Can you disbelieve my tears? in the mouth of the Fair, signifies, “Tears are the eloquence of our sex; they move even the most insensible; can you then be more obdurate than others?”
This is a snare from which it is hard for a lover to get loose: for the women have an admirable talent at shedding of tears. The Spaniards have a proverb, Lagrimas das mugeres valin mucho, y cuestan poco. The tears of women avail them much, and cost them little.
When men employ tears, they have a great pathos. Some, however, have them at command, in which case they mean, “Since words alone will not do, perhaps tears may take you by the weak side of compassion. No actor could play his part better than I am now doing.”
Note, that this recourse to tears is seldom used: First, because the cruelty that extorts them is now-a-days is pretty much out of fashion. Secondly, they favour too much of the whining lover, which is but an insipid ridiculous character. A point of love is now oftener carried by laughing a woman out of her virtue, than by crying her eyes out of it.