Reference > Quotations > Robert Christy, comp. > Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages
Robert Christy, comp.  Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages.  1887.
A bad wife is the shipwreck of her husband.  German.  1
A bad wife wishes her husband’s heel turned homeward and not his toe.  Danish.  2
A barren wife makes a dear and interesting friend. (To those who are looking for her husband’s money after his death.)  Juvenal.  3
A brilliant daughter makes a brittle wife.  Dutch.  4
A brown lass is gay and cleanly.  5
A child’s bird and a boy’s wife are well used.  6
A cross-grained woman and a snappish woman take care of the house.  Danish.  7
A fair wife without a fortune is a fair house without furniture.  8
A faithful wife becomes the truest and the tenderest friend.  Savage.  9
A faithless wife is the shipwreck of a house.  Latin.  10
A foolish wife drives her husband from his country.  German.  11
A good wife and health are a man’s best wealth.  12
A good wife is a good present.  Hebrew.  13
A good wife is the best household furniture.  German.  14
A good wife is worth gold.  German.  15
A good wife makes a good husband.  16
A grunting horse and a groaning wife seldom fail their master.  17
A gude yeoman makes a gude woman.  18
A house ready made, and a wife to make.  French.  19
A house well furnished makes a good housewife.  20
A light wife doth make a heavy husband.  Shakespeare.  21
A man can never thrive who has a wasteful wife.  22
A man can only find real delight in one wife.  Hebrew.  23
A man lifts his wife to his own rank. (Woman uplifts her husband to the dignity of her own character.)  Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine.  24
A man must ask his wife’s leave to thrive.  25
A man of sense rarely behaves very ill to a wife who deserves very well.  Fielding.  26
A man’s best fortune, or his worst, is his wife.  27
A man without a wife, a house without a roof.  German.  28
A man without a wife is a man without care.  29
A nice wife and a back door,
Do often make a rich man poor.
“A paradise in which hogs feed,” is a beautiful woman with an ugly husband.  31
A poor man who takes a rich wife has a ruler, not a wife.  Greek.  32
A prudent wife is from the Lord.  Bible.  33
A rich wife is the source of quarrel.  34
A rouk-town is seldom a good wife at home.  35
A shoemaker’s wife and a smith’s mare are always the worst shod.  36
A vicious wife and an untoward sow no laws can govern.  Chinese.  37
A wife is a young man’s mistress, a middle aged’s companion, an old man’s nurse.  Bacon.  38
A wife speaks and spurs.  Hebrew.  39
A world of comfort lies in the one word, wife.  Knowles.  40
A young wife is an old man’s post-horse to the grave.  German.  41
A young wife should be in her house but a shadow and an echo.  Chinese.  42
A young woman married to an old man must behave like an old woman.  43
All are good maids, but whence come the bad wives?  44
“All freight lightens,” said the skipper, when he threw his wife overboard.  German.  45
All other goods by fortune’s hand are given,
A wife is the peculiar gift of heaven.  Pope.
An expensive wife makes a pensive husband.  47
An obedient wife commands her husband.  48
A old man married to a young wife is full of inquietude.  49
An old woman is a very bad bride, but a very good wife.  Fielding.  50
An unscolded wife, like an uncut millstone, does not go easily.  Romanian.  51
Anxiety and need make the old wife trot.  German.  52
As the good man saith, so say we,
But as the good wife saith, so it must be.
As the market goes, wives must sell.  54
As you would have a daughter, so choose a wife.  Italian.  55
Bare walls make gadding housewives.  56
Better a portion in a wife than with a wife.  57
Better be an old man’s darling than a young man’s slave.  58
Better no wife than a foolish one.  German.  59
Blind men’s wives need no paint.  60
By seeming to gie Roger a’ the rule,
Round your finger you may turn the fool.
