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COURTSHIP
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[ Also see Affection Attention Compliments Coquette Flattery Gallantry Kisses Love Marriage Proposals Romance Vows Wooing ]

Like conquering tyrants you our breasts invade,
  Where you are pleas'd to ravage for awhile;
    But soon you find new conquests out and leave
      The ravag'd province ruinate and bare.
      - Thomas Otway

She half consents who silently denies.
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)

Men seldom make passes, at girls who wear glasses.
      - Dorothy Rothchild Parker (Mrs. Alan Campbell)

Men dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake!
      - Alexander Pope

The acceptance of favors from the other sex is a woman's first step towards self-committal.
      - Madame Marie Madeleine Puisieux

Let a woman once give you a task, and you are hers, heart and soul; all your care and trouble lend new charms to her for whose sake they are taken. To rescue, to revenge, to instruct, or protect a woman is all the same as to love her.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

How would that excellent mystery, wedded life, irradiate the world with its blessed influences, were the generous impulses and sentiments of courtship but perpetuated in all their exuberant fullness during the sequel of marriage!
      - Frederick Saunders

If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you,
  But rather to beget more love in you:
    If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone;
      For why, the fools are mad if left alone.
        Take no repulse, whatever she doth say;
          For--get you gone--she doth not mean--away.
      - William Shakespeare

Men are April when they woo; December when they wed.
      - William Shakespeare

That man that has a tongue, I say, is no man if with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
      - William Shakespeare

Women are angels, wooing:
  Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing:
    That she beloved knows naught, that knows not this--
      Men prize the thing ungained more than it is.
      - William Shakespeare

Wooing thee, I found thee of more value
  Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags;
    And 'tis the very riches of thyself
      That now I aim at.
      - William Shakespeare

You think that you are Ann's suitor; that you are the pursuer and she the pursued . . . Fool: it is you who are the pursued, the marked down quarry, the destined prey.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

Ah, fool! faint heart fair lady ne'er could win.
      - Edmund Spenser

And otherwhyles with amorous delights
  And pleasing toyes he would her entertaine,
    Now singing sweetly to surprise her sprights,
      Now making layes of love and lover's paine,
        Bransles, ballads, virelayes, and verses vaine!
          Oft purposes. oft riddles, he devys'd;
            And thousands like which flowed in his braine,
              With which he fed her fancy, and entys'd
                To take to his new love, and leave her old despys'd.
      - Edmund Spenser

He that can keep handsomely within rules, and support the carriage of a companion to his mistress, is much more likely to prevail than he who lets her see the whole relish of his life depends upon her. If possible, therefore, divert your mistress rather than sigh for her.
      - Sir Richard Steele

When a woman is deliberating with herself whom she shall choose of many near each other in other pretensions, certainly he of the best understanding is to be preferred.
      - Sir Richard Steele

Courtship consists in a number of quiet attentions, not so pointed as to alarm, nor so vague as not to be understood.
      - Laurence Sterne

See how the skilful lover spreads his toils.
      - Benjamin Stillingfleet

Every man ought to be in love a few times in his life, and to have a smart attack of the fever. You are better for it when it is over: the better for your misfortune, if you endure it with a manly heart; how much the better for success, if you win it and a good wife into the bargain!
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

If fathers are sometimes sulky at the appearance of the destined son-in-law, is it not a fact that mothers become sentimental and, as it were, love their own loves over again.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

His folded flock secure, the shepherd home
  Hies merry-hearted; and by turns relieves
    The ruddy milk-maid of her brimming pail;
      The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart,
        Unknowing what the joy-mix'd anguish means,
          Sincerely loves, by that best language shown
            Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds.
      - James Thomson (1)

Now from the world,
  Sacred to sweet retirement, lovers steal,
    And pour their souls in transport.
      - James Thomson (1)

God has put into the heart of man love and the boldness to sue, and into the heart of woman fear and the courage to refuse.
      - Marguerite de Valois

I knelt, and with the fervor of a lip unused to the cool breath of reason, told my love.
      - Nathaniel Parker Willis


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