C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


A widow is like a frigate of which the first captain has been shipwrecked.

Alphonse Karr.

Widows, like ripe fruit, drop easily from their perch.

La Bruyère.

Young widows still bide their time.

H. W. Shaw.

Handsome widows, after a twelvemonth, enjoy a latitude and longitude without limit.


  • May widows wed as often as they can,
  • And ever for the better change their man;
  • And some devouring plague pursue their lives,
  • Who will not well be govern’d by their wives.
  • Dryden.

  • Why are those tears? why droops your head
  • Is then your other husband dead?
  • Or does a worse disgrace betide?
  • Hath no one since his death applied?
  • Gay.

  • Thus, day by day, and month by month, we pass’d;
  • It pleas’d the Lord to take my spouse at last.
  • I tore my gown, I soil’d my locks with dust,
  • And beat my breasts—as wretched widows must:
  • Before my face my handkerchief I spread,
  • To hide the flood of tears I did—not shed.
  • Pope.

    The widow who has been bereft of her children may seem in after years no whit less placid, no whit less serenely gladsome; nay, more gladsome than the woman whose blessings are still round her. I am amazed to see how wounds heal.

    Charles Buxton.