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He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of... Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 12:00:00 AM
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He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works and of greatest merit for the public have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
belll
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 12:55:31 AM

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Disagree family offers security, stability and support in tough times. If needed many great men have left their families to pursue their ambitions. Notably writers or salesmen or inventor who would travel far from home only to return with news of success or failure. They would then rejoice or cry with their families depending on the outcomes. And their children would not only be direct heirs to their endeavours but the men would be sure they have someone to carry on their project with as much if not more determination.
Bully_rus
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 1:32:33 AM
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Thank goodness, modern wives and children are more agreeable with great enterprises of men... What about the unmarried or childless women back then?
RoadRunner
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 2:19:45 AM

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We can't judge his quote by using the today value or point of view. That quote was 550 years old!
elemace
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 2:37:19 AM

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True, but at the same time it shows how stupid the brightest men can be when they are prejudiced.
Etherealicer
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 2:40:43 AM

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belll wrote:
Disagree family offers security, stability and support in tough times. If needed many great men have left their families to pursue their ambitions. Notably writers or salesmen or inventor who would travel far from home only to return with news of success or failure. They would then rejoice or cry with their families depending on the outcomes. And their children would not only be direct heirs to their endeavors but the men would be sure they have someone to carry on their project with as much if not more determination.


Family also adds a lot of pressure during tough times. Pressure to let go of your passion (exploring/science/art whatever) and pursuit a carrier, find a job, make money. I also doubt that many men returned to their family with failure, they probably rather stayed away (better to be presumed death than to be know to have failed).

Also we have to consider what does married mean. I mean Columbus was married. He actually married at the same time he started to plan his journey to the Indies (sharp tongues might say he married her to further his plans). He also sired at least one bastard child. I think in a sense he was not married to his wife, but to the sea. Sounds cheese, but he spent more time at sea than at home and when he was not at sea, he spent most of his time at court to petition for another expedition.

I think what he is trying to say is that a man with family will/should more pursuit security, whereas an unmarried man can take more risks. And of course the whole quote is from a romantic / idealistic point of view.
It's at least provocative enough to make us think about it.
Etherealicer
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 2:46:27 AM

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Bully_rus wrote:
Thank goodness, modern wives and children are more agreeable with great enterprises of men... What about the unmarried or childless women back then?


Are you certain?
How many men can quit their job and travel the world for the next 2 years alone (without communicating back home) and expect to still be married when they return?

On the plus side, a wife might earn enough money nowadays to support the family, so it does not necessarily have to be the husband who earns the money.
JMV
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 4:15:27 AM

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Not exactly Dr. Phil by today's standards, but he is a product of a particular time and place.
Scripture actually echoes some of the same ideas as Paul encourages those who are single to remain so if possible, as their devotions will be undivided:
" I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord.
But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband.
I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."
(I Corinthians 7:32-35)

Clearly the intent is not for all of us to become eunuchs and nuns, as there are many directives aimed at marriage and procreation as well, but the idea is that those who would not otherwise burn with passion and be burdened by temptation are ideally suited to serve the Lord wholeheatedly.

Bacon's advice is a secular variation on that theme - simply substitute enterprise for devotion to God.

Either that or he was unlucky in love. Think
striker
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 6:55:07 AM
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no man is a island, family is everything
Guwop
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 7:24:34 AM

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True MGTOW. Francis is saluted.
mudbudda669
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 9:11:18 AM

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He Might be right ?
IMcRout
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 9:30:07 AM
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As is often the case with Daemon, this quotation was taken from its context.
If you read on, you'll find that there is a little more to Bacon than just the rind. (Sorry)
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 9:52:10 AM

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Daemon wrote:
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works and of greatest merit for the public have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)


The last clause doesn't make sense. "which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public."

(Lol, IMc.)
TB Turtle
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 9:54:35 AM

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Hmm, if Francis Bacon's parents did Not have him.........where would He be? ;-}
J.Carlos.V.M
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 10:06:58 AM
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Todo es Posible?d'oh!
J.Carlos.V.M
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 10:08:52 AM
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Applause
Guwop wrote:
True MGTOW. Francis is saluted.
monamagda
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 10:54:31 AM

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Quote from : Francis Bacon. (1561–1626).

"Essays, Civil and Moral."
VIII
Of Marriage and Single Life


He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public. Yet it were great reason that those that have children should have greatest care of future times; unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges. Some there are, who though they lead a single life, yet their thoughts do end with themselves, and account future times impertinences. 1 Nay, there are some other that account wife and children but as bills of charges. Nay more, there are some foolish rich covetous men, that take a pride in having no children, because they may be thought so much the richer. For perhaps they have heard some talk, Such an one is a great rich man, and another except to it, Yea, but he hath a great charge of children; as if it were an abatement to his riches. But the most ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous 2 minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will go near to think their girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, best servants; but not always best subjects; for they are light to run away; and almost all fugitives are of that condition. A single life doth well with churchmen; for charity will hardly water the ground where it must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges and magistrates; for if they be facile and corrupt, you shall have a servant five times worse than a wife. For soldiers, I find the generals commonly in their hortatives put men in mind of their wives and children; and I think the despising of marriage amongst the Turks maketh the vulgar soldier more base. Certainly wife and children are a kind of discipline of humanity; and single men, though they may be many times more charitable, because their means are less exhaust, yet, on the other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted (good to make severe inquisitors), because their tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natures, led by custom, and therefore constant, are commonly loving husbands, as was said of Ulysses, vetulam suam prætulit immortalitati [he preferred his old wife to immortality]. Chaste women are often proud and froward, as presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of the best bonds both of chastity and obedience in the wife, if she think her husband wise; which she will never do if she find him jealous. Wives are young men’s mistresses; companions for middle age; and old men’s nurses. So as a man may have a quarrel 3 to marry when he will. But yet he 4 was reputed one of the wise men, that made answer to the question, when a man should marry,—A young man not yet, an elder man not at all. It is often seen that bad husbands have very good wives; whether it be that it raiseth the price of their husband’s kindness when it comes; or that the wives take a pride in their patience. But this never fails, if the bad husbands were of their own choosing, against their friends’ consent; for then they will be sure to make good their own folly.

Note 1. Not their affair. [back]
Note 2. Capricious. [back]
Note 3. Pretext. [back]
Note 4. Thales. [back]


http://www.bartleby.com/3/1/8.html
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 11:22:32 AM

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IMcRout wrote:
As is often the case with Daemon, this quotation was taken from its context.
If you read on, you'll find that there is a little more to Bacon than just the rind. (Sorry)

Hahaha! Applause
Mehrdad77
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 12:39:09 PM

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Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.
Franz Schubert
Mehrdad77
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 12:41:14 PM

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By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
Socrates
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