AN APOLOGY FOR VVOMEN: OR, Womens Defence.

Pend by C.N. late of Albane Hall in Oxon.

SOCRAT. Melius est mulieri non omnino nasci, quàm conuitijs lacerar [...].

LONDON, Printed by E. G. for Ri: Whittakers: and are to be sold at his shop at the Kings head in Pauls Church­yard. 1620.

TO THE RIGHT EXCELLENTLY VER­tuous Lady, MARY, Coun­tesse of Buckingham, C. N. wisheth euent of all felicitie.

MADAM, I neede not haue a Lanterne & a Candle to inuestigate a vertuous woman, as Diogenes had to finde an honest man: they appeare like so many Starres, fixed in this terrestriall Globe. Yet no sooner did the Sunne of your presence enter into the Horizon of my thoughts, but it ouershad­dowed all the fore-appearers Honour seated in your brest, findes it selfe adorned as in a rich Pa [...]ace, making that excellent, [Page]which makes it admirable, which caused me to present vnto your Ladiships protec­tion, this my ill-looking Infant, the maden-head (as I may so tearme it) of my inuen­tion, conceiued in my brains, by the frothy word of many Hyperbolizing selfe-concei­tists, who deeme it their greatest grace, to be able to disgrace women. If then (exqui­site Lady) an ouer-speedy or weaning desire of repulsing your sexes wrongs, hath caused my braines with Semele, to bring forth this obortiue Bacchus, or brood. Be you the Ioue to nourish it in the lap of your good liking, that being wrapt in the swaddling bands of your fauour, the cold of contempt may not so easily freeze it. And if Miner­ua grant a safe returne to my Muse traf­f [...]king in her Indies, I shall, I hope, present you with a more richer Prize.

Your Ladiships vnfainedly deuoted in all obseruant seruice, CH. NEVVSTEAD.

TO THE READER.

COurteous Reader, if thy tongue hath not tyed thee to a curst wife, I doubt not, but the ge­nerall view of my Subiect, wil winne at the least thy ordinarie acceptation. But when by perusing, thou wouldst espy how it is treated of, if thou beest illeterate, and the Curtaine of Ignorance be drawne before the eyes of thy Iudgement, I doe not much wey how thou art opinionated of me: if thou commend me, Misere me­tui mali ali­quid in me admiserim. Petrar. de virt. opin. I shal esteeme (as Antisthenes did, when he was praised of an euill one) ra­ther worse then better of my selfe: for quic­quid pene vulgus laudat, vituperio dignū est: Whatsoeuer ignorance cōmendeth, most vsually deserues to be discommended. I had rather with Lysimachus the Poet haue the approbation of one iudicious Cato, then the applause of a multitude: the iudgements of the iudicious, and the vulgar, [...] 2. doe seldome iumpe. But if thou beest such an one as [...] lius would haue his Auditour, neither igno­rant, [Page]nor learned; Because (saith hee) the one doth vnderstand nothing, and the other more then I doe of my selfe. If thou beest, I say, lukewarme in knowledge, and that the Aurora of Minerua, the dawning of the day of literature, begins to twy-light thy ca­pacitie; Iudge fauourably of the faults, that thy Eagle-eyed scrupulositie perceiues, they may bee errours of ignorance seene to thee: but they are an ignorance of the errours, vn­seene to me. But if by the Ladder of industry (if any for the subiects sake dare to credit) thou hast ascended the top of Pernassus, I neede not tell thee, as the Poet saith of one, Nemo repentè fuit doctissimus, [...]. that per­fection comes by degrees. Zeuxis his Helena was not suddenly lim'd forth with one Pensil: Braines to day are as empty, as Tellus his purse of money, may to morrow, with Midas, be stuft with the gold of inuention.

Qui non est hodie, cras magis aptus erit. Whatsoeuer thou art, vnlesse thou be a Brownist, I meane obstinate, I doubt not, but it will perfume thy breath, for euer tainting women with reproches But thou wilt say, thy euill speeches of them proceeds from mirth: thou mayst as well say thou dost lye with them, as belye them in test. No intentions [Page]can make absolute euills good. Againe, iests should be fecetosi, not acetosi; pleasing, not piercing, neither continuall: therefore they are called sales of the Latines, quasi condi­menta; we should vse thē as Spices, to season our talke, not as the subiect of it. But many may say with Philippus the Iester, that they haue got such an habit in speaking ill of them in iest, that they know not how to speake well of them in earnest. And it is a shrewd signe he neuer meanes well, that speakes alwayes ill. But lest thou turne from them, to test on mee, for my prolixitie, in bidding mee (as Diogenes did the Citizens, that had excee­ding ample gates, to a little Citie) shut the gates of my Preface, lest the City of my Book runne forth, I will leaue thee.

Thine, as thou vsest me. C. N.

AN APOLOGY FOR VVOMEN: OR, Womens Defence.

Of Women in generall.

QVi alium sequitur, Sen. Ep [...]. 33. ni­hil sequitur, who makes alwayes ex­amples his Copie, shall many times erre from the rules of discretion. Should I tread in [Page 2]the steps of our precisest Metho­dists, in defining my Subiect, I might seeme with Didymus, to write that which each one knew, and giue a new testimonie of that old and highway Adage, [...], to burne Candle at noone day. For what so ignorant a Licinius, whose darke capacitie is not enlightened with this little candle of knowledge, to know what man is (for euery one knowes man in generall, though few in particular themselues) from whom woman differs, onely in a materiall designation, hauing one and the same specificall essence. Now the golden Ball, which their deserts do challenge, is not honour, nor riches, nor beauty; but vertue. I striue not to make them excell men, as Caesar did Pompey in digni­tie, or as the Lydeans Dames did their Husbands, in masterie; but as Seneca did his Father, in vertue: [Page 3] Haec ista honesta contentio; this is an honest contention, or contentious honestie.

