Ar't asleepe husband? A boulster lecture; stored with all variety of witty jeasts, merry tales, and other pleasant passages; extracted, from the choicest flowers of philosophy, poesy, antient and moderne history. Illustrated with examples of incomparable constancy, in the excellent history of Philocles and Doriclea. By Philogenes Panedonius.
Brathwaite, Richard, 1588?-1673., Marshall, William, fl. 1617-1650, ill.
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Ar't asleep Husband? A BOULSTER LECTURE, Stored with all variety of witty Jests, merry Tales, and other pleasant passages; extracted from the choycest Flowers of Phi∣losophy, Poesy, ancient and moderne History.

SECTION I. The Excellency of Women in their Creation.

DIscourses taking life from pu∣rest and refinedst Subjects, beget ever in the Reader most affection, in the Hearer most attention. Now, what Subject more pure than that which is of the most affable nature, amiable feature, Page  2 and pliable temper? A smooth thinne skin promiseth (saith the Philosopher) a free and ingenuous disposition: And where shall we find this philosophicall Idaea, but in a wo∣man? This caused the Oracle to give sen∣tence in a businesse which highly imported the Spartan State: that the approaching ca∣lamity of their principall Citie could not possibly be diverted, but by scattering the purest dust upon their Altars, which all their countrey afforded. Upon which An∣swer, it was long debated, what dust the Oracle meant by, to expiate the fury of the Gods: where, as it ever falls out in affaires of that nature, as many men, so many minds: Some, and those were rich Ground∣lins, who preferred Wealth before Wit, and esteemed Gold for the most absolute Good; were of opinion that the Oracle meant by the purest dust, the foile of Gold. Others, that no purer dust could bee scattered on their Altars, than the ashes of such honest and pious Patriots, who had exposed them∣selves to whatsoever Fortune could inflict upon them, to secure their Countrey, and become her safetie who bred them. Other mettall-men there were, who closed with that relation of Plutarch; who reporteth, that when Dionysius the Tyrant asked the Wisemen of his Court, which Copper was the best, Antiphon answered very readily, Page  3 that in his opinion, that was the most ex∣cellent, and the dust most restorative, where∣of the Athenians had made the pictures of those Tyrants, which, for their Countries delivery from such an insupportable tyran∣ny, Armodius and Aristogyton had dispat∣ched to their succeeding glory. But in the end, making recourse to the most esteemed Sage in all Greece, they were told, that it was the Dust of a Virgin; which was no sooner scattered, than their maladie was re∣moved. What excellent Cures have beene produced, what happie deliveries effected by these meanes, may appeare every where in the Poets: As in Andromeda, Polyxena, Iphigenia. This confirmes that pure mould of a Virgin: that refined dust, or substance of her Composition: reflecting ever upon the Excellency of Women in their Creation. Yet, it may be objected, Man deserves prece∣dency, because in his Creation he had prio∣rity. It is confest: yet might Woman seeme (if we may safely incline to the opinion of some Rabbies) to have a preeminence in the manner of her Creation: For where∣as Dust gave Man his Composition; Wo∣man took hers from Mans perfection. Yea, but the Matter shee was made of, fore-told what shee would bee. Shee was made of a Crookt Subject, a Rib: and out of her croo∣ked disposition (will some say, who stand Page  4 ill-affected to the Salique state) shee will not stick to tyrannize over a sheepish hus∣band, and give him rib-roast. A poore Ob∣jection! An equall and ingenuous exposi∣tion would rather frame this conclusion: That the Subject whereof she was made, begot not in her a crookednesse, but pliable∣nesse of nature: ever ready to bend her will, and apply her affection to the mould of Man: not cruelly to domineere, but con∣stantly to adhere to her Mate. Well did that wisest of Kings observe this; when he so definitely concluded: Where a woman is not, the house grones. This differed much from the opinion of that hard-hearted man, whereof I have sometimes heard this Tale;

Who being one day asked by his Neigh∣bour, how it was with him at home, and how his sick wife did, made this answer: Surely, Neighbour, the case is pitifull: my wife she feares shee shall die, and I feare she shall not die, which makes an heavie doleful house.
Thus grounded they their sorrows upon two cōtrary fears. That divine Plato, whom even in his cradle Bees fed with honey, to give a presage to his sweet Philosophy; retained a better conceipt of so necessary a Consort:
When he closed his Desires in this Orison So I may have but my eyes to read with, a mind to conceive, a memory to retaine whatso∣ever▪ Page  5 I shall reade or conceive; and a Woman to serve me, that what necessity shall injoyne, I may seasonably receive, what fortune soever encounter mee, though she assayle me, she cannot soyle me; though she assault me, she cannot foile me.
Hee is a weake Proficient in Philosophy, who enjoying the freedome of his inner house, cannot smile at adversity. When Philogenes heard, how without so∣ciety the world was a wildernesse; The Maxime is true, said hee, if you meane a mixt society; without which all Society would soone become a wildernesse. But will some harsh Timonist or Women-hater, say; Well had it been for the world, if there had never been an Eve in the world; it was her Consent that brought a staine to the perfection and integrity of our state. Yet for all this, if you will beleeve that an∣cient Cabalist, who shew'd himselfe an ex∣quisite discourser and discusser of conjectu∣rall Causes; he will tell you, that in his o∣pinion, the Woman shewed not so much le∣vity in consenting to the Serpent; as the Man did facility in giving eare to the Wo∣man. Shee expostulated the cause with the Srpent, e're shee consented: Whereas hee, without any more adoe, weakly received, what shee so unhappily offered. Howsoever, neither of them are to be excused; the one Page  6 in not resisting the Serpents subtilty (an act, no doubt, of greater difficulty;) the o∣ther in inclining to the Womans perswasion, which might have been prevented with more facility.

What an excellent State accompanies the presence of a goodly Woman? What attractive beauty in the eye? What an ad∣mirable disposure in the contexture of eve∣ry part? So as I cannot sufficiently wonder at the stupidity of that meere Scholasticall Wooer;

who being in the way of pre∣ferment, received a very free welcome from a Gentleman nearly neighbouring, whose ayme it was to bring him into ac∣quaintance with a kinswoman of his, hoping it would be a competent advance∣ment for her, by matching them toge∣ther. All accesse, which promised all good successe, was admitted him; with such opportunity, as might have induced another Zenocrates to enter into a par∣ley of love. But heare how this amorous Scholler acquitted himselfe, as if his Soule by a strange transmigration had passed into that dull Zenophanes, or Ze∣nophanes into his, in thinking love to be composed of Earth! One winter-even∣ing was this Quintilian with that lovely Damsell left together; purposely (if there were left any beatings of love in his Page  7 pulse) to break the matter unto her. She, poore wench, long expected from this Predicament of fancie some pleasing en∣counter or other; but nothing was done by this dumbe Oratour. Stilnesse there was on both sides, without the least mo∣tion; till such time as shee playing and toying a little with her foot, appearing a little out of her skirts; she received from her affectionate Scholler, after some fear∣full pumping, this lovely piece of Rheto¦rick: Surely Mistresse, you have a goodly faire foot, God bee praised.
How meanly was beauty bestowed, to become an object to his dull fancie, who knew not how to value it? Though, no doubt, with that ex∣cellent Geometrician, he could well enough gather by the proportion of her foot, the entire feature; which would wound him as deadly to the heart, as Achilles was wounded in his heele. Nor had that great Graduate any more respect to beauty, when he entertained it with so dis-joynted and unbeseeming a treaty▪ as being one evening left with a select company of noble Ladies, to bestow some houres in such delightfull discourse, as might not cloy the curious pa∣late of so prepared an Audience; suddenly, as one newly awakt from an Endymion slumber, he accoasts their gentele ears with this improper Dialect: I have read much Page  8 Greeke, yet read I never what was Greeke for a paire of tongues. This unexpected passage was returned with a generall jeere; but ha∣ving the grace not to understand what they laughed at, he held on in his old Philoso∣phicall dumpe, while his impertinent Greek phrase made them merry Greekes all that night. Truth is, to a competible eye no∣thing more intimately moving than Beau∣ty; nor any Lecture working more to mortality, than deformity. For these Ana∣grams to good faces are such impressive stamps; as some have made of them won∣derfull use. Deformiores afficiunt, quo for∣mosiores minùs alliciant. They affected only to converse with Deformity, that they might have lesse familiarity with Beauty. Now, if such use might be made of the rub∣bish, what might be expected from a purer mettall? Reflect then a little upon this I∣daea; imagine with your selfe that such a piece were drawne and presented to the full body, which might as really enamour and captivate the Senses; as ever Io, Danae, or Semele, did their Iupiter; or any other amo∣rous feature entranced a poeticall Lover. It is the eye that conveyes love to the heart; Curious Models to dull Spectators, move small admiration, and consequently leave but a weak impression. To see a Cam∣paspe portrayed in her colours; her veines Page  9nazured; her sweet smiles shadowed; her ove-enthralling eyes sparkled; and all these with a native Art, and artfull colour dis∣played, would make their Apelles to doe what he did: Whence we reade, that Alex∣ander, that worlds Monarch, not onely af∣fecting, but admiring the Art of Apelles; to parallel his skill with an equall subject; commanded him on a time to paint Campa∣pe naked, who was then held the beauty of that age; which Apelles having done, his Pencill purchased him a pensive heart, fal∣ing in love with her who was his Picture, and whose love hee despaired to compasse ever: which Alexander having perceived, he gave him her. The like incomparable Art was showne by Zeuxes, upon the beau∣ties of Croton's five Daughters; which Pi∣ctures tooke more hearts, than his Grapes had before deceived Birds. But lest that A¦pelles, of whom I have spoke so much, as one regardlesse of his owne praise, should finde fault with me, as sometimes hee did with Protogenes, for that he could not hold his hand from the Table; (A right English fault, I must confesse, whose fate and fault it hath beene ever, not to leave their work when it was well, nor their game when it was at fairest:) I intend to passe from the Picture to the Feature: making mention of such remarkable occurrents, as hold good Page  10 relation to our Discourse: and what may tender any conceiving Reader, variety of delight.

I have sometimes read written in a win∣dow with a Diamond, by one, it seemed▪ who was not setled in his Choice, but like a wanton-wavering Wooer, had fixt on ma∣ny Objects, but on none such as yet hee could like; these lines:

If I might chuse, I know not which were best,
Shee that is naked, or is neatly drest.
Which lines in another pane of the window directly opposite to the former, I found thus answered:
If I might chuse, I'de have her such an one,
As shee was first created, bone on bone:
And in that naked-native posture have her,
When th'Serpent with an Apple did de∣ceive her.
It seemes he would have had her as she was in her integrity and perfection: but at that time, I must tell him, though shee were na∣ked, she nor any other could not then dis∣cover it. Her unspotted Innocence became her garment of Purity and brightnesse. No Fig-leaves then needed; nor any Covert to shroud her from his sight, whom she after∣wards offended. But it may be his wanton thoughts gave themselves more liberty. His wish was to have one naked, to enjoy with∣out Page  11 delay, what his heart so much affected. But loose desires are to bee barred by and maine from true Loves lists. Sensuall Love finds ever the shortest period in pleasure. That onely promiseth a continuate delight, which grounds her affection on Reason ra∣ther than Sense. Where, though Sinne can never be without a short perfunctory de∣light, yet may there (probably) be delight arising from the proclivity of Sense, with∣out much Sinne. Which makes me call to mind a Tale which I have heard, not alto∣gether improper for this Argument; and it was this. There was sometimes a Maid of admired beauty and approved fame, who, after a long and strait Siege of a garrison Towne wherein she dwelt, became exposed with other Virgins to the violence and fury of the Souldiers. One of these, having de∣flowred this Maid, demanded of her how she felt her selfe?
Oh, quoth shee, never had poore distressed Maid more pleasure with lesse sinne.
Meaning, that as the Act was farre from her consent, so it was free from sinne, which is ever accompanied with consent. For whatsoever is forced, is from the Will estranged; without which, sinne cannot properly be said to be committed. This the Ancient Vestals received for au∣thentique: Who, though they were by the strictnesse of their votive Order, never to Page  12 infringe that sacred Vow which they had professed: nor consort with any, that might beget suspicion of a loose affection: yet if the extremity of Warre should ingage that encloyster'd Society to the Souldiers fury; they were exempted from censure; adjudge∣ing their resolves to be pure; inviolated their Vowes, though enforced acts had distained their honour: yet were they not to returne to their former Order: for they held Vesta dishonoured by such a Sister.

But you, brave English Ladies, whose happiness it is to close both your actions and affections in one pure Orbe; you, whose immixed thoughts, cannot partake of an ir∣regular love; nor can sort with a subject of lightnesse; nor labour to attract a strangers love with a luring eye; nor imparadise a deluded Amorist with a dissembling fa∣vour; nor confine a light Passengers eye to a loose-displayed breast; nor soveraignise over a captiv'd Lover, in holding his aie mees your best melody; nor to open your windowes to get suiters; nor to offer your first Sacrifice to your Glasse, or Cerusse box. You, I say, who hold Reputation such an un∣valuable Gemme, as an Empire should not command it; nor the extreames of Fortune, even unto death, impeach it. You, who with much confidence can say with that Heroick Princesse, I know how to dye, but not to lose Page  13 mine honour. You, in whose chaste breasts, as in precious Cabinets of selectedst ver∣tues, are stored all graces: such, who hold in their highest scorne to converse with a light favourite, or to be sollicited in such a Suite as may detract from your honour. You, I say, are those faire and noble Patro∣nesses, to whom I addresse this Labur. You are none of our Curtain Lecturers, who dis∣quiet the rest of your Husbands. Nor know you how to call them up into the Garret, to give them gentle correction. You have a better, and farre more gentele way to re∣claime them. Milde and temperate be your Reasonings; wooing and winning be your teares; and after a vertuous and well-com∣posed treaty, you are ready to close with them upon such faire termes, as the penance you enjoyne them is no suffering; for your sweet-tempered Natures chuse rather to suf∣fer with them. Farre unlike to that Shrow, who meeting her husband amongst other good fellows at a Taverne doore, and seeing him beare the Badge of that red-fac'd En∣signe from whence hee came;

after many words of disgrace and reproach, willed him to goe mend his colour, pale-fac'd Rascall as he was.
No; your education ha's bet∣ter improv'd you; your inbred graces more highly ennobled you; your tender care of your husbands esteeme so truely inform'd Page  14 you, as you prize nothing more than to preserve it untainted; or if at any time que∣stioned, constantly to defend it. In which respect, you differ farre from that shrewd Girle, who having taken occasion of dis∣pleasure at her husband, told him plainly one day,
That since he had plaid her that prank, hee would confesse ere long, that the Signe was in Aries when they two were married.
But for you, unblemished Beauties, who hold nothing comparably precious to a continent Soule: as your minds become devoted wholly to good∣nesse: so you must give mee leave to inter∣veine my Discourse with others of your Sex, who fall so farre short of your perfecti∣on, as it might seeme strange to reason, that one and the same Mould should produce Subjects of such different Natures. For as much then, as Contraries, when most oppo∣sed, are best discovered: And that Venus Picture never shewed more beauty, than when it was accompanied by Naïs defor∣mity; to revive the living memory of your Honours, we intend to bring upon the Stage (though closed from vulgar eyes by a Cur∣tain) the too forward discourses of such, who distemper their Husbands quiet with their Conventuall Lectures, and that at uncano∣nicall houres, to the great disturbance of private peace, and ill example of all young-married Page  15 Couples. Nor can this be holden for invective: The reproofe of those that are evill, cannot but highly improve the beha∣viour of those who are good. And in all ages, as Harvests have their Miscellaue graines, so have we ever had and must have, severally-mixt Conditions. Rome had many eminent families; from whence were deri∣ved Matrons adorned with exquisite ver∣tues. Octavia, Porcia, Caecilia, Cornelia, all famous Matrons, whose succeeding vertues were left for imitable mirrours to their Suc∣cessours. Yet in that Age, wherein Morall goodnesse was in most request, and where∣in nothing was esteemed better, than to live and dye to their Countries honour; that flourishing Citie, the Princesse of many re∣nowned States, had an impatient Flavia, as well as a discreet Octavia; a wanton Laelia, as well as a Continent Cornelia; an immo∣dest Semphronia, aswel as a shame-fast Scri∣bonia; a Faustina, as well as a Cinna; a Mes∣salina, as well as a Cincinna.

Now to insist more usefully on this Sub∣ject; we have proposed to our selves to enter into a Discourse of foure distinct Motives to affection: which in their own nature be∣get affection; but inverted, expresse to life their owners disposition. The first shall be Beauty; a Pearle in the eye, and a Pinion to the heart: The second, Agility of body; Page  16 which begets in the owner a desire of liber∣ty. The third, Quicknesse of Wit; which, being not well seasoned, oft-times breeds occasion of distaste. The fourth, Gentle∣nesse of Speech; an excellent Ornament, and worth entertaining, if it be not shrowded or palliated with dissembling.

To the first then, because every gracefull accomplishment or perfection falling from it selfe, declines from what it was, and pre∣sents some dangerous imperfection which before it had not, we oppose Disdaine, being found for most part an individuall Adjunct to Beauty.

To the second we oppose Liberty: for what youthfull bodies, unlesse Mortifica∣tion hath confin'd and impal'd their affe∣ctions, by devoting them to retirement, in affecting a Collegiat or Cloystrall life in their very first ripenings of Nature, but being of Ability, they desire Liberty?

To the third, wee oppose Distaste. For Quicke and prompt Wits, if they be not with discretion seasoned, they become so freely licentious, as they lose more friends than they purchase.

To the fourth and last, we oppose Dissi∣mulation; a quality whereto our Whitest tongues are commonly subject. Of each of these we purpose to Discourse in order, ever giving Beauty her due character, when she Page  17 is Vertues follower: And to allay more se∣rious discourse with other pleasing passages of wit: you shall finde each of these Sub∣jects accompanyed with choyce Tales▪ such as may beget a modest laughter; and from equall judgements receive a faire Censure.

BEAUTY.

BEAUTY is a pleasing Object to the eye,* improved by the appre∣hension of Fancy, and conveyed to the heart by the Optick part. If the Owner that enjoyes it, know it: it begets in her a dis-esteeme and contempt of inferiour features. None can serve Eccho but Narcissus. What a scornefull eye shee casts upon common persons, or a Plebeian pre∣sence? Shee could finde in her heart to bee angry with the wind, for dealing so rough∣ly with her veile, or hosing up her skirts; and scourge those Aeolian scouts for being so saucy. She wonders that Venus should be for a Goddesse recorded, and she never re∣membred. When she sees our countrey-Beauties, with a scornefull pity she lookes on them, and returnes her judgement thus: "Alas, poore home-spun beauties! A civill requisite curtsy shee will not deagne to be∣stow Page  18 on more deserving lips than her owne: with a seeming aversenesse she forgets that winning salute of those Noble Trojan La∣dies; holding it too high a favour to afford a lip to the compleatest Lover. This that passionate Amorist well discovered in this Canto:

Beautious was Shee, but too coy,
Glorious in her tyres and toyes,
But too way-ward for that Boy,
Who in Action Spheard his joyes.
Love-tales shee could deagne to heare,
And relate them weeke by weeke,
But to kisse when you came neare,
Lippe was turn'd into the cheeke.
Beauty that is too precize,
Though it should attractive be,
Darting beamelins from her eyes,
'Twere no Adamant to me:
Shee it is I onely love,
Shee it is I onely seeke,
That do'es bill it like a Dove,
And will make her lippe her cheeke.
Honour is a rising baite,
But not rudely to be pull'd;
Give me Her at any rate,
Who loves to be kist and cull'd:
Countrey Ducks scorne to be nice
To those Swaines their fancy seeke,
Page  19Though their honour they doe prize,
Lippe they tender, not their cheeke.
Thus can Sheepheards Swainlings love,
And expresse what they desire;
Live to love, and love to prove
Height and hat of Cupids fire.
When a Sillbub they make
While their youngsters woo and seeke
For their love, they may partake
Of their lippe as well as cheeke.

Now did that incensed Gentleman shew lesse passion upon the like re-greet from a disdainfull Lady▪ whose long practise in painting, and delicate tooth together, had so corrupted her breath, as Cocytus could not have a worser savour.

A Lady gave me once her cheeke to kisse,
Being no lesse than I my selfe did wish:
For this I'le say, and binde it with an oath,
Her cheeke tastes sweeter farre than do'e's her mouth.
But there is nothing so much discovereth the vaine Pride of these Beauties, as a coy∣nesse to their Servants in their wooing and winning. If they affect you, that affection must bee so shrowded and shadowed, as Lynceus eyes could not disclose it. Walke from them, their eyes are on you; walke to them, their eyes are from you. There is no Page  20 argument, be it never so well-relishing, nor sorting with their liking, that they will give eare to: no posture, be it never so gracefull, they will afford an eye to. Opposition suit∣eth best with their condition. To a stranger they will shew themselves familiar; to you, whose intimacy hath got a roome in their hearts, they will seeme a stranger. If you appeare merry, it must bee expounded tri∣fling childishnesse; if grave, Stoick sullen∣nesse. It were a gift above apprehension, in every particular to fit their humour. And yet they must be humour'd, or they are lost for ever. This would make any man thinke, if he cast his cards aright, that a mans only sweet Bed-fellow, were a Bed without a fellow. But that would spoile all humane society: better an inconvenience than a mischiefe: better one perish, than a multi∣tude. Beauty is no such Phoenix, as she can generate from her owne ashes. Suppose her then (disdainfull thing) resolved to take one (though with a queasy stomach;) and such an one, as of all her choice shee could not entertaine a worse. And this youth she ra∣ther affects, because all her friends dis-relish him: For she measures not her Love by o∣thers discretion, nor her fancy by the line of others direction. Shee is too wise to bee taught; and if she repent, it shall be at lea∣sure: and if shee have cause to put finger Page  21 ith'eye, she will chuse rather to dye, than discover it to any other. Yet for all this, through a seeming indifferency and cold∣nesse of affection, the marriage-day must be protracted by them, till they cannot en∣dure Whale-bone, becomming as Pregnant as Nature could make them. This makes me remember the Tale of the Westerne Ped∣ler; who, having one daughter, was sought after by many amorous Suiters: but one amongst the rest she preferred in her choice: feeding his longing appetite with hopes, and following her fathers course, who had got in his time as much by Consideration as Prin∣cipall; told him ever and anon that shee would consider of it: till at last her Conside∣ration falling into a Conception, and being asked the selfe-same question, she never re∣turned any other than that she would still take it into her Consideration:
Oh, quoth her Suiter, being guilty of the Bill▪ consi∣der your pregnant present state, and your Consideration, Comater, comes too late.

But of all others, there is nothing to be admired more in this their trifling with Love, than those nice conditions they stand upon; which, though their hearts stand in∣different, whether they be ever observed or no; they will peremptorily conclude, with∣out assent to such conditions, no Bargaine. Now, the principall Article must be, that Page  22 He who is prickt to be the man, must hold his Distance: Too much familiarity breeds contempt; and to avoid this: He must ob∣serve a kind of reverend state in her presence; Give her way in all arguments of discourse: And for as much as her brave disposition re∣taines in it selfe thoughts of Majesty, shee must have her Side for her selfe and her wo∣men, or what Male she pleaseth; divided Beds; seasons of repairing one to another; that every new visit may seeme a fresh kind of wooing. In which Encounter, as he is to shew himselfe importunate in his Suite, so is his spouse to shew her selfe reluctant to his desires. But the issue proves fearfull: for her long practise of Soveraignty over his weaknesse, brings this Faire one to that passe; as she begins to distaste him. Though the man be tollerable for his part, and of promising satisfaction, she cannot brooke him; yet if you should aske her the cause, it is onely this; Hee is her Husband. Like that great favorite Flaviano, who having taken to wife a noble Florentine Lady; grew in short time to dislike her: and being asked the reason why he could not affect her, be∣ing every way so brave and compleat a La∣dy?

I grant, said hee, her parts deserve love; and as I live, there is none brea∣thing that I could more constantly love, did she not beare that name which I so Page  23 much loath: and being further deman∣ded, what name that was? O, replyed he with a sigh, A Wife!

Neither for all this would I have you to mistake me, as if I restrained affection one∣ly to Beauty: for I have knowne Fancy ta∣ken as much, though not so often, with De∣formity, as ever it was with Beauty. Yea, One in whom not so much as the least glympse or shew of favour appeared, ha's wrought no lesse impressive Effects in the heart of a deluded Lover, than if shee had been the Astrophel of the age; which the Poet seemes to confirme by his owne perso∣nall experience:

Naïs I love, and most men wonder why,
For none sees ought worth love in her but I.
To close then this first Subject; as it was So∣crates rule to his Schollers, to present unto them their outward physnomies in a Glasse: where, if any of them were of a pleasing and amiable complexion, his exhortation to them was, that so good faces should not be blemished with the moles of Vices; but as they were outwardly beautifull, so they should be inwardly gracefull: But if any of his Schollers chanc't to be hard-favoured, his advice was, that they should supply that deformity with an inward beauty. Be it your care on whom Nature hath so freely bestowed her bounty; by adorning you Page  24 with a gracefull presence, to second it with those inward graces, which give accom∣plishment to the best beauty. And though the purest cloth may have his brack; the preciousest pearle her flaw: if any such inhe∣rent blemish darken those inward graces, be it your endevour to rectifie that error by a timely censure: that bestowing more cost on the Instrument, than the Case; on the pith, than the rinde: That Gemme which beore seem'd blemished, may be so polish∣ed; as others induced to imitate your pat∣terne, like lines leading to one center, may desire nothing more than to be your Fol∣lowers, in whom they see both an inward and outward Faire so harmoniously clo∣sing together. And so I descend from this attractive object of Beauty, to that humour, or opinionate errour, which most common∣ly accompanies it, and ever detracts most from it.

DISDAINE.

THe severall passges through-out this entire Section, are partly extracted from Ariosto, Tas∣so, Bocact, Rheginus, A••aeus, &c. And intendd by them to cast a glowing shame upon those times wherein they lived: and on those persons at whom they aymed. Meaning by these lighter Page  25 Stories to reprove their lightnesse; and not to introduce any corruption of manners. This it was that reduced those Epyrotes and Laconians to such strict civill Order, by presenting those Ob∣screnities of the time in so free a posture, as by a discreet recollection of themselves, they became ashamed of their Errour: which Retractation in few yeares highly conduced to thier honour. And this it was which the Poet so nearely struck upon in these enlivened ayres:

It is our best of Art, sometimes to write
Light lines to tax such persons as bee light,
And with a glowing and vermilion shame
To make them be more cautious of their fame:
Which once impeach'd can hardly be re∣gain'd,
So deepe a dye holds reputation stain'd.

DISDAINE is an humour bred from an over-weening opinion or selfe-conceit of some extraor∣dinary worth,* arising from per∣son, place, or power. Personall, as from outward gifts, or inward graces; Locall, as from office or dignity; Magisteriall, as from power or authority. Of the First are we onely to discourse; for Officiall or Ma∣gisteriall Government suites not properly with our feminine regiment.

It was an excellent argument of a noble Page  26 disposition in that brave Lady Marcelles, who gave this attestation of her Sex and Countrey, to her owne fame and Nationall glory.

It is not the property of an Italian Lady, to answer Love with scorne, or fan∣cy with Disdaine. If our Servants oblati∣on be love, we can sacrifice to them the like.
This Lady, though admired for her beauty, scorn'd with Disdaine to entertaine fancy; or to glory in the distresse of a dis∣passionate Lover: or to relate amongst creatures of her owne Sex what disgraces she had put on her discarded Servant. In which Triumph both former and present times have been sufficiently practised. Our renounedst Heroës have found store of such coy Mistresses. Fulvia knew how to domi∣neere over her Pompey; Cleopatra, in the in∣fancy of their love, over her M. Antony; Cressida over her Troylus; Hellena, (to the subversion of a populous State) over her Menelaus; Phedra over her Theseus; Om∣phale over her Alcides. These knew the strength of their beauty; and what power there was in one amorous glance to inchain Fancy. These were so farre from avoyding occasion to tempt, as their onely exercise was to catch wandring eyes; and to lay baits by adulterate beauties, how they might surprize an effeminate Servant, and make his life a perpetuall servitude. Al∣though, Page  27 they encounter'd with some, from whom they received a repulse with shame. For even that princely Cleopatra, who had all the Art to procure love: and whose pre∣sence retained that winning Majesty, as State contended with Beauty, and closing together, promised no lesse than over the vi∣ctoriou'st Monarch a commanding Sove∣raignty: when she, I say, after the discom∣fiture of her Antony, and her then approa∣ching period to her former glory, kneeled at the feet of Caesar, laying baits for his eyes; but in vaine; her beauties were beneath that Princes chastity. Others we might here instance; who were so farre from Dis∣daine; as rather than they would be an occa∣sion to tempt another by meanes of beauty, they chused to disfigure themselves to re∣move all motives to Fancy. And of this Moderation, (or if you please to bestow on it so gracefull a Title as Mortification) we might here produce examples, and those memorable in both Sexes. Incredible is the Story which Valerius Maximus reporteth of that young man Sputimia, whose beauty did so incomparably become him, as it oc∣casioned many women to lust after him: which this noble youth no sooner percei∣ved, than he wounded his face, that by the Scar he sustained, his beauty might become more blemished, and consequently, all oc∣casion Page  28 of lusting after it, clearely removed.

The like resolution shewed many noble Ladies, during those raging persecutions, where neither viduall, conjugall, nor virgin estate, were they never so much strength∣ned with modesty, nor magnanimity, could oppose themselves against Souldiers fury, nor Tyrants insolency. Where, woe shall finde some flying, in defence of their ho∣nour, to desert and remote caves; chusing rather to become a prey to wilde beasts, than to expose their unblemished honour to the Barbarous cruelty of savage Miscre∣ants. These found a hand ever ready to strike, to prevent a staine: preferring an honourable death before an ignominious life. This might be instanced, with much admiration, in that one act of the incompa∣rable Chiomara, a constant Consort to an unfortunate Prince; who upon discomfi∣ture of the Gallo-Graecians (a Province so styled from her mixt inhabitants) being ravished by a Roman Captaine, gave a me∣morable example of conjugall vertue; for she cut off the fellows head from his shoul∣ders, and escaping from her Guard, brought it to her Lord and Husband.

Others we shall likewise finde, purpose∣ly to preserve their honour, discolouring their faces, to make them seeme more defor∣med to the insolent Souldier. There was Page  29 nothing more hatefull to them than that beauty, which might probably ingage their persons to an act of infamy. To these I might adde that excellent saying of a reli∣gious Votaresse, who understanding one to be much inamoured of her, call'd him aside and told him:

Sir, I honour you so much, as I have chosen rather to suffer, than by my beauty to make you a priso∣ner: Wherewith discovering her face, in complexion much altered, by some co∣lours which she had caused to be laid up∣on it: hee vowed to relinquish his suit, imagining that shee had poysoned her face, to waine him from his affection. This he had no sooner said, then shee ran to a spring neare adjoyning to wash it off: See, said shee, I am the same I was; but you are much better: for now you are brought to see your errour, in being so much taken with a skin-deepe beauty, which onely consists in dye and colour.

But, howsoever that memorable Mar∣celles, of whom wee formerly made so ho∣nourable a mention, seemed in defence both of her selfe and Sex, to inveigh against Dis∣dain; holding it the most unwomanly qua∣lity that could be, to have an heart steeled against the perswasions of an affectionate Servant: Ariosto, that ingenious Poet, can informe us sufficiently of many hard-hear∣ted Page  30 Ladies in Italy; who prided themselves in nothing more, than to make their unhap∣py Lovers, Tragick Subjects: while Some of them raved with Orestes, transforming Fancy to a phrensy; and amongst many other, whose heavy Fates brought them to unhappy ends; he brings in three distressed Lovers murdered with Disdaine: The first, as well as the rest, under a borrowed name, he calls Infeliche: who to discover his in∣felicity, and make his name and fate pertake in one quaity, is presented weeping, and so long till he ha's left no eyes to shed a teare. The next, is his Inamorato, whose Disdain∣full choice brought him to that disaster, as hee vowed with an intentive fixing of his eyes upon the Sun-beames, day by day, ne∣ver to looke off that Object, till the reflex of the Sunne had consum'd his sight. The third, his Desperato; one who scorn'd to protract time, or make truce with Death: for upon his Ladies scornefull answer, as one Despairing of all future fortune, be∣cause estranged from her favour; he leapes headlong from a Rock; which gave a period to his unhappy love.

Disdain then, it seems, hath soveraigniz'd in every countrey: while poore distressed Lovers, rest of all hope, abandoned health, rather than live a languishing life. So as, being so farre imbarked in this subject, I Page  31 must needs in this place acquaint you with a Letter, writ, it may well seeme, by a per∣plexed home-spun Lover; who impatient to admit any other complement in his lines, than what might to life best depaint his sor∣row, proceedeth thus:

DEarest Duckling, be it knowne to you, and to all People, that I have pissed bloud three dayes and three nights since I last saw you, and received that unwomanly relentlesse an∣swer from you: so as your harsh and untoward quality was the onely cause (blinke-eyed Cu∣pid forgive you) of this my misery and ma∣lady. Let it now suffice you, that I am utterly undone by you: while I live to subscribe (and loath am I to live such a Scribe)

Your most unfortunate Servant.

No lesse ruefull was the case of that piti∣fully-complaining Lover, who discovered his Judaicall passion in this manner:

I lov'd a Wench, and she a coy Precisian,
Her scorne of love brought me to Cir∣cumcision;
If Circumcision be the way to woo,
I would my Wench had my Praeputi∣um too.
But since my Choyce makes mee an haplesse man,
England adieu, I'm now for Amster∣dam:
Page  32Where I may finde what here I cannot move,
Affection in a Family of Love.
Though afterwards repenting himselfe of such a rash resolution, he salves it with this conclusion:
Yet my Coy-duck, take my resolve with you;
" Losse of no Jewell can make me turne Jew:
But if you'l have a Circumcised one,
" My fore-skin onely shall bee yours or none.
The Lowest, but not unloyall'st of your Servants.

Farre lesse hot in his Love, but more dis∣creet in his Choyce, appeared that Seignior; who having pretended love to a Shrow, though shee seemed a Sheepe, fell so highly in her books, as in the end she became a So∣liciter to her Suiter, importuning him much to marry her; to whom in a poeticall straine hee returned this answer, covertly shadowed under the person of another:

My Wench o're me presuming to have power,
Will'd me goe with her hand in hand to th' Tower.
For what, said I? To cloze our mar∣riage rite;
No, to see th'Lions, 'twere a better sight:
Page  33For th' Lion, Tigre, Leopard, Panther, Beare,
Are all meeke Creatures to my Mi∣nivere.
Closing the aversion of his love with this resolve:
I'd rather cope with Lions in a Grate,
Than in a Bed with my imperious Kate.

One more I will onely here insert, and so descend to the next subject: wch I have occa∣sionally heard related of a wanton widdow, who scornefully and in a jeering way, dis∣closed that Disdaine which shee lodged in her heart. An ancient Batchler, who had been ignorant before, what the working of Love was, or what effects it produc'd; ha∣ving had formerly good accesse to her house in her husbands time; which promised him, as he thought, no lesse successe now after his death: made one day suite to this widdow; she, neither gave him great hope, nor any just cause to despaire. And thus his cold suite continued, till she falling aboord with a more amiable and affectionate Suiter; one, whose rising-youth both seconded her ex∣pectance, and promised more performance: One day, amongst the rest, upon more fa∣miliarity betwixt them, shee began to ac∣quaint him how such a Batchlers-button had her in chace, and if his arguments did not disswade her, for ought shee knew, shee Page  34 meant to make him her Choice. This shee never intended, for her affection begunne now to be free towards this active youth; and to scorne nothing more, than a doublet with a Monsieurs Belly; a payre of Trunk∣hose; an inclining hamme, and a mouted beard; for so was this old Batchler accom∣modated. Notwithstanding all this, her young choice feared much to suffer a de∣feat; which to prevent, so soone as he came to his chamber, rapt with a poetick fury, or amorous fancy, he addresseth these Lines unto her:

DORICLES to DULCINA.
Deare, where is thy discretion to ingage
Thy matchlesse beauty to decrepit age?
Dew-dropping Violets hang downe their head,
When their prime Leaves are too much moistened;
But thy pure-featur'd Orbe shall never finde
Any such pearled moisture in a Rinde.
Beleeve me, Sweet, no colour may beseem
Thy Virgin-veile worse than a Frost on greene.

This Letter sent and delivered to her hand, who had already devoted her heart; the selfe-same day she chanc't to leave it up∣on the drawing-cupboord, while she went Page  35 into her Orchard to take a walke: Her o∣ver-worne wooer, as one impatient of lon∣ger delay, came, as it happened, that same time into her chamber, as he was formerly accustomed to doe; where finding this Let∣ter open, and directed with an amorous in∣scription, he dispenced so farre with civili∣ty, and her patience, now in her absence, as to peruse the contents: which did not a lit∣tle nettle him: howbeit, to shroud all things with as much secrecy as he could, he held it discretion; and to discover no passion, till he saw further occasion. While he stood thus conversing with his owne thoughts: The Mistresse of his thoughts came in, never so much as suspecting the discovery of her friends Letter. After some conference be∣twixt them, he renewes his suite, and with the best Rhetorick that the Termes of Law could afford, he enforceth his love-plea; but his long impertinent preamble was soone cut short with this tart answer:

Sir, quoth shee, for you to spin Penelopes web, is to no purpose: it were well you fixt your affection some other way; for I must freely tell you, I have vow'd that no Gray-horse shall ever stand more in my stable.
To which unexpected answer, he return'd this resolute reply:
And I vow, faire Mistresse, that I preferre this conceit before your selfe.
Which said, Page  36 without more sollicitancy of love, he tooke his leave. But comming home, and remem∣bring the Letter, which hee verily thought was the argument which gave life to her an∣swer; hee held it fit, under an unknowne name, to returne that young Gamester a reply; which, after many invocations of his Melpomene, the fittingst consort for loves melancholy, hee addressed in this modest manner:
SENEIO'S Answer.
Thou that of youth doest vainely boast,
Know, Buds are soonest nipt with frost:
Though thou be fresh, more faire than I;
Yet stumps doe live, when flowers dye.
Though thou be young, and I be old,
Though thy veines hot, and my blood cold,
Though youth be moist, and age be dry;
Yet Embers live, when flames doe dye.
The tender Plant is eas'ly broke,
But who can shake the sturdy Oake?
Thinke thou thy fortune still doth cry,
O foole, to morrow, thou mayst dye.

But having thus farre discovered the ef∣fects of Disdaine; and displayed the dan∣ger of this Humour with variety of in∣stances, Page  37 to afford more solace to the Reader, I purpose now to descend, in the same me∣thodicall way, to the rest of the Subjects, as they shall arise in order.

AGILITY OF BODY.

AGILITY of body proceedeth from a quicknesse or vivacity of spirit,* enlivened by a sweet and equall temperature of the Hu∣mours. This appeared in the exact tempe∣rature of that Universall Monarch, the in∣vincible Alexander: whose body was of that excellent composition, as like a sweet perfume, or some odoriferous confection, it sent forth a sweet smell wheresoever it was. The like we reade of that beautifull Alci∣biades, whom Plutarch reports, to be the best favoured Boy in all Athens; one of such Agility, as he bore away the prize in every mastery: of a winning complexion, and performing constitution. Albeit, hee was never more outwardly beautified, than hee was by too free and frequent consorting with his Curtezan Timandra, blemished. His faire face begot him a foule fame. His Agility of body, the gage of infamy. Agile and active women we reade of in all Ages; Page  38 such as even in in publick managements of warre, shewed themselves both for spirit and action to surpasse the effeminacy of their Sex. This might we instance in that war∣like Semyramis, the puissant Thomyris, the undaunted Menalippe, the couragious An∣tiope, the heroïck Hippolite.

