Weekend Words: Woo

Willem Pietersz Buytewech, “Dignified Couples Courting” (c. 1618), oil on canvas, 56 x 70 cm (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) (image via Web Gallery of Art)

On Thursday, the New York Times published a large pull-out section, Museums, which included an article on the attempts various institutions have made at “Wooing a New Generation of Museum Patrons.”

Will they succeed? In the words of money market man Charles Schwab, “If not, museums will degenerate and will eventually fall into the hands of government budgets and be in a death spiral. I hope that’s not the case.”

“Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty; for in my youth I never did apply hot and rebellious liquors in my blood; and did not, with unbashful forehead, woo the means of weakness and debility: therefore my age is as a lusty winter, frosty but kindly.”

—William Shakespeare, As You Like It

“Healing, Papa would tell me, is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.”

—W. H. Auden

“Out of love and hatred, out of earnings and borrowings and leadings and losses; out of sickness and pain; out of wooing and worshipping; out of traveling and voting and watching and caring; out of disgrace and contempt, comes our tuition in the serene and beautiful laws.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Some day the soft Ideal that we wooed confronts us fiercely, foe-beset, pursued, and cries reproachful: Was it then my praise, and not myself was loved? Prove now thy truth; I claim of thee the promise of thy youth.”

—James Russell Lowell

“Wooing, so tiring.”

—Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love

“Wooing the press is an exercise roughly akin to picnicking with a tiger. You might enjoy the meal, but the tiger always eats last.”

—Maureen Dowd

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