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WIVES
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[ Also see Babyhood Bride Childhood Couples Home Husbands Love Marriage Matrimony Motherhood Mothers Women Wooing ]

Would it not grieve a woman to be over-mastered by a piece of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marle?
      - William Shakespeare

As for my wife,
  I would you had her spirit in such another;
    The third o' th' world is yours, which with a snaffle
      You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
      - William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
         (Antony at II, ii)

O ye gods,
  Render me worthy of this noble wife!
      - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
         (Brutus at II, i)

You are my true and honorable wife,
  As dear to me as the ruddy drops
    That visit my sad heart.
      - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
         (Brutus at II, i)

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)

Let me give light, but let me not be light,
  For a light wife doth make a heavy husband,
    And never be Bassanio so for me.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice (Portia at V, i)

Nay, look not big, nor stamp, nor stare, nor fret;
  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.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Taming of the Shrew
         (Petruchio at III, ii)

Why, man, she is mine own,
  And I as rich in having such a jewel
    A twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl,
      The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Valentine at II, iv)

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

It is a woman's business to get married as soon as possible, and a man's to keep unmarried as long as he can.
      - George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

My dear, my better half.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney), Arcadia
         (bk. III)

Of earth's goods, the best is a good wife; a bad, the bitterest curse of human life.
      - Simonides of Ceos

Of earthly goods, the best is a good wife;
  A bad, the bitterest curse of human life.
      - Simonides of Ceos

Light household duties, ever more inwrought
  With placid fancies of one trusting heart
    That lives but in her smile, and turns
      From life's 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 Smith (nee Prince),
        The 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 unstirr'd
            On its mystical circuit is winging.
      - Edmund Clarence Stedman, Stanzas for Music

A virtuous wife when she obeys her husband obtains the command over him.
  [Lat., Casta ad virum matrona parendo imperat.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

When choosing a wife look down the social scale; when selecting a friend, look upwards.
      - The Talmud, Talmud, Yebamoth (63)

An ideal wife is any woman who has an ideal husband.
      - Booth Tarkington (Newton Booth Tarkington)

A good wife is heaven's last best gift to man; his angel and minister of graces innumerable; his gem of many virtues; his casket of jewels; her voice his sweet music; her smiles his brightest day; her kiss the guardian of his innocence; her arms the pale of his safety, the balm of his health, the balsam of his life; her industry, his surest wealth; her economy, his safest steward; her lips, his faithful counselors; her bosom, the softest pillow of his cares; and her prayers, the ablest advocates of heaven's blessings on his head.
      - Jeremy Taylor

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,
                  Crown'd Isabel, thro' all her placid life,
                    The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Isabel

An intelligent wife can make her home, in spite of exigencies, pretty much what she pleases.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

A fat, fair and fifty card-playing resident of the Crescent.
      - Melesina Trench (Mrs. Richard Trench),
        Letter

I have known men of valor cowards to their wives.
      - Horace (Horatio) Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford

The world well tried--the sweetest thing in life
  Is the unclouded welcome of a wife.
      - Nathaniel Parker Willis, Lady Jane
         (canto II, st. 11)


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