The vvorming of a mad dogge: or, A soppe for Cerberus the iaylor of Hell. No confutation but a sharpe redargution of the bayter of women. By Constantia Munda.
Munda, Constantia.
Page  1

THE WORMING OF a madde Dogge.

THE itching desire of oppres∣sing the presse with many sottish and illiterate Libels, stuft with all manner of ri∣baldry, and sordid inuenti∣ons, when euery foule-mou∣thed male-content may dis∣gorge his Licambaean poyson in the face of all the world,* hath broken out into such a dismall contagion in these our dayes, that euery scanda∣lous tongue and opprobrious witte, like the Ita∣lian Mountebankes will aduance their pedling wares of detracting virulence in the publique Piatza of euery Stationers shoppe. And Prin∣ting that was inuented to be the store-house of famous wits, the treasure of Diuine literature, the pandect and maintainer of all Sciences, become the receptacle of euery dissolute Pamphlet. The nursery and hospitall of euery spurious and pe∣nurious brat, which proceeds from base phrene∣ticall Page  2braine-sicke bablers. When scribimus in∣docti must be the motto of euery one that fooles himselfe in Print: tis ridiculous! but when scri∣bimus insani should bee the signiture of euery page, tis lamentable our times so stupidly pos∣sest and benumd with folly, that wee shall verifie the Prouerbe, L'vsanza commune non è peccato, sinnes custome-house hath non sine priuilegio, writ vpon his dores, as though community in offence could make an immunitie: No! vse of sinne is the soules extortion, a biting faenorie that eates out the principle. Yet wofull experience makes it too true, consuetudo peccandi tollit sensum pec∣catt, as may bee seene by the workes of diuers men that make their pens their pensils to limme out vice that it may seeme delicious and amiable; so to detract from vertue and honesty, as though their essence were onely in outward appearance of goodnesse, as if mortality were onely circum∣scribed within the conditions, of our sex, caelum ipsum petimus stultitia, foolish man will reprehend his Creator in the admirable worke of his genera∣tion and conseruation: Woman the second edi∣tion of the Epitome of the whole world, the se∣cond Tome of that goodly volume compiled by the great God of heauen and earth is most shame∣fully blurd, and derogatiuely rased by scribling penns of sauage & vncought monsters. To what an irregular straine is the daring impudence of b••d-fold bayards aspired vnto? that they will presume to call in question euen the most abso∣lute worke composed by the worlds great Archi∣tect? Page  3A strange blasphemy to finde fault with that which the Priuy Councell of the high and mighty Parliament of the inscrutable Tri-vnitie in Heauen determined to be very good.* To call that imperfect, froward, crooked and peruerse to make an arraignment and Beare-baiting of that which the Pantocrator would in his omniscient wisedome haue to be the consummation of his blessed weekes worke, the end, crowne, and per∣fection of the neuer-sufficiently glorified crea∣tion. What is it but an exorbitant phrensie, and wofull taxation of the supreme deitie. Yet wo∣man the greatest part of the lesser world is gene∣rally become the subiect of euery pedanticall goose-quill.* Euery fantasticke Poetaster which thinkes he hath lickt the vomit of his Coriphaeus and can but patch a hobling verse together, will striue to represent vnseemely figments imputed to our sex, (as a pleasing theme to the vulgar) on the publique Theatre: teaching the worser sort that are more prone to luxurie, a compendious way to learne to be sinfull. These foule mouth'd raylers, qui non evident vt corrigant, sed quaerunt quid reprehendant, that reprooue not that they might reforme, but pry into actions that they might carpe and cauill: so that in this infamous profession they farre exceed the vildest kinde of Pharisaicall ostentation, and so surmounting be∣yond all comparison railing Anaxarchus,* who for his detracting and biting tongue was pestled to death in a brazen morter. Who as a learned Tus∣can speaketh, gli miseri vanno a tentone altreuolte Page  4a carpone per facer mercatantia dell' altrui da lor in∣uentata è seminata vergogna, impudicamente cereano l'altrui deshonor erger la meretricia fronte & mal∣zar la impudiche corna: these wretched miscreants goe groaping, and sometimes on all foure, to traf∣fique with other folkes credits by their owne di∣vulged and dispersed ignominie. That impu∣dently seeke by others dishonour to set a shame∣lesse face on the matter, and thus to put out their immodest hornes to butt at, and gore the name and reputation of the innocent, being so besotted with a base and miserable condition, and blinde in themselues, they blush not in their tongues to carry the gall of Rabilius, and in their chaps the poyson of Colimachus in their mouthes, the flame of mount Aetna in their eyes, Iupiters lightning which he darted at the Centaures, in their thoghts Bellonaes arrowes, in their serpentine words the bitternesse of Sulmo against Orbecca, blending and commixing all their discourse with epaticke aloes and vnsauourie simples,* deriuing all their ingre∣dients of their venomed Recipes from the Apo∣thecaries shop of the Deuill. Notwithstanding, as the same learned man metaphorically speakes, Cotesti vsei scangerati, cittá senza muro, naui sen∣za gouerno, vasi senza coperto caualli indomiti sen∣za freno non considerano. These wide open-dores, these vnwalled townes, these rudderlesse shippes, these vncouerd vessels, these vnbrideled horses doe not consider that the tongue being a very lit∣tle member should neuer goe out of that same iuory gate, in which, (not without a great my∣stery) Page  5diuine wisedome and nature together hath enclosed, it signifying that a man should giue him selfe eyther to vertuous speech, or prudent si∣lence, and not let tongue and pen runne vp and downe like a weaponed madde-man, to strike and wound any without partiality, uery one without exception, to make such an vniuersall massacre (for so I may terme it,* seeing words make worse wounds then swords) yet lest villanie domineere and triumph in furie, wee will manicle your disso∣lute fist, that you deale not your blowes so vnad∣uisedly. Though feminine modesty hath con∣fin'd our rarest and ripest wits to silence, wee ac∣knowledge it our greatest ornament, but when necessity compels vs,* tis as great a fault and folly loquenda tacere, vt contra grauis est culpa tacenda loqui, being too much prouoked by arrainments, baytings, and rancarous impeachments of the re∣putation of our whole sex, stulta est clementiaperiturae parcere cartae, opportunity of speaking slipt by silence, is as bad as importunity vpheld by babling 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.* Know therefore that wee will cancell your accusations, trauers your bils, and come vpon you for a false inditement, and thinke not tis our waspishnesse that shall sting you; no sir, vntill we see your ma∣lepert sausinesse reformed, which will not be till you doe make a long letter to vs,* we will continue Iuno'es,

Non sic abibunt odia viuaces aget violentus iras animus
Saeuusque dolor aeterna bella pace sublat â geret.

