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

A time, methinks, too short
  To make a world-without-end bargain in.
      - William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost
         (Princess of France at V, ii)

I would not marry her though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed. She would have made Hercules have turned spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her. You shall find her the infernal Ate in good apparel. I would to God some scholar would conjure her, for certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell as in a sanctuary; and people sin upon purpose, because they would go thither; so indeed all disquiet, horror, and perturbation follows her.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Much Ado About Nothing
         (Benedick at II, i)

No, the world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Much Ado About Nothing
         (Benedick at II, iii)

Let husbands know
  Their wives have sense like them. They see, and smell,
    And have their palates both for sweet and sour,
      As husbands have.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Emilia at IV, iii)

She's not well married that lived married long,
  But she's best married that dies married young.
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Friar Laurence at IV, v)

Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine:
  Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,
    Whose weakness married to thy stronger state
      Makes with me thy strength to communicate.
        If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
          Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss;
            Who all for want of pruning, with intrusion
              Infect thy sap and live on thy confusion.
      - William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors
         (Adriana at II, ii)

He is the half part of a blessed man,
  Left to be finished by such as she,
    And she a fair divided excellence,
      Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life and Death of King John
         (Citizen at II, i)

God, the best maker of all marriages,
  Combine your hearts in one, your realms in one!
    As man and wife, being two are one in love,
      So be there 'twixt your kingdoms such a spousal
        That never may ill office, or fell jealousy,
          Which troubles oft the bed of blessed marriage,
            Thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms
              To make divorce of their incorporate league;
                That English may as French, French Englishmen,
                  Receive each other! God speak this Amen!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (Isabel, Queen of France at V, ii)

The ancient saying is no heresy:
  Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice
         (Nerissa at II, ix)

But the full sum of me
  Is sum of something--which, to term in gross,
    Is an unlessoned girl, unschooled, unpractised;
      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,
                As from her lord, her governor, her king.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice
         (Portia at III, ii)

Such it is
  As are those dulcet sounds in break of day
    That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear
      And summon him to marriage.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice
         (Portia at III, ii)

I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decease it upon better acquaintance when we are married and have more occasion to know one another.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merry Wives of Windsor
         (Slender at I, i)

If she deny to wed I'll crave the day
  When I shall ask the banns, and when be married.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Taming of the Shrew
         (Petruchio at II, i)

Will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see
  She is your treasure, she must have a husband;
    I must dance barefoot on her wedding-day,
      And for your love to her lead apes in hell.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Taming of the Shrew (Kate at II, i)

I must, forsooth, be forced
  To give my hand opposed against my heart
    Unto a mad-brain rudesby, full of spleen,
      Who wooed in haste and means to wed at leisure.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Taming of the Shrew
         (Kate at III, ii)

And in conclusion she shall watch all night,
  And if she chance to nod I'll rail and brawl
    And with the clamor keep her still awake.
      This is a way to kill a wife with kindness,
        And thus I'll curb her mad and headstrong humor.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Taming of the Shrew
         (Petruchio at IV, i)

Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
  Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee
    And for thy maintenance; commits his body
      To painful labor both by sea and land,
        To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
          Whilst thou li'st warm at home, secure and safe;
            And craves no other tribute at thy hands
              But love, fair looks, and true obedience--
                Too little payment for so great a debt.
                  Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
                    Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
                      And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
                        And not obedient to his honest will,
                          What is she but a foul contending rebel
                            And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Taming of the Shrew (Kate at V, ii)

Should all despair
  That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
    Would hang themselves.
      - William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale
         (Leontes at I, ii)

Let still the woman take
  An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
    So sways she level in her husband's heart;
      For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
        Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
          More longing, wavering, soon lost and worn,
            Than women's are.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Orsino, Duke of Illyria at II, iv)

Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
  Or thy affection cannot hold the bent;
    For women are as roses, whose fair flow'r,
      Being once displayed, doth fall that very hour.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Orsino, Duke of Illyria at II, iv)

If you mean well,
  Now go with me and with this holy man
    Into the chantry by. There, before him,
      And underneath that consecrated roof,
        Plight me the full assurance of your faith,
          That most jealous and too doubtful soul
            May live in peace.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Olivia at IV, iii)

The whole world is strewn with snares, traps, gins and pitfalls for the capture of men by women.
      - George Bernard Shaw,
        Epistle Dedicatory to Man and Superman

To disbelieve in marriage is easy: to love a married woman is easy; but to betray a comrade, to be disloyal to a host, to break the covenant of bread and salt, is impossible.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Getting Married

What God hath joined together no man shall put asunder; God will take care of that.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Getting Married

When it shall please God to bring thee to man's estate, use great providence and circumspection in choosing thy wife. For from thence will spring all thy future good or evil; and it is an action of life, like unto a stratagem of war; wherein a man can err but once!
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

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