The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'The Wife's Commandments'


The Wife's Commandments.

1. I am thy wife, and the sole mistress of thy house; thou shalt
not have any other wife but me, whom thou didst vow to love and to

2. Thou shalt not interfere with the hire of thy housemaids, nor
take into thy dwelling any fair-faced image, to bow to her, or to smile
upon her ; for I am a jealous wife who would   visit the sins of her husband
upon himself, and show no mercy for such abominable conduct.

3. Thou shalt not call thy wife careless nor extravagant, nor vainly
expect that she will take one sharp word without returning another.

4. Remember the seventh day to stop at home and mind the house
and children while thy wife enjoys herself a little, for six days hath
she laboured, but will rest on the seventh.

5. Thou shalt honour the father and! mother of thy wife, in all
things, that it may be well for thee and the peace of thy house.

6. Thou shalt not fly into a passion with thy wife for the loss of
thy shirt buttons, nor find fault with her cooking of the dinner; neither
shalt thou abuse her for destroying thy pipes or cigars, for thy wife
abhorreth tobacco.

7. There shall be no Platonic friendship between thee and any woman
under the sun; for I thy wife will not endure it.

8. Thou shalt not go security for any man, nor deprive thy wife of
any requisite for the purpose of helping thy relatives or friends;
neither shalt thou withhold a secret from thy wife?those which are
thine must be hers also.

9. Thou shalt not condemn thy wife's friends nor her neighbours,
nor grumble when she goes out, for I thy wife will not suffer it.

10. Thou shalt not frequent the house of thy neighbour who is a
gamester or a publican, nor meddle with his brandy, nor his rum, nor
his whisky, nor anything that is behind his bar; neither shall thou stay
out later than nine o'clock at night, lest thou should be led into
temptation; and to thy doors there shall be no latch-key.

        L. Macartney, The Poet's Box, 184 Overgate, Dundee.

previous pageprevious          
Probable date of publication: 1906-   shelfmark: RB.m.143(065)
Broadside entitled 'The Wife's Commandments'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland