Many a hopeful suitor has been disappointed because he falls short of his beloved’s ridiculously high expectations. For anyone who has experienced such a heart-breaking rebuff, why not follow this seventeenth-century advice for how to bring her down a peg or two?
1) Tell her she is not as attractive as she thinks.
2) Cast aspersions on her skills in the bedroom.
3) Reiterate that no matter how fine her clothes, they’re not going to make up for the state of her face.
Armed with this, you can’t fail! Good luck, dear readers. As ever, do let me know how it goes.
Directed to a Mayd, or Widow, more proud than proper, and more coy than comely.
Faire Lady, methinks you are not Mistresse of so much beauty as might make you proud; a Gentlewoman of ginger-bread (for ought I know) may make a better Bedfellow; what are good cloaths whent he face is wanting, but like small beer in a silver goblet; a meer Mercer’s Lucifer, but not a Rag of Natures Wardrobe about you.”
– Text from The Academy of Pleasure (1652).
– Image: detail from ‘A Lady at Confession’ (late c17th)