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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 ]

Marriage to maids is like a war to men;
  The battle causes fear, but the sweet hopes
    Of winning at the last, still draws 'em in.
      - Nathaniel Lee

As unto the bow the cord is,
  So unto the man is woman;
    Though she bends him she obeys him,
      Though she draws him, yet she follows,
        Useless each without the other!
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hiawatha
         (pt. X, l. 1)

Sure the shovel and tongs
  To each other belongs.
      - Samuel Lover, Widow Machree

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.
      - Martin Luther

Take heede, Camilla, that seeking al the Woode for a streight sticke, you chuse not at the last a crooked staffe.
      - John Lyly (Lylie or Lyllie), Euphues

Marriage is destinie, made in heaven.
      - John Lyly (Lylie or Lyllie), Mother Bombie

Marriages are made in heaven and consummated on earth.
      - John Lyly (Lylie or Lyllie),
        The Anatomy of Wit

Ev'n in the happiest choice, where fav'ring heaven
  Has equal love and easy fortune giv'n,--
    Think not, the husband gain'd, that all is done;
      The prize of happiness must still be won:
        And, oft, the careless find it to their cost;
          The lover in the husband may be lost;
            The graces might alone his heart allure;
              They and the virtues, meeting, must secure.
      - Lord George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton ("The Good Lord Lyttelton")

Cling closer, closer, life to life,
  Cling closer, heart to heart;
    The time will come, my own wed Wife,
      When you and I must part!
        Let nothing break out band but Death,
          For in the world above
            'Tis the breaker Death that soldereth
              Our ring of Wedded Love.
      - Gerald Massey, On a Wedding Day (st. 11)

The sum of all that makes a just man happy
  Consists in the well choosing of his wife:
    And there, well to discharge it, does require
      Equality of years, of birth, of fortune;
        For beauty being poor, and not cried up
          By birth or wealth, can truly mix with neither.
            And wealth, when there's such difference in years,
              And fair descent, must make the yoke uneasy.
      - Philip Massinger, New Way to Pay Old Debts
         (act IV, sc. 1)

And, to all married men, be this a caution,
  Which they should duly tender as their life,
    Neither to doat too much, nor doubt a wife.
      - Philip Massinger, Picture (act V, sc. 3)

Advice to persons about to marry--Don't.
      - attributed to Henry Mayhew,
        Punch's Almanack

How near am I to happiness
  That earth exceeds not? not another like it.
    The treasures of the deep are not so precious,/As are the conceal'd comforts of a man
      Lock'd up in woman's love. I scent the air
        Of blessings, when I come but near the house;
          What a delicious breath marriage sends forth.
            The violet-bed's not sweeter. Honest wedlock
              Is like a banqueting-house built in a golden,
                On which the spring's chaste flowers take delight
                  To cast their modest odors.
      - Thomas Middleton

Here love his golden shafts employs, here lights
  His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings,
    Reigns here and revels.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost

Hail, wedded love, mysterious law; true source
  Of human offspring.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. IV, l. 750)

To the nuptial bower
  I led her, blushing like the morn; all Heaven,
    And happy constellations on that hour
      Shed their selected influence; the earth
        Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
          Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
            Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings
              Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. VIII, l. 510)

Therefore God's universal law
  Gave to the man despotic power
    Over his female in due awe,
      Not from that right to part an hour,
        Smile she or lour.
      - John Milton, Samson Agonistes (l. 1,053)

Strong are the instincts with which God has guarded the sacredness of marriage.
      - Maria Jane M'Intosh

Men often marry in hasty recklessness and repent afterward all their lives.
  [Fr., Par un prompt desespoir souvent on se marie.
    Qu'on s'en repent apres tout le temps de sa vie.]
      - Moliere (pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin),
        Les Femmes Savantes (V, 5)

It goes far towards reconciling me to being a woman, when I reflect that I am thus in no danger of ever marrying one.
      - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

It happens as one sees in cages: the birds which are outside despair of ever getting in, and those within are equally desirous of getting out.
  [Fr., Il en advient ce qui se veoid aux cages; les oyseaux qui en sont dehors, desesperent d'y entrer; et d'un pareil soing en sortir, ceulx sont au dedans.]
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essays
         (bk. III, ch. V)

Women when they marry buy a cat in the bag.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essays
         (bk. III, ch. V)

There's a bliss beyond all that the minstrel has told,
  When two, that are link'd in one heavenly tie,
    With heart never changing, and brow never cold,
      Love on thro' all ills, and love on till they die.
      - Thomas Moore,
        Lalla Rookh--Light of the Harem

Wedlock's a lane where there is no turning.
      - Dinah Maria Mulock (used pseudonym Mrs. Craik)

Drink, my jolly lads, drink with discerning,
  Wedlock's a lane where there is no turning;
    Never was owl more blind than a lover,
      Drink and be merry, lads, half seas over.
      - Dinah Maria Mulock (used pseudonym Mrs. Craik),
        Magnus and Morna (sc. 3)


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