Notwithstanding for all your iniuries as Gelo Page  6Siracusanus answered Syagrius the Spartane, You shall not induce mee though stird with anger,*to de∣mean my selfe vnreuerently in the retribution of your iniuries. You idoll muse, and musing being idle (as your learned Epistle beginneth) shall bee no plea to make your viperous scandals seeme plea∣sing, ipsa excusatio culpa est. Where by the way I note your vntoward nature contrary to all men, for wheras in all others of your sex by your con∣fession, idlenesse ingendreth loue, in you hate: you say in the dedication of your booke to your mis∣tresses the common sort of women, that you had little ease to passe the time withall, but now see∣ing you haue basely wron'gd our wearied and wurried Patience with your insolent inuectiue madnesse, you shall make a simple conuersion of your proposition, and take your pastime in little ease: why? if you delight to sow thornes, is it not fit you should goe on them bare-foot and bare∣legged. Your idle muse shall be frankt vp, for while it is at liberty, most impiously it throwes durt in the face of halfe humane kinde.*Coriola∣nus when hee saw his mother and his wife wee∣ping, naturall loue compeld him to leaue sacking the City for their sakes, ab hoc exemplum cape, but your barbarous hand will not cease to ruine the fenses, and beleager the forces of Gynaecia, not spa∣ring the mother that brought forth such an vnto∣ward whelp into the world as thy selfe, playing at blindman-buffe with all, scattering thy dissolute language at whomsoeuer comes next: you neuer heard of a boy, an vnlucky gallowes that threw Page  7stones in the market-place he knew not whither: the wisely-cynicke Philosopher bade him take heed lest he hit his father. Nomine mutato narretur fabula de te. You might easily, if you had had the grace, perceiue what vse to make of it. But you goe forward, pretending you were in great chol∣ler against some women, and in the ruffe of your furie. Grant one absurditie, a thousand follow: Alas (good Sir) wee may easily gather you were mightily transported with passion. Anger and madnesse differ but in time. Twere a pleasant sight to see you in your great standing choller and furi∣ous ruffe together. Your choller (no doubt) was too great for a Spanish peccadillo,* and your shagge ruffe seemed so greesly to set forth your ill-loo∣king visage, that none of your shee-aduersaries durst attempt to confront your follie. But now let vs talke with you in your cold bloud. Now the lees of your furie are settled to the bottome, and your turbulent minde is defaecated and clea∣rer, lets haue a parle with you. What if you had cause to be offended with some (as I cannot ex∣cuse all) must you needs shoot your paper-pellets out of your potgun-pate at all women? Remem∣ber (sweet Sir) the counsell of Nestor to Achilles:

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

*It had beene the part of humanitie to haue smothered your anger, hoping amends and re∣concilement, and not presently to wrecke your spleene. Architas in Tullie would haue taught you another lesson:*Quo te inquit modo accepissem nisi Page  8iratus essem? But you (like a hare-braind scold) set your clawes in the face of the whole world. But this argues your leuitie ioyn'd with degenerate cowardize: for had you but considered with ma∣ture deliberation that (as Virgil speakes)

*— nullum memorabile nomen
Fa minea in poena est, nec habet victoria laudem.

Tis a poore atchieuement to ouercome a woman, you would neuer haue beene so grieuously trou∣bled with the ouer-flowing of the gall, neither would the relish of your furr'd palate haue beene so bitter, as what delicates soeuer you tasted should become vnpleasing. I read of a mad fel∣low, which had lost his goods by sea, that what∣soeuer ships had come into the port at Athens, he would take a catalogue of them, and very busie would he be in making an inuentorie of the goods they brought in and receiued, thinking all to bee his. So you hauing peraduenture had some curst wife that hath giuen you as good as you brought, whatsoeuer faults you espie in others, you take that to heart: you run a madding vp and downe to make a scrole of female frailties, and an inuen∣torie of meretriciall behauiours, ascribing them to those that are ioyned in the sacred bands of ma∣trimonie. Because you haue beene guld with brasse money, will you thinke no coyne currant? Because you haue suffered shipwracke, will you disswade any from venturing to trafficke beyond Seas? Besides, you shew your selfe vniust in not obseruing a symmetrie and proportion of re∣uenge and the offence: for a pelting iniurie should Page  9not prouoke an opprobrious calumnie; a priuate abuse of your owne familiar doxies should not breake out into open slanders of the religious ma∣tron together with the prostitute strumpet; of the nobly-descended Ladies, as the obscure base ver∣mine that haue bitten you▪ of the chaste and mo∣dest virgins, as well as the dissolute and impudent harlot. Because women are women, you will doe that in an houre, which you will repent you of all your life time after. Nay rather, if the ruffe of your furie would haue let you lookt ouer it, you would haue diuerted the floud-gates of your poi∣soned streames that way where you perceiued the common shore to run, and not haue polluted and stained the cleere and crystalline waters. Because women are not women, rather might be a fit sub∣iect of an ingenious Satyrist.*Cùm alterius sexus imitata figuram est: the reason is,

Quàm praestare potest mulier galeata pudorem,
Quae fugit à sexu?

