the choice of a mistress, annotated, b. franklin, autoplay

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Grandpa Ken Reads

Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress

Benjamin Franklin

Old Books

1745

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Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress (Old Mistresses Apologue)

Benjamin Franklin 1745Narration Rick Rodstrom (Librivox) Produced Kenneth Kunz2

Kenamar Corp.

June 25, 1745

I know of no Medicine (cure) fit to diminish the violent (damaging force) natural Inclinations (desires) you mention; and if I did, I think I should not communicate (tell) it to you.

My dear Friend,

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Marriage is the proper Remedy. (heal, cure) 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 entring into it at present,

appear to me not well-founded. (dont make sense)

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The circumstantial (standing around) Advantages (benefits) you have in View by postponing (delaying) it,

It is the Man and Woman united

are not only uncertain,but they are small in comparison with that of the Thing itself, the being married and settled.

that make the compleat (complete) human Being.

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Separate, she wants his Force of Body and Strength of Reason; he, her Softness, Sensibility (feeling) and acute (sharp) Discernment. (distinguish) Together they are more likely to succeed in the World.

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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. (scissors, from: cut)

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If you get a prudent (forseeing) healthy Wife, your Industry (diligent work) in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a Fortune sufficient.

But if you will not take this Counsel, (advice) and persist (continue) in thinking a Commerce (buying and selling) with the Sex inevitable, (unavoidable) then I repeat my former (what I just said) Advice, that in all your Amours (Loves) you should prefer old Women to young ones.8

You call this a Paradox, (para- "contrary to" + doxa "opinion")

and demand (ask, make inquiry) my Reasons. (reri: to reckon, think)

They are these:

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1.Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stord (stored) (supplied or furnished) with Observations, (experience, knowledge) their Conversation (talking) is more improving and more lastingly (constantly) agreeable.

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2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, (easy to handle, good looking) they study (application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge) to be good.

To maintain their Influence (exercise of personal power) over Men,

they supply (provide) the Diminution (reduction) of Beauty by Augmentation (increase) of Utility. (usefulness)

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They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great,

Thus they continue amiable. (friendly) And hence (therefore) there is hardly (barely, almost none) such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman.

and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick.

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3. Because there is no hazard (chance) of Children,

which irregularly (not on schedule) producd (born) may be attended (waited on) with much Inconvenience. (bothersome)

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4. Because thro more Experience, they are more prudent (knowing, skilled) and discreet (discerning, careful) in conducting (leading) an Intrigue (trick, deceive, cheat) to prevent Suspicion. (mistrust) The Commerce (business) with them is therefore safer with regard to (concerning) your Reputation. (what others think about you)

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And with regard to theirs, if the Affair (business) should happen to be known, considerate (deliberate, prudent) People might be rather inclind (inclined, leaning toward) to excuse an old Woman

who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, (advice) and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary (one who does anything for pay) Prostitutes. (from pro: before + statuere: to stand)

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5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency (lack) of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part. (top, head)

The Face first grows lack (deficiency, fault) and wrinkled; then the Neck;

then the Breast and Arms;the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: (fleshy, of rounded form)

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And as in the dark all Cats are grey, So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding (looking at) only what is below the Girdle, (belt, cord about the waist) it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. the Pleasure of corporal (of the body) Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack (trick, special skill) being by Practice capable of Improvement. (practice makes perfect)17

7. Because the Compunction (remorse; a pricking of conscience) is less, the having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; (bad memories)

6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching (to lead astray) a Virgin (never had sex before) may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy.

none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.18

8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!! Being sincerely, (sincere: sound, pure, whole)

Thus much for my Paradox. (against usual thinking) But still I advise you to marry directly. (right away)

your affectionate Friend,Benjamin Franklin

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