Cæsar’s wife must be above suspicion.  62
Choose a wife rather by your ear than your eye.  63
Choose cloth by its edge, and a daughter by her mother.  Turkish.  64
Choose neither a woman nor linen by candlelight.  Spanish.  65
Discreet wives have neither eyes nor ears.  German.  66
Discreet wives have sometimes neither eyes nor ears.  67
Do you carry the trough, husband, and I will carry the sieve, which is as heavy as the devil.  Spanish.  68
Empty rooms make giddy housewives.  French.  69
Everybody knows where his own shoe pinches.  (The remark of an ancient Roman when asked why he had separated from so excellent a wife.)  70
Every man has a good wife and a bad trade.  Italian.  71
Few take wives for God’s sake, or for fair looks.  72
Fire, water, and a bad wife are three great evils.  German.  73
For a good dinner, and a gentle wife, you can afford to wait.  Danish.  74
For a wife and a horse go to your neighbor.  Italian.  75
For whom does the blind man’s wife adorn herself?  Spanish.  76
Give your wife the short knife and keep the long one yourself.  Danish.  77
Grief for a dead wife lasts to the door.  Italian, Portuguese.  78
Happy is the wife who is married to a motherless son.  79
Happy the man that hath a beautiful wife; his days shall be increased.  Hebrew.  80
He draws a good wagonful into his farm who gets a good wife.  Dutch.  81
He fasts enough whose wife scolds all dinner time.  82
He that abides a curst wife need not fear what company he liveth in.  83
He that goes a great way for a wife is either cheated or means to cheat.  84
He that has a wife has a master.  85
He that has no wife chastises her well; he that has no children rears them well.  Italian.  86
He that hath a white horse and a fair wife never wants trouble.  87
He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises either of virtue or mischief.  Bacon.  88
He that hath a wife and children must not sit with his fingers in his mouth.  89
He that hath a wife and children wants not business.  Herbert.  90
He that hath a wife is sure of strife.  French.  91
He that kisses his wife in the market-place shall have enough to teach him.  92
He that loseth his wife and sixpence hath lost a tester.  93
He that loseth his wife and a farthing hath a great loss of a farthing.  94
He that takes not up a pin slights his wife.  95
He that tells his wife news is but lately married.  96
He that will not be ruled by his dame must be ruled by his step-dame.  97
He that would have a beautiful wife should choose her on a Saturday.  Spanish.  98
He who does not honor his wife dishonors himself.  Spanish.  99
He who has a bad wife can expect no happiness.  Spanish.  100
He who has a good wife can bear any evil.  Spanish.  101
He who has a handsome wife, a castle on the frontier, or a vineyard on the roadside, is never without war.  Spanish.  102
He that has no wife is for threshing her daily, but he that has one takes care of her.  Spanish.  103
He who takes a wife takes a master.  French.  104
He would be quartermaster at home if his wife would let him.  105
Him that has a good wife no evil in life
  That may not be borne can befall;
Him that has a bad wife no good thing in life
  Can chance that good you may call.
Hold your tongue, husband; let me talk that have all the wit.  107
How much the wife is dearer than the bride.  Lord Lyttleton.  108
How shall a virtuous wife her husband sway?
The secret lies in one short word—obey.
Husband, don’t believe what you see but what I tell you.  110
Husbands are in heaven whose wives chide not.  111
I received money with her, and for the dowry have sold my authority.  Plautus.  112
I thought I had no husband and I eat up the stew.  Spanish.  113
If the wife sins the husband is not innocent.  Italian.  114
If thou desirest a wife choose her on a Saturday rather than on a Sunday.  115
If you make your wife an ass she will make you an ox.  116
If you want to thrash your wife ask her for a drink of water in the sun. (To find fault with its purity.)  Spanish.  117
If your wife is little stoop to her.  Hebrew.  118
In buying horses and taking a wife, shut your eyes and commend yourself to God.  Italian.  119
In the rich woman’s house she always commands, he never.  Spanish.  120
It fares ill with the house where the distaff commands the sword.  Spanish, Portuguese.  121
It is a good horse that never stumbles and a good wife that never grumbles.  122
It is a sour reek when the good wife dings the good man.  123
It is a sweet sorrow to bury a termagant wife.  124
It is said the wife of a mat-maker died on the bare ground.  Tamil.  125
It is sometimes right to obey a sensible wife.  Servian.  126
Live on good terms with your wife.  Sri Lankan.  127
Look after your wife, never mind yourself, she’ll look after you.  London Truth.  128
Make not a toil of pleasures, as the man said when he buried his wife.  129
Many blame the wife for their own thriftless life.  Scotch.  130
Mills and wives are ever wanting.  131
Neither reprove nor flatter thy wife where any seeth or heareth it.  Dutch.  132
Ne’er seek a wife ’till you have a house and a fire burning.  133
Ne’er seek a wife ’till you know what to do wi’ her.  134
Next to no wife a good wife is best.  135
No fellow is so poor that he has not a wife on his arm.  German.  136
Of all the plagues the greatest is untold,
The book-learned wife in Greek and Latin bold.  Shakespeare.
Of earthly goods the best is a good wife,
A bad the bitterest curse of human life.  Simonides.
Of your wife and tried friend believe nothing but what you know for certain.  Spanish.  139
Oh, that all olive trees would bear such fruit!  (Exclamation of Socrates at seeing the body of a scolding wife hanging to a limb of an olive tree.)  140
One God, one wife, but many friends.  Dutch.  141
Prudent men choose frugal wives.  German.  142
Refuse a wife with one fault and take one with two.  Welsh.  143
Saith Solomon the wise, “A ’good wife ’s a good prize.”  144
She hath broken her elbow at the church door. (Applied to a lazy wife.)  145
She stayed at home and spun her wool. (An epitaph on a good wife.)  146
She that hath an ill husband shows it in her dress.  147
Smoke, raining into the house, and a scolding wife will make a man run out of doors.  148
Smoke, rain, and a scolding wife are three bad things in a house.  Danish.  149
Sorrow and an evil life maketh soon an old wife.  150
Strife is the dowry of a wife.  Ovid.  151
Take a vine of a good soil, and a daughter of a good mother.  152
That wife is an enemy who is given to a man in marriage against her will.  Plautus.  153
The ancient saying is no heresy,
Hanging and wiving go by destiny.  Butler.
