Homer: And to think, you wanted me to crawl, Marge. Well, this man
doesn't crawl, he stands tall, that rhymes, Marge, and you know it
rhymes, admit it!
Marge: Aw, Homer, you didn't beat City Hall! They picked up our trash
because I wrote a letter of apology to the Sanitation Commissioner,
and signed your name. Period.
Homer: [hurt] You signed my name? I feel so violated.
Marge: You've signed my name lots of times!
Homer: But this isn't like a loan application or a will! You've signed away
my dignity! And I'm going to get it back. Lisa, do I have my pants
Lisa: [still smiling dreamily] Yes.
Homer, in the second book of the Iliad says with fine enthusiasm, "Give me masturbation or give me death." Caesar, in his Commentaries, says, "To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and to the impotent it is a benefactor. They that are penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion." In another place this experienced observer has said, "There are times when I prefer it to sodomy."
Robinson Crusoe says, "I cannot describe what I owe to this gentle art." Queen Elizabeth said, "It is the bulwark of virginity." Cetewayo, the Zulu hero, remarked, "A jerk in the hand is worth two in the bush." The immortal Franklin has said, "Masturbation is the best policy."
Michelangelo and all of the other old masters--"old masters," I will remark, is an abbreviation, a contraction --- have used similar language. Michelangelo said to Pope Julius II, "Self-negation is noble, self-culture beneficent, self-possession is manly, but to the truly great and inspiring soul they are poor and tame compared with self-abuse." Mr. Brown, here, in one of his latest and most graceful poems, refers to it in an eloquent line which is destined to live to the end of time--"None knows it but to love it; none name it but to praise."
Of all the kinds of sexual intercourse, this has least to recommend it. As an amusement it is too fleeting, as an occupation it is too wearing; as a public exhibition there is no money in it. It has, in our last day of progress and improvement, been degraded to brotherhood with flatulence--among the best bred these two arts are now indulged only in private--though by consent of the whole company, when only males are present, it is still permissible, in good society, to remove the embargo upon the fundamental sigh.
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