But when women are women, when wee saile by the true compasse of honest and religious conuer∣sation, why should you be so doggedly incensed to barke in generall? why should you imploy your inuention to lay open new fashions of lewdnesse, which the worst of women scarce euer were acquainted with? imitating the vice of that Pagan Poet, whose indignation made verses, whose filthy reprehension opened the doores of vnbridled luxurie, and gaue a president of all ad∣mired wickednesse, and bruitish sensualitie, to suc∣ceeding ages;* whom great Scaliger indeed censu∣reth Page  10not worthy to be read of a pious and ingenu∣ous man. That Satyr brands all his Countrey∣women with the same marke:

Iam{que} eadem summis pariter minimis{que} libido est,
Nec melior pedibus silicem quae conterit atrum,
Quàm quae longorum vehitur ceruice Syrorum.

But he liued in a nation earthly, deuillish, sensuall, giuen ouer to a reprobate sense, that wrought all filthinesse with greedinesse. But you, sir, were whelpt in a better age, at least in a better climate, where the Gospell is preached, and the voice of the Turtle is heard in our land; where you might see (if you could perfectly distinguish) if you were not in the gall of bitternesse. Matchlesse beauties and glorious vertues shining together, you might behold (if outragious rage had not drawne a filme ouer your eye-sight) the goodly habiliments of the minde combined with the perfection of out∣ward comelinesse and ornaments of the body. Is there not as many monuments erected to the fa∣mous eternizing of charitable deeds of women re∣nowned in their generations, as trophees to the most couragious Potentates? In the commemo∣rations of founders and benefactors, how many women haue emulated your sex in bountifull ex∣hibitions to religious vses and furtherance of pie∣tie? I might produce infinite examples, if neede were: but bray a foole in a morter (said the wise man) yet he will not leaue his foolerie: Neither if whole volumes were compiled against your ma∣nifest calumnies, would you euer be brought to a palinodie and recantation. Wee haue your con∣fession Page  11vnder your owne hand, where you say you might haue emploied your selfe to better vse than in such an idle businesse. True:

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,

A foole speakes sometimes to the purpose. If you must needs be digiting your pen, the time had beene farre better spent if you had related to the world some stories of your trauels, with a Gentle∣man learneder and wiser then your selfe: so you might haue beguiled the time, and exposed your ridiculous wit to laughter:* you might haue told how hardly such an vnconstant bella curtizana de Venetijs entertained you, how your teeth watered, and after your affections were poisoned with their hainous euils; how in the beginning of your thirty yeeres trauell and odde,* your constitution inclined and you were addicted to prie into the various actions of loose, strange, lewd, idle, fro∣ward and inconstant women; how you happened (in some Stewes or Brothel houses) to be acquain∣ted with their cheats and euasions; how you came to be so expert in their subtile qualities; how politikely you caught the daughter in the ouen, yet neuer was there your selfe; how in your voyages your stomacke was cloyd with these surfets, and therefore being a traueller, you had reason to censure hardly of women. Haue you traueld halfe as long againe as that famous Pilgrim, which knew the fashions of many men,*and saw their Cities? Haue you out-stript him in time, and come so short of him in knowledge? Is this all the manners you haue learned abroad, these Page  12thirty and odde yeeres? Is this the benefit of your obseruations? Is this all the profit your Country shall reape by your forraine endeuours? to bring home a company of idle humours of light hus∣wiues which you haue noted, and divulge them in print to your owne disgrace and perpetuall ob∣loquie? Haue you traueld three times as long as an Elephant, and is this the first fruit, nay all the fruit of your idle addle coxcombe? Certainly you mis-spent your time in your trauels: for it had beene more profitable for you, if you had brought dogges from Iceland; better for your Countrey, if you had kept a dogge there still. But tis easie to giue a reason of your exasperate viru∣lence, from your being a traueller: for it is very likely when you first went abroad to see fashions, twas your fortune to light amongst ill company, who trying what metall you were made of, quickly matriculated you in the schoole of vice, where you proued a most apt Nov-proficient, and being guld of your patrimonie, your purse was turned into a passe, and that by women. Like a dogge that bites the stone which had almost beat out his braines, you come home swaggering:

Prodiga non sentit pereuntem foemina censum,
At velut exhausta redivivus pullulet arca
Nummus, & è pleno semper tollatur aceruo,
Non vnquā reputant quantum sibi gaudia constant.

Which if you cannot vnderstand, is to this sense:

A lauish woman thinkes there is no stint
Vnto her purse: as though thou hadst a mint,
Page  13She casts no count what money shee'l beslow,
As if her coine as fast as t'ebd, did slow.

Such it may be (I speake but on suspicion) were the conditions of those minions your minoritie had experience of in your voyages. Wherefore none either good or bad, faire or foule, of what estate soeuer, of what parentage or royall descent and lineage soeuer, how well soeuer nurtured and qualified, shall scape the conuicious violence of your preposterous procacitie. Why did you not snarle at them directly that wronged you? Why did not you collimate your infectious Iauelins at the right marke? If a theefe take your purse from you, will you maligne and swagger with euery one you meet? If you be beaten in an Ale-house, will you set the whole Towne afire? If some cur∣tezans that you haue met with in your trauels (or rather that haue met with you) haue ill intreated you, must honest and religious people be the scope of your malicious speeches and reprochfull tearmes? Yet it may be you haue a further drift, to make the world beleeue you haue an extraor∣dinary gift of continencie; soothing your selfe with this supposition, that this open reuiling is some token and euidence you neuer were affected with delicate and effeminate sensualitie, thinking this pamphlet should assoile thee from all manner of leuie and taxation of a lasciuious life; as if, be∣cause you cynically raile at all both good and bad, you had beene hatcht vp without concupi∣scence; as if nature had bestowed on you all 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and no 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.* Twas spoken of Euripides, that he Page  14hated women in choro, but not in thoro, in calamo, but not in thalamo: and why cannot you be liable to the same obiection? I would make this excuse for you, but that the crabbednesse of your stile, the vnsauory periods of your broken-winded sen∣tences perswade your body to be of the same temper as your minde. Your ill-fauoured coun∣tenance, your wayward conditions, your peeuish and pettish nature is such, that none of our sex with whom you haue obtained some partiall conference, could euer brooke your dogged frompard frowardnesse: vpon which male-con∣tented desperation, you hanged out your flagge of defiance against the whole world, as a prodigi∣ous monstrous rebell against nature. Besides, if your currish disposition had dealt with men, you were afraid that Lex talionis would meet with you;* wherefore you surmized, that inueighing against poore illiterate women, we might fret and bite the lip at you, wee might repine to see our selues baited and tost in a blanket, but neuer durst in open view of the vulgar either disclose your blasphemous and derogatiue slanders, or main∣taine the vntainted puritie of our glorious sex: nay, you'l put gagges in our mouthes, and con∣iure vs all to silence: you will first abuse vs, then binde vs to the peace; wee must be tongue-tied, lest in starting vp to finde fault, wee proue our selues guiltie of those horrible accusations. The sinceritie of our liues, and quietnesse of consci∣ence, is a wall of brasse to beat backe the bullets of your vituperious scandals in your owne face. Page  15Tis the resolued Aphorisme of a religious soule to answere, ego sic viuam vt nemo tibi fidem adhi∣beat: by our well-doings to put to silence the re∣ports of foolish men, as the Poet speakes;

