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MATRIMONY
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[ Also see Babyhood Childhood Divorce Husbands Love Man Marriage Motherhood Mothers Unity Wedlock Wives Women Wooing ]

I'd rather die Maid, and lead apes in Hell
  Than wed an inmate of Silenus' Cell.
      - Richard Braithwait (Braithwaite) ("Corymbaeus"),
        English Gentlemen and Gentelwoman,
        in a supplemental tract, "The Turtle's Triumph"

The moment a woman marries, some terrible revolution happens in her system; all her good qualities vanish, presto, like eggs out of a conjuror's box. 'Tis true that they appear on the other side of the box, but for the husband they are gone forever.
      - William Henry Lytton Earle Bulwer, Sir Henry Bulwer

Cursed be the man, the poorest wretch in life,
  The crouching vassal, to the tyrant wife,
    Who has no will but by her high permission;
      Who has not sixpence but in her possession;
        Who must to her his dear friend's secret tell;
          Who dreads a curtain lecture worse than hell.
            Were such the wife had fallen to my part,
              I'd break her spirit or I'd break her heart.
      - Robert Burns, The Henpecked Husband

Marriage and hanging go by destiny; matches are made in heaven.
      - Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy
         (pt. III, sec. II, mem. 5, subs. 5)

'Cause grace and virtue are within
  Prohibited degrees of kin;
    And therefore no true saint allows,
      They shall be suffer'd to espouse.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. III, canto I, l. 1,293)

Marriage, from love, like vinegar from wine--
  A sad, sour sober beverage--by time
    Is sharpened from its high celestial flavor
      Down to a very homely household savor.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

The bloom or blight of all men's happiness.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

For talk six times with the same single lady,
  And you may get the wedding dress ready.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto XII, st. 59)

There was no great disparity of years,
  Though much in temper; but they never clash'd,
    They moved like stars united in their spheres,
      Or like the Rhone by Leman's waters wash'd,
        Where mingled and yet separate appears
          The river from the lake, all bluely dash'd
            Through the serene and placid glassy deep,
              Which fain would lull its river-child to sleep.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto XIV, st. 87)

A woman needs a stronger head than her own for counsel--she should marry.
  [Sp., Una muger no tiene.
    Valor para el consejo, y la conviene Casarse.]
      - Pedro Calderon de la Barca,
        El Purgatorio de Sans Patricio (III, 4)

To sit, happy married lovers; Phillis trifling with a plover's
  Egg, while Corydon uncovers with a grace the Sally Lunn,
    Or dissects the luck pheasant--that, I think, were passing pleasant
      As I sit along at present, dreaming darkly of a dun.
      - Charles Stuart Calverley, In the Gloaming,
        (parody on Mrs. Browning)

Hearts with equal love combined kindle never-dying fires.
      - Thomas Carew

I know you've been married to the same woman for 69 years. That is marvelous. It must be very inexpensive.
      - Johnny Carson

It is a mistake to consider marriage merely as a scheme of happiness. It is also a bond of service. It is the most ancient form of that social ministration which God has ordained for all human beings, and which is symbolized by all the relations of nature.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

We've been together now for forty years,
  An' it don't seem a day too much;
    There ain't a lady livin' in the land
      As I'd swop for my dear old Dutch.
      - Albert Chevalier, My Old Dutch

Man and wife,
  Coupled together for the sake of strife.
      - Charles Churchill, The Rosciad (l. 1,005)

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.
      - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (3)

Oh! how many torments lie in the small circle of a wedding ring.
      - Colley Cibber

Oh, how many torments lie in the small circle of a wedding ring!
      - Colley Cibber, The Double Gallant
         (prologue)

The first bond of society is marriage; the next, our children; then the whole family and all things in common.
  [Lat., Prima societas in ipso conjugio est: proxima in liberis; deinde una domus, communia omnia.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        De Officiis (I, 17)

Up to twenty-one, I hold a father to have power over his children as to marriage; after that age, authority and influence only. Show me one couple unhappy merely on account of their limited circumstances, and I will show you ten who are wretched from other causes.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The day after that wedding night I found that a distance of a thousand miles, abyss and discovery and irremediable metamorphosis, separated me from the day before.
      - Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Husbands and wives talk of the cares of matrimony, and bachelors and spinsters bear them.
      - Wilkie (William) Collins

That alliance may be said to have a double tie, where the minds are united as well as the body; and the union will have all its strength when both the links are in perfection together.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Though fools spurn Hymen's gentle powers,
  We, who improve his golden hours,
    By sweet experience know
      That marriage rightly understood,
        Gives to the tender and the good
          A paradise below.
      - Charles Caleb Colton


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