In the Empire of Monomotapa, boun∣ding upon the Kingdome of Congo, among all the rest of the Emperours Souldiers, the most valorous in name are his Legions of women, whom hee esteemeth very highly, and accounteth them as the very sinewes and strength of his military forces. These women doe burne their left paps with fire, because they should be no hinderance unto them in their shooting; after the use and manner of the ancient Amazons, that are so greatly celebrated by the Historiogra∣phers of former prophane memories. For their weapons, they practise bowes and ar∣rowes: They are very quicke and swift, lively and couragious, very cunning in shooting; but especially and above all, ven∣turous and constant in fight. And that their Prowesse might be seconded by Policy: In their battels they use a warlike kind of craft and subtilty: For they have a custome to make a shew that they would fly and run away, as though they were vanquished and discomfited; but they will diverse times Page  39 turne themselves backe, and vex their ene∣mies mightily with the shot of their arrows. And when they see their Adversaries so greedy of the victory, that they begin o disperse and scatter themselves, then will they suddenly turne againe upon them, and with great courage and fiecenesse make a cruell slaughter of them. So that partly with their swiftnesse, and partly with their deceitfull wiles, and other cunning shifts of warre, with which long custome and con∣tinuance have made them familiar, they are greatly feared in all those parts neare which they inhabite: retaining in them those mas∣culine spirits, as they hold it not sufficient onely to defend their owne, unlesse they inlarge it by their Enemies spoile.

They doe enjoy by the Kings good fa∣vour certaine Countries where they dwell alone by themselves: and sometimes they choose certaine men at their owne pleasure, such as best likes them both for favour and feature, with whom they doe keepe compa∣ny for generations sake: So that▪ if they bring forth Male-children, they send them home to their fathers housen: but if they be Female, they reserve them to themselves, and breed them in the exercise of warre.

So lightly doe they affect any sensuall pleasure, as they would not admit it, were it not to preserve Society: and to continue Page  40 their flourishing Feminine government to a succeeding Posterity.

But wee are to finde other exercises for these Agile Bodies; yet modestly; not such as that Soile to her Sex, the insatiate Mes∣salina practised in her Antonine Bathes. These would strike a glowing shame in a chaste cheeke. Nor will we receive into the List of our Discourse, the least mention of any hard-hearted woman; for our Penne is addressed rather to pencile their praise, than detract any way from their fame. For what, though some women have bestowed their Agility onely upon Cruelty, tyrannizing above the softnesse or delicacy of their Sex; Every Larke may have his crest (to use that old proverbe of Symonides) but every wench hath not the same mole, though the same mould. What though Orpheus were torne in peeces by women? Hippolitus guiltlesly mrdered by a woman? Hercules poysoned by a woman? The Capitol betrayed by a woman? Few or none of all these acts, but with an esy exposition, might admit Apo∣logies. For first, what those women did to Orpheus, might upon the first glance seeme cruelty; yet he may thanke himselfe for ef∣feminating their youth with his melody; the onely moving Scene which brought on his Tragedy. Next, for Phedra, though her f••t admit the worst Apology; had she not Page  41 lov'd so much, she had not become so wilde. The lover is ever blinded, nay madded with affection towards the object beloved. It is not given to us, to love and to be wise. Discretion is admitted for a Directrice in all affaires, excepting love: yea, though the Object of her love was unjust: Love hath alwayes challenged a priviledge in acts of Justice. Thirdly, for Deianira's poysoning of her dearest Hercules; 'las, if there were poyson in too much affection; shee was guilty of it: render her, as shee was, delu∣ded. Glad would shee have been to enjoy him solely, by weining him from his un∣lawfull love of Omphale. There was no ve∣nome in this. Though the issue prov'd fa∣tall; firme was her faith, her love loyall. Lastly, though that treacherous Tarpeia might be as strongly charged with Censures, as she was pressed downe with Targets: All Historians are not of one opinion, touching the moving cause of her Treason. It was not hope of gold, nor of bracelets, but the affe∣ctionate embraces of an amorous youth, who had already surprized her heart, and why not then by her meanes, as well the Capitol?

Nor is it discretion, as I conceive, in man to reflect upon these, by way of aspersion. None ever of their Sex committed so foule a crime, as to burne Diana's Temple, and that Page  42 was done by the masculine spirit of an He∣rostratus. None amongst them so treache∣rous, as to betray their owne Lady, to usurpe an unjust soveraignty; yet was this done by a Nabarzanes. None so cruell, as to embrue their hands in the blood of their owne Alliance for filthy gaine; yet was this done by Pygmalion upon Sycheus. Idaea, indeed, was cruell in perswading her Phi∣neus, Aegenors unfortunate son, and Arca∣dies unhappy Prince, to put out his childrens eyes, which he had by his first wife Cleopa∣tra: but if she were cruell in perswading, he was more unnaturall in consenting. Tul∣lia, indeed, shewed her selfe an unnaturall childe, in causing her charriot to be hurried over the dead corpse of her discomfited fa∣ther: yet was her usurping Tarquin as un∣just, to plant his Empire in blood, which shortly expired to his dishonour. In these then, let us hold both Sexes, as equall de∣linquents.

But these Agile bodies are none of those Bona-roba's that wee are now to converse with: Cleopatra's Pearle-broths, and li∣centious bankets become our Subjects. We must present such active spirits, as were those of Penthisilaea's and Antiope's, who in an amorous encounter would mee their brave metall'd Macedons, and returne with equally-conferred favours, equall honours.

Page  43These were Ladies, who had never taken Physick to restore their decayed strength, nor been in custome with their Apotheca∣ry for a Potion to procure love, or a Powder to enable nature. Nature had given them that strength, as no Art could improve their state. Suppose them then comming in paires, to receive their first fruits. But you must imagine them withall, taking the ayre, tra∣cing the fields, and traversing the diapred meads, where they are as ready to take as give: To take a Green-gowne, as to give a Sillibub: for if you should barre them of Liberty, they could finde small employment for Agility of body.

LIBERTY.

LIBERTY points at two Objects properly,*Mind, and Body. The former, the better, because pu∣rer. For restraint of Minde is a miserable servitude. For the other, many suffer restraint of Body, who fully and free∣ly enjoy inward Liberty. This the Noble Pi∣brach proveth in his Paradox of Liberty, with the benefit of imprisonment to a Mind win∣ged with Contemplations heauenly. Which that restrained Lyrick no lesse merrily chan∣ted: Page  44

Good men and true, will you be pleas'd to come
And see a man laid in a living Tombe?
Come, you shall finde mee here, and fin∣ding see
My cause is good, how'ere it fare with mee.
For I am none of these that e're did feed
(Like Bankrupt Brats, who breake be∣fore they need)
On others substance, and doe make a prey
Of simple Snakes, that are more poore than they.
Annexing these as a soveraigne receipt to his undeserved restraint:
*He that thinks I'm restrain'd, whos'ere he bee,
Let him know this, I am as free as hee:
For though my Body be restrain'd, I finde*
An unrestrained freedome in my minde;
" Birds in a cage sing with a sorry heart,
" But I doe feele no such thing for my part.

We are to hold then many free, who are bound; many bound, who are free. Those who are ingag'd to Earth, hold nothing more miserable, than to suffer restraint of body; the reason is, all their Lights and Liberties looke outward: whereas those, Page  45 who make Heaven their Haven, finde no calme but in a composed mind: no free∣dome, but in their Inner-roome. But the Creatures, whereof we are now to discourse, being carried away much by Sense, crave nothing more than outward Liberty; with∣out which, how should they enjoy the be∣nefit of their darling Sense? For they hold Agile bodies no fit stuffe to make Hermits. But admit, they should be coop't up, the Cat, for want of a Consort, will play with her owne tayle. As that nimble Monkey in Cheapside did; who playing her Tricks. above, while her husband was selling his trinkets below: made an assay to lay her heele on her necke; which she did; but like the Weasil in the Fable, could not get it back againe: till at last, after long strugling, fal∣ling out a bed upon the floore, her husband affrighted with the noise, caused his Fore∣man to runne up staires to know what the matter was: who returning backe, assured his Master, that she was either bewitched, or turn'd into an Ou beast.

Liberty is the very key that opens to Op∣portunity: which must be had; for a kind natur'd wench will see light thorow a small hole; yea, and with twirling of their A∣pron-string, have as ready an answer, if at any time taken napping, as if a longer time had given them provision.

Page  46The Tale of a countrey-maid, (for our Stories must fix on all Sexes, States, and Places) falls pat to this purpose: Who, when her Mother found her suspiciously in a corner with a young man:

O mother (quoth shee) I knew where you would seeke me!
But she fitted her mother after∣wards with a penny-worth; for being hope∣lesse of all opportunity, by reason of her mo∣thers jealousy, she comes in running one day crying,
-hey Ginger, hey—What meanes the Girle, quoth her mother? why, Swine are in our Pease, mother,—hey Ginger, hey. The Mother suspected nothing, but bade the carrian make haste with a we∣nian; which she needed not, for she and Ginger went to meet her sweet-heart in a Pease-rigge, where, no doubt, before she returned, she found them fully codded.

The like Tale there is of a Good-wife, who being found by her husband in bed with her Neighbour; told him, that she did it for love of him, to save him a labour, and withall, to know whether other men had a stone at rigge, as he had, which made her suspect him for a Monster.*

The Tale of the Court-gentlewoman (to make a faire survey of Ciy, Court, and Country) may take place in the next Story: Who being found in a long darke entry with a young Cavaliere: Her answer was, Page  47

That in good-sooth, there came such a dampe before her eyes, such a beating in her Pulse, such a working on her Sense, and such a shaking Palsy thorow every part, as shee verily thought, it was some Spirit that wrought on her weaknesse: neither durst shee cry, lest shee should scarre the Spirit.

But of all Stories, there was no Activity, sure, a wanting in those two joviall Bridal∣lers; neither justly could the One find much fault with the Other, having been, by all probability, both guilty: This Bride-groome, first night he was married, after such time as hee had given his Bride that Nuptiall benevolence which was requisite; presently, turning himselfe on his right side, fell a praying: His Bride intending Action more than Devotion, addressed her selfe to him, in this Bridall Curtaine Lecture.

Sweet-heart, why turne you so soone from me? are you so soone weary of me? Pray thee chick, what art' doing? Pray∣ing, Cony, said he. For what, Pigs-nie, said shee? For his well-fare, replyed he, who made me so good way.
What other answer she made to this frumpe, I have not heard, saving only this:
Go to, husband, it seemes you are cunning.

You were told a Tale in our Discourse before, of a wanton Widdow, and her an∣swer Page  48 to a stale Batchler, and importunate Suiter: His resolute reply upon her repulse: With the occasion of that Widdowes an∣swer from a Poëm writ by an amorous young Gallant (which he likewise answe∣red) who disswaded her to lye frost upon greene.* And sure that Widdow was a fea∣ther of the same wing, who finding nothing so as she expected, at least, what her Agi∣lity of body required, twitted her second hus∣band with the ability of her first, telling him,

that she had a husband would have made a chamber-pot roare.

That arrogant Widdower discover'd himselfe too speedily, to become a speeding wooer: who encountring a rich Widdow, and one of a sufficient pleasing feature, to beautifie her fortunes: Told her, that hee could well find in his heart to make her his Bride, but he thought good first, to impart to her three things, which she might looke to finde from him, if ever she enjoy'd him: and to acquaint her all the better with his humour, they were these.

First was, that whether he had cause or no cause abroad, Shee might be sure of a Bridall-brawle when he came home. Second was, Hee would eat his meat alone. Third was, He would lye with her but once ith' month. Why, these are tolerable humours, an∣swer'd this witty Widdow: And so you Page  49 will give way to other three things which I shall desire, this shall be no occasion of breach betwixt us. Whereto, when he had promised his free assent, were they of what condition soever: Sir, said shee, whereas you say, you must needs brawle when you come home: you shall not need, for I will prevent you. Secondly, whereas you must eat your meat alone, doe so, and spare not: but I must tell you, you shall then feed on my reversions; for as I satisfie your humour, so must you sa∣tisfie mine too, and give me leave to bee your Taster. Thirdly, whereas you will but lye with me once a month, take your pleasure; but I must tell you withall, if you will not, another shall: for I shall have a months mind to another.
This an∣swer so miserably perplexed this humorous Wooer; as he took leave of his Widdow, and never revived his Suit after that time to her.

He shew'd himselfe a discreet Capricorne; who being made acquainted by an intimate Servant of his, that his wife abus'd his bed: and if he pleased, he should with his owne eyes see such a Cumrade of hers embracing her in naked bed:

Servant, said he, Such a Sight cannot please me well; yet shall it please mee to discover her shame, and with her shame quicken my revenge.
The opportunate houre being come, where∣of Page  50 his Servant had given him notice, by a private passage, and without company he rusheth suddenly into the chamber, where he saw too personally presented the act of his dishonour: yet shewed he such an in∣comparable temper, as calling his astonish'd Brancher unto him, without more passion, thus accoasted him: Sir, I shall take a course with you: and with that hee shuts him in his Closet; and calling his Servant to him, grievously chid him; and withall told him, how he had abused him, in making him jealous of his wifes honour without just cause:
For, see, quoth he, how she poore Girle lyes alone without a Bed-fellow: whereas thy lavish tongue suggested to my too credulous eare a conceipt of that which I now see, poore innocent Soule, was the least of her thought!
And to con∣firme the strength of this seeming passion, he puts his man from him, and would by no perswasion after that time entertain him. Thus salved he his wives credit by relinqui∣shing his servant; and abstaining from in∣flicting the least revenge upon her Minion confined to his Closet. Onely, Hee ever after that time divorc'd her from his bed: but in all other respects us'd her as a loyall-affectionate Bride.

Hee was moulded to as good a temper, who pretending one day an occasion of Page  51 going from home, purposely to try some conclusion of his wifes private affection: comming secretly home about dead time of the night, found what he had more reason to suspect than expect; his roome supplied by an active Youth; whose Batchler life made him more ready to incroach upon others possessions, than closed either with his honour, or the Owners reputation. His wife steeled with reolution, as well as free∣dome of affection; tells her amazed Hus∣band, that what was done could not be un∣done.

O thou unsatiate One, quoth He, if indifferent benevolene would have ser∣ved thee, I am sure it was never a wanting thee! It is true, Husband, said she, but the body may be sooner wearied, than the desire satisfied, or the sense sated. The appetite is best pleased with variety: whereas, the daintiest Viands ever dished to us, beget satiety. But bee advised by me, Husband, and all shall be amended: For your hornes, Sir, it is farre better for you to shroud them, than to blow them: Cover these, and my continence of life hereafter shall amply redeeme my honor:
With which promise, Her Husband (good man) became so well contented, as his pa∣tience begot in his wife a love to goodnesse: So as, the Comick conclusion of their life clozed with much happinesse.

Page  52That good-wife was of a merry humour, who, after the Miller had taken his moul∣ter, and by all likelyhood had done her a pleasure in grinding her too neare the Lou∣der: could not containe her selfe, but retur∣ning backe, and finding her Husband at home, cryed still—With ô the lusty Miller! Her Husband mufing much at his wifes mad humour: Sure I beleeve, said he, the Miller ha's done thee: yes, I warrant you, Husband, quoth she, and would have done you too, if you had been there. And as she begun, so shee continued her canting hu∣mour; With ô the lusty Miller!

That confident good-man received Sa∣tisfaction to the full of his wifes demea∣nure; who praising her one day above com∣parison, to one of his Neighbours: He ad∣vised him not to be altogether so opinionate of her honesty; but rather to try some con∣clusion whether she was in deed, what shee appeard in show: For, said hee, many can subtilely shadow their shame, and delude the world with a colour, and yet keepe a bit for their Friend in a corner. Be coun∣sell'd then by mee, and I will teach you a way to resolve you of all doubts; and it shall be thus. At night when you are in bed with your wife, you shall aske of her, if ever shee had use of any man beside your selfe; and if she deny it, as there is scarce Page  53 one of a thousand that will at first confesse it, leave the rest to my device; and if shee doe not discover it, being guilty of it, dis∣card me for ever: nay, I will never conjure more, but burne my bookes to save you a labour. This Device her Husband appro∣ved; and now when night approached, he puts those Interrogatories to her, as he was directed:

Demanding of her, if ever she knew any man but himselfe? Who I, Husband, quoth She? I hope you have no such opinion of me. No, Duck said he; but I desir'd to be resolved: I may set my rest then on this, thou never wrong'd me! Never, quoth shee. Yes once, answer'd her Neighbour, being purposely shrow∣ded in the Chimney-corner. Shee, poore Soule, being surprized with feare at the voyce she did heare, ingenuously confes∣sed, that the Spirit said true: & that she had indeed once transgressed the bounds of modesty, but it was only to purchase his liberty. For your hard-hearted Creditor, carelesse of your ruine, having laid you fast upon an Execution, came unto mee and promised me your freedome for one nights Lodging. Why, sayes her Hus∣band, this transgression argued an Act of affection; and deserves a kisse beside a pardon. Well, Chick, said he, thou ne∣ver then offendedst in this kind but once, Page  54 No, never but once. Yes twice, said the former Devill in the vault. Trust me, Hus∣band, it is true, quoth she, and if the Spi∣rit had not put me in mind of it, I had quite forgot it. But this too was rather for your love than any lust. For one day when a roguish Serjeant came to arrest you, after I had convey'd you up into the Garret, to save you, and satisfie him, I lay with him: but all this was rather to secure you, than any desire I had to him. Why, all this, said her Husband, highly contents mee. Thou never then wrongedst me more than twice? Trust me, Husband, never but twice. Yes thrice, said that Neighbourly Familiar in the Chimney-corner. Nay, if thou wer't all the Spirits in Hell, said his wife, thou lyest, for I never wronged him that way but twice.

The next day, after this Spirit had retur∣ned to his shape, he laugh'd above measure, to remember how he had served his credu∣lous Neighbour: Which to requite, you shall heare how he used this jeering Spirit in the like nature.

Neighbour, said he, I commend your device in discovering my wifes folly: and now I am fed of my jealousy: I pray you, let mee now play the Spirit to your wife, as you have done to mine. With all Page  55 my heart Neighbour, said he, and I thank you too: but I am confident there is no voyce out of a vault will detect my wife of any vice. But pursue your plot, I shall give you free ingresse and egresse, as you gave me.

The very next night he conveyes him∣selfe privately betwixt the Arras; whiles He, who presented before the part of a Spi∣rit▪ is now to converse with a parcell of his Flesh;

Asking her, whether she ever lay with any one but himselfe? To which question shee as peremptorily answered, that shee had never. Yes Once, Ecchoed that under-pentis'd Spirit: at the noise of which voyce, this conscious Bona-roba trembled and confessed, That she had once indeed layne with a Begger, to whom she out of meere charity had given Harbour; and hee poore thankfull man, to requite her, desired to returne her one curtsy for another.
This Begger stuck deepe in his stomach, but whether he could or no digest it, there is no remedy, he must beare it. Yet to be resolved better, hee proceeds further:
I hope wife, you never did this but once; Never but Once. Yes twice, hallow'd the Spirit. O the memory of these Spirits, said she! Truly, I had like to have forgot it. I must confesse, I had one time doings with a Pedler; and I gave him a dozen of Tinne Page  56 Buttons of your doublet for his labour. These were but meane Tradesmen for thee to truck with, said her Husband. But Thou didst never trade after this manner more than twice? Never but twice. yes thrice, bellowed the Spirit; yea thrice, and thrice, thou moppe-fac'd Incubus (quoth she) and more than all you Haggs have Hornes in your lower region.
And with that, whipping out a bed, as if this Spirit of phrensy had wrought some strange operati∣on in Her body, and drawing neare to her Close-stoole which stood shrowded under the Arras; instead of it she fell upon the Spirit, on whom for want of her stoole of ease, she eased her selfe sufficiently, till that ayry Spirit resolv'd it selfe to a substantiall body.

He showd himselfe a soft delicate Student, who being in bed with his wife call'd for his Booke. Which his Wife observing, call'd likewise for her Wheele. Why, what doe you meane said he? To fall to my Worke, as you doe to your Booke: And may you speed as I spinne. Meane time, I have spun a faire threed to become his Bride, who makes his Study of his Bed. But if you had made right use of all the Problemes you have read, you might have found that a Study was a place for you to conceive in; but a Bed for me. I could wish you Husband, to turne over Page  57 a new leafe, lest I in time turne Haggard and check at your love.

Which caused this effeminate Scholler, for feare of his Wifes displeasure, never to to suffer his Booke communicate with his Bed thereafter.

It was sometimes my fortune to bee knowne to a brave-domineering Lady, whose Will was her Law, though there was no Law in her Will. For her only sweet hu∣mour, was ever to be out of humour: being never better pleass'd, than to be displeas'd. Her Messe was ever serv'd up with store of Ponts. Her best Cloaths were sure to bee worne on Worst-dayes: and if any Neigh∣bour of quality came to visit her, she would feigne her selfe feverish and out of temper. This humerous Madam, as one cloyed with commanding, and now after the death of her noble Spouse, twitted with the dishonour of her second matching: When she could not revenge her selfe of reproch, tooke revenge of her selfe; by dying no lesse estranged from remorce, than shee lived at distance from repute.

It was a pretty apish answer of that Nor∣therne girle; who being asked by one, how She, being so small and slender, durst ad∣venture on a Man so strong and of so large a stature?

O, quoth she, a little Worme may lye under a great stone!

Page  58It was a shrewde reply which that Barbers wise returned her husband; who finding her scowling, louring and all out of temper, and inquiring the cause of that lumpish hu∣mour?

Good man, said she, you need little be so inquisitive after this: for whom, I pray you, had you ever under your hands, that you brought not into th' sudds? 'Tis true, wife, but I never lest them i'th' sudds. O husband, reply'd she, but I should soone leave these sudds, would you but once leave me!

A wanton discursive husband, when he had rioted so freely in his talke, as modest eares grew weary in the discovery of his youth∣full liberty; his wife being then and there present:

O husband, quoth she, were you as free in your Course, as you are in your Discourse, you would make an excellent Courser to breed on!

That Widdow was in a merry-mourning mood, who having beene Surviver to many husbands: and being asked by one, who upon occasion came to inquire of her hus∣band, who was likewise lately dead:

Which of my husbands, Sir, doe you meane of? For I can assure you, Sir, at this time, my Husbands are all alike able to dispatch your occasions.

And seeing Birds of one feather will flock together; That Tale which I have some∣times Page  59 heard of one, will passe well enough for current amongst the rest. A late-arri∣ved Traveller, who had authority to speake of strange things, by the priviledge of his Charter, relating the nature, quality and disposition of a Turke: and how his usuall Course was to have foure Meales a day: and every day to noone it with his wife. The good woman hearing this in the presence of her husband, and impatient of holding any longer:

O husband, quoth she, you would make an ill Turke! Not al-altogether so, answered her husband; Give me but so many meales, and thou shalt finde me one of the strongest Turkish Males that ever English Gennet bore.

Should I here relate the servile condition of those Women of Sio; Whose Husbands preferre base lucre before their Wifes honor: prostituting their bodies to shame, in hope of gaine: as I should display the one full of agility, so should I deblazon the other hun∣ting after base commodity. But as the Eliots were wont to bring forth their Slaves drunke, and acting all their obscene and brutish parts, purposely to deterre their children from the like filthinesse; and im∣plant in them a native horror to such un∣manly loosenesse: so I will give you here a touch of the slavish condition of those in∣habitants, to weine the most mercenary Page  60Palliard from the like qualities. You are to understand then, That the Women of Sio are the most beautefull Dames of all the Greekes in the World, and greatly gi∣ven to Venery; Their husbands are their Pandars, and when they see any Stranger arrive, they will presently demand if hee would have a Mistresse: and so they make Whoores of their owne Wives, and are con∣tented for a little gaine to weare hornes: such are the base mindes of these ignominious Cuckolds. A base traffick for money, to make a barter of Honour. There appeared farre more freedome of spirit, and no lesse agility of body in that fat Farrier and his bounsing Hussy; who meeting in a Forrest, and both addressed for pleasure: after long parliance, concluded to preserve the wen∣ches modesty, who seemed loath to doe ought uncivilly; that hee should blow her downe, for otherwise she would not incline to his motion: But how the Forrester com∣posed this Controversy, I leave to the Poet to deliver to you in this Epigramme for me.

*Sith Smug (a wanton Farrier) there was,
Who made appointment with a Country lasse,
That 'gainst the time from market she'ist returne,
Page  61He would keepe toutch and doe her a good turne.
The place where these two lovely Mates should meet
Was a vast forrest unfrequent'd with feet
Of any passenger, save such as were
Rangers so'th' chace, 'mongst which a For∣rester
Vpon occasion chanc't to come that way,
And heard, Eve-dropper-like, what they did say;
Their place of meeting, with the maids consent,
Which he resolv'd as quickly to prevent.
And being under shade securely sconst,
Which place he had elected for the non'st,
He stayes to see th' returne of this same Lasse,
Which (as she wish't) did quickly come to passe:
For Maids that know not what 'tis to consent
To a lost Maiden-head, nor what is ment
By giving of a green-gowne, sooner will
Assent to ill, because they know no ill,
Than such as have of active pleasures store,
For well were they experienc'd in't before.
Page  62Yea, such will never deale unlesse they smell
ome hope of gaine, or like the Trader well.
At last the Maid having her market made,
(Perhaps farre sooner than her Pa∣rents bade)
With clothes tuckt up returns with speedy pace,
Downe by the Forrest to th'appointed place:
Where Smug the Farrier lay all this while,
That he the Maid might of her gem be∣guile.
If you had seene what meeting there was then
Betwixt these two, you would have vow'd no men
Of any ranke or order were so good,
As Lemnian▪ Lemmons unto woman∣hood.
So humble was the Horseleach, as to please
The shamefast Maid, he oft fell on his knees,
While pattring paltry Love-spels on her lips,
Downe fall his breeches from his naked hips:
Page  63And all this while, poor soule, she stood stock still;
Not thinking (on my conscience) good or ill.
At last the jolly Smith (when all was showne,
That he could show) will'd th' Maid to to lay her downe
Vpon a shady banke, which with all sorts
Of flowres was checkerd fit for Venus sports.
She (though she were resolv'd no ill could bee
By lyng downe) yet in her modestie
Would not unto his motion so assent,
Yet let him blow her downe shee was content.
The short-breath'd Smith (for he was wondrous fat,
And stuff'd withall) makes me no bones of that,
But Aeolus-like, puffs up his cheeks well-growne,
And hee no sooner blows than shee was downe.
The Forrester, who all this time had stood
Vnder a shady covert of the wood.
Steps in, when th' Smith his smelting should begin,
Page  64Saying, all Wind-falls they were due to him.*
Many such Smiths our Anvile-Annals show,
And present times may show as many now.

To inlay this our Lecture with mixt sto∣ries, I shall adde one only Tale of a spritely Male, who, for love of a Female lost his Maile, and afterwards runne post-naked down Sautry-laine.

There was an Atturneys Clarke, who comming along with his Master by Stane∣gate-Hole, (or the Pursers prize) and hove∣ring a little behind his Master, purposely to ease himselfe: tyed his Gelding to a Stake in the Hedge, and went over into the Thick∣et adjoyning: where he no sooner enter'd, than he perceived a dainty young wench, of an amiable presence, cheerefull counte∣nance, & a wooing eye, beckning unto him, as if she affected nothing more than dalli∣ance: The Clarke, whose heate of youth prompted him on, though his Masters speed call'd him back, friendly and freely accoasted her, preferring his owne sport be∣fore his Masters speed. But while they were clozing up their youth-full bargaine, two lusty Takers leapt out of a Brake and sur∣prized him, calling him to a sharpe account Page  65 for the dishonour hee had offered their Sister: Hee, who had no time admitted him to put in his plea, besought them that hee might bee dismist: which Motion they inclined to, but by no meanes till he had payd his fees. To bee short, they stript him naked to his skinne; seazed on his Port-Mantua: and tying his hands behind him, mounted him Mo∣ther-naked as hee was, into his Sadle. His Gelding, missing his Masters horse, fell a galloping and neying after him. The Master with an other fellow-traveller, hearing such a noyse and clattering behind them, though a good distance from them, looking back, might see one in White with great speed pursuing them: They imagi∣ning it to be one in White Armour, put spurrs to their Horses: where all along Sautry-laine, this eagre chace continued: the man harmelesly following; they feare∣fully flying: till they got to Stilten, where they thought themselves happy in such an Harbour: where they reposed, till that Armed-man appeared a Naked-man; whom we will leave to the correction of his Master: to whom he made a free discovery of his mis-fortune, and consequently deser∣ved more favour.

With which Tale wee will close this Subject of Liberty, descending to the next, Page  66 though confined to a narrower Scope, yet of more ingenuity.

QUICKNESSE OF WIT.

*QUICKNESSE OF WIT, consists in a pregnant present conceipt, arising from an happy fancy or strength of apprehensi∣on, having an answer ready to any objecti∣on: or a pleasing delightfull humour in bandying jests one to another. Which are divided into Festive, or Civile: Both, if seasonably used, and without danger of any personall toutch, freely received; Though the Orator hold, that the former is ally'd to vanity, one degree nearer than the latter.

These Quicke-wits are best exprest in pre∣sent extremities. I have knowne some wits of our time, held it their greatest honour, to contest in arguments of Wit with Women: Nor have they held it lesse honour to gravell them. The conquest was not so virile, that it should reteine any such esteeme: But in these Duello's of wit, I have observed some of these selfe-opinionate ones, faile so farre in their expectance, as they ever merited least praise, where they were most confident of an undoubted prize. Page  67 A just judgement! That wherein Wits are most presuming, they should ever ap∣peare most failing. It is true, what the A∣pologue sometimes observed; Epimetheans are to bee found in every place, but it were rare to finde any one of all Prometheus race. To foresee what may befall, is an eye sur∣passing the lower verge: yea, we shall finde the pregnantst piercingst wits many times most blinded in what imports them most. Apt to pry into others secrets, but neglectfull of their owne▪ A censorious quick-sighted Argus to others Counsells: A blind Tyresias in the Survey of their own. It is a rare feli∣city to enjoy a quick-wit, & to have Humility to manage it. More have perish'd by it, than procur'd them safety from it. Ripe early Wits are soonest blasted; as rarest beauties quickliest blemished. Wherein those are ever most erring, that are most given to talking: especially, in observances, regreets, salutations, complements: which, many times fall out unhappily to those who most affect them; & following the current of Court-Rhetorick, mistake the termes: or through ignorance of the true Dialect of Speech, fall into ridiculous absurdities, by mistaking words, or inverting the use of them; familiar errors to most of our affe∣cted Speakers. This may necessarily seeme to introduce the Tale of that Finitive Girl; Page  68 who comming downe from her Lady to a Gentleman; and desirous to excuse her Lady, that shee could not presently bee at leasure to receive his Message; requested him, that till her Lady was ready to dis∣patch him, he would be pleased to goe along with her and take some procreation in the Garden. Which could not chuse but puzle him asmuch to answer, as shee poore wench, was simply forward in her liberall offer.

Nor had that Curats wife any ill mea∣ning, how ere her words might be miscon∣strued, who comming to her Land-ladies house, and being asked of her;

How happens it that all this while you have no children Neighbour? Verily, quoth she, I know not, but by the motion of the spirit wee do both our endeavour.

Nor did that soft-temper'd Gentleman, show any great propriety of speech, nor per∣tinency of answer, when comming to the house of a neare-neighbouring Lady, and being demanded of her,

How long his wife reckoned, and when shee would bee brought abed?
For want of a better an∣swer, suffering both in his tongue and con∣ceit a fever, made this reply;
Even when your Lady-ship pleaseth.

But to speake generally of quick-wits, they are naturally bold: which many Page  96 times endangers the owners discretion. There is no Discourse, wherein he will not have an Oare. No Argument, wherein he holds not himselfe fit to be a Moderator. Yet, in this he so farre over-shoots himselfe, as he findes it more prejudiciall for man to be accompanied by selfe conceipt, than to be indued with a meane, but humble conceipt. It was the Saying of a daring Stoick, that he was in all things so well resolved, as there was nothing wherein he so much as doubted: Which was likewise the arrogant opinion of Velleius the Epicurian. His confi∣dence had so strengthned him, as no opini∣on of error could surprize him: Imagining his knowledge to bee lyable to no error, so firmely and irremoveably sixt was he to an opinionate humour. But he who fooles himselfe with such an arrogant confidence, ever fails most in his expectance. He is most wise, who is lest opinionately wise. For he that seekes to be more wise than he can bee, shall bee found to bee lesse wise than hee should be.

But now, whereas many women have singular quick-wits; it is very rare for any such to have them, and not to know them. It is commonly seene therefore in publique Assemblies, how apt they are to give occa∣sion of discourse: and how willingly they embrace any Argument to exercise their Page  70 Wits on. And in this they have a great advantage of the stronger Sexe: For what∣soever they object by way of reason, re∣ceives a more favourable construction, than others may probably expect. For indiffe∣rent things delivered, where little is expe∣cted; begets more admiration in the hearer, than where more solid Arguments are handled, but by such where nothing lesse could be expected. Indeed, the grea∣test error that can bee found in these femi∣nine Disputants; you shall observe some of them (ever teserving our best esteeme for the discreetest and selectedst ones) to flow in words, but droppe in matter. Copiously shall you find them worded; but for matter penuriously stored. Howbeit, their very presence ever accompanies their discourse with an applausive grace.

I have in my time seene a Woman brought before a Judiciall Seate; where she was accused of enormious crimes: and such, as before she laboured to vindicate her owne honour, begot in her Spectators an hatefull horror: yet no sooner had she de∣livered her owne misfortunes; the undeser∣ved extremities of her Adversaries; the dis∣respect she bare to life; the tender care to redeeme her fame; than she begot teares in those who before did spite her: a noble Compassion in such, who before did hate Page  71 her. Now, if a quick-wit, prompt speech, and prepared spirit wrought such effects in actions of that quality, what might they produce in affaires of true worth and magnanimity?

It is true, what an excellent Moralist well observed: that it fareth with wits, as with diversity of Soyles. Some are naturally so fruitfull, that if they should be manured or marled, they would grow over with weedes. Many such luxuriant Wits there be; who, the more they are fed, the more are they famished. These must bee kept Sharpe, or they will not mount. Others there be, who must be forced, or they are starved, but these partake not of such where∣of wee have here discoursed.

To dwell longer on these I shall not need, seeing the Triall of wits will sufficiently informe you. Wee will descend then from those benefits accruing to quick-wits discreetly mannaged, to those distasts they beget by being too lavishly vented.

Page  72

DISTASTE.

*PRECIOUSEST things have ever the worst keepers: which proverbe is made good even in this Subject. There was never good Wit, saith the profound Stagyrian, without some mixture of folly. Nay, the best Wits have the vicioust parts. Dange∣rous tooles to be in mad mens hands.

Let us reflect a little then upon that Noble Sexe, whereto we are to addresse our discourse: and in these rich Mineralls of Wit, observe if those purest and precioust metals are not blemished with some foile. Quicke and piercing be these feminine wits: which being well disposed, incomparably beseeme them. For as that Relater some∣times delivering a passionate Speech, ex∣pressed every passage so emphatically, as he begot a generall Compassion in his Hearers; till, in te end, Concluding his whole dis∣course, hee demanded of them what they thought of such an Orator? Their answer was, they could admire nothing more.

Nor can you doe ought lesse, replyed hee, comming wholly from the sweet pen of a Woman.

Page  73Every Action, saith the Philosopher, hath two helves or handles. And we shall finde these two metalld wits strike upon the same Shelves. The one more apt for projecting, the other for discoursing. This tart; That dangerous. As for our old Bel∣dame wits, wee will let them rust in the sheath: Their Plots are ever casting for Husbands for their Daughters: or how they may gather a little more uselesse trash into their knapsacks: which they enjoy with as much content, as those who live in continuall want. Our Stories must take life from more youthfull Madeona's. Such, as to purchase the persons whom they lov'd; and whose fidelity they had sufficiently ap∣prov'd; tooke upon them disguises, that they might enjoy the fruits of their affection with lesse suspition. Others becomming Pa∣ges to those who were foes to their Lovers; to make those whom they lov'd, happy Con∣querours. Others exposing themselves for Slaves, to secure their Sweet-hearts States. Of which sorts, you may furnish your selves with Instances plenteously both in our anci∣ent Roman and our latter Italian Stories. All which, as they pitched upon love, so closed they for most part with Comick ends.

But of all others, there are no Plots more desperately dangerous, then those which are grounded on Iealousie: which in all ages Page  74 hath brought forth such implacable Re∣venge, as nothing could finde it a period without blood. But our desire is not to ri∣vell your eyes with teares; nor to close our Curtaine Lecture with a funerall pile: But to furnish you with fresh Messes of merry mates, where the effects of Iealousie or Revenge shall winde themselves up in mirth. I will begin with the Tale of a Wenching Companion, who could not fare well but he must cry roast-meat: For having received a fair and free entertain∣ment from three severall witty Wantons in his Parish; it could not suffice him to enjoy them but he must boast of it, and so defame them. These three merry Gossips practised one day how they might pay him home in his own Coin: and how they might each of them affright him most, and harme him least.

The first, being a Barbers wife, was long in the suds, till she had wrought what she had so long sought; which the better to bring to passe, with an affable invitation she cheers her youngker, and wils him not to breake with her: for such a day would her hus∣band be imployed in trimming some Bur∣gesse against such a festivall day, and no time more opportunate for his safe ingresse and grsse. The time is observed, all things •••ted: but while these two amorous fa∣ctors Page  75 are in naked imbraces, enjoying each other, by a private practice with her Maid, in comes the Barber. Hee perceiving no∣thing, chid his Dame, for spending so much time in her bed; bidding her arise for shame, for (said hee) I have trimm'd two gentle∣men already: yea, Husband (quoth shee) but I would know him that trimms you. —But you promis'd me, one day, Husband, to payre my toes, do it now for me, and I wil rise instantly. The good simple Barber, con∣scious of no such things as his wife had practi∣sed, began to give an edge to his razor, while his witty wife whisphering underneath, wil∣led the Currier to put out his feet, and to fall low in the bed, for fear of discovery. Which the poor trembling Snake did according∣ly.— O cut me nearer, quoth the Barbers wife: till he went so near the quick, as the Palsie-shaking Cavalier feeling more than hee durst finde fault with, to free himselfe from feare of further torture, bit the Barbers wife into the shoulder. This procured a shreeke from the wife; and caus'd the Hus∣band to lay aside his tool. So taking along with him some Camphier Bals for which he came thither, hee left this shaking Shark with his Subtill Syren together: the one trembling for fear; the other laughing at his fever.

The next was of the Lemnian Order, Page  76 a black-Smiths wife; One, who could forge and hammer any thing cunningly, to com∣passe her pleasure. And shee must play her Pranks too; which the better to effect, this Lady Venus pretends that her Vulcan is to play the Farrier abroad, and therefore pri∣vately invites this Martiall younker to her house, to play the part of a stout and stiffe Warriour at home. Such a pleasing occasi∣on requires all expedition: Love loosens fetters, and transforms feet to feathers to seize upon such a purchase. The way hee findes easie; his free accesse promiseth all successe: He is not only admitted, but per∣mitted to do what hee list. But an unexpe∣cted storme alters this Calme: while these two lye billing like two loving Payres, she heares her Husbands boisterous tongue below the stayres: It is high time then for her now or never to ply her anvile, or feele the fury of her Farrier: which to prevent (no wit comparable to a womans at a dead lift) she opens a Chest which stood close to her bed; and puts in her Paramour by the head and shoulders: and locks it fast, when she has done: Up comes the Husband, cha∣sing like an Horse-leach, and fretting like gumm'd grogran, to finde his wife ith' Cloth-market at that time oth' day. But poor wench, she feigns herselfe sick, giving such a passionate grace to her counterfeit Page  77 groane, as her simple Actaeon imagined her to be sick indeed. He, to comfort his sweet Dulip, asks her what she would have, and where her paine held her most? O, at my stomack, Husband, at my stomack; I finde a great loathing at my stomack. —Where's the Aqua vitae bottle, said the Smith? that will either recover thee or nothing. O, in that Chest, Husband, but I know not where the key is; the griefe of my stomack h'as made me quite forget my selfe. Marry, quoth he, but I will breake it up with my hammer and pincers; —I will not loose my Coy-Duck for a little labour. As they were thus communing, and hee preparing his tooles to breake up the Chest, or this Paramours Cabbin, you may partly ima∣gine what a pitifull perplexitie, that inche∣sted Lecher was in: Which hee discovered, for being not able to containe himselfe any longer, the chinks of the Chest disclosed his feare by the distillation of his Water. Which the disssembling sick Dame percei∣ving; Oh, quoth she, Husband, you may now save that labour, for by the jogging you have made, you have spilt all the Wa∣ter: and I thanke God, I am at better ase then I was.

