The Proverbs of Alfred XIV


‘Thus said Alfred: “You must never choose your wife by her looks, and never for anything that she brings to you. But learn to know her behaviour – she will show that very quickly! For many a man because of wealth calculates amiss, and often a man chooses as one who is beautiful one is vile. Woeful is he who brings an evil wife to his dwelling; so too is it for him in his life who marries badly, for he shall be miserable on the earth. Many a man sings who brings home a wife; if he knew what he brought, he might well weep.”

(ca. 1150-75)’

– Dunn. C.W., Byrnes. E.T. 1973. Middle English Literature New York, United States: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1973) p. 43

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