chapter  2
1 Pages

Richard Jonas’s Preface to his 1540 Edition

Forsomuch as1 we have enterprised2 the interpretation of this present book, offering and dedicating it unto our most gracious and virtuous Queen Katherine3 only, by it minding and tendering4 the utility and wealth of all women, as touching the great peril and dangers which most commonly oppresseth them in their painful labours, I require all such men in the name of God which at any time shall chance to have this book, that they use it godly, and only to the profit of their neighbours, utterly eschewing all ribald and unseemly communication of any things contained in the same, as they will answer before God, which, as witnesseth Christ, will require account of all idle words,5 and much more then of all ribald and uncharitable words. Everything, as saith Solomon, hath his time,6 and truly that is far out of time,7 yea and far from all good honesty, that some use8 at the common tables and without any difference before all companies rudely and lewdly to talk of such things, in the which they ought rather to know much, and to say little, but only where it may do good, magnifying the mighty God of nature in all his works, compassionating and pitying our even Christians,9 the women which sustain and endure for the time so great dolour and pain for the birth of mankind and deliverance of the same into the world.