This highly cheered the good man to see his wife so well recovered: while she after the departure of her Husband releaseth the pri∣soner; Page  78 who came forth like a drown'd Rat, and without scarce taking leave of his jeer∣ing Minion, run downe stayres in a pelting chafe, vowing ever after to be more wary of preferring such a Didapper to his Choice.

But carnall repentance holds no long re∣sidence. The third merry Gossip, being a Feather of the same Wing, and had purposed to render her Wanton Tell-tale the like Wage: sends one Evening to this Fly∣blowne Flesh-Fly, acquainting him how her Husband, (being an Excellent Painter, and such an One as not a Rush-bearing or May-Morish in all that Parish could subsist without him) was to go a good way (as she pretended) stay a long time from home about setting forth of a Pageant; so as, hee might enjoy the freedome of her love secure∣ly, without the least suspition of any with∣in her family. The Joviall youngker for∣getfull of his late feare, and desirous to se∣cond her ayme, whose love was his lure; with winged speed fits himselfe for this Loves adventure: where he no sooner ar∣rives, than he is received with all expressi∣ons of familiarity and privacy of favour. Though she were a a Painters wife, and one practised much in adulterate varnish, hee found her affection laid on with such Co∣lours, as they were in graine and admitted no staine: for nothing was deny'd him, Page  79 that could bee desir'd by him. Hee found more agility and quicknesse in this amo∣rous Creature, than ever Pygmalion could doe in his artfull (but as then un-enlivened feature.) Prometheus his fire had infused such heat; as never more active nor virile love accompanied Ida's seat, nor Eryca's grove, than that love-entranced Myrmi∣don did enjoy in the seazure of his Pegge Painters love.

But were there no flaw in a Picture, Art might worthily admire her selfe, and e∣steeme her worke an Architype of Nature. Men would in time become Zanies and sur∣fet in the Sweets of pleasure, if there were no Alloes to immix it selfe with it, and allay the quality of it in some measure. This that sensuall Amorist felt, heard and understood; when ready stript to imbath himselfe in his Stove (or if you will) Stue of delights: that perfidious Phidias (for so no doubt our youthfull Gamester held him) was heard below: what a pickle then may you imagine this sou't Gurnet was in, at the resound of his voice? But some present course must be taken, to secure this unfortunate Goat, or there is no more life to be expected, than in a Picture which Art onely formed. But a device this Wan∣ton ha's in readinesse, to revenge her wrong; and with some feare to her Bed-fellow, Page  80 shroud both their lightnesse. The Plot is this: She wills him stirre his stumps; and follow those directions shee prescribes him. Hee must now of a living Creature become a dying Picture: he must hang be∣hinde the Doore for something, and bee as mute as if he hung there for nothing. Mo∣ther-naked hee hangs there by the Arms; while the Painter, who knowes little of the Drift or practice either, enters the Chamber, and contrary to the custome of the Countrey, begins to read his Wife a Curtaine Lecture; but shee, tender of her honour, puts up all with patience: telling him withall, that though she lov'd to take her ease, it was not altogether without pro∣it; she could bargaine in her bed, that would pay for washing her sheetes. And to make this good, looke (quoth she) be∣hinde the door, what a Picture I have bar∣gain'd for at the second or third hand! Tell me now in good sadnesse, did you ever see any one nearer to life? Peruse every vein, sinnew, member, artery; and then resolve me, if ever you saw an exacter piece of Sym∣metry? Trust me, said the Painter, the Work is very lively, only I find one dispro∣portionable part, which our best Artists have ever held a great deformity. Now, the onely blemish which I finde in this Picture, is, that the one Codde hangeth Page  81 longer then the other; which I shall rectify forthwith. The Aguish-supposed Picture, fearing much that the Painter was fetching his knife or some other Instrument in use, to correct that error; which if hee did, he were undone for ever: just as the incensed Painter turned his back, leapt the the scarred Skaledrake from off the hinges of the Door: running naked through the open street, to preserve his Genitories from the stake.

Now, I will not aske you, which you verily thinke of all these put him in most feare, and harm'd him least; for so you may suspect mee that I relate these purpose∣ly to sell you a Bargaine. No, the disco∣very of these sleights was onely to set forth the Levity or want of Secrecy in those, who should be most strong: with the strength of their Revenge, whose Sex argues them to be most weake.

A Story to like purpose in our owne time and in our owne Clime I have heard; and it was thus. A loose Libertine, who car'd little for ingaging his honour, so hee might be Master of his pleasure. Amongst many others, to whom his irregular desires, had tender'd love and service; it hapned that there was a Gentlemans wife of good ac∣compt and approved fame, whose affe∣ction he strongly sollicited: Many repul∣ses Page  82 he received, but his impudence put him on afresh; renuing still his siege, hoping in time to become seazd of the Hold. At last, when shee could by no meanes dis∣swade him from his uncivill Suite, she see∣mingly consented to his request: yet ac∣quainting him withall, that her Honour was such a precious Gemme, as shee desired to have the Fame of it preserved, though it were privately blemished: If then hee meant to enjoy her, he must bee conveyed secretly into her Chamber: which hee, with much willingnesse inclined to. The Night is appointed; the manner of Con∣veying him contrived: a Trunke provi∣ded; to seaze him of what he so incompara∣bly desired. Meane time, shee acquaints her Husband with the whole Plot: Who infinitely longs for the approach of that Night, to discover to his shame, his odious lust: as the wanton Lecher was impati∣ent of that tedious day, to enjoy the shaken fruits of his ranging love. The Porter re∣ceives his hire, and directions from her: willing him to set the Trunke upon end a∣gainst the Wall: and in such manner, as his feet might stand upward, and his head downeward.

Long, may you imagine, did this incof∣fin'd Puffin lye there incased, before hee was opened: at last the Husband comes in, Page  83 and looking about him, demands whose Trunke that was? A Friends, answers she. What Friend, said hee? No friend should have any Trunke or any such matter in my Chamber, but it were fitting that you made me first acquainted what it were, and for what end it came hither. For I have beene partly made privy to your tricks be∣fore, Minion, quoth hee, seeming inraged: I will therefore make bold to see what trumpery you have here; and breake it open, if I may not receive so much favour from you as to have the key. She seeming∣ly dissembled all things, beseeching him to bee content, and spare the Secrecies of that Trunke: but the more her subtilty impor∣tun'd him: the more did her delayes see∣mingly provoke him. To bee short, the Trunke is opened, where this loose Lecher could not inwardly bee more polluted, than his fayre Sattin Suite (whose inside partak't intirely of Sathan) was found hatefully scummered. Now, with what dishonour he was kick't out oth' Chamber, I leave it to you, if you had your wives be∣sieged in like manner, to censure.

But amorous eares, no doubt, would be more delighted with hearing Devices of an other nature: as for instance, to heare the Party beloved cast a bait how she may de∣ceive a suspicious eye, to cloze her owne Page  84 content, and crowne the long-wished de∣sires of her lover.

That Tale of a wanton witty Dame will sound well in such eares, who advised her Sweet-heart, to secure them the better from her Husbands presence, to attire his Servant in a Beares skinne; being a Beast, which of all others he most feared and hated. The Sto∣ry I commend to the relation of this Poeme.

A wily wench there was (as I have read,)
Who us'd to Capricorne her Husbands head;
Which he suspecting, lay in privy wait
To catch the Knave, and keepe his wife more strait.
But all in vaine: they day by day did mate it,
Yet could his four eyes never take them at it.
This subtill wench perceiving, how they should
At last prevented be, do all they could:
For now Italian-like, her Husband grew
Horne-mad (I wis) and kept her in a Mew:
Invent'd a trick, which to accomplish better,
Vnto her friend shee closely sent a letter,
And thus it was; " Friend, you shall know by me,
Page  85" My Husband keepes me farre more narrowly
" Then he was wont; so as, to tell you true,
" You cannot come to me, nor I to you.
" Yet spite of his eyes and as many more,
" Wee'l use those pleasures which wee us'd before:
" Onely be wise, and second what I wish;
" Which to expresse (my friend) know this it is.
" My Husband, as he hates the horne to weare
" Of all the Badges forth, so feares he th' Beare
" More then all other Beasts which doe frequent
" The Heathy Forrests spacious Con∣tinent.
" If thou wilt right me then, and pepper him,
" Cover thy Servant in a false Beares skinne:
" And come to morrw, as thou us'd before,
" Tying thy Servant to my Chamber doore.
After this quaint direction he attir'd
His man in Beare-skinne as shee had desir'd;
Entring the Chamber, he received is
Page  86With many a smile, back-fall, and sweet∣ned kisse:
For they're secure of all that was before,
Having a Beare that kept the Buffe from doore.
The Witall foole no sooner incling had,
Then up the Staires hee ran as hee were mad:
But seeing none but th' Beare to enter∣taine him,
*Of Hornes he never after did complaine him.

There bee other extreames of love which fall by degrees into mortall hate: hamme∣ring upon nothing more than revenge: and these tragicke effects are ever hatcht from jealous spirits: which the Tragedian seemes to discover in a passionate admiration: How boundlesse is the height of womans hate! This that jealous Dame published to all the World; when finding one day in a Cabi∣net of her Maids, divers especiall Love-to∣kens and affectionate Favours, which shee had bestowed upon a Servant of hers who sood strongly interessed in her love; be∣came so violent in her hate towards him, whom before shee preferred before all the World; as the very next time, that he presen∣ted his service unto her, hee was pistal'd by her, without ever so much as expostulating Page  87 with him the ground of her distaste.

Nor will wee leave this onely heere: As mortall, though lesse fatall was that womans malicious pursuit of revenge, (to give an instance in actions of baser brood) who accused one before a Justice for a Rape. The discreet Justice perceiving that the ground of her accusation proceeded ra∣ther from malice than any just cause, wi∣shed her to bee well advised before shee im∣peached him of such a Crime: for, said the Justice, I am halfe perswaded, in regard of the honest report and repute of the man, that hee is cleare. — But tell mee in good earnest, said the Justice, did hee ravish thee indeed? Yes, quoth shee,

I'le take my Corporall Oath of it, though your Wor∣ship will not beleeve it, that hee ha's ra∣vishd mee twenty times at least, before ever I came before your Worship.

Those who are addicted to melancholly, are ever esteemed most witty: and these most subject to Jealousy: On which hu∣mour, of all others▪ the Devill (as Guido observeth) worketh for his owne purpose most powerfully. This might appeare by the Story of that perplexed Gentle∣man; who being imployed in service a∣broad; and having a very beautifull Wife, desired to bee satisfied how shee behaved her selfe in his absence: To bee resolvd Page  88 herein, hee makes recourse to a Negroman∣cer; Who, after some little time, shewed him a Glasse, wherein hee presented to his view, his Lady in full proportion, and a young Cavalero with his breeches downe entring her Chamber: This amazed him much, for as he was naturally addicted to jealousie, so this so fully confirmed and strengthened his conceipt, as hee could scarcely containe himselfe from picking at the eyes of his Lady presented in the Glasse: And to second his conceipt with revenge, he begs leave of the Generall, that he might obtaine so much favour as to leave the Garrison for a season, and returne home in∣to his Countrey, to dispose of sundry af∣fayres which at that time required his per∣sonall attendance. Way being given him, he returnes home: where, though passion would scarce admit a parliance, he thought good to call his wife aside; and with much abruptnesse of speech, fire and fury in his eyes; he askes her what Company she had in her Bed-chamber such a day? She at the first, much amated, yet knowing her own in∣nocency to be without the reach of scandal, at last recollecting her dispersed and distra∣cted thoughts, shee call'd to minde who at that time accompanied her: Upon which recollection, she return'd him this answer:

O Deare Sir, let not the Devill delude Page  89 you; I well remember, how your owne Brother, that very day, came into my Chamber, and that I lay'd a plaister up∣on his boile, which was on his thigh.
This so well satisfi'd him, as his fury was turned to affability and sweetnesse: repenting him sore, that ever hee inclined to give eare to such an hatefull suggestion. So as, albeit hee had brought her into a private-desert grove, where he intended a fatall revenge; he not onely freed her person and untainted honour, but retained a constant opinion of her noble carriage ever after.

This Story I inserted, to deterre such from giving too much trust to these Sorce∣ries: For what was the Devils sole pra∣ctice or aime in this false deceiving Glasse presented to that deluded Gentleman; but to suggest to his jealous thoughts grounds of revenge? He was ready enough to shew him occasions to increase his jealousy: but not to discover to him what person it was, to whom his Lady shew'd her selfe so fami∣liarly. He was ready to present to his sight a youthfull active Cavaliero, and that in an uncivile posture, entring his Ladies Cham∣ber: but never the love nor affection shee bore to himselfe, in this office she did to his Brother.

Hee was not halfe so much distemper'd with jellows; being farre more easily per∣swaded, Page  90 though hee had lesse cause to bee so quickly satisfied; who riding one day a Hunting, suddenly and unexpectedly re∣ceiving Newes that his Wife was brought abed, could not choose at the first but break out into some passion; thumping his brest, and doubting still that his Dogs, Actaeon-like, would not know their Master, cryed out, till the Field re-ecchoed againe, I am dishonour'd, I am dishonour'd. One (and such an One very likely as had a finger in the pye) seeing him in this mad mood; be∣gunne to chide him, bidding him be con∣tent for shame, and not to make the whole field witnesse of his folly; for what's the matter, said hee, that brings you to this di∣stemper? Why, my wife (quoth he) is brought abed. And why should shee not, answered hee? Because it is too soone (said this honest Goosin:) all the world knowes, it is not above twenty weekes since we were married: the Childe then can by no wayes be mine. No more is it (said his friend) it is as much your wifes as yours. But, pray you Sir, tell me▪ will you publish your selfe a Ninnie to all the world! Is it not twenty weeekes since you were married, and twen∣ty weekes too since shee was married; and doe not these two put together make up for∣ty weekes? Tell mee then▪ how are you Unhonour'd? Which reason: this tractable Page  91 Trout had no sooner heard than he became well perswaded: humbly beseeching his Friend to excuse his errour, and not to pu∣blish to the World his folly: which hee promised to doe upon hope of a further fa∣vour; conditionally hee would not suffer himselfe to bee mis-led by any such jea∣lousy.

But to returne to our former Discourse, and the Subject whereof we now treat; As our Quickest wits are many times apt to mi∣nister occasion of distaste: so wee may di∣stinguish these occasionall grounds of di∣staste into three particular or distinct Mo∣tives. Some whereof might seeme so free from giving occasion in this time, as they may admit an exemption, and from so ge∣nerall a rule a regular exception: yet shall we make it appeare that even from Silence, wherein is many times shrowded a great measure of implicit Sense, distaste may bee taken as well as from Speech. For a Sul∣len clowdy humour can never sort nor sute well with a candid nature. But to our di∣vision: Distasts of this kinde may derive their being or essence, from Speech, Silence, or Impertinence. The first, in speaking more than they should; The second, in not speaking when they should; The third, in impertinent action, by declining from doing what they should.

Page  92Now, forasmuch as Instances give the clearest light and perspicuity to all Sub∣jects: our care shall be to illustrate these by examples: that what we propose, by way of opinion may bee confirmed in each of these by some exemplary person.

SPEECH.

FOr the first; the Tale of that joviall good fellow, fals fit for our purpose; who to arme himselfe against his wifes shrewde tongue; amongst many other nights of good fellow-ship, stay'd, till af∣ter midnight playing the Cup-shot: and how he was encounter'd by the strength of his Fantasy and distemper'd quality with a supposed Spirit, and how he reasoned with it: all which I leave to the faithfull relati∣on of this Poëm.

A Man there was, who liv'd a merry life,
Till in the end he tooke him to a Wife;
One that no image was (for shee could speake)
And now and then her husbands costrell breake:
So fierce she was and furious, as in summe
She was an arrant Devill of her tongue.
This drove the poor man to a discontent,
Page  93And oft and many times did he repent
That e're hee chang'd his former quiet state,
But 'las, repentance then did come too late.
No cure he finde to cure this maladie,
But makes a vertue of necessitie,
The common cure for care to every man,
"A potte of nappy Ale: where he be∣gan
To fortifie his braine 'gainst all should come,
'Mongst which the clamour of his wives loud tongue.
This habit graffed in him grew so strong,
"That when he was from Ale, an houre seem'd long,
So well hee lik'd th' profession: on a Time
Having staid long at pot, (for rule nor line
Limits no drunkard) even from Morne to Night,
He hasted home a pace, by the Moone-light:
Where as he went, what phantasies were bred,
I doe not know, in his distempered head,
But a strange Ghost appear'd, and forc'd him stay,
Page  94With which perlext, hee thus began to say:
" Good Spirit, if thou be, I need no charme,
" For well I know, thou wilt not doe mee harme;
" And if the Devill; sure, mee thou shouldst not hurt,
I wed't thy Sister, and am plagued for't.
The Spirit well approving what he said,
Dissolv'd to ayre, and quickly vanished.

For Guido reports that there are Spirits of such a merry Genius, as they are infinitely delighted with such pleasant Conceipts: As there bee others full of melancholy and discontent, who to vaste Tombes, silent Cves, and darke Charnell-houses make their usuall frequent.

Nor is it easie to determine what affinity this Spirit had to his, who being found tardy, said, he was troubled with a Spirit, and so hotly pursued, as for feare hee was forced for want of other succour, to fly for shelter to his Neighbours wife.

To aggravate the distaste arising from these active feminine tongues, who will ra∣ther suffer the worst of Spite, than allay their Spleene: I might here relate the Tale of that University Virago (for the Civilest Page  95 places are not exempted from these Tetters;) a Girle of a stout stomack, though of a soft and pliable temper: Who, walking the streets one night, either to take fresh ayre, or in hope to encounter with some flush Heire; chanc't unhappily to meet the Major: who standing upon the punto of his autho∣rity, after he had unpin'd the Casements of his eyes with much difficulty, being close cemented together with rising so early; at last ask't her what she was?

One, quoth she, of the feminine gender, and a Schol∣ler. What, said he, A Scholler in a Wast-coate? yes, quoth she, this poore Flanning Wast-coate h'as answer'd and dare an∣swer oftner under Batcheler, than those larded-Sattin fore-skirts of yours, durst ever yet in defence of your ho∣nour.
But the tart Oratory of this wast-coate brought her to a lodging in the kid-coate.

There bee other Talkative Girles, who priding themselves a little too much in their glibbe tongues, many times in casting about to catch others, are catch't themselves: which I might take occasion here to in∣stance in the answer of a brave Blade, who being in Company of a bevy of joviall Wenches, who had whitteld him well with liquor; One amongst the rest finding him apt enough to discover his thoughts, im∣portun'd Page  96 him much to tell them what was the worst thing which he in his Conscience thought, hee had ever done all his life time.

Hee, unwilling to satisfie her demand, though seconded with great importunity, told her expresly; That though they had made him as right as their legge to their purpose, he would be loth to make them his Secretaries, who could not keepe their own Counsells: But for her especially, he never meant to make her his She-Confessor, who was as open as a Sieve, that could not hold water. At last, overcome with her instan∣cy, he told her roundly, that since she would needes out of ancient familiarity, injoyne him to such a discovery:

He must ingenuously confesse, that the worst thing that ever hee did in his life, and that which troubled his Conscience most, was getting her with child (dire∣cting his speech to her that so importun'd him) and causing her to lay it upon his Neighbour, such an one.

This unexpected answer made the rest of her Gossips bite the lippe: but for his in∣quisitive Comater, shee vowed, so long as she knew him, never to aske him any que∣stions.

Page  97

SILENCE.

AS Speech occasions Distaste by spea∣king too much; so does Silence in speaking too little: This might bee instanced in the discontent which a Sociable good fellow tooke in his wifes Silence: Who had intended, it seemes, to requite her Hus∣bands unthriftinesse, with an humour of sul∣lennesse. He, as it was usuall with him, com∣ming home at an unseasonable houre; asked of his Wife many questions, but received no answer to any. Having tryed many Conclusions to receive one comfortable tone from her, but all in vaine; at last hee resolv'd of a course to bring her to her tongue againe, and it was this: He gets the key of the Sexton, and goes into the Church: where he towls the Bell, as is u∣sually done for such as are dying. Some of the inhabitants come in, purposely to in∣quire for whom it was that the Bell was towlling? It was answered by this Con∣ceipted youth, that it was for his Wife, who was lately laid speechlesse.

Which report, no doubt, would in time loosen the strings of her tongue, and make her Husband know that she was recovered: and cause him confesse as much to his tor∣ment.

Page  98Albeit, in many questions Silence de∣serves to be approved and preferred: especi∣ally in such where the resolution of those questions propounded, may trench highly upon the Speakers credit: This, that for∣ward answer of a witty wench little consi∣dered; who had been long knowne to be no Niggard of her flesh, to One, and that a fa∣miliar One; who asked her the reason how it came to passe that all her children should bee so like their father, when all the World knew that they had many fathers?

O quoth she, I never take in any Stranger, till I find my vessell full fraughted!

IMPERTINENCE.

FOr the last, though not the least, where distaste is ministred by Im∣pertinence of action, or a diversion from what it should intend, we might here bring upon the Stage, That trifling Girle, who fell a cracking of nuts, while another was taking paines to picke out the kernell of her virginity▪ with his surly answer to her:

Is it time to cracke nuts? Minde that thou art doing with a murraine.

Or that ill-nurtur'd Tom-boy; who like one of Domitians daughters, was catching Flyes, while her Sweet-heart was prefer∣ring his Suite. Thus have wee no lesse Page  99 plainely than fully discovered those various delights and benefits arising from Quicknesse of wit, well seasoned: with those distempers and distastes which usually accompany them, when too freely exposed. For these roving wits, as they ever strive to wound others, so they never come home unbai∣ted.

But, as that divine Plato sometimes said, The Lover is ever blinded with affection towards his beloved; So, even in these in∣ward graces, many become so affectionately doating on their owne parts and abilities, as no conceipt how present or pregnant soe∣ver delivered by another, may passe for current, if they may be Censors. So highly are they enamoured of their owne, as they dis-esteeme all others. These presuppose an exuberance of wit, which indeed, many times drawes nearest soaking, when it should be, in regard of the occasion offered, plenteously flowing.

But these presuming wits are ever safest when they are stillest: being generally transported, or extased rather, with a confi∣dence of their worth: as there is no person may evade them, wherein they will not take occasion to use the dexterity of their wits, and assume to themselves more free∣dome than is granted them.

It is a rule worth remembring: Page  100

Play with me, but hurt me not;
Ieast with me, but shame me not.
Which that divine mellifluous Father well observed, when hee said:
Jests are no lesse suspicious to me than anger; seeing by jesting I have many times escandalized another.
A great care and circumspecti∣on then is to be used in experiments of this nature: lest by venting their jest, and loo∣sing their friend, they incurre Eupolis fate: who having many times brought that war∣like wanton Princely Alcibiades upon the Stage, dandled on the lap of his Timandra; at last received, for those many bitter Scaenes wherein hee had personated to life that noble Prince, this closing Act from the command of Alcibiades:
Thou hast many times, Eupolis, drown'd my fame upon the Stage, I will once drowne thee in the Sea.
—And so sent him the way of all fish.

But indeed, there is no Argument where∣in these prompt and nimble wits are better showne than in these subjects of Love: espe∣cially, where one Object begets an amorous Contest: and breedes Corrivals in pursuit of one Mistresse.

Which encounter admits no order; nay, admits no priviledge nor prerogative to na∣ture, so it may procure that matchlesse Page  101 booty, the purchase of beauty to her Lo∣ver.

This, if I had a purpose to inlarge my selfe any further in this subject, might bee instanced in the Story of the Gentleman and his sonne, both Corrivals to one Lady: and of the Impresses they writt with Dia∣monds in a Window privately, but expres∣sively. Where the Sonne perceiving his Father to bee farre in love with her, whom he so intirely affected: and to whom, if the presence of his Father had not interpo∣sed, he might have beene before that time espoused, wrote this Impresse with his Dia∣mond: Secreta mea mihi. Which posy his Father one day finding, by way of answer, wrote this▪ Et stultitia tua tibi. Which his Sonne chancing to read, clozed the con∣ceipt with this fancy: Nec tibi, nec mihi, sed dividatur. Which words might have relation either to the Party by them equally loved, or to the Impresse before; wherein ei∣ther for Love, or Folly, they might be equally shared.

But descending from these, I passe to the next Subject; wherein Gentle speech must take your eares, as Objects of beauty have taken your eyes: both which introduce a living Oratory, to worke the powerfuller effects upon your fancy.

Page  102

GENTLENESSE OF SPEECH.

*GENTLENESSE OF SPEECH is an affable treaty or confe∣rence one with another. Or, a winning kinde of Rhetorick, which of all others, purchaseth most friends with least cost. An excellent grace it gives to Hospitality: especially, where a welcome accompanied with a cheerefull countenance is delivered with the mouth: and an enter∣taining eye becomes ready to usher in that speech. Where two meeke men meete toge∣ther, their conference (said Bernard) is sweet and profitable: where one man is meeke, it is profitable; where neither, it proves perni∣cious.

Many Motives be there to induce Fancy, which well tempered, worke upon no blind love, such as a deluded eye doats most upon, but a cleare and well-grounded affection. Such were those exteriour goods or embel∣lishments, which begot love in the behol∣ders of those Sabine beauties: which so ena∣moured the Romans in the infancy of their foundation, as they begot a succeeding alli∣ance in their posterity. Egnatius in Ca∣tullusPage  103 is brought out shewing the whitenesse of his teeth. Lacides with sleeke looks, and mincing gate. Pompey scratching his head with one finger. But as the wind Caecias drawes unto it Clouds; so did outward po∣stures beget sinister conceipts: for Lacides could not use that sleckenesse without suspi∣cion of lasciviousnesse: nor Pompey, that affected scratching with one finger, without opinion of wantonnesse.

White teeth imply a strong constitution; rolling eyes, like Lais Lamps, heate of affe∣ction; with a pure Sanguine, which is ever accompanied with a beautefull complexion. That which Euryala, Nurse to that subtile Greeke, praysed, when she washed the feete of Vlysses, was Gentle Speech, and tender flesh: both referring to two severall Sences; the one to the Eare: the other to the Toutch. Now to expresse the singular effects of the former, whereof wee are here to treat: There is nothing that ingageth more the af∣fection of the Hearer than affability of Speech. I have knowne a great and emi∣nent Person in this Kingdome; who, how undeservedly, I know not, having incurred the distasts of some Societies, touching some indirect passages, as they conceived, whereby they stood highly injuried: upon Conference with them, and declaring his innocency, not only freed himselfe of their Page  104 prejudicate opinion: but gained their good esteeme and affection. Nor is it al∣most credible what excellent fruits, this Gentle speech graced with a pleasing presence have produc'd both in affaires of peace and warre; at home and abroad.

It is the Wise mans observation: Soft speech mitigates wrath. We read of few so barbarous (if Commanders) who could not finde an heart to receive a compassionate teare: nor an eare to a faire submission.

Though Affranius, hearing his effemi∣nate Son cry out—Alas me wretched! hate such a weake servile condition in his Sonne, as he seconds it with this severe reply:

To thy bas spirit I am suc a foe,
If one part grieve, let th' rest afflict thee too.
We shall finde even in Strangers more pity than in such fierce Fathers.

For in our Surveys of ancient and mo∣derne Histories: we shall finde ever some Princely compassionate Spirit, though a Conquerour, suffer in his Conquest. What passionate effects wrought that sad re∣lation of Aeneas in the heart of Queene Dido? How soone were those words (those Emphaticall words) setting forth the Tro∣jans misery, conveyed to the heart of that Page  105 affectionate Lady? But indeed in passages of love; when occasions of distaste chance to bee bred betwixt the parties: upon a faire and free parliance (if that happinesse may bee admitted them) how quickly are minds, before seemingly aliened, reconciled? Their former hate begins to resolve it selfe into amorous teares. So strong is the force of Gentle speech; seconded with easie reasons: which worke well enough in the eare of Love: who, melting in affection, is as wil∣ling to be attoned, as the party to move it.

Whosoever should but see to life persona∣ted that Princely Sophonisba, whose attra∣ctive Majesty and unaffected Eloquence, interessed her selfe more in hearts, than any Princesse of her time; would conclude hence, that a sweet and debonaire Speech works wondrous effects; as might appeare in those moving Speeches of hers, which so tenter'd her Hearers hearts, as hee herselfe could not suffer more upon reflex had to her owne wrongs, than they did in commi∣serating her wrongs.

It was an excellent commendation which I have sometimes heard given to a Noble Peere of this Kingdome. That none ever came to him, how irresolved soever, but came away from him well satisfied. This was a great felicity: that none, were he ne∣ver so dis-affected to him upon his Entry: Page  106 but departed so well contented, as he won his opinion, whom hee before highly di∣stasted.

True it is, that vulgar Eyes and Eares are only taken with outward Objects. They stand not upon sounding or examining the vessell: so it make a noyse, they rest satisfied. A courteous answer or affable salute affords them sufficient measure of content: and makes them render an approvement of his affability to the World. This is very rare to be seene in the countenance of such who are advanced to high places. These can put on a sterne awfull brow: and make appeare very legibly, how their State is changed.

A poor State that begets pride! An un∣deserving honour, that moulds in the owner a supercilious aspect; a difficulty of accesse; a phantastick circular gate; and a surly uncivile speech! Weake habilliments of honour! But farre weaker Supports to beare that Colosse of honour up, if he should decline.

I have observed an excellent temperature in this kinde, in many of our Ladies: whose pleasing countenance, & affable salutes freed them of that censure which those disdaine∣full women worthily incurre, who hold it the best posture of State to dis-value those they consort with: and as those, who are transported with an opinion of their owne Page  107 worth censure nothing worthy hearing, but what their selecter judgements approve. Dainty Idols to doate upon! These had need furnish themselves of witty Husbands; or the Honey-month will be soone done with them. Whereas those, whom we formerly touched; resemble Lights shining in an o∣ther Orbe.

If their Husbands bee pleasant, they re∣joyce in his pleasure. If he suffer in any o∣verture which he neither expected, nor his actions deserved; they beare a part in his Lachrymae. Husbands to such wifes are made happy in their choice: and have good cause never to wish a change. For they may consort with those they affect, without fea∣ring of being call'd to an Evening account. If their dayes expence should chance to bee too immoderate; they need feare no fingers but their owne, to dive into their pockets, or to make privy search for more than can be found. These need not feare to have their shoulders besprinkled with Zantippee's livery: or to have their breakfast chang'd into a Morning Curtaine Lecture: Or to receive discipline for their last nights error: Or to weare their Night-Capps after the old fashion, with both their eares through them: Or dreame, that their pillows are stuft with horne-shavings. These can play the merry Mates with their wifes, and ne∣ver Page  108laugh till their hearts ake: and heare a horne-pipe plaid, and never rubbe their brow antlers. If they come home late (though sooner were better) they are entertain'd with a chearefull welcome: They finde no Pouts in their dish: nor amongst all their necessary utensils one Chafing-dish. Out of this preci∣ous Mine, was, surely, that good Burgoma∣sters wife cut out, who ever met her Hus∣band at the Portell with a gentle word in her mouth; a sweet smile on her lippe; a merry looke on her cherry cheeke; a paire of slippers in one hand: and in the other, a rubber (not at cuffs) but a Towell to rubbe him after his travaile: whereas that old beldam Thestylis would have exchang'd that rubber with an halter, if shee might have had her will, rather than be bound to such a Taske. And to such an one, without all doubt was he matched; who in a pensive plight, all full of discontent, published to the World, from whence he desired a speedy dismission, his hard Fortune in this Bridall Brawle.

Married! whereto? to distaste;
Bedded! where? all griefe is plaste;
Clothed! how? with Womans shame;
Branded! how? with losse of Name;
How wretchelesse is that Man that is disgras't
With losse of Name, shame, griefe, and all distast?
Page  109
Imprison'd! how? to womans will;
Ingag'd! to what? to what is ill;
Restrain'd! by whom? by jealous feare;
Inthrall'd! to whom? Suspicions eare;
How haplesse is that wretch that must full∣fill,
A false, Suspitious, jealous womans Will?
Taxed! for what? for modest mirth;
Exposed! how? a Stale on Earth;
Surprizd'! with what? with discontent;
Profess'd! as how? times penitent;
How can that forlorne Soule take joy on Earth,
Where Discontent and Penance is his Mirth?
Threated! how? as ne're was no man;
Fool'd! by whom? a foolish woman;
Slav'd! to what? to causelesse Splean;
Sprite-affrighted! when? I dreame;
How should th'Infernall Prince more Furies summon,
Than lodge in such a Spleenefull, Spitefull Woman?
Cheered most! when? least at home;
Planted! where? i'th Torrid Zone;
Chafed! how? with oyle of tongue;
Hardned! how? by suff'ring wrong;
Page  110How wretched in his Fate who is become
Contented most, when he is least at home?
Vrged most! when? she is neare;
Vsher'd! how? with fruitlesse feare;
Shielded! when? when I doe flye;
Cur'd! with what? with hope to dye;
How curelesse doth that cure to sense ap∣peare,
Whose Hope is Death, whose Life is fruit∣lesse feare?

This wench had beene a dainty dangling fruit for Timon's fig-tree. And very likely it is, that with one of this Aery that Falco∣ner had encountred, or at least it were to be wished, he had beene so matched: who comming to a Wedding with an Hauke on his fist, and being asked to what end hee came thither, beeing a Marriage-meeting, and no place for pouting, with his Hauke? answered,

Purposely to know how many Marriages would reclaime an Hauke. Nor did hee doubt, but if such occasions had power to tame a wild Batchler, they would in time reclaime his Haggard.
Yet, for all this, his discretion by a wise modera∣tion of his passion, might, no doubt, have rectifide much this whirly-gigs disposition: for a good Iack will make a good Gill. Nor Page  111 will inveying, reviling or abusing of a Vixon, bring her to a good temper: for such usage would quickly make her madder. This was the cause that moved Socrates to forbeare his wife Zantippe, though a froward woman, because he thought he might better converse with others. Thus wise men, who are re∣gulated by reason, and with the rule of dis∣cretion, can moderate passion, when they are matched to such Necessary Evils, can make a Vertue of a Necessity; prepare them by such tryalls, with more constancy to suffer all extreames. Nor can there be made any question, but such Corrasives as are ap∣plyed nearest us, and upon the Vitall parts, worke the sensiblest effects. And who more neare than our owne bosome-consort: whose cheerefull aspect makes all those Pla∣nets of her family successive and auspicious: as contrariwise, her malignity begets in all those inferiour Lights, the like disposition. In the description of an Oeconomick State, Aristotle expresseth himselfe most Philoso∣phically, when he renders it thus: A Pri∣vate family (saith he) may be properly cal∣led a little City; and a City, a great Family: where like a City without a Wall, a House without a doore, a Ship without Helme, a Pot without a Cover, and a Horse without a Bridle: so is a Family, when guided by a passionate violent man, and hee matched to Page  112 a waspih unquiet woman. Many excellent Aphorismes are contained in Hippocrates; amongst which, this:
Eight things (saith he) make mans flesh moist and fat: the first, to bee merry and live at hearts ease; the second, to sleepe much; the third, to lye in a soft bed; the fourth, to fare well; the fifth, to be well apparelled and furnished; the sixth, to ride alwayes on horsebacke; the seventh, to have our Will; and the eight, to bee employed in Playes and Pastimes, and in things which yeeld contentment and pleasure.
Yet worke all these to a remedilesse consumpti∣on, when the Wife is transform'd into a Fury, and makes it her dayes Taske, to put all things out of order.

Howsoever, a great measure of discretion is required in an Husband; first, to know the nature and temper of his wife: secondly, in the carriage or demeanure of himselfe to∣wards her accordingly. You see, how the same Sunne works severall effects upon Waxe and Clay: for it softneth the one, and hardneth the other. Let him apply this to his owne condition: by disposing himselfe towards her, to whom hee stands ingaged, nay religiously devoted by an inviolable tye of affection. I have heard of a dome∣stick combat betwixt two, who afterwards became such loving affectionate Turtles, as Page  113 nothing could displease the one, what the o∣ther affected. But before this continued peace could bee procured, or these Civill-warres quenched: many domestick bickerings and skirmishes were there, who might weare the buckler, and returne quarter-master.

The more he laboured to soveraignize; the quarrell ever became more implacable; for she ever ended that dayes conflict with this peremptory cloze:

Trust me, Hus∣band, this will not doe it.
At last, as later considerations prove ever wisest, hee recollected himselfe: beginning to expostu∣late the cause with himselfe in this manner.
How long shall I intangle my selfe in this intricate Maze of endlesse miseries? To what purpose is it, that I contest with my owne flesh? Raise a Pad in the straw: and awake a sleeping Lyon? It may bee her disposition is more generously tempe∣red, than to be thus haled. Turne then the Scale; and let her enjoy the freedome of her selfe. This will relish better to any well condition'd nature: than ever to be contending for mastery: and make the whole Countrey ring with our folly.
Upon which resolution, they closed toge∣ther in such an equall Concord and Har∣mony of their minds: as they were never knowne to bee angry both together: The one giving way to the others passion, with Page  114 such sobriety and discretion; as they never afterwards needed any neighbourly Medi∣ation. This I have the longer insisted on, because I am not ignorant how many surly and rough dispositions doe abuse by their harshnesse the easy and well-tempered Na∣tures of their unhappy Consorts: which might bee instanced and illustrated with many Tragick and dolefull examples, both in our owne and other Countreyes: where weake and fearefull natures were so disheartned, as they inclined to strange me∣lancholick fits, and such incurable distem∣pers, as they were never rest of them, till their tedious life left them. Others of higher Spirits, but of more vindicative natures, im∣patient of longer suffering, have woven up the Tragick Scene of their miseries with the ruine of their cruell husbands.

*Indeed, were all Women of that servile condition, whereof the ingenious Barcley in his Mirror of Minds, reports those women to bee of; who cannot be perswaded that their Husbands love them,* unlesse they beate them: Correction then would bee found the only introduction to affection: But these Nations are more Civile; and our womanish Spirits more Virile, to endure such affronts. It is worthy our observation to relate what happned to one Iordan, in his marrying in those parts; being a native Page  115German, and one who had accompanied Barcley in his Travaile. He reports it thus:

Being in those parts, one Iordan, a German, and who had kept me Com∣pany in my Travaile: fell in love with a woman there, & married her: Demeaning himselfe to her, as became a loving and respective Husband; but the more she was tendered by him, the more shee seemed to be discontented with him. No dalliance, nor all the tokens of love or affection that he could shew to her, could either winne or waine her from that discontented hu∣mour, to which his too much kindnesse had brought her. At last, seeing that the more he laboured to content her, the lesse she seem'd to be pleased; he takes her aside one day, demanding of her the reason of her distaste? O Sir, saith she! how should I bee well pleased when you shew no ar∣gument of love towards me? Not of love, replyed he! what more Signes of respect can I show you, than these I already doe? I am sure you want nothing. Yes, Hus∣band said she, I want Correction: And if you did truly love me, you would beate me: as you see other husbands in these parts use their wifes: for I must freely tell you, for all your professions of love and respect toward mee, till you begin to beate me, I shall never bee perswaded Page  116 that you love me. This could not chuse but beget admiration in him: yet, least hee should lose his Wifes good opini∣on, at last hee began to follow the Countrey-fashion: and to give her such correction, as might sufficiently perswade her of his affection. Although, in the end, his disciplinary Love grew to be too bitter: For he brake her neck before he left her.

But no modest eare can endure any such breake-necke-love: Wives are not to bee made Slaves but Companions. And as their constitutions are soft and delicate; so should their usage bee mildly tempered and affectionate. Sweet and gentle is their Speech; albeit, no Rule so generall, but admits some exception; full of rich de∣light is their Fancy. No storme of adversity so violent, but their pleasant society will allay it. No losse so heavy, but by the enjoyment of them, supplyed. Those dis∣persed Trojan Dames, how soone had they pacified their incensed Husbands, with a winning kisse, and a friendly salute? Their anger was soone done, when they saw those pearled teares distilling: those amorous armes spred abroad to imbrace them: those pretty witty prattles they had to entertaine them.

