13And not only so, but they grow idle Nothing is more becoming in women than keeping the house; and hence, among the ancients, a tortoise (94) was the image of a good and respectable mother of a family. But there are many who are diseased with the opposite vice. Nothing delights them more than the liberty of running from one place to another, and especially when, being freed from the burden of a family, they have nothing to do at home.
Tattlers and busybodies Besides, those widows, under the pretense of the respect due to the public character which they sustained, had more easy access to many persons. This opportunity, obtained through the kindness of the Church, they abused for purposes of “” and next, as usually happens, from slothfulness sprung curiosity, which is also the mother of talkativeness. Most true is the saying of Horace: “ an inquisitive person, for he is always a tattler.” (95) “ trust should be placed,” as Plutarch says, “ inquisitive persons, for, as soon as they have heard anything, they are never at rest till they have blabbed it out.” This is especially the case with women, who, by nature, are prone to talkativeness, and cannot keep a secret. With good reason, therefore, has Paul joined together these three things, sloth, inquisitiveness, and tattling.
(94) “Une tortue ou limace.” — “ tortoise or a snail.”
(95) “Percunctatorem fugito; lam garrulus idem est.” — Hor.