C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
It is not good that the man should be alone.
The bloom or blight of all men’s happiness.
What, therefore, God hath joined together let not man put asunder.
Hearts with equal love combined kindle never-dying fires.
Of earthly goods the best, is a good wife.
Wedlock’s a lane where there is no turning.
Marriages are made in heaven.
He that takes a wife takes care.
If you wish to ruin yourself, marry a rich wife.
Marriages are best of dissimilar material.
Married in haste, we repent at leisure.
It is hard to wive and thrive both in a year.
An obedient wife commands her husband.
Well-married, a man is winged: ill-matched, he is shackled.
Hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
Marriage is a desperate thing.
Man is the circled oak; woman the ivy.
Marriage is the nursery of heaven!
A light wife doth make a heavy husband.
A young man married is a man that’s marred.
Hanging and wiving go by destiny.
Marriage is a feast where the grace is sometimes better than the dinner.
Men are April when they woo, December when they wed.
Husbands and wives talk of the cares of matrimony, and bachelors and spinsters bear them.
Strong are the instincts with which God has guarded the sacredness of marriage.
No man can either live piously or die righteous without a wife.
I chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, for qualities that would wear well.
Hail, wedded love, mysterious law, true source of human offspring!
A man finds himself seven years older the day after his marriage.
The instances, that second marriage move, are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
A wife is a gift bestowed upon a man to reconcile him to the loss of paradise.
Humble wedlock is far better than proud virginity.
Never marry but for love; but see that thou lovest what is lovely.
Should all despair that have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind would hang themselves.
Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.
As the husband is, the wife is; thou art mated with a clown.
The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie.
Go down the ladder when thou marriest a wife; go up when thou choosest a friend.
It is in vain for a man to be born fortunate, if he be unfortunate in his marriage.
Two consorts in heaven are not two, but one angel.
There are good marriages, but there are no delightful ones.
Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives.
Oh! how many torments lie in the small circle of a wedding ring.
When men enter into the state of marriage, they stand nearest to God.
Matrimony,—the high sea for which no compass has yet been invented.
A husband is a plaster that cures all the ills of girlhood.
Marriage must be a relation either of sympathy or of conquest.
God has set the type of marriage everywhere throughout the creation.
When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.
Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there.
No navigator has yet traced lines of latitude and longitude on the conjugal sea.
There is more of good nature than of good sense at the bottom of most marriages.
For parents to restrain the inclinations of their children in marriage is an usurped power.
The Italians have this proverb: In buying houses and taking a wife, shut your eyes and commend yourself to God.
Let still the woman take an elder than herself; so wears she to him, so sways she level in her husband’s heart.
It goes far towards reconciling me to being a woman, when I reflect that I am thus in no danger of ever marrying one.
Men should keep their eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterwards.
If people only made prudent marriages, what a stop to population there would be!
God, the best maker of all marriages, combine your hearts in one, your realms in one.
Marriage, by making us more contented, causes us often to be less enterprising.
When a man and woman are married, their romance ceases and their history commences.
There cannot be any great happiness in the married life except each in turn give up his or her own humors and lesser inclinations.
When thou choosest a wife, think not only of thyself, but of those God may give thee of her, that they reproach thee not for their being.
Marriage is the best state for man in general; and every man is a worse man in proportion as he is unfit for the married state.
Love in marriage should be the accomplishment of a beautiful dream, and not, as it too often proves, the end.
The reason why so few marriages are happy is because young ladies spend their time in making nets, not in making cages.
The first bond of society is marriage; the nest, our children; then the whole family and all things in common.
Her gentle spirit commits itself to yours to be directed, as from her lord, her governor, her king.
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
They that marry ancient people, merely in expectation to bury them, hang themselves, in hope that one will come out and cut the halter.
It happens, as with cages, the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair of getting out.
I have met with women whom I really think would like to be married to a Poem, and to be given away by a Novel.
From my experience, not one in twenty marries the first love; we build statues of snow and weep to see them melt.
As a walled town is more worthier than a village, so is the forehead of a married man more honorable than the bare brow of a bachelor.
But earthlier happy is the rose distilled than that which, withering on the virgin thorn, grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness.
To be man’s tender mate was woman born, and in obeying nature she best serves the purposes of heaven.
It is to be feared that they who marry where they do not love will love where they do not marry.
To love early and marry late is to hear a lark singing at dawn, and at night to eat it roasted for supper.
However old a conjugal union, it still garners some sweetness. Winter has some cloudless days, and under the snow a few flowers still bloom.
Man and wife are equally concerned, to avoid all offence of each other, in the beginning of their conversation. Every little thing can blast an infant blossom.
