Ὁ Ῥωμαῖος ὑπὸ τῶν φίλων νουθετούμενος ὅτι σώφρονα γυναῖκα καὶ πλουσίαν καὶ ὡραίαν ἀπεπέμψατο, τὸν κάλτιον αὐτοῖς προτείνας; ‘ καὶ γὰρ οὗτος’ ἔφη ‘ καλὸς ἰδεῖν καὶ καινός, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδεὶς οἶδεν ὅπου με θλίβει.’ δεῖ τοίνυν μὴ προικὶ μηδὲ γένει μηδὲ κάλλει τὴν γυναῖκα πιστεύειν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν οἷς ἅπτεται μάλιστα τοῦ ἀνδρός, ὁμιλίᾳ τε καὶ ἤθει καὶ συμπεριφορᾷ, ταῦτα μὴ σκληρὰ μηδ᾽ ἀνιῶντα καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ἀλλ᾽ εὐάρμοστα καὶ ἄλυπα καὶ προσφιλῆ παρέχειν. ὥσπερ γὰρ οἱ ἰατροὶ τοὺς ἐξ αἰτιῶν ἀδήλων καὶ κατὰ μικρὸν συλλεγομένων γεννωμένους [p. 345] πυρετοὺς μᾶλλον δεδοίκασιν ἢ τοὺς ἐμφανεῖς καὶ μεγάλας προφάσεις ἔχοντας, οὕτω τὰ λανθάνοντα τοὺς πολλοὺς μικρὰ καὶ συνεχῆ καὶ καθημερινὰ προσκρούματα γυναικὸς καὶ ἀνδρὸς μᾶλλον διίστησι καὶ λυμαίνεται τὴν συμβίωσιν.
(Plutarch, Gamika Parangelmata 22)
The Roman, on being admonished by his friends because he had put away a virtuous, wealthy, and lovely wife, reached out his shoe and said, “Yes, this is beautiful to look at, and new, but nobody knows where it pinches me.” A wife, then, ought not to rely on her dowry or birth or beauty, but on things in which she gains the greatest hold on her husband, namely conversation, character, and comradeship, which she must render not perverse or vexatious day by day, but accommodating, inoffensive, and agreeable. For, as physicians have more fear of fevers that originate from obscure causes and gradual accretion than of those which may be accounted for by manifest and weighty reasons, so it is the petty, continual, daily clashes between man and wife, unnoticed by the great majority, that disrupt and mar married life. (tr. Frank Cole Babbitt)