Nueva prematica de reformacion/New Pragmatic Language of Reformation

An Electronic Edition · Tomás Ramón (Seventeenth Century)

Original Source: Nueva prematica de reformacion contra los abusos de los afeytes, calçado, guedejas, guarda-infantes, lenguaje critico, moños. trajes: y excesso en el uso del tabaco: Fundado En La Divina Escritura: Y Dotrina de los Santos Padres, para todos Estados necessaria. Segi Saeculorum Immortali & inuisibili. J. Timoth. Sap I. Zaragoza, Printed By Diego Dormer on Cuchilleria Street, Year 1635.

Copyright 2015. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header

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Chapter Eight[1]

Of Women

Eighth Chapter

Not only do women bring household estates [2] to ruin, but also an infinite number of souls, and they are the cause of another thousand pains.

These women are causing the ruin of the households because they are given to such little work, or none at all.  And too many want only to lean out of the windows to be seen, stand in doorways, and gallivant through the streets of the town. I have already said enough for anyone to understand.  But there are so few who understand it, that they give me license to say more.

Saint John the Evangelist says that faith opened of the abyss a great hole; and smoke left it like a large oven, and in this way together there arrived some locusts that destroyed all the earth, because their bites were as venomous as if they were vipers or scorpions.[3]  It is the locust, a flying animal, that is a symbol of the happy woman[4] inclined to pleasure, that all of life’s faith will become idle, well-dressed, danced, etc.  Of women, Saint John says: ‘Habebant capillos sicut capillos mulierum,’ that they had locks like a woman.[5]  It is also the locust that indicates the large hunger, like the ancient Egyptians said; because where the locust goes, all is scorched.

Locusts are like these women of whom we speak, in that if they were to be held in the hand and given leave, they would scorch and destroy all: and bring men to great misery.  Tenent tympania & cytharam, & gaudent ad Sonssum organi, ducunt in bone dies suos, & in punto ad inferna descendunt.[6]  And at one point, their smiles were converted into cries, and their dance came to its point in Hell, having consumed the household and their lives.  They set their sights on the dancer daughter of Herodias, in that rapture (this is the title given to the dancers by the illustrious Don Alfonso, King of Sicilia and Aragon). And after she had danced well, as a reward for her dance she received the head of the Baptist.[7]

Passing a frozen river (as Nicephorus[8] and Metaphrastes[9] have affirmed) her body sunk into the water, though her head floated above it; and the rest of her body threatened to run aground, like a sinking ship she strove to escape from the water by forcing her legs back and forth, almost as if she were dancing. Although she gave a thousand jerks between the waves, her soul was ultimately given up to the abyss of Hell.[10]  Look, reader, at what happened to her, an event so different than what she had imagined.  And thus Don Gregorio says for certain. Sape hi que diu in iniquitat tollerati sunt, subita morte rapiutar ut nec fler antea liceat que peocauerunt.[11]  And so it went for this unfortunate woman; and the same to many of our era, those who do not look to their own purses, or remote ones, nor do they think of the coming of their own death, that cunning bandit. And so they find themselves outwitted, and left without estates. Et in punto ad inferna descendunt.

To return to the beginning, I repeat what Filon[12] has said, that the woman is a costly animal to sustain, because she is always saying ‘give me, give me!’  Molestissima Omnia.  She does not look to see if there is anything; she does not consider whether she has shaved the man within an inch of his life, nor does she give a lick that he ends up in the Hospital for the poor, like the Satirist says,

Prodica non Sentit pereuntem foemina censum;[13]

so long as she wants not for her finery and ravings, let the money come however it does.  She does not see the pain she causes her partner, the deprivation of her children, the harm that comes to the children she raises (if she has them) as she flies to receive the payment of his salaries.  Because to her there is no money missing, and it is only for her; let the others be eaten by wolves or thrown to the dogs. Oh, how wretched are they who are in the hands of the locusts! How many Hospitals are full of well-bred, rich men whose estates are decreasing in value because they sustain the splendor of their women?  How many who serve as houseboys, or slaves, were once rich men who have now fallen to such a state due to their profane spending on their own women, and with the remote ones, too? How many lost titles, how many lost honors[14] given by Spain, for this?  And how many finally gain a portion of bread[15] from vile offices, which would have been more than enough before, but because they do not, or cannot, look to this end, they are eaten up with pain?  And thus, before arriving at this extreme, the householders shrink their hands, and they sink one fist after another into their purses, and another key into the desk drawer; because where they do not, one may say with Plato:

Meretrix meum borreum

Miserum sua blanditia intulit in pauperiem, Privauit bonis, luce, honore, atq; amicis.[16]

Women have made the rich, poor: and the granaries full of wheat, empty.  With their supposed tenderness and flattery, they cause the ruination of private assets; of happiness, of honor: of friends, of everything.