These were such harmelesse carelesse Charmes; as they wrought farre stronger Page  117 on the affection, than any other forcible Conclusion.

Now, as I have formerly observed, seeing there is no Society that can possibly subsist without speech: divers qualifications are to bee used, whereby that Cement of society may be better seasoned: and in all Compa∣nies better accepted: which I will di∣vide into these two necessary precepts. The first is, to know what you are to speake. The second is, to know when you are to speake. In the former, is Deliberation; In the later, is Modera∣tion necessarily required. He that knoweth how to speake well, knoweth also when hee must hold his peace: which may serve for an excellent Rule to the Later. Thinke an houre before you speake, and a day be∣fore you promise: and this may usefully serve for a direction of high importance to the Former. These observed, many errors incident to indeliberate speech, may be pre∣vented: which our too free and glib-ton∣gued Dames are usually subject to. I have noted a kinde of pleasing Dialect used by our City Dames to their Husbands: and delivered in that loving familiar way, as it infinitely became them: a kinde of fond∣ling speech, (as I may properly tearme it) or apish toying, neither unpleasing to their Husbands, nor unusefull to themselves: Page  118 as thus: —trust mee, Chick, thou shalt not. —Now, pray thee, Prick, doe not. -iffaith, you'r a sleake youth. —you playd the wag with mee last night. — well, God forgive thee. —wiltst buy mee this toy, my Pigsny? These pretty prattles make me re∣member that free and ingenuous confession of that rich Millanoise,

That the strings of his purse were never so hard tyed, but his Nansy had a Charme to loose them.
Which brings us no lesse properly than oc∣casionally to fall upon that dangerous At∣tendant to Gentle Speech, which we former∣ly particuliz'd, to be Dissimulation: a smooth Orator, and such an one, as makes her owne end, the sole Object of her Endevour.

DISSIMULATION.

DISSIMULATION is most in Sem∣blance, least in Substance:* See∣ming most, what it is least: Most in profession, Least in expres∣sion. For,

Hows'ere they bee, thus doe they seeme to mee,
They bee and seeme not, seeme what least they bee.

Sundry proper Emblemes have our An∣tients Page  119 fitted them withall: Some whereof have Emblematiz'd them by Sodoms apples; faire to the eye, false at the heart: out∣wardly, promising juyce; inwardly, pro∣ving dust. Others to the Crocodyles of Ni∣lus; who never weepe, but they intend to wound. Others to the Hyene; who coun∣terfets the voice of man, purposely to prey on man: and requite humane hospitality with savage cruelty. Others, to the Har∣pyes, those three monstrous and ravenous birds, Allo, Ocypete, and Celano, having maiden visages, but inhumane usages. O∣thers to the Sirenes, the three daughters of Achelous and Calliope; who on a Pro∣montorie or prospective rocke of the Sea were wont to sit, and by their sweet songs and amiable countenance, to draw passen∣gers unto them, whom they slew. Thus la∣boured our antient Emblematists to debla∣zon them; that like perillous shelves, o∣thers might bee aware of them. But cer∣tainly, as the Fish Sepia is bewrayed by a black colour which she casteth out to cover her; So these, though Tiberius-like, they glory in nothing so much as in cunningly cloaking their purposes with fair pretences: going invisible, and deluding vulgar opi∣nion with a Seemig good: they must come to bee unmask'd, and then that vizard or disguise which before kept them from Page  120 discovery, shall publish to the World, that as all humane wisdom is vanity, so no vanity lighter than that opinion which grounded it selfe on dishonest policy. This was wittily glanced at in the Apologue: who could not endure that mouth, from which cold and heat proceeded at one time.

*Who mak'st thy tongue a stranger to thine heart,
I hate thee worse than Hell, whos'ere thou art.*

Now there be severall kindes of this glo∣zing evill: some whereof, are more pleasing than greatly noxious: more delightfull than dangerous. For wee shall meet with some pretty harmelesse dissemblers, who are so far from plotting or projecting mischiefe, as they intend nothing lesse. Their Ambiti∣on is to purchase some trifling toy, or to wind themselves into their Husbands good opini∣on, by pretending most what they affect least: and by relishing least, what they affect most. Like that good witty wife, who affe∣cted liberty but might seldome enjoy it: and therfore did seemingly dis-affect it; that she might oftner procure it. Of all things, Husband, quoth shee, there are no plea∣sures I so little care for; as these Stage∣playes▪ they are the tediousest Showes to Page  121 mee, that are in the World. And this mo∣ved her Husband, who was of an harsh crosse nature, to carry her abroad to Playes, which shee most affected, though seemingly least desired. Another, who had a Months minde to see the Booths, Jew-trumps, Hob∣by-horses, and other Trinkets in Bartholo∣mew Faire, told her Husband, that she won∣dred (pretending Puritanisme) how people could be so naughtily given and prophane as to feast in such Booths and Brothels of sin, which her tender Conscience even yearnd withall. Which her Husband, no sooner heard, than to th' Faire they must goe: labouring to crosse her in that, which in∣deed contented her most. But you shall finde another merry Wanton, quite of an∣other humour: Her ayme is to purchase her pleasure under a vertuous colour. Her Husband, purposely to raise a rent; will have a Tenant: and many are proposed, but none as yet admitted. A Lodger hee must have: and shee prefers One in her thoughts: but of all others, when hee is in quest, she is ever at furthest distance. This puts on her jealous Husband, who would bee loth to bee directed by his wife in the Choice of his Tenant, to admit of him whom his cunning wife seemingly most dis∣likt, but really most approv'd.

Now, this Dissimulation is most expressed Page  122 in Subjects of Passion: as I have heard a Tale of a passionate Widow (for reverence sake, to beginne with the antientst degree first) who could not content her selfe, but shee would needes bee buried quicke in her Husbands grave.

O, content yourselfe, said one of her antient acquaintance; you are ordained for another end.
But all this nothing at all seemed to asswage her sor∣row: for falling into a trance, after such time as shee had continued a space as one senselesse; comming at last out of it; the very first words shee uttered were these;
Well, I will ever be of that mind, it is better to marry than to burne.
That good wife, (to instance in the next Order) had a ready answere and a dainty Colour to palliate the love she bore to a Friend in a Corner; who, when she heard her Husband take notice of One of her inward acquaintance, and pointing at him in the street, using these words: —There goes a Cuckold! With speech gentle, but not wholly free from guile nor gall, she replyed:
Trust me, Husband, you are such an other.

Nor was that good wench voyde of all good nature, but very tender (it seem'd) of her Husbands safety; who hearing him un∣advisedly, as he was passing over Thames with other company, (as one who wish'd not his owne good) beseech God very hear∣tily, Page  123 that all Cuckolds were throwne into Thames! She kind heart, made answer: "Husband can you swimme? Poore Girle, shee doubted much his drowning; and therefore desir'd to be resolv'd, whether hee could prevent it by swimming? That young wife meant, no doubt, simply; who, when one of her Bridemaids told her the same day she was married, that she verily thought, that never any day would seeme longer to her than that day:

Well, Sister, said she, and if the day seeme long, I hope the night will seeme as short. But you are cosin'd, Sister, saith she, to her Bridemaid: For I vow to thee, so I may but enjoy him whom I have lov'd and now married (alwayes provided that he had what a man should have, and I my selfe satisfied, that he stood so furnished) if I should live and dye a maid, i'th' same mind that I now am, I should never repent of it.

Alas, poore foole! many provisoes were there before she could well incline unto it, yet would she seale to it, provided that hee were well furnished. What variety of eva∣sions this Fondling had, dissembling with her owne thoughs: and pretending what she least meant, that she might appeare to her Bridemaids more indifferent than shee was, for that which she most dream'd of? A pretty kind of harmelesse shift! being, Page  124 what stands most with a maids modesty, and consequently in civility, merits her A∣pology.

No lesse simply than freely, did that single woman (for maid she cannot proper∣ly be tearmed) answer her Confessor; who, after shee had discovered to him a long Bead-roule of loose wanton pranks which hee confest her selfe culpable of: Her Confessor began sharpely to reprove her: laying open unto her the haynousnesse of those sinnes: and telling her, that whoore∣dome was such a sinne as highly displeas'd God.

I am more sorry, said she, for I am sure it pleas'd me.

There is another kind of dissimulation too, which is so farre from incurring any grounded offence, as it deserves high ap∣provement. And this is, when Beauty is not only wooed, but seemingly wonne, to produce some good effect; by his meanes who imagines himselfe master of the prize. Of these, to omit instances in Sacred Writ, we shall finde our Stories plentuously sto∣red. The redoubted Thomyris could pra∣ctise this feate, to expedite her Sonnes re∣venge: and restore her Countreys fame. This did that chaste Penelope, deluding her numerous Suiters with hopes of successe: on∣ly to spin out time: and with her never-fi∣nished webbe to keep them ever in suspence. Page  125 This did that wise but unbeleeved Cassan∣dra; who, seemingly inclined to Apollo's suite; that hee should injoy her; if hee would bestow on her the gift of prophecy: which, when she had obtained, she denyed him that which she had seemingly granted. But the preservation of her Chastity impai∣red the Credit of her prophecy: being ne∣ver beleeved, were it never so true that shee related. This pious act did that memorable Hypermnstra, who pretending nothing lesse than what her vertuous aymes directed themselves wholly to; saved her husband Linceus, from that fatall massacre, commit∣ted by her Sisters, in slaying their husbands. Nay, it ha's beene the safety of many flou∣rishing estates to dissemble Vertue•• and to comply with the times; ever expecting some faire opportunity to put in execution, what their addressements for the publique led them to.

This wise and commendable kinde of Dissimulation, some of our witty Wenches many times use; in putting on a Counte∣nance of Disdaine, at least, of strangenesse towards those whom inwardly they un∣feignedly affect. Nor have these Sleights produced insuccessive effects to their desires. For by this meanes, have they enjoyed, what their simple inclining affection would never have made them Mistresses of. For Page  126 profer'd fruit is sedome tasted: and if tasted, not halfe so well relishing, as if restrained.

Those golden Apples which the Hes∣perides, those three watchfull Daugh∣ters of Atlas so carefully kept; were more preciously esteemed, because they were by such vigilant beauty guarded Forts which open to their Beleaguerall. passages, unlesse the miseries of a long Siedge have brought them to that pusillani∣mity, promise no rich booty: nor to the winner any glorious victory. The way then for beauty to be priz'd, is to be rarely seene: and when seene, so indifferently seeming to be seene, as it desires to retire so soone as it is seene. This is the load-starre to affection, to eeme estranged from the least thought of affection: and to fixe least in that Object, which h'as most interest in her heart. This that subtile Coy-duck had learn'd to an hayre: when, if any time she were invited with her jealouse Husband to a publique Feast; shee would alwayes fixe her eye upon the antientst and reve∣rendst in yeares at the Table: whereas the eye of her inward affection was elsewhere spheared: assuring her Husband, withall, that no Sight was more seemely in her eye, nor convey'd more reverend love to her heart, than a grave Old-man, who had al∣ready spunne the entire webbe of his Follies: Page  127 and could discourse with all sobriety of what he had seene in the World. And this neate kind of dissembling pleased her credu∣lous Husband out acry. For he believed, good man, that there was a thorow fayre be∣twix his Wifes mouth and her heart. Whereas, Meander had never more win∣dings, than she had dainty sleights and de∣vices, to delude his facility: and to shrowde from the World her private affection to youthfull liberty. Till in the end, found where she lest suspected: and closely infol∣ded in the embraces of a loose Lover, whom she entirely affected: she begun to relin∣quish shame, and in a publique manner to contest against her Husbands disability: And how her modesty had so long re∣strain'd her: but seeing no hope of reme∣dy, she held change no robbery: and that no Censure should thenceforth abridge her liberty. This Dissimulation produc'd a dangerous issue; such as a vertuous brest cannot harbour; we will therefore divert from this, and returne unto the former: being such a modest bashfull kinde of puni∣shing their desires: as, many times, that too much retiring or restraining of their Love-sick thoughts, procures no small di∣stemper to those who love and would not be thought so. As it hapned to that noble Ita∣lian Lady; who, loth to impart the ground Page  128 of her love: or to make any other, Secre∣tary to her owne brest: fell into such a languishing sicknesse, as, though the exper∣test Physicians of those parts consulted a∣bout her; labouring by all the meanes they could use, and all the receipts they could apply, not onely to discover the source and occasion of her griefe, but allay it: yet all their experiments were in vaine: they could not finde out the Cause: till shee at last (drawing neare her last) discovered it: For when her vitall parts began to bee so enfee∣bled, as they surceased to performe their of∣fice, and all hope of recovery perish'd, in the presence of her Dearest, whom, till that dying period, shee never made least show of, to be her Dearest, she tooke leave of all the World with this Dispassionate cloze: Adue, my deare Leontius. Which words were the last shee ever spake. But what deadly effect those words brought forth in her Leontius; the Story amply relates. For if the words of dying men be precious even to strangers: how impressive the voice of one we love, calling and beckning to us from the death-bed! O what a passio∣nate conflict, what a soule-dividing combat doe those words raise! How strongly doth griefe and affection, like Sisiphs loving Twins, strive to inclose them! knowing that in a short space, a very short space, Page  129 that tongue, the Organs whereof yet speake, and move attention by their friendly ac∣cents, amorous interbreaths, teare-trickling adieus, was to be eternally tyed up in silence; nor the sound of their words salute our eares any more. This it was, which brought heart-sicks Leontius, to his bed of Earth soone after her. For recollecting with himselfe, how his love was the sole cause of her death: like an affectionate Mate, who well deserv'd so faithfull a Mi∣stresse, after her Obsequies finished, he im∣mured himselfe from all society with the World, where he enjoyed himselfe, till his many pensive dis-consolate houres brought him to her whom he loved above himselfe. But these are too heavy for soft ares. That Love deserves approvement which is till death: but that Love requires a seasonable restraint which may occasion death. Those two Lovers are more for our purpose, who one day falling into a piece of Country-love-Complement, proceeded thus:

O Iug, how doe I love thee! Nay, you know best, said Iug; but sure am I, I shall never dye with loving you: No, Iug, said he! But I warrant it, thou wouldst, if thou hadst an handfull of me. A pro∣per handfull, quoth she. I should bee much better for a bit and a buffet with't. Nay, faith, wench, I would never buffet Page  130 thee, but as my Neighbour Grisedale did Guddy Tringles. Nay, Oswold, quoth she, you are cousin'd, Ile warrant you. Pray you say, why should you thinke I love you? Did you ever see mee cast a sheeps-eye at you? Or did my Nose ever bleed when I was in your Company? And, poore wench, just as she spake this, to shew her true heart, her nose fell a blee∣ding. How now, Iug, said he? Who is in love now? Not I on mine honesty. —Howsoever Oswold, you may mar∣ry me when you list, but I will never say I love you.

When a man bleeds at the nose, and through abundance of blood is brought in danger of his life, the Physitian lets him blood in his arme to turne the course of the blood another way. Let us apply this Phy∣sicall experiment thus: If Love issue out in too violent a streame, it is to be cooled by a temperate expostulation with Fancy: by discussing the probability of those grounds of affection which have taken seizure of the heart. Or else by fixing our eye upon some more attractive Object, divert the course of that madding passion.

But against these two it may be objected: For the first; that is a coole Love, indeed, that will admit of any such expostulation: for this would imply discretion; such Page  131 should be as farre estranged from Love, as youth from affecting the gravity of age. Loves axiome is this: None can truly love and be wise. And must affection then bee regulated by deliberation? Must wee exa∣mine what reason wee have to love, when Love even to this day hath beene ever im∣patient to converse with reason? Must we discusse what probable inducements wee have to love; when there are no such ar∣guments suffer'd to bee disputed of in the Schoole of Love? Must wee fall to betray Love, in asking Friends and Parents what they will give? Or stagger at our choice, or study a change; when our choice ranks not with us in blood; or Fortunes, or dis∣parity of yeares; or difference in other Tenets, which more concerne us? This were coole Love! And yet should Love be so moderate, if rightly seasoned: For to make choyce by the eye without relation to Reason, makes a oole of affection: But what receipt against love when it breakes forth into extreames? Absence from the Object you love Yea; but Love is more vehement, when deprived of her Object. It is, where Reason gives reines to Fancy. For then is the Party beloved ever made the Object of the Imagination. This begets an obstruction in the stomack▪ a malignant quality in the appetitive part. This estran∣geth Page  132 the Eyes from sleeping: Because the representment of the person loved keepes the Senses ever waking. This distracts the eye, and makes it looke wildly: never min∣ding that whereon it fixeth, because taken up wholly with that it fancieth. And for that (as one well observes) Love is not to be strangled, but easily repelled, and by di∣stance allayed; and not only distanced, but by employments wearied. The way to remove an inconsiderate Love from taking too deepe rooting in you, is to pre∣vent the way of thinking of the party you love. Like that brave Spartan Lady, who when she heard of a disloyall act done by one whom she held deare; would not suf∣fer her thoughts to entertaine him; saying:

He shall never lodge in my bosome, that can teach his thoughts to become disloy∣all.
Had the Carthaginian Queene lear∣ned this lesson, she had never harboured a Servant so injurious to hospitality, as to re∣quite her too much love with such im∣piety.

Now, for the latter Objection; how should we, will you say, fixe our eye upon any Object more attractive, than his per∣son to whom we have ingaged our heart? If we were, indeed, like those Paphlagonian Partridges (whereof our Naturall Histori∣ans report that they have two hearts) then Page  133 might we have one for an apparent Friend, and an other for a Friend in a Corner. But as a heart divided cannot live; no more can any Object really attract the eye, but what the heart doth unfaignedly love. Where the treasure, there the heart; but no treasure like Love to enrich the Treasury of the heart. The heart guides the eye: and can wee turne our eye from that Object which guides the heart? This were to dis∣semble with love: and disesteeme that which we most honour: despice that wee most tender: all which would exact re∣venge one time or other. This were too subtile love to come from a true heart! And yet, if you desire to prevent erring, you must in this manner mould your affection. Love by degrees, was a Sages Counsell: lest by bestowing all your love in wooing: you leave none when you come to marrying. It is said of the Iuniper tree, that of all other trees it makes the hoatest coale, and the coo∣lest shadow: The coale being so hot, that if it be rak't up in ashes of the same, it continueth unextinguished by the space of a whole yeare. Be you such sweet Iunipers; Woooers are but Shadows, saith the Poet; be your shades coole; but your coales hot. When you are once come to the heigth, heat and true fervour of love: let no steames of forraine fancy darken it: no stormes Page  134 of adversity weaken it. Yet let the Intro∣duction to Love, after you perceive a like∣lyhood of proceeding, be so mannaged; as your too much coynesse occasion no dis∣couragement. For by that meanes may you timely avoide, what your disdaine may otherwise deservingly inflict. But of all others, beware of Love-letters; for they are such Injunctions as you cannot appeale from. With such reservancy then become Warders of your 〈…〉 uningaged hearts, as your Favorite〈…〉 never shew witnesses against you under your hands.

*I knew one, who, excepting this Error, demeaned her selfe in actions of discretion and modesty, above the reach of scandall or reproofe; But betraying her love to the secrecy of Pen and Paper; and falling after∣wards to inconstancy, ingaged her selfe to her forsaken Friends privacy. Who so ten∣dered her esteeme, that till such time as shee had made an apparent breach and violation of her vow, by relinquishing her former choyce, and bartring love with an indiscreet exchange, never disclosed those sacred-secret ingagemenes shee had made; but with a constant defence of her honour, labour'd ever to cover her shame.

And this is the worst kinde of dissembling in affaires of love. For to dissemble or dou∣ble with ones Faith, is a dangerous equivo∣cation: Page  135 beeing such, as makes the Party which shewed inconstancy, of all others, most miserable in their affection. For it is not the outward rite onely which consum∣mates a Sponsall love: For if their hearts be not linked, before their hands bee ever joyned: their house musick is very likely to close in discords.

As I have sometimes heard a pretty plea∣sant Story, of two, who after such time as they had beene a 〈◊〉hile married, fell into such debate an varince, as all such as neighbour'd neare them▪ were wearied with them: but their next Neighbour worst of all, for it was his hard fortune, good man, to ride for them. After they had continued thus for a good space, in these Civile broyles, without any amendement: One Evening, being in bed together, sayes the Husband to his Wife: This is a wonderfull thing, that we must after this manner all the yeare long make our House a Fencing-Schoole: Sure, Meg, quoth he, we were not rightly married, or else we should have liv'd more peaceably together: for wee have not any two Neighbours that so fearefully baste one an other. What thinkest thou, Wife, if we be married againe, and see if that will mend the matter? The Wife easily consented to his motion; and held it fitting, saying, she would doe any thing for a quiet life. With Page  136 all speed then runs her good man to a Sir Iohn; who, as he could read on no booke but his owne: so he was of no such deepe reading as to know whether Re-marrying were lawfull or no.

A new Bridall-feast is provided; Friends invited; nothing wanting to perfect what they both intended. At last, comming to the Church, Sir Iohn falls to worke; where he goes on still and without interruption, till he came to Who giveth this woman to bee married, &c. and holding her by the hand, looking ever when some one or other would doe the office of a Father, to give her:

No, sayes the mad Bridegroome, none shall give me her; take yov her, Sir Iohn, as long as I have had her; and if she be not worthy taking, why would you give me her?

But to dwell a little longer on this Sub∣ject, now in agitation; as pure love can admit no dissembling: so are young women to be cautious where they fixe their love. Many shall they encounter with all, who professe affection to all. But their drift closeth ever with such a Curtsy, as may ha∣zard their honour. These are our Liber∣tine Batchlers, who chuse rather to graze in Common pastures, than Inclosures. Yea, many of these will boast of your Favours: and i publique places speake liberally of Page  137〈1 page missing〉Page  138〈1 page missing〉Page  139 will doe before their sweet Husbands depar∣ting; With — Hey ho — what shall I doe deare Love, if you dye? Marry another (sayes the Comedian) before one stitch of his shrouding Sheet bee broken; or those flowers which stuck his Corpse, bewithered; or one Wormling entred his Coffin. Yet will these cunningly disguise their solace, and with teare—blubber'd vizards close up his eies, and infinitely rejoyce in that last of∣fice. Then must they at his interment see∣mingly desire to be buried with him; rave, and looke distractedly, as if fancy had brought them to a frency; leape into the Grave; and performe all these pageants with such a com∣pletegrace; as not a Neighbour attends them, but suffers with them: commending their simple hearts, for leaving with such unwil∣ling hearts their faithfull Husbands.

But this sorrow is nothing so sincere as the Story of the Indian women discovers the lovely and lively effects of their mour∣ning. Who upon the interment of their Husbands, strive (by way of an amorous Encounter) in relation of their deservings to him, and his expressions of love to them, which of them may have the honour to bee buried with him. The Body of the Story presents it selfe thus: The women of India, when any of their Husbands dyeth, are wont to fall in contention through the ve∣hemency Page  140 of their affection, which of them (for they have many Wives) he loved best in his life: Shee that winneth, being very joyfull (and solemnly attended by a great Company of her Friends and kinsfolke fol∣lowing her) is cast into the fire with her dead Husband.

But were these, whereof wee now dis∣course, put to that Election, a short strife would end that contention. They must live by the quicke and not by the dead: and a living Dog is better than a dead Lion.

But the wantonnest of these cannot bee so light, as their Gentleman Vsher is, for most part loose: whom to the end we may here portray in his owne Colours, and to life the better, we have deliver'd in a Cha∣racter; which without any other discovery will present you him in his feature. Yet be∣fore wee go on in this lively delineature of so dangerous a Piece: Our purpose is to propose some reasons why wee have here brought him upon the Stage: and with what propriety hee fals upon our discourse; which may appeare in a more copious and perspicuous manner in this our prepared re∣lation hereafter.

There is a conceited Treatise composed by an Italian (as what wits more pregnant or present) intitled a Supplication to Can∣dlelight: discovering the abuses committed Page  141 and curtained by the silent and secret Shade of Night; where it might bee demanded, as God in Esay did sometimes aske the de∣vill our watchman, Custos, quid de nocte? What seest thou? what discoverest thou? Though Lanthorne and Candle-light hang out; though the Bel-man traverse the street; though the Constable and his rugged Gowne-men after a nod or two, take care for discharge of their place and punishment of vice, to put out a peremptory Question to a Night-walker, from whence came you? or, whither go you? whom do you serve? or, what businesse have you so late? yet it seemes they have no Commission to ex∣amine Coacted sinne: These may hurry a∣long by their Noses: and shroud a loose Gentleman-Vsher with as light a Curtezan in a running-Brothell from those conniving eyes of Endymion and his brotherhood. And this light piece must bee conducted to his Lord, while hee is to bee admitted to his Lady; to present both their Actions on the stage of Folly. With what a commanding posture rides this Foot-cloath sinne? How apt to forget his composition; and how con∣fident in the priviledge of greatnesse? These, generally, have their Purveyors to furnish them with such stuffe as may content their liqu'rish appetite, and feed their intempe∣rate desires with fresh fuell. In every So∣lemne Page  142 or Festivall Show, these Forragers take their stand: eying what beauties are of most attractive quality: then inquire they of their places of habitation: Occa∣sions they take to converse with them: and in short time so to winne in upon them: as they beginne to commend their Masters suit to their too easie attention: and with long battry, according to the strength of the Fort, so seaze on their affection, as they make entry to their Lords admission: clo∣zing their indirect aymes with an unlawfull Conclusion. These Contractors for ble∣mished honour; or those obscene Palliards, who preferre their trafficke in sinne, before the treasures of Sion: were sitte attendants for that wanton Damasella, who portray∣ed the affection of her heart in as light an Imprese; writing these lines with her Diamond in a Window:

The choisest Cates oon'st loy the appetite,
One is too stle a dish to feed de∣light.

Her Choice, it seemed, affected nothing more than Change. She could not conceit how any love could possibly be so pure, as to be confined to one Object: or so firme▪ as to restraine it selfe to one Friend. Her Page  143 Barge stood ingaged to many Owners: Whosoever would hazard their fame upon the adventure, might finde her as ready to impaune her honour: This was the condi∣tion of that Wanton Florentine, whose dire∣ction it was to some of her closest and se∣cretst reteiners, to invite such, whose perso∣nages promised performance, to their La∣dies house: for whom shee had a private Garden-house, where shee would as freely impart her Curtesies, as if one houre had made them commanders of her affections.

This was farre from that chaste and tem∣perate soveraignty, which that ever ho∣nour'd Lady bore over her desires: who being one day highly advanced for those exquisite parts which did accomplish her: and that incomparable beauty which made all others inferiour to her: answer'd her Husband, upon the recitall of those indow∣ments, in this manner:

Trust mee, my Ephestion, if there be any thing that may merit love in mee, I shall onely value it so, because it pleaseth thee.

Now, there is nothing that estrangeth affection from the party whereto it stands religiously ingaged; but either Contempt of that Object which it ought to love: or selfe-opinion in conceiting it selfe too wor∣thy of that Objects love. For the former; many Tragicall instances might be produ∣ced: Page  144 where the Parties Contempt begot in the Owner such Discontent: as nothing could heale it, but what did seale it with blood. Which distaste, as it is privately grounded, so these dangerous Agents, for most part aggravate it: Suggesting to them other beauties, or promising personages to to alien their affection from their owne. Now, for selfe-opinion; it is such a wor∣king illusion, as it presents myriads of fan∣cyes to the imagination. For if it bee in the Woman, it begets in her such a disdaine: as first, shee entertaines her Husband with a rare accesse: She prescribes seasons, which, good man, hee must observe, or keepe his distance. But a short time makes a perpetu∣all Progresse betwixt them. Beds must be di∣vided: A Countenance of strangenesse enter∣tained: The Baths must be visited: Private Friends admitted; Now, Gentlemen-ushers provided, such as can be secret, and with resolution performe their arrand. Her Doctor must tell her, and in the presence of her Husband; that living apart for a season would be infinitely usefull and behoofefull to her weak Constitution. And he beleeves all; puts up all; prayes for his wifes need∣lesse recovery: while shee, kinde Ducke, wants nothing but fresh imployment for her Libertine Fancy.

Long would it bee, ere shee would give Page  145 that repulse to an importunate Suiter (if his presence deserved the stile of a Lover) which that vertuous Theodora did to an eminent personage: whose inward parts, as they were exquisite, so were his outward highly accomplish'd. Who, being long time sol∣licited, but never vanquished, at last, by her vertuous instructions, she so won in on him, as he beganne to conceive a remorce; and to turne the course of his affection to a ver∣tuous admiration. This, when that Noble Lady perceived, to strengthen those good motions in him, which formerly had beene so farre estranged from him; One day, af∣ter such time as they had long discoursed to∣gether, but in such manner, as nothing was lesse intended than actions of dishonour: and he, taking a Lute in his hand, had plaid Lacrymae unto her: she forthwith, retur∣ned that Lute-lesson with a faire requitall in this pious direction:

Lacrymae should not only be in the eye, but stamps of more retentive sorrow in the heart: A Pilgrims passage is such a passionate progresse, as it cannot bee pursued without Sobs: nor continued without Sighs. I have found sufficient occasion for that Musicke: nor can eye that place, which may afford o∣ther Melody. A continuall Sinner, and a rare Sigher, promiseth small comfort hereafter. Our dayes are but few and e∣vill. Page  146 Not an houre without some Crime to accompany it. Let the Soule never re∣ceive her surfet of sorrowing, till shee h'as first found in her selfe a loth to sin∣ning. As your toutch makes this Instru∣ment speake teares; So let teares of De∣votion trickle upon the Strings of your Heart. This will make you a noble Lover, and more enamour you in the Contem∣plation of your Maker, than ever you were taken with the deceiving fancy of any Creature.

Now, if this Selfe-opinion domineere in the man; how quickly dis-affects hee his Choice? No House more estranged from him, than his owne. No Bed more dis-re∣lishing, than what should be most pleasing. If hee at any time make his Gallery of the Street: his eyes are so farre from imitating the Swanne in fixing them on his feet, to bring him in a dis-esteeme with himselfe, as they gaze upon every Belcone. Not a win∣dow opens; nor a painted face lookes out; nor an enforced smile; nor leering eye; but these injoyne a Salute from him: an amo∣rous humble Cringe to an unknowne face: a formall curtsie, to a borrowed beauty. This Object sets his unfortunate Genius a worke. He h'as taken precise notice of her lodging: although her moveable estate will not suffer her to sojourne long in a place. And hee Page  147 resolves to lye siege to this easy-wonne Fort, and to call her to Parliance by Paper-pel∣lets. To the Soveraigne then of his thougts, whose short acquaintance might in mode∣sty impose a silence, he addresseth his letter, like a soone-taken Lover: His Page must deliver it; but so weake and imperfect was his Masters direction: and so little to life this Maddona's description, as many times, foolish Boy, he miscarries in his arrand.

As it sometimes hapned upon like occa∣sion, when an amorous young Gallant, and a profest Courter of Casements: having ta∣ken especiall notice of a young beautifull Lady, who, as hee thought, deserved as much love, as any earthly beauty coud possibly merit: and collecting by her eye, that there was no aversion in her from fan∣cy; sought by all meanes to become parta∣ker of his hopes; which all the better to expedite, hee sends his Page with a Letter to intimate the constancy of his zeale to her; and how hee preferred her affection before any contentment whatsoever. This unfortunate Boy, whose heedlesse care to his directions, made his Master as haplesse in his affections, comes to this Gentlewo∣mans Lodging, where he delivers his Let∣ter, but to another hand than he was dire∣cted to by his Master. Howsoever, the antient Matron, who not onely by the be∣nefit Page  148 of the roome that was darke, but with her cypresse hood vailed, perceiving well shee could by no meanes be discovered, or distinguished; not onely received his kinde amorous Letter, but return'd by the Page another: acquainting his Master, that, al∣beit nothing was more precious to her than her honour, and how many spyes were o∣ver her in regard of her strict charge, which was given the Matron of the House by her Father: if he would privately come to such a place such an Evening, and re∣turne her some valuable pledge of his pro∣fessed affection, shee would dispense with what shee tender'd most, to second his de∣sires. How acceptable this Letter was to this frolicke Gamester, we need make small question: But tedious seem'd the houres till this Evening came: which winged his loose thoughts with all speed, to approach the place of meeting. And to the end, hee might with more freedome enjoy the Ob∣ject he sought; he had furnished himselfe of a rich Juell, to ingage his affection unto hr; and to confirme what hee had professed in his respect to her, whom hee so highly honoured. The experientst old Ma∣dam, who had more wayes to the wood than one; faithfully observes the time: and in such a disguised way, as she might be the Grecian Helen for ought that hee could see. Page  149 A sweet perfumed Roome; a rich bed; and so closely curtained, as old age from youth could not bee discerned. Nor needed hee to feare her coynesse; though shee pre∣tended at first a kinde of apish nicenesse. For the long Custome and habit of sinne had so inured her, as nothing lesse than modesty or shamefastnesse could possibly become her. Having now received the Gen∣tlemans Juell, which shee preferred before all his dalliance: she entertaines him with as free and liberall an embrace, as her icy-cold armes could afford. But scarcely had hee entred that Brothell-bed, or enjoy'd his seere and meldew'd Mistresse; but a fearefull cry of fire breaking forth with much violence in the very next Lodgins, with scaling Ladders raised to every Win∣dow, prevented the unfortunate Gamester of his decayed pleasure.

The unweldy Beldam, not willing to dye before shee were better provided for it: leaving her Mufflers behinde her, crawles with the best speed shee can from her shud∣dring Gallant: who seeing, by the light of the flakes of fire, and multitude of Toar∣ches without, the bald Scalpe of his Chop∣falne Bedfellow: made no lesse haste in fly∣ing away from that Hag, than she did to es∣cape from the fire. Nor could they without, cry faster Fire, Fire: than he within cryed, Page  150A Fiend, a Fiend. Nor had he power to get out of the Chamber, so surprized hee was with terrour. Till all feare of fire beeing removed, and all occasion of further disper∣sing it, prevented: The Constable of the Ward being desirous to know what raised that cry; entred the roome, where he found this halfe-distracted Gentleman, running up and downe the Chamber: and this de∣crepit Chrone, shoulder-shut with a fall, lying all along behinde a Trap-doore. But when the Constable had heard every pas∣sage, upon the Gentlemans relation, who uttered nothing without much distraction; to coole her fancy, and temper his frency; hee made bold to bestow them both in con∣venient Lodgings for such unseasonable Tradings. Which egregious disgrace so re∣claimed him, as loose love for long time af∣ter was a stranger to him.

The like Story might be here related of a young Prodigall; who, after such time as he had betaken himselfe to a Choyce: One dscended of a noble family; and adorned with excellent Ornaments to accomplish that descent: growing weary of the en∣joyment of one beauty: & affecting nothing more than change: after many modest Curtaine. Lectures which his wife had from time to time delivered unto him, to decline him from that loose course which threatned Page  151 to him and his posterity an approaching misery: fell to that debaucht and exposed riot both in the Choice of his Company, and prostituting himselfe to all inordina∣cy: as it begune to lessen the respect and affection of his wife unto him: holding e∣quall distance with him, as he to her.

It chanced one time, that this Night-walker traversing the Streetes: and with other Associates exposed to the like loose∣nesse, entring an House of good-fellowship, where any light Commodity might be pur∣chased for money: the Protectresse of that brittle Society, to discover her Office and quality; demanded of these Cavalieros if they would have a Withdrawing roome and a Mistresse? By all meanes (said these Gallants) for what end came wee hither? And having bestowed them in severall roomes; Every one was readily furnished with his light Curtezan. But this prodigall young Gallant, on whom the Subject of our Discourse is here Sceaned, had of all others most property in his: for she was his owne wife. What a strange kinde of passion or Antipathy this intrview begot, I leave to the strength of your imagination; who can to life present two such Objects, as if you had beene in presence of them. Long was it ere the one could utter one word to the other: with glowing blushes some∣times Page  152 disclosing passion, sometimes shame. Affection was farre from giving way to a∣ny amorous encounter: and though Looks might speake, their Tongues had quite forgot all Dialect. At last, after a long continued silence, in an abrupt dis-joynted manner, her Husband addresseth himselfe thus unto her.

Ha, Minion, have I found you? Have your many Curtaine-Lectures edi∣fied you thus? Have I found your way of trading? and are these the fruites of your teaching? well! goe on. Wee are now both so farre entred the high beat-path of folly; as it were madnesse for us to hope ever to wipe of our dispersed infa∣my. No Sir, quoth shee: To dispaire of recovery, were to conceive a distrust in Gods mercy. But beleeve it, Sir, how∣soever you esteeme mee, I am not what I seeeme to be. These are no places I affect; nor trading I conceipt. I am what I have beene ever; carefull of the tender of mine honour. Now, the occasion of my com∣ming hither, was the knowledge I recei∣ved, how this House was your familiar Rendevou. A place which you mightily frequented: and where your fame stood dangerously ingaged. Your person I described to the mercenary Governesse of this hatefull family: that if I might be exposed to any, it should be to such an Page  153 One as I described: which upon hope of sharing with mee, shee promised. Now, Sir, reflect upon your selfe, in me: how odious would these foule actions of loos∣nesse appeare in me? how contemptible would they make my person appeare to any modest eye? And are these such in∣expiable crimes in the Weaker Sex: and must they bee esteemed such light Errors in you whose strength is greater? Is modesty too effeminate a qualitie for man to retaine? Is the Spirit of man to bee imployed in that most, which detracts most from man? O, recollect your selfe, Sir! and you will see, nothing can more transforme you from your selfe: nor blemish your inward beauty; nor en∣slave you to servile fancy; nor deprive you of future glory, than affecting of these Consorts of sinne and shame. The onely conduct that these will afford you, is to the Hospitall, where they will leave you. Be pleased to put off your selfe a lit∣tle: and with a single eye to observe their light Embraces: Proceed these, thinke you, from a resolved love? Will they not for base lucre, shew as much kinde∣nesse to their next Suiter? And can there be any true affection, where the Partie makes no distinction? Nay, tell me, would the faithfullest acquaintance you Page  154 have amongst all these, relieve you, if your Fortunes had left you? Or afford you one nights Lodging, if want surpri∣zed you? Have they not got the art of professing what they least intend: and sacrificing love where they have none to bestow? Returne then to your owne house: and finde that in a lawfull love, which you shall never enjoy in hatefull lust.

This advice delivered by so deserving a Creature, and in so winning a manner, might have wrought singular effects in any plyable or well-disposed Nature: but so strongly steeled was his relentlesse heart unto these, as with a disgracefull and unci∣vill kicke hee pusht her from him: vow∣ing, withall, to publish her shame to all the world, if she desisted not after that time to sollicit him, or personally to repaire unto him.

So strongly had those loose and light Consorts seaz'd on his affections: as stolne Waters seemed to him the sweetest. A con∣jugall joy, was a servile yoke, which his misery afterwards felt: being both by friends and fortune left. For having offe∣red the remainder of his decayed estate to that Common Sewer: hee dyed a miserable unpittied Begger. Whence we may collect and confidently avouch: That a great of∣fice Page  155 is not so gainefull (though too many at this day in their rising revenues to their injurious owners highly usefull) as the Principall-ship of a Colledge of Curtezans: no Merchant in riches may compare with these Merchants of Maidenheads, if their femall Inmates were not so flitting.

This may appeare in those usefull Collecti∣ons gatherd out of the History of Italy: the truth and authority of which testimony, if we may credit; Rome wanteth no jolly Dames, specially the street Iulia; which is more than halfe a mile long, faire building on both sides; in manner inhabited with none other but Curtezans; some worth tenne, some worth twenty thousand Crownes, more or lesse, as their reputation is: And many times you shall see a Curte∣zan ride into the Country with tenne or twelve horse waiting on her.

But to looke back upon our discourse: As there is nothing more dangerous to youth than selfe-opinion; so is it a cure of greatest difficulty, having taken once seazure of a Woman. This that flowrishing State of Mantua was in great hazard to have felt: when Isabella wife to Luchino Visconti, Lord of Millaine, a very faire woman; feigned to her Husband, that shee had made a so∣lemne vow to goe in Pilgrimage to Venice: and under that colour, obtaining licence, Page  156 she tooke Mantua in her way; where she lodged in the house of the Gonzagi, antient friends unto her Husband. And after she had supped, sent secretly for Vgolino; unto whom she declared, that for the fervent love she bare to him, she had taken on her that journey: beseeching him, in lieu of her entire affection, to keepe her company unto Venice.

