Women in Modern History HTML version

“What is woman but an enemy of friendship, an unavoidable
punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable
affliction, a constantly flowing source of tears, a wicked work of
nature covered with a shining varnish?”—Saint Chrysostom.
“And wo in winter tyme with wakying a-nyghtes,To rise to the
ruel to rock the cradel,Both to kard and to kembe, to clouten and
to wasche,To rubbe and to rely, russhes to pilieThat reuthe is to
rede othere in ryme sheweThe wo of these women that wonyeth
in Cotes.”[1]Langland: Piers Ploughman, x. 77.
“Two justices of the peace, the mayor or other head officer of any
city (etc.) and two aldermen ... may appoint any such woman as is
of the age of 12 years and under the age of 40 years and unmarried
and forth of service ... to be retained or serve by the year, week or
day for such wages and in such reasonable sort as they shall think
meet; and if any such woman shall refuse so to serve, then it shall
be lawful for the said justices (etc.) to commit such woman to ward
until she shall be bounden to serve.”—Statute of Labourers, 1563.
“Every woman spinner’s wage shall be such as, following her
labour duly and painfully, she may make it account to.”—Justices
of Wiltshire: Assessment of Wages, 1604.
“Sometimes one feels that one dare not contemplate too closely the
life of our working women, it is such a grave reproach.”—Miss