And not only this, these women carry another thousand pains; Saint Ambrose[17] even calls woman the origin and venomous root of all bad things. Omnium malorum causa. Woman is the beginning of sin; and, therefore, also of death. A muliere (says Ecclesiastes) initium factum est peccati, & per illam omnes moriumur.  She is the beginning of all true pain and oppression.[18]  She is the bond and chain that binds and cinches souls and hearts; and turns them to evil.  Laqueues peccatorum (says Ecclesiastes) & sagena cor illius.  She is (says Saint Peter) the origin of lament, and of men’s sadness, the walk of the dead, and the inscription on the sepulcher of the sons of Adam.  And Tertullian[19] calls her Diaboli ianua: door of the Devil, and gate to Hell, to where she brings an infinite number of souls.[20]  She is more bitter than death (says The Holy Spirit) Inveni mulierum amariorm morte. Because death, as Plato says, is not Separatio animae a corpore, but is simply a divorce of the soul and the body. But death? Our angel says that death separates the soul of God: that it is our good fortune. And thus: Amariorem morie.[21]  Life is much more bitter without comparison with death.  If this follows us a thousand ways, like Estacio said, Mille modis lethi misesris mors una fatigat, then for woman, it is infinite.[22]  Amara ficut absintium says another letter: more bitter than death, worse tasting than bile, and more intolerable than absinth, for their many deceits and deceptions, and for the evils that hide beneath such a gentle aspect to behold in the hunt of the most simple birds, the budding sinners.

And in conclusion, she is like the Second Philosopher said, referring to the Seraphic Father Saint Buenaventura, Hominis confusio, insatiabilis bestia, man’s confusion is his dishonor: a rule that will never falter. For however much sustenance the world has, it will never arrive at the mouth of an insatiable beast. And to him all seems small, no matter what the largest hands may give him.  Nunquam dicit suffeit & c. and like this they occasion many losses of households and of souls.



[1] Pages 127-134.

[2] Literally, “haciendas.” But because this term means something different in the context of the Americas, we are translating it in its broadest sense.

[3] Apocalypse Chapter 9.  Can be read here: <>

[4] Here Ramón writes in the margin: “Locust, and its avarice” no doubt to solidify the connection between the locust and the woman.

[6] The Book of Job. Chapter 21.

[10] As Salome was crossing the frozen river Sikoris, she fell through the ice and her head was severed and thought to have been brought back to Herodias.  Her death is seen as a form of God’s punishment for the decapitation of John the Baptist.

[11] Ramón’s citation of Pope Gregory the Great (Gregory I): D. Gregorio. Lib. 55. Mor. C. 24.

[12] Philo Judaeus, Libro de Temulenta (Li. Temulent).

[13] Juevenal, Satire 6 (Iuvenalis. Satyra 6).

[14] Honors is translated from the word ‘Mayorazgos:’ A Spanish civil rights system providing rights of property, money, and honors to those of a higher social class.

[15] Metaphor for handouts from corrupt officials.

[16] Plato [unclear writing in margin by Ramón] Act Scene 7. Could possibly refer to Plato’s speech in Aristophanes’ Clouds.

[17] Saint Ambrose (c. 330 – 4 April 397) Archbishop of Milan and one of the four original doctors of the Church.

[18] The marginal gloss reads, ‘La muger, es principio de todos los males,’ or “Woman is the beginning of all bad things.”

[20] Tertullian wrote ‘De Cultu Feminarum,’ about all women. section I.I, part 2 “Do you not know that you are Eve? The judgment of God upon this sex lives on in this age; therefore, necessarily the guilt should live on also. You are the gateway of the devil; you are the one who unseals the curse of that tree, and you are the first one to turn your back on the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the devil was not capable of corrupting; you easily destroyed the image of God, Adam. Because of what you deserve, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die.”

[21] Ramón cites: D. Tho. De. Reg. Princi.lib.1.c.10.

[22] Ramón is comparing women and death; Death, he says, gives life meaning.  Women are worse than death because they are forever present and only worsen the quality of life.

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Emma Merrill