Ὡραῖος δὲ γυναῖκα τεὸν ποτὶ οἶκον ἄγεσθαι,
μήτε τριηκόντων ἐτέων μάλα πόλλ’ ἀπολείπων
μήτ’ ἐπιθεὶς μάλα πολλά· γάμος δέ τοι ὥριος οὗτος·
ἡ δὲ γυνὴ τέτορ’ ἡβώοι, πέμπτῳ δὲ γαμοῖτο.
παρθενικὴν δὲ γαμεῖν, ὥς κ’ ἤθεα κεδνὰ διδάξῃς·
τὴν δὲ μάλιστα γαμεῖν, ἥτις σέθεν ἐγγύθι ναίει,
πάντα μάλ’ ἀμφις ἰδών, μὴ γείτοσι χάρματα γήμῃς.
οὐ μὲν γάρ τι γυναικὸς ἀνὴρ ληΐζετ’ ἄμεινον
τῆς ἀγαθῆς, τῆς δ’ αὖτε κακῆς οὐ ῥίγιον ἄλλο,
δειπνολόχης, ἥ τ’ ἄνδρα καὶ ἴφθιμόν περ ἐόντα
εὕει ἄτερ δαλοῖο καὶ ὠμῷ γήραϊ δῶκεν.
(Hesiod, Erga kai Hēmerai 695-705)
Lead a wife to your house when you are in good season, neither falling very many years short of thirty nor having added very many: this is a marriage in good season for you. The woman should have reached puberty four years earlier, and in the fifth she should marry. Marry a virgin so that you can teach her cherished usages: and above all marry one who lives near to you, after you have looked around carefully in all directions, lest your marriage cause your neighbors merriment. For a man acquires nothing better than a good wife, but nothing more chilling than a bad one, a dinner-ambusher, one who singes her husband without a torch, powerful though he be, and gives him over to a raw old age. (tr. Glenn W. Most)