Letter to a Young Gentleman – The Harvard Lampoon

Man of All Seasons#

| Issue Editor: ZJK '05 | Art Editor: MDP '05

Letter to a Young Gentleman

  AIM '06

Dearest William, 

I am sorry you have to seek advice from your old uncle. Your father’s passing was a loss to us all. He was a good man, but rather too adventurous. Honestly, to this day, I feel the whole incident was more his fault than the squid’s. May the sea protect his soul. But, pardon me; let me begin to tell you about manhood.

Often when trotting down a street on his prized horse, a man will tip his hat to assembled commoners. There is one thing you must be concerned about when engaging in this risky practice: what do you have under your hat? Simply my hair, you might answer. But remember that many gentlemen have been embarrassed after they have tipped their hats only to reveal an errant flower or assorted change. Now you see the danger in even the simplest pleasantries. 

You ask about the basics of a gentleman’s grooming. I myself do not know. Like most nobles, I am groomed by servants. We cannot be disturbed by trivial facts such as wash this and put that in the pot. The servants will always have that over us, William. And that is what maintains the fragile balance of our nation’s social hierarchy. 

Yes, a man must have huge, strong hands so he can cradle a beloved’s lace in one hand while he caresses her rising bosom with the other. Is it no coincidence that the greatest men have been rumored to have three hands?