A woman may admit a lover to her toilette, when she is sure of the effect of her charms. It is like the artful confidence of a secret, one is certain will do one honour. When a woman suffers herself to be surprized at her toilette, it is as much as to say, “I have, as to my beauty, a clear conscience: it is all honestly my own: and I am the more sure of doing execution with it, for its not having the air of murder propense.”
But when it comes to that dismal time of its being a necessity to make a face, the dressing-room door is well bolted till the operation is over. There is no secret better kept by the women than that of the toilette: it is even better kept than that of their intrigues.
propense | prepense A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)