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

Fair Katherine, and most fair,
  Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
    Such as will enter at a lady's ear
      And plead his love suit to her gentle heart?
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (King Henry at V, ii)

Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts
  To courtship and such fair ostents of love
    As shall conveniently become you there.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice
         (Salerio at II, viii)

Yet, 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,
        The Merry Wives of Windsor
         (Fenton at III, iv)

Was ever woman in this humor wooed?
  Was ever woman in this humor won?
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (King Richard at I, ii)

A woman sometime scorns what best contents her.
  Send her another; never give her o'er,
    For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
      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.'
                  Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces;
                    Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' faces.
                      That man that hath a tongue, I say is no man,
                        If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Valentine at III, i)

Win her with gifts, if she respect not words.
  Dumb jewels often in their silent kind
    More than quick words do move a woman's mind.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Valentine at III, i)

Say upon the altar of her beauty
  You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart.
    Write till your ink be dry, and with your tears
      Moist it again, and frame some feeling line
        That may discover such integrity.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Proteus at III, ii)

She is a woman, therefore may be wooed;
  She is a woman, therefore may be won;
    She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.
      - William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
         (Demetrius at II, i)

Bring therefore all the forces that ye may,
  And lay incessant battery to her heart;
    Playnts, prayers, vowes, truth, sorrow, and dismay;
      Those engins can the proudest love convert:
        And, if those fayle, fall down and dy before her;
          So dying live, and living do adore her.
      - Edmund Spenser, Amoretti and Epithalamion
         (sonnet XIV)

Full little knowest thou that hast not tried,
  What hell it is in suing long to bide:
    To loose good dayes, that might be better spent;
      To waste long nights in pensive discontent;
        To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow;
          To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow.
      - Edmund Spenser, Mother Hubberd's Tale
         (l. 895)

O subtle love! a thousand wiles thou hast, by humble suit, by service, or by hire, to win a maiden's hold,--a thing soon done, for nature framed all women to be won.
      - Torquato Tasso

Women are not apt to be won by the charms of verse.
      - Bayard Taylor

He sat by her side and her soft hand he pressed;
  He felt, in the pressure returned him thrice blessed,
    Enraptured gazing
      On her whom he honored beyond all praising.
      - Esaias Tegner

Quiet, Robin, quiet!
  You lovers are such clumsy summer-flies,
    Forever buzzing at your lady's face.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, The Foresters
         (act IV, sc. 1)

When Venus said, "Spell no for me,"
  "N-O," Dan Cupid wrote with glee,
    And smiled at his success:
      "Ah, child," said Venus, laughing low,
        "We women do not spell it so,
          We spell it Y-E-S."
      - Carolyn Wells (Mrs. Hadwin Houghton),
        The Spelling Lesson


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