Context is for the Weak
Squeeze! squeeze! squeeze! all the morning long; I squeezed that sperm till I myself almost melted into it; I squeezed that sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me; and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers’ hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget; that at last I was continually squeezing their hands, and looking up into their eyes sentimentally; as much as to say,- Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.
Would that I could keep squeezing that sperm for ever…
Herman Melville. Chapter 94, “A Squeeze of the Hand.” Moby Dick.
Reading this now, it’s clear to me that no one in my classes ever made it that far in this book. And a slightly related fun fact: On this date in 1895, playwright Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, who’d accused the writer of homosexual practices.