You lead such matching, equal lives —
the worst of husband, worst of wives —
that it’s a mystery to me
why you aren’t suited perfectly.

[Cum sitis similes paresque vita,
Uxor pessima, pessimus maritus,
Miror, non bene convenire vobis.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 8, epigram 35 (8.35) [tr. McLean (2014)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

When as you are so like in life,
A wicked husband, wicked wife,
I wonder you should live in strife.
[16th C Manuscript]

Sith that you both are like in life,
(a naughty man, an wicked wife:)
I muse ye live not voyd of strife.
[tr. Kendall (1577), "To a Married Couple, that could not Agree"]

Why doe your wife and you so ill agree,
Since you in manners so well matched be?
Thou brazen-fac'd, she impudently bould,
Thou still dost brawle, she evermoure doth scould.
Thou seldome sober art, she often drunk,
Thou a whore hunting knave, she a knowne Punck.
Both of you filch, both seare, and damme, and lie,
And both take pawnes, and Iewish usurie.
Not manners like make man and wife agree,
Their manners must both like and vertuous bee.
[tr. Davison (1602)]

Both man and wife as bad as bad can be:
I wonder they no better should agree.
[tr. Hay (1755)]

O peerless pair, so like in life,
O vilest husband, vilest wife!
No wonder ye agree -- in strife.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), "To a Married Pair," Book 6, Part 2, ep. 46]

Since you are so well matched, and so much alike in your lives, a very bad wife, and a very bad husband, I wonder that you do not agree.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859), "To a Bad Couple"]

You are so like, so equal, in your life,
A husband of the worst, a worthless wife,
I really wonder why you don't agree.
[ed. Harbottle (1897)]

Seeing that you are like one another, and a pair in your habits, vilest of wives, vilest of husbands, I wonder you don't agree!
[tr. Ker (1919)]

It is very strange, as it seems to me,
That you and your wife should not agree,
Since each is as vile as vile can be.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "Depth to Depth"]

Bad wife, bad husband, like as pea to pea,
I really wonder that you can't agree.
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), ep. 412]

Since you're alike and lead a matching life,
Horrible husband and ill-natured wife,
Why all the discord and domestic strife?
[tr. Michie (1972)]

Since the two of you are alike and equal in your way of life, a rotten wife and a rotten husband, I am surprised you don't suit one another.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

You're an awful couple,
but birds of a feather --
It's weird you don't
Get along together.
[tr. Ericsson (1995)]

How can your squabbling be so curst?
Of natural pairings yours is first --
Worst husband with a wife that's worst.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

Since you two are similar and equal in your way of life, being an awful wife and an awful husband, I’m surprised you don’t get along well with each other.
[tr. aleator classicus (2012)]

Since you both share the same approach to life
(a lousy husband and a lousy wife),
I am bewildered it
is not a better fit.
[tr. Juster (2016)]

Added on 29-Jul-23 | Last updated 29-Jul-23
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