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

  • 2
    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, 2011 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." Jul 16, 2013 at 15:29
  • 3
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the interpretation of literature.
    – tchrist
    Jul 16, 2013 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


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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