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



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VERB
NOUN
ADJECTIVE

Courtship Stage:

STARTING
NEGOTIATING
OUTCOME
ANY

Implied Readers:

WOMEN
MEN
BOTH



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Dictionary of Love
The Dictionary of Love
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To Love

In times of yore, signified an invincible inclination: at present it has quite another meaning, and often no meaning at all. There is as much difference between what we call Love, and what our fore-fathers called so, as between our dress and theirs; between our snug frocks and cut bobs, and their slashed doublets and natural hair. Every sublunary thing changes; but our manner is so easy and commodious, that it threatens a long duration.

Most of the present Love is what our blunt ancestors called by another very coarse name, or what is infinitely coarser yet, though unblushingly pronounced, Sordid Interest.

Tom Featherhead loves Miss Lightairs. That is to say, Tom is a coxcomb, whose glitter has dazzled the eyes of a silly frothy girl: he is what is called extremely well with her, and has the rare privilege of murdering his time in gallanting her Ranelagh, Vaux-hall, &c. charmed with which glorious reputation, he would not change it for a Marlborough's or Turenne's.

Goatly loves the innocent Sylvia. That is as much as to say, he is laying every scheme he can imagine, to add her to the lift of the wretched victims who have fallen a prey to his brutal appetites: whilst all her personal beauties, her inimitable bloom, her fine-turned shape, have been surveyed by him, with the same eye as Cannibals view their captives, of whom they design to make a meal.

When young Sharply says to the old liquorish Lady Wishfort, I love you, the true English of this is, “I am a younger born, unfortunately born under a star that gave me the soul of a prince, and the fortune of a beggar. No man had ever a stronger passion for pleasures and expence than I have: but I am ruined at play; I am over head and ears in debt. As you have then a fortune that may stop all my leaks, and set me on float, let us supply one another's wants.” And 'tis ten to one but he carries his point with the fond dotard, who never considers that she is making a bubble's bargain, for one of those few things which money can never purchase.


Omitted text:
Every sublunary thing changes; but our manner is so easy and commodious, that it threatens a long duration.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:
…charmed with which glorious renown, he would not change it…
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:

Goatly loves the innocent Sylvia. That is as much as to say, he is laying every scheme he can imagine, to add her to the lift of the wretched victims who have fallen a prey to his brutal appetites: whilst all her personal beauties, her inimitable bloom, her fine-turned shape, have been surveyed by him, with the same eye as Cannibals view their captives, of whom they design to make a meal.


A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:
To Love
A Dictionary of Love (1795)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Wish

I wish I could love you, in the mouth of a fair one, signifies, “I actually do love you.”

I wish I could hate you, signifies precisely the same as above.