[This post originally appeared in Dullicious, where I blogged as Barbie-dull for several years.]
Worth knowing fact #194 – Hints for Wives:
Never complain that your husband pores too much over the newspaper, to the exclusion of that pleasing converse which you formerly enjoyed with him. Don’t hide the paper; don’t give it to the children to tear; don’t be sulky when the boy leaves it at the door; but take it in pleasantly, and lay it down before your spouse. Think what man would be without a newspaper; treat it as a great agent in the work of civilization, which it assuredly is; and think how much good newspapers have done by exposing bad husbands and bad wives, by giving their errors to the eye of the public. But manage you in this way: when your husband is absent, instead of gossiping with neighbors, or looking into shop windows, sit down quietly, and look over that paper; run your eye over its home and foreign news; glance rapidly at the accidents and casualties; carefully scan the leading articles; and at tea-time, when your husband again takes up the paper, say, “My dear, what an awful state of things there seems to be in India;” or “what a terrible calamity at the Glasgow theatre;” or “trade appears to be flourishing in the north!” and depend upon it down will go the paper. If he has not read the information, he will hear it all from your lips, and when you have done, he will ask, “Did you, my dear, read Simpson’s letter upon the discovery of chleroform?” And whether you did or not, you will gradually get into as cosy a chat as you ever enjoyed; and you will soon discover that, rightly used, the newspaper is the wife’s real friend, for it keeps the husband at home, and supplies capital topics for every-day table-talk.
From the excellent “Inquire Within for Anything You Want To Know or Over Three Thousand Seven Hundred Facts Worth Knowing” of 1858.