| She would rather be an old mans darling than a young mans warling.|
Harrison AinsworthMisers Daughter. Bk. III. Ch. XV. SwiftPolite Conversation. Dialog. I. Also in Camdens Remaines. P. 293. (Ed. 5.) Ram Alley. Act II. Sc. 1. of Hazlitts Dodsley.
| Wives are young mens mistresses; companions for middle age; and old mens nurses.|
BaconOf Marriage and Single Life.
|Now voe me I can zing on my business abrode:|
Though the storm do beat down on my poll,
Theres a wife brightend vire at the end of my road,
An her love, voe the jaÿ o my soul.
William BarnesDont Ceare. St. 5.
|And while the wicket falls behind|
Her steps, I thought if I could find
A wife I need not blush to show
Ive little further now to go.
William BarnesNot Far to Go.
|My fond affection thou hast seen,|
Then judge of my regret
To think more happy thou hadst been
If we had never met!
And has that thought been shared by thee?
Ah, no! that smiling cheek
Proves more unchanging love for me
Than labord words could speak.
Thos. Haynes BaylyTo My Wife.
|Without thee I am all unblessed,|
And wholly blessed in thee alone.
G. W. BethuneTo My Wife.
|So bent on self-sanctifying,|
That she never thought of trying
To save her poor husband as well.
Robert BuchananFra Giacomo.
|In thy face have I seen the eternal.|
Baron Christian von BunsenTo his wife. When dying at Bonn. (1860). Found in Life of Baron Bunsen. Vol. II. P. 389.
|Were such the wife had fallen to my part,|
Id break her spirit, or Id break her heart.
|She is a winsome wee thing,|
She is a handsome wee thing,
She is a bonny wee thing,
This sweet wee wife o mine.
BurnsMy Wifes a Winsome Wee Thing.
|Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life!|
The evening beam that smiles the clouds away
And tints to-morrow with prophetic ray!
ByronThe Bride of Abydos. Canto II. St. 20.
| Thy wife is a constellation of virtues; shes the moon, and thou art the man in the moon.|
CongreveLove for Love. Act II. Sc. 1.
|What is there in the vale of life|
Half so delightful as a wife,
When friendship, love, and peace combine
To stamp the marriage-bond divine?
|Oh! tis a precious thing, when wives are dead,|
To find such numbers who will serve instead:
And in whatever state a man be thrown,
Tis that precisely they would wish their own.
CrabbeTales. The Learned Boy.
|The wife was pretty, trifling, childish, weak;|
She could not think, but would not cease to speak.
CrabbeTales. Struggles of Conscience.
|The wife of thy bosom.|
Deuteronomy. XIII. 6.
|In every mess I find a friend,|
In every port a wife.
Charles DibdinJack in his Element.
| Its my old girl that advises. She has the head. But I never own to it before her. Discipline must be maintained.|
DickensBleak House. Ch. XXVII.
| You know I met you,|
Kist you, and prest you close within my arms,
With all the tenderness of wifely love.
DrydenAmphitryon. Act III. Sc. 1.
|Flesh of thy flesh, nor yet bone of thy bone.|
Du BartasDivine Weekes and Workes. Fourth Day. Bk. II.
| An undutiful Daughter will prove an unmanageable Wife.|
Benj. FranklinPoor Richard. (1752).
| He knows little who will tell his wife all he knows.|
FullerHoly and Profane State. Maxim VII. The Good Husband.
| She commandeth her husband, in any equal matter, by constant obeying him.|
FullerHoly and Profane State. The Good Wife. Bk. I. Maxim I. Ch. I.
|One wife is too much for most husbands to bear,|
But two at a time theres no mortal can bear.
GayBeggars Opera. Act II. Sc. 2.
|Theyll tell thee, sailors, when away,|
In every port a mistress find.
GaySweet Williams Farewell.
|Roys wife of Aldivalloch,|
Roys wife of Aldivalloch,
Wat ye how she cheated me
As I cam oer the braes of Balloch.
Attributed to Mrs. Grant, of Carron, but claimed for a shoemaker in Cabrach. (About 1727).
|Now die the dream, or come the wife,|
The past is not in vain,
For wholly as it was your life
Can never be again, my dear,
Can never be again.
|Andromache! my souls far better part.|
HomerIliad. Bk. VI. L. 624. Popes trans.
|A wife, domestic, good, and pure,|
Like snail, should keep within her door;
But not, like snail, with silver track,
Place all her wealth upon her back.
W. W. HowGood Wives.
| Alas! another instance of the triumph of hope over experience.|
Samuel Johnson. Referring to the second marriage of a friend who had been unfortunate in his first wife. Sir J. Hawkinss Collective Ed. of Johnson, 1787.
| Being married to those sleepy-souled women is just like playing at cards for nothing: no passion is excited and the time is filled up. I do not, however, envy a fellow one of those honeysuckle wives for my part, as they are but creepers at best and commonly destroy the tree they so tenderly cling about.|
Samuel JohnsonRemark as Recorded by Mrs. Piozzi.
|He knew whose gentle hand was at the latch,|
Before the door had given her to his eyes.
KeatsIsabella. St. 3.
|Sail forth into the sea of life,|
O gentle, loving, trusting wife,
And safe from all adversity
Upon the bosom of that sea
Thy comings and thy goings be!
For gentleness and love and trust
Prevail oer angry wave and gust;
And in the wreck of noble lives
Something immortal still survives.
LongfellowBuilding of the Ship. L. 368.
|But thou dost make the very night itself|
Brighter than day.