Viuendum recte tum propter plurima, tum de his
Praecipue causis vt linguas mancipiorum contemnas.
Liue well for many causes, chiefly this,
To scorne the tongue of slaues that speake amisse.

Indeed I write not in hope of reclaiming thee from thy profligate absurdities, for I see what a pitch of disgrace and shame thy selfe-pining en∣uie hath carried thee to,* for thy greater vexation and more perplexed ruine. You see your blacke grinning mouth hath beene muzled by a modest and powerfull hand, who hath iudiciously be∣wrayed, and wisely layed open your singular ig∣norance, couched vnder incredible impudence, who hath most grauely (to speake in your owne language) vnfoulded euery pleat, and shewed euery rinckle of a prophane and brutish disposition, so that tis a doubt whether shee hath shewed more modesty or grauity, more learning or prudence in the religious confutation of your vndecent ray∣lings. But as shee hath beene the first Champion of our sexe that would encounter with the barba∣rous bloudhound, and wisely dammed vp your mouth, and sealed vp your iawes lest your veno∣med teeth like madde dogges should damage the credit of many, nay all innocent damosels; so no doubt, if your scurrilous and deprauing tongue breake prison, and falls to licking vp your vomi∣ted Page  16poyson, to the end you may squirt out the same with more pernicious hurt, assure your selfe there shall not be wanting store of Helebore to scoure the sinke of your tumultuous gorge, at least we will cram you with Antidotes and Cata∣potions, that if you swell not till you burst, yet your digested poyson shall not be contagious. I heare you foame at mouth and groule against the Author with another head like the triple dog of hell, wherefore I haue prouided this sop for Cerberus, indifferent well steept in vineger. I know not how your pallat will bee pleased with it to make you secure hereafter. Ile take the paines to worme the tongue of your madnesse, and dash your rankling teeth downe your throat: tis not houlding vp a wispe, nor threatning a cucking∣stoole shall charme vs out of the compasse of your chaine, our pens shall throttle you, or like Archilochus with our tart Iambikes make you Lo∣pez his godson: we will thrust thee like Phalaris into thine owne brazen bull, and baite thee at thy owne stake, and beate thee at thine owne weapon, Quippe minuti semper & infirmi est animi exigui∣que voluptas vltio: continuo sic collige quod vindi∣cta nemo magis gaudet quam faemina. Tis your Po∣ets owne assertion, that vltion being the delight of a weake and feeble minde belongs to vs.* Thou that in thy selfe feelest the lash of folly, thou that confessest thy selfe to be in a fault, nay that thou hast offended beyond satisfaction, for tis hard to giue a recompence for a slander: thou that ac∣knowledgest thy selfe to be madde, in a rough fu∣rie, Page  17your wits gon a woolgathering that you had forgot your selfe (as I think) Nero-like in ripping vp the bowels of thine owne Mother: for I haue learnt so much Logicke to know quicquid dicitur de specie, dicitur de vnoquo{que} indiuiduo eiusdem spe∣ciei: whatsoeuer is spoken or praedicated of the kinde is spoken of euery one in the same kinde: first therefore to bring you to an impious 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or inconuenience. Is it not a comely thing to heare a Sonne speake thus of his mother: My mother in her furie was worse than a Lion being bitten with hunger, than a beare being robbed of her yong ones, the viper being trod on. No spur would make my mother go, nor no bridle would hold her backe: tell her of her fault, she will not beleeue she is in any fault: giue her good counsell, but she will not take it: if my Father did but look after another woman, then she would be iealous: the more he loued her, the more shee would disdaine him: if he threatned her, shee would bee an∣gry: when he flattered her, then she would be proud: if he forbore her, it made her bould: if hee chastened her, she would turne to a serpent: at a word, my mo∣ther would neuer forget an iniury, nor giue thankes for a good turne: what an asse then was my Father to exchange gould for drosse, pleasure for paine: tis a wonderfull thing to see the madde feates of my mo∣ther, for she would picke thy pocket, empty thy purse, laugh in thy face & cut thy throat, she is vngratefull, periurd, full of fraud, flouting, and deceit, vnconstant washpish, toyish, light, sullen, proud, discourteous and cruell: the breast of my mother was the harbourer of an enuious heart, her heart the storehouse of poysoned Page  18hatred, her head deuised villany, and her hands were ready to put in practise what her heart desired, then who can but say but my mother a woman sprung from the Deuill?*you from your mother, and so Swetnam is the Deuils Grand-child. Doe you not blush to see what a halter you haue purchased for your owne necke? You thought in your ruffe of furie like Augustus Caesar, to make an edict that all the world should be taxed, when your selfe is tribu∣tary to the greatest infirmities: you blowed the fier of sedition with the bellowes of your anger, and the coales are burning in your owne bosome, Periculoso plenum opus alea, tractas & incedis per ignes suppositos cineri doloso.* Is there no reuerence to be giuen to your mother because you are wea∣ned from her teat, and neuer more shall be fedde with her pappe? You are like the rogue in the Fa∣ble which was going to the gallowes for burgla∣rie, that bit off his mothers nose, because she cha∣stised him not in his infancy for his pettie-Larce∣nies: is this the requitall of all her cost, charge, care, and vnspeakeable paines she suffered in the producing of such a monster into the light? If she had cram'd grauell downe thy throat when shee gaue thee sucke, or exposed thee to the mercy of the wilde beasts in the wildernesse when she fed thee with the pap, thou couldst not haue showen thy selfe more vngratefull then thou hast in bel∣ching out thy nefarious contempt of thy mothers sexe.*Wherefore mee thinkes it is a pleasing re∣uenge that thy soule arraines thee at the barre of conscience, and thy distracted mind cannot chuse Page  19but hant thee like a bumbaylie to serue a sub paena on thee, the stile and penning of your pamphlet hath brought you within the compasse of a Prae∣munire, and euery sentence beeing stolne out of other bookes, accuseth you of robbery. So that thou carriest in thy selfe a walking Newgate vp & downe with thee, thy owne perplexed suspicions like Promotheus vulture is alwaies gnawing on thy liuer. Besides, these books which are of late come out (the latter whereof hath preuented me in the designes I purposed in running ouer your wicked handi-worke) are like so many red-hot irons to stigmatize thy name with the brand of a hideous blasphemer and incarnate Deuill. Although thou art not apprehended and attached for thy villany I might say fellonie, before a corporall iudge, yet thine owne conscience if it be not seared vp, tor∣tures thee, and wracks thy tempestuous minde with a dissolution and whurring too and fro of thy scandalous name, which without blemish my penne can scarce deigne to write, you finde it true which the Poet speakes;