It is true, at first, when there was but two actors, vpon this Theater of the world, woman was the Sy­ren, that allured man vnto euill: but now each man with Tiresias, is metamorphosed into a woman: pleasures and delights, are the in­gendring Serpents, that haue wo­manized their affections: Men were the more perfect by nature: but wo­men now then they, by industrie, (and it is more difficult to re-obtain vertue, then to keepe it.) Eue then tempted Adam, but now Adam tempts Eue: and it is better to bee conquered by Nature, then by Art. It is Catulus his saying, [...]. that he could in those things, which nature gaue to man, suffer patiently himselfe to be subdued, but not in those that might be assequuated, and got by [Page 4]our endeuours. Liu. Dec. 3. For to be delinquent or faulty by nature, that is not ours, but natures fault; but to be ill by corruption, that is not natures, but our fault. VVhat if she were an in­strumentall cause of our fall, was she not as much the cause of our rising? But wee all sooner forget benefits, then iniuries: we are Eagle-eyed in espying their faults, but dark sighted Owles, in perceiuing their vertues. But not to make them all alike ver­tuous, [...]i [...]. Dec. 3. as Mantuan would haue them vicious, there are of women three sorts: The first are those who haue both a Theoreticall and Prac­ticall knowledge of vertue by them­selues, Suct. l. 12: vnderstanding those things that are good, and willingly desi­ring to effect them: and these may I condingly entitle, as the Romans did Titus, deliciae humani generis, the de­light of mankinde: Paterc. pag. 125. each one of these is a Scipio, qui nihil in vita nisi [Page 5]laudandum, aut fecit, aut dixit, who neither speake, nor doe any thing, but which is commendable; so apt to all goodnes, that they seeme with Cato to be borne to all actions they vndertake. The second, are those who though not so excellent, yet laudable: for although we maruell at the greatest, yet wee praise those that are lesse: Sen. ep. 101. non statim statim pu­fillus est, si quis maximo minus est: hee is not presently a Pigmy, that is lesse then a gyant. In transcendent things those are great, which are next to the best: those, I say, who with Bici­nus haue neede of one to direct them to goodnes; although they know not that which is honest by themselues, yet they obey others rightly admonishing them, and ad­moneri velle secunda virtus, it is a se­cond vertue, to indure reprouing: for it argues a willingnesse to bee good: and pars magna bonitatis est, Sen. Epist. 34. [Page 6] velle fieri bonum: the next degree of goodnes, is the desire of goodnes: these may I tearme, Diod. de Jamb. as Plutarch doth Alcibiades, Camelions, from their facilitie of manners, whose mindes bend like the bones of the Iambu­lans, whither you will force them. Cereus in vitium flecti, Horat. de Ar [...]e Poet. as the Poet saith of yong men, easie to bee drawne either to vertue, or vice. But natura suis neruis pulcherrìmum cor­pus, Euph. Sat. Apollo. as perfect there is no so hea­uenly a body, in which doth not hang some clouds of corruption. Non datur sincerum aliquod sine mali admixtione: Phar. in pra­da Mar. there is nothing so sin­cere that hath not some admixtion of euill. In this Attica and pleasing field of woman, there growe some Thistles among the Violets, and these are the third sort, the dregges and scumme (as the Latines said of the Romanes) of woman kinde: ob­stinate Hera [...]litcs, who neither [Page 7]know good themselues, nor con­discend to others admonitions: Arist. Eth. l. 1. c. 3. These I exclude (as Aristotle doth them from his Ethicks) from vn­der the shield of my defence, al­though your foule-mouthed Man­tuans take occasion to make these the Axeltree, on which the wheele of their tongues do continually run: who, because their deserts could neuer seate them in the fauour of a­ny vertuous women, therefore they empty the dregs of their stomacks vpon all, with the Romans, for one Tyrannicall Tarquinius, to hate all Kings, like expert Logicians, out of particulars, concluding an vniuer­sall. Aske them what woman is: and you shall haue them speake contra­diction ex tempore: they are mala ne­cessaria, necessary euils: as though euill could be necessary: Since what­soeuer is needful, appertaines either to the esse, or bene: Esse of man, and [Page 8]there is nothing necessary either to his essence or perfection that is ill. But lest if I should suffer the Pla­net of my wit to wander in the whole heauen of woman, and runne at randome in the ample field of their vertues, it might stray perhaps from the path way of Iudgement; I will now teather and confine it within the ground-plot of each of their particular qualities.

Of their religious Piety.

REligion meritoriously challen­geth to act the first part of their praise: Osorius lib. de Christi Nobilit. and Osorius tels me, that whom we would make immortall, we must proue religious. Hall. Our Ma­tilda Sancti Brigit Hildegard, the first accusers of the Romish Religiō; the learned sister of Nazianzen, Pau­la Saluina Celantia, Fox lib. de Mar. Pillers of the Church: Holy Apollonia, whose ce­lestiall [Page 9]fire of zeale extinguished the smart of this earthly and cu­lunary fire: Vrsula, who with e­leuen thousand Virgins suffered Martyrdome, seeme to obiect enuy vnto me, in concealing theirs and innumerable other pieties: but, alas, I want not the will, but the power. The Poet bids me looke: Horatius. Quid va­leant humeri? And I finde the shoul­ders of my inuention too narrow to beare the burthē of their due praises for [...]. Hom. ad Il [...]. lib. 2. If I had as many tongues as Bri­arius had hands, I could not enu­merate the praises due to their de­uotions: and it is better your pieties be conceal'd, then insufficiently re­ueal'd; whiles we praise by halues, we disgrace: an ill Instrument may shame a good worke: the vn­worthinesse of the agent many times curses a good enterprise. Cae­sar his warres had better beene in­ueloped [Page 10]in obscurity then diuulged by botching Labio; Truth is better hid, then wronged by telling.

Of their Continency and Chastity.

