The stars borrow light from your radiant eyes

I’ve been laughing out loud at a book of wooing and courtship from the late seventeenth century. Here are a few entertaining chat up lines for men. And yes, the book really does contain a section on how to woo in a cake shop.

An address to make known a man’s affection:

Madam, among all the dayes of my life I must accompt this the happiest above all the rest, wherein I had the honour first to know you.

Saying hello:

Save you, fair Lady, all health and your own wishes be upon you. All the toys the Gods delight in wait on you, fairest.

Complimenting her looks:

You are the beauty without parallel; in your Face all the Graces, and in your Mind all the vertues are met: he that looks upon your mild aspect were it the most savage creature, would derive a new nature from your beauty.

Your hair is like the Beams that adorn Apollo’s head. Your hair is as soft as new spun silk, curling with such a natural wantonness as if it strove to delight the fancy.

Your forehead makes a stately prospect, and shows like a fair Castle commanding some goodly country.

Your chin shows like a piece of pure and polisht Chrystal which the God of love delights to uphold with his soft hand.

Your eyes dart like lightning through the air. The stars borrow new light from your radiant eyes. They are able to grace the heavens and beautifie the sky.

Your smile is so graceful and full of comfort that with it you are able to revive a dying lover.

Your hands are soft and smooth, the violet Veins whereof run along like mines of turquoise.

Your breasts are two mountains of pure Snow, from the two fountains whereof Cupid himself sucks Nectar.

Your cheeks are slips of Paradise, not be gathered but wondered at.

Your breath expires more sweet odours than issued from the palm-trees in Paradise.

Your looks in general have more entertainment than all the vain pomp which the Persians ever taught the world.

At the dance:

Madam, the ambition which I have to wait on you in a Country Dance emboldens me to invite you from your seat.

After the dance, when she has apologised for treading on your foot:

Lady, you needed not to have made any apology, for doubtless the Cyprian Bowers ne’re knew so much delight when the Graces themselves danced there.

At the Cake shop

Madam, these Cheesecakes were made to eat, I would you would feed on them with the eagerness that I would feed on the perfections of your face.

An address of courtship

Lady, my vital breath runs coldly through my veins, I am sick for your love dearest Lady, neither is there anything but your own heart can heal me, believe me also, fairest of women, there is nothing beneath the moon but your frown can grieve me.

Two ‘droll compliments’:

Madam, I wish the Gods would transform me into this Fan that I am now about to give you, that I might be always pressing into your mouth the breath of my affections, or this piece of Ribbon, that I might always hang about you in two tassels, the one at your breast and the other at your breech.

Madam, your nimble eye wherewith you do espie the faults of garb and habit, emboldens me to crave your judgement concerning the cut of my Breeches and the choice of my Fancies.

Saying goodbye:

Madam, I bless the opportunity that now gives me leave to tell you how much I honour you, since you are the only Lady that rides triumphant in the Coach-box of my heart.


For more from this charming book see here

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