WRITTEN ORIGINALLY in FRENCH, since made ENGLISH, BY The Honourable, Walter Montague, Esq;.

LONDON, Printed for GABRIEL BEDELL and THO. COLLINS, at the Middle Temple Gate in Fleet­street, 1656.



IF yee could see your self without the help of a re­flex, I should not need to present you with this glass, [Page] but since even internal spe­culations result most from outward intuitions in this mirror of an Accomplished woman, you may let your self into your self at your eies, and so fit them with an ob­ject proportionable to their own beauty: and only thus could I lessen the distance be­tweene my obligations and my services, by an exact ac­compt of you to your selfe, since it is so hard for you to take it from our sex, which are auditors in the valuation of yours, because the loveli­nesse of your person may ex­pose even a true estimate of your vertues to your suspi­tion [Page] of passion. This is the only ill office, Madam, your body can do your mind, which it doth by so faire meanes, that you may easily forgive it. The original of this Woman is French, whose perfection must needs fall some degrees, in this change of the Horizon. You, Ma­dam, are in English the E­dition, as well as the Dedi­cation, and your actions do translate better this booke, then my words; so that this cannot enform your under­standing in any new unac­quired grace or vertue, but by a duplication of your me­mory, convince your mode­stie [Page] of a needlesse desire to improve; and as your con­versation may be instruction for others, so this which was meant for edification, is but strict enough for your entertainment. Here (Ma­dam) you shall find Ill both severely reproved, and fairely shamed, by shewing the ex­cellency of good in Ill's grea­test brag, Variety: and shame doth not only restrain, but rectifie more then fear; For women apprehend lesse the effusion of blood for punish­ment, then the diffusion of it for shame. Here you shall find humors as well mix'd and shadowed by one another, as [Page] ever you saw colours; and so much diversity in Loves archery, as one would think Cupid shot out of a Rain-bow. Each severall humour hath a point to fasten on its correspondency, therefore there is no wondring at the seeming extravagancy of pas­sions.

Here (Madam) I conceive, you may learne by reading, what you cannot so easily by conversation, because no body dares tell it you, when any bo­dy is in love with you; which you may be assured of, when you find a judicious admirer of an Accomplish'd Woman; and this Rule is their prote­ction [Page] as well as their discove­ry. I (Madam) may be an admirer of this Woman in French, but an excuser of this in the language of

Your Graces most Humble and Obedient Servant, WALTER MONTAGUE.


  • Of Chearfulnesse and Melan­choly, 1
  • Of Reputation. 19
  • Of Inclination to Vertue, chiefly to the Devotion of the times. 30
  • Of Chastity and Complacency. 38
  • Of Courage. 47
  • Of Prudence and Discretion. 56
  • Of Knowledge and Ignorance. 65
  • Of Constancy and Fidelity. 72
  • Of Curiosity and Censure. 83
  • Of a Debauched Woman. 88
  • [Page] Of the Cruelty and Pity of Wo­men. 95
  • Of Beauty. 102
  • Of Gracefulnesse. 109
  • Of Cloathes and Ornaments. 116
  • Of Iealousie. 123


Of Cheerfulness and Melancholy.

THe Noblest Designe that wee can propose to our selves in conversation, is to have such a kind of wit as makes us ac­ceptable, and by a welcome violence acquires us a command as powerful as pleasing. A cheerfull humour is more advantageous for the attaining of this, then a Melancholy; which indeed is not unfit for Knowledg, but is too heavie for Dis­course, and too gross for delicacies and sharp returns. Cheerful humours are gracefuller and freer in all they do, and so are welcom­er to all Companies; as more naturall in their affections, and lesse constrained in their behaviour, and more innocent in their de­signes and thoughts. Notwithstanding all [Page 2] that can be said in favour of the Melancholy, if their thoughtfulnesse be commendable in something, it hath as many il effects as good; and those that call it the Mother of Wise­dom, must confesse also that it is often too of Extravagancy. They would perswade us, that their wits make many discoveries, and that they reach far in their Meditations: But sometimes too their journey is so long, as they never come home again; or if they do return, 'tis like Pilgrims, that leave their owne Countrey, to wander idly in strange ones, without any advantage, but to bring from thence povertie and wearinesse.

