How to Compliment a Lady, 1600s-Style

elizabethan courtship

“Hey girl. I bet under that kirtle and bumroll you’ve got some mighty stately Thighes.”


Tired of doling out the same, worn-out compliments to your lady friend? Take a page from The Academy of Complements (1663), written by John Gough. These lines are sure to quicken her breath and redden her cheeks, if you know what I mean.

“Her womb, mansion of Cupid and Summerhouse of pleasure.”
“Liquorous rolling eyes.”
“Her Cheeks are spread with Spices and Flowers.”
“Her breasts are the soft Pillows of love.”
“Her breasts are soft and tender as the Pelican’s.”
“In that sweet dimple, when she smiles, Cupid hath pitch’d his tents.”
“Her Thighes are fit subjects for the pleasant Songs of youthfull Poets to acquaint the world with.”
“Her legs as stately and firm as marble pillars.”


(via The Academy of Complements and Ask the Past)