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Hostages to Fortune

Posted by ESC on August 27, 2000

In Reply to: Meaning posted by Aurora Taylor on August 27, 2000

: I would like to find the meaning of the phrase "Hostage of Fortune" Thanks to all

HOSTAGES TO FORTUNE - "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief." Of Marriage and Single Life. Francis Bacon (1561-1626).

It means once you have a wife (or husband) and children or other people depending on you, you can't go off on a reckless, great adventure.

See also: the last words of Sir Francis Bacon.