This Loves-intended-Pilgrimage came to the eare of Luchino; who provoked therewith, laid siedge to Mantua; albeit, finding the friends of Vgolino innocent of the fault: and that Guido his father did his best to correct him, Luchino through inter∣cession, raised the siege.

Fitting for our purpose is that Story which our moderne age brought forth, being in effect thus. There was a dainty beautifull young Lady, who, selfe-opinionate of her owne worth, after such time as she had been a space married, fell in dis-esteeming of her Husband. He, having sought by all meanes to regaine her good opinion, and to ingrati∣ate himselfe in her respect, which his owne parts well enough deserved, howsoever he stood in her bookes neglected: could by no meanes receive a pleasing countenance from her. Which distaste wrought so strange∣ly and strongly on his spirit; that could never stoope to basenesse: nor ingage his Page  157 noble thoughts to an ingenerous revenge: (though many visible Motives might justly inrage him: and cause him transgresse the bounds of patience;) as he resolv'd to betake himselfe to Travaile: that so by distance of place hee might in time banish from his thoughts the cause of his discontent. But long had not he there remained, a banish'd man from his Countrey; but desirous to see some other Nations, and so by improving his knowledge, learne to forget his griefe: then being imbarked in a Merchants ship, bound for such a Coast, they were so encoun∣ter'd by contrary winds, as it hapned that they arrived at a small Port-Towne, within his owne native Countrey, where his Lady at that time resided, by occasion of some Fortunes lately to her descended. She, who, kept a liberall Table in the absence of her Husband, dis-affecting nothing more than privacy: hearing how a Ship was there la∣tely arrived, and diverse Strangers of see∣ming quality entered the Haven: Caused the Groome of her Chamber to addresse his way to the Port: where, if hee found any one of gracefull presence or personage, to invite him withall unsuspected privacy to her House. Her command is observed: and to second his Ladies desire, hee findes none more likely to tender her content, than her owne Husband.

Page  158But before such time as her Servant, sent forth upon this message, would returne his errand; he seriously eyed that Stranger: perusing his complexion and favour, which discontent and his late absence had so e∣stranged from his knowledge, as at first he could not know his Master. But at last, becomming assured that it was no other, & desirous to doe him a pleasure, as became a faithfull servant to so respective a Master: yet without so much as discovering himselfe, or acquainting him with any plot he had; he privately at first returns his message from his Lady: but withall, desires him, as he ten∣der'd a Ladyes honour, to use all secrecy: that his Ladyes freedome in her respect and entertainment to him (if any such curtsy should appeare) might bee free from all discovery. This the Gentleman pro∣mised, though wholly ignorant what was intended. Meanetime, her honest Groom returns an account of what he had done: ac∣quainting his Lady, that a Gentleman of as proper parts, gracefull presence and hope∣full performance, was that Evening landed▪ as ever his eyes beheld. And withall, how he had taken occasion to deliver her message unto him: and with what modesty it was by him accepted: and how to prevent sus∣picion, his desire was with all privacy to be admitted by some back way unto her Page  159 Chamber, and without Lights (fearing a∣bove all things the discovery of his Master.) Easy admittance is granted, a private way over a Moate, environing the house, is pre∣pared; nothing neglected, that might pro∣mise to this seeming stranger free entertain∣ment. Nor is her servant remisse in ought that may facilitate his lawfull affectionate desires. One thing only he conceives him∣selfe to have omitted, which might conduce highly to the effecting of his plot. Hee perceives a Diamond-ring upon his Ma∣sters finger, well knowne to his Lady by a private Posy: This, he wisheth him, upon his mounting the Stayres, and entring into her Chamber, at his departure, to bestow upon her. For, said he, our Ladies in these parts never receive any strange Servants, but they expect some token of their Love should be left them, to renue their affection upon next acquaintance: and give them more confidence of their secrecy.

This Lady longing for the embraces of so accomplished a Guest, as her Servants rela∣tion had described him: with a count'nance as cleare, as the roome was close, had long before this prepared a welcome for him.

Albeit, upon his entry into her Cham∣ber, he found no person there to entertaine him: Only a Lampe darkely burning; Page  160 which shewed him sundry choice and dain∣ty Succots, with other quaint Junkets: wherein, no doubt, Art had showne her selfe such a Confectionesse, as no∣thing was there awancing which might enliven Nature, or Italian-like, in∣flame vigour. Having taken a taste of such Plaes as best liked him: a Faire Canopy-Bed, with Curtaines close drawne, invited him to take a further taste of what better entertainment was prepared for him. And having made himselfe unready, and draw∣ing the Curtaine a little aside, he might per∣ceive a Creature in the Bed, but seemingly covered with cloaths, as one unwilling to have her owne eyes witnesses of her too much freedome. Which the rather quick∣ned in him an ardour of affection: so as like a bold Stranger, he addressed him∣selfe to that forward and lawfull encounter. The Comick effect whereof, upon discove∣ry of him by the ring, produc'd (to omit all other circumstances of dalliance) a con∣stant reconciliation betwixt them. All which was brought to passe principally by her Gentleman Vsher. But all of them are not of one stampe, as you may perceive by this Character.

Page  161

A GENTLEMAN USHER

IS his Ladies Creature; One who stands much upon his dimension and posture. A tall man he is of his Legges, and no lesse it behoves him to be tall of his Hands; being engaged to such desperate Encounters for the Wall. Pretty foole! He carries his Ladies Misset most gracefully, which she loves so tender∣ly, as she is ever putting him in mind of his charge: Prey thee Puny, doe not squeze my puppy. Continuance of imployment makes him in time grow more familiar with his Mistresse; Which makes her chastice the Sauce-boxe with her glove; meane time, the man knows her mind. Hee bestows so much time in the pointing of his Stelletto∣peake, and poudring his Locks, as he leaves little or none for his Orisons. He makes his whole Pilgrimage on earth a continued Peraembulation: and having learn'd to pace from his youth up, he can never shew him∣selfe commendable but in that garbe. He had an excellent shap't Legge, and a suffici∣ent Calfe, but every thing is worse for wea∣ring. If to reserve more state, the house be divided, and his great Lords roomes from his Ladies severed; hee is sure to be one that Page  162 must lye on his Ladies side. Should he fall of in his posture, through debility of na∣ture; her Page must be preferred before her Vsher: and the reason is, a Cock-Sparrow is more active than a Bald Bussard. He h'as a notable volubility of tongue; which he tips with such formall protests, as he will engage him yours, before ever he know you. He knows how to play the Secretary; and is oftimes put to't. Blush he will not, lest it should unrivet a Secret in his message. He reserves no time for reading, he bestows so much on walking; unlesse it be some wan∣ton Pasquill, a sociable accompt whereof he makes his Pastime. He h'as at all times ready accesse to his Lady, which procures him better successe in his Suite to her Lord. He must make no love to the Maid, lest it beget a jealous suspect in the Mistresse. Af∣fection cannot brooke Corrivals. If his La∣dy grow sickish, and desire to take fresh ayre, the Coach must he mount and jogge a∣long with her; where the Curtains must be drawn, lest the light discover her, or the ayre distemper her Here they couch as silent as a Charnell-house, but that mansion of frail∣ty they never remember. The height of his imployment principally consists in ushering his Lady to the Church; where it is admi∣rable, with what punctuall observance he conducts her to her Pew, kisseth her booke, Page  163 as if he had sworne by't; and to prevent all rash intruders, he stands at the doore, like a pious-pretending Pimpe, as if he were to keepe Centinall there for ever. And this he conceits to be one of his most tedious taskes; because Subjects of that nature doe not alto∣gether please his taste. It is rather his Ele∣ment to be versed in the perusall of Play-bils, which he presents to his Lady with great devotion; and recommends some especiall one to her view, graced by his owne judici∣ous approbation. His choyce she admits: to the Play-house she resorts: enters a prime boxe, and upon cloze of every Act, grace∣fully whispers in her Vshers care; com∣mends their action, and now and then at some amorous-moving passage, playes at Cent-foot purposely to discover the pregnan∣cy of her conceit. At Night, if her Gent∣leman heare of a Court-Maske, Show, or some other Presentment of State; Cupid be their Guide, winged is their Speed, eager is their Spirit, swifter is their Pace; so they may enjoy the Object that may please, and cloze their dayes prelude on Earth, with an Evening enterlude of Courtly mirth. But here, this Gentleman Vsher must shew him∣selfe rough, that he may get his Lady better roome. He must puffe and looke big, and swell like a pageant of State. A soft spirit would barre them both of all entertain∣ment. Page  164 By this his Lady h'as got a place, which was his Master-prize. The Present∣ment done, he must Vsher her home; which perform'd, a curious Knot of valiant Skin∣kers must Vsher him. The Cellar is their Centre; where they must drinke deepe their Ladies health to doe them honour; though a lasting surfet reave them of all health for their labour. Here he inhabits till he take a nap in the Cellar, or the napry Drawer be∣come his Gentleman Vsher to waft him to his Chamber. Now for his Place, though his revenues be but small, his vailes are great. His Ladies Purse is his portion, which sup∣plies him so long as he keepes Counsell. Her Count'nance is his greatest purchase, so as, by the losse of her favour, he dyes a Beggar. The fortune of a younger Brother call'd him to this place; since which time, he h'as ever walk'd most uprightly in his Vocation. But if the Master be a Tradesman, the Foreman of his Shoppe supplies this place, whereby he is made for ever. For if this reverend Trunke-hose turne up his heeles, whosoever stumble on his Grave, his Fore∣man Vsher is in faire possibility, to enjoy his grath. One of the greatest of his feares is Cornes on his toes : His Mistresse cannot endure halting; nor the condition of his place lumping. Vulcans polt-foot befits not an Vsher, nor his smug-looke a smooth re∣tainer. Page  165 His comfort is, as he begun with a small stock, so he cannot fall from any great state. As his risings were light, his height low, his continuance short, so his fall can∣not be great. Truth is, if he live to be his Masters survivor, (provided that he flow∣rish in strength and ability of nature) hee may prosper. But for most part, his Master out weares him, as he in his time outwrought his Master. The Meermaid h'as left him, but not without Consorts to attend him. Aches, Crampes, and Ring-bones are his incessant Associats. And now he walkes more upright than ever he did, for he cannot stoope, should a Diamond lye in his way: He remembers the follies of his youth, with —O the reines of my back! He needes no other rack, this will make him discover all. He is much troubled in his Sleepe, and awakes with an ache, which he utters in a shreeke: —O my Mistresse! 'Tis a wondrous thing to see how this spruce youth is metamorphosed! How his wild-luxurious beard growes unkemb'd, his lard-twilted doublet goes unbutton'd, and his Eve-dropping nose flowes like a common Sewer, and would bestow it selfe on any one that would wipe it. Well; he cannot possibly stand long; for his very legges, those proper Supporters of his youth, may now truly cry out with aged Milo; they Page  166 cannot beare a Calfe. It might be doubted, that death were better provided for him, than he provided for it, did not poverty bid him embrace it, and a Miriad of infirmities summon him to it. There is hope of him, for the flesh had left him, before he left the World.

*But we have insisted too long on these; let it be sufficient, that as there be some of those who reteine this name, properly ran∣ked in our Character: So be there those, whose better parts merit all approvement: But one Swallow makes no Summer: the Object of pleasure many times makes ship∣wrack of honour: whereas others, for whom we will ever reserve our deservingst approvedst thoughts, will rather chuse to leave their Coat in the hand of a loose Mi∣stresse, than lose their honour. That Ma∣xim, indeed, is too holding: if we be com∣panions to Ostriges, we shall savour of the Wildernesse. Nor, is there any Rush with∣out Mire: yet a Mirtle will shew it selfe a Mirtle amongst Nettles. And such we have of these; whom neither occa∣sion can corrupt; opportunity deprave; hope of fortunes delude: nor any indirect way decline from professing themselves just in discharging that place, wherein they stand necessarily interessed.

Now, in our diversion from these, wee Page  167 are to descend to Subjects of higher and more serious importance: yet such, as re∣flect ever upon the femall Sexe, wherein pleasure and profit, which ever make up the best Musick, shall hand in hand accompa∣ny you; to second your expectance with such variety, as our Discourse may amply recompence a retyred houre with double in∣terest to Posterity.

Page  168

SECTION II. Imitable Vertues in Women.

EXAMPLES.

VERTUE is of such a rare quality, as she can neither be over-priz'd, nor over-prais'd. Nor can this Prin∣cesse, whose beauty is her owne, without borrowing; and whose honour is essentiall in her selfe, without deriving, shew more true worth than when she deignes to lodge in that bo∣some, which may seemingly dignifie her least; though, indeed, by a modest improve∣ment of what it hath received, it magnifie her most. For to descend to the quality of every *Cardinall Vertue: we shall find rare instances in each kind; and such as may Page  169 deserve imitation of the stronger Sexe. And first of the first.

PRUDENCE.

SOME jeering Swetnams,* whose strength of pen and abili∣ty of braine only consist in in∣veying against Women, will not stick, perhaps, to laugh, when they heare us speake of Prudence, and attri∣bute a great portion thereof to a Woman; and will say, Truly we have heard of some women cald by the Name of Prudence, but indued with Prudence there is scarce one amongst them, no not One. A weake invetive! It is sufficient, will these poore Criticks say, for women to have so much wit as to goe out o'th'raine: and some of them not so wise, neither: but like that simple She-cockney, imagine all the world to be a City, and every way they travell, such a continued Pent-house, as they need neither Cloake nor Hood to shrowd them; so well h'as the worlds Archi-tect provided for them.

But how farre these erre, we shall quickly discover; by those memorable and survi∣ving monuments of Wisdome; which Page  170 Women not only of former ages, but even in our owne times, have expressed, and to posterity recommended.

And first, to take our instances from a farre; how much did the Prudence of To∣myris bestead the Massagetes; when by her owne policy and dexterity of wit, she discomfitted the powerfullest and redoub∣tedst enemy that the World then had? In what a deplorable estate was her Countrey; when nothing but fire and fury assailed them without: want and famine within? When their strongest Forts were quite de∣molished? Their fruitfull fields wasted? And their people, by a fruitlesse resistance of a victorious Foe, consumed? Nay, reflect upon the miseries of this desolate and dis∣consolate Queene! how her sonne by an improvident and remisse mannagement of his affaires, became a Prey to the Enemy: his Army vanquished: himselfe slaughte∣red: all things disorderly scattred and con∣founded! Yet, was her spirit still the same. She well considered, if in that disaster her courage should quaile, what could proba∣bly follow but an irreparable Subversion? Though few or none then were left to af∣ford her remorce: neither was her Spirit so weake, nor Wisdome so small, but they had power enough to study a revenge. Which she effected with such expedite policy; as Page  171 she not only freed her distressed Countrey of that threatning calamity: but imbrued her hands in the blood of her Enemy, to re∣venge that cruelty wch he had not long be∣fore inflicted upon her own blood. Nor did this Wisdome of hers only appeare in the Government of her State: but in the compo∣sing or moderating of her owne affections. For whereas, her command had so farre in∣larg'd it selfe, as many neighbouring Princes stood in feare of her: doubting that their more confin'd dominions might be swallowed up by her Greatnesse: Her No∣ble Spirit scorned to take advantage of o∣thers weaknesse: or to soveraignize over those who never gave her occasion of of∣fence. In a word, as it was her care to pre∣serve her own; so it was her Princely scorne to invade anothers. This moderation she shewed excellent testimonies of, in her death aswell as life: When she comman∣ded, that this Inscription should be ingraven upon her Tombe: purposely to make a try∣all, as it were, whether the same height of spirit succeeded to Princes of following times, which sometimes possessed her royall brest. The Inscription was this:

Who ere thou beest that shalt have the fortune, amongst other rich booties of thy Con∣quest, to dig up this Stone (meaning that Monument which cover'd her) know, Page  172 that thou shalt finde an infinite masse of treasure, fit to enrich thy princely honour, under it.
But what found that victorious Monarch under it? Nothing lesse than he expected. No gold; but such a golden sen∣tence as incomparably surpassed all Trea∣sure that could possibly bee buried under it. For when hee had carefully removed the Stone, hee found this ingraven under the bottom of it:
None but miserable Cove∣tous men would violate the Obsequies of the dead: or with prophane hand di∣sturbe the quietnesse of those that sleep in the dust.

Many other excellent vertues was this Noble Princesse indued withall: which for brevity sake I must omit: passing to o∣thers of her Sex, who not onely equalled, but farre exceeded the most eminent Per∣sonages of their time in the prudent Carriage and Dispose of their affaires.

This that stately Semiramis shewed in the wise and peaceable government of the Assyrian state after the decease of her Hus∣band Ninus. What excellent Lawes were by her enacted? What Principles of State recorded? How free shee kept her king∣dome from division? How safe her utmost Coasts from invasion? With what policy, shee sought to remove from her selfe and people, all opinion of effeminacy: and Page  173 produce in others a conceit of their magna∣nimity: when shee commanded all with∣out distinction, to weare Tyars upon their heads: and to put on them womens appa∣rell; purposely to cover their effeminate parts: and by an Amazonian imitation to beget a confidence of resolution in her Neighbours? How carefull she was to in∣sinuate her selfe in the zeale and affection of her Subjects? What a wise course she tooke to effect it? And in what short time did shee confirme it? Admir'd she was by those to whom only report of her Wisdome had made knowne the greatnesse of such a Spi∣rit: enriched with such transcendent gifts: as it was not easy to determine whether the height of her Spirit for atchieving, or strength of judgement for contriving more exceeded. To summe up all in One; and all this in an imparalel'd One: had not one staine blemish'd her beauty, she had beene a Princesse of incomparable majesty.

Nor did that glory of Amazon, the in∣vincible Penthesilea fall short in those ac∣complishments fit to mannage a State: and to leave presidents both of Wisdome and Cou∣rage for posterity to imitate. How well shee rectified the disorders of a distracted Empire: and in every Designe exprest her selfe glorious to the improvement of such a State, and the advancement of her honour! Page  174 This might be illustrated by one Instance: For at such time, as Neighbouring Princes dis-valued their Feminine Government: and every one laboured to enlarge their Dominions by the Subjection of that State: She not onely preserved her owne from the injurious usurpation of forraigne Powers: but wonne of those, who were hopefull to make a prey of her. Nor was shee onely carefull to establish the foundation of an Empire for an age: but to recommend such usefull Lawes and Constitutions as might settle a prosperous State to their Suc∣cessors. Many famous Battels did she fight: and those with the renownedst and most vi∣ctorious Princes that then reigned. Yet sel∣dome or never was she discomfitted: But if at any time it chanced that shee should suffer, her moderation and discretion so temperately bore the losse, and so diligent∣ly laboured a redresse; as the second day made amends ever for the former re∣pairing her losses both with advantage and honour. All which I referre to those Stories, which with most probability and authori∣ty discourse of her.

What wisdome that excellent Sophonisba manifested to the world, in the discreet carriage of her affaires: if it were needfull here to relate, we might apply this Subject, in the instancing of her vertues. Who so Page  175 nobly demeaned her selfe in the daringst af∣fronts of fortune: as never more true re∣solution or constancy of spirit appeared in the most virile and heroicke tempers that e∣ver the world became possessor of.

Extremes could not amate her: nor distra∣ctions of State so divide her from her selfe: as, when her advice was sought, she could show the least perplexity in her well dige∣sted thoughts. Her owne safety was never so deare to her, as the Security of the State publicke. And when any of those antient Counsellours or Conscript-Fathers, who were to sit at the Sterne; seemed troubled: or shewed the least irresolution, she would usually interpose her selfe: and chide their weaknesse in this manner.

Is it fit, grave Fathers, that your advice should bee to seeke, when the State is ready to sinke? Will dejected spirits cure our distempers? Must Fathers turne Children, and put fin∣ger ith' eye, when imminency of perill menaceth the States ruine? Ha's your Countrey made choice of you, to embathe her wounds onely in teares, and to la∣bour no redresse to her griefes? O, let not wisdome onely appeare in your habits, but disposition of your hearts! A passio∣nate teare is but a weake Countermure to repell the Engine of a Foe. Let it bee our Taske, who are women, to intercede by Page  176Prayers and Teares: yours, to remove dan∣ger with Courage and Advice. Wee are neither so abandoned of solace in hope, as to lye downe and dye: as if our present condition had estrang'd us from all hope of recovery. Bee what you seeme, or we must seeme more than wee bee. Present danger requires dispatch: let not op∣portunity lose her selfe by delay.

Next her, I might here instance the brave Berenice, a woman of incomparable beauty; alacrity of Spirit; strength and maturity of judgement. Next her the Sa∣bean Queene, that wise Nicaula: a Prin∣cesse so highly taken with the fame of Salo∣mons wisdome: as she left her owne Coun∣trey to bee one of his Auditory: leaving him with this attestation of him: I belee∣ved not the words, untill I came, and mine eyes had seene it: and behold, the halfe was not told mee; thy wisdome and prosperity excee∣deth the fame which I heard. Nor could so diligent a pursuer of Wisdome, be in her selfe ignorant of so inestimable a blessing. Ne∣ver did State enjoy more freedome; nor a∣bound with more wealth; nor partake so continued a peace; than Sheba's State en∣joyed. Nor could ought lesse bee expected, where such a Lover of Wisdome reigned. For if Plutarch commend Plato so highly for comming forth of Asia into Cilicia, for no Page  177 other cause, but onely to see his deare friend Phocion: what commendations might this noble Princesse seeme to deserve, who, though a Woman, left her owne Nation to heare the Wisdome of Salomon? Should we, next these, take a more exact Survey of the divine Prudence of royall Esther; whose discreet behaviour purchased Gods people so happy a delivery, even in their immi∣nentst danger? Or of that wise Abigall, whose discretion declined Davids fury from her churlish Nabal? We would so highly admire such precious Mirrors, for their pi∣ety, pollicy and discretion, as wee should accompt them wisest and deservingst, who drew nearest them in imitation.

Neither shall we need to travell so farre for instances: but that those flowers are e∣ver esteemed best of, that are brought from forraigne borders: For Princes we have here enjoyed of our owne; whose names retaine in all places of Christendome a me∣morable testimony for Wisdome.

Witnesse the living fame of our renowned Eliza, who made her kingdome an Elysium. Being of a Majesticke presence; judicious advice; constant resolve; terrible to her foe; affable to her friend; a gracious pre∣server of peace; a couragious advancer of Warre for honourable ends. Of a rare memory; a rich fancy; for dispatch happy: Page  178 and in present dangers fullest of noble spirit and alacrity.

And these shall serve for Instances in the first.

JUSTICE.

*THIS divine vertue, which is an Abstract of all the rest, that noble Thracian Lady well ex∣pressed; when, unurged, shee professed:

That if shee were conscious to her selfe of any Crime deser∣ving death: her owne actions should not need to receive any other sentence than her owne.
So impartiall a Judge would shee demeane her selfe in her owne particu∣lar; as not the severest Court should pro∣nounce upon her an heavier Censure.

When that just Alban Lady heard what Demadis saying was, that Draco's Lawes were written with blood, and not with inke:

Farre be such Rubricks, quoth shee, from our Calendar: Let mercy and truth kisse each other.
That royall Empresse shew∣ed her selfe a Patronesse of Iustice: when on a time the Emperour her husband had presented to him the Names of sundry De∣linquents; to receive from him his pleasure Page  179 how they should be disposed of: which, as one minding more a game at Tables, than pronouncing judgement on those offen∣ders, hee commanded without any further deliberation, that they should suffer death.
O, quoth that worthy Empresse, let not my Lord bee so forward in pronouncing judgement upon an untryde delinquent? the life of a man is to bee valued above a game at dice.

Just was that Dame towards her owne; when hearing, how her daughter had vio∣lated that Order whereto shee was Vestally devoted, she came before the Senate, and beseeched them for Iustice: who, when they had understood the quality of the Offence, and how the offender was her owne Daugh∣ter: They made answer; you need little doubt of Justice, in a Crime of such a na∣ture: yet might this personall offence have well deserv'd a Stranger rather than a Mo∣ther to be an Accuser.

O, answer'd shee, but Nature must forget her selfe, when unnaturall Children forget God. Shee was my daughter so long as she preserv'd her honour: my part is now quite lost in her: Bee it your Iustice to vindicate the Wrong which my blood hath received from her. Else shall I conclude, that your unjust mercy is to mee a cruelty, which Vesta will revenge to redresse her injury.

Page  180Excellent was that resolution of those Almaine Sisters, who professed in a pub∣licke Place of Judicature;

That they would rather suffer the utmost extreames of want and misery, than share in the Fortune of any other unjustly.

The like example might wee her pro∣duce of a noble Gentlewoman in our owne Coast: who by the prodigall and dissolute Course of her Husband, falling into great poverty: was so far from inclining to any thought of Basenesse; as when her powerfull friends, commiserating her present Condi∣tion, wished her to enquire of something that might raise her Fortunes, and they would use meanes for procuring it:

O, quoth shee, I know well how to shape my minde unto my Fortune; but I hope my thoughts shall never know how to scrue themselves into an others possession.

What shall it benefit me, said that noble Matron, to enjoy what belongs unto ano∣ther▪ and betray my Fame, which I should preferre before all other? I cannot live, and be unjust: for life consists not in bee∣ing, breathing, or performing any outward action: but in a pure and undefiled Soul, raising her thoughts to an higher Motion.

When the Sabines had suffered that infi∣nite injury, in being deprived of the beauty of their virgins: though they might (pro∣bably) Page  181 have taken fit opportunity for re∣venge:

O, said those antient Matrons, let us first see how these Strangers use our Daughters! if they demeane them∣selves lovingly unto them, it were unjust for us to take revenge of their Husbands for the Love they beare to their Wives: Honest Love should be rewarded; disho∣nest revenged.

In that Election of Consuls, when the ver∣tuous Aurelia understood that her Hus∣band sought indirectly for voices;

O, said shee, This argues in you a diffidence of your owne worth: desist then from standing for such an honour, which your personall actions can not merit, nor these mercenary votes and voices obtaine, with∣out detracting from another.

Iustice, when perverted, may be compa∣red to the Celedonie stone, which retaineth her vertue no longer than it is rubbed with gold: but when employed to the preser∣servation of the State, and dispensation of what is just to every one, being neither in∣duced by amity, incensed by enmity, nor corrupted with hope of commodity: this divine vertue may be compared to the Sele∣nite stone; a precious gemme found in A∣rabia, which is of this nature and property, that when the Moone increaseth, it likewise increaseth in beauty: but when the Moone Page  182 decreaseth, it lesseneth of her splendor and glory. It retaines likewise another quality; and it is this: Being tied to any Tree, it makes it fruitfull: The application will ap∣peare both proper and usefull. When Chan∣ges in the State are most frequent; when Command seemes to soveraignize most on these smaller and inferiour Lights: then is shee most constant: in her beauty most re∣splendent. Neither can Might over-sway her: nor a despicable Plaintiffe dis-relish her. She ever shewes most Constant; when times seeme most wavering and fluctuant. Nor is any branch so seere; any member so fruitlesse, in the whole body of the State; which her application cannot make fruit∣full: so soveraigne is shee in her selfe, so commodious unto others.

Happy, will some say, were those dayes wherein Basil the Emperour of Constanti∣nople lived; that whensoever he came to his Judgement-Seat, found neither Party to ac∣cuse, nor Defendant to answer. Here needed no Conscript Fathers to sit upon tryall of Causes: no feare of Corruption, because that Halcyon peace admitted no occasion: What wilt thou give me, was no Interrogatory in those dayes. And yet me thinks that noble Princesse, in the moulding of Justice, and faire carriage of all businesse; made her State no lesse happy; who decreed: That Page  183 if any plaintiffe exhibited a Bill against any person, and could not prove the just∣nesse of his Action; he should pay treble costs to the Defendant: and besides his pe∣cuniary Mulet, receive such corporall pu∣nishment as the quality of the complaint deserved. This made commencements of Suites as rare as the former; by reducing the State to such an exact Order; as neigh∣bouring Princes had her in admiration: taking Presidents from her of State-Go∣vernment, to second her Rules in a serious imitation.

Thus have you heard how this Vertue, which our Philosophers have resembled to the Evening Starre for beauty; hath beene so carefully observed, and constantly pre∣served by women: as they addressed their endevours to no Object more seriously, than how they might improve her glory. Let us now then see what they did in ho∣nour of Temperance; a Vertue which sea∣soneth and relisheth the rest with her pre∣sence.

Page  184

TEMPERANCE.

*EXTREAMES are those Shelves on which Vertue suffers. Livia dispatch't her husband, because she loved too little; Lucilia, hers, because she loved too much. But that noble Lady observed a faire and equall temper betwixt both these: when she pro∣posed this Conjugall Rule unto her selfe:

As I made a Contract with mine heart not to change, where I made my choyce: so I resolve to retaine that command over my affections; as neither my too much loving him, shall feed in mee jealousy: nor my too much coolenesse beget in him a conceipt of my inconstancy.
This Vertue fixeth mainely upon three Objects; the Irascible, when Passion labours to sove∣raignize over Reason. The Concupiscible, when outward Motives produce in those di∣vine Organs of the soule, some discord or distraction. The Intelligible, when the light of the understanding becomes darke∣ned, by some light Object of Vanity inter∣posed. For as the Eclypse of the Sunne is occasioned by the interposition of the Moone; So is the Light of the Soule Eclyp∣sed Page  185 (in resemblance of the Moone) by the interposition of the Earth.

For as the Moone doth never Eclypse but when she is at the Full: so the Mind is never so much obscured, as it is with the su∣perfluity of riches. And againe, as the Moone is the furthest off from the Sunne which giveth it light, when it is at the Full: So a Man when he is fullest of Riches, is furthest off from that equity and justice, which ought to give him light, in all his proceedings.

For the first; The Saying of Archytas is much commended (nor deserves it lesse than to be highly approved) who being an∣gry with one of his Hindes, said:

O how would I have beaten thee, had I not beene angry with thee!

The like commendations deserves that well composed temper of that Sage Chilo; who observing his Brother to be disconten∣ted, for being rejected in standing for Epho∣rus, and himselfe elected: wished his Bro∣ther not to take his repulse impatiently:

for I must tell you, said he, that you were altogether unfit for the place: seeing, your high-unbounded Spirit can∣not beae the height or burden of an inju∣ry, but I can.

Nor was that Noble Ladyes temper to be lesse admired; who professed in a placePage  186 where her innocency had borne more than humane patience could well suffer:

I have learned, quoth she, how to suffer, but never to suffer my selfe to give way to anger.

Secondly, for the Concupiscible part; that Lady, though an Ethnick; had beene fruit∣fully Schooled in Morality, by confining her desires to bounds of such equality; who with much confidence affirmed:

I have made a constant League with mine eyes, never to fixe on that Object, with desire, which I may not with Lawfulnesse enjoy.

Armenia, a noble Lady, being bidden amongst other eminent personages, to King Cyrus Wedding, went thither with her hus∣band. At night when they were returned home, her husband asked her, how shee liked the Bridegroome; whether shee thought him to be a faire and beautifull Prince or no?

Truth, sayes she, I know not: for all the while I was forth, I cast mine eyes upon none other, but upon thy selfe.

So well had she limited her affections; as she would not suffer her eyes to wander: nor to be deluded with the glances of an unlawfull Lover. For eyes are those Tar∣peja's, or privy Conspirators, which lay the Fortresse of the Soule most open to advan∣tage. Page  187 Nor would the Heart give way to an unjust Love, if a leering eye threw not out first a Lure. For this end h'as that wise Creator made it a Sense of Sorrowing, be∣cause it is a Sense of Sinning. That a Con∣duit of teares, might better rinse that ken∣nell from whence the occasion sprung.

Nor have these Feminine Wonders exprest lesse command over their desires in con∣tempt of honour (an attractive bait to that Sexe) in their dis-esteeme of riches, or pompe in apparrell; dangerous Motives to unsetled Soules. Where you shall finde one so respect lesse of Honour; as being of∣fer'd her, she findes this answer to her a∣morous besieger:

I have ever preferred the honour, which a pretious fame be∣stowes on me, before that painted adul∣terate honour which any wanton favo∣rite of the time can purchase me.

Here shall you finde an other so indiffe∣rent for Fortunes; as her attestation is this:

No poverty can amate me, so I enjoy my selfe: They cannot but have sufficient, who are sufficient to themselves: What∣soever is without us, should not transport us too much by enjoying: Nor deject us too much in the losing: No true State, but the inward Store.

What excellent Rules were these to mould the mind to every condition, accor∣ding Page  188 to that philosophicall Maxime:

Learne in prosperity to be silent, and not transported; in adversity to be patient, and not dejected; in neither to be discontented; in both, discreetly and philosophically affected.

Here shall you likewise finde an other so humbly minded; for outward Habit so in∣different: as she professeth;

No Habit can beseeme beauty, but what suites with decency.
This might be instanced in those Vertuous Votaresses, who were so little ta∣ken with any outward weare: as they hated nothing more than such light phantastik attyres, which lay baits for others eyes. Modesty they onely affected both in beha∣viour and dresse: which begot them more honour, though lesse opinion in the eye of lightnesse.

That Habit, said the Roman Citizen to his
Wife, doth well become thee:
Trust me, quoth she, I did not hold it so,
till I heard it from thee.

But, whereas this Subject of Temperance, whereof we now treate, is most expressed in abstaining from luscious fare, pretious li∣quors, amber-broaths; with other fo∣ments of sensuall delight, wee shall finde what rare and incredible austerity many Page  189 noble Dames used in their practise of that restraint. Where some became so abstemi∣ous in that kind, as they observed Lessius Diet: in proportioning themselves such a weight or measure, as might sparingly suffice but never surcharge Nature.

Farre short of this Temperature came, in∣deed, the Wife of Domenico ylvio; whom our Italians report to have beene so delicate a Woman, that she would have dew ga∣th'red, and in precious vialls conserved, to imbath her selfe withall, with other rich perfumes and choyce confections: and yet see the end of all these delicacies! e're she dyed, her flesh did rotte, that no creature could abide her: so much had loose effemi∣nacy corrupted Nature.

For this one, this exemplary enormious One, I could instance many of her Sexe, whose noble mindes were so farre aliened from such delicacy, as they would hardly suffer themselves to be invited to any Pub∣licke Feast, least they might occasion others censure by their abstinence. Others in a retyred privacy, (too monastick a course for our Gentry, whose education hath begot in them more desire of liberty) have embraced reclusive lifes; contenting themselves with such homely provision as that remote Place or Desart could afford them, where they had taken their Plantation.

Page  190The Romans, indeed, even at this day▪ make Recluses of their owne Houses; and whether out of jealousy or some other in∣nate quality, will not suffer their Wifes to go abroad, either to Church or any place else, and some of them scarcely to looke out at a Lattice Window; whence that Pro∣verbe came up:

In Roma vale piu la Putana,
Che la moglie Romana:
In Rome the Harlot hath a better life,
Than she that is an honest Romans wife.
Nor was antient Rome lesse cautious of preserving the modesty of her Women: by preventing the use of that which most in∣dangers Temperance; whence came up that Custome, for kinsmen to kisse their kins∣women, to know whether they had drunke wine or no; and if they had, to be punished by death, or banished into some Island. Nor was there any respect or restriction, if we may credit the testimony of Plutarch; who saith, that if the Matrons had any ne∣cessity to drinke wine, either because they were sick or weake, the Senate was to give them licence, neither were they permitted within Rome to have that liberty; but out of the City.

Page  191This restraint those Noble temperate Ladies little needed, who held it an high derogation to their honour, to consort with any wine-bibber: or such, whose liberty had made them subject to any such ingene∣rous distemper. Excellent to this purpose was her saying:

She knowes not the true estimate of her honour, who dare expose it to danger.
Nor was her Resolution lesse usefull, though, perhaps, too generall; who hearing her Waiting-Maid to be di∣stemper'd with liquor:
Waiting woman, quoth she, you may call her; Maid you cannot, being subject to such di∣stemper.

In a word, heare what those brave Ro∣man Ladies held of Temperance:

We had rather, said they, suffer the extreamest assaults or braves of Fortune, than lose the least graine of Patience by giving way to Passion.
A deserving Memoriall! which carefully reteined, may regulate in us those straying affections which usually distract the mind; enfeeble the spirit; and make the noblest Creature by this ignoble servitude, more savage than any other.

Thirdly, for the Intelligible part; what quicknesse and pregnancy of conceipt hath appeared in women, may be collected by their ready Answers; and upon more deli∣beration, their weight of reasons: whereof Page  192 I shall here in this place speake but little: having occasion to treate more amply of this Subject, in that Section wherein I am to speake of their Witty Aphorismes, which long preceding times have recommended to Posterity. Where you shall finde such a complete Structure both for height of wit and depth of understanding; that as Cicero sometimes said of Galba's leaden and lum∣pish Body: His wit had an ill lodging. So without offence might it be spoken of those in respect of the weakenesse of their Sexe: They had rich stuffe for such weake houses. So preciously were they stored; so richly beau∣tified; so completely furnished with all intellectuall graces, as shall appeare in his due place. And so we will descend to the last of our Cardinall Vertues: Even that which may seeme most estranged from their Nature; yet through the strength and vi∣gour of their spirit, enlivened in the highest measure.

Page  193

FORTITUDE.

SOME will merrily say,* We like not well that you should com∣mend Fortitude in a Woman. We have Zantippe's enough in the World, who can breake the pate of a Philosopher, without ever studying for a Plaister. Their strength and spirit should consist in Tongue: for them to be provided of any other armour, was never so much as intended by Nature.

It is true; Nor is it our purpose to present them here playing their Prizes: but to ex∣presse their resolutions in time of danger, wherein they came ever off with their Countreys safety and their owne honour.

Though my Sexe proclaime me weake, said that Noble Matron, I have a spirit in me can supply that want.
Yet should the rigidst Censor be more charitably perswa∣ded, than to thinke that she would imploy this noble spirit of hers in trying mastery with him to whom she was to acknowledge a superiority.

Epicharia, that famous Libertine of Rome, though she complyed well enough with her Husband; expressing that obedi∣ence, Page  194 which became a loyall Wife, patient in suffering; meeke in remitting; kinde and loving in all offices of affection; yet made privy to a Conspiracy against Nero (that prodigy of Princes) would not dis∣close the Plotters thereof, though tormented with cruell punishments. She chused ra∣ther to suffer the exquisitest torments that could be invented by the hand of Cruelty, than to discover them who labour'd to sup∣presse his tyranny.

Leaena, though a Prostitute, was indued with a brave spirit, who conspiring with Armodius and Aristogiton, her fa∣miliar acquaintants, against the Tyrant Hippeas, stood not agast at the death of her Friends (though torne with extreamest tor∣ments) but holding it basenesse to reveale the Complices, bitte in sunder her owne tongue, and spit it out in the Tyrants face.

But you will say, these were too fierce and furious spirits to be inclosed in effemi∣nate Caskes; we will therefore give you a touch of such, whose moderate and well-tempered dispositions exprest their worth, even in a princely command of their desires in outward things: scorning to lament for losing what they could no longer possesse: yea, so little joy conceiv'd these on Earth, as they equally rejoyc'd in forgoing or en∣joying whatsoever they possest on Earth.

Page  195It was a faire and imitable resolution of that well-affected Gentlewoman:

The extremity of Fortune I shall little feare, seeing the worst she can doe me, cannot make me base.

Nay, even in the deprivall of those bles∣sings which more nearely concerne them; and such as should touch Nature even in her bowels: have some of them showne such constancy of spirit, as they were ready to minister advice and comfort to those, who in respect of their Sexe and Place whereto they were called, might more pro∣perly have seem'd to performe that office to them. This might be illustrated by a do∣mestick instance of our owne. A person of high quality and ranke, no lesse than a Counsellour of State, hearing the report of the death of his Sonne, fell into such a passi∣onate overflow of sorrowing, as he would scarce admit any one for the present to have accesse unto him, or to minister any argu∣ments of comfort to him: This his discreet Lady well observing, thought it best to sup∣ply that Office her selfe, which others had so fruitlesly laboured to put in practise: So as one day, she begun thus to expostulate the grounds of his sorrowing in this manner.

