24 February 2011

On the attractions of older women

In June 1745 the 39-year-old author and printer Benjamin Franklin, who would later become one of the United States' great statesmen, wrote a letter to a friend. In it, he advised that a young man should marry, but if he could or would not, he should prefer the company of an older woman to that of a young one. Franklin set out eight reasons for his belief, of which the startlingly matter-of-fact fifth instalment is:

Because 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.

[Via Letters of Note]

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