Mrs Poyner offering up her pithy view of many wives in the neighbourhood, during a good-natured discussion with her husband. He settles their difference of opinion by assuring her he married well.
‘The poor draggle-tails o’ wives you see, like bits o’ gauze ribbin, good for nothing when the colour’s gone.’
Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 235
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