Good Lord, Sir, ha's your wisdome so much forgot it selfe, as not to reserve one minute for recollecting your dispersed Page  196 thoughts? Are all these teares for the losse of a Child? Me thinkes, my portion should be as great in that losse, or else I fall off from the proportion of a motherly love. But I conceive, Sir, and this no doubt, your Wisdome will see into; That as we first received him, so we have but render'd him backe to him from whom we had him. Againe, Sir, should you but consider how ill these teares would be∣seeme you, if the State should looke on you: you would soone take truce with your eyes, and teach them not to darken that Light, which should imploy it selfe in direction of the State. Who knowes, but that our childs death now in his prime, prevented him from seeing and suffering many miseries in his time? The sewer his yeares, the fewer his teares. Let us then with patience recommend him to him who first gave us him, and now ha's taken him: lest through impatience we offend his Majesty; who if he chastice us, it is but justice: and if he spare us, it is his mercy.

But this Fortitude, which we here treat of, consists most, in respect of the Subject we now handle, in a Constancy of reteyning what is privately committed to them; next, in opposing whatsoever relisheth most with their affections. Truth is, though some too Page  197 Satyrically compared a Woman to Danäus tubbe; fitting her with no better Embleme; but as that Tubbe could hold no water, no more could she reteine long undiscovered any secret or counsell committed to her: yet may some of them, the worse sort I meane, be properly compared to Sieves, who let goe the best, but keepe the worst: as the better sort may be resembled to Fanns, which let go the worst, and keepe the best.

There are many chattering Iayes, that have no feathers: who cannot heare of a Storme, but they must make the whole For∣rest knowne to't. It is said of Geese (Birds, whose very appellations designe their sim∣plicity) that when at change of seasons, they passe from Cilicia over the Mountaine Tau∣rus, which abounds with Eagles: fearing their owne Secrecy, they carry Stones in their bils, for feare their cry should disco∣ver them to their Enemies. Reason, whose portion is our beauty, and whose gift our Makers bounty, should teach us that, which Nature hath instructed them; lest by decli∣ning from the rule of Reason, we become inferiour to them who never had the use of Reason. For there is nothing which so highly disparageth a reasonable Creature, as by too prodigall a discovery of himselfe, to lay himselfe open to the trust of an other. So as, it may be positively averred; There Page  198 is nothing that betrayeth a man so much to ruine as his owne credulity. Had that strongest of men seasonably foreseene this, he had never beene betrayed by a Dalilah. Yet have I heard some, and those cautious enough in other affaires, lay downe this for a Conclusion: That they would ne∣ver entrust them with their bodies, to whom they durst not communicate their Counsels. Which can hardly be without danger: but being an Error of Love, and no Love of Er∣ror, deserves a milder Censure. An allu∣ring she-Gossip is a perilous Jngle to siftout a Secret: and a rare constant Spirit ha's she, who amidst freedome of mirth, re∣teines a power in her selfe to conceale it. Nor (indeed) can such merit ought lesse than sharpe reproofe, who with the abuse of a minutes liberty, to ingage a strange eare to their attention, will expose the Secrets of so deare and near a Consort to Censure and Detraction.

Dionysius gave straight commandment, the head of Bryas, one of the Gentlemen of his privy Chamber, should bee cut off, for telling Plato, who had demanded of him, what the Tyrant did,

That he had strip∣ped himselfe by reason of the heat, and was painting in a Table:
So tender were Princes of their actions, even in affaires of indifferency: for had Dionysius beene never Page  199 worse imployed, his raigne had never in∣curred the title of Tyranny.

Husbands, who are Princes in their owne Families, are to be strict Censors of Such, who are apt to discover what they heare: and to inlarge it too, in hope to gaine more atttention from an itching eare. Nor, in very deed, doe such men deserve lesse re∣buke for their facility, who so freely im∣part themselves to those, bee they never so neare them, nor seemingly tender over them, who have no ability to conceale what in Counsell is committed to them. As we use then to try Vessels by their sounds, so were it good for us to try before wee trust. For if Shee, whom you have made choice of, have such a retentive faculty, as shee holds not her owne reputation at an higher estimate, than your secrecy: As shee is your Bosome-friend, so let her be your Se∣cretary. For if that which you impart to her, tend to your comfort; her Communi∣on will augment it. No single Instrument be it never so singular, can render the eare so full Musicke, as a Consort. Againe; is it a∣ny occasion of discontent? Her sweet society will allay it; by cheering it, if shee can∣not cure it. Many such excellent Creatures shall wee finde in the world; who affect nothing more than to share in their Hus∣bands misfortunes. To bee most of all his, Page  200 when hee is least his owne; Bearing the count'nance of his Fortunes in their face.

And these bee they, who well deserve to be retained in Counsell by their Husbands: because they preferre his Comfort before their owne, or equally as their owne: and value his Secrecy as their owne Safety.

As for others, who are too open-hear∣ted, to have any thing in Counsell to them imparted: Let their Husbands imitate that discreet Grecian of former times, who be∣ing told that his breath did smell, answered;

It was by reason of the many Secrets, which had a long while laine rotting and putrifying within him.
And may they ever rot in them, rather than communicate them to such dead flyes, who will corrupt whole pots of the preciousest Ointments. Let their Bosoms (those divine Recluses of Secrets) bee like the Lions Denne in the Apologue; towards the mouth whereof the prints and prickings of sundry sorts of Beasts might easily bee discerned, but from thence none at all.

Let them alwayes, even in their Curtaine-conference, talke with Harpocrates, at the Signe of the finger on the Mouth: and learne of Anacharsis that the Tongue hath need of a more strong restraint than Nature. And that there is no greater ar∣gument of true Fortitude than to conceale Page  201 from others what were fitting to be concea∣led; and with a religious piety to reteine, whatsoever is by others in secrecy recom∣mended.

Let them not be so curious with them of Bethshemesh,* in the search of other mens Secrets; nor yet too carelesse with Heze∣kiah, in the discovering of their owne. Morality gives them a prohibition for the One, and a Precept for the Other:

Seeke not to others Councels to bee knowne;
But knowne, conceale them as they were thine owne.

Now, for the other particular, consi∣sting mainly in a strong and resolute Oppo∣sing whatsoever relisheth most with their affections: There is no point of Magna∣nimity of higher degree or nobler quality than this.

Milo shewed not halfe so much strength in bearing a Bull; as Stilpho did in bearing what most opposed his Will.

That Wife of Bath, upon whose Tale, at the instancy of some peculiar Friends, wee have by way of Comment, lately annexed some Illustrations, could tell you well e∣nough, what would please a Woman best. Now, when that Will or soveraignty of Command receives her Countermand from Reason: so as the Course becomes diver∣ted, Page  202 by declining from what the Party most affected: what a brave onquest is this; and how well doe the Professors thereof de∣serve a vertuous esteeme?

She well expressed this in her selfe, who though naturally jealous, and (perchance) had sufficient Cause given her to bee so, be∣ing in Company where shee heard at large of those joviall pranks of her Husband, was so farre from inclining to passion, or falling into any humour that might give them oc∣casion of suspecting her jealousie; answered:

Content your selves, I doe not hold my selfe so unworthy of his love, as to have the least Conceipt that hee will bee kinde with any other.

It were no lesse rare to observe some of our women; who stand most affected to curious Apparell; and to comply with the Fashions of the Age; to decline wholly from that humour; by affecting plain∣nesse: and with an entire distaste to all garish vanity, to entertaine no other habit than what might best suit with the modesty of their sexe.

Nor would I have this to proceed from sullennesse: as I have sometimes noted in a phantasticke Lady in this Kingdome: who in her private Chamber or Garden would accommodate her selfe like a complete Gal∣lant: but if any Neighbouring Gentle∣woman Page  203 came to visit her, shee would put on her meanest Apparell, saying;

Such stuffe was good enough for such course Guests.
No; such Malevolee's are made to grinde and grate the hearts of their Husbands: by affecting nothing more than to crosse them most, whom they are bound to oppose least.

Those, whom wee here propose for Pat∣terns to imitate; have set their rest on this resolution: Never to give way to their owne Wils: but if they desire liberty; to curbe those straying desires with a conveni∣ent restraint: remembring, how Dinah by gadding lost her honour.

If Luscious Fare; to moderate them by an imposed abstinence: holding Cleopatra's banketting an introduction to her wanto∣ning. If entertaining of amorous servants; to shut their doores from any such admit∣tance; knowing how that Vestall Virgin impeached her fame by too freely admit∣ting and conversing with Crassus.

Now, this noble resistance is best exprest, where opportunity is most frequent, and the strength or vigour of nature most pre∣dominant. It was an ample addition to Penelope's honour, to have an Husband so farre distanced from her; to be encounter'd with such confluence of Suiters; to live in the prime of her youth divided from her Mate, Page  204 and to preserve her fame so unblemished: as those who were most confident of her affe∣ction, could never so much as justly boast of any favour received from her, the giving or receiving whereof might trench upon her honour.

Some women, and those of noblest ranke, have we heere had; who not only declared to the world their true fortitude and vertu∣ous resolution in the lifes of their Husbands; who in martiall affaires and other publicke services, lived long time divided from them: but even after death, retained such constant Memorials of them: that though they wan∣ted their Persons, they kept their Portra∣tures ever neare them. Nor held they this sufficient, unlesse by a perpetuall Widdow∣hood they had preserved their Names in them. Their roomes bore the habit of mourning; Funerall Lamps were ever burning; No musicall straine to delight the Eare; No object of state to surprize the Eye. True Sorrow had there her Mansion: nor could they affect any other discourse than what to their Husbands actions held most relation. Each of these with good Cornelia could play the Mourner, and breath out their passions in this manner: Page  205

Pompey's my Husband whereso'ere he bee,
None in Cornelia h'as a share but hee.

But to instance this resistance of Will in One for all. That discreet yong Gentle∣woman deserv'd so well in this point, as we cannot without injury to so meriting a Subject, omit her. One, for descent ranked with the best: of excellent naturall parts, and those enriched with such gifs of Grace, as very few equall'd her, none surpass'd her.

This Gentlewoman, having received sin∣gular breeding, and all liberty shee could possibly desire: Falling one day into a se∣rious Consideration of her owne state; de∣bated the matter with her selfe in this man∣ner.

I have thus long lived, and enjoyed what liberty or pleasure I desired. Young I am in yeares: yet though my yeares be few, many are mine houres of fruitlesse expence. Delicacy I affected, and none ever was more cockered. Publique pla∣ces of meeting I frequented; and from these have I ever return'd more depraved. How tedious was an houre imployed in devotion? How short, bestowed in any light recreation? How many Mornings have I sacrific'd to my Glasse? With what winning lookes have I opened my Page  206 windowes; while the Windowes of mine owne body let in sinne? With what Care were my breasts laid out, to take a wandring eye? How pleasantly to my light eare sounded any amorous discourse? What a Wardroabe of vanities had I in store to catch a vaine Passenger? How happy were I, if I could but finde one day that might justifie her plea for that dayes employment? Was it not mine highest ambition to bee impaled with multitude of Suiters? Was it not my glory to tri∣umph in their repulse: and to supply their decrease with an admittance of fresh Servants? Have I not exprest most scorne where I received most love? Have I not solaced my selfe with their sighs: and highly prided my selfe in putting on a Countenance of disdaine? Was there a∣ny dresse so fantasticke, which did not quickly take mee? Did any habit lesse please mee, than what seem'd most grace∣full in the eye of modesty?

What rests then, but that thou re∣deeme the time? Put off that Habit of Lighnesse which thou hast so long affe∣cted: addresse thy thoughts to winne nobler Suiters than thou hast hitherto de∣sired. Thou art but yet in thy Prime; deferre not one houre longer from rescu∣ing thine honour. Blush at those sensuall Page  207 delights which have so long tane possessi∣on of thee. Let it bee thy greatest scorne to blemish thy Soules glory, with ma∣king an Idol of a light portion of earthly beauty. And though thy youth will hard∣ly admit so strange an over-ture: let it be thy Taske to prevent occasion, and to subject Sense to the command of Reason. The more difficulty which attends the Taske, the more glorious shall be thy vi∣ctory. One minute is too long, to ad∣journe such a purpose: Bid adieu then to thy darling pleasure; and that for ever: so maist thou enjoy those will last for ever.

Nor was this Noble-femal Convert slow∣er in performing than shee was in promi∣sing. For desiring a small portion from her Friends, to support her with a Competency of livelyhood: with a constant resolution shee bad farewell to those mis-spending pleasures which she formerly so tenderly loved. embracing a private retired life, where shee bestowed many precious houres in Devotion to her owne Comfort and o∣thers direction. A rare President in this Age, for one in the very flower of her age, to change the condition of light love, with the profession of a strict life.

Thus have wee made appeare unto you what excellent Professors, and Practisers Page  208Women have beene in all these imitable Vertues, with store of choyce Examples in each of them. From these wee are to descend to their Moderation of Passi∣on, wherein, as in all the rest, wee intend to bee as briefe as may hold with the qua∣lity of the Subject whereof wee are to intreat.

Page  209

SECTION III. Their Moderation of Passion.

TO vindicate their weake Sexe from what they are most taxed: and cleare them in the testimony of Opinion of that wherein they stand most censured, might seeme to some super∣cilious Eye a taske of maine difficulty: And yet such a Province are we to enter, and to accomplish (if our hopes faile us not) to their demeriting honour. Nor doe we as∣sume this Taske, to ingratiate our selfe with that Sexe: For our decline from youth hath wained our affections from all such Ob∣jects: but to bestow upon such as deserved Page  210 well of Opinion, their just character, reward and guerdon.

It is our common English proverbe, The Worm will turne againe: and weake women, who have no other armor to shield them, no other refuge to shroud them but a few hasty words, or passionate teares, must needs plead their innocence, when injuries shall assaile them, with such supplies as Nature ha's afforded them. Yet even in this defen∣sive provision, I shall instance some so rarely moderate; as discretion injoyn'd them si∣lence in the one, and resolution a masculine patience in the other.

At that unexemplary disaster at Cannae, when the utter ruine and overthrow of the Romans rung in every place (not to mention the well-composed temper and resolution of the men themselves) with what moderation of pssion did those Roman Dames beare them∣selves? Farre were they from shedding ef∣feminate teares, or exclaming against De∣stiny, or demeaning themselves in any thing unworthily. No, their spirits were inflam'd to better and higher designes.

Let not there Occurrents amate you, said they to so many as survived that slaughter; if you want of your owne Sexe to supply you; behold your second-selfes ready to dye with you. Perish you cannot with∣out us, you may with us. Hearts we have Page  211 that shall not faile you, so long as you faile not from doing what may become you. On then with resolution, and let Apulia know, where you suffer'd this dis∣aster, that Rome can want no Souldiers so long as she ha's women to defend her honour.

Yea, should we relate what incomparable moderation of passion, those famous Roman Matrones expressed in their great trials of patience, we should finde it more easy to admire them than imitate them. Though Oc∣tavia suffer in the highest measure; she can passe over her indignities with a sweet smile: and sleight her too good grounds of jealou∣sy, with a winning Letter, wishing only her Husband to be tender of his honour.

Porcia can suffer in a noble manner for her endangered Lord, yet scornes in teares to manifest her love. Her study is to se∣cond him with advice, to prevent danger, come off with honour, and leave to posterity a memorable testimony of his valour.

Tanaquil, that noble Lady, wife to Tar∣quinius Priscus, can in the lowest ebbe and defluence of Fortune, encourage her Hus∣band to noble attempts: saying,

it was not the property of a brave spirit, to lose any part of his courage for an ad∣verse encounter, or put finger i'th' eye for any disaster▪ but to arme himselfe with Page  112 resolution so much higher, as the insulting braves of Fortune have brought him lower. Nay, consider, quoth she, how Fortune owes you, so much as she ha's ta∣ken from you.

By which advice he became so strength∣ned, and by her perswasions so incouraged as of a private Tuscane, he so discreetly and moderately behaved himselfe, that after the death of Ancus, he was created King of the Romans.

That temperate Caecilia, how wisely she moderated her passion in those extreamest gusts of Fortune, may remaine a singular instance in this kind. Danger could not beget in her a shivering feare; nor her pre∣sent suffering one trickling teare. She found nothing worth prizing but her ho∣nour; which preserv'd, she could with all indifferency entertaine any encounter:

To lose that which I never had, quoth she, I cannot: and to grieve for the losse of what I once had, I will not: Seeing, as my Predecessors once enjoy'd what I now have, so must my Successors have what I now enjoy.
Hence doe I gather a moderation of passion in eyther.

Cornelia, whose very name merits a title of succeeding honour, shewed no arguments of unbeseeming passion in the very height of her affliction; knowing how to value the Page  213 quality of griefe. Though not the least beameling of comfort appeared, she retei∣ned such a noble spirit; as not a Roman Lady but admir'd her; nor any Annall writ in her time, but records the memory of her. Nothing could trouble her but Septimius treason: and this appeared more nobly in her. For nothing can be more o∣dious to any Heroick mind than the igno∣minious act of a Traitor. And what worse than to see a servant betray his Master? To see one, whom her lord had relieved; with many favours graced; and to immerited ho∣nours advanced; deprive him of life to whom both his life and Fortunes stood in∣gaged!

To this vertuous Lady, whose many mis∣fortunes had taught her sufficiently how to moderate passion; and with a discreet checke to discourage the proffer of any light affe∣ction, might those Lines be aptly applied, exhorting those young Ladies to follow the steps of so noble a Grand-mother.

For you, young Ladies, you've a pat∣terne too,
One, whose religious life will teach you how
To manage yours: and this is your Grand-mother:
It were piacular to name another.

Page  214Nor is there any such necessity to fetch our instances from Tiber: Excellent women have both former and present times afforded within this hedged Garden, whose admirable temper, to their never-dying ho∣nour, hath deserved no lesse praise. Such, who could smile at misery, and with such a composed grace entertaine the stormes of Fortune: as none that saw them, could doe lesse than highly condemne her of inequa∣lity of judgement, or want of sight, (to her a proper attribute) to bring them downe to the lowest part of her wheele, who deserved for moderation of passion, with other argu∣ments of discretion, to be ranked with the highest in the Common-wealth.

Nor, indeed, can this moderation of pas∣sion, whereof we now treat, receive more approvement from any person, than such an one, who sometimes ha's enjoyed the ful∣nesse of earthly happinesse; and afterwards fallen into the extremities of want: Or such, who though they partake in all freedome and fulnesse of fortune; seconded by power∣full Friends: rewarded with deserving ho∣nours: yet finde an Eclypse or contraction of light in all these, by some private discon∣tent; which by strength of Assistants is in their power to redresse by revenge, but out of their noblenesse of spirit will not. This I could illustrate by many notable examples: Page  215 where we shall finde one amiable enough for a Consort; and too accomplish'd for a Prostitute, by him disvalued, where she should be most honoured: disgraced, where she would be most approved. Nor can this unhappy man alledge any cause why he should not love her, but because he is tyed to love her; Which tye and title of wife does so vexe him, as she can devise no way to please him: yet is not her diligence any thing remitted; nor her desire to give con∣tent fore-slowed. Divided Beds can∣not distemper her: she hopes in time to win him to her, and waine him from those, who have aliened his minde from her. Nothing discontents her more than to be disconten∣ted: Whatsoever shall happen, she stands prepared.

O, but will some say, such a woman may be called rather a Picture than a Mirror! An Image made up of Rye-dow. One who is either so simple, as she knows not the quality of a wrong: or so sheepish, as shee dare not say her soule is her owne. And such are neither fit for Wives nor Mistresses. For as Fooles cannot at any time be troubled with mirth, because nothing that good is, can happen unto them: nor perplexd with griefe, because nothing that ill is, can seeme so unto them; beeing as incapable of the one, as insensible of the other: No more Page  216 can those apprehend the weight of an inju∣ry, either through weakenesse of spirit, or stupidity. Whereto I answer; that wee receive not here into the list of our Dis∣course any such Stoicall Apathists, who are insensible of passion: For such were strange Stocks to graffe on. Yea, the Oconomick well observes, that a Family through want of spirit in the Governesse, is no lesse dis∣ordered than by too much spirit dis∣quieted.

In a Legendary Story is mention made of such a Saintly Sufferer, which for the rarity of the relation I have here inserted.

There was sometimes One, who weary of the World, desired to waine himselfe from all secular cares,* and betake himselfe to a religious privacy: so as, within short time hee was received into the Covent. Now it hapned one day, that this religious man walking alone in the Garden, seemed as One much discontented: which the Ab∣bot observing, came unto him, demanding the reason of his heavinesse: willing him to impart unto him the occasion of his griefe, as became an inferiour member of the Socie∣ty to de unto his Superiour.

Nothing, reverend Father, answer'd he, concerning my owne particular: nor doth it repent me to have enter'd into this Religious Order: For I finde more com∣fort Page  217 in one houre within these Wals, than ever I could in all those possessions I in∣joyed in the World. But I must tell you, Father, that I have one only sonne, which I left behind me, and very deare was hee unto me; now I am much perplext in mind about him: for I know not how the World may deale with him. Tender are his yeares, which addes to the measure and number of my cares. Nor am I so confident of their trust, to whom I re∣commended him, as to free me from that piou jealousy which I harbour in my breast touching him. Advise me then, deare Sir, what course were best to take, that my care may be setled: and his safety provided, on whom with equall hopes and feares the troubled thoughts of a fa∣ther are many times fixed.

Is this your cause of heavinesse, said the Abbot? To rid you from these cares, and increase your hope in his succeeding yeares, send him to me, and see what ef∣fect will come of it.

According to the Abbots direction, he causeth his sonne, who, indeed, was a daugh∣ter (which he dissembled for some reasons) to be sent for. Who, after some time of pro∣bation, was admitted to the Society. Now it chanced, that the daughter of an eminent Person, not farre distant from that Abbey, Page  218 was got with childe, and for some private respects to her selfe best knowne, desirous to conceale the true Father; layd the childe upon this supposed Brother (who was indeed a Sister.) This Saintly creature was so farre from defending her owne innocency, as she tooke unto it, as if she had beene the true father which begot it. The rumor hereof so highly incensed the Abbot; holding it to be a great scandall to his Society, to have any one under his charge, conscious of such impiety; as he straightly commanded that this adulterous person should be expulst the House: and to receive no reliefe, but such as common-Beggers were wont to have at the gate.

This Censure she receives with patience, without least discovery of her innocence: And though diverse of the Fraternity inter∣ceded the Abbot in her behalfe: acquain∣ting him with the piety of her fore-past life, with the patient suffering of whatsoever his Reverend authority had injoyned her: yet would not the Abbot relent, nor remitte any part of her punishment: nor ever be perswaded by all the meanes that could be made, to receive her againe into the Covent. Thus continued this simple innocent soule, free from that sinne, yet expos'd to all shame: relinquish'd by her selfe, because undefended: nor justifide by her father, Page  219 because he had vow'd that her Sexe should not by his meanes be discovered. Till at last, Death impos'd an end to her misery, and publish'd to all the World her inno∣cency.

The report whereof so highly perplexed the Abbot: as he with the whole Covent continued a long time sorrowing: not without admiration of her Patience: re∣commending her Memoriall to posterity for a recompence.

This example when you read, I ima∣gine, you will smile at; and say, this wench had a kinde heart that could so meekely suf∣fer for anothers offence: which argued in her, rather a senselesse stupid disposition, than any discreet Moderation of Passion. —And would you have us turne such young Saints, and in the end become Old Devils?

No; (though this unexemplary president might deserve more admiration than politi∣call approvement) we propose such whose Conceipts are apprehensive enough, to weigh the quality of a wrong; Spirits stout enough to revenge; and power enough to second that revenge: yet are en∣dued with so noble a temper, as they held it their highest honour, to expostulate the cause mildly; rather than with fire and faggot to menace a revenge, where they owe Page  220 an obedience: and ought to overcome ex∣tremities (so they be not above humane suf∣ferings) with patience.

Such an one as one of these, had that brave Colonell; who professed, that though he encounter'd with broyles a∣broad, he never found any brawlles at home: though he bicker'd with Stormes by Sea, he enjoyed a Calme still by Land. Not like that fierce Virago, who being married to a Souldier; ever used to wel∣come her Husband home with a powder; and being one day, in a more temperate mood, asked by him, why she used such liberty with her tongue, as after that man∣ner to entertaine him still with such hayle∣shot?

O, quoth she, I hold it good dis∣cretion, to inure you to what you must suffer: Seeing your cares are so well ac∣quainted with the noise of the Canon a∣broad, you may well enough endure a little haile-shot at home; Words breake no bones, husband; would to God, your Enemy would use you so.

That Syracusan Generall gave a strong testimony of his Wifes temper, when in a publicke meeting, he protested:

That he had in all his time found it farre more easy to discomfit a commanding Foe, or demolish the strongest Fort, than to over∣come his Wifes patience.

Page  221Albeit, there are many, whose dis∣creet and well-composed temper can suffer all injuries; imbrace poverty with a plea∣sant smile: receive any dis-respect from their Dearest with incredible patience: yet, when their owne Fame shall come to be questioned; they hold that too precious a prize, too high a stake to bee hazarded. This was that noble Roman Ladies resoluti∣on:

Let me suffer, quoth she, in the height of Fortunes Contempt; Let that ambiti∣ous One, whom I most maligne; receive those honours I should enjoy; imbrace that person whom I love best. Should I be enforc'd to begge reliefe from her hand, where I conceive the constantst hate: Should I encounter with all the extremi∣ties that adversity could lay upon mee: All these were nothing; so I may preserve that Fame untainted, which I have hither∣to preserved. Fortune can but take from us what is hers: it is our actions only, or others injurious obloquie can deprive us of what may be truly and properly styled ours.

No lesse absolute was she in the Com∣mand of her Passions; who being one day in private discourse with a Gentleman of excellent winning parts; and one whose glib tongue could winne ground upon least advantage: was demanded by him, how Page  222 she could brooke to heare her Husband to be such a generall Courter of fresh Mi∣stresses: and to boast of their Favours in her presence?

O, Sir, quoth she, all this is but to Court me with more formality when he comes to mee! I finde no faile in his love, why should I then distaste what he likes? If he had more serious imploy∣ments to bestow himselfe on, I little doubt but he would asmuch sleight the Cour∣ting of a Light Mistresse, as he now affects it for want of better imployment. If o∣thers bestow their Favours on him, and he reserve his best Favour for me; it were my weaknesse to suffer others respects to him, to beget a jealousy in me. I neither re∣teine that meane conceipt of my selfe, as to conceive the least thought of his Loving of any one better than me: nor have I any such opinion of his inconstancy; as to imagine him desirous to preferre any one in his esteeme before me.

Thus have you heard their excellent tem∣per in Moderation of Passion, with what in∣differency they could beare the braves of Fortune; with what innocency they could beare the weight of injuries. How their Fame was the only Touch-stone of their pa∣tience: which secured, nothing so extreame, which they have not with resolution en∣countered, and with constancy subdued.

Page  223Which mildnesse begets in them a neare resemblance with that well-dispose femi∣nine Monarchy of Bees;* for as the Na∣turall Historian observes, that their King has no sting as other Bees have, reteyning such an offencelesse quality, as hee cannot sting any, sufficing himselfe with a Prin∣cely Clemency, to supply the place of Sove∣raignty: So these hold it power sufficient to have had the power to revenge: and by their inferiour Subjects to repell the inso∣lence of a bold intruder; holding it a dero∣gation to their honour, to become a personall revenger.

Certaine it is, that no vertue more enno∣bles a Rationall Soule than this Moderation of Passion: Nor deserve they either to ma∣nage any publique or private charge; who cannot restraine these insulting motions, which so miserably captivate the better part: as by giving way to appetite, man though he retaine the name, he loseth the nature & prime priviledge of man. He only, and none but he deserves to be honoured, who is with goodnesse endowed. For foot-cloath honour, it is but an Eye-object: it may exact of an humble Passenger a low Congy or Salute:* but his Horse, for ought that I know, being so richly covered, deserves as much honour as he that rides on it. And no doubt with a little helpe of a Cynicks Lanthorne, it were Page  224 very easy in this Silken age to finde with Aristippus, Stones sitting on stones, and bar∣barous Asses riding on Barbary horses. But we have other Surveys to take in hand: be∣ing now to descend from their Moderation of Passion, to their Continency in assaults; e∣ven to Those, where they bore most loyall love and affection.

Page  225

SECTION IV. Their Continency in assaults.

OPPORTUNITY is a dangerous attendant for youthfull Love. And yet shall we pre∣sent to your eyes; such noble Commanders of their desires: as nei∣ther opportunity of place, nor importunity of person, though affection had entered farre into their bosome, could make them dispence with honour.

Long had that Roman Sophronia beene importun'd by a deserving Suiter; one, whose youth might deserve Love: and whose beauteous personage might have Page  226 seaz'd of store of Mistresses without much sollicitancy: One in whose eyes love spar∣kled: seeming to merit admittance without parliance. Yet findes hee his Sophronia of another temper, than to preferre her plea∣sure before her honour: She can addresse him this answer:

What straying eyes have you observ'd in us? What loose pas∣sage ha's there fallne from us, or wherein have you seene any argument of Light∣nesse by us? That you should be so weak∣ly opinion'd of us? Doe you know our Family, and cn you conceipt us forgetfull of our Fame? Trust me, Sir, either light thoughts have so mis-guided you, as you have quite forgot who we are: or some base Trader, I might say, Betrayer of Womens honour ha's deluded you, by giving you incouragement to such an in∣discreet attempt. Returne home then, Sir, I could wish you: and recollect those wits you have scattred: Which done, it will behove you to begge from me a pardon, whom you have sought with so unjust an affection.

It could not chuse but redound highly to Scipio's commendations, that being a young man of 24 yeares of age, in the taking of a City in Spaine, he should so nobly vanquish his owne affections, by repressing his flames of lust, when a beautifull Maid was brought Page  227 him, as a trophey of his Victory: restoring her to a young man called Allantius, to whom she was espoused, with a great re∣ward, as an additament to her Dower. Yet for all this, it may be imagined with an easy glosse, that her Honour suffered an As∣sault: and that the Maids repulse begot in that victorious Commander a singular e∣steeme of her vertues.

It is true, that Darius wife and his three daughters, being spared by Alexander, im∣proved more his fame, than all those glorious attempts which ever he had atchieved. Yet our Criticks will not sticke to say,* but they were attempted: yet so constant were they in preserving their honour, as neither Maje∣sty could command, nor beauty (as what Prince more amiable?) allure; nor their owne present estate admit any unjust free∣dome to so commanding a Suiter.

But to prove unto you, that nothing is more incomparably precious than a Conti∣nent Soule; and that Conjugall Love held such a firme tye even amongst Ethnicks, as they preferred that gage before all tenders of sensuall Love or fading honour; I will relate here unto you one memorable Story, to improve that Sexes glory, and beget a pious emulation in posterity.

Cannia, Wife to Synattus, shall be the surviving Subject of this Story; whom one Page  228Synoris, a man of greater authory than he, loved; and making no small meanes to obtaine her love, yet all in vaine, supposed the readiest way for the effecting his desires to be the murdering of her husband: which he performed. This Act of horror was no sooner executed, and by the roabe of his au∣thority shrowded (as what guilt so hainous, but may receive her subterfuge from great∣nesse) than he renewed his suite, to which she seemingly assented: but being solemne∣ly come into the Temple of Diana for cele∣brating those Nuptiall rites, she had a sweet potion ready, which she drunke to Synoris: wherewith both were poysoned.

In which President, we shall finde rare constancy in an Ethnick Lady. Honour, though it be a baite that is apt to take the most constant minds, could worke no such effect in her. The vow she had made to her first Choyce, estranged her affection from all new Favorites. She could finde no brest to entertaine him; nor a Love to receive him; nor an heart to harbour him; nor an arme to imbrace him; who had embrued his hands in the blood of her Dearest. No Nuptiall rites can allure her; no hope of honor delude her; she holds fast to her first Choyce without Change. Yet since this Loving Murderer must needs enjoy her, she will incline to his motion, and with a Love∣sick Page  229 potion inshrine their livelesse bodies, without further enjoyment together. No other way could she finde to prevent it: and rather than she will assent to entertaine him for her constant Lover, who was her husbands cruell murderer, the Scene must be made truly tragicall, in both their disasters.

Admirable was the resolution of that no∣ble Captive; who, seeing her Husband not only discomfitted, but deprived of life; and her selfe presented to the Generall, as a boo∣ty worth receiving; being for beauty so rare, as the age afforded not a fairer nor more goodly personage: so bravely sleigh∣ted her restraint, as she expressed her selfe more like a Commander than a Captive: If the Generall at any time sued to her for love; she would with a seeming gracefull scorne reject him telling him;

That nei∣ther her Fame nor Family would suffer her to play the Curtezan: and if he meant to make her his Wife; she had not yet wip't away her funerall teares; and therefore could not so soone entertaine any Nupti∣all treaties. She wished him to reteine a better opinion of her Sexe, than to imagine Womens honour to be as easily wonne as Forts or Sconces. Nor could her present condition so discourage her, as to admit a thought for a Kingdome, to impeach her honour. Demand nothing of me, would Page  230 she oft-times say, now when I am your Slave, but what you might as well re∣quire if I were free. Trust me, Liberty cannot so much please me; as losse of ho∣nour would afflict me. The one is in your hand to give; and the other in mine to preserve. Fetters are easy bur∣dens to an infranchised minde. Though my outward state be poore, I desire to keepe my inward state pure. Lower I cannot be in fortunes, nor higher in e∣steeme with the Immortall Gods, whom I prize above all fortunes; so I enjoy my selfe; by freeing my unstained honour from the injurious hand of an unjust in∣croacer.
Which resolution so well ac∣quitted her; as after those due Solemnities observed for her deceased Husband: she was received for a Wife by the Generall.

No lesse constant in her vertuous affecti∣on was that noble Maid; who, having set her love upon a young Gentleman, whose parts were many, though his fortunes few: Her Father taking notice of her extraordi∣nary respct towards him: and having divers times admonished her to forbeare his company; but all in vaine: at last he re∣solved of a course, by bringing in an other Suiter, in fortunes richer, though his bree∣ding maner; to weine his daughters affe∣ction from him. Many weekes were not Page  231 past, till the Match was concluded; the Marriage-day appointed, and all things prepared to solemnize this enforced bargain. But how farre the young Maids mind was aliened from her Fathers choice, might well appeare by the answer she return'd her Sui∣ter, at such time as he made her acquainted how all things were concluded:

Is it possible, quoth she, that all things should be finished, and the Party whom it most concerns, never acquainted, much lesse consented? Yes, Mistresse, quoth he, I can assure you, your Father and rest of your Friends knew of it long since; and your Father thought so well of it, as he consented to it. Ha's he so, answered she? Then it seemes you have his good-will? Yes, forsooth, quoth this Country Hoy∣den: Why then, said she, pray you goe marry my Father, whose good-will you have got: for you should wrong his daughter, to marry her whose good-will you have not.

But all this could not decline her hard-hearted Father from his rich unworthy choice. Married she must be, and to her la∣sting discontent. Which when it could not be prevented; you shall heare what acci∣dent hence insued.

The time being now come, when this in∣forced Match was to be solemnized, and Page  232 she to be given in Marriage: even then when her unhappy Father was to take her by the hand, and give her to her contemp∣tible choice: instead of her hand, he re∣ceived from her this answer:

Sir, expect no hand from me, for I cannot give it: having already sent it to him, who ha's most interest in it. Enforce me then no further, Deare Father; What joy can this heavy Bridall afford that Gentleman; when he makes choice of such a Consort, that ha's neither hand nor heart to give him? And such an one shall he enjoy in me. My hand, behold, I have sent him; and my heart I have ingag'd him. Sur∣cease then to afflict an unhappy Maid with a supply of more discomforts.

This sorrowfull Spectacle (having shown her right arme without an hand) broke up that Match. For by the persuasion of Friends, her Father was moved to give her in marriage to her first Choice, with whom she lived in that content; as she thought her hand well bestowed, to rid her of one whom she so much hated: and confirme her his, to whom both heart and hand stood religiously ingaged.

Those Dainty Dalmatian virgins shewed no lesse Continency in resisting the assaults of their commanding Enemies: who, when they saw their People discomfitted, their Page  233 Country depopulated, their principall ities demolished, and themselves Captives; were nothing at all amated. Insomuch as, being lead away prisoners, one amongst the rest stept out and spake in behalfe of herselfe and the rest in this manner:

Whither do you dragge us? What way doe you hale us? Should you deprive us, of what is most esteemed by us; it were but a poore pur∣chase; seeing, our Wils have vow'd even unto death to make resistance. Take us then to your Wives, and we will serve you; whereas, if you make Strumpets of us, we will hate you: and when you are most confident, take occasion to be re∣venged of you.
Which Speech made their Foes their Friends: causing their profest E∣nemies to become their Sponsall Consorts; by turning their inveterate fury, unto an affe∣ctionate Fancy: which procured their Countreys safety, and published to the World their Continency.

Full of masculine valour, and carefull of preserving their honour, did those Scythian women beare themselves: when seeing their miserable Country made desolate by an un∣fortunate overthrow: they thought good to keepe touch with their discomfitted and dis-slaughtered Husbands. For having pro∣mised them, that if they were vanquish'd by their Enemies, they would performe the du∣ty Page  234 of constant Wives, and keepe their ho∣nours untainted in despite of all Assailants. These constant Dames no sooner heard of their husbands sorrowfull discomfiture, than resolved according to their promise, to pre∣serve their honour: with one voyce and vote being gathered together, they conclude to have themselves shut up in severall places provided for that purpose, and there burned, and in their owne ashes buried together.

There may be found likewise some of this Sexe, who having yeelded up the Forts of their Honours upon faire tearmes, and as they conceived, for their owne advantage; yet declined afterwards from that familia∣rity which they formerly imbraced: by for∣bearing their Company, whom they see∣mingly affected: And this strangenesse proceedeth from some reasons either out of simplicity or pollicy best knowne to them∣selves. This makes me remember that merry tale (to interveine mirth with more serious discourse) which I have heard sometimes told to this effect.

In the Towne of Brada (a place which ha's ministred sufficient matter of discourse in these later times) there were Souldiers billted for defence thereof against the Ene∣my. These according to the freedom of their profession, continued there for a sea∣son in all jollity and pleasure: every one Page  235 having his dainty Doxy or Damasella to consort with. Thus they lived; loved, and neighbourly conversed, till the enemy ap∣proached: whose incamping spoiled their Courting. For being come before the Towne, with a firme resolution, as they un∣derstood, to winne, or perish: Those with∣in the Towne, fearing, as it afterwards proved, that it would be a long continued siedge; were advised to remove from them all such as could not be usefull for service, as Old men and Women; who if they stayed with them, would partake of their provision, but afford them no assistance in a time of such imminent danger. These Old men and Women, being thus disposed and privately conveyed to severall Ports adjoyning: This sharpe Siedge goes on: which fell out so commodious to the Enemy, so disadvanta∣geous to the Towne; as being blockt up from taking in any provision, they were driven into a great strait. Notwithstanding, with much prowesse and constancy of spirit. they repelled the force and fury of their Be∣iedgers repairing by night what was ruined by day: and suffering no opportu∣nity to passe wherein they might either of∣fend the enemy, or defend themselves from his hostility. But seeing no possible hope of reliefe; and an extreame Famine drawing on; having beene inforced, for want of Page  236 better provision, to eate Horses, Doggs, and Cats; which begot diverse pestilent and contagious diseases within the Towne: and having now their Magazins so emptied, as their very last Corne was in the Oven. Yea, taking notice how they were jeered by the Enemy; when at any time they came neare the battlements: using to put their canes in arch holes, and to counterfeite the noyse of Dogs and Cats, to delude them: by making them waite for their comming out, that they might take them and feed on them. Being, I say, thus inclosed with all extreames, they resolved upon a parliance to yeeld up the Towne; upon such faire and honourable tearmes, as the least dishonour that could be, redounded to them: only, indeed, the Towne was wonne from them, which was not lost for want of courage, but provision.

