"She addressed herself to him with a familiar air, observing, that she had heard much of his great knowledge, and was come to be a witness of his art, which she desired him to display, in declaring what he knew to be her ruling passion."
— Smollett, Tobias (1721-1777)
Cadwallader, who was no stranger to her disposition, assumed the pen without hesitation, and furnished her with an answer, importing, that the love of money predominated, and scandal possessed the next place in her heart. Far from being offended at his freedom, she commended his frankness with a smile; and, satisfied of his uncommon talents, expressed a desire of being better acquainted with his person: nay, she began to catechise him, upon the private history of divers great families, in which he happened to be well versed; and he, in a mysterious manner, dropt such artful hints of his knowledge, that she was amazed at his capacity, and actually asked if his art was communicable. The conjurer replied in the affirmative; but, at the same time, gave her to understand, that it was attainable by those only who were pure and undefiled in point of chastity and honour; or such as, by a long course of penitence, had weaned themselves from all attachments to the flesh. She not only disapproved, but seemed to doubt the truth of this assertion; telling him, with a look of disdain, that his art was not worth having, if one could not use it for the benefit of one's pleasure: she had even penetration enough to take notice of an inconsistency in what he had advanced; and asked, why he himself exercised his knowledge for hire, if he was so much detached from all worldly concerns. "Come, come, doctor, added she, you are in the right to be cautious against impertinent curiosity; but, perhaps, I may make it worth your while to be communicative."
Smollett, Tobias. The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. In which are included, Memoirs of a Lady of Quality., 4 vols. (London: Printed for the author, 1751). <Link to ESTC>