BOOK I. CONTAINING AS MUCH OF THE BIRTH OF THE FOUNDLING AS IS NECESSARY OR PROPER TO ACQUAINT THE READER WITH IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS HISTORY.
11. Chapter xi. Containing many rules, and some examples...
Containing many rules, and some examples, concerning falling in love:
descriptions of beauty, and other more prudential inducements to
It hath been observed, by wise men or women, I forget which, that all
persons are doomed to be in love once in their lives. No particular
season is, as I remember, assigned for this; but the age at which Miss
Bridget was arrived, seems to me as proper a period as any to be fixed
on for this purpose: it often, indeed, happens much earlier; but when
it doth not, I have observed it seldom or never fails about this time.
Moreover, we may remark that at this season love is of a more serious
and steady nature than what sometimes shows itself in the younger
parts of life. The love of girls is uncertain, capricious, and so
foolish that we cannot always discover what the young lady would be
at; nay, it may almost be doubted whether she always knows this
Now we are never at a loss to discern this in women about forty; for
as such grave, serious, and experienced ladies well know their own
meaning, so it is always very easy for a man of the least sagacity to
discover it with the utmost certainty.
Miss Bridget is an example of all these observations. She had not been
many times in the captain's company before she was seized with this
passion. Nor did she go pining and moping about the house, like a
puny, foolish girl, ignorant of her distemper: she felt, she knew, and
she enjoyed, the pleasing sensation, of which, as she was certain it
was not only innocent but laudable, she was neither afraid nor
And to say the truth, there is, in all points, great difference
between the reasonable passion which women at this age conceive
towards men, and the idle and childish liking of a girl to a boy,
which is often fixed on the outside only, and on things of little
value and no duration; as on cherry-cheeks, small, lily-white hands,
sloe-black eyes, flowing locks, downy chins, dapper shapes; nay,
sometimes on charms more worthless than these, and less the party's
own; such are the outward ornaments of the person, for which men are
beholden to the taylor, the laceman, the periwig-maker, the hatter,
and the milliner, and not to nature. Such a passion girls may well be
ashamed, as they generally are, to own either to themselves or others.