Indeed, the birds will stop singing and the crickets in summer too before woman finds the strength to hold her tongue, whatever harm comes of her words. For Calphurnia, more gossipy than a magpie, this was indeed her undoing, since she did not plead her case wisely. Her verdict was to bare her bum. Her punishment for her crime, which she fully deserved, was to reduce all women to the status of second-class citizens. Each is deprived of and barred from practising advocacy. With her tongue and outrageous behaviour she banned all women. They have inherited her tongue and share in her guilt, according to the laws of heredity. Condemned in this way, rightly as far as I can tell, they are forbidden for all time to question witnesses and to defend cases. . . .
Why is the raven black? Some writers lead us to believe that it was once white. She has changed her appearance as a sign of her fault, because she was a gossip, a slanderer, and a nag. If only our wives were now similarly metamorphosed by divine miracle and shed their nasty habits. If I had my way, no man would have to suffer this. Indeed, the devil was told concerning woman that God, in whom all good abounds, would have made the world a peaceful place if he had removed the cursed tongues of women, so ill-pained in the art of speaking. In many a land and many a country, wars begin and are caused because of women. It seems therefore that whoever gave them the gift of speech was out of his mind. If one were to dare to accuse God, He would not be able to defend Himself against the charge of giving perverse women deadly weapons when He gave them many tongues. He saw the evil that would come of it, and yet did not wish to come to our aid. It's my belief that it would be a miracle to make a mute woman speak. But truly, it would be a much greater marvel if one were able to shut up a woman once she is in full flow. The two are barely comparable. Why are women more argumentative, so full of idle gossip and more talkative than men? Because they are made of bone, while our bodies are fashioned of clay: bone makes more noise than clay. Note therefore my conclusion, which does not offer us much solace: it is their nature which makes them all foolish and proud.
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