Thinking is a Labyrinth where one may be easily lost, and is hardly to be got out of; yet the Melancholy call it the Element of good Wits; believing to excuse their own weaknesse by giving it a brave name. But as lame men cannot brag, if after the expence of a great deal of time and labour, they get a little way; so these musing Wits deserve no praise, for being long a seek­ing, what quicker find sooner, and with more ease. Readier Wits have the same advantage of them, as Birds have of Ser­pents, or Angels of Bodies and materiality But chiefly, I cannot conceive why they glory in speaking little; because their silence [Page 3] comes rather from barrennesse then discre­tion; and if they hold their peace in many occasions, 'tis not so much to chuse words, as to seek them. Such persons would have easily been good Disciples of Pithagoras, but that they holding their peace by command, would not have been capable also of learn­ing to speak handsomly. They should have a School quite contrary to these Philoso­phers, to learn the faculty they want; they had more need of Physicians and broths, then of Tutors; they must not onely have Lessons read them to cure them, but Mira­cles wrought upon them. Just as Fire can easier descend, then Earth ascend; so ha­stie humours may be moderated by reading and experience; but grosse and heavie ones can hardly with what pains soever be taken, be made lively and subtile. Though Birds have wings to fly, yet they can trusse them up when they will, to ease themselves; tran­scendent. Wits can do so for action or rest: but when the Melancholy ones strive to a­nimate their languishings, they run Icarus his hazard, that was too materiall, and had not skill enough to fly upon artificiall wings. Their Discourse and their Argu­ments are ungracious, when they force themselves to expresse in them a heat that [Page 4] is not naturall to them. They are like some old men, that run when they think they walk, and get not forward but by chance; and after the least straining of them­selves, are suddenly out of breath, in stead of wiselyer fitting their pace to their weaknesse. The most part of these sick ones glory in the disapprobation of ordina­ry company, seeking to perswade the cre­dulous, that nothing but affairs of that im­portance (wch heretofore the Senators con­sulted with the Gods about) can serve them for discourse: But to believe that their cold­ness should be so excellent at that, it should seem, one must be of the same humor, to make that conclusion; If ever it prove happy that way, its more by chance then art. If quick Wits be accused of snatching too soon at opportunity, Melancholy ones are in danger of making use of it too late: and if those stay not till it present it self; these often­tentimes think not of it till it be past: they are inclining to fear and despair; as they want heat, so they are unactive, and their frozen humour figures almost all things im­possible either to avoyd or undertake. It is a Lethargine feeling, not to be perceived but by a wound, by blowes and violence; they seem rather resuscitated then waked; they [Page 5] are sick ones, that one must almost kill, to know they are not dead. If they have judg­ment to deliberate, they have almost no confidence to resolve, and yet lesse courage to execute. It is a Palsie-vertue, that must be thrust into occasions, and that lies lan­guishing by the remedies, without applying them, unlesse it be drawn to them by fear. It were to do them too much wrong, not to believe that there be many wise and ho­nest persons of that temper: but we must affirm too, that it is too injurious to wisdom and vertue, to keep them