| Quote #16
By God! if wommen hadde writen stories,
The Wife implies here that women lack only the opportunity, and not the ability, to write stories about men. Since women at this time period rarely had access to education, most simply did not possess the skills necessary to become writers. Without taking the pen, they could not combat the antifeminist writings that depicted them negatively.
| Quote #17
The children of Mercurie and Venus
The Wife is calling women the children of Venus and men the children of Mercury. This astrology implies that one cannot prosper while the other does and, therefore, (male) clerks will never speak well of women, in order to ensure their own prosperity. This quote is not the first one in which the Wife uses astrology to explain something; she also claims the mark of Venus on her face is what causes her to be so lusty.
| Quote #18
This clerk, whan he is oold and may noght do
With this statement, the Wife implies that a clerk's slander of women may be due to jealousy or curmudgeonly-ness due to impotence in age. If the clerk isn't having sex, maybe he doesn't want anyone else to be having it either. If he discourages marriage, maybe no one will!