COntinency is defined by the Prince of Philosophers, Aris [...]o. Ethi. lib. 7. cap. 1. Ausoni. hoc solum fecit nobile quod perut. when we immoderately desire pleasures, and yet abstaine from them. This de­finition lookes like Otho his life, onely good in the end: the sweet of it, which makes continency a vertue consists as the honey of the Bee, in the Taile (for Vbicun (que) desines, si bene desines tota est) too immoderately to desire pleasures, that argues weaknes: but to be able to cast the cold ashes of restraint, on the burning coles of desires, that the strongest vertue: the obiect then of continency is plea­sures in generall; giue mee leaue to restraine them onely to Veneriall. [Page 11]The first part of this vertue, viz. to immoderately desire, I doubt not but the greatest Mysogunians will grant vnto them: for the oracle of our beliefe doth testifie it, tearming them the weaker vessels: and weak­nesse alwayes is the most subiect to gape after pleasures, and in their bodies (if it may not seeme super­fluous) to adde the Sunne of verity the candle light of humane reason. Aire (saith the Philosopher) doth predominate, and where most aire is, there is most Humidum radicale: being both of one nature, indiffe­rently hot and moist, where there is most Humidudum radicale, there is most ability of body, and where the body is most able, there naturally should be most desire.

Now if any obiect as a fault, Tulli. de O ratore li. 1. the natural pronenesse of their bodies, Ciceroes answere to the Romans re­fusing Murena to be consul, because [Page 12]he had liued in Asia, shall be mine, telling them, that was not commen­dable in Murena, that he had neuer seene, but that he had liued conti­nently in Asia. What if their bodies be an Asia, full of delights? that is not discommendable: but that their soules, a Murena, should liue chaste in the Asia of their bodies, thats lau­dable (as Seneca saith of Leuanus) Hoc multo fortius ebrio ac vomitante populo sobrium esse; by this they are most vertuous, that their mindes should be sober, amongst the rio­tous pleasures of their bodies. It is the chiefest part of Continency, that it can, but will not doe ill. Now to proue their voluntary abstinence from those their desires, examples must be my only Medium, which al­though they bee not demonstrable arguments to proue a truth, yet they are probable, for (saith Cicero) vt habet in aetatibus authoritatem se­nectus, [Page 13]sic in exemplis antiquitas: ancient examples to present times should be as venerable, as old age to youth. Sen. Epis. 18. Optimum ex praeterito consi­lium praesentis venit, wee may best iudge of the present by things past. Lucretia, being asked of her hus­band, when Tarquinius had offered her violence, how shee did? answe­red, Liui. Deca. 12. Quid salum est multeri amissa pudicitia? What can be safe to a wo­man, when shee is bereaued of her chastity? The Romane Lady that neuer kist man, but her husband, did therefore deemed all men like vnto him, to haue obnoxious & noysom breaths. The Thebane maide, before Nicanor should be the caruer vp of her virginity, chose to be her owne boistrous Butcher. Our Matilda, Speed Chron. ere she would assent to the vnlawfull sute of King Iohn, fled to a Monaste­ry, and there suffered death. And what was the reason that the anci­ents [Page 14]constituted them the mouthes of their Oracles, and gouernors of their Temples, but for their chasti­ty and sanctity? and whosoeuer shall read histories, or looke into these present times, shall find many chaste Orythyas, for one Carneades, many continent Clea's for one Socrates, and on the contrary many a lasciuious Caligula, for one Messalina, many an incontinent Tiberius, for one Liuia [...] but that which giues the most luster of their continency, is, that men who as I haue proued should be natural­ly most chaste, are assailants, where­as they should bee defendants: but now custome hath made it no fault in them, for Multitudo peccantium tollit peccatum, the multitude of of­fenders takes away the offence, and faults are no longer feared, then that they are rare, but our English so Seneca tels them, Halt. that offences are much greater, as they are more vni­uersal. [Page 15]Do they not obserue houres, dayes, and all occasions, to batter the wailes of their chastity? And what will not importunity and op­portunity effect? which as they ag­grauate the fault in the agent, so they extenuate, though not excuse it in the patient. Certainely, if they should vse the like meanes, to ob­taine men, a Nay would bee as sel­dome as treason in the mouthes of most men. Yet so iniurious are the censures of these our times, that if a Ioue vanquish but, or vitiate or in or in vanquishing, viciate a silly Io, a graue Cato, a light or tender Vir­gin, black infamy shall ouercloud, and brand her reputation, not once touching his. Juuena. Sat.

Ille pretium sceleris,
tulit hic Diade [...]a.
Of he fault poore she
shall beare the blame,
When he's crown'd with
a Diadem.

As sweetely sings a Lady in our English Ouid. Drayton Poet.

To men is granted
priuiledge to tempt:
But in that Charter,
women be exempt:
Their fault it selfe
serues for the faults excuse,
And makes it ours,
though yours be the abuse:
And howsoeuer,
although by force they win,
Yet on our weakenesse,
still returnes the sinne.

If women bee vnchaste, Jncontinem semi-malus Arist. Ethi. l. 7. Continentia melior Tem. Arist. Ethi. l. 7. they are but incontinent, and therefore but semi-malae, but halfe euill: If man be vnchaste, he is vntemperate, & ther­fore totaliter malus, wholy euil, if they be both chaste, shee is continent, and he but temperant, and therefore more to be praised: Sene Epis. for Quamuis a­cundem finem vterque peruenerit, tamen maior est laus, idem efficere dif­ficiliore [Page 17]materia: although they both attaine the same end, yet it is the more laudable to effect the same in a more difficult matter.

Of their Fortitude and Mag­nanimity.

ALthough continency bee the best fortitude, and it is the grea­test conquest, when the body is the Chariot, that carries the minde tri­umphing ouer its affections: there­fore Laelius told his friend, Liui. deca. being in­snared with the beauty of Syphax his wife, that it would be a more no­ble victory, to conquer his affecti­ons to her, then in subduing the husband: Maximum est imperium im­perare sibi, and he is most valiant that conquers himselfe: yet because you shall not deeme them inferiour to you in warrelike fortitude, take Seneca's iudgement of them, Sen. ca. 1 [...]. Quis [Page 18]dixerit naturam maligne cum mulie­ribus egisse, par illis mihi crede vi­gor, &c. who saith, that nature hath giuen her fauours sparingly to wo­man, they haue the same vigour, and can, as well tolerate labours, as men, if they be accustomed to them. To omit the men-conquering Ama­zons, there is none I know so ob­scure, to whom the trumpet of fame hath not blowne their valors. [...] Xerx­es (he that was alwayes last in the field, and first out) seeing Artemisia brauely fighting amongst his Cap­taines, sayd (for euen the vicious thinke well of vertue) [...]: [...]s there is in man womanish feare, so there is in woman virill auda­city.

