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Quotes

Quote #7

Thou seist to me, it is a greet meschief
To wedde a povre womman, for costage,
And if she be riche and of heigh parage,
Thanne seistow it is a tormentrie
To soffre hire pride and hir malencolie
.
(224-227)

A man might consider it costly to marry a poor woman because she would not be able to bring a large dowry to the wedding. On the other hand, men might complain of the pride and bad temper of a rich woman. This is just one instance of the way antifeminist portrayals of women made it so that no matter their situation, women simply couldn't win.

Quote #8

Thou seist, that oxen, asses, hors, and houndes,
They been assayd at diverse stoundes;
Bacyns, lavours, er that men hem bye,
Spoones and stooles, and al swich housbondrye,
And so been pottes, clothes, and array;
But folkes of wyves maken noon assay
.
(291-296)

This bit of antifeminist wisdom explicitly connects wives to property by implying that, like one's other purchasing decisions, the decision to marry a woman ought to occur only after she has been tested. A man might make an argument that marrying a woman was "purchasing" her because of the cost of her upkeep.

Quote #9

But tel me this, why hydestow, with sorwe
The keyes of my cheste awey fro me?
It is my good as wel as thyn, pardee
.
(314-315)

The marital equity the Wife implies in the idea that she and her husband own their property together is a pretence. The Wife's actual goal is to have total control (alone) over all the property.

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