Such a large sweet fruit is a complete marriage, that it needs a very long summer to ripen in and then a long winter to mellow and season it.
Every effort is made in forming matrimonial alliances to reconcile matters relating to fortune, but very little is paid to the congeniality of dispositions, or to the accordance of hearts.
Happy and thrice happy are they who enjoy an uninterrupted union, and whose love, unbroken by any complaints, shall not dissolve until the last day.
A good wife is like the ivy which beautifies the building to which it clings, twining its tendrils more lovingly as time converts the ancient edifice into a ruin.
God has set the type of marriage everywhere throughout the creation. Each creature seeks its perfection in another. The very heavens and earth picture it to us.
A man may be cheerful and contented in celibacy, but I do not think he can ever be happy; it is an unnatural state, and the best feelings of his nature are never called into action.
An unhappy gentleman, resolving to wed nothing short of perfection, keeps his heart and hand till both get so old and withered that no tolerable woman will accept them.
The man at the head of the house can mar the pleasure of the household; but he cannot make it. That must rest with the woman, and it is her greatest privilege.
It resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated; often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing any one who comes between them.
A man of sense and education should meet a suitable companion in a wife. It is a miserable thing when the conversation can only be such as whether the mutton should be boiled or roasted, and probably a dispute about that.
An idol may be undeified by many accidental causes. Marriage, in particular, is a kind of counter-apotheosis, or a deification inverted. When a man becomes familiar with his goddess, she quickly sinks into a woman.
Marriage enlarges the scene of our happiness and miseries. A marriage of love is pleasant; a marriage of interest, easy; and a marriage where both meet, happy. A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of friendship, all the enjoyments of sense and reason, and, indeed, all the sweets of life.
The most unhappy circumstance of all is, when each party is always laying up fuel for dissension, and gathering together a magazine of provocations to exasperate each other with when they are out of humor.
As a looking-glass, if it is a true one, faithfully represents the face of him that looks in it, so a wife ought to fashion herself to the affection of her husband; not to be cheerful when he is sad, nor sad when he is cheerful.
In the opinion of the world, marriage ends all; as it does in a comedy. The truth is precisely the reverse. It begins all. So they say of death, “It is the end of all things.” Yes, just as much as marriage.
That alliance may be said to have a double tie, where the minds are united as well as the body; and the union will have all its strength when both the links are in perfection together.
He that marries is like the doge who was married to the Adriatic. He knows not what there is in that which he marries; mayhap treasures and pearls, mayhap monsters and tempests, await him.
I believe marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the lord chancellor, upon a due consideration of the characters and circumstances, without the parties having any choice in the matter.
The moment a woman marries, some terrible revolution happens in her system; all her good qualities vanish, presto, like eggs out of a conjuror’s box. ’Tis true that they appear on the other side of the box, but for the husband they are gone forever.
Up to twenty-one, I hold a father to have power over his children as to marriage; after that age, authority and influence only. Show me one couple unhappy merely on account of their limited circumstances, and I will show you ten who are wretched from other causes.
It is a mistake to consider marriage merely as a scheme of happiness. It is also a bond of service. It is the most ancient form of that social ministration which God has ordained for all human beings, and which is symbolized by all the relations of nature.
It is the most momentous question a woman is ever called upon to decide, whether the faults of the man she loves are beyond remedy and will drag her down, or whether she is competent to be his earthly redeemer and lift him to her own level.
Save the love we pay to heaven, there is none purer, holier, than that a virtuous woman feels for him she would cleave through life to. Sisters part from sisters, brothers from brothers, children from their parents, but such woman from the husband of her choice never!
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!
It is a delightful thought, that, during the familiarity of constant proximity, the heart gathers up in silence the nutriment of love, as the diamond, even beneath water, imbibes the light it emits. Time, which deadens hatred, secretly strengthens love.
Marriage is the strictest tie of perpetual friendship, and there can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity: and he must expect to be wretched, who pays to beauty, riches, or politeness that regard which only virtue and piety can claim.
Mothers who force their daughters into interested marriage, are worse than the Ammonites who sacrificed their children to Moloch—the latter undergoing a speedy death, the former suffering years of torture, but too frequently leading to the same result.
True it is, as society is instituted, marriage becomes somewhat of a lottery, for all its votaries are either the victims of Cupid or cupidity; in either instance, they are under the blinding influence of passion, and consequently but little subject to the control of reason.
The good husband keeps his wife in the wholesome ignorance of unnecessary secrets. They will not be starved with the ignorance, who perchance may surfeit with the knowledge of weighty counsels, too heavy for the weaker sex to bear. He knows little who will tell his wife all he knows.
