Experience, though noon auctoritee
Were in this world, is right ynough for me
To speke of wo that is in mariage;
For, lordynges, sith I twelve yeer was of age,
Thonked be God that is eterne on lyve,
Housbondes at chirche dore I have had fyve.

– Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue. The Wife of Bath Alison says that she is a believer in experience rather than written authority. Having been married since the age of twelve and having had five husbands, she feels she is well qualified to speak on the woe that is in marriage. This is really ironic as most of the woe was inflicted by Alison on her suffering husbands! It also makes her something of a hypocrite when she says marriage brought her nothing but woe, and then goes on to thank God for having five husbands.