HISTORICALLY YOURS Satires and Hoaxes of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s accomplishments for our nation are endless. He also helped invent America’s unique style of homespun humor, satire and hoaxes. His publications were read throughout the Colonies, and below is just a sampling of his humor:

ADVICE ON THE CHOICE OF A MISTRESS.

To my dear friend,

I KNOW of no Medicine fit to diminish the violent Natural Intentions you mention, and if I did, I think I should not communicate it to you. Marriage is the proper remedy. It is the most natural state of Man, and therefore the State in which you are most likely to find solid Happiness. Your Reasons against entering into it at Present appear to me not well founded. If you get a prudent, healthy Wife, your industry in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a fortune sufficient. But if you will not take this Counsel and persist in thinking a Commerce with the Sex inevitable, then in all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You demand my Reasons.

1. Because they have more Knowledge of the World, and their Minds are better stor’d with Observations, their Conversation is more improving, and more lastingly agreeable.

2. Because when Women cease to be handsome they study to be good. They learn to do a thousand Services small & great, and are the most tender and useful of Friends when you are sick.

3. Because there is no Hazard of children, which irregularly produc’d may be attended with much Inconvenience.

4. Because through more Experience they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be inclined to excuse an old Woman, who would kindly take care of a young Man, and prevent his ruining his Health & Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes.

5. 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 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 tell an old one from a young one.

6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin and make her for Life unhappy.

7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflection; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.
8th and lastly. They are so grateful!

Your affectionate friend,

Benjamin Franklin


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