The Romanes had no lesse fight with the women, [...] then with their husbands, in conquering the Cim­brians Semiramis receiuing ignomi­nious [Page 19]speeches from the King of the Indians, D [...]orus de antiqui. renunciated and sent him word, she intended not to fight with words, but with swords. Cam. Brit. The anci­ent inhabitants of this Ile, the Brit­taines, Vaodicia being their General, shaked off the Romane yoke, and most of their prosperous battels were when women did leade them. Ya [...]tus Anna. 4. And was not France wholy ouer­runne by our English, Grim. his Fran. vntill (as the French brag) that valorous Ioane gaue life to the French, confron­ted our braue Bedford in the field? And what was the Phoenix of her time, our euer to bee renowned Queene, Elizabeth, at whose frowne Kings trembled? And that fiery-spi­rited Blanch, Dutches of Orlean [...]e, when King Philip had giuen her disgracefull words, replyed, that if (to vse my authors words) she had a paire of [...], Fren. Hist. hee durst not so haue reuiled her. But thou wil [...] [...]y, [Page 20]they may haue couragious minds, but they want force. Oh! men are stronger then they. So are many beasts stronger then men, Senc. Corpus si magnas habet vires, non aliter quam furiosi validum est: Valour consists in the minde, not in the body; not Megasomity, but Magnanimity, is the vertue: it is the minde that ex­tols deiected things, illustrates base things, dehonestates great things. They yeeld to men to haue windes like Dionysius that strong-sided Trumpeter, A [...]us Hist. who with his breath could puffe about Wind-Mils.

So that they haue minds able to blow away all base feares: Hom. [...]. l. 3. And what more euident signe of their valor, then their loue of it? Homer indu­ceth Helena complaining of Hymen, that hee had espoused her to one, who durst not defend her against the enemy. The Laconians seeing their husbands feare, lending them [Page 21]wings to flye from the field, asked them if they intended to obscond themselues in their mothers bellies? Tiphane perceiuing her beloued Bertrand, Fren. hi. for the sweet of her cōpa­nie, to let his desire of Martiall af­faires quaile within him; told him she should the entirelier loue him, if he did stil prosecute the honour and reputation of Chiualry. Drasm. Rhetor. Damatria her sonne complaining of the short­nesse of his sword, bid him stand neerer his enemy. Venus did more affect bloudy Mars, then timorous & fairefac't Apollo. And how many Katherines chose rather to bee cour­ted with conquering Launces, then Court-like Rapters? I might heere a posteriore (as the Logicians tearme it) from the effects inferre their for­titudes, women beeing the cause of that calor caelestis, the heauenly fire of loue, which burnes, as it did in Lepidus, all ignoble, and seruile [Page 22]feares from mens hearts, the whet­stone (as one saith of Anger) that exacuates and sets an edge on mens obtuse and blunt affections: the Lapis Alchimicus, the Philosophers Stone, that conuerts Leaden passi­ons, into any golden sweet content: but that many pens haue testified the same, and I am loth to bee a Broker of other mens wits.

Of their constancie and true loue.

THere is a greater Sympathy of affections in friendships, [...] then [...], betwixt man & womā, then man and man. For you shall not reade of aboue foure or fiue couples of men that were linkt to­gether in the bands of faithfull friendship, when Authors swarme with sexamples betwixt the other. Similitudo morum, [...]. 250. the similitude of affections, as Otho obtained Neros, [Page 23]is the cause of virall friendship: but [...], nature it selfe, is the founda­tion of coniugall friendship. It is Iucunda amicitia, that is the cause of this vera amicitia. It is pleasure, that tyes the indissoluble knot of true friendship; delight begins it, hone­stie confirmes it: for where pleasure is, there is desire of societie, and thats the key, that locks their thoughts together. Shee then that is espoused to one whom shee doth not affect, if shee loue another, ca [...] not be said to be inconstant, but in­continent. For inconstancie is a ne­gation of constancie: they must then first loue, ere they bee incon­stant. If then (courteous Reader) thou doest but ballance the scales of thy iudgement with impartiali­tie, duely waying the nature of in­constancie, thou wilt not hereafter so rashly accuse them of instable­nes. What if there be one Helena [Page 24]amongst all the Graecians; one Liuia amongst all the Romans; one Cleopatra amongst all the Egypti­ans: wilt thou therefore shoot the arrow of thy fame-wounding iudgement against all, the Graeci­ans, Romanes and Egyptians? There is no motion, but circular, that is al­wayes perfect. All are not Starres, fixed in the Orbe of constancie, there must bee some straying Pla­nets. Just. l. 18. Elisa Queene of Carthage, her Husband being murdered, and af­terward beeing sollicited of many for her loue, praecipitated her selfe from a Sky-kissing Turret, Just. l. 18. saying, I come, my Sychaeus, I come. Theo­gena, wife to Agathocles, refused to depart from him, when all his sub­iects had relinquisht and forsaken him, saying, Se non prosperae tantum, sed omnis fortunaeinisse societatem, she was as wel married to him in aduer­sitie, as in prosperitie. And not to [Page 25]stand particularizing, Diod. the Getoi wo­men would not be sent from their husbands besieged: but would par­ticipate of the same fortune they did. D [...]od. It beeing a custome amongst the Indians, that the women should be buried quick with their husbāds, if the thred of their liues were first cut, they so willingly condiscended vnto it, that many times one man hauing two wiues, they would be at mortall strife, who should be inter­red with him. Martia, the Daughter of Cato, being demanded when she would surcease from mourning for her deceased husband, Cum & vitae inquit: When I cease to liue. The wife of Philo, when shee was asked why shee did not adorne her selfe with Iewels at publike solemnizati­ons, answered, It sufficeth me, that I haue for my ornament the vertue of my husband. The Wife of Po [...] ­pey slew her selfe vpon his dead [Page 26]corps, from whom, I thinke, the Tragedian took his sentence, Sen. Trag. Mors misera non est, commori cum quo ve­lis.

