First printed in 1730 in The Philadelphia Gazette –
“The happy state of matrimony is, undoubtedly, the surest and most lasting foundation of comfort and love; the source of all that endearing tenderness and affection which arises from relation and affinity; the grand point of property; the cause of all good order in the world, and what alone preserves it from confusion, and, to sum up all, the appointment of infinite wisdom for these great and good purposes.
Notwithstanding, such is the perverseness of human nature, and so easy it is to misuse the best things, that by the folly and ill-behavior of those who enter into it, this is very often made the state of the most exquisite wretchedness and misery; which gives the wild and vicious part of mankind but too much reason to rail against it, and treat it with contempt.
Wherefore, it highly becomes the virtuous of both sexes, by the prudence of their conduct, to redeem this noble institution from those unjust reproaches which it at present labors under, and restore it to the honor and esteem it merits, by endeavoring to make each other as happy as they can.”
Considering the ongoing attacks on the institution of marriage in America today, Mr. Franklin’s advice is prophetic. kqd