The best furniture in a house is a virtuous woman.  155
The blind man’s wife needs no painting.  156
The calmest husbands make the stormiest wives.  157
The cunning wife makes her husband her apron.  158
The dead wife and the living sheep, make a man rich.  German.  159
The death of your first wife made such a hole in your heart that all the rest slip through.  160
The economic wife is too wise to let the moth of fortune shed its silk without winding it round her finger.  Chinese.  161
The first wife is a broom, the second a lady.  Spanish.  162
The first wife is a servant, the second a lady.  German.  163
The first wife is matrimony, the second company, the third heresy.  Italian.  164
The gods alone know what kind of a wife a man will have.  Juvenal.  165
The good or ill hap, of a good or ill life,
Is the good or ill choice of a good or ill wife.
The married life of a woman of the working class is now a lease of woe.  Benjamin Disraeli.  167
The nobleman finds a wife easier than the peasant.  German.  168
The old wife, if she do not serve for a pot, serves for a cover.  Spanish.  169
The poor white man has no wife to grind his corn. (Mills in that country are unknown.)  Abyssinian.  170
The sum of all that makes a just man happy consists in the well choosing of his wife.  Massinger.  171
The wife abroad, the maid at the window.  German.  172
The wife is the key of the house.  German.  173
The wife lives with the heart, the husband with the head.  German.  174
The wife of the shoemaker never has whole shoes.  German.  175
The wife wears the breeches, i.e. rules the husband.  176
The wife that expects to have a good name
Is always at home as if she were lame,
And the maid that is honest her chiefest delight
Is still to be doing from morning to night.
The wife that loves the looking-glass hates the saucepan.  178
The wife is the keeper of her husband’s soul.  Arabian.  179
There is many a good wife that can’t sing and dance well.  180
There is nothing a man of good sense dreads in a wife so much as her having more sense than himself.  Fielding.  181
There is nothing worse on earth than the wife become the master.  German.  182
There is one good wife in the country, and every one thinks he hath her.  183
There was a wife that kept her supper for her breakfast an’ she was dead or day.  184
Three duels he fought, thrice ventured his life,
Went home and was cudgelled again by his wife.  Swift.
Three things are rare; a good melon, a good friend, and a good wife.  German.  186
’Tis a precious thing when wives are dead,
To find such numbers who will serve instead.  Crabbe.
’Tis hard to wive and thrive both in a year.  188
’Tis a sweet sorrow to bury a termagant wife.  189
To choose a wife, two heads are not enough.  German.  190
To “Get out of my house,” and “What do you want with my wife?” there is no answer.  Don Quixote.  191
To misfortune and a wife, one easily comes.  German.  192
Two cocks in one house, two cats and a mouse,
An old man and a young wife,
Are always in strife.  Dutch.
Two good days for a man in this life:
When he weds, and when he buries his wife.
“Use great prudence and circumspection,” says Lord Burleigh to his son, “in choosing a wife.”  195
What is there that beats a good wife? A bad husband.  Punch.  196
What the good wife spares, the cat eats.  197
What’s my wife’s is mine.  198
When the wife dies, and the mare foals prosperity increases.  German.  199
When the wife rules the house, the devil is man-servant.  German.  200
When the wife is asleep the basket is asleep also.  Hebrew.  201
Who has a handsome wife must have more than two eyes.  German.  202
Who has a horse out of a good stall and a wife out of a poor house, comes out well.  German.  203
Who has an office, finds readily a wife.  German.  204
Who has a bad wife, his hell begins on earth.  Dutch.  205
Who has a bad wife, is poor in the midst of riches.  German.  206
Who hath a scold hath sorrow to his sops.  207
Who takes a rich wife sells his freedom.  German.  208
Who takes a wife sells his peace.  German.  209
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord.  Bible.  210
Whoso is tired of happy days, let him take a wife.  Dutch.  211
Wife and children are bills of charges.  212
Wisdom in the man, patience in the wife, brings peace to the house.  213
Wives may be merry and honest too.  Shakespeare.  214
Wives must be had, be they good or bad.  215
You may beat the devil into your wife but you’ll never bang him out again.  216
Your wife and nag get from a neighbor.  Italian.  217
Your wife and the sauce at the lance hand (right hand).  Spanish.  218

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