June 25, 1745
MY DEAR FRIEND:-
I know of no Medicine fit to diminish
the violent natural inclination 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 will find solid Happiness. Your Reason against entering into
it at present appears to be not well founded. The Circumstantial
Advantages you have in View by Postponing it, are not only uncertain,
but they are small in comparison with the Thing itself, the being
married and settled. It is the Man and Woman united that makes
the complete Being. Separate she wants his force of Body and Strength
of Reason; he her Softness, Sensibility and acute Discernment. Together
they are most likely to succeed in the World. 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 Scissors.
If you get a prudent, healthy wife, your
Industry in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a Fortune
But if you will not take this Counsel,
and persist in thinking that Commerce with the Sex is inevitable,
then I repeat my former Advice that in your Amours you should prefer
old Women to young ones. This you call a Paradox, and demand
my reasons. They are these:
1. Because they have more Knowledge of the world, and their Minds
are better stored with Observations; their conversation is more improving,
and more lastingly agreeable.
2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good.
To maintain their Influence over Man, they supply the Diminution
of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a thousand
Services, small and great, and are the most tender and useful of
Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence
there is hardly such a thing to be found as an Old Woman who is not
a good Woman.
3. Because there is no hazard of children, which irregularly produced
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 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, form his manners by her good Councils, and prevent
his ruining his Health and 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 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
one 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 by improvement.
6. Because the sin is less. The Debauching of a Virgin may be her
Ruin, and make her Life unhappy.
7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may
give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend making
an old Woman happy.
8. 8th & lastly. They are so grateful!!!
Thus much for my Paradox. But still I
advise you to marry immediately; being sincerely
Your Affectionate Friend,