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Sweet-breads, or a Leg of Lamb, and now and then Pigs-petitoes, are their higheft Indulgence. But the ufual Food is Cheefe-cakes, White-pot, Tanzeys, and Flommery. And can it be thought that this abftemious Reftriftion is a proper Subject of Raillery, when a certain celebrated Writer, amidft the Praifes he beftows on his noble Patron, mentions this as his finifhing Excellence; "That he lived upon Panada "and Water-gruel [c]." I mention this, becaufe it is the Obfervation of one who never fhewed any Favour to Modern Elegance.
As to Wine, it is abfolutely their Averfion. And indeed, fo Delicate is their Frame, that even the Moderate Indulgences of the Fair would ill-agree with thefe more tender Males. "The Fir/I Glafs, "/aid a Pretty French Author, I may drink for my"felf; a Second for my Friend; but if a Third, it is "for my Enemy." Our Youths feldom go fo far as a Second; and whenever That happens, 'tis fure to be followed with bitter Reflexions. "What do you "think? (faid Umbratilis to Lord Molly.) I was "the moft abominable Rake laft Night! Do you "know? I drank Twt Glafles of Claret after my "Flommery.
"Oh fie! you naughty Child! what a Paw "Trick was that I as I hope for Mercy, you de"ferve to be foundly Wh—t, fo you do."
Two Glafles only! No more! And yet merited iuch a rigorous Animadverfion. But, perhaps, even
[c] MMdlcton't Lif? of Ciccn, Dedication.
that that fmall Quantity might be too much for the Infah-' tineConftitution; to which'Nature points out a more fuitable Liquor, of a- Soft and Delicious Kind, emulg-' ed from the falutiferous Cow, or the thin Juices of' the Gentle /(/}; the Temperament of whofe Fluids is productive of a correfpdndent Temperament in the • Perfon, who accuftoms himfelf to thefe affimilatirig
I have already detained the Reader fo long, that I (hall not trefpafs upon his Patience, by giving a Detail of the numerous Artifices, which are exhibited in the important Hours that are employed in decorating their Perfons. Were you to behold NarciJJiis at his Toilet, how would you be charmed with the Order and Difpbfition! Did you view this lovely Youth whilft he takes his exterior Form into a moft exact Adjuftment, you muft ftand amazed at all the Pretty Wonders of his Art. What Pains! What Care! What Study! What Add reft! To arch that Eye-brow! To foften that Hand, and to Curl thofe lovely Locks! Whilft all the Graces attend as invifible Handmaids, to finifh the Work of Elegance. And when the bufy Scene is over, and he is decorated in every minute Circumftance with the moft Perfect Concinnity; behold, with what a foft Air and fweet Complacency he prefents himfelf to View, and like Horace's Barine coming from her Toilet,
Thus have I preferred to the Reader's View, an
Enumeration of the feveral Qualities which conftitute t,i» .,j •
A Pretty Gentleman.
From whence it is eafy to collect the true Notion of Genuine Elegance; which, without any Apprehenfion of being difproved, I do not hefitate to define thus — * •
"Elegance is the Abfence or Debilitation of Maf"cullne Strength and Vigor,—Or rather, The Happy "Metamorphofis,—Or, The Gentleman turned La"dy; that is, Female Softnefs adopted into the "Breaft of a Male, difcovering itfelf by outward "Signs and Tokens in Feminine Expreffions, Ac"cent, Voice, Air, Gefture, and Loofcs. Or, as the "French more clearly define it, A je ne ffai quoi"
And now I appeal to the Judgment of the Impartial, whether This be a Character, which deferveg that Contempt and Ridicule fome rude and undifciplined Spirits have endeavoured to throw upon it? It is impouible that any ferious Perfon can entertain fuch a Thought.
I call therefore upon the Wifdom of the Nation: I call upon the L—ds, K—ts, and B—s, now af
fembled in P 1, to interpofe in this important
Caufe, this truly National Concern.
The Queftion is, Whether we fhall become more than Meny that is, Pretty Gentlemen; or worfe than
Brutes* Brutes, /. e. Mafculine, Robuft Creatures with unfoftened Manners. The latter will infallibly be the Cafe, if an effectual Stop be not put to that licentious Raillery, which would laugh out of Countenance the generous Endeavours of a Race of virtuous Youths, to polifh our Afperity, mollify us into gentle Obfequioufnefs, and give us a true Relifh of all the dulcet Elegancies of Life? I Will fpeak without Referve: Should not the Theatres be abfolutely denulijhed? We have already in vain tried the lenient Meafures of Reftridtion. Why then mould we not now have Recourfe to the laft Remedy, and cut down the Tree, which, after all our Pruning and Culture, ftiH continues to produce poifonous Fruit?
The indulgent Reader, I dafe fay, will approve the Method I prefcribe. But perhaps fo many Difficulties may arife to his Imagination, that he will con-1 elude it impracticable.
Difficulties there are, no doubt; but One there is, which, if He can furmount, I myfelf will undertake to remove all the reft.
Here lies the grand Impediment! How can we expect the Favour of the Learned, or the Protection of the State, to cheiifh and fupport This Refinement, when its moft inveterate Enemy is the very Man, Who1 has always been, the Standard of Tajle with the former; and is now raifed to a Poft, which gives him fuch an unhappy Influence in the latter? Unhappy indeed for the Sons of Elegance! For what can the moft Sanguine expect from one, who has made it the" 4 Bufinefs Bufinefs of his Life, to bring into Repute the falfe Refinements of ancient Greece and Rome? Will a Perfon of his Mafcullne Talents become the Patron of foft and dulcified Elegance? Will He give up that Attic Wit, which has gained him fuch high Applaufe, and made him the Delight of a mif-judging World, to cultivate Qualities, in which he is not formed to excel?
What then remains, but that the Sons of Elegance Wait with Patience (for they are too gentle to ufe any violent Methods) till the kind Fates mall remove this implacable Adverfary out of the World. And then, my foreboding Heart affures me, true Politenefs will thrive and profper, and fpread her fweet mollifying Influences over the Land, till nothing fhall be heard of or feen, but Softnefs and Complaifance, Prettinefs and Elegance, Infantine Prattle, Lullaby Converfation, and gentle Love; and every v/ell educated Male amongft us fhall become
Mollis & parum Vir;
- that is,