There are occasions in which this method succeeds, when fear and awe are ridiculous; as every thing is that is mis-timed or mis-placed.
Machiavel, the prince of politicians, gives the lover a cue in his lesson to them. “It is better, says he, to sin through too much vivacity, than too much timidity: Fortune is a woman, and requires a brisk attack. She grants victory oftener to rash, impetuous characters, than to the cold and circumspect. Hence it is, that this goddess, like women, (N.B. His whole comparison turns upon this principle) is more favourable to the young, because they have more fire, and daring, than those of a more advanced age.”
It is also generally kindly taken by the women, that a man should afford them the excuse of saying, “I could not help it. I was surprized.” Thus, a well-timed agreeable violence may save at once their honour and their delicacy.
The Fair will forgive the detail of these maxims, for the sake of the instruction they convey of their danger, that they may avoid the application.