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What thou bidd'st
  Unargu'd I obey, so God ordains;
    God is thy law, thou mine; to know no more
      Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. IV, l. 635)

For nothing lovelier can be found
  In woman, than to study household good,
    And good works in her husband to promote.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. IX, l. 232)

For what thou art is mine:
  Our state cannot be sever'd; we are one,
    One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. IX, l. 957)

  My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
    Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight!
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost (bk. V, l. 17)

Here were we fallen in a greate question of ye lawe whyther ye grey mare may be the better horse or not.
      - Henry More, The Dial (bk. II, ch. V)

A man's wife is his compromise with the illusion of his first sweetheart.
      - George Jean Nathan

Give me, next good, an understanding wife,
  By nature wise, not learned by much art;
    Some knowledge on her side will all my life
      More scope of conversation then impart;
        Besides her inborn virtue fortify;
          They are most good who best know why.
      - Sir Thomas Overbury

She is but half a wife that is not, nor is capable of being, a friend.
      - William Penn

I have taken a wife, I have sold my sovereignty for a dowry.
  [Lat., Uxorem accepi, dote imperium vendidi.]
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus), Asinaria
         (act I, sc. 1)

Horses (thou say'st) and asses men may try,
  And ring suspected vessels ere they buy;
    But wives, a random choice, untried they take;
      They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake;
        Then, nor till then, the veil's removed away,
          And all the woman glares in open day.
      - Alexander Pope

What so pure, which envious tongues will spare?
  Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair,
    With matchless impudence they style a wife,
      The dear-bought curse, and lawful plague of life;
        A bosom serpent, a domestic evil,
          A night invasion, and a mid-day devil;
            Let not the wise these sland'rous words regard,
              But curse the bones of ev'ry living bard.
      - Alexander Pope

But what so pure, which envious tongues will spare?
  Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair.
    With matchless impudence they style a wife
      The dear-bought curse, and lawful plague of life;
        A bosom-serpent, a domestic evil,
          A night-invasion and a mid-day-devil.
            Let not the wife these sland'rous words regard,
              But curse the bones of ev'ry living bard.
      - Alexander Pope, January and May (l. 43)

All other goods by fortune's hand are given,
  A wife is the peculiar gift of heaven.
      - Alexander Pope,
        January and May--From Chaucer (l. 51)

She who ne'er answers till a husband cools,
  Or, if she rules him, never shews she rules;
    Charms by accepting, by submitting sways,
      Yet has her humour most when she obeys.
      - Alexander Pope, Moral Essays
         (ep. II, l. 261)

A wife is essential to great longevity; she is the receptacle of half a man's cares, and two-thirds of his ill-humor.
      - Charles Reade

Her pleasures are in the happiness of her family.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Fat, fair and forty.
      - Sir Walter Scott, St. Ronan's Well
         (ch. VII)

Alas! he has banish'd me his bed already;
  His love too long ago: I am old, my lords,
    And all the fellowship I hold now with him
      Is only my obedience. What can happen
        To me, above this wretchedness?
      - William Shakespeare

Fye! fye! unknit that threat'ning unkind brow;
  And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,
    To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
      It blots thy beauty, as frosts bite the meads;
        Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds;
          And in no sense is meet, or amiable.
      - William Shakespeare

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.
      - William Shakespeare

I crave fit disposition for my wife;
  Due reference of place, and exhibition;
    With such accommodation, and besort,
      As levels with her breeding.
      - William Shakespeare

I grant I am a woman; but, withal,
  A woman that lord Brutus took to wife;
    I grant I am a woman; but, withal,
      A woman well reputed; Cato's daughter,
        Think you, I am no stronger than my sex,
          Being so father'd and so husbanded?
      - William Shakespeare

The light wife doth make a heavy husband.
      - William Shakespeare

We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
  Wives may be merry, and yet honest too.
      - William Shakespeare

What? I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife!
  A woman that is like a German clock,
    Still a repairing, ever out of frame,
      And never going aright; being a watch,
        But being watch'd that it may still go right!
      - William Shakespeare

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