Where can ye saye in any manere age
That hye God defended mariage
By expres word? I praye you, telleth me.
Or where commanded he virginitee?
I woot as wel as ye, it is no drede,
Th’Apostle, whan he speketh of maidenhede,
He said that precept therof hadde he noon:
Men may conseile a woman to be oon,
But conseiling nis no comandement.
He putte it in oure owene juggement.
For hadde God commanded maidenhead,
Thanne hadde he dampned wedding with the deede;
And certes, if there were no seed ysowe,
Virginitee, thane wherof sholde it growe?
Paul dorste nat comanden at the leeste
A things of which his maister yaf no heeste.
The dart is set up for virginitee:
Cacche whoso may, who renneth best lat see.
But this word is nought take of every wight,
But ther as God list yive it of his mite.
‘I know that virginity is a form of perfection. Chastity is close to holiness. Christ Himself is perfection. But He did not tell people to surrender everything for the sake of the poor. He did not order them to give up their worldly goods and follow His footsteps. That was reserved for perfectionists, as I said. But, my lords, I am not one of those. I have a few years left in me yet, and I am going to devote them to the arts of married life. I will couple and thrive.
‘And tell me this. Why does God give us those parts between our legs? Cunts are not made for nothing, are they? They are not unnecessary. Some will say that they have been created so that we can urinate. Others will say that they are just the marks to distinguish female from male. You know that isn’t true. All experience tells us otherwise.’