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

I chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, for qualities that would wear well.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
  Roy's wife of Aldivalloch,
    Wat ye how she cheated me
      Am I cam o'er the braes of Balloch.
      - attributed to Mrs. Anne Grant of Carron,
        but claimed for a shoemaker in Cabrach

An ideal wife is one who remains faithful to you but tries to be just as charming as if she weren't.
      - Sacha Guitry

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.
      - William Ernest Henley, Echoes (XIX)

My wife has a whim of iron.
      - Oliver Herford

One word can charm all wrongs away,--
  The sacred name of Wife.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Andromache! my soul's far better part.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (bk. VI, l. 624), (Pope's translation)

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.
      - William Walsham How, Good Wives

Nothing can be more touching than to behold a soft and tender female, who had been all weakness and dependence, and alive to every trivial roughness while treading the prosperous paths of life, suddenly rising in mental force to be the comforter and supporter of her husband under misfortune, and abiding with unshrinking firmness the bitterest blast of adversity.
      - Washington Irving

O woman! thou knowest the hour when the goodman of the house will return, when the heat and burden of the day are past; do not let him at such time, when he is weary with toil and jaded with discouragement, find upon his coming to his habitation that the foot which should hasten to meet him is wandering at a distance, that the soft hand which should wipe the sweat from his brow is knocking at the door of other houses.
      - Washington Irving

Alas! another instance of the triumph of hope over experience.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        referring to the second marriage of a friend who had been unfortunate in his first wife, see J. Hawkins's "Collection Edition of Johnson", 1787

He who would have fine guests, let him have a fine wife.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Nothing flatters a man so much as the happiness of his wife; he is always proud of himself as the source of it.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

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 Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Remark as Recorded by Mrs. Piozzi

One can with dignity be wife and widow but once.
      - Joseph Joubert

He knew whose gentle hand was at the latch,
  Before the door had given her to his eyes.
      - John Keats (1), Isabella (st. 3)

The death of a man's wife is like cutting down an ancient oak that has long shaded the family mansion. Henceforth the glare of the world, with its cares and vicissitudes falls upon the old widower's heart, and there is nothing to break their force, or shield him from the full weight of misfortune. It is as if his right hand were withered; as if one wing of his angel was broken, and every movement that he made brought him to the ground.
      - Alphonse de Lamartine

By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.
      - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

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 o'er angry wave and gust;
              And in the wreck of noble lives
                Something immortal still survives.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Building of the Ship (l. 368)

But thou dost make the very night itself
  Brighter than day.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Christus--The Divine Tragedy--The First Passover
         (pt. III, l. 133)

Heaven deprives me of a wife who never caused me any other grief than that of her death.
  [Fr., Le ciel me prive d'une epouse qui ne m'a jamais donne d'autre chagrin que celui de sa mort.]
      - Louis XIV ("Le Grand")

How much the wife is dearer than the bride.
      - Lord George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton ("The Good Lord Lyttelton"),
        An Irregular Ode

O wretched is the dame, to whom the sound,
  "Your lord will soon return," no phrase brings.
      - Charles Robert Maturin, Bertram
         (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.
      - Thomas Middleton,
        Anything for a Quiet Life (act I, sc. 1)

Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
  Thy wish, exactly to thy heart's desire.
      - John Milton

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