Men sholde wedden after hire estaat,
For youthe and elde is often at debaat.

– Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales, The Miller’s Tale. Men should wed according to their status in life, says the narrator. Youth and old age are often in conflict in a marriage, with an old man unable to satisfy the sexual appetite of a young woman. John is seen here as foolish for marrying the much younger Alison.