| Quote #7
Of alle men yblessed moot he be,
In yet another haphazard use of texts, the Wife here cites a proverb that is nowhere to be found in Ptolemy's works. Her interpretation of this proverb is even more creative; she holds it to mean that a husband shouldn't care if his wife is having sex with other men as long as he's getting some, too.
| Quote #8
And yet, with sorwe, thou most enforce thee,
A 'good' reader of a medieval text was supposed to apply its wisdom to her own life. The Wife of Bath is not exactly a 'bad' reader, for she at least appears to know that this is what she is supposed to do, and at other points, she recommends the practice to others. It's just that in this case, she chooses not to "wirche" after the given text, as it conflicts with her values.
| Quote #9
He hadde a book that gladly, nyght and day,
The book in which Jankyn takes so much pleasure is a collection of lots of antifeminist writings, particularly ones about wives. Jerome's Against Jovinian, for example, was a book St. Jerome wrote in response to a man named Jovinian who argued that married life was just as valuable as virginity. For some of the works the Wife cites here, however, it's less clear why they might have been in a collection of antifeminist writings. The Trotula, for example, was a medical text about women's health issues; its presence here is somewhat puzzling.