alwayes in a stu­dy or musing, as though those that nei­ther fear nor wish any thing beyond them­selves, should not shew a cheerfull counte­nance, to witnesse the satisfaction of their conscience. On the contrary, if Serpents engender in still waters, ill thoughts are nourished in musing humours; and if their Wits be fit to invent knaveries, their Face is no lesse to cover them. When rust is got into the Spring of a Clock, there is no more regularity in the motions, nor certainty in the point. When once a continual thought­fulnesse possesseth us, the mind is disquieted and the face distorted: what light or reason can one believe to be, where there is no­thing but black fumes, which Melancholys [Page 6] sends up to the brain? Just as evill spirits joyn with storms to destroy Men, to burn Temples; so do they often make use of this black humour to cherish in the soul super­stition, despair and hypocrise. Caesar mis­trusted more the melancholy humour of Brutus and Cassius, then the mirth of Do­labella. Notwithstanding, if coldnesse be onely an effect of this constitution, it de­serves excuse or pity: but if it proceeds from art, it cannot be exempted from suspition and blame. And to examine well the dif­ference between these two humours, the modestie of women that are naturally free is in all their heart, and that of the affected ones is onely in their faces and outside; the one are not good in effect; the other ill onely in shew. Suppose that Casuists may rightly say of sports and pass-times, as Physicians judg of Mushrooms, that the best are naught: notwithstanding that, pleasures that are of themselves indifferent, and that the intention may make good, may not be absolutely cryed down: St. Elizabeth of Hungary did not forbear dancing, and her good humour did not impeach her canoni­zation. Those that are so nice in the use of lawfull things, are ordinarily very free in the enjoying of forbidden, when they [Page 7] are free from witnesses. And it is the mis­fortune of these times, that people put on so much colouring and studiednesse, that one dares not so much as laugh without giving occasion of suspition to weak spirits, or cen­sure to wicked; as if a merry humour were an infallible foreteller of the ilnesse of the mind. There be some Stipocondriaques, that can endure mirth no more then Owles can day-light; and indeed, their faces pre­sage somewhat so ominous, that it raiseth rather horror then inclination. They that will maintain their own good humour with­out any constraint for the vulgar errour, should chiefly keep themselves free from De­sire or Sorrow, as from the greatest Tyrants over our quiet; for the one transports us to what is to come, and the other brings us back to what is past; taking from us the li­bertie of setling our happinesse in our pre­sent content, as long as we either desire what is not yet, or lament in vain that which is no longer. Strong wits easily resist this tyranny: As when ships are toss'd even in the height of the storm, the Needle keeps alwayes straight upon its Star, though the Masts break, and the Sails tear; So wee should alwayes be even in the greatest ine­quality of our businesse. And if the winds [Page 8] can cast off the Ship from the Port, not the Needle from its Pole: So when it happens that misfortunes retard our pretension, they should notwithstanding never remove us from our reason and constancy. It is fit alwayes to avoid Melancholy, what pre­tense soever it hath, as too troublesome to others, and too prejudicial to our selves; for if it be natural, we humour too much such a temper; if it be casual, we yeeld too much to the inconstancy of Fortune.

