Friday, February 14, 2014

How to Sweet Talk Your Lady, 1656


"Instructions for Lovers: teaching them, how to demean themselves towards their Sweet-hearts. You must not accost them with a shrug, as if you were lowsie: With, 'your Ladie', 'best Ladie', or 'most super-excellent Ladie': neither must you let your words come rumbling forth, ushered in with a good full mouth'd, Oath, as 'I love you'... But you must in fine gentle words, deliver your true affection: Praise your Mistress Eies, her Lip, her Chin, her Nose, her Neck, her Face, her Hand, her Feet, her Leg, her Waste, her every thing." 
Cupids Master-piece, or, The Free-school of Witty and Delightful Compliments (1656)
Some dos and don'ts for addressing your most super-excellent lady! Don't say "I love you." Do praise her various body parts. (Careful with that 17th-century spelling, though: it's her waist you want to praise.)

See here for more amorous compliments.

5 comments:

  1. 'most super-excellent Ladie' - proof of time travel from the future - sounds like something from "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"

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    1. Quite right. In fact, some editions of this text contain what some scholars regard as a later and inauthentic gloss: But you must in fine gentle words, quote some lyrics at her, dude!

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  2. So glad you clarified waste/waist. The misunderstanding may otherwise have been the cause of a few significant relationship ruptures.

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  3. I am laughing so hard at all these posts! Albeit silently so as to not wake my 6 month old. Keep it up!

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  4. For our podcast, The Bar Stool Historian, we actually tried out some of these compliments on our spouses and recorded their unfiltered responses for your amusement:
    http://www.barstoolhistorian.com/episodes/2015/2/19/post-valentines-day-special-mini-episode

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