From the always amusing Letters of Note blog comes this 1745 gem from Benjamin Franklin , written to an anonymous (possibly fictional) young male friend. In the letter, Franklin urges his correspondent to get married. At first, the Founding Father comes off all sweet:
A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in that State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles the odd Half of a Pair of Scissars.
But then he gets down to brass tacks. Not getting married? Fine. Just make sure that you stick to old women. Franklin goes on to offer eight very well considered reasons why older ladies make better lovers, like the fact that "there is no hazard of Children" and you don't have to worry about the sin of deflowering a virgin.
Besides, you do have a basket, right?
... in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.
And of course, the kicker:
They are so grateful!!
Painting of Benjamin Franklin courtesty Wikimedia Commons.