After having told what I like in a Mer­ry humour, 'tis time to examine what I find fault within it: And since we have marked out those defects which many ascribe to Me­lancholy, let us set our selves to speak the good effects and commendations of it. 'Tis that which renders our spirits subtle for knowledg, indefatigable for businesse, serious in conversation, constant in their designes, modest in good fortune, patient in ill, judici­ous and rationall in all things. 'Tis with this just temper that Vertue cloathes her self to appear with all her ornaments; and it is that which Nature hath chosen to make Kings and Philosophers of; and that Grace it self hath alwayes imployed to bestow on the world extraordinary portions. Those of this humor seem to be born wise, and that Nature [Page 9] gives them more then th'others can acquire by study; and that without the incommodi­ty of age, they are possessed betimes of the maturity of it. Indeed, their meditation is sometimes better then their discourse; but as their judgment is solid, they despise that su­perfluous gloss which light wits set out to get opinion among the vulgar. In this mode­sty they resemble the Eagle in the Apocalyps, that had lights hidden within, and had eys under her wings; whereas great talkers have them only in their feathers, as Peacocks have them on their train, being rational only in colour and appearance. I deny not but mer­ry humours have a kind of pleasantness in them, but they are subject also to great faults, because if jests (which they ordinarly exercise themselves in) be wel received of some, they offend more then they please, especially when Religion or Reputation are made their sub­ject, it is the easiest thing in the world to turn them into impiety or scandal. Points of wit are fine in discourse; but we must take heed they be not so sharp as to draw bloud; or o­therwise, since one cannot jest on great ones without indiscretion, nor on the misera­ble without cruelty; so that one must always offend against the laws of Policy or Nature, Serious wits do well to abstain from such a [Page 10] practice, wch most cōmonly makes those that use it passe for buffons or enemies; and gives themselves at last occasion to cry, after they have presented one for others to laugh: For my part, I think it not injury to Melancholy humours, to affirm, they have no inclination to so idle a quality, which supposeth almost alwayes a lightnesse of wit, and often a loose­nesse of conscience. It was of this windy temper that the foolish Virgins were of; and that those are of yet, which have more wit then judgment; which notwithstand­ing seem at first to have some light, but it is such as is either false, or else lasts not long ere it be extinguished, letting it self be sur­prized for want of prevision enough in mat­ters of importance. Whereas the wise do never so much as slumber, when they should be ready upon good or ill accidents, for fear of being reduced to repentance and shame. And to take things as they are, since the soul and senses have a quarrell that must last as long as our life, and that the minde is strongest in the weaknesse of the body, as in the ruine of an enemy; it is likely that when the humour is so gay and free, that is become the stronger; on the contrary, when it is sad and pensive, it is made a slave to Reason, as a maid that hath [Page 11] a discontented face when her Mistris chides her. The joy that riseth from the Consci­ence is not of this kinde, 'tis purer, and is like the Stars, that appear alwayes the same; but that which comes from the body or constitution, is like Comets, that draw their nourishment from below, from the exhala­tions of the Earth, which presage only wo­full events, and seem to leap into the air to run after vapours that nourish them, till they go out for want of that terrestrial mat­ter: The passion of the Melancholy ones hath no such thing as these tragick Meteors to form or preserve it self: their love hath no pretension beyond the possession of the spirit; so as their fire is most pure, it remits not the heat, it remains alwayes equall, like that which the Philosophers beleeve to be under the Orb of the Moon. I confesse, that for affection, quick and lively humours are readier and franker; but then the Melan­choly are the discreeter and more confident: these fasten themselves constantly to their designes, whilest the other change every mo­ment; their passions fitting themselves to all objects that are presented them, if not out of malice, 'tis out of weaknesse; and though their simplicity may deserve some excuse; yet sure it is not reasonable that one [Page 12] should value much a natural goodnesse, that is rather an effect of the Constitution, then the Election: one that cannot easily do ill, may not glory in being good: if the simple do not much harm, they are not the better for that, since they do as much as they know how. And to alledg, that if they be not the better, yet they are the happier, because their spirits are as free from disquiet, as void of designe; indeed this is the greatest re­proach can be made them, to speak thus of them; since it is to ground all their felicity upon their defects, and to confesse them happy only by their ignorance or stupidity. Because Marble feels no pain, we do not say, it is in good health; we do not call it healthfull, but insensible. 'Tis thus that the simple are not unhappy, as the want of sense secures them; and it is no great ad­vantage to them to be exempt from care or disquiet, as Stones are from diseases, or Beasts are from contrition. If the stupid find themselves sometimes at the same point of tranquillity of spirit as the Philoso­phers, 'tis in a different way; these over­come, what those understand not: Snakes under ground are as safe from storms, as the Serpent in the sky; low spirits find security as well as they in crawling, safe­ty [Page 13] in weakness: but it is much a braver thing to be above, then below the storm, to have it under our feet, then over our heads: Since true felicity cannot be attained without vertue, and without morality, the happiness of the silly ones is of a far different nature from that of the wise: and (me thinks) they are happy in this world, but as infants without Baptism are in the other world, in a Limbus, where they subsist between good and ill, without being affected with either. The Melancholy live not in this indifferency, they ow not their felicity to ignorance, but to the force of their wits; they would be a­shamed of such a happiness, and would com­plain of it, if they were injoyned to purchase an exemption from the sense of ill, by an in­sensibility of good.

