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Marriage

I came across a reasoner who said: "Engage your subjects to marry as soon as possible; let them be exempt from taxes the first year, and let their tax be distributed over those who at the same age are celibate.

"The more married men you have, the less crime there will be. Look at the frightful records of your registers of crime; you will find there a hundred bachelors hanged or wheeled for one father of a family.

"Marriage makes man wiser and more virtuous. The father of a family, near to committing a crime, is often stopped by his wife whose blood, less feverish than his, makes her gentler, more compassionate, more fearful of theft and murder, more timorous, more religious.

"The father of a family does not want to blush before his children. He fears to leave them a heritage of shame.

"Marry your soldiers, they will not desert any more. Bound to their families, they will be bound also to their fatherland. A bachelor soldier often is nothing but a vagabond, to whom it is indifferent whether he serves the king of Naples or the king of Morocco."

The Roman warriors were married; they fought for their wives and children; and they enslaved the wives and children of other nations.

A great Italian politician, who further was very learned in oriental languages, a very rare thing among our politicians, said to me in my youth: "Caro figlio, remember that the Jews have never had but one good institution, that of having a horror of virginity." If this little race of superstitious intermediaries had not considered marriage as the first law of man, if there had been among them convents of nuns, they were irreparably lost.


Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire