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



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Dictionary of Love
The Dictionary of Love
Keyword Search Abuse

To Abuse, encroach, misproceed

This term is often used in protestations, and generally tacked to a negative. No! I will never abuse your goodness. Or without the negation, in a more emphatic strain: I ever abuse your goodness! Heavens forbid! All this signifies, purely and simply, since you will have promises and protestations, to bring you to my ends, there they are for you.

Sometimes it is used in the following case, with great art and delicacy. Thus, when a lady grants a slight favor, as a kiss of her hand, perhaps even of her mouth, and the lover, who his never to be satisfied, proceeds on such encouragement to liberties that put decency in danger; the lady, naturally alarmed, chides the encroacher. I am too good-natured—I own, replies the sly lover, I abuse your good-nature; but, with so much love as I have, ’tis impossible to have discretion. This confession, that be abuses her goodness, carries with it such an air of candour, that it is hard not to forgive him.


Modified text:
This confession, that he abuses her goodness, carries with it such an air of candour, that she hardly knows how to condemn him.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Added text:
Thus, when a lady grants a slight favor, as a kiss of her hand, perhaps even of her mouth, and the lover, ∗who is never to be satisfied, proceeds on such encouragement to liberties that put decency in danger… (∗Girls! be sure however, that you keep such a fellow as this at a distance.)
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Torments

Nothing can equal my torments, &c. This signifies, “There is in women a perversity, that makes them delight in thinking their lovers suffer a great deal of pain for them; and to tell them so, is taking them by their weak side: as to the reality, that is out of the question: but, as they are fond of such expressions, why not play them upon them? they deserve it.”

And, in this conclusion, the men are not quite in the wrong. There are none deserve less quarter, or fair play, than the tribe of teazers, for teazing-sake.

    They wrong their trust, who beauty misemploy,
    And turn to torment what was meant a joy.
    Ye Fair! who have from heav'n this gift receiv'd,
    Abuse it not: nor, by false pride deceiv'd,
    Affect a pleasure in a lover's pain,
    But court the merit of a gentle reign.
    Then if a wretch there is so void of sense,
    As to mis-use the favours you dispense,
    On him employ, relentless, every art,
    To soften or subdue the rebel heart:
    At war, with those who dare your triumphs brave,
    Humble the proud:— but spare the prostrate slave.