To know how much Melancholy is supe­riour to other humors, we must consider that those that have but the hasty and light part of it, are not lesse incapable of resisting mis­fortunes, then of tasting true delights. Their heat precipitates them into extremities; they do nothing but by fits; and as if they were composed of sulphur and gunpowder, the least spark fires their actions & thoughts, for which there is no remedy but to stay till the end of that impetuosity, which is quickly [Page 14] weary, and likely puts out it self. Those spirits that have no conduct in their under­standings, have also no courage in their af­flictions; they are ill souldiers, that use their buckler as ill as their sword. The same lightnesse which makes them rash in their assaults, renders them as yeelding or impa­tient when they come to suffer or defend themselves. On the contrary, the Me­lancholy, that by a profound meditation, and a long habit of reasoning, have as it were formed to themselves a certain knowledg of the successe of all things, are never surprized with ill events. This Stoicall vertue (es­sentiall to their temper) easily masters all those tumultuous and unruly motions that agitate violent spirits: the solidity of their judgments lets nothing be new or extraor­dinary to them, both for the diseases of the body, which they curb as wild Beasts, when they cannot tame: and for the distempers of the minde, which are the Passions, which they subdue by force of reason, and so re­main alwayes victorious.

If heretofore there hath been a man so bold as to stab the Duke of Milan in the midst of his Guard, in the face of his Court, nay in the Church, (the reverence and re­spect of the place, the glorious and awfull [Page 15] Majestie which God imprints on the sacred face of Princes not being able to give him the least sense of horrour or apprehension, in a purpose as detestable, as difficult to ex­ecute) onely by having often practised up­on the picture of this Prince: What bold­nesse will not providence afford the wise? since this Parricide, by having only studied a little while such a design, the very thought of which was enough to shake into a trem­bling every moment, both his hand and his conscience, testified so much assurance and resolution.

We should not wonder if the Melancholy are so constant, and that we never see them troubled, even when they are constrained to yeeld to necessity; since they keep a se­cret retreat within themselves, whither the storms of Fortune cannot reach. 'Tis thi­ther where the soul retires to maintain her self in an eternall serenity, where she ob­tains an absolute Empire over her opini­ons, where she entertaines her self solita­rily even in the midst of company, and the crowd of the world interrupts not her re­pose and silence: 'Tis in this solitude of the superiour part, that the minde fortifies it self, and learns true morality, and where she advanceth to her self almost without [Page 16] time or experience, the providence of old Men, and the Wisdome of Philosophers. Lastly, 'Tis here, where if we lay up the Images of pleasant things, by these means we may furnish our selves alwayes with fair thoughts; for if the pleasing Ob­jects displease us, we may, coming back into our selves, content our spi­rits while our senses are persecuted, and entertaine our fancy with Beauty at the same time when Deformity takes up our eyes. But who can praise enough this noble thoughtfulnesse of the Melan­cholly? since it is by that the soul seemes to rid her self, when she plea­seth, of the troublesome commerce with the senses; and we consider with an in­tention lesse distracted, what we are, when our imagination reflects us to our selves more clearly, and with lesse dan­ger then the lovely Fountain did to Nar­cissus. I wonder not, that the Poets faine that he lost himself, since he look­ed for himself out of himself: We are to be found truly no where but in our selves, every where else we meet but with our fantasme or our shadow. And there­fore many have reason to say, That Me­ditation is harder then Extasie, as its easier [Page 17] to go out of our selves, then to re-enter into them, without the use of this noble Thoughtfulnesse, to which the temper of Melancholy is disposed. Man seems to have but an imperfect reason, and even an use­lesse: For as Bees must retire themselves to make the honey, when they have gather­ed the matter from flowers; so it is necessary, that after we have surveyed many objects, we should make a regress into our selves, to gather their fruit, and to draw from them conclusions; otherwise all the study or expe­rience we can have, will be but a confusion or mixture, it would be wealth that we should be ill husbands of; our actions would be misguided, our thoughts without order, and our discourse without judgment.

The most part of grosse spirits are of a quite contrary opinion, and cannot imagine pensivenesse to be any thing but such a trans, as mad men or sick persons are in; this kind of meditation would hurt them as much as it frights them, and would be as contra­ry to them as unpleasing: It dazels weak spi­rits, and vexeth malicious ones; it is the blind of the one, and the torment of the other: it is not like, that they that have nothing in their mindes but ignorance, or in their conscience but crimes, should bee much [Page 18] pleased to look into themselves to seek there satisfaction or rest: But to despise pensive­nesse, because many lose themselves in it, is it not to condemn the use of fire and wa­ter, for some incommodities they have, with­out considering their necessity for our life? I had as lieve blame the Sun, because Owls cannot endure the brightnesse of it, which Eagles look upon so fixedly; as if one should quarrell with the Light, because weak eyes are dazled with its beams, and because they draw darknesse even from the spring it self of Light.

