God bad us for to wexe and multiplye – Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Wife of Bath quote

Men may devyne and glosen, up and doun,
But wel I woot, expres, without lye,
God bad us for to wexe and multiplye,
That gentil text kan I wel understonde.

– Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue. Alison the Wife of Bath is sometimes viewed as the voice of the independent, liberated woman of her time. She challenges the male view on women’s relationships and marriage. She disputes the interpretation of the Bible that she should marry only once, saying that men interpret religious texts to suit their own views. Defending marriage as a legitimate life choice, and her own five marriages, she quotes God’s commandment in the Bible: "Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28).