Exemplo quodeunque malo committitur, ipsi
Displicet authori, prima est haec vltio quod se
Iudice nemo nocens absoluitur, improba quamuis
Gratia fallacis praetoris vicerit vrnam.*
What sin is wrought by ill example, soone
The displeased Author wisheth it vndone.
And tis reuenge when if the nocent wight,
Vmpires his cause himselfe: in his owne sight,
He findes no absolution, though the eyes
Of iudgement wink, his soule still guilty cries.

Page  20Tis often obserued, that the affections of audi∣tors (and readers too) are more offended with the soule mouthed reproofe of the brawling accuser, than with the fault of the delinquent. If you had kept your selfe within your pretended limits, and not medled with the blamelesse and innocent, yet your preiudicate rayling would rather argue an vnreuerent and lasciuious inclination of a depra∣ued nature, then any loue or zeale to vertue and honesty: you ought to haue considered that in the vituperation of the misdemeanors and disorders in others lines; this cautelous Prouiso should di∣rect you that in seeking to reforme others, you deforme not your selfe; especially by mouing a suspition that your minde is troubled and festered with the impostume of inbred malice, and corrupt hatred: for tis alwaies the badge and cognisance of a degenerous and illiberali disposition to bee ambitious of that base and ignoble applause, pro∣ceeding from the giddy-headed Plebeians, that is acquired by the miserable oppressing and pilling of vertue. But euery wrongfull contumely & re∣proach hath such a sharpe sting in it, that if it fa∣sten once on the minde of a good and ingenuous nature, tis neuer drawen forth without anxiety & perpetuall recordation of dolour, which if you had known, your hornet-braines would not haue buzd abroad with a resolution to sting some tho you lost your sting and died for it: you would not like the cuttle fish spewd out your inkie gall with hope to turne the purest waters to your owne sa∣ble hew; vt non odio inimicitiarum ad vituperandū Page  21sed studio calumniandi ad inimicitias descēderes, that you would arme your selfe, not with the hate of enmity to dispraise vice, but with the study of ca∣lumny to make enmity with vertue: yet tis re∣markable that ignorance & impudence were part∣ners in your worke, for as you haue of all things vnder the sunne, selected the bayting, or as you make a silly solaecisme the bearebayting of Wo∣men, to be the tenterhookes whereon to stretch your shallow inuentions on the triuiall subiect of euery shackragge that can but set penne to paper: so in the handling of your base discourse, you lay open your imperfections, arripiendo maledicta ex triuio, by heaping together the scraps, fragments, and reuersions of diuers english phrases, by scra∣ping together the glaunders and offals of abusiue termes, and the refuse of idle headed Authors, and making a mingle-mangle gallimauphrie of them. Lord! how you haue cudgeld your braines in gleaning multitudes of similies as twere in the field of many writers, and thrasht them together in the floure of your owne deuizor; and all to make a poore confused misceline, whereas thine owne barren soyled soyle is not able to yeeld the least cōgruity of speech. Tis worthy laughter what paines you haue taken in turning ouer Parismus, what vse you make of the Knight of the Sunne, what collections out of Euphues, Amadis a Gaule, and the rest of Don Quixotes Library, sometimes exact tracing of Aesopicall Fables, and Valerius Maximus, with the like schooleboyes bookes, so that if these Pamphleters would seuerally plucke Page  22a crow with you. Furtiuis nudata coloribus moucat cornicula risum, let euery bird take his owne fea∣ther, and you would be as naked as Aesops iay. In∣deed you haue shewen as much foolery as robbe∣rie in feathering your neast, which is a cage of vn∣cleane birds, and a storehouse for the off-scow∣rings of other writers. Your indiscretion is as great in the laying together, & compiling of your stolne ware, as your blockishnesse in stealing, for your sentences hang together like sand without lime: you bring a great heape of stony rubbish comparisons one vpon the necke of another, but they concurre no more to sense, then a company of stones to a building without morter, and tis a familiar Italian Prouerb, duro è duro non famuro, hard and hard makes no wall, so your hard dull pate hath collected nothing that can stand toge∣ther with common sense, or be pleasing to any re∣fined disposition, rough and vnhewen morsells digd out of others quarries, potsherds pickt out of sundry dunghills: your mouth indeed is full of stones, lapides loqueris, but not so wisely nor so wa∣rily cramd in as the geese that flie ouer the moun∣taines in Silicia, which carry stones in their beakes lest their cackling should make them a pray to the Eagles, where you might learne witte of a goose.