And being now to leave the Towne with Antients and Colours display'd; and bul∣lets in their mouth: One of these brave me∣tald sparks, remembring himselfe how that sometimes before. Siedge was laid to the Towne: he was acquainted with a Bona-Roba; and how she was disposed of in such a Port: resolves with himselfe to repaire thither, and renue his former familiarity with her: but comming to the place of her aboad, he found the wind turn'd; being re∣ceived by her with an unexpected Coynesse; Page  237 which he much wondring at, demanded the reason of her nicenesse? Putting her withall in mind of their former acquaintance, which might be an inducement to move her to ten∣der him the like favour:

No point, Soul∣dado, quoth she; for me does much feare, you will get me with Colt, you have eaten so much Horse-flesh. What a strange countenance the Souldier made upon this Wantons answer, I leave to your conceipt who reades this: no doubt, but he went a∣way with a Flea in his eare, to purchase an other Mistresse, and one more constant, if he might aspire to that happinesse.

But to omit these, should we peruse the Stories or Records of all times, we should find admirable instances in this weaker Sexe for resisting the bold attempts of loose Sui∣ters: being so constant in the defence of their honour, as neither price could betray; nor prayer perswade; nor power enforce their affections, to give way to the least breach of their continency: crowning ever their no∣ble aymes with a cheerefull victory.

But I am to descend now to the next Sub∣ject: wherein it shall appeare that they have ever made Honour their highest Object: for in this may you see portrayed to life, not on∣ly their zeale to modesty, but their tender care to prevent all occasion of jealousy. No wandring eyes to hunt for a Suiter; no stray∣ing Page  238 feet, like Dinah's, to betray their honour. A modest countenance shall you finde with∣out dissembling; a comely Habit, without phantastick affecting; and a firme loyall Love without apish toying: Mine shall be the Taske; be yours the patience. We shall tender nothing to your modest eares that may possibly minister distaste; much, if o∣pinion transport me not, that may afford you benefit: and amply satisfy your longing appetite with a variously stored and well-furnished banquet.

Page  239

SECTION V. Their Modesty in Count'nance, Habit, and expression of their affection.

COUNTENANCE.

THE Habit or quality of the mind is best discer∣ned by the carriage or composure of the body.

a Doe not say, saith that devout Father, that you have modest minds, so long as you have immodest eyes.

b How can she weep for her sinnes (saith S. Hierom) when her teares will make furrows in her face? with what confi∣dence dare she lift up her Countenance to Heaven, which her Maker acknowledges not? &c.
Light Habits suite not well Page  240 with grave hearts: nor wandring eyes with setled minds.

cThese plaisterings and pargettings of faces to attract adulterous eyes, and to be∣get Suiters, sort better with prostitutes and impudent strumpets, who make sale of their honour, than modest women, who preferre their fame before the sad fruition of all earthly pleasure.

O, what a madnesse is it to change the very forme and mold of Nature, and to e∣steeme more of a Picture than a Reasonable Creature! S. Hierom writing to Marcella saith, d

that those women are matter of scandall to Christian eyes, who paint their faces with Cerusse and such like pain∣ting stuffe: labouring to correct their Ma•••r, and with an impudent hand to re∣ctify the errors of their first feature. e Such a picture, says S. Ambrose, is a vicious imposture.

f Thou defacest the image of God, when thou deprivest thy Count'nance of her native candor, and strivest to beautify it with an artificiall colour.

Nor can it move lesse than a pious com∣passion in the heart of any well-affected Christian, to see such adoe made in patching and dawbing this outward cottage, which threatens ruine daily: and such neglect showne to the Inner house, which com∣municates Page  241 to the body, both life and beauty.

Petrarchs advice was otherwise: g

Be not affraid (saith he) though the out-house of thy body be shaken, so the soule, the guest of the body, fare well.

h I would, I poor wretch (saith Tertul∣lian) might see in that day of Christian exaltation, whether with cerusse, and pur∣purisse, and saffron, and such compasse of Tyres about your heads you shall rise a∣gaine? Whether such an Ornament or Habilement shall plead for you at the day of judgement?

Seeing then, as Festus Pompeius saith, that common and base whoores called Schae∣nicolae used dawbing of themselves: i

And that no good face will seeke these helps. k And that deservingly she incurres a cen∣sure, who seekes to improve Nature by any shop-beauty or borrowed colour. l And that such affected rubbish or refuse as face-varnish, or any such exquisite neatnesse can no way suite with Christi∣an comelinesse. m And that there is one flower to be loved of Women, a good red, which is shamefastnesse. n And that we are expresly forbidden to paint that face which God hath made.

Let beauty receive her improvement from no other hand than Nature; what mor, Page  242 fals of from modesty, and argues a light dis∣position. But in my opinion, nothing dis∣covers lightnesse so much; a to make strange eyes familiar with the knowledge of your Breast. No serious judgement can conceipt lesse than lightly of such exposed beauty; which that Epigrammatist glan∣ced at happily, when seeing one of these a∣morous Girles, who had no meaning to lead Apes in hell, but would rather impawne her honour than enter any Vestall Order, attyred in a light wanton Habit, and breast displayed, and this in Lent time; when graver attire and a more confined bosome might have better becom'd her; he wrote these Lines:

Nunc emere haud fas est (est Quadra∣gesima) carnes;
*Quin mulier, mammas contegis ergo tuas?
With breasts laid out, why should I Shambles tempt;
"It 's held unlawfull to buy flesh in Lent.
That passage was worthy observance, being sometimes betwixt a Bedlamer and one of these phantastick Girles. It chanced that a poore distemper'd Bedlamer meeting with Page  243 one of these huffing Wenchss in the open street, daintily accoutred, and stoursy ushe∣red:
* Lucky Besse, quoth he, (seeing her breasts all bare as farre as modesty would well permit, and her armes naked up to her elbow) art not a Cold? — Well, god keepe thee Besse and poore Tom in our wits. — Else must we returne to the place from whence we came, and receive whipping-cheere for our labour.
Her Gentleman-Vsher bearing this affront of this Madman upon his Madam with impatience, gave him the bastinado; but his indiscret volour brought him to more dishonour: for the Bedlamer feeling it smart, so bela∣bour'd him with his Horne; as if he had beene Hornemad: and I verily thinke, had beat him blind, had not the Beedle of the Ward happily come in to his reskue.

Dainty Nipples (said that excellent Moralist to a wanton Gallant) why doe ye so labour to tempt and take deluded eyes? must not poore wormelins one day tugge you? Must those enazured Orbes for ever reteine their beauty? Must Na∣ture in such ample measure shew her bounty, and you recompence her love with lying snayres to purchase fancy?

These Instances I the rather insist on, because there is nothing that impeacheth civile fame more than these outward phan∣tastick Page  244 fooleries, Where the eye gives way to opinion: and a conceipt is convayed to the Heart, by the outward sense: For, as by the Countenance, piety is impaired; so by the Eyes is chastity impeached. Where this is and hath beene ever held for an un∣doubted Maxim:

Immodest eyes are Messengers of an unguarded heart.
The principall meanes then to preserve reputati∣on, is to avoyd all occasion of suspicion. And forasmuch as we may suffer in our fame through trifles, aswell as motives of higher importance; wee are to be cautious in the least; lest we be censured in these, though we fend not in the greatest.

Lacides Prince of Argos, one, whose noble parts deserved that Title, had he never beene advanced thereto by the suf∣frage of his people; was accounted Lascivi∣ous only for his sleeke lookes, and mincing gate.

So Pompeie, because out of an affected way, as was conceived, he used to scratch his head with one finger; albeit very con∣tinent and modest.

So Augustus discovered the dispositions of his Daughters, by the places where they frequented; the company with which they conversed. The Countenance which they shewed; the manner of their carriage when at any time suited. Lightnesse he found in Page  245 the one; and staydnesse in the other: while the one consorts with a Ruffian, the other with a Senator.

Now to follow our former method, and present to your eyes the Modesty of sundry women, whose excellent parts as they meri∣ted high approvement: so their modest be∣haviour inlarged those additions of their honour. Where you shall find a whole Ro∣man Family so derivative in their vertues one to another, as every action deserved some pe∣culiar attribute of honour,

One of these you shall finde giving these directions to her Daughters:

Wenches, be carefull of your fame: attire your Countenances with Modesty; let not your outward appearance beget in a loose Lover, least hope of prevailing. Lookes are le∣gible lines: men may gather by your Countenance, whether or no goodnesse have in you any residence. Nor can you so dissemble light thoughts, but they will at one time or other breake forth in glow∣ing blushes, or immodest smiles. I have beene a Consuls Wife so long; as by his absence I might have taken opportunity to enjoy an inhibited pleasure by commu∣nicating my love to a Stranger; but never was pleasure comparably precious to mine honour. Trace you the same path; so shall the Elysian fields receive you, when these Page  246 shady Embleames of vading fancy shall leave you.

Another, though young, you shall finde of so composed a Countenance, and constant modesty▪ as when her Friends had conclu∣ded a marriage betwixt her and a noble Gentleman; whom she preferred in her affe∣ction before all others: made no other sem∣blance of joy, nor no other expression of liking than this:

That she was bound to her Friends for their choyce, yet so happy was she in her present condition, as she could hardly entertaine one thought of change.
Yea, at such time as her Nuptials were to be solemnized, and her vowed affe∣ction sealed: and nothing wanted but the rite it selfe to joyne their hands together, as their hearts long before had confirmed that tender; when her unhappy Bridegroome was by an Imperiall command called away to forraine servive, as if that sad occasion had purposely pitcht it selfe to decline their solace, and perplexe their loves with a tedi∣ous expectance; she put on so cheerefull a Count'nance, as none could gather by her outward semblance that she conceived any discontent by his absence. Yet so constant∣ly affectionate was she to her divided choice, as no distance of place could aliene her love, remaining of a votaresse (yet ever re∣teining an unblemish'd Count'nance) till his returne.

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Page  247More easily to be admired than imitated was the Modesty of that incomparable Ae∣milia; who, being one day invited to a sumptuous Feast; where, to delight the itch∣ing eares and wandring eyes of light Guests, were presented sundry wanton pas∣sages: Songs, whose very ayres resounded nothing but lightnesse; Obscene Motions and Gestures, which relished nothing more than Wantonnesse: was asked by a merry Gossip, who sat next to her, how it far'd that she laughed not at those revels aswell as the rest?

A modest Dame (replyed she) should not so much as give an eare, much lesse afford a smile to an immodest Sceane.

HABIT.

NEXT to this Modesty which many of our Feminine Mirrors shewed in their Countenance; we are to present unto you the De∣cency they observed in their Habit. Which, as it was first ordained to keepe the body warme two wayes: by keeping in the natu∣rall heat of the body: and by keeping out the accidentall cold of the ayre; becomes so Page  248 inverted by abuse, as it suites it selfe to nei∣ther of those Necessities for which it was first ordained. But the phrency of pride suffers no cold. Bedlam-like it can goe in slashes, to comply with times humour, and scarcely feele the distemper of any unseaso∣nable Weather. A Mistresse eye is an An∣tidote against a fever. Here you shall have one to beare more than Milo's Bull, upon their shoulders. Such a weight of Jewels, stones, borders and carknets, as it seemes wonderfull to me (to use the words of a Learned Father) that they are not pressed to death with the burden they beare. Others like so many pye-coloured Butter-flyes,* fal∣ling from Silke-wormes, and changing their nature with their colour, disguise themselves in the lightest stuffs of vanity; which kind of Habit may be, indeed, truly styled the minds Anatomy. With these nothing can be received into grace, that appeares grave: nor ought complete, that is not fantasti∣call.

Farre otherwise affected was that Noble Lady; who, when a Peere of this King∣dome came to visit her, and seeing all those inner rooms of her house hung with Black, demanded of her the reason of her sorrow∣ing?

Why, my Lord, quoth she, ha's your Honour slept all this while, and never heard how I was a desolate Widdow? Page  249 Yes, said he; but it is long since your Husband dyed, so as, by the custome of our Nation, you might before this time have left off that Habit. O, quoth she, but it seemes but as yesterday to me, since he died; your Honour then must give me leave to weare one Livery both in Heart and Habit. Why, replyed this Lord, the very Pagans had times limited for their sorrowing and Funerall solemnizing. But we are Christians, said she; and though I weepe not as those without hope, yet must I needs with a pious sorrow bemoane the losse of so Honourable an Helpe. But ad∣mit one in my case were not to be an in∣cessant mourner: You will confesse, I am sure, she should be a constant remembran∣cer. And though no profest votaresse, yet would it well beseeme her to make her Chamber her Cloister. Now, my Lord, for mine Habit, though it please not the eye of a Courtier, yet will it suite well with the humour of such Suiters as I meane to entertaine. A richer covering I shall not need, and this I hope my meanes will maintaine.

She seemed constant to her Countrey weare; who comming over into this Island with other Out-landish women; was wished, to accommodate her selfe according to the Habit of our Nation:

O, pardon Page  250 me, Madam, quoth she, I am neither so forgetfull of my owne Countrey, as to put of her livery: nor so meanely opinion'd of it, as to change it with any forraine bravery. Nor, if I should shape my selfe to the Habit of your Nation, could I any long time be knowne by it, being so chan∣geable in her fashion.

A Divine answer return'd that excellent Lady to an impertinent Objection, when being one day asked, why she attir'd not her selfe to the fashion of the time?

O, Sir, quoth she, because the Time observes no fashion. But if you wonder at my plainenesse, and why I bestow no more cost on my apparell; I must tell you, I can see no reason in the World that wee should pride us in that, which, had we not sinned, we had never needed.

Page  251

EXPRESSION OF THEIR AFFECTION.

NEXT this, let us instance what rare Modesty hath beene shown by Women, in the Expression of their Affection. How loath to be seene to love; and how faithfull to those they did love: How shamefast in their professing; and how steadfast in their ex∣pression.

I preferre love before life, said that no∣ble Aurelia to one of her Maiden-sisters; yet had I rather loose my life, than disco∣ver my love.
The like said that sweet Sul∣pitia;
I could finde in mine heart to dye for my Love, so my Love knew not I dyed for his love.
The like said that vertuous Valeria:
I could wish to dye, so my Cla∣rentius knew not for whom I wish'd to dye.
That brave Burgundian Lady ex∣pressed the like Modesty;
I will passe by him, said she, and never eye him: my heart shall only speake to him; for my tongue, it shall rather loose it selfe than un∣loosen it selfe to him.

A rare Expression of Affection shewed that young Maid; who, seeing her Lover Page  252 deprived of all meanes to enjoy her by the aversenesse of his Father: and understand∣ing, how he had resolved through discon∣tent to take his Fortune beyond the Seas, with a religious vow, never to solicit any Womans love, for the space of five yeares: She, though till that time, she had ever borne him respect with such discreet secrecy and reservednesse, as no eye could ever dis∣cover her affection; intended under a dis∣guised habit, to accompany him in his journey. Cutting therefore her haire, and taking upon her a Pages habit; she came aboord in the same Ship wherein he was re∣ceived; and so continued during all that Sea-voyage, by the helpe of that disguise and discolouring of her haire, to her Lover, altogether unknowne. And being now arrived at the Port at which they aymed, this disguised Page beseeched him, that hee would bee pleased to accept of his service: pretending, that since his arrivall, hee had heard of the death of his dearest Friends, and such as his lively-hood relyed on; so as, he had no meanes to support him, nor in his present distresse to supply him, unlesse some charitably disposed Gentleman like himselfe, would be pleased to take compas∣sion of him, and entertaine him. This exil'd Lover commiserating his Case, tooke her into his Service; little imagining that his Page  253 Page was his Mistresse. But no doubt, bore his late-entertained Servant more respect for the resemblance he con∣ceived betwixt his Page and Mi∣stresse.

Thus lived they together for a long time: during which space, shee never discovered her selfe: holding it to be to no purpose, seeing hee had taken a so∣lemne vow (as was formerly said) that hee would sollicit no Womans love for such a time: so as, rather than he should violate his vow, (which by all likely∣hood hee would have done, had hee knowne who was his Page) she chused to remaine with him unknowne, expres∣sing all arguments of diligence and care∣full observance that any Master could pos∣sibly expect from his Servant.

Hope, which lightneth every burden; and makes the most painefull service a de∣lightfull solace, sweetned the houres of her expectance: ever-thinking, how one day those five yeares would bee expired, when she might more freely discover her love, and he enjoy what hee so much desired. But Fate, who observes no or∣der betwixt youth and age; nor reserves one compassionate teare for divided Loves, prevented their hopes, and abridged their joyes by her premature death. For be∣ing Page  254 taken with a Quartan-fever, she lan∣guished even unto death: Yet before her end, she desired one thing of her Master in recompence of all her faithfull service; which was, that he would be pleased to close up the eyes of his Page, and receive from him one dying kisse: and lastly, to weare for his sake one poore Ring, as a lasting me∣moriall of his loyall love. All which his sorrowfull Master truly performed: but perceiving by the Posy of the Ring that his deceased Page was his Mistresse: and that he had bestowed that Ring on her, at such time as he departed from her; it is not to be conceived, what continued sorrow he expres∣sed for her.

A Story of no lesse constant nor passio∣nate affection may be here related of that deeply inamoured Girle; who, though she preferred her Honour before the imbraces of any Lover: and made but small semblance of any fondnesse or too suspicious kindnesse to him, who had the sole interest in her love. Yea, so farre was her affection distanced from the least suspicion: as her very nearest Friends could scarcely discover any such matter betwixt them: yet at such time as her unfortunate Lover, being found a no∣torious Deliquent in a Civill State, was to suffer; when, all the private meanes by way of Friends that she could make, pre∣vailed Page  255 nothing for his delivery: and shee now made a sad spectator of his Tragedy. After such time as the Headsman had done his office, shee lept up upon the Scaffold: and in a distracted manner, called all such people as were there present, to witnesse: That hee who had suffer'd could no way possibly be a Delinquent, and she innocent:

For this heart of mine (said she) was his; how could he then do any thing whereof I was not guilty?

Nor could this poore distempered Maid, by all the advice, councell, or perswasion that could be used to her, be drawne from the Scaffold; ever and anon beckning to the the Executioner to performe his office: for otherwise hee was an Enemy to the State, and the Emperours profest foe. Nor could she be without much force haled from the Scaffold, till his corpse was removed.

The Historian gives a noble attestation of that majestick Marcella:

That none would ever have thought that she had lo∣ved her Husband, till shee injoyd him; but none more discreetly deare in the Ex∣pression of her Affection, after she had mar∣ried him.

But as Vertue receives her proper station in the Meane; so all Extreames decline from that Marke. I have heard of Some, who were so over-nice or gingerly precise Page  256 in Expressing their Affections; as they would not admit so much favour as a faire or equall Parliance, unlesse he observed his Distance, to their affectionate Ser∣vant.

These will not grant admittance to their Suiters, to preferre their requests in their Chambers. No; they must be distanced by some Partition or Window; or else wooe by Prospective Glasses: or utter their thoughts (with the Silent Lady) through Canes or Trunks; as if Affection were an Infection. But this nicenesse tastes more of Folly than Modesty. Those only deserve approvement, who can so season their Af∣fections with discretion; as neither too much coynesse taxe them of coldnesse, nor too much easinesse brand them of for∣wardnesse in the ordering of their Affe∣ction.

This closeth fitly with those Posies of two cursory wits writ in a window by way of answer one to another:

She, she, for me, and none but shee
That's neither forward nor too free.
Which was answered in this manner, in a paralell way to the former.

Page  257
That wench, I vow, shall be my joy,
That's neither forward nor too coy.

But thus much may suffice for instances of this kind: we are now to descend from the Expression of their constant but modest Love, to such as were Corrivals in their Af∣fections; which have in all ages brought forth Tragick Conclusions.

Page  258

SECTION VI. The violence of some Women us'd upon such as were Corrivals in their choice: With Examples.

*THERE is no Maxime more holding than this:

Scepters and Suiters hate Competitors.

Agreeing well with that of the Greeke Poet:

Imperiall power and Nuptiall bed
Brooke hardly to be rivalled.

*Italy hath for many ages beene a Tra∣gick Page  259 Theater of such presentments. Where you shall finde here a Lady so violently strong in her affection, as her Servant must have Spyes neare him, if he Court but an other Mistresse: Civile cu••sies can hardly passe without some rackt Construction. This fury, that passionate Dame expressed; when, having entertained a Gentleman of excellent parts and worthy descent, to be her Servant: and having enjoyed the free∣dome of their Loves, with much familiarity for long time together: at last, by some re∣port which shee had heard, or some other bad office suggested to her, she con∣ceived a deep jealousy of her Servant, that he begun to aliene his love from her, by setting it on such an amorous Curtezan. Time strengthned his conceipt; For where sus∣picions of this kinde are not at first resisted, they become daily strengthened, and breake out into such fearefull issues, as they are very hardly without blood to be quenched. This jealouse Dame giving free scope to her own thoughts; contracted with a curious Lim∣ner to draw the feature of that Curtezan, as much to life as he could possibly doe. Which done, she caused this Picture a∣mongst other Pieces of incomparable art to he hung up in her Lodging Chamber. The next time that her Favorite came, having free accesse unto her, entered into her Page  260 Chamber: where she had withdrawne her selfe (purposely as may be imagined) into a private Closet adjoyning to that roome. Meanetime, her unhappy Servant taking a full view of all these Pieces, amongst which having found out the Picture of his Cur∣tezan, he bestowed his eye more upon it, than all the rest: which she observing through a Cranie, and being not able any longer to containe her selfe, came hastily out of her Closet where she had retired▪ and having saluted her Servant with a seeming-gracefull Countenance as if all had beene well, she began to aske him in good earnest what Piece he most affected, or (as he concei∣ved) deserved most love?

Madame, an∣swer'd he, they are all excellent Pieces, and such as have received all perfection from Art: but to settle much affection upon a Picture, where such a Lady as your selfe is in presence, were to preferre Art be∣fore Nature. Come, come (quoth she) you can dissemble daintily: —But tell me truely, whether this Piece (pointing at his Curtezan) ha's not nearest Seasure in your heart! And when he answered nothing: But I will procure a divorce betwixt you with this, (quoth she;) and with that, (having a poniard in her sleeve) stab'd him.
Which fact of hers, as it brought to him a premature death; so it Page  261 hastened upon her a judiciall doome.

A revenge of like nature, though per∣formed in a fairer manner, was sometimes presented by that jealous Florentine: who suspecting the Constancy of her Friend: and vowing revenge if it prov'd so: at last she perceiv'd, that the grounds of her jealousy were not without just Cause. One day therefore she invites her Corrivall to her House: where pretending, after a free and friendly entertainment, that she had such a curiouse Antique Piece to shew her, as the world could not paralell: she brought her to a private retyred room remote from the noise of eare, or recourse of any. Where being enter'd;

Madona, quoth she, shewing the Picture of her Servant; doe you know that piece? Yes, Madame, replyed she; And what would you doe for his sake?
For I know well you love him. She, though shee began to excuse her selfe, could not satisfy this jealous Lady: who transported with fury, to have any other to share in the Object of her fancy; interrup∣ted her in these words:
No more; it is in vaine. Your dalliance be it never so pri∣vate, cannot shrowd it selfe from the eyes nor eares of Florence. But as you partake in the fruition of his love, we will see what you dare to attempt for his love. If you de∣serve him, you will fight for him. Your spirit Page  262 cannot be weake, if your fancy be strong. Though I might many times before this have prevented your usurped love by de∣priving you of life: and that in so private a manner, as no mortall eye were it never so piercing could discover: neither were my thoughts so base, nor breeding meane, nor family from whence I came, obscure; as to stoope to such Cowardize. I must tell you freely, you could not have bestow'd your love on any, whom I did more fancy, nor any one, if my conceipt delude me not, of love more worthy. But, Madona, you cannot be ignorant of that Proverbe:
" Love and Command have ever had a care,
" That none within their Territories share.
Provide your selfe then, faire Creature, for the Encounter. Here are a case of Rapi∣ers; and the Combat shall determine our Titles. Enjoy him both we cannot with∣out distaste; nor receive him without di∣strust. Now, this will cure all distem∣pers, and make him all yours, all mine, or neithers.

And so it prov'd; for this fatall feminie Duell, rest them both of their lifes: Albeit, the one lived some few houres after, relating the sad occasion of their quarrell: and Page  263 with what cheerefulnesse of spirit the Com∣bat was not only entertained but performed on both parts.

No lesse desperate, but fuller of dishonour was the designe of that jealouse amorist: who hearing sundry reports of her Servants inconstancy, would not at first be perswa∣ded of any such matter, giving him all free entertainment, after her wonted manner. Till at last, giving more easy way to credu∣lity; she began to examine the circum∣stances probably inducing to beliefe: and she found (as shee conceiv'd) sufficient grounds to confirme her suspicion; and consequently a withdrawing of his affe∣ction. But desiring much to bee more fully satisfied touching his familiarity with that Burgonesse, whereof such frequent re∣port was every where dispersed; she resol∣ved to counterfeate a Letter as writ from her servant unto her: and to the end all things might be with lesse suspicion carried, she used the helpe of her Secretary, who could so nearely counterfeate his hand, as comparing them together, none could scarce∣ly distinguish them. The purport of her Letter was thus:

Mistresse, your Servant hath ever ad∣dressed his loyall'st endeavours to serve you. That Taske you could never in∣joyne him, which was not with all cheer∣fulnesse Page  264 intertained by him. His Friends and Fortunes he ha's neglected to ob∣serve your Commands. Madame, D'Al∣veare (meaning her selfe) suspects my in∣timacy with you. This cooles her affe∣ction, and contracts my hopes of aspiring higher, for obtaining any place in Court. Let it not grieve you then, Deare Lady, if to salve my repute, which is highly que∣stioned: and re-assure me of my Friends, who seeme much estranged: I retire for a season to Vienna, where a Merchant hath tender'd me all faire acceptance. Yet, be∣fore my departure, I shall desire in some private place free from suspicion to meet you this Evening. Where we may both enjoy ourselves with more liberty, and secure our loves from the eyes of jealousy. Nor only this; but to be advised by you, what course may suite best with my pre∣sent Fortunes, and recovery of both our credits; which I must tell you freely, are brought upon stage in such a disgracefull manner, as no subject of discourse within the City stands more ingaged to Rumor. Be pleased then, in lieu of those many de∣votions, which I have payd you; those constant vowes of affection mutually re∣ceived from you; those unwilling fare∣we taken of us both; those faithfull re∣mons••ances returned by us both: to Page  265 signify unto your Servant by this Bearer, my trusty Agent, where we shall meet by the assisting secrecy of this Evening: when and where you shall find a constant resolution winged with desire addressed to your attendance.

This Letter she made up and sealed it with her Servants Signet, which she had got out of his pocket: and with all secrecy, lest her plot should be surpriz'd, and come to discovery, she delivers it to a faithfull vassall of hers, to be conveyed according to dire∣ction. Upon receipt of which Letter, it is not easy to imagine how variously her thoughts were divided betwixt Hope and Feare. Feare to forgoe one whom she so unfeignedly lov'd: Hope, to perswade him by the reasons she might use, to stay. Howsoever, she resolved to returne him an answer, which she addressed after this man∣ner.

Servant, in the enjoyment of which title I have ever joyed; upon the unrip∣ping of your Letter, and perusall of the Character, I cannot expresse unto you how infinitely I was perplexed. The pa∣per tels me you must leave me: And my thoughts have ever-since answer'd those unwelcome lines with sighes, and told them you cannot. No; you cannot; if love or loyalty may confine you. The Page  266 precious gage of my dearest honour de∣taine you. Those free imbraces of our se∣curest privacy countermand you. O! but you tell me, many eyes are on us. Rumor ha's spred it selfe freely touching our fami∣liarity. Nay; what is more! your own Fortunes become weakned; your friends estranged; All off the hookes, by reason of our familiar recourse. Nay; what most afflicts you; Your complete Ma∣dame D'Alveare grows coole in her love to you. And these are the Motives that must divide you from me. Faire pre∣tences! And yet knew you the estimate of love, you would as lightly value these, as I have valued mine honour to cloze with your content. Neither are you so wanting either in Friends, or Fortune; should these who beare the countenance of Friends relinquish you: as you may not receive a supply from Friends as eminent, farre more constant, and to the full as cau∣tious of their honour, as your dainty Ma∣dame D Alveare. Let not these then de∣cline you from continuing affection where you professe: and from contemning their proffers, who merit lesse. I have left no∣ble Friends and Favorites, to remaine wholly at your devotion. Offers of pre∣ferrement, if they could have wrought on me, I had plenty: yet were all these weake Page  267 inducements to the eye of Fancy. But I will not upbraid you with the neglect of my hopes: nor the numerous Favours of those gracefull Suiters, who tender'd me more if I would have inclined, than my owne wishes could have expected. Let it suffice you, that none can more constantly love you, than she who ha's abandoned all her hopes to enjoy you. This very eve∣ning betwixt seven and eight of the clock, at my Garden-house I intend to meet you, where shall bee provided both repast and repose for you. Your welcome you know; my true heart you know: let not my freedome in these beget in you a dis∣esteeme. My bosome is only for you, let me receive like approvement from you.

This Letter Madame D' Alveare receives; which hastens her intended revenge. Lon∣ger did not the day seeme to that Corrivall, for the injoyment of her love; than it see∣med tedious to this inraged Lady, to accom∣plish her revenge. Which she performed with an act of horror in this manner.

Receiving benefit from the silence and secrecy of the Evening, a little before the time appointed, she privately repaires to the place; where she shrowds her selfe clo∣sely in a Tuft of shady Tamriks standing neare to the Garden-house: expecting still Page  268 her Corrivals approach. Which hapned all too soone. For comming to open the Door, this revengefull Lady having her backe towards her, pistolld her: using these words to aggravate the quality of her Crime:

Dainty Madona, your Lover now at last ha's found you to be true Pi∣stoll proofe.

But dye they must, who hands in blood doe dippe,
Gods judgements well may sleepe but cannot slippe.

And so it fell forth with this cruell Lady, who surprized by divine Justice, suffered a just legall censure for committing a fact of such horror.

But of far larger extent was her revenge; who being satisfied of the disloyalty of her affectionate Servant: under a faire and friendly pretence, invited him and her Cor∣rivall to a banket: where in diverse sugar plates she had caused poyson to be inclosed: with which she not only dispatched those two, at which principally her revenge was intended: but her selfe too, to the end that Tragedy might be more completely closed.

Other instances I might here produce from our owne Pale: but these may already seeme too many, being personated in na∣tures Page  269 of so sweet and pliable a quality. Neither let these unpleasing Examples di∣staste them, seeing our pen is addrest to returne them recompence in this Their Modest Defence, here prepared for them.

Page  270

SECTION VII. Their Modest Defence.

NO age but may bring forth Presidents of cle∣mency and cruelty in both Sexes: There have beene ever Tares in the purest wheat; Cockle in the soundest graine; rankest weedes amongst freshest flowers. These were in∣deed, savage acts for such supple natures. But if the wisdome of Nature (to speake like a Naturall man) hath provided for the poy∣sonous Spider her Caule: give me leave, without the least apologizing of error, much lesse defending actions of such horror, Page  271 to weave a thinne Cob-web Vaile in a Mo∣dest Defence of such, who, even in these de∣signes though undeservedly have incurred high censure.

It is an excellent rule which that Senten∣tious Seneca sometimes observed,* and to our use recommended: I had rather (saith he) offend by speaking truth, than please by playing the Flatterer; or palliating an untruth.

And the same Rule shall it be our care re∣ligiously to observe. For where pennes are free and not ingaged to any; Truth must consequently bee the argument of their Story.

There is small doubt, but some will as highly reprove Lucilia for loving too much, as Livia for loving too little: Both were (equally) occasions of their Husbands deaths. Yet was there as great difference betwixt these two effects, as be∣twixt Love and Hate. Phedra and Deja∣nira, both of them brought their Husbands to untimely ends. Yet what the one did, was purposely done, to be rid of him: what the other did, was casually done to rid o∣thers love from him. Good intentions many times produce heavy Events. And now and then, mischievous plots Comicall ends. Some have had their impostumes cu∣red, by their weapons, by which they were wounded. Others have had their wounds Page  272 impoisoned, where they expected to bee cured.

Olympia, mother to that great Comman∣der, the invincible Alexander, could not but thinke it ill in her to preferre so unjust a Suite to her Sonne, as to request, nay con∣jure him by so many Motherly Oblige∣ments, to send forth his Command that One, and he an innocent One, but much hated by the Queene, should be forthwith executed: Yet was the effect hereof good. For as her noble Sonne disswaded her from pressing any such unjust Suite: so it made him more cautious afterwards of enter∣taining any Suite, which his Mother pre∣ferred, through the injustice of that presiden∣tall One which she presented.

Mandanes, did ill in disclosing her Dreame: for it plotted the ruine of her Son: yet the effect proved well: for the exposi∣tion of that dreame made that Privy Coun∣cellour of State, Harpagus, to provide for the Safety of the Childe: and by the pro∣vidence of heaven, to raise a flourishing Em∣pire out of a Shepheards Cottage.

Againe; of the contrary side: Clitem∣nestra thought she had done well for the sa∣fety of Aegistus, when she privately hid him, when those Grecian Heralds summon'd him; those fatall warres of Troy called for him. Yet what safety could there be in the Page  273 armes of Adultery? A fearefull revenge prevented their hopes! No sooner was that long tenne yeares Siedge finished, unhappy Troy ruined; that light dishonour'd booty, the hatefull remaines of vitiated beauty, wanton Helen restored, than Aegistus his shamefull retire was fully revenged.

The unfortunate Agrippina, whose birth was her bane, whose race was her ruine; thought she did well in fitting and accom∣modating her sonne, that Monster of men, for an Empire: yet happy had that Empire been, if it had never known such a son. His e∣ducation prepar'd him to comply with time: To ingratiate himselfe with Senators and Plebians. To affect popularity: and to cover the craft and cruelty of his nature with a seeming Clemency, and gracefull Majesty.

Thus may you see, how good intentions may produce ill effects: and some mischie∣vous Plots good ends. Some by loving their Husbands (or to use that complemen∣tall garbe) their Servants too well, have by their too much love ruined both their Ser∣vants and themselves. Some desiring to please, have made them perish whom they sought to please. Like that over-kind Duck who perceiving her Sweetheart to be tiklish, and thinking it to bee a pleasure, tickled him so long, till he burst his very Spleene with laughter.

Page  274Now take a review of all those Tragick Examples, which in our last Section we pre∣sented to your sight! Was there any one of those induced to shed blood for any hope of honour? Filthy lucre? or any other plea∣sure, save only to become sole Soveraignes, or absolute commanders of their own Love? Their Plots were; not to bring in an Em∣pire; usurpe immerited honour, or to send their eyes abroad, to hunt for new favour. Their desires were confined, their affections closed; their goale obtained: so they might but enjoy, without Sharers, those whom they so infinitely loved. Content is worth a Crowne: and this Crowne they held themselves seaz'd of, so long as they possest their owne.

Their owne, you will say! But you relate but of few such unto us. These whom you have brought forth for such Examples, had their bosomes open to more than their own Corrivals in others affections, as well as their owne. Which as they fell into feare∣full extreames, so were they enlivened by unlawfull desires.

It is true; yet are we in charity to col∣lect, that if they so highly valued stolne fruits, they would much more prize such as were lawfully enjoy'd.

You have heard sufficient store of Argu∣ments and Presidents touching their Conti∣nencyPage  275 in assaults; their Constancy to their owne. With what Equanimity they have borne all extreames to expresse their loyall hearts. Hope of fortunes could not tempt them; Baits of honour could not taint them; youthfull pleasure could not take them. They continued Widdowes in the absence of their Husbands. Resembling Snayles in the carriage of their houses: but Roes in dispatch of their businesse.

Whence it was, as I conceive it, that the Romans had a custome, that when any of their Maids were married, they were to bring their houshold stuffe with them, being such as was by their Friends bestowed on them; which being brought to their Bride∣groomes house: They were likewise to fol∣low in their Waine or Caroach (according to the quality of their persons) and at the Tressall of the doore, to breake the wheeles of the Waine, and to put off their shooes; implying, that from thenceforth they were to be House-keepers and no Gadders. And such constant House-wifes have we here of∣fered to your imitation.

Plato in his Dialogue entitled Symposium or a Gossip-meeting, by way of fiction, (which rellish best when they arise from a pure and refined invention) describeth the difference betwixt two kinds of Venus: whereof the first was more antient, brought Page  276 forth by the Heavens, whom Vertuous men doe follow: the second much younger, be∣gotten betweene Iupiter and Dione, whom wicked men doe serve. Which Fiction, as it is not without delight, so neither is the Morall without fruit.

Ye Modest Ones, for to you only is our Lampe dedicated, are these who are brought forth by the Heavens. Your Thoughts are fixt on that Spheare from whence you came. It is not on earth that can depresse you below your selfes, be your Fortunes never so dejected: nor on earth that may transport you, because your de∣sires are higher seated. When you Love, that love of yours is so purely sifted from all loose love; as it confirmes you nothing lesse than divine. When you Hate, that hate of yours is so farre from all extreames: as you have an eare no lesse ready to heare a Submission, than a tender heart to seale their pardon. When you give, you give chearefully; when you forgive, you for∣give freely. You cannot heare any one de∣famed, but with an averse eare and declining heart, you leave the relater to himselfe: or disswade him from dispersing such reports: or stand in defence of their honour whom you heare traduced, especially, when their absence leaves them unjustified. When any light object labours to suggest an im∣pure Page  277thought to your unblemish'd minds: you take a wise course; you give it a repulse at the first assault: left getting enterance, it plead possession: and disturbe the whole Family by her intrusion. Thus by making Heaven your Object; whatsoever is lesse than Heaven, you make your Subject.

Your Speech, likewise is so seasoned; that nothing is uttered by you, but what is true; knowing, that the ground of every Speech should be Verity; nor any thing with vehemency pressed, but what may re∣dound to Civile profit; knowing, that the ayme of every Speech should be Vtility; nor continued, but with a pleasing sweetnesse; knowing, that the grace of every Speech is Affability. You thinke twice before you speake, and may be demanded twice before you answer. You are not like our forward Gossips, whose tongues make themselves thralls. Discretion ha's so regulated your Speech, as it ever stands at distance with Lightnesse and Spleene. Your words, unlike many of our feminine discourses, reteine more weight than wind; they are like Nayles fastned by the Elders of the Assem∣bly; such is their efficacy. They are like Apples of Gold with Pictures of Silver; such is their propriety.

All your Dialect is regulated by the Rule of Charity; you scorne to Speake that Page  278 of another, which you would not have an∣other to speake of you. Your Discourse dif∣fers far from that Talkative Orator, whose use was to powre forth an Ocean of Words, but a Droppe of Reason. Or like that im∣pertinent Speaker, of whose studied but stupid speech this judgement was given:

That the shortnesse of it was the discreetest part of it.
No; there is not an accent breath'd by you, but it dignifies you: be∣cause preparation fits it: and an unaffected dresse beautifies it. In a word; that which is a blemish in others, becomes an incom∣parable grace to you. For as you never mi∣nister occasion of discourse without cause; so you never close it without maturity of judgement and pregnancy of conceipt.

Your Actions, are so pure from staine, as they represent the purity of your state. Your Workes desire not to be clothed with vailes of darknesse. You consider how that All-seeing Eye is over you, from which, though Adam fly to the bush, Sara behind the door, no, should the mountaines offer themselves for a shrowd: yet in vaine is such retyre: no place can hide us, from his eye that is ever over us.

It was Seneca's councell to his friend Lu∣cilius, that whensoever he went about to do any thing, he should imagine Cato or Scipio, or some other worthy Romane to be in pre∣sence. Page  279 This Rule you observe; you con¦ceipt with your selves in the sacred silence of your hearts, which are so close from the af∣fections of Earth, as they only aspire to the Contemplations of Heaven; that the eyes of all good men, no, even of those who are become Saints, of men, are upon you. Your desire is only to please them, who are only pleased with the Object of goodnesse: Be∣ing Pythagoreans to all the World, and Pe∣ripatetians to Christ;* mute to all vanities, and eloquent only to Christ.

You follow the counsell of a mellifluous father,* and of a Wise Morall: by setting alwayes before your eyes some Good person, to the end that you might so live as if he were ever looking on you, ever eying you.

