„I have noticed that far-seeing Nature has made all great, brave and intelligent people favor the delicacies of love“
— Cyrano de Bergerac French novelist, dramatist, scientist and duelist 1619 - 1655
The Other World (1657)
Context: According to your religion, is any part of the body more sacred or unholy than another? Why will I commit a sin if I touch myself on the part in the middle and not when I touch my ear or heel? Because it tickles? Then I should not defecate into a pot, because that can't be done without some sort of sensual pleasure. Nor should mystics elevate themselves to the contemplation of God, because they enjoy a great pleasure of imagination. I am indeed astounded at how much the religion of your country is against nature and is jealous of all the pleasures of men. I am surprised that your priests haven't made it a crime to scratch oneself, because one feels a pleasurable pain.
And yet I have noticed that far-seeing Nature has made all great, brave and intelligent people favor the delicacies of love: witness Samson, David, Hercules, Caesar, Hannibal and Charlemagne. Did Nature do so in order that they might harvest the organ of that pleasure with a sickle? Alas, Nature even went under a washtub to debauch Diogenes, who was thin, ugly and flea-bitten, and make him compose sighs to Lais with the breath he blew upon carrots. No doubt Nature did so because it was concerned lest there be a shortage of honorable people in the world.