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

Either speake peace, or hold your peace. Is it not irksome to a wise and discreet iudgement, to heare a booke stuft with such like sense as this, The world is not made of oatmeale? I haue heard of some that haue thought the world to haue beene Page  23composed of atomes, neuer any that thought it made of oatmeale: Nor all is not gold that glisters, nor the way to heauen is strewd with rushes, for a dramme of pleasure an ounce of paine, for a pint of hony a gallon of gall, for an inch of mirth an ell of moane, &c. None aboue the scumme of the world could endure with patience to reade such a medly composed of discords. Sometimes your dogrill rhymes make mee smile, as when you come,

Man must be at all the cost,
And yet liue by the losse:
A man must take all the paines,
And women spend all the gaines:
Their catching in iest,
And keeping in earnest.
And yet she thinkes she keepes her selfe blamelesse,
And in all ill vices she would goe namelesse.
But if she carry it neuer so cleane,
Yet in the end she will be counted for a cunny-catching queane.
And yet she will sweare that she will thriue,
As long as she can finde one man aliue.

I stand not to descant on your plaine song; but surely if you can make ballads no better, you must be faine to giue ouer that profession: for your Muse is wonderfully defectiue in the bandi∣leeres, and you may safely sweare with the Poet,

Nec fonte labra prolui caballino,
Nec in bicipiti somniasse Parnasso
Memini. —

Sometimes you make me burst out with laugh∣ter, when I see your contradictions of your selfe; Page  24I will not speake of those which others haue espi∣ed, although I had a fling at them, lest I should actum agere. Mee thinkes, when you wrote your second Epistle, neither to the wisest Clerke, nor yet to the starkest foole, the giddinesse of your head bewrayes you to be both a sillie Clerke, and a starke foole: or else the young men you write to must be much troubled with the megrim and the dizzinesse of the braine: for you beginne as if you were wont to runne vp and downe the Countrey with Beares at your taile. If you meane to see the Beare-baiting of women, then trudge to this Beare-garden apace, and get in betimes, and view euery roome where thou maist best sit, &c.

Now you suppose to your selfe the giddy-hea∣ded young men are flockt together, and placed to their owne pleasure, profit, and hearts ease. Let but your second cogitations obserue the method you take in your supposed sport: In stead of bringing your Beares to the stake, you say, I thinke it were not amisse to driue all women out of my hearing, for doubt lest this little sparke kindle into such a flame, and raise so many stinging hornets humming about mine eares, that all the wit I haue (which is but little) will not quench the one, nor quiet the other. Doe yee not see your apparant contradiction? Spectatum admissi risum teneatis amici? You promise your spectators the Beare∣baiting of women, and yet you thinke it not amisse to driue all women out of your hearing; so that none but your selfe the ill-fauoured Hunckes is left in the Beare-garden to make your Page  25inuited guests merry: whereupon it may very likely be, the eager young men being not willing to be guld and cheated of their money they paid for their roome, set their dogges at you, amongst whom Cerberus that hell-hound appeared, and you bit off one of his heads; for presently after you call him the two-headed dogge, whom all the Poets would faine to haue three heads: You therefore hauing snapt off that same head, were by the secret operation of that infernal substance, conuerted into the same essence: and that may serue as one reason that I tearme you Cerberus the Iaylor of hell; for certainly Quic quid dicitur de toto, dicitur de singulis partibus: That which is spoke of the whole, is spoken of euery part; and euery limbe of the deuill is an homogeneall part. Doe yee not see (goodman woodcocke) what a springe you make for your owne selfe? Whereas you say tis a great discredit for a man to bee ac∣counted a scold, and that you deale after the manner of a shrew, which cannot ease her curst heart but by her vnhappy tongue; obserue but what conclusion demonstratiuely followes these premises:

A man that is accounted a scold, hath great dis∣credit:
Ioseph Swetnam is accounted a scold▪
Ergo, Ioseph hath great discredit.

