Of Marriage and Single Life
Bacon presents the merits and demerits of married life and single life in his essay, “Of Marriage and Single Life”. Married man is burdened with wife and children, which prevents him from performing greater things which may be good or evil. So, married man never takes risks.
Unmarried or childless man is helpful to the society. As he is free from any burden, he can serve the society. Moreover, since he is childless he can shower his affection on public. He treats the public as the married man would treat his family.
Unmarried man is worried about the present whereas the married one worries for the welfare of their children in future. The former is not worried about the future.
There are some men who prefer riches instead of children. Men prefer to remain single because they value freedom more. These men are selfish in the view of Bacon. They are intolerant to any curbs or controls.
Unmarried persons can be good friends, good employers and good subordinates but they can never be good citizens.
A clergyman has to remain single in order to serve others. If he has a family he cannot serve others. Judges do not need a wife at all as they undergo greater hardships by the agents who help in bribery. Soldiers can get married because the thought of their wives make them perform well.
Married men are kind hearted whereas unmarried men are cruel but for they can spend money for charity. If a wife thinks that her husband is wise she will be loyal and obedient. Jealous husband will not he respected by wife.
For a young man wife is a mistress. For a middle-aged man she is a companion. For a old age man she is a nurse. Bad husbands always have good wives because the wife may be happy when he showers occasional affection, which would be great. Or she can be proud of her patience.
If a woman chooses a bad husband then she will be more devoted to show to the world that her choice was right.
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