LongfellowChristus. The Divine Tragedy. The First Passover. Pt. III. L. 133.
| Le ciel me prive dune épouse qui ne ma jamais donné dautre chagrin que celui de sa mort.|
Heaven deprives me of a wife who never caused me any other grief than that of her death.
|How much the wife is dearer than the bride.|
Lord LyttletonAn Irregular Ode.
|O wretched is the dame, to whom the sound,|
Your lord will soon return, no pleasure brings.
MaturinBertram. Act II. Sc. 5.
|In the election of a wife, as in|
A project of war, to err but once is
To be undone forever.
Thos. MiddletonAnything for a Quiet Life. Act I. Sc. 1.
| What thou biddst|
Unargud I obey, so God ordains;
God is thy law, thou mine; to know no more
Is womans happiest knowledge and her praise.
MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. IV. L. 635.
My fairest, my espousd, my latest found,
Heavens last best gift, my ever new delight!
MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. V. L. 17.
|For nothing lovelier can be found|
In woman, than to study household good,
And good works in her husband to promote.
MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. IX. L. 232.
| For what thou art is mine:|
Our state cannot be severd; we are one,
One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.
MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. IX. L. 957.
| Here were we fallen in a greate question of ye lawe whyther ye grey mare may be the better horse or not.|
MoreThe Dial. Bk. II. Ch. V. The saying, the grey mare is the better horse, is found in Camdens Remains, Proverb concerning Britain. (1605, reprint of 7th ed. 1870.) Also in A Treatyse shewing and declaring the Pryde and Abuse of Women Now a Dayse. (1550).
| Giving honour unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel.|
I Peter. III. 7.
|Uxorem accepi, dote imperium vendidi.|
I have taken a wife, I have sold my sovereignty for a dowry.
PlautusAsinaria. Act I. Sc. 1.
|But what so pure, which envious tongues will spare?|
Some wicked wits have libelld all the fair.
With matchless impudence they style a wife
The dear-bought curse, and lawful plague of life;
A bosom-serpent, a domestic evil,
A night-invasion and a mid-day-devil.
Let not the wife these slandrous words regard,
But curse the bones of evry living bard.
PopeJanuary and May. L. 43.
|All other goods by fortunes hand are given,|
A wife is the peculiar gift of heaven.
PopeJanuary and May. From Chaucer. L. 51.
|She who neer answers till a husband cools,|
Or, if she rules him, never shews she rules;
Charms by accepting, by submitting sways,
Yet has her humour most when she obeys.
PopeMoral Essays. Ep. II. L. 261.
| The contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.|
Proverbs. XIX. 13.
| She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.|
Proverbs. XXXI. 27.
|Fat, fair and forty.|
ScottSt. Ronans Well, Ch. VII. Prince Regents description of what a wife should be. Found in an old song, The One Horse Shay. Sung by Sam Cowell in the sixties.
| As for my wife,|
I would you had her spirit in such another;
The third o the world is yours; which with a snaffle
You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
Antony and Cleopatra. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 61.
| O ye gods,|
Render me worthy of this noble wife!
Julius Cæsar. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 303.
|Happy in this, she is not yet so old|
But she may learn; happier than this,
She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
Happiest of all is, that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed.
Merchant of Venice. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 162.
|A light wife doth make a heavy husband.|
Merchant of Venice. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 130.
|I will be master of what is mine own;|
She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house,
My household stuff, my field, my barn,
My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything;
And here she stands, touch her whoever dare.
Taming of the Shrew. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 231.
| Why, man, she is mine own,|
And I as rich in having such a jewel
As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl,
The water nectar and the rocks pure gold.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 168.
| Should all despair|
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves.
Winters Tale. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 198.
| It is a womans business to get married as soon as possible, and a mans to keep unmarried as long as he can.|
Bernard ShawMan and Superman.
|My dear, my better half.|
Sir Philip SidneyArcadia. Bk. III.
|Of earthly goods, the best is a good wife;|
A bad, the bitterest curse of human life.
|Light household duties, ever more inwrought|
With placid fancies of one trusting heart
That lives but in her smile, and turns
From lifes cold seeming and the busy mart,
With tenderness, that heavenward ever yearns
To be refreshed where one pure altar burns.
Shut out from hence the mockery of life;
Thus liveth she content, the meek, fond, trusting wife.
Elizabeth Oakes SmithThe Wife.
|Thou art mine, thou hast given thy word,|
Close, close in my arms thou art clinging;
Alone for my ear thou art singing
A song which no stranger hath heard:
But afar from me yet, like a bird,
Thy soul in some region unstirrd
On its mystical circuit is winging.
E. C. StedmanStanzas far Music.
|Casta ad virum matrona parendo imperat.|
A virtuous wife when she obeys her husband obtains the command over him.
| When choosing a wife look down the social scale; when selecting a friend, look upwards.|
|A love still burning upward, giving light|
To read those laws; an accent very low
In blandishment, but a most silver flow
Of subtle-paced counsel in distress.
Right to the heart and brain, tho undescried,
Winning its way with extreme gentleness
Thro all the outworks of suspicious pride;
A courage to endure and to obey:
A hate of gossip parlance and of sway,
Crownd Isabel, thro all her placid life,
The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.
| A fat, fair and fifty card-playing resident of the Crescent.|
Mrs. TrenchLetter. Feb. 18, 1816.
|The world well triedthe sweetest thing in life|
Is the unclouded welcome of a wife.
N. P. WillisLady Jane. Canto II. St. 11.
|My winsome marrow.|
WordsworthYarrow Revisited. Quoting from Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow, an old song, The Braes of Yarrow.