If you denie the Minor, tis proued out of your owne assertion, because you deale after the man∣ner of a shrew, &c. where wee may note first a corrupt fountaine, whence the polluted puddles Page  26of your accustomed actions are deriued, A curst heart; then the cursednesse of your booke (which if you might be your owne Iudge, deserues no more the name of a booke, then a Colliers Iade to be a Kings Steed) to bee the fruit of an vnhap∣pie tongue: thirdly, your commoditie you reape by it, discredit. Nay if you were but a masculine scold, twere tolerable; but to be a prophane rai∣ling Rahshekeh, tis odious. Neither is this all your contrarietie you haue included: for presently after you professe you wrote this booke with your hand, but not with your heart; whereas but iust now you confest your selfe to deale after the man∣ner of a shrew, which cannot otherwise ease your curst heart, but by your vnhappy tongue: so your hand hath proued your vnhappy tongue a lier. This vnsauorie non-sense argueth you to be at that time possest with the fault you say commonly is in men, to wit, drunkennesse, when you wrote these iarring and incongruous speeches, whose ab∣surdities accrew to such a tedious and infinite summe, that if any would exactly trace them out, they should finde them like a Mathematicall line, Diuisibilis in semper diuisibilia. Twould put downe the most absolute Arithmetician to make a cata∣logue of them: wherefore I could wish thee to make a petition, that you might haue your bookes called in and burnt; for were it not better that the fire should befriend thee in purifying the trash, and eating put the canker of thy defamation, then thy execrable designes and inexcusable impu∣dence should blazon abroad thy drunken teme∣ritie Page  27and temulent foole-hardinesse to future ages, then thy booke should peremptorily witnesse thy open and Atheisticall blasphemy against thy Cre∣ator euen in the very threshold and entrance? but aboue all, where thou doest put a lie on God him∣selfe, with this supposition,*If God had not made them only to be a plague to man, he would neuer haue called them necessary euils: Which I thus antici∣pate; But God neuer called them necessary euils, Therefore God made them not to be a plague to man. Or else turning the conclusion to the meane thus: But God did not make them to be a plague, but a helper and procurer of all felicitie; therefore God neuer called them necessary euils. Were it not (I say) farre better for you that your laborious idle worke should be abolished in the flames, then it should publikely set forth the apert violation of holy writ in sundry places? one in the beginning (as I remember) where you falsly auerre, that the blessed Patriarke Dauid exclaimed bitterly against women, and like the tempting deuill you alledge halfe Scripture, whereas the whole makes against your selfe: for thus you affirme he saith; It is bet∣ter to be a doore-keeper, than to be in the house with a froward woman. In the whole volume of the booke of God, much lesse in the Psalmes, is there any such bitter exclamation? But this is the dittie of the sweet singer of Israel, whereby he did inti∣mate his loue vnto the house of God, and his de∣testation of the pauilions of the vnrighteous by this Antithesis: It is better to be a doore-keeper in the house of the Lord, than to dwell in the Taberna∣cles Page  28of the vngodly. Now if you haue a priuate spi∣rit that may interpret by enthusiasmes, you may confine the Tabernacles of the vngodly onely to froward women; which how absurd and grosse it is, let the reader iudge. Doest thou not blush (gracelesse) to peruert (with Elemas) the strait wayes of God, by prophaning the Scriptures, and wreathing their proper and genuine interpretati∣ons to by-senses, for the boulstering and vphol∣ding of your damnable opinion? besides thy pit∣tifully wronging of the Philosophers, as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, &c. whom your illiterate and clownish Muse neuer was so happy to know whether they wrote any thing or no. Your eth∣nicke histories, although they rather make against men than women, yet in your relation you most palpably mistake, and tell one thing for another, as of Holophernes, Antiochus, Hannibal, Socrates, and the rest which the poore deluded Corydons and sillie swaines account for oracles, and main∣taine as axiomes. The quirkes and crotchets of your owne pragmaticall pate, you father on those ancient Philosophers that most extremely oppose your conceit of mariage: for Plato made this one of his lawes, that whosoeuer was not maried at thirty fiue yeeres of age, should be punished with a fine. Further he implies a necessitie of mariage, euen in regard of the adoration of God himselfe: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: Tis neces∣sary that there should be a lawfull generation and education of children, that life as a lampe may Page  29continue to posteritie, that so there might alwaies be some to worship God. What more diuinely or religiously could be spoken by a Paynim? How then durst you say that the Philosophers that liued in the old time had so hard an opinion of mari∣age, that they tooke no delight therein, seeing the chiefe of them were maried themselues? I could be infinite to produce examples and sym∣boles to make you a lier in print: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.* Nothing is more sweet than a good wife. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,* He that hath a good wife, hath a merry life. Most famous is that retortion of Pittachus, one of the seuen wise men of Greece, when he demanded a fellow wher∣fore he would not take to him a wife, and the fel∣low answered, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. If I take a faire wife, I shall haue her com∣mon; if a foule, a torment. The wise man replied, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, If thou getst a foule wife, thou shalt not haue her com∣mon; if a faire, no torments. There is as much reason for the one as the other: but tis but wa∣sting paper to reckon vp these obuious sayings. Let that same acclamation of Horace stand for a thousand others:

Foelices ter & ampliùs,
Quos irrupta tenet copula, nec malis
Divulsus querimonijs,
Suprema citiùs soluet amor die.
Thrise and more times are they blest,
That in wedlockes bands doe rest,
Page  30Whose faithfull loues are knit so sure,
That blamelesse endlesse they endure.

