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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 Age

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)


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)