"He Knows Little Who Will Tell His Wife All He Knows"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In the first part of The Holy State, Thomas Fuller draws the characters of the good wife, the good husband, the good child, and so on through much of society. The good husband, according to Fuller, is stern to his wife, but kind and fair. He rules her, showing no undue softness, but he is constant to her and has confidence in her. He allows her the proper food, clothing, shelter and so on, in accordance with his own state. He sees to it that she minds her own proper feminine business and does not interfere in purely masculine matters; above all, he will not traffic with her maids in order to rule her. He bears with her infirmities, as she is the weaker vessel, and never reprimands her in public. He tells her no more than what is proper for her to know, and provides for her after his death. Of keeping her in ignorance Fuller says:

He keeps her in the wholesome ignorance of unnecessary secrets. They will not be starved with the ignorance, who perchance may surfeit with the knowledge of weighty councils, too heavy for the weaker sex to bear. He knows little who will tell his wife all he knows.