But you that will traduce the holie Scriptures, what hope is there but you will depraue humane authors. You taxe Plato and Aristotle of a lasci∣uious life that by the light of naturall reason were chiefest establishers of Matrimony, both in regard of oeconomicke,* and politicke affaires. doe these things deserue commendations of any, but rather the scorne and reproofe of all: what a silly thing it is, let Monsieur Swetnam iudge, when Valerius Maximus relates in his 4. booke,* a history of one Tiberius Gracchus, that found two serpents in his bed-chamber and killed the male, which by the prediction of South sayers designed himselfe to death, because he dearely loued his wife Cornelia, and you like an Asse tel this tale of Valerius Maxi∣mus, as if because Ioseph tells a tale of one Bias that bought the best and worst meate which was tongues, in the market: hee that reades it should say that one lying Asse Swetnam bought the best and worst tongues; but certainely if that Bias had met with your tongue in the Market, hee would haue taken it for the worst and most vnprofitable meat, because from nothing can come worse ve∣nome then from it: What should I speake of the figments of your dull pate, how absurdly you tell of one Theodora a Strumpet in Socrates time, that could intise away all the Philosophers Schollers from him: is not the vaine and inconstant nature of men more culpable by this ensample than of women, when they should be so luxuriously bent Page  31that one silly light woman should draw a multi∣tude of learned Schollers from the right way: yet neyther Laertius, nor any that writte the liues of Philosophers make mention of this Theodora, but I haue read of a glorious Martyr of this name, a Virgin of Antiochia, in the time of Dioclesian the Emperor, who being in prison, a certaine barba∣rous Souldier moued with lust in himselfe, and the lustre of her beauty, would haue rauished her by violence, whom she not onely deterred from this cursed act by her perswasiue oratory, but by her powerfull intreaties by changing vestments wrought her deliuery by him. I would runne through all your silly discourse, and anatomize your basery, but as some haue partly beene boul∣ted out already, and are promised to be prosecu∣ted, so I leaue them as not worthy rehearsall or re∣futation. I would giue a supersede as to my quill: but there is a most pregnant place in your booke which is worthy laughter that comes to my mind where you most graphically describe the diffe∣rence and antipathie of man and woman, which being considered, you thinke it strange there should be any reciprocation of loue, for a man say you delights in armes, and hearing the ratling drum, but a woman loues to heare sweet musicke on the Lute, Cittern, or Bandora: I prethee who but the long-eard animall had rather heare the Cuckoe than the Nightingale? Whose eares are not more delighted with the melodious tunes of sweete musicke, then with the harsh sounding drum? Did not Achilles delight himselfe with his Page  32harpe as well as with the trumpet? Nay, is there not more men that rather affect the laudable vse of the Citterne, and Bandore, and Lute for the recreation of their mindes, than the clamourous noyse of drums? Whether is it more agreeable to humane nature to march amongst murthered carkasses, which you say man reioyceth in, than to enioy the fruition of peace and plenty, euen to dance on silken Carpets, as you say, is our plea∣sure? What man soeuer maketh warres, is it not to this ende, that hee might enioy peace? Who marcheth among murdered carkasses, but to this end, that his enemies being subdued and slaine, he may securely enioy peace? Man loues to heare the threatning of his Princes enemies, but woman weepes when shee heares of warres, What man that is a true and loyall subiect loues to heare his Princes enemies threaten: is not this a sweet com∣mendation thinke you? is it not more humane to bewaile the wars and losse of our countrimen, then to reioyce in the threats of an aduersary? but you goe forward in your paralelling a mans loue to lie on the cold grasse, but a woman must bee wrapped in warme mantles. I neuer heard of a∣ny that had rather lie in the could grasse then in a feather-bed, if he might haue his choyce; yet you make it a proper attribute to all your sexe. Thus you see your cheefest elegancie to bee but miserable patches and botches: this Antithesis you haue found in some Author betwixt a war∣rier and a louer, and you stretch it to shew the dif∣ference betwixt a man and a woman; sed nos hac Page  33a scabie teneamus vngues: I loue not to scratch a mangie rascall, there is neither credit nor pleasure in it. You threaten your second volly of pouder and shot, wherein you will make vs snakes, vene∣mous adders, and scorpions, & I know not what;* are these termes beseeming the mouth of a Chri∣stian or a man, which is ouo prognatus eodem, did not your mother hatch the same Cockatrice egge to make you in the number of the generati∣on of Vipers? and I take you to be of that brood which Homer calls 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, alwaies lolling out the tongue, and all the Historiographers terme Scopes that giue a most vnpleasing and harsh note, quasi〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, cauilling and taunting, and as Caelius wittily notes them to be so called, quasi Sciopas,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 hauing their face obscur'd in dark∣nesse, so this your booke being but the howling of a night-bird shall circumscribe thy name in the dungeon of perpetuall infamy. Thou that art extold amongst clownes and fooles, shalt be a his∣sing, and a by-word to the learned and iudicious: in so much as thine vnlucky shrieking shall affect thee with gastly terrors and amazements: neuer thinke to set forth more larums of your bru∣tishnesse, but as Labienus, who was sirnamed Rabies madnesse, because hee vsed such liberty of his detracting tongue, that he would without re∣gard or discretion, rayle vpon all men in his exas∣perate mood; When all his bookes and writings were made a bonfire of (which in those dayes was a new-found way of punishing vntoward wits) Eam contumeliam (saith mine Author) La∣bienus Page  34non tulit neque superstes ingenio suo esse vo∣luit. Labienus tooke snuffe at this contumelious destruction of his despised labours, he was vnwil∣ling to be the suruiuing executor of his owne wit, whereupon in a melancholy and desperate mood he caused himselfe to be coffin'd vp, and carried into the vault where his ancestors were entombed (thinking (it may be) that the fier which had bur∣ned his fame should be denied him) hee died and buried himselfe together. I doe not wish you the same death, though you haue the same conditions and surname as hee had, but liue still to barke at Vertue, yet these our writings shall be worse then fiers to torture both thy booke and thee: Where∣fore transcribing some verses that a Gentleman wrote to such an one as your selfe. in this manner I conclude.

Thy death I wish not, but would haue thee liue,
To rayle at vertues acts, and so to giue
Good vertues lustre. Seeing enuy still
Waites on the best deserts to her owne ill.
But for your selfe learne this, let not your hand
Strike at the flint againe which can withstand
Your malice without harme, and to your face
Returne contempt, the brand of your disgrace;
Whilst women sit vnmou'd, whose constant mindes
(Arm'd against obloquy) with those weate windes
Cannot be shaken: for who doth not marke
That Dogs for custome, not for fiercenesse barke.
These any foot-boy kicks, and therefore we
Passing them by, with scorne doe pitty thee.
Page  35For being of their nature mute at noone,
Thou darst at midnight barke against the moone;
Where mayest thou euer barke that none shall hear,
But to returne the like: and maist thou beare
With greefe more slanders then thou canst inuent,
Or ere did practise yet, or canst preuent,
Maist thou be matcht with enuy, and defend
Scorne toward that which all besides commend.
And may that scorne so worke vpon thy sense,
That neyther suffering nor impudence
May teach thee cure: or being ouerworne
With hope of cure may merit greater scorne.
If not too late, let all thy labours be
Contemn'd by vpright iudgements, and thy fee
So hardly earn'd, not pay'd: may thy rude quill
Be alwaies mercenary, and write still,
That which no man will read, vnlesse to see
Thine ignorance, and then to laugh at thee;
And mayst thou liue to feele this, and then groane,
Because tis so, yet cannot helpe, and none
May rescue thee, till your check't conscience cry,
This this I haue deseru'd, then pine and die.
Et cum fateri furia iusserit verum,
Prodente clames conscientia; scripsi.