Arts and Leisure

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere: Ten Ways to Charm in 1780

Isaiah Thomas is best known as a newspapermen and supporter of the American Revolution. But as a printer and publisher he did not limit himself to politics.

Thomas, like many 18th century American printers, published European works for an American audience, including the popular: A New Academy of Compliments: Or, the Lover’s Secretary: Being Wit and Mirth Improved, by the Most Elegant Expressions Used in the Art of Courtship … To which is Added, a Choice Collection of Above One Hundred and Twenty Love Songs.

The book went through dozens of editions and was popular on both sides of the Atlantic. It was chockfull of inspirations for tongue-tied people looking to impress with their skill in conversation and flattery. The chapter on “Witty and ingenious sentences to introduce and grace the art of well speaking,” included flattery phrases for many situations. Why not try one today?

  1. Good one!

The virtues of your mind would compel a stone to become a lover, and devote himself your humble servant.

  1. That’s the best idea I’ve heard in a while.

Not the mountain ice congealed to crystal is more bright than you.

  1. Whatever you say.

I’d rather doubt an oracle than question what you deliver.

  1. Thanks

Sir, your noble deeds transcend all precedents.

  1. Thanks, I owe you one.

Sir, the ocean is not so boundless as the obligations you daily heap on me. I lodge them in my bosom, and always keep them in my heart.

  1. Thanks, you’re really a good friend.

I prize your chaste love above all the wealth of India.

  1. Whatever you say.

I’d rather doubt an oracle than question what you deliver.

Others seem glimmering stars when compared with you, who outshine them like Luna.

  1. Well said.

Report could never have gotten a sweeter air to fly in than your breath.

  1. What do you want to do?

I totally submit myself to your directions, govern me as it pleases.

  1. Hey, friend me.

Sir, I must enroll you in the Catalogue of my dearest friends.

Thanks to A New Academy of Compliments.


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