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To soften that Hand, and^to Curl those lovely Locks! Whilst all the Graces attend as invisible Handmaids, to finish the Work of Elegance. And when the busy Scene is over, and he is decorated in every minute Circumstance with the most Perfect Concinnity; behold, with what a soft Air and sweet Complacency he presents himself to View, and like Horace's Barine coming from her Toilet,
Thus have I presented to the Reader's View, an Enumeration os" the several Qualities which constitute
A Pretty Gentleman.
From whence it is easy to collect the true Notion of Genuine Elegance; which, without any Apprehension os being disproved, I do not hesitate to define thus—
** Elegance is the Absence or Debilitation of "Masculine Strength and Vigour,—Or rather, "The Happy Metamorphosis,—Or, The Gen"tleman turned Lady; that is, Female Softness "adopted into the Breast of a Male, discovering "itself by outward Signs and' Tokens in Femi** nine Expressions, Accent, Voice, Air, Gesture, "and Looks. Or, as the French more clearly "define it, A je ne sfai guci."
And now I appeal to the Judgment of the Impartial, whether This be a Character, which deserves that Contempt and Ridicule some rude and undisciplined Spirits have endeavoured to throw
upon it? It is impossible that any serious Person can entertain such a Thought.
I call therefore upon the Wisdom of the Nation : I call upon the L—ds, K—ts, and B—s, now assembled in P 1, to interpose in this important Cause, this truly National Concern.
The.Question is, Whether we shall become more than Men, that is, Pretty Gentlemen; or worse than Brutes, /. e. Masculine, Robust 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 polish our Asperity, mollify us into gentle Obsequiousness, and give us a true Relish of al! the dulcet Elegancies of Life? I will speak without Reserve: Should not the Theatres be absolutely demolished? We have already in vain tried the lenient Measures of Restriction. Why then should we not now have Recourse to the last Remedy, and cut down the Tree, which, aster all our Pruning and Culture, still continues to produce poisonous Fruit?
The indulgent Reader, I dare fay, will approve the Method I prescribe. But perhaps so marry Difficulties may arise to his Imagination, that he will conclude it impracticable. 'Difficulties there are, no doubt; but One there h, which, if He can surmount, I myself will undertake to remove all the rest.
Here lies the grand Impediment! How can we expect the Favour of the Learned, or the Protection of the State, to cherish and support This Refinement, finement, when its most inveterate Enemy is the' very Man, who has always been the Standard os Tafle with the former; and U now raised to a Post, which gives him such an unhappy Influence in the latter? Unhappy indeed for the Sons of Elegance! For what can the most Sanguine expect from one, who has made it the Business of his Life, to bring into Repute the false Refinements of ancient Greece zvi&Rome? Will a Person of his Masculine Talents become the Patron of soft and dulcified Elegance? Will He give up that Attic Wit, which has gained him such high Applause, and made him the Delight os a misjudging World, to cultivate Qualities, in which he is not formed to excel? THE
What then remains, but that the Sons os Elegance wait with Patience (for they are too gentle to use any violent Methods) till the kind Fates shall remove this implacable Adverfary out of the World. And then, my foreboding Heart assures me, true Politeness will thrive and prosper, and spread her sweet mollifying Influences over the Land, till nothing shall be heard of or seen, but Softness and Complaifance, Prettiness and Elegance, Infantine Prattle, Lullaby Converfation, and gentle Love; and every well educated Male amongst us shall become »
Mqius fcf ptirum Vir j
A Prettv Gentleman.
An Essay on that Art which makes a Man happy in himself, and agreeable to others.
fie Ztiho intends? advise the young and gay,
first Printed in the Year 1734,. — :—