soft innocent ignorance, to take in the men, and act the simpleton, that they may catch simpletons. Some affect a silly demureness, that mama may not suspect them; others indeed, consistently enough with the term, blush at a double-entendre, by which they are simpletons enough to betray they are not such simpletons as not to have understood it.


Variant spelling:
mama | mamma A Dictionary of Love (1787)

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


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Sympathy

The weakest reasons are strong enough to determine a heart already disposed to love. This term then is employed with success to those young yeople who are properly prepared by the reading of romances.

It is, says an artful lover, a stroke sympathy that attaches me to you; something I cannot define, and feel nevertheless.

This signifies, “If I was to tell you the true reasons of my addressing you, they would but little affect you: perhaps too they would make against me. My best way is to have recourse to reason of sympathy, which are the more excellent, as they are susceptible of no explanation, and may be ranked in the class of the unaccountables, the nonsense of which is not the worst rhetoric in Love.”


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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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Wants

Women of little experience are apt to mistake the urgency of bodily wants, for the violences of a delicate passion; and sometimes are betrayed into this favourable construction by their own exigencies, which do not suffer them to stand examining motives too nicely.

In this case, the appetite is a coarse feeder, that does not stay to pick its bits, but takes the readiest, with a voraciousness that proves more the necessity than the pleasure of the meal. The hunger is all the sauce.


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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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Women

Women compose the world's necessary half. Their destination is to please, to be lovely, and to be loved. Nothing can compensate to them their failure in these points. They are the very constituent ones of their happiness.

The eastern nations, who confine them in a sort of prison they call seraglios, avoid none of the inconveniencies which their conversation may produce. They are themselves often the slaves of one particular woman who strikes their fancy, and they deprive themselves of the joys of a freedom of passion.

Those who do not love them are yet more blameable than those who love them too much.

There is no definition can reach them. Every man's experience must be his interpreter of them; but this may be said with great justice of them, that far the greatest part of them incite their lovers to all that is virtuous and honourable. No woman worth loving ever loved a coward or an abject villain. It is generally the fault of the men when a commerce with them becomes pernicious or dishonourable.


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Youth

All the eloquence of the Cicero's and Demosthenes' is not equal to the natural eloquence of youth. The glare of it blinds one to its faults. Its privileges are numberless. There is no atonement or compensation received in Love for the want of it. It is the greatest merit, and often the only one, that is required to succeed. No wonder then that women take such pains to preserve the appearance of it, long after the substance is departed. In vain: there is no retrieving, nor repairing it. There is no second bloom in nature, not procurable by art. The attempting it is a joke, and a stale one: yet women are fools enough to have the rage of giving their decline a new ridicule, by their for ever fruitless endeavors to conceal it.