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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Johnson on Masquerade:

"Behold, Flirtilla, at thy feet, a man grown gray in the study of those
noble arts by which right and wrong may be confounded; by which reason may
be blinded, when we have a mind to escape from her inspection; and caprice
and appetite insated in uncontrolled command and boundless dominion? Such
a casuist may surely engage, with certainty of success, in vindication of
an entertainment, which in an instant, gives confidence to the timorous,
and kindles ardour in the cold; an entertainment where the vigilance of
jealousy has so often been eluded, and the virgin is set free from the
necessity of languishing in silence; where all the outworks of chastity
are at once demolished; where the heart is laid open without a blush;
where bashfulness may survive virtue, and no wish is crushed under the
frown of modesty."