Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Wife

"A gentleman who had been very unhappy I marriage, married immediately after his wife died: Johnson said, it was the triumph of hope over experience." - James Boswell

"Whoever undertakes a long Journey, if he be wise, makes it his Business to find out an agreeable Companion. How cautious then should He be, who is to take a Journey for Life, whose Fellow-Traveler must not part with him but at the Grave; his Companion at Bed and Board and Sharer of all the Pleasures and Fatigues of his Journey; as the Wife must be to the Husband! She is no such Sort of Ware, that a Man can be rid of when he pleases: When once that’s purchas’d, no Exchange, no Sale, no Alienation can be made: She is an inseparable Accident to Man: Marriage is a Noose, which, fasten’d about the Neck, runs the closer, and fits more uneasy by our struggling to get loose: ‘Tis a Gordian Knot which none can unty, and being twisted with our Thread of Life, nothing but the Schyth of Death can cut it." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"As a great part of the uneasiness of matrimony arises from mere trifles, it would be wise in every young married man to enter into an agreement with his wife, that in all disputes of this kind the party who was most convinced they were right should always surrender the victory. By which means both would be more forward to give up the cause." - Henry Fielding

"A simple heart will love all that is most precious on earth, husband or wife, parent or child, brother or friend, without marring its singleness; external things will have no attraction save inasmuch as they lead souls to Him; all exaggeration or unreality, affection and falsehood must pass away from such a one, as the dews dry up before the sunshine. The single motive is to please God, and hence arises total indifference as to what others say and think, so that words and actions are perfectly simple and natural, as in his sight." - N. Grou

"A man’s Self is the sum-total of all that he can call his, not only his body, and his psychic powers, but this clothes and his house, his wife and children, his ancestors and friends, his reputation and works, his land and horse and yacht and bank account." - William James

"The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. - is sure to be noticed." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"I believe marriage to be the best and most important relation that can exist between two human beings. If it has not often been realized hitherto, that is chiefly because husband and wife have regarded themselves as each other’s policeman. If marriage is to achieve its possibilities, husbands and wives must learn to understand that whatever the law may say, in their private lives they must be free." -

"With regard to marriage, it is plain that it is in accordance with reason, if the desire of connection is engendered not merely by external form, but by a love of begetting children and wisely educating them; and if, in addition, the love both of the husband and wife has for its cause not external form merely, but chiefly liberty of mind." -

"The man who enters his wife's dressing room is either a philosopher or a fool." - Honoré de Balzac

"A man unattached and without wife, if he have any genius at all, may raise himself above his original position, may mingle with the world of fashion, and hold himself on a level with the highest; this is less easy for him who is engaged; it seems as if marriage put the whole world in their proper rank." - Jean de La Bruyère

"In every visible Creature there is a Body and a Spirit... or, more Active and more Passive Principle, which may fitly be termed Male and Female, by reason of that Analogy a Husband hath with his Wife. For as the ordinary Generation of Men requires a Conjunction and Co-operation of Male and Female; so also all Generations and Productions whatsoever they be, require an Union, and conformable Operation of those Two Principles, to wit, Spirit and Body; but the Spirit is an Eye or Light beholding its own proper Image, and the Body is a Tenebrosity or Darkness receiving that Image, when the Spirit looks thereinto, as when one sees himself in a Looking-Glass; for certainly he cannot so behold himself in the Transparent Air, nor in any Diaphanous Body, because the reflexion of an Image requires a certain opacity or darkness, which we call a Body: Yet to be a Body is not an Essential property of any Thing; as neither is it a Property of any Thing to be dark; for nothing is so dark that nothing else, neither differs any thing from a Spirit, but in that it is more dark; therefore by how much the thicker and grosser it is become, so much the more remote it is from the degree of Spirit, so that this distinction is only modal and gradual, not essential or substantial." - Anne Conway

"How much that the world calls selfishness is only generosity with narrow walls, a too exclusive solicitude to maintain a wife in luxury, or make one’s children rich." - Thomas Wentworth Higginson

"The grave is a sacred workshop of nature! a chamber for the figure of the body; death and life dwell here together as man and wife. They are one body, they are in union; God has joined them together, and what God hath joined together let no man put asunder." - Theodore Gottlieb von Hippel the Younger

