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. He was reputed one of the wise men that made answer to the question, when a man should marryA young man not yet, an elder man not at all.
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Source Notes: Source: FRANCIS BACON, Of Marriage and Single Life, The Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral of Francis Bacon, ed. Fred A. Howe, chapter 8, pp. 20, 22 . Based on the 1625 edition but with modernized spelling.
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, KC (22 January 1561 - 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman and essayist but is best known for leading the scientific revolution with his new 'observation and experimentation' theory which is the way science has been conducted ever since. He was knighted in 1603, created Baron Verulam in 1618, and created Viscount St Alban in 1621; both peerage titles became extinct upon his death.