Pale death to life
is oft of those preferd,
Who are with those,
whom they doe loue, interr'd.

Should I stand to enumerate all the regular Matrons that mooue within the speare of fidelitie; I might seeme by a Logicall Inducti­on, in reckoning vp all particulars, to inferre a generall. Women, their mindes are crystall, which writ on by the Diamond of loue, the slub­bering fingers of Time can neuer obliterate or blot forth: Like the state of the world aboue the Moon, where there is no change. Their minds perhaps, as (Seneca saith) a wise mans, may wauer, but neuer alter.

Of their contempt, and freenesse from Gluttonie.

THere is none, I thinke, Rick. Rhet. so scru­pulously malicious, vnlesse hee resemble the Philosopher, who doubted whether he were a man or a woman, and therefore would haue it decided by disputation, that will suffer any thought to mooue within the Zodiake of there imaginations, which doth not in this giue Wo­man the preeminence. Peruse thou all Authors, that haue in there writings disgorged and spet forth their venemous rancour against them: and if thou canst finde two of them that were addicted to Ga­strimorgisme, I will grant thee to inferre that they are all dishmon­gers, when the streame of Autors beares floting on their Pageants, innumerable mens names, who by [...] and [...] haue [Page 28]brought both bodies and purses in­to consumptions. Philoxenus wi­shed his necke were as long as a Cranes, that hee might the longer feele the sweetnes of his meat: and he (qualis vita, finis ita) hauing taken a mortall surfet, by deuouring almost a Polypus of the quantitie of two Ells, desired to comfort his empty stomack, that death should separate his leane soule, from his fat body, that he might eat the remain­der. Aclian. l. 12. Sminderides, whose eyes were sixe times as long shut with Glutto­nie, as Endymions was with sleepe, from beholding the Sunne, and then forsooth by Loue, being awa­ked from his sluggishnes, he rode a wooing, brauely attended with a thousand Cookes, as many Fow­lers, and so many Fishers. How ma­ny Nero's shall you finde banquet­ting, and swilling, from midday, to midnight, with Vitellius, making (as [Page 29]one saith) their [...] and [...], their [...]: and honestum et parum est, cui corpus multum, whose belly is his god, honestie most commonly is his slaue.

Of their dextericall Wits.

IF the acutenesse of wit doe fol­low, and be seene by the purenes of the temperature of the body▪ as without doubt it is: for it heere is v­sually [...], the most exact sense of feeling and [...], a soft temperate flesh, where there is a smirke and quicke wit: women (being they are most com­monly imbued with those corporall fauours) should by a consequent bee the best [...], haue the most ac­tiue, and excelling wits: and when Aristotle prefer's the more obtuse and melancholy wit, before the dextericall; it is in affaires where [Page 30]there is time for deliberation: o­therwaies the prae-wit excels the post wit, as actions performed in season, doe those which are out of season. For many times, when oc­casion is offered the prae-wit takes it by the forehead, when the other whiles the time away it: doth search the corners of the braines, for the oyle of inuentions, stayes till the doore of answering be shut against it: Like the messenger that came to tell Cassius of the victory, Paterc. pa. 122. when hee had already slaine himselfe in des­paire of it: Pers [...]us. and elleborum frustra [...]umiam cutis aegra tumebat.

In vaine we to inuention flye,
When occasion's past, for to reply.

Socrates tearmeth perspicuitie of wit, aurum diuinum, diuine and re­fined gold, whose Mine is the minde of a woman: And therefore the Muses, the fountaine of all wit, were women: The Sybils, quarum [Page 31]quot verba, tot Oracula, whose words as an Oracle to the Romanes, were women. The quintessence, the A per se (as one saith of Poets) of wit: Aeneas Syl. the euen flowing Euripus of faculty, learned Sapho, a vvoman. The daughter of Tully being asked in scurrility, by Metellus who was her Father? replyed, It would be hard for thee to answere it, by reason of thy Mother, (for shee was esteem'd none of the honestest.) It vvas a pretty extemporarie sleight of Se­marimus: who, A [...]lia [...] 7. when the Indian King caused her to ascend his Throne, and gaue her authority to command the Souldiours, to doe what she would; she presently bid them kill the King himselfe: and so she obtained his Kingdome. And whose eye is not blinded with ma­lignitie, may see the floud of their wits still to flow in these our times.

It is a more then probable signe, [Page 32]that they excell men in the actiue­nesse of wit, in that (as I haue proo­ued) they are lesse incident to Gur­mandizing: Lab. in I [...]. for [...]: and as a modern Poet pithy­ly Englisheth:

Fat panches make leane pates,
and groser bits
Enrich the ribs,
but bankrout quite the wits.

Of their Wisedome.