There is enough said for the Apology and praise of Melancholy, and for fear of be­ing tedious in the Problem, if I should go on, since both Humours have somewhat good and ill in them, I have nothing to add, but that they should serve for remedies to one another: For the Romans accounted them best among the Tribunes that were most in­clined to the Senate, and those the wisest a­mong the Senators, that favoured most the Party of the People; to divert on the one side authority from tyranny, and on the O­ther, liberty from insolence. So it seems, that the most excellent of the Merry humour, are those that draw nearest to Melancholy; and amongst the Melancholy, they that [Page 19] confine closest to the Merry; for being so tempered, the first will be discreeter, and the other lesse austere and troublesome.

Of Reputation.

REputation is a great Treasure, and is no lesse usefull to Vertue, then light to Pictures, to set them off; it is the fairest ornament of our civill Life, and without which, the most glorious and illustrious actions re­main smothered and obscured: But as it is got and lost now a dayes, it may be reckoned among the benefits of Fortune, of which fools have often a better share then deserv­ing persons. If it were to be distributed by good Iudges, Vertue would suffice for the acquisition of it; but it hath often so ill Ar­bitrators, that were we not bound by all means possible to avoid Scandals, worthy persons might content themselves with the testimony of their own Conscience, without being troubled for the Opinions of the un­advised, which chance may make good or [Page 20] ill. Opinion depends too little on our selves to make us unhappy, and it were a felicity very unsure, that the ignorance or malice of an Enemy could remove.

Fame is sometimes an effect that seems to have no cause, and is rais'd like those alarms that disorder a whole Army, without any bodyes conceiving the occasion. Why then should we spend our spirits with so much un­quietnesse, to know how we stand in the opi­nion of others, and afflict our selves for the errour of the vulgar; as if the ignorant be­gan but now to deceive themselves, and belie others. I should have reason to wonder with Aristotle, why the Ancients rewarded rather the strength of the body then minde, giving Lawrels to Wrastlers, and not to Wise men; but that ignorance and poverty disenabled them to set a prize of Vertue: Ignorance, because having the foundation and roots in the heart, Men abuse themselves in their judgments of Vertue Poverty, because when we perceive the excellency of it, there is no­thing in the world precious enough to serve for the recompence or Coronation. The unadvised conceive often Vertue, where there is nothing but Vice, and without think­ing what they do, give ill-favoured names to lovely things; like Astronomers, that call [Page 21] some Stars Buls and Scorpions, that notwith­standing have neither fury nor venom, onely purity and light.

I could wish that those that undertake to judge of things without well understanding the nature of them, were punished with such a correction as Midas, that (as Ovid re­ports) did prefer the noise of Pan's rustick Field-pipe, before the sweet ravishing tunes of Apollo's Lute, giving his voice to that whch made most noise. His judgment is like many of these times, that value every thing by the colour and looks, deserving no lesse then he, to wear long Ears for a mark of their stupidity, and indeed to make more ac­count of apparency then reallity; is it not to prefer Pan before Apollo? a Pipe before a Lute? Noise before Harmony? There is much brutality in such savage opinions; yet not­withstanding they are the greatest number in the world, and 'tis they that defame those that deserve a fair estimation: Therefore I would reserve my sensiblenesse onely for those that may justly award reproach or praise, and would not think it fit to be angry at that, which I should laugh at. There are very few competent judges of things; many mens Wits goe no further then their Eyes, and stay upon the colours: And I [Page 22] think that avoiding scandals, 'tis enough to scape their imputations, without seeking their approbation.

