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Can anyone please explain to me the meaning of this quote?

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

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Here's a similar quote: Wives are young men's mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men's nurses. - Francis Bacon – Jaime Soto Jan 7 '11 at 14:48
There is in the Bible an excellent paeon of praise to the wife of noble character. The Old Testament book of Proverbs, chapter 31, verses 10-30 is a must-read for those who have a high view of the role of wives in society. It is a refreshing alternative to television's "The Real Housewives of Orange County"! Here's an excerpt: "A wife of noble character: who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence [in her] and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." – rhetorician Jul 16 '13 at 15:29
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the interpretation of literature. – tchrist Jul 16 '13 at 15:41

This means that having a good wife allows you to live longer. That's because a husband can give half of his worries to his wife ("she is the receptacle of half a man's cares"), and will take out his bad moods on her ("and two-thirds of his ill humor"). She presumably puts up with this.

Pity the wife, though.

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Thank you very much – SmithJ Jan 7 '11 at 14:27
Yup, that's the meaning. Too bad it's not true. psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/200902/… – T.E.D. Aug 23 '11 at 19:46
It might be a little sarcastic too. Hard to tell without knowing the context. – Muz Apr 17 '14 at 15:59

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