PErspicuitie of wit is of the Mora­lifts made the chiefest part of wisedome, Mag. in Ar [...]s. l. 3. differing solely from it: as pars doth a toto: as the part from the whole. Indeed, wisedome is nothing but a perfected wit, it be­ing onely necessary by nature: the other parts got by experience. If then women haue actiuenesse of wit, reason will tell you, they most easily attaine to prudence, which is [Page 33](because the knife of occasion, will not suffer me to shred it into all his parts) either Oeconomicall, or Po­liticall. Concerning the first, the whole multitude cryes, as they doe to Kings, Regnant, regnant: Let it appertaine to the Sexe feminine to gouern the house, and so their poli­tikes prudence, who knowes how to guide a little, will quickly learn how to gouerne much. Our politike Pru­dence sprung first, from Oeconomi­call. And domus (saith Aristotle) est quasi parua quae dam ciuitas, & ciuitas quasi magna domus: a house is, as it were a little Citie, and a Citie, as it were, a great house. But let one, vvho with Diogenes could neuer afford woman a good vvord, speake for them, saying, that nature had de­nied vnto them strength: for other wise, their courage beeing corrobo­rated by policy, would bee vncon­querable. Antipater vvas accusto­med [Page 34]vvith his Daughter Phila, to consult of his most serious and war­like affaires. [...]. D [...]. 3. Tannaquill, that poli­tick Romane Dame, obtained by the sleyts of her wits, two Empire­domes. Agrippina, when al the Cap­taines could not asswage the raging of the people, [...]. 6 with her sweet and Nectar-flowing words of vvit, cal­med and pacified them. Heluna, the Mother of Seneca, was expert in all Sci [...]nce: The Armenians expulsed their King, to haue a VVoman sway the Scepter of their Monarchy: shewing, that there are women both more wise to iudge vvhat is to bee expected, [...] and more constant to beare it when it is hapned. But I may say of their vertues, as one saith of vices; [...] 4 [...]. Multarum latent virtutes, quia imbecilles sunt, the clouds of obscuritie, many times ouershad­dow the Sunne of their Vertues from shining: and haud distat iner­tia [Page 35]caelcita virtus. Vertue concea­led, is esteemed little better then sluggishnes. They may haue nature vvhich begins; Art which directs; but they want vse, which per [...]ecteth. Generosos animos Otium corrumpit: vvant of imployment, corrupts the brauest spirits; the fountain of their vertue, corrupts by standing. Want of vse, causeth disabilitie; but cu­stome, perfection.

Of their Beauty.

ALthough it bee a Tenent a­mongst the Stoicks (who would haue men impassionate, Diad. l. de Ant [...]q. & without affections, as Diodorus writes of some Arabians) that there is no ex­ternall good, addes perfection to a man: Yet the Peripateticks hold them, although not necessarie, yet requisite, as one distinguisheth, not absolute: sed respectiue, they doe not [Page 36]concurre to perfection, [...] as it is per­fection, but as it is mans perfection: and of all aduentitiall, and extrafi­call goods, Aristotle giues the principalitie to pulchritude, which doth not cause vertue, but graceth it. Plutarch accuseth Seneca of in­considerate Iudgement, in that he accuseth Virgil of errour, in saying that Gratior est pulchro veniens ecor­pore virtus.

Plac't with beauty, vertue's like
Rich Pearle set in a Margarite.

Non satis est (saith Galatcus) bene quid facere, Cal. de Mor. nisi etiam fiat venustè. It is not sufficient to performe actions so vvel, [...] vnlesse also decently. Sumus omnes (saith Osorius) natura concin­ [...]tatis, appetentes: wee all naturally desire neatnes, & concinnity. Beau­tie is call'd of Plato, a prerogatiue of nature, accidentall to few: Of Theophrastus, silentem fraudem, quod absque verbis persuadebat: a silent [Page 37]fraud, that perswades without words. Of Carneades, [...]: [...] a Kingdome without a guard; be­cause it commands without com­pulsion. And therefore saith the Philosopher, If there were any a­mongst the gods, that did excell in externall lineaments, the rest would deeme it meet that they should go­uerne. [...] The Catharri chose them to be libertie free, who were of a come­ly proportion, the rest they made seruile. [...] And if I may not come within the reach of Iuuenals lash, the primus Motor, the abstract of fairenesse, entitled (with reuerence be it spoken) his Spouse in the Can­ticles, by the name of faire: Intima­ting the Adamantine and winning power it hath, with mortals. For beeing the species of each obiect, & impressed in the sence, before it bee in the vnderstanding, it is a good consequent, that whatsoeuer [Page 38]is most delightfull tothe Organical sences, the Intellectuall parts are most willing to receiue. I neede not set inuention on the racke, to proue their Prerogatiue in corporall fea­ture, as I haue in their internall and mentall forme, since our sensi­ble eyes doe more easily see [...], then our intelligible vnderstand. I haue need of a Sapho's wit, to describe the Rose of their beauty; not an Aristo­tles Iudgement, to proue it. Let each ones sences bee the glasse, in which they view beauty; and then, I thinke, there will be none so hy­pocriticall, or false, that will not re­flexe some shaddow of their pul­chritude, by which they may see them to surpasse men. Quantum len. ta solent inter viburna Cupressi, as much as the lofty Cypresse doth ouerpeere the limber shrubbe: or, Achil. Tac. lib. 8. as one saith of Ephesius, [...], as faire [Page 39]not amongst, but aboue men; as Rodope, aboue the Virgins. The Crasis of their bodies, comes nee­rest to the Physicians temperamen­tum ad pondus. Although selfe-tor­menting enuie, which alwaies, [...]an­quam ignis summapetit, a perpetuall companion of vertue, seek to con­geale vapours in the sky of beauty, with the noisomnesse of its breath, by obiecting incontinence vnto it, as a Poet sings:

There is no name
(if she be false or not,)
But being faire,
some enuious tongue will blot:

As if nature were an Hypocrite, to candie ouer the bitter Pils of the minde, with sugred outsides. No, no, their externall feature doth striue (as Paterculus saith of Victinius) with the excellencie of their mindes; whose vertues being a Iewell, inveloped in the siluer O [...]e [Page 40]of their bodies, like Achilles, of whom Maximus Tarrhus saith, Not onely to bee extold for her golden looks, but because he was adorned with all vertuous qualities. D [...]ge. La [...]r. [...] The cord of society (as Chrysippus nomi­nates it) or pulchritude, is described to bee a proportionable commixti­on of the foure elements in mans body, & where no one element doth predominate in the body, there no one passion doth captiuate the soule: [...] for, Cuius in vllo elementi por­tio praeualebit, inde moris erunt, the minde deriues his passions from the preuailing clement in the body: where Frigidity doth predominate, their t [...]morousnes; where Calidity, there choler: wherfore Plato would haue children prohibited, and yong men in the hot Meridean of their age, to abstaine from Wine, because by califying the body, it inflameth also the minde.

