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 Thoughts on the subject of Early Marriages 

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You desire, you say, my impartial impartial thoughts on the subject subject of an early marriage, by way of answer to the numberless objections that have been made by the too many numerous numerous persons to your own. You may remember when you consulted me on the occasion, that I thought youth on both sides to be no objection. Indeed, Indeed, from the marriages that have fallen under my observation, I am rather rather inclined to inclined to think that early ones stand the best chance of happiness. The temper and habits of the young have not yet become so stiff stiff and uncomplying as when more advanced advanced in life; they form more easily to each other, and hence many occasions of disgust disgust are removed. And if youth has less of that prudence prudence which is necessary necessary to manage a family, yet the parents and elder friends of young married persons are generally at hand to offer their advice, which amply amply supplies that defect; defect; and by early marriage, youth is sooner formed to regular and useful life; and possibly some of those accidents accidents or connections, that might have injured the constitution or reputation, or both, are thereby happily prevented. prevented.

Particular Particular circumstances circumstances of particular particular persons may, possibly, sometimes make it prudent prudent to delay entering into entering into that state; but in general, when nature has rendered rendered our bodies fit for it, the presumption presumption is in nature's favor, that she has not judged amiss amiss in making us desire it. Late marriages, are often often attended, too, with this further further inconvenience, that there is not the chance that the parents shall live to see their offspring offspring educated. "Late children," says the Spanish proverb, "are early orphans." A melancholy melancholy reflection to those whose case it may be!

With us in America, marriages are generally in the morning of life; our children are therefore educated and settled in settled in the world by noon; and thus, our business being done, we have an afternoon and evening of cheerful cheerful leisure to ourselves, and just such as our friend at present enjoys. By these early marriages we are blest with more children; and from the mode among us founded by nature, of every mother suckling and nursing her own child, more of them are raised. raised. Hence the swift swift progress of population among us, unparalleled unparalleled in Europe. In fine, I am glad glad you are married, and congratulate you most cordially cordially on it. You are now in the way of becoming a most useful citizen, and you have escaped the unnatural state of celibacy celibacy for life the fate of many here who never intended intended it, but who having too long postponed the change of their condition, find, at length, that it is too late to think of think of it, and so live all their lives in a situation that greatly lessens a man's value. An odd odd volume to a set of books bears bears not the value of its proportion to the set, and what think you of think you of the odd odd half of a pair of scissors? It can't well cut any thing; it may possibly serve to scrape a trencher.

Pray make my compliments compliments and best wishes acceptable to your bride. I am old and heavy, or I should ere this have presented them in person. I shall make but small use of the old man's privilege, privilege, that of giving advice to younger friends. Treat your wife always with respect; it will procure procure respect to you, not only from her, but from all that observe it. Never use a slighting expression to her, even in jest; jest; for slights in jest jest after repeated bandyings are apt apt to end in end in anger earnest. earnest. Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. learned. Be industrious and frugal, frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober sober and temperate, temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, virtuous, and you will be happy. At least, you will by such conduct, conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences. consequences.

I pray God to bless you both, being ever your affectionate affectionate friend,

B. Franklin

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