Nonfiction > Henry Craik, ed. > English Prose > Vol. IV. Eighteenth Century
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Henry Craik, ed.  English Prose.  1916.
Vol. IV. Eighteenth Century
 
The Marriage Market
By Hannah More (1745–1833)
 
From Cælebs

AFTER spending the day at Mrs. Fentham’s, I went to sup with my friends in Cavendish Square. Lady Belfield was impatient for my history of the dinner. But Sir John said, laughing, “You shall not say a word, Charles—I can tell how it was as exactly as if I had been there. Charlotte who had the best voice, was brought out to sing, but was placed a little behind, as her person is not quite perfect; Maria, who is the most picturesque figure, was put to attitudinise at the harp, arrayed in the costume, and assuming the fascinating graces of Marmion’s Lady Heron;
        “Fair was her rounded arm, as o’er
The strings her fingers flew.”
  1
  Then, Charles, was the moment of peril! then, according to your favourite Milton’s most incongruous image,
        “You took in sounds that might create a soul
Under the ribs of death.”
  2
  “For fear, however, that your heart of adamant should hold out against all these perilous assaults, its vulnerability was tried in other quarters. The Titian would naturally lead to Lavinia’s drawings. A beautiful sketch of the lakes would be produced, with a gentle intimation, what a sweet place Westmoreland must be to live in! When you had exhausted all proper raptures on the art and on the artist, it would be recollected, that as Westmoreland was so near Scotland, you would naturally be fond of a reel—the reel, of course, succeeded.” Then, putting himself into an attitude, and speaking theatrically, he continued
                            ‘Then universal Pan
Knit with the graces and the hours in dance.
Oh! no, I forget, universal Pan could not join—but he could admire. Then all the perfections of all the nymphs burst on you in full blaze. Such a concentration of attractions you never could resist! You are but a man, and now, doubtless, a lost man.”
  3
 
 
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