And whereas we see many with Lepidus, to haue fairer bodies then minds, leaden Rapiers, in golden Sheathes, like Diogenes young man, a Momus wit in an Apello's body, like Nereus Beard in a painted Box, it is not by the instinct of nature, but by the corruption of it: and on the con­trary, when wee see many golden qualities placed, as Aesops Iewell, in in the dunghill, in Leaden bodies, as in Galba, of whome Cicero said, his wit had an ill lodging; nature doth not imbue them with them, but industry obtaines them, as S [...] ­ere [...]s and our last Cardinall confes­sed of themselues, The temperature of the body doth but beginne and inchoate our affections, custome and vse are of most validity, where­fore generally wee may iudge, as an Epigrammatist doth of a slow pa­ced Lordane: [Page 42]

Tardus es ingenio,
vt pedibus, natura etenim dat
Exterius specimen,
quod latet interius.
Thy leaden heeles
no golden wit doe shew:
For in-bred gifts
by outward limbs we know.

Of their comfort to man.

THere is nothing more oppug­nant to mans nature, then soli­tude: and therefore he is described to be animal sociale, Ven. epis. 10 a sociable crea­ture: it is one of the two by which he hath his prerogatiue of beasts, So­cietas illi dominum animalium dedit: Company hinders from many of­fences, when Omnia nobis mala soli­tudo persuadit, Solitarinesse per­swades to all euill. Crates seeing a young man spaciating by himselfe, demanded what he did there alone? [Page 43] Mecum (saith he) loquor, Seneca. I talke with my selfe. Take heed then, replied Crates, lest cum homine malo loque­ris, thou conferrest with an euil one. It is better for a man to be with any one, then with himselfe. Art thou with Metelius in prosperity, and doth Fortune, with a prosperous gale of winde, blow the Ship of thy life towards the Port of riches? thou canst neuer by thy selfe, without the cords of friends, cast Anker in the Hauen of contentednes: for Nullius boni sine societate iucunda possessio est: There is no pleasing possession of a­ny thing without a companion. A­gain, art thou with Rutilius in aduer­sity: & doth the blustring Boreas of mis-fortune, cast thee on the rock of pouerty? yet solamen miseris, the comfort of friends is comfort: it is a sweete thing in aduersity to haue, who laments with vs our miseries; vt serenitas gratior in tempestate ad­uenit, Lip. epis. 62. [Page 44] sic lugenti amico amicus, as se­renity to Mariners after tempests; so the Sunne-shine of a friends pre­sence, is most gratefull to his cor­relatiue, in the tempest of his ad­uersity: Lacrimis lacrimis miscere iu­ [...]at. Helena could tell Hecuba, that her sorrow was light in respect of hers, because she had coopartners in it: for magis exurunt, quos secretae lace­rant curae. Care doth most scorch, when we pen it within the narrow compasse of our owne hearts. Wel then, there is no true ioy, without a friend, and no friend, in respect of a wife, a woman to a man, who, if thou beest iocund, ads pleasure to thy mirth, and makes the cup of thy heart ouerflow with the nectar of delight. Art thou sad, and doth care gnaw thy perplexed minde? why, Est aliquod fatale malū per ver­ba leuari, by words thou must ease it: and who so conuenient as a wife [Page 45] [...]o vnclapse the bosome of thy thoughts vnto? who either bedew­ing her cheeks with teares for the, beares halfe thy burthen, or else ab­sterging or wiping with her soft hand teares from thy eyes, as sor­row from thy soule, as [...]ocasta did to Oedipus with a consolatory, Sen [...] [...]. nal. 3. & [...]. pro vs, [...]. Deca. Quid ur uat, coniux, mala grauare quastu [...]

What helpes it, Sweet,
to aggrauate
By sorrow thy
disastrous fate?

What a Patheticall Oration makes Messalinus for women, to associate their husbands in the wars in forraine regions? Quod honestius, quam leuamentum vxortum reuerten­tibus post laborem, &c? what more conuenient, then to haue, when wee returne from our labours, then the comfort of our wiues, [...] as that one eye of Minerua testifieth of them?

[Page 46]
And thou shalt finde
in women vertues lie:
Sweote supple minds,
which soone to vertue bow,
Where they, by wisedomes rule
directed are,
And are not forst
fond thraldome to allow.
As we to get are fram'd,
so they to spare:
We made for paine,
they made, our paines to cherish,
We care abroad,
and they at home haue care.

I may say of them, Euri. Trag. as Euripides saith of the iust man, They seeme non sibi, Pet. de re­emr. sortu. sed alijs natae, not to be borne to themselues, but to others. Dulces parentes, dulces fillij, dulces fratres, dulces amici, sed dulcissimae vxores. It is a sweet thing to haue parents, children, brothers and friends, but it is most amoene, it is most sweete, to haue the comfort of a louing wo­man, [Page 47]when parents proue vnnatu­rall, children rebllious, brothers vnkind, friends vnconstant, wiues are onely like the Gemelli of Hypo­crates, inseparable; the sweete that must relish all those sowre potions: a wife is as a good conscience to a man, wheresoeuer she is, there is true peace and ioy: a man is neuer per­fect, vntill he be married, till then he is defectiue, he wants a Ribbe, not vxor fulgit (as the Ciuilian saith) ra­dijs mariti, sed maritus radijs vxoris: She is as the Sunne, and hee the Moone, the beames of her presence is the cause of his shining. It may be an Axiome as well as an Adage, Verberat vxorem qui non habet: vn­married men only beat their wiues, who discommend them out of ig­norance for wee cannot iudge of sweet, vntill we taste them: but most maligne them, as Appius did Virgi­nia, because they cannot obtai [...]e [Page 48]them: and married men dislaude them, because they haue them: for Quicquid domi est, vile est: we alwaies esteeme the worst of that wee inioy: praesentium taedio futuri desiderio labo­ramus, wee are sick alwayes of the present, and for future things: tar­dius bona quàm mala sensimus, [...]. wee are more sensible of ill then good, as Cicero saith of his Terentia, that till he was exilde from her company, hee neuer knew what content it brought vnto him; wee neuer know what pleasures are, till we bee berea­ued of them: widdowers can onely iudge of the comfort of a wife.