Deceive not thyself by over-expecting happiness in the marriage state. Look not therein for contentment greater than God will give, or a creature in this world can receive, namely, to be free from all inconveniences. Marriage is not, like the hill of Olympus, wholly clear without clouds.
Jars concealed are half reconciled; ’tis a double task, to stop the breach at home and men’s mouths abroad. To this end, a good husband never publicly reproves his wife. An open reproof puts her to do penance before all that are present; after which, many study rather revenge than reformation.
Were a man not to marry a second time, it might be concluded that his first wife had given him a disgust for marriage; but by taking a second wife he pays the highest compliment to the first by showing that she made him so happy as a married man that he wishes to be so a second time.
The good wife is none of our dainty dames, who love to appear in a variety of suits every day new; as if a good gown, like a stratagem in war, were to be used but once. But bur good wife sets up a sail according to the keel of her husband’s estate; and if of high parentage, she doth not so remember what she was by birth, that she forgets what she is by match.
Two persons who have chosen each other out of all the species with a design to be each other’s mutual comfort and entertainment have, in that action, bound themselves to be good-humored, affable, discreet, forgiving, patient, and joyful, with respect to each other’s frailties and perfections, to the end of their lives.
A married man falling into misfortune is more apt to retrieve his situation in the world than a single one, chiefly because his spirits are soothed and retrieved by domestic endearments, and his self-respect kept alive by finding that although all abroad be darkness and humiliation, yet there is a little world of love at home over which he is a monarch.
We are not very much to blame for our bad marriages. We live amid hallucinations, and this especial trap is laid to trip up our feet with, and all are tripped up first or last. But the mighty mother, who had been so sly with us, as if she felt she owed us some indemnity, insinuates into the Pandora box of marriage some deep and serious benefits, and some great joys.
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.
Marriage has in it less of beauty, but more of safety, than the single life; it hath not more ease, but less danger; it is more merry and more sad; it is fuller of sorrows and fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but is supported by all the strengths of love and charity; and those burdens are delightful.
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.
The best time for marriage will be towards thirty, for as the younger times are unfit, either to choose or to govern a wife and family, so, if thou stay long, thou shalt hardly see the education of thy children, who, being left to strangers, are in effect lost; and better were it to be unborn than ill-bred; for thereby thy posterity shall either perish, or remain a shame to thy name.
Marriages on earth—because they are the seminaries of the human race and of the angels of heaven also; because, likewise, they proceed from a spiritual origin, that is, from the marriage of good and truth; and since, in addition, the Lord’s divine proceeding principally flows into conjugal love—are most holy in the estimation of the angels.
She that hath a wise husband must entice him to an eternal dearness by the veil of modesty and the grave robes of chastity, the ornament of meekness and the jewels of faith and charity. She must have no painting but blushings; her brightness must be purity, and she must shine round about with sweetness and friendship; and she shall be pleasant while she lives, and desired when she dies.
A good wife is heaven’s last 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.
Marriage is the mother of the world, and preserves kingdoms, and fills cities and churches, and heaven itself.
***Marriage, like the useful bee, builds a house, and gathers sweetness from every flower, and labors and unites into societies and republics, and sends out colonies, and feeds the world with delicacies, and obeys their king, and keeps order, and exercises many virtues, and promotes the interest of mankind, and is that state of good things to which God hath designed the present constitution of the world.
Have ever more care that thou be beloved of thy wife, rather than thyself besotted on her; and thou shalt judge of her love by these two observations: first, if thou perceive she have a care of thy estate, and exercise herself therein; the other, if she study to please thee, and be sweet unto thee in conversation, without thy instruction; for love needs no teaching nor precept.
1. The very nearest approach to domestic happiness on earth is in the cultivation on both sides of absolute unselfishness.
2. Never both be angry at once.
3. Never talk at one another, either alone or in company.
4. Never speak loud to one another unless the house is on fire.
5. Let each one strive to yield oftenest to the wishes of the other.
6. Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each.
7. Never find fault unless it is perfectly certain that a fault has been committed, and always speak lovingly.
8. Never taunt with a past mistake.
9. Neglect the whole world besides rather than one another.
10. Never allow a request to be repeated.
11. Never make a remark at the expense of each other,—it is a meanness.
12. Never part for a day without loving words to think of during absence.
13. Never meet without a loving welcome.
14. Never let the sun go down upon any anger or grievance.
15. Never let any fault you have committed go by until you have frankly confessed it and asked forgiveness.
16. Never forget the happy hours of early love.
17. Never sigh over what might have been, but make the best of what is.
18. Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessing alone can make it what it should ever be.
19. Never be contented till you know you are both walking in the narrow way.
20. Never let your hopes stop short of the eternal home.