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.


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

    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!

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

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

  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:


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