Sir Thomas Overbury’s Characters

A GOOD WIFE

Is a man’s best movable, a scion incorporate with the stock, bringing sweet fruit; one that to her husband is more than a friend, less than trouble; an equal with him in the yoke.

Calamities and troubles she shares alike, nothing pleaseth her that doth not him. She is relative in all, and he without her but half himself.

She is his absent hands, eyes, ears, and mouth; his present and absent all. She frames her nature unto his howsoever; the hyacinth follows not the sun more willingly.

Stubbornness and obstinacy are herbs that grow not in her garden. She leaves tattling to the gossips of the town, and is more seen than heard. Her household is her charge; her care to that makes her seldom non-resident.

Her pride is but to be cleanly, and her thrift not to be prodigal. By her discretion she hath children not wantons; a husband without her is a misery to man’s apparel: none but she hath an aged husband, to whom she is both a staff and a chair.

To conclude, she is both wise and religious, which makes her all this.

 

Jan de Bray

Jan de Bray

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