if you would be happy for a week take a wife; if you would be happy for a month kill a pig; but if you would be happy all your life plant a garden

There are almost endless possibilities for variation on this theme, but marriage is generally included as one of the more ephemeral sources of content.

a 1661 T. FULLER Worthies Wales 6 I say the Italian-humor, who have a merry Proverb, Let him that would be happy for a Day, go to the Barber; for a Week, marry a Wife; for a Month, buy him a New-horse; for a Year, build him a New-house; for all his Life-time, be an Honest man.

1809 S. PEGGE Anonymiana II. xix. If you would live well for a week, kill a hog; if you would live well for a month, marry; if you would live well all your life, turn priest... Turning priest..alludes to the celibacy of the Romish Clergy, and has a pungent sense, as much as to say, do not marry at all.

1973 New Earth Catalog 55 If you would be happy for a week take a wife; If you would be happy for a month kill a pig; But if you would be happy all your life plant a garden.

1996 National Review 25 Nov. 6 For those of a philosophical turn of mind, I pass on something that the distinguished economist Peter Bauer said last week: ‘If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk; for a month, get married; for a lifetime, take up gardening.’


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