"“The last word” is the most dangerous of internal machines; and husband and wife should no more fight to get it than they would struggle for the possession of a lighted bombshell." -

"Nothing flatters a man so much as the happiness of his wife; he is always proud of himself as the source of it." -

"If a man builds a better mousetrap than his neighbor, the world will not only beat a path to his door, it will make newsreels of him and his wife in beach pajamas, it will discuss his diet and his health, it will publish heart-throb stories of his love life." - Newman Levy

"How much the wife is dearer than the bride!" - George Lyttleton, 1st Baron Lyttleton of Frankley

"One of the best hearing aids a man can have is an attentive wife." - Groucho Marx, Pseudonym for Julius Henry Marx

"Some truths between husband and wife must be spoken with sweetness. Wounded vanity is fatal to love. It makes one hate the person who inflicted the wound. In married conversation, as in surgery, the knife must be used with care." - André Maurois, born born Emile Salomon Wilhelm Herzog

"I believe the recipe for happiness to be just enough money to pay the monthly bills you acquire, a little surplus to give you confidence, a little too much work each day, enthusiasm for your work, a substantial share of good health, a couple of real friends, and a wife and children to share life's beauty with you." - John Morley, 1st Viscount Morely of Blackburn, Lord Morley

"The husband needs to be blind at times; the wife deaf; both need much of the time to be dumb." - Nikita Ivanovich Panin

"To tell the truth, however, family and poverty have done more to support me than I have to support them. They have compelled me to make exertions that I hardly thought myself capable of; and often when on the eve of despairing, they have forced me, like a coward in a corner, to fight like a hero, not for myself, but for my wife and little ones." - Philip Bennett Power

"We should behave toward our country as women do toward men they love. A loving wife will do anything for her husband except stop criticizing and trying to improve him. We should cast the same affectionate but sharp glance at our country. We should love it, but also insist upon telling all its faults. The noisy empty "patriot" not the critic is the dangerous citizen." - J (ohn) B (oynton) Priestley, Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) English Theologian, Philosopher or J (ohn) B (oynton) Priestly

"A good wife is heaven’s last, best gift to man - his gem of many virtues, his casket of jewels; her voice is sweet music, her smiles his brightest day, her kiss the guardian of his innocence, her arms the pale of his safety, her industry his surest wealth, her economy his safest steward, her lips his faithful counselors, her bosom the softest pillow of his care." - Jeremy Taylor

"The world well tried - the sweetest thing in life is the unclouded welcome of a wife." - Nathaniel Parker Willis

"When a man steals your wife there is no better revenge than to let him keep her." - Sacha Guitry, fully Alexandre-Pierre Georges "Sacha" Guitry

"Most people aren't appreciated enough, and the bravest things we do in our lives are usually known only to ourselves. No one throws ticker tape on the man who chose to be faithful to his wife, on the lawyer who didn't take the drug money." - Peggy Noonan, born Margaret Ellen Noonan

"Between man and wife friendship seems to exist by nature; for man is naturally inclined to form couples." - Aristotle NULL

"Good temper is the most contented, the most comfortable state of the soul; the greatest happiness both for those who possess it, and for those who feel its influence. With "gentleness" in his own character, "comfort" in his house, and "good temper" in his wife, the earthly felicity of man is complete... Bad temper is its own scourge. Few things are more bitter than to feel bitter. A man's venom poisons himself more than his victim." - Charles Buxton

"Our fathers gave us many laws, which they had learned from their fathers. These laws were good. They told us to treat all people as they treated us; that we should never be the first to break a bargain; that it was a disgrace to tell a lie; that we should speak only the truth; that it was a shame for one man to take from another his wife or his property without paying for it. We were taught that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything, and that he never forgets, that hereafter he will give every man a spirit-home according to his deserts: If he has been a good man, he will have a good home; if he has been a bad man, he will have a bad home. This I believe, and all my people believe the same." - Chief Joseph, born Hinmuuttu-yalatlat

"Our fathers gave us many laws, which they have learned from their fathers; these laws were good. They told us to treat all men as they treated us; that we should never break a bargain; that it was a disgrace to tell a lie, that we should speak only the truth; that it was a shame for one man to take from another his wife, or his property without paying for it. We were taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything and that he never forgets; that hereafter He will give every man a spirit home according to his desserts - if he has been a good man, he will have a good home; if he was bad, he will have a bad home. This I believe, and all my people believe the same." - Chief Joseph, born Hinmuuttu-yalatlat

"In death, there are no rulers above and no subjects below. The course of the four seasons is unknown; our life is eternal. Even a king among men can experience no greater happiness than is ours… If I could restore your body to you, renew your bones and your flesh and take you back to your parents, your wife, and children and old friends, would you not gladly accept my offers?… Why should I throw away a happiness greater than a king’s to once again thrust myself into the troubles and anxieties of mankind?" - Chuang Tzu, also spelled Chuang-tsze, Chuang Chou, Zhuangzi, Zhuang Tze, Zhuang Zhou, Chuang Tsu, Chouang-Dsi, Chuang Tse, or Chuangtze

"A good and virtuous wife is the most precious jewel of one's life." - Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi NULL

"The relation of love between husband and wife is in itself not objective, because even if their feeling is their substantial unity, still this unity has no objectivity. Such objectivity parents first acquire in their children, in whom they can see objectified the entirety of their union." - Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"Our prejudices are our mistresses; reason is at best our wife, very often heard indeed, but seldom minded." - Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

"The male form of a female liberationist is a male liberationist - a man who realizes the unfairness of having to work all his life to support a wife and children so that someday his widow may live in comfort, a man who points out that commuting to a job he doesn’t like is just as oppressive as his wife’s imprisonment in a suburb, a man who rejects his exclusion, by society and most women, from participation in childbirth and the engrossing, delightful care of young children - a man, in fact, who wants to relate himself to people and the world around him." - Margaret Mead

"Beware of covetousness, which is a malady, diseaseful, incurable. Intimacy with it is impossible, it makes the sweet friend bitter, it alienates the trusted one from his master, it makes father and mother mad… it divorces a man’s wife." - Ptah-hotep, aka Ptahhotpe or Ptah-Hotep NULL

"What thou givest after thy death, remember that thou givest it to a stranger, and most times to an enemy; for he that shall marry thy wife will despise thee, thy memory and thine, and shall possess the quiet of thy labors, the fruit which thou hast planted, enjoy thy love, and spend with joy and ease what thou hast spared and gotten with care and travail." - Walter Raleigh, fully Sir Walter Raleigh

"In many walks of life, a conscience is a more expensive encumbrance than a wife or a carriage." - Thomas De Quincey, fully Thomas Penson De Quincey

"If you would have a good wife marry one who has been a good daughter." - Thomas Fuller

"I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things. Love a friend, a wife, something – whatever you like – you will be on the way to knowing more about Him; that is what I say to myself. But one must love with a lofty and serious intimate sympathy, with strength, with intelligence; and one must always try to know deeper, better, and more. That leads to God, that leads to unwavering faith." - Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh

"I have certainly known more men destroyed by the desire to have a wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots." - William Butler Yeats

"Unhappy is the man for whom his own wife has not made all other women sacred." -

"I believe marriage to be the best and most important relation that can exist between two human beings. If it has not often been realized hitherto, that is chiefly because husband and wife have regarded themselves as each other’s policeman. If marriage is to achieve its possibilities, husbands and wives must learn to understand that whatever the law may say, in their private lives they must be free." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"It is better to be the widow of a hero than the wife of a coward." - Dolores Ibarruri, aka “La Pasaonaria”

"“The last word” is the most dangerous of internal machines; and husband and wife should no more fight to get it than they would struggle for the possession of a lighted bombshell." - Douglas William Jerrold

"The welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family; he feels dispensable, his wife knows he is dispensable, his children sense it." - George F Gilder

"Behind every successful man is a proud wife and a surprised mother-in-law. " - Hubert Humphrey, fully Hubert Horatio Humphrey

"Too much of anything is a mistake, as the man said when his wife presented him with four new healthy children in one day. We should practice moderation in all matters." - Jerome K. Jerome, fully Jerome Klapka Jerome

"In the true married relationship, the independence of husband and wife will be equal, their dependence mutual, and their obligations reciprocal." - Lucretia Mott, fully Lucretia Coffin Mott