C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


All women seem by nature to be coquettes.

La Rochefoucauld.

Coquetry is the champagne of love.


Coquetry is the art of successful deception.

Mme. Louise Colet.

Coquetry is love without conscience.

Mathieu Moté.

The most effective coquetry is innocence.


What careth she for hearts when once possessed?


By her we first were taught the wheedling art.


New vows to plight, and plighted vows to break.


Though it is pleasant weaving nets, it is wiser to make cages.


It is a species of coquetry to make a parade of never practising it.

La Rochefoucauld.

God created the coquette as soon as He had made the fool.

Victor Hugo.

Women know not the whole of their coquetry.

La Rochefoucauld.

Coquetry is the desire to inspire love without experiencing it yourself.

Mme. de Brade.

Provocation is one of the arts of coquetry for which virtue often pays the penalty.


There is but one antidote for coquetry,—true love.

Mme. Deluzy.

All’s one to her; above her fan she’d make sweet eyes to Caliban.


  • The maid whom now you court in vain
  • Will quickly run in quest of man.
  • Horace.

  • Mincing she was, as is a wanton colt,
  • Sweet as a flower and upright as a bolt.
  • Chaucer.

    The greatest miracle of love is the cure of coquetry.

    La Rochefoucauld.

  • She lik’d his soothing lutes, his presents more,
  • And granted kisses, but would grant no more.
  • Gay.

  • Bright as the sun her eyes the gazers strike,
  • And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.
  • Pope.

    A modern writer likens coquettes to those hunters who do not eat the game which they have successfully pursued.

    Miss Braddon.

    A flirt is like a dipper attached to a hydrant; every one is at liberty to drink from it, but no one desires to carry it away.

    N. P. Willis.

    The ladies—Heaven bless them!—are, as a general rule, coquettes from babyhood upwards.


    Women find it far more difficult to overcome their inclination to coquetry than to overcome their love.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    It is, as it were, born in maidens that they should wish to please everything that has eyes.

    Solomon Gessner.

    An accomplished coquette excites the passions of others in proportion as she feels none herself.


  • Faints into airs and languishes with pride;
  • On the rich quilt sinks with becoming woe,
  • Wrapt in a gown for sickness and for show.
  • Pope.

    Heartlessness and fascination, in about equal quantities, constitute the receipt for forming the character of a coquette.

    Mme. Deluzy.

  • From loveless youth to unrespected age
  • No passion gratified, except her rage;
  • So much the fury still outran the wit,
  • The pleasure miss’d her, and the scandal hit.
  • Pope.

    For a woman to be at once a coquette and a bigot is more than the humblest of husbands can bear; she should mercifully choose between the two.

    La Bruyère.

    The life of a coquette is one constant lie; and the only rule by which you can form any correct judgment of them is that they are never what they seem.


    The coquette has companions, indeed, but no lovers,—for love is respectful and timorous; and where among her followers will she find a husband?

    Dr. Johnson.

  • How happy could I be with either,
  • Were t’other dear charmer away!
  • But while ye thus tease me together,
  • To neither a word will I say.
  • Gay.

  • Like a lovely tree
  • She grew to womanhood, and between whiles
  • Rejected several suitors, just to learn
  • How to accept a better in his turn.
  • Byron.

  • “With every pleasing, every prudent part,
  • Say, What can Chloe want?”—she wants a heart.
  • She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought;
  • But never, never reach’d one generous thought.
  • Pope.

    Coquetry is the essential characteristic, and the prevalent humor of women; but they do not all practise it, because the coquetry of some is restrained by fear or by reason.

    La Rochefoucauld.

  • The vain coquette each suit disdains,
  • And glories in her lover’s pains;
  • With age she fades—each lover flies,
  • Contemn’d, forlorn, she pines and dies.
  • Gay.

  • Would you teach her to love?
  • For a time seem to rove;
  • At first she may frown in a pet;
  • But leave her awhile,
  • She shortly will smile,
  • And then you may win your coquette.
  • Byron.

  • Now Laura moves along the joyous crowd,
  • Smiles in her eyes, and simpers in her lips;
  • To some she whispers, others speaks aloud;
  • To some she curtsies, and to some she dips.
  • Byron.

  • Ye belles, and ye flirts, and ye pert little things,
  • Who trip in this frolicsome round,
  • Pray tell me from whence this impertinence springs,
  • The sexes at once to confound?
  • Whitehead.

  • See how the world its veterans reward!
  • A youth of frolics, an old age of cards;
  • Fair to no purpose, artful to no end,
  • Young without lovers, old without a friend;
  • A fop their passion but their prize a sot,
  • Alive ridiculous, and dead forgot!
  • Pope.

    Coquetry whets the appetite; flirtation depraves it. Coquetry is the thorn that guards the rose—easily trimmed off when once plucked. Flirtation is like the slime on water-plants, making them hard to handle, and when caught, only to be cherished in slimy waters.

    Ik Marvel.

  • She who only finds her self-esteem
  • In others’ admiration, begs an alms;
  • Depends on others for her daily food,
  • And is the very servant of her slaves;
  • Tho’ oftentimes, in a fantastic hour,
  • O’er men she may a childish pow’r exert,
  • Which not ennobles but degrades her state.
  • Joanna Baillie.

    Coquettes are but too rare. It is a career that requires great abilities, infinite pains, a gay and airy spirit. ’T is the coquette who provides all the amusements,—suggests the riding-party, plans the picnic, gives and guesses charades, acts them. She is the stirring element amid the heavy congeries of social atoms,—the soul of the house, the salt of the banquet.


  • Such is your cold coquette, who can’t say “No,”
  • And won’t say “Yes,” and keeps you on and off-ing
  • On a lee-shore, till it begins to blow,
  • Then sees your heart wreck’d, with an inward scoffing.
  • Byron.

  • Then in a kiss she breath’d her various arts,
  • Of trifling prettily with wounded hearts;
  • A mind for love, but still a changing mind,
  • The lisp affected, and the glance design’d;
  • The sweet confusing blush, the secret wink,
  • The gentle swimming walk, the courteous sink;
  • The stare for strangeness fit, for scorn the frown
  • For decent yielding, looks declining down;
  • The practis’d languish, where well-feign’d desire
  • Would own its melting in a mutual fire;
  • Gay smiles to comfort; April showers to move;
  • And all the nature, all the art of love.
  • Parnell.

    A coquette is one that is never to be persuaded out of the passion she has to please, nor out of a good opinion of her own beauty: time and years she regards as things that only wrinkle and decay other women, forgetting that age is written in the face, and that the same dress which became her when she was young now only makes her look older.

    La Bruyère.