How to Sweet Talk a Man, 1713


(Image: Lewis Walpole Library)

Sidle up to some handsome fellow and say:

Sir, Sleep is not more welcome to the wearied Traveller, than thou art to my House.

If you know what I mean and I think that you do.

In 1713, Charles Sackville, the Earl of Dorset, published The New Academy of Compliments: Erected for Ladies, Gentlewomen, Courtiers, Citizens, Countrymen, and All Persons of what Degree Soever, of Both Sexes : Stored with Variety of Courtly and Civil Complements, Eloquent Letters of Love and Friendship : with an Exact Collection of the Newest and Choicest Songs a la Mode Both Amorous and Jovial.

(Back then, book titles were loooooooong.)

Sackville's book is filled with suggestions on how to woo a man. Ask the Past offers a few selections from it, such as this pick-up line:

Sir, You are so highly Noble, that Your Purse is my Exchequer.

Ask the Past also lists suggested phrases for gentlemen who wish to impress ladies and acquire their romantic companionship. But they are so brash that using them will likely result in a slap than a kiss.


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