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The Quarter, in an attempt to bring the populace high brow researched and documented stuff, presents...

Erasmus - Brilliant Mind of the Renaissance

on The Most Honorable Part of the Body

Heh heh heh... Er-ASS-mus...
Heh heh heh...

Some merry fellows, as they were called, for whom laughter was the most important thing in life, were havng a banquet. Among them was Antonius and another man very like him and also well known for this kind of acclaim, and by way of being his rival. And as amoung philosophers, when they get together, petty questions are asked about natural science are customarily proposed, so here the question arose at once, just what was the most honorable part of a man? One guessed the eyes, one the heart, one the brain, one something else, and each offered a reason for his hypothesis. Antonius, told to give his view, said that he thought the mouth was the most honorable part of all, and added some reason or the other. Then the other man, to avoid agreeing with Antonius, said that the part we sit on seemed to home the most honorable. Since this seemed absurd to everyone else, he added this reason, that the man who is first to sit down is commonly said to be the most honored; this honor belonged to the part he had named. There was a burst of applause for his opinions, and hearty laughter. The man was delighted with his witticism, and Antonius seemed to be the loser in the contest.

But Antonius had been shamming, and he praised the mouth as the most honorable for no other reason than that he knew the other man, bent on rivaling his reputation, would name the opposite part of the body. A few days later, when again they were both invited to the same banquet, Antonius came in and found his rival talking with several other men while dinner was being prepared. And turning his back, he let out a loud fart in the face of the other man, who was furious, and said: "Go away, you clown! Wherever did you learn such manners?" Then Antonius replied: "What! You are furious? If I had greeted you with my mouth you would have greeted me in return. Here I am greeting you with the part of the body which in your judgment is the most honorable part of all, and you're calling me a clown." And that's how Antonius recovered the reputation he had previously lost.

Attributed to Erasmus, 1524.

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