That Children are most obliged to their mothers.

EDucing, education, and affecti­on, are the threefold cords that should tye each childe to the loue of its mother: first, by educing or indu­cing [Page 49]to this world; wherin euery mo­ther is as a good Land-Lord to her childe, giuing it both house-roome and nutriment, when it, like an vn­ruly Tenant, doth grieue and vexe her, and, which is against the Lease of equity, many times cuts and crops the flourishing trees of their beauty, and growne too great for their places, as many mens minds are for their estates, they seeke for a more ample habitation, neither can they haue the Lawyers bene decessit, for many times (Proh dolor) they rui­nate in their departure, their conti­nents, and yet women shew them­selues the truest louers, they loue them that hurt them; & that it is bet­ter not to beginne a good action at all, then to desist; hauing begunne, they perseuere in their benefits, gi­uing them that alter a natura, that o­ther nature, education, nourishing our bodies as the Pellicane, though [Page 50]not with the bloud, yet with the substance of their brests, and when they are able instruments to exer­cise the faculties of the soule, they (and id maximum beneficium, quod animum reddit meliorem; that is the greatest benefit which perfects the soule) suckle our mindes with the milke of good manners, train­ing vs vp, [...]. as Tanaquill did her sonne, in religion and learning. The two Gracchi reaped all the flowers of their Oratory, from the Garden of their mothers vertues. Sucto. Caesar ob­tained his eloquence by conuersing with his mother. And Socrates, that Athenian Eagle, exhausted all his wisedome from the well-spring of Diol [...]nna's instructions. [...]. Lastly, by their affection. Rutilia followed her sonne Cotta in his exile; and yet when death bereaued her of him, her eyes neuer shewed, her heart lo­ued him, in expulso virtutem ostendit, [Page 51]in amisso, prudentiam: in his exile she shewed her loue, in his death, her wisdome. Two Roman Matrons be­holding their sons, Petrar. de Mater. whom they dee­med to haue bin slaine in the great battel at Thraceninus, their soules as incapable of so inexpected ioy, took leaue of their bodies. But I need not induce Instances, since they are oft­ner with Niobe & Satyrus for ouer­louing, thē for not louing them, re­prehended. Two reasons may be gi­uen, why they doe most affect their children. First, because they are cer­tain they are theirs. VVherfore T [...]l [...] ­machus being asked, if it were true that Vlisses was his father? answered, Mater quidē [...]ta hoc dicit, My mother saith he was. Secondly, for that they haue most sorrow by them: for em­nis amat beneficia sua, wee loue that most dearely, that costs vs dearest. There is one honour (saith Arist [...]tle) due to the father, another to the [Page 52]mother: we owe most honour to our father in a Geometricall proporti­on, in respect of dignitie, but most to our mother in an Arithmeticall proportion, in respect of desert. For we haue of them principally, [...]. [...], our essence: Secondly, [...], our nourishment: thirdly, [...], our education: and amor, amoris magnes est, & durus est, qui amorem non repen­dit: Loue is the Loadstone of Loue, and hee is the most obdure, that doth not repay it. There is no ingratitude comparable to that which is committed against the mother. Euery man may say with Seneca, [...]. Quicquid praestiti, infra aesti­mationem materni muneris est. When I haue performed all that I can, I can neuer recompence her. For hee is neuer conquered in be­nefits, whose benefit it is, that he is conquered. I will winde vp the clue of this Tract, with that patheti­call [Page 53]saying of Petrarch: Petrar. de Mater.

Cum nihil sit natis
materno magis amore:
Iam mater studijs
est veneranda pijs.
Since Mothers most
their childrens states doe tender:
By obsequious dutie,
we them thankes should render.

The Castrophe.

IT is no maruell if the Catharri would rechange three or foure men, Diod [...]. A [...]. for one woman captiuated or taken prisoner: if the Egyptians, & Lycians, would haue them rule both in publike, and priuate: If the Lacedemonians called their wiues [...], Ladies: Tacide M [...]r. O [...]r. If the Germans paid so deare for their Spouses: If Plat [...] held a woman as necessary in a Fa­mily, as a King in a Countrey; since they doe excell in all the principall [Page 54]passions of the minde; hauing, as Museus saith of Hero, a hundred graces: In continencie, Cato's; in fortitude, Scipio's; in constancie, A­chates; in pulchritude, as the Poet saith of Amarintha, all beauty; in wit, the Marmulade and sucket of Muses: Cordial Nepenthes of com­fort to their husbands: True Pelli­cans to their children. If Nature, saith Plutarch, would see her selfe, woman must be her perspectiue, or Looking-glasse? Women? What are they? Natures pride, Vertues ornament, Angels on earth, Saints in Heauen; memorable to be regi­stred, worthy to bee serued. In a word, if the world bee a Ring, wo­man is the Diamond set in this Ring.

And now my Pen will needs take his leaue of its faire Loue, the Pa­per, with blubbering, as you see these ruder teares of Inke. I may say, [Page 55]as Festus saith of himselfe, Festus hist. Rom. init. Res gestas signaut, non scripsi, I haue touched, not handled their vertues. VVhere­in I haue obserued halfe of Aesops counsel to Solon, Lubin in Ju [...]e [...]: that his speech should bee either short, or sweet. VVhat I want in suauitie, I haue endeuoured to supply by bre­uitie: of which, if any one accuse me, let Seneca giue a pricke to their Toade-swolne galls with his Nu [...] ­quam parum est, quod satis est. I know, that more may be said of each qualitie; but I desired not to say all, but enough.

FINIS.

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