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WOOING
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[ Also see Coquetry Courtship Flirtation Heart Inconstancy Kisses Love Matrimony Sighs Wives Women ]

So mourn'd the dame of Ephesus her Love,
  And thus the Soldier arm'd with Resolution
    Told his soft Tale, and was a thriving Wooer.
      - Colley Cibber, Richard III (act II, sc. 1),
        (altered from Shakespeare)

Faint heart hath been a common phrase, faire ladie never wives.
      - John Payne Collier,
        Reprint of The Rocke of Regard (p. 122)

And when with envy Time transported
  Shall think to rob us of our joys,
    You'll in you girls again be courted,
      And I'll go wooing in my boys.
      - John Gilbert Cooper,
        according to John Aikin in "Collection of English Songs--Winifreda"

If doughty deeds my lady please,
  Right soon I'll mount my steed,
    And strong his arm and fast his seat,
      That bears me from the meed.
        Then tell me how to woo thee, love,
          Oh, tell me how to woo thee
            For thy dear sake, nae care I'll take
              Though ne'er another trow me.
      - Robert Cunninghame Graham (1) (originally Robert Graham of Gartmore),
        If Doughty Deeds My Lady Please (a/k/a Tell Me How to Woo Thee),
        a poem, later set to music by Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan

"Chops and Tomata Sauce. Yours, Pickwick." Chops! Gracious heavens! and Tomata Sauce! Gentlemen, is the happiness of a sensitive and confiding female to trifle away by such shallow artifices as these?
      - Charles Dickens,
        The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club
         (ch. XXXIV)

You must not contrast too strongly the hours of courtship with the years of possession.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Ah, Foole! faint heart faire lady n'ere could win.
      - Phineas Fletcher, Brittain's Ida
         (canto V, st. 1)

Perhaps if you address the lady
  Most politely, most politely,
    Flatter and impress the lady
      Most politely, most politely.
        Humbly beg and humbly sue,
          She may deign to look on you.
      - Sir William Schwenk Gilbert, Princess Ida

I'll woo her as the lion woos his brides.
      - John Home, Douglas (act I, sc. 1)

The surest way to hit a woman's heart is to take aim kneeling.
      - Douglas William Jerrold,
        Douglas Jerrold's Wit--The Way to a Woman's Heart

Follow a shadow, it still flies you,
  Seem to fly, it will pursue:
    So court a mistress, she denies you;
      Let her alone, she will court you.
        Say are not women truly, then,
          Styled but the shadows of us men?
      - Ben Jonson,
        The Forest--Song--That Women are but Men's Shadows

There be triple ways to take, of the eagle or the snake,
  Or the way of a man with a maid.
      - Rudyard Kipling,
        The Long Trail--L'Envoi to Departmental Ditties

A fool there was and he made his prayer
  (Even as you and I!)
    To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair
      (We called her the woman who did not care)
        But the fool he called her his lady fair--
          (Even as you and I!)
      - Rudyard Kipling, The Vampire

If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not worth the winning.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Courtship of Miles Standish
         (III, l. 111)

Why don't you speak for yourself, John?
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Courtship of Miles Standish
         (III, last line)

The nightingales among the sheltering boughs
  Of populous many-nested trees
    Shall teach me how to woo thee, and shall tell me
      By what resistless charms or incantations
        They won their mates.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        The Masque of Pandora (pt. V, l. 62)

Come live in my heart and pay no rent.
      - Samuel Lover,
        Vourneen! when your days were bright

His heart kep' goin' pity-pat,
  But hern went pity-Zekle.
      - James Russell Lowell,
        Introduction to The Biglow Papers
         (second series, The Courtin', st. 15)

Whaur hae ye been a' day,
  My boy Tammy?
    I've been by burn and flowery brae,
      Meadow green and mountain grey,
        Courting of this young thing
          Just come frae her mammy.
      - Hector MacNeil, Song

I will now court her in the conqueror's style;
  "Come, see, and overcome."
      - Philip Massinger, Maid of Honour
         (act II, sc. 1)

He kissed her cold corpse a thousand times o'er,
  And called her his jewel though she was no more;
    And he drank all the pison like a lovyer so brave,
      And Villikins and Dinah lie buried in one grave.
      - Henry Mayhew, Wandering Minstrel,
        condensed and interpolated version of an old ballad

Her virtue and the conscience of her worth,
  That would be wooed, and not unsought be won.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. VIII, l. 502)

Deference and intimacy live far apart.
      - Moliere (pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin)

That you are in a terrible taking,
  By all these sweet oglings I see'
    But the fruit that can fall without shaking,
      Indeed is too mellow for me.
      - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu,
        Lines written for Lord William Hamilton

Let this great maxim be my virtue's guide:
  In part she is to blame that has been tried;
    He comes too near that comes to be denied.
      - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu,
        The Lady's Resolve,
        in "Works", vol. V, p. 104 (ed. 1804), quoted from Overbury


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