There is no young Gallant that need en∣counter you in those tearmes which that cautious Cavaliere did in Erasmus to his wanton Mistresse:

Are you not ashamed to do that in the sight of God, and eye-witnesse of his holy Angels, which you are ashamed to doe in the sight of men?

But now to take a view of these Errors, to which your Sexe becomes most ingaged: or at least, for which you are many times innocently traduced. This free speaking Age will not stick to taxe you of Ambition: and wherein must this consist but in your desire of precedency before others of your Page  280 sexe; and soveraignity over such as should be your heads? And these will tell you of an an∣cient custome, which if you observed as you ought you would not transgresse that law of Obedience so much as you do. And this was; that when at any time a Couple were mar∣ried, the soale of the Bridegrooms shooe was to be laid upon the Brides head: implying, with what subjection she should serve her husband. But me thinks, this Rituall Em∣bleme or Emblematicall Rite was too much underfoot, to be observed by one that should be esteemed an equall-individuall mate. She came from his Side, not from his Foot. And though she be not to walk Checkmate with him, yet when her Check shall meet with him, it cannot chuse but both appease him & please him when any thing shall distemper him. There are some likewise that will say, how your Ambition clozeth not only here: Your darling ayme is Honour; you could love him that suits you, if he could bestow a new stile on you. The Title of Madame highly takes you. Nor is there any vanity that pleaseth more by playing on your fancy, than the naked Complement of Lo∣vely Lady. I have heard indeed, some of your Sexe so affected; but alas, this was but an harmelesse Ambition. Of which humour, that honour-inamoured Damasella seem'd to be, who in that Generall-grand Page  281 Call of Knights, finding in her Husband an unwillingnesse to accept, as she conceived, of that Honour; so farre at last prevailed with him by strong Reasons and high Rela∣tions of the Honour and Mirror of Knight∣hood, as she perswaded with him to enter∣taine it. But upon his returne home, having understood, how he had payd for what he got not; and disburs'd money for that he had not: She entertained the poore Pil∣cherd with a Bastinado: telling him with∣all, that though his dungrell spirit would make her no Lady, her fury should make him know what she desired to be.

Truth is, such an innate evill is the desire of Honour, as that person who affects it not, is of a rare temper. And yet that brave Girle seemed to be one of these; who being Ladyfide, by an honour conferred on her decrepit Husband: presently upon report of it, thus replyed:

Trust me, a Cullis were farre more Soveraigne for my spent Husband, than any Honour. For tell me, quoth she, speaking to the Messenger; will all this he hath gotten, restore in him Nature? Will it cure in him his dry Cough? Distillation of rhume from his head? That perpetuall defluxion in his eyes? Will it strengthen his back? Will it make him bend lesse in the hams? Will it get me with Boy, which his Seere stockPage  282 could never yet do? If his late-purchas'd Honour may produce these effects, I shall hold it worth acceptance: If otherwise, be it what it will, I shall hardly admire it, much lesse embrace it; seing, a Poste is still the same, be it never so neately pain∣ted or pargetted.

An other Error you are likewise taxed of (as what sexe or degree so innocent, which the freedome of a calumnious tongue may not traduce) and it is, your usuall frequent to Court-Maskes and other publique State-Shows: where you use purposely to present your selves, a pretty time before any such Shows are to be performed, in hope that some amorous Lord, or some other Complemen∣tall Court-Sparke will take you into some with-drawing roome, to court your beauty, and so ingratiate himselfe within the easy Lists of your fancy. So as, you come not thi∣ther so much to see what is there presented; as to be amorously courted, affectionately suited; all which is with such yeelding silence and pleasing smiles redarted, as they hold you wonne so soone as you are wooed, tain∣ted as soone as you are attempted, soiled so soone as you are assayled, ent'red so soone as you are assaulted.

Others likewise report you apt to take af∣fection upon the moving of any personall Action. If you come to a Play-house, and Page  283 there chance to see an Active Roscius brea∣thing life in his Action: you presently feele a glowing heate in your veines. You could finde in your heart to bestow the choice of a Lover on such an Actor. Weake-grounded malice, to vent it selfe on such loving frail∣ties! Injurious Tetters to femall honours! Because their sweet pliable natures are such, as they can find no harbour for hate; must they therefore be tax't, because their Love breaks forth into too much heate? These deserve so little answering, as if they had no other Advocate, even Nature her selfe would plead for them.

There be Some likewise who say; that as you are commonly light in the choice of your Love: so are you in your Love as sub∣ject to change. If your affection be for Youth; though it best please you: yet you can seemingly bestow it on Age, though nothing more displease you. And these ef∣fects those lovely fortunes of his loathed Love worke in you. And what is all the employment you take in hand, after such time, as you have given him your hand and heart, (but with no good heart) but how to cosin him? Your use is, they will say, to give your old Chrone a sleeping powder; that you may take the keys of his treasure from under his head, the sooner, and so, long be∣fore his death, make your selves his Admi∣nistrators. Page  284 You love him, but only in hope of a day will come: when you may freely make such an one his Heire, who may suite better with your affection, and in requitall share freelier in his fortune.

These will say too, that you bedew your Husbands Corpse with Stepdames teares. Those funerall flowers which bestick and bedeck his Hearse, cannot be so soone with'red, as your griefs are vanished. You bury your sorrow with him: neither is that sorrow your owne, but borrowed. A New-husband is formalled, before your old One be formally buried.

Now; what poore traducements bee these? Might Heathens have their times li∣mited for mourning, and must yours be e∣verlasting?

Some will affirme too, that in compari∣son of men, your desires are more unboun∣ded; and this, they say, even our owne Mo∣derne Chronicles have sufficiently confir∣med. But we finde Bodin worthily taxed for writing that Caesar in his Commentaries should say, that the Englishmen of his time had but one woman for ten or twelve men; whereas indeed, Caesar never said so, or could say so, for that he never knew or heard of the name of Englishmen; seeing their com∣ming into Britaine, was (as may be clearely computed) almost 500 yeares after his death.

Page  285Againe; what might be the reason, will some object, why the Serpent first tempted the Woman rather than the Man? and this question (ever to your disadvantage) is no sooner, say they, proposed, than resolved by Chrysostome. Women are naturally unwa∣rier, easier, and frailer. So as, in that they are unwarier, they are easilier deceived; in that they are easier, they are sooner to good or evill perswaded; And in that they are frailer, they are the sooner vanquished. For this cause therefore would not the Devill assault the Man, but the Woman; for as∣much as he knew, that a Woman was sooner deceived, because unwarier; quicklier per∣swaded, because easier; and sooner vanqui∣shed, because frailer.

But this Objection I have so clearely assoiled in the very first Subject of this Booke; as I shall little need to stand in your Defence any further touching this parti∣cular. Only thus much may suffice: There is small question to be made, but the Serpents cunning knew well that he might by all probability soonest prevaile upon the weaknesse of a Woman: yet albeit, she was first tempted, and tainted so soone as she consented: the Man was as soone perswa∣ded by the Woman, though she infinitely lesse subtile than the Serpent; as the Woman, though the weaker vessell, was by the Subti∣lity of the Serpent.

Page  286But we will passe from these, to those ob∣vious reproofes which the present vanities of the Age lay upon you.

Some here, amongst other objections, which groundlesse spleene is ever apt to sug∣gest, and calumny with swift wings to dis∣perse; will say that ever since that time, that your teeth watred at the Apple, they have ever watred at forbidden fruit. A lico∣rish and luscious tooth hath ever since that time seazed on you. And were this all, it were to be borne with. You cannot see a proper piece of flesh, promising perfor∣mance; no dapper youth, whose strong sin∣newy posture confirmes him an able com∣plete Lover, but your eye wooes him, and in so hote a chace pursues him, as though your tongue be silent, your sight is attra∣ctively eloquent.

But what would these Criticks have you doe? Would they have you shut those beau∣teous Windows; and to open them to no Ob∣ject that may delight you? Is there such a necessity that you cannot looke on him, but you must lust after him? If there be any rare or prodigious Monster to be seene; we flock unto it, and bestow our money for the sight of it. And is it lawfull for us to fix our eyes with such greedinesse on a Mon∣ster: and unlawfull for you to delight that pleasing Sense with a beauteous Object of Nature?

Page  287Yea; but will these say, we direct not our censure nor judgement only by the Eye; we have other arguments to evince them of lightnesse: for goe to these late-licentiate Pattentary Sedans: you shall finde them shrowded there for strange arrands. Though their Couches have windowes to eye Spectators; they would not for a World wish that which the Philosopher sometimes Wished:* To have windowes in their breasts, that the whole World might transparantly looke through them. Poore Corky fooles! These can see nothing wagge, but they must pepe here, and peepe there, and thinke it is Actaeons shadow: whereas, it is only the shadow of their owne deluded fancy which inthrals them to this misery.

Nor doe these only taxe you of a various lightnesse in respect of your Change, but of a jealous doubtfulnesse towards your owne Choice. If you gossip it, none must question it: whereas, if they, good men, to allay a tedious houre, or drowne the disquiets they suffer at home in a cup of Lethe, keep abroad late, they must be called to a strict accompt, and pay a new reckning, after their mispent day, in the evening.

Nay; you will tell your innocent Hus∣bands, when, God knowes, there is no great cause to suspect them:

That you know by your Payles, what way the milk Page  288 goes.
Whereas, if any rightly knew the integrity of your thoughts, they should find that such jealouse surmizes were the least of your thought. No; you did never so much as suspect them, nor conceive any such opi∣nion of them: for having such sensible expe∣riments of their weakenesse, you knew well, there was no cause at all in that way to tra∣duce them. It was your desire that late di∣stempers should not abridge their daies, and make you widdows before your times. It was your ayme, that your Husbands should preserve their fame: That they should not fall under the hazard of the Halbert, or the uncivile salute of a peremptory Watch. Be∣sides, alas! it is your fortune, sometimes out of meere simplicity, to misconster the qua∣lity of an error. As that good Gentle∣woman did, who desiring to heare how a young Student in Cambridge and her kins∣man, behaved himselfe in the University: and inquiring of a Collegiat of his how he did:
I can assure you, Mistresse, quoth he, that he holds close to Catharine-Hall. I vow, said the Gentlewoman, there was no vice that I so much feared in him as that, for the Boy was given to wenches from his Infancy.
Thus tooke this good simple woman, Catharine-Hall for some dainty Damsell which he constantly haun∣ted, whereas it was a Collegiat-Hall, which Page  289 this young Student so affectionately loved, and where he so studiously frequented.

But let us go on with these ungrounded calumnies; and discusse the strength and solidity of them to the bottome. Some of these Timonists, or feminine Tetters, taxe you of unbounded pride: These pencyle out your Borders, Habilements and Embrode∣ries; your toyes, tyres and dressings; your wimples, wyres, and curlings; your pain∣tings, poudrings and purflings. These, say they, make your fathers patrimonies to shake, to maintaine your bravery while you are Maids: And makes your Husbands Mannors, to doe you service, passe the A∣lienation Office. Alas, poore Girles! If you appeare carelesse in your dresse, you are quickly taxed of discontent; and if neate in your dresse, you are censured of pride. What you doe (I freely appeale to your selves) is to please the curious eyes of your Husbands: And perchance to prevent the worst: for should they see you sluttish, who knows not, but it might beget instead of loving you, a loathing of you; and consequently, make them hunt after new Mistresses: which would ruine all, by making such a breach, as scarce time could repaire, or the remainder of their declining fortunes redeeme?

It was the opinion of Lessius, that in some cases Women might use their painting and Page  290 poudring without sin: First, if it were to the intent to cover any blemish or deformity: Secondly,* if the Husband commanded it, to the end his Wife might seeme more comely in the presence of others: which was like∣wise the expresse opinion of Alagora: That to adde more beauty, were it by apparrelling or painting, yea though it were a meere work of Art, and colourably deluding, yet were it no mortall sin: confidentely main∣taining the use of painting, grounded upon these precedent respects.

But I shall not desire that my Lampe may give light to that line, which may seeme to give fuell or foment to any light love. The age is apt enough to sacrifice too many pre∣cious houres to Idolatrize such a Shrine. My ayme is only in a faire and just defence of your imitable actions, to wipe of all such injurious aspersions as calumnious pens shall or may lay on you.

In which Taske, I hold my oyle so much the better bestowed; for that I am confident that whereinsoever you are defective, you will labour to supply it, by perusing this and collecting hence what may truly make you most amiable and accomplished.

In the meane time, it shall be my constant opinion (nor doe I feare that there shall bee found the least sprinkling of heresy in it) that these Stigmatick Spirits, who have Page  291 steep'd their pens so deep in gall, have some∣times received some occasionall scars from the worst, which ha's made them so cause∣lesly, and without exception to invey a∣gainst the best. For these (as I conceive) have unhappily got a blow on the shins with a French faggot, or fed too freely on a Neopolitan Rabbet. These are they, and only they, who stick not to say, if you be old, you are lothsome; if young, you are gamesome: you can scorne them that love you; love them that scorne you. You can play the Snakes, shrowding your selves under the fre∣shest and fragrant'st flowers: but you have a sting to dart upon every State. You can play the Syrens by tuning your voyce, to al∣lure the amorous Passenger to Vice: But sleight you these malicious affronts: you have within you to secure you; which will so highly improve you, as you remaine perch'd above the compasse or reach of scandal. Yet is not all this which hath been hitherto spoken in your Defence, so to secure you (for so should I delude you) as to disswade you from standing upon your guard. There is in no place security, brave Ladies: Neither in Heaven, nor in Paradise: much lesse in the World.* For in Heaven the first Angell fell. Whence Esay: How art thou fallen from heavē, O Lucifer, son of he morning? For he fell un∣der the very power of the Deity. Adam in Page  292Paradise,* the place of all delicacy. Iudas in the World, from the Schoole of our Saviour, the Seed-plot of all Sanctity. In one word, are ye Maids? you have your patterne in a Doras. Are ye Wifes? you have your pat∣terne in an Esther. Are ye Widdowes? you have your patterne in a Iudith. These, though dead, their memories live: and by their lifes prescribe you how to live; that living as they liv'd, and doing as they did, your memories may live when you are dead.

And so I descend from their Modest De∣fence, well becomming Creatures of such di∣vine Excellence, to their Witty Aphorismes, Apothegmes and Answers; which I shall illustrate in sundry choice and select in∣stances.

Page  293

SECTION VIII. Their witty Aphorismes, Apothegms and Answers.

TOo strait and narrow was the confine of his shallow conceipt, who wish'd his wife to have no more wit than to goe out o'th' raine. It seemes, he had a desire to ingrosse it all to him∣selfe, and to suffer his wife to have small or no share with him. But such a Consort were a poore Helpe. We shall here finde Creatures of an higher pitch: such, who knew how to allay the discomforts of a per∣plexed Husband by their wise and sociable Page  294 sharing with him in his affliction. Others so nobly composed, as they scorned to stoup to the lest thought of basenesse, when crush∣ed with the greatest weight of affliction. Others so far from coynesse to those they lov'd, as to their highest hazards, they not only exprest it, but suffer'd for their affecti∣ons. Others such kind loving Turtles, as they could not endure to lose the presence of their owne; or to conceive any defects or infirmities in their owne: and though all beside themselves distasted them: yet were their true affectionate thoughts ever indivi∣dually knit and cemented to them. Others, who could make such excellent use of their decayed beauty; as they made it their Em∣bleme of mortality: begetting no lesse veneration with their riveld age, than they did affection with their enamor'd youth. Instances in each of these we shall take occasion to offer unto you, with such witty Aphorismes, pretty Apothegms, and pithy Answers; as may infinitely delight you. And first, of such as could apply com∣forts and cordials, seasonably to their dis∣consolate Husbands, when surrounded with Objects of approaching misery.

Theogena wife to Agathocles (of whom we have made honourable mention else∣where) shew'd admirable constancy in her Husbands greatest misery: shewing her Page  295 selfe most his owne, when he was relin∣quish't and forsaken of his owne: and con∣firming her true affection with this resolu∣tion:

That she was not given him to leave him, or to share with him only in prosperity, but in what fortune soever should befall him, to keepe him company.

The like constancy of love, and comfort in advice shewed Sulpitia to her, when she plainely told him:

What, though For∣tune leave you, she who loves you best, and whom you should love best cannot leave you? Should you be wholly miserable, she will part stakes wlth you, to make you lesse mise∣rable.

Secondly, for such, whose brave and well-composed temper would not suffer their masculine spirits to stoupe to any Dis∣asters: we shall furnish you with imitable patternes in that kinde: A lovely Lydia, who could with Medea in the Tragedy, expresse her selfe nobly, and make death and danger the least of her feares.

Who can be forc'd, she knowes not how to dye;
Honour knowes how to suffer, so doe I.

This that brave-spirited Martia shew'd good proofe of, curing all threats with this exquisite receipt:

I know well how to pay my Page  296 debt to Nature, but I hope I shall never know, how to ransome life with dishonour.

Thirdly, you shall finde such, who were so farre from coynesse to those they lov'd, as no danger could decline them from their embraces, to whom they had sacrificed their affections. This that incomparable Mar∣cella well discovered; answering such as ad∣vised her to bee more reserved in her love, with that elegant Poet, in this manner:

*Non here conveniunt, nec in unâ sede morantur
Majestas & Amor—
Love coynesse hates, as Birds distem∣per'd weather,
"For Love and Majesty suite ill to∣gether.

This that constant Chariclea expressed to her dearest Archas; when in a Tablet she caused this to be ingraven, to confirme her resolution, in despite of all opposition:

May I sooner leave to live, than my Ar∣chas whom I love.

In the fourth siege, (though they deserve an higher place) shall you see presented such tender-hearted Turtles, who held it a pu∣nishment worse than death, to be deprived of the presence of their owne: No Object Page  297 could delight them, being reft their sight whose affection only inchain'd them.

Of this ranke both Divine and Humane Stories render us two examples: The one is that of Caja Tranquilla, who ever used this apt Posy for a Bride-bush, to her royall Spouse Caius Tarquinius Priscus;

Where thou art Caius, I am Caia.
The other, that of Ruth unto Naomi;
Whither thou goest, I will goe: and where thou dwellest, I I will dwell.

☞ This that noble Lady Armenia, (whom we have formerly mentioned, and whose memory cannot bee too much re∣vived) with a princely modesty seconded; when being invited to King Cyrus Wed∣ding, went thither with her Husband. At night when they were returned home, her Husband asked her, (amongst other Cur∣taine parliance) how shee liked the Bride∣groome, whether she thought him to be a faire and beautifull Prince or no?

Truth, saith she, I know not: for all the while I was forth, I cast mine eyes upon none other, but upon thy selfe.

Nor could some of these conceive any such defects in their Husbands, as were more than manifest to the Senses of others. So as, when one of Hiero's enemies reproach∣ing him with a stinking breath: he went home and question'd his Wife why she told Page  298 him not thereof?

Who answered, Shee thought all men had the same savour.
Which confirmes what Plato sometimes affirmed:
The Lover is ever blinded with affection towards his or her beloved.

No lesse gracefull than loyall was the an∣swer of that young Bride to her Husband;* who being borne of the Scottish borders, & married to an Englishman, was demanded one day by her Husband, whether, if she were to play the Souldier, she would fight for her owne Nation, or for his?

As I all, quoth she, ever an aye acknowledge my Husband for my head, so God forefend that I sud crack the allegeance I owe to the head of my Husband.

☞Some Aphorismes there be, if they may merit that stile, who lose much of their state, by their too weake discovery of an A∣nacreontick Spirit, and rendring themselves too light.

That wench was of a more amiable face, than admirable conceipt: who having en∣ter'd marriage with a Tradesman, and after∣wards entertaining too familiar acquain∣tance with a Knight; By whom, as it was suspected, she had children as well as by her owne Husband: stickt not to aske this wise question at a Gossips feast:

Put case, a Woman having issue by a Knight, with whom she was acquainted, as well as by a Page  299 Man of Trade, to whom she was married; whether those children shee had by the Knight, might not take the wall of those she had by a Man of Trade? Or, being to be made Apprentices, whether they might not be Freemen before their Elder Brothers?

A reverend old Bencher, the very first night that he went to bed to his Lady; She sent forth a Shreeke; and being asked the cause;

How could I doe lesse? said she; If the embraces of an Husband be so cold, What coldnesse shall I finde in the armes of Death?

That amorous Tomboy was a kinder Trout; who, though she had no competent portion, yet had she a competible proporti∣on, an incomparable affection. She, one day, upon a loving Enterview, debated the mat∣ter with her Sweet-heart in this sort:

Sir, I cannot conceive how you should love me, seeing you spinne out so much time, when you so shortly may really enjoy me. You make much adoe in getting of a portion, Whereas with lesse adoe we might beget a Christian. Had I more, you should enjoy it: having lesse, your joy should be no lesse, in enjoying me with it.

That Girle approv'd her selfe an expert and experienc'd Artist for repairing the de∣cayes of a broken Tradesman; who being Page  300 rudely encounter'd by One, who shew'd himselfe more haughty, than his state was weighty; more sensually light than suited with his gravity:

Sir, you've lent me your pulse, and I have found your disease. —Now, the best Receipt for any one who pines away of a Consumption in the bowels of his Estate, (of which distemper I finde you labour) is store of Monopolian gold decocted from a Pound to a Noble; and to take such a quantity of this in a broath from sixe Mooneths to sixe Mooneths. A precious Cordiall to make rich Heires, and rare teares at a Fu∣nerall.

That hote-brain'd Calacute shew'd him∣selfe of too Italionate a temper; whose Wife being surprized with an extreame Fever, which drove her into so a violent a di∣stemper; as the fury or phrensy rather of her disease, forc'd her to discover many things she did, and (perchance) more than she ever did. He, after her recovery, be∣lieving what her distraction had intempe∣rately disclosed, willed her to goe along with him to his Countrey-house: where, upon his departure from her, he was pleased to use these words unto her:

Madonna, here I intend to leave you; for I must tell you, I love your roome more than your Company, such is my affection. And I Page  301 replied she) preferre Rome before your Company, such is my devotion.

That haplesse Malecontent fell upon a desperate conclusion; who, having relin∣quish'd his owne Bed for the embraces of a a Strange Woman: and in a Melancholly Fitte, taking a pinte of white Wine and mixing it strongly with Mercury;

Wil∣led his Curtezan (as ever she lov'd him) to drinke halfe unto him:
She, whether out of a servile feare, (or which is more rare in one of her condition) out of a reall love, drunke it to him; which he with an active hand stirring, to make it more pow∣erfull, pledged and drunke it of to the bot∣tom. She, to expresse a care of his life, as she had formerly tender'd to his love; ha∣ving in readinesse some Sallet-oyle with o∣ther soveraigne receipts to repell poyson, mixed them in another pinte:
Willing him (as ever he loved her) to pledge her annother health;
But his desperate me∣lancholy would not accept it: While she, no lesse desirous to live; than tender of his love, drunk it, and recover'd by it.

But to leave the Suburra, and approach the Temple of Viriplaca; a place of more peace, and in the eye of goodnesse deserving more praise.

☞The Last, though not lowest, because furthest divided and estranged in their Page  302 thoughts from earth; are those, whose de∣cayed beauty, though it h'as divorc'd them from youthfull affection: yet hath the con∣stant opinion of their goodnesse purchas'd to their rivell'd age, a reverend estimation. This appeared in that sometimes faire Bel∣lingeria's excellent Apothegme:

Though our beauty bee despicable in the eye of youth:* our rivels are venerable in the eye of age. Though we lose that which our beauty did gaine, opinion: yet we retain that which our beauty might have lost, reputation.
What divine use that excellent Eugenia made of her decayed beauty, may be gathe∣red by this expressive Aphorisme:
Some∣times I made my Glasse a Corrector of my Face: now I make my Face the Corrector of my Life. Nor is it possible I should forget my Grave, beholding so many Graves (mea∣ning furrowes) in my Face.

We shall finde Aphorisms, Apothegm and Answers of another nature, and a ri∣sing from a lighter temper; lesse serious, but no lesse ingenious.

This that pretty pert Girle expressed in her quicke answer to her Mother; who be∣ing reproved by her for looking so boldly on mens faces, saying, that it became Maids to be bashfull, and to looke upon the Earth, and for Men to looke upon Maids.

No, Mother by your favour, quoth she, it ra∣ther Page  303 becomes Maids to looke upon Men, and for Men to looke upon the Earth. For as Man is to looke upon that whereof he was made, that is, the Earth: so is a Maid to looke upon that whereof shee was made, and that was Man.

Shee came nothing short of this Girles boldnesse, occasioned by her own lightnesse, who after such time as shee had too freely plaid the Wanton, left the Child which she had brought forth to the Care and Charge of the Parish: and being rebuked for it, saying, shee was unthankfull, so to abuse that place where shee had received so many Curtesies:

O, quoth she, no such matter; I have in this rather showne my selfe every way ready to tender a requitall, than any way ungratefull: For in this, I resemble the Storke, a Bird of a thankefull nature, who ever leaves one of her young Ones in the house where shee breeds them to the Owner.

☞ That witty wench return'd to a Dunse in a Cassocke as shrewd an answer (though she ever reflected more religiously upon her conjugall honour;) Who telling this Maid, that Women were at best but Necessary Evils, and that they were never needfull to any but in time of necessity: whereas the Lord stood in need of such as him.

Truly, quoth she, I highly honour your place, yet Page  304 did I never read that the Lord stood in need of any thing but an Asse.

That well-meaning Wife knew right∣well how to shape her Husband a Reply: Who, when her Husband told her that it should be progresse time for a season with him, and that they might lye apart, be∣cause it was Dogge-Dayes:

Well, Hus∣band, (quoth she) but I hope there are no Dogge-Nights.

No lesse to purpose was that good Wifes answer to that Chimick Doctor: Who, tel∣ling her what rare experiments his sublima∣ted Art had extracted from the Philosophers stone. And that Kelly (that Austrian Captive) was but to him a Puny in that Mysterious Secrecy: And that, he would not only make her Pots, Pipkings, Kettles, Land-irons with all her other Utensiles, pure Indian Gold; but convert her selfe too, if she pleased, into the very same Mettall, and not only colour, but cover her quite over with gold:

O no, by no meanes, quoth she, Good master Alchi∣mist; I had rather be covered with a little good flesh, than all the gold of the Indies.

Of such present flashes and flourishes of fe∣minine wit, we might here in large our selves with variety of Instances; but these for a taste, may serve at this time for a sufficient repast. Hence it may appeare that our ende∣vours have beene imployed, not only to ex∣presse Page  305 their maturity of judgement, which i of highest worth; but likewise their preg∣nancy of conceipt, an infallible argument of a Mother-wit.

From these are we to descend in order, to the last but not least improvement of their honour: Their Eminent Labours; and how they were Assistants in the exquisitest Workes that have beene formerly composed, eyther for History or Poesy. Which relation will redound no lesse highly to their glory.

Page  306

SECTION IX. Their Eminent Labours; And how they were Assistants in the ex∣quisitest Workes that have been formerly composed, eyther for History or Poesy.

*SUCH men, who have casten their Lots in faire fields, by making choice of such consorts, whose vertues confirme them Mirrors, and whose lives are lines of ex∣amples unto others; finde Hymen smyling, nay shining on their Nuptials all the yeare long. Whereas such, Page  307 who cast their Lots in barren fields, by joyning hands to sensuall Brides, Brothell-Beds: who are nothing but voyce or ayre; with a small portion of skin-deepe beauty to practise on deluded Sense, till it grow weary. The Bodies of such men, I say, be∣gin to undergoe Mezentius torment, living in the embraces of the dead till they dye. For as death holds in his power all that is past, governs all that is present, and pretends to governe all that is to come: the very like Soveraignty ha's death over these who have enwreath'd and embath'd themselves in such loathed embraces. Dead they are to all for∣mer comforts, for those are vanished: Dead to all present comforts, for these are from them estranged: Dead to all future com∣forts, unlesse their earth be with Heaven exchanged.

The Stomack, (to use the words of an ex∣perienst Practist) resembleth the good man of the House, and being the cause of all Concoction and Digestion, must be fortified and strengthened, by being kept tempe∣rately warme, retentive, and cleane, with∣out oppressing humours; not empty, or fa∣sting, being nourished by it selfe, more than by the reines; and lastly in appetite, where∣by Digestion is sharpned.

Their Stomacks are of a strong Con∣coction, that could digest Wenches of such an Page  308 humerous condition. But I shall spread a Table dished up with Creatures of another nature, choycer temper, and such, as with modesty and majesty can tender you a Boul∣ster Lecture.

Not a smyle but implyes state; No light smyle that may imply a staine. In these you shall finde (to use Verstegens words) A restitution of decaied intelligence in Anti∣quities, concerning their owne Nation. And lest I should keep your Stomacks too sharpe, or tyre your patience with too long pre∣ambles, I present here unto you their Cata∣logue.

Zenobia, (to begin with a Princely pat∣terne) after the death of her deare Spouse O∣donatus, though a Barbarian Queene, yet by her reading of both Romane and Greeke Hi∣stories, with other memorable relations, su∣ting well with the passage and posture of those times, so mannaged the State of that rich and free City Palmyra in Syria, as she retained those fierce and intractable people in her obedience: and in a Princely priva∣cy, reserving ever some select houres for per∣usall of Philosophicall Politicks, Oecono∣micks, Naturall and Morall Philosophy, Discourses of History; all which held good 0correspondence with her Majesty, she a brid∣ged the Alexandrian, and all the Orientall Histories: a taske of no lesse difficulty than Page  309 utility; whereby she attained the highest pitch of wisdome and authority.

The like inward beauty upon her Sexe, bestowed that vertuous Cornelia, mother to the victorious Gracchus; who, as she was an Exemplar or Mirror of goodnesse and chastity; so by the improvement of her edu∣cation to her children (the lineall branches of so hopefull a succession) she exprest her selfe a noble Mother, in seasoning their un∣riper yeares, in the studies of History, Poesy, and Philosophy. Next her, Portia, Brutus his wife; Cleobula, daughter to Cleobulus, one of the seven Sages of Greece. The daughter of Pythagoras (to leave Rome and descend to Samos) who after his death go∣verned his Schoole; excelling in all hu∣mane Learning; and afterwards, to give the World a further testimony of her cha∣stity, as well as ability; erecting a Col∣ledge of Virgins, shee became sole governesse or guardinesse of it. What shall I say of Theano, daughter to Metapontus, a disci∣ple of the same Sect? Of which name there were two; both highly enriched with all knowledge. The one a learned woman of Crete, and wife to Pythagoras: the other the wise of Antenor, who was the Priest of Pallas. What of Phemone, that my∣sterious Sibyll, who first gave life to an Heroick verse: and in exquisite compo∣sures Page  310 (amongst other propheticall raptures) recounted the memorable actions & occur∣rents of her time? What of Sulpitia, Ca∣lanus his wife, farre wiser than her ill-advi∣sed husband, who before great Alexander, feeling himselfe sicke and distempered, leapt into a great fire and there was burned: for she left behind her most soveraigne Precepts touching Wedlock, with the Relations of that age, in a most proper and elegant style? And Hortensia, daughter to that most fa∣mous Orator Hortensius, who for copious∣nesse of speech, gravity or weight of sen∣tence, gave a living lustre to her lines, a suc∣ceeding ame to her Works? And Edesia, borne at Alexandria, one of such infinite Learning, sweetnesse of disposition, as she was highly admired by those that lived in her time: and amongst other excellences (to make her more accomplish'd both in forraine and moderne affaires) singularly read in Histories; then held a Study wor∣thy the entertainment of noblest Ladies? And Corinnathia, who is reported to have surpassed the Poet Pindarus in artfull and exact composures: contending with him five severall times, (as may be probably ga∣thered by the testimonies of the Ancient, and such as were happy Spectators of those glorious Duello's) for the Laurell Chaplet or Coronet, usually bestowed upon such in∣genious Page  311 followers and favorites of the Mu∣ses? And Paula, Seneca's wife, a Matron not only improved by his instructions, but highly inriched by the benefit of her owne proper Studies: ever reserving some choice houres for the perusall of such Relations, as either in those or preceding times had oc∣curred. So as, we may very well gather, whence the ground of her husbands griefe proceeded; whence the source of his sor∣row was derived, in bewailing the igno∣rance of his Mother, not sufficiently seaso∣ned in the Precepts of his Father: by refle∣cting upon the abilities of his Paula, whose discourse for History, Morall Philosophy, and all Humanity appeared so genuine and proper, as her very name conferred on her Family a succeeding honour. Lastly, (that I may not dwell too long on these Feminine Features, Memorable Mirrors, lest their di∣ligence should taxe some of our trimmer Ladies of their supine and neglectfull er∣rors) Argentaria Pollia, or Polla, wife to the Heroicke Lucan, is said to have assisted him in the apt and majestick composure of his verses: being no lesse rich in fancy, than hee himselfe when most enlivened by a Poeticall fury. Nor did she restraine her more prosperous studies, only to dimensions; being no lesse conversant in Historicall Relations, with other humane Page  312 Sciences, than Poeticall raptures.

Such as these might make good Compa∣nions to Pray with, to Play with, to Con∣verse or Commerce with. These make the cheerefull beames of every day breake forth, as if every day were the Solemnization of a new Marriage day. These with an averse eare listen to the Apocryphall verses of those fondlings, nor can they credit them, when they heare them:

Primus erit Mensis Mellitus Origine Sponsis,
Proximus extinctas sentit amore faces.
First Moneth's an Honey Moneth un∣to the Bride,
Next Moneth all fondling must be laid aside.

These have no knowledge of any such proverbiall experiments. For so much e∣stranged were they from fondnesse (an er∣ror too familiar with New-married Coo∣ples) as their discretion could never incline to any such lightnesse. Their youth never admitted youthfull parliance: nor stouped to any uncomely dalliance. Their affecti∣ons were not grounded on Sense, which made them to bee of longer continuance. For those Loves quickly expire and dye, which receive their onely infusion by the eye.

Page  313If thou wilt believe thy eyes, sayes Loves Lecturer, thou givest credit to thy betray∣ers; thy spirit will suffer a thousand paines and confusions: thou wilt take lookes for azure Mountaines, because that distance and proximity deceive the sight: a river may also deceive thee in its course, till a branch or strawe informe thee what way the streame goes. So may the Glo-worme delude thee with her burnisht Skales, and with a coun∣terfeate shine surprize thy sight.

Know, I say know (if at any time, any such adulterate beauty shall seaze on thee) that this Woman, this sin-eered Curtezan; who seemes forally perfect, gulls and abuses thee. Yesternight she slept ugly, and this Morning is adorned with that beauty that thou so much praisest, so highly prizest, and yet she holds it not but by hire.

If thou hadst piece-meale examined her, thou would'st have found nothing but prinn'd cloth, parget powder and plaister; and to begin her anatomy at the head, the haire she weares came from the Periwigge-makers shoppe; for her owne was blowne away with an ill-wind that came from Na∣ples; and if any remaines, she dares not shew it, lest it should accuse her of the Time past. Her Eyes have no other browes than those which a Pencill makes. Nor her face no other colour than that of painting: 'Tis Page  314 an old Idoll newly painted over, and yet it is no little wonder to see a Picture have Mo∣tion: and she is such a one, who hath almost found the secret of that famous Negroman∣cer (that pretended to grow young againe, by shutting himselfe in a glasse-violl) since that all that which hath made her appeare so faire, as thou speakest, comes from the Alembick waters, Esseno's, and painting. If she would suffer her face to be washt, thou wouldst know her no more, she would be hideous unto thee; rivels and ridges would each where encounter thee: And were it not for the Confections she eates and the Per∣fumes she weares, her mouth and feet would quickly make thee stop thy nose; if thou shouldst kisse her, all thy lips would be stuck with oyle and grease; embrace her, and she is nought but past-boord, canvas, & whale∣bone, with which all the body of her gowne (the better body of the too) is stuft, to re∣paire the faults of her proportion; and when she goes to bed, she leaves upon the table (at her beds-feet) halfe of her person in putting of her Cloths.

Upon what then is thy bleered Judgement founded, that thou findest her so accom∣plish't? Thy eyes have they not betrayed thee? Admire thou thy ignorance, and know (not to trouble my selfe with this womans imperfections) that most of the rest Page  315 of the Sexe (meaning such only as have ingaged themselves to shame, and exposed their honour to sale) are but beasts full of pride, who triumph over the simplicity of men: and that even those who seeme to be worth somthing, bring a thousand sufferings to those that seeke after them; so that at the end of the account, the expences doe always arise to more than the Principall.

And to make thee despise the embraces of these kind of Creatures, put before thy eyes that secret infirmity, to which nature hath so often subjected them; and I believe thou wilt entertaine a profitable disdaine, and re∣pent that thou ever lovedst a thing so vile and hatefull.

By this, we may collect how miserable that Love is which draws breath from a de∣ceiving sense: whose beginning, as the best of it is but fonding, so the issue thereof is many times seconded with distaste and re∣venge, closing their once pretended, but now vanished love, with an easy forgetfulnesse. For None takes greater pleasure to bee re∣venged than a Woman, when she revenges her selfe on her discarded Friend or Favo∣rite; and to play with advantage is the most pleasing and greatest vengeance that can be taken. And that they are apt to forget, who is it having eyes, and sees not? Experience will tell you, that she ha's seene one, that Page  316 with her right eye wept for her dead Hus∣band, and with her left laughed to her li∣ving Friend. But wee have reserved our Lines, and bestowed our Oyle on better Subjects. For even to descend to our own Moderne times, we shall find store of no∣ble Ladies, who are enriched with such unequall abilities, such matchlesse indow∣ments both by Art and Nature, as they have deservingly acquired, and constant∣ly reteined that Select style of THE WITS. Their desire is, to have their Muses rather Buskin'd than Busked. Sweet and dainty Ayres are the attendants of their Eares. High and Heroick measures those treasures, which they desire to store; and which give an incomparable grace to the Theatre of our state.

These are they, who hold houres of such estimate; as they cannot endure that the least minute should expire in vapour, or spend it selfe upon perfume or powder. Yea, with some of their precious darling Poems have I sometimes encounter'd, wherein I found couched such a priority of Art and Conceipt, as they matched if they outstrip't not many of our most ambitious and laurel-assuming Labours.

Others we have, who though they be not al∣together so happy for strength of fancy; yet are they no lesse usefull in an other faculty. Page  317 And these bee such, as read Principles of Huswifery to their well-ordered Family. These will never spend, where discretion bids them spare; nor spare, where repu∣tation bids them spend. These know how to command without domineering, how to mannage the charge of an House with∣out mutining. These can welcome their Husbands home with an affable smyle: and can put on the same Count'nance in the en∣tertainement of his Friend, without a thought of ill. These, though their care be great; yet so modest are they in arrogating ought to themselves, as they ascribe the good carriage and dispatch of all things to their Husbands wisdome and providence: holding ever the approvement of his fame, to be the improvement of their owne. If at any time, These be given to Read; they make right use of what they read. They read not to dispute, but to live: Not to talke, but to know. Humility ever keepes them Company, both in Gate, Speech, Looke, and Habit. They are circumspect whom they consort with▪ ever remembring that true Maxime:

Tell me with whom thou conver∣sest, and I will tell thee what thou art.
To prevent the worst, they addresse themselves to the best, converse with the best: bestow∣ing all houres of the day upon some proper imployment. For they finde more by Read∣ing, Page  318 than their own practick declining, that all Loose and Effeminate infirmities pro∣ceed only through idlenesse; for where that is, lust findes easy accesse. So saith Petrarch in his Triumph of Love.

*Where observation may informe every cautious Reader, lest through indiscretion he deservingly suffer; That a man ill-mar∣ried, may boast that he possesses in the per∣son of his Wife, all necessary qualities to be put into the List of Martyrs.

Whereas, these, whom we here discourse of, are so far from making their Husbands suffer, as they esteeme it their highest ho∣nour, equally to close with them in the har∣mony of their comforts; and to allay the surcharge of their griefes with the sweetnesse of their temper. This the Poet in the person of Cyrnus cheerefully chanted:*

Than a good Woman nought can sweeter be,
Thou Cyrnus knows't, be witnesse then with me.

In one word then, Brave and noble-dis∣posed Ladies, be it your care to be the Same we have described you; so may you amply requite us for this Service wee have done you.

FINIS.
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