We are in an age of bravery and shew, where morality is thrown down, and where the vertues of the times consist no more in any thing but excesse and extravagancy: to be believed devout, we must go as far as su­perstition or hypocrisie; and politick spirits use Christianity as the Stoïcks did Philoso­phy, to abuse the vulgar, forming to them­selves imaginary vertues, which humanity cannot attain to. It is a great unhappinesse that there is no honesty left in commerce, nor purity in Religion; and that we, as well as they in the Exchange, must over-value our selves above what we are worth, or hope for, to keep up our credits.

But to speak my opinion, rather as a Phi­losopher then a Disputant, we must not con­clude, that Reputation is to be neglected, because it is il distributed: This disorder doth not dispence with us for our duty; and it were as ungracious to make our selves infa­mous for that reason, as to commit murders or robberies, because there have been thieves acquitted, and innocent persons condemned for that crime. Since all women are not wise, and that there are more ruled by example, [Page 23] then by reason; the most vertuous should consider, at least, that Reputation is a pub­lick good, and when it is corrupted, we are to seek to cure it, as we would to quench a fire, or to purge a popular contagion. In­deed, one may laugh at them that allow themselves all kinde of liberty, because ill tongues rank the most vertuous with the most dissolute in the ill repute, and the most vitious with the most worthy in the good: as if Kings would light torches at noon, be­cause the Sun lights Peasants as well as them; or as if they would be sick, and cast away their health, because their Subjects are well!

We should not make our selves vitious, because others think ill of us; but we should live better to deserve another opinion: the testimony of the Conscience is more to be esteemed then all reports, though there were neither friends nor enemies to praise or re­proach. Handsom Women will alwayes find satisfaction enough in their Glasse; and ill­favoured ones, vexation: The Conscience doth the same for vice or vertue, as a glasse for Faces. Dissolute Women are far from standing on good opinion, since they do all they can to have an ill one: And to consider well the life of a great many, it seems they [Page 24] would imitate Lesbia in Martial, that affe­cted pomp and ostentation in her Debauche­ry, and took more pleasure in the Spectators, then the Adulteries. Shee was in her volu­ptuousnesse, as the Sophisters were in their vertues; they loved to do nothing well, shee nothing ill, but upon the Stage. Men should not throw themselves into despair for this, since this misfortune depends not on their carriage, and since the most illustrious persons have been lyable to it. The insolency of Lu­cia did not abate the glory of her Husband's Victories. Drusus Nephew to Augustus and Marcus Aurelius, obtained an immortall reputation, notwithstanding the lascivious­nesse of his Wife. Infamy should be perso­nall, as sin is; and we should not partake of the punishment or shame, when we have no part in the crime. Since it is not enough to be vertuous, but it must be believed, we must be carefull of the apparances, and leave no pretences for ill tongues, which makes faults when they finde none. I will allow, that Socrates loved not young Alcibiades, but with all kinde of honour, and that his affe­ction did not contradict his Philosophy: Yet notwithstanding, making him lye with him every night, he should have been cautious of his coming, and return, to take away the [Page 25] means from those that saw him come back in the mornings, to make use of the time and place of his visit for an occasion of censure; though the Oracle published his vertue, one cannot justifie his unadvisednesse in the car­riage of this friendship. Discretion and love agree not even in the best wits: It may be 'tis for that the Poets faign Cupid to be still a Childe, because let love grow never so old, it never arrives at the years of Discretion; his childishnesse lasts as long as himself, lest he should be ashamed of the fondnesse of his sports and dalliances.

I do not wonder if Love make us lose our Reputations, since it makes us lose our wits; and since Socrates himself could not scape re­proach in a bare friendship amongst the Ro­mans; Claudia, a vestall Virgin, was inno­cent, yet was accused to have forfeited her honour, for smelling too curiously; and it was thought enough to condemn her, that shee took a little more pains with her cloaths and discourse, then was necessary for a Nun. Indeed it was a light apparence to arraign her on; but shee would not have been ac­quitted but by a prodigy, when shee moved a ship with her girdle, that many Engines and Men could not stir.

Whatsoever one can do or avoid, there is [Page 26] no infallible rule or means to preserve her reputation; and since it depends on the opi­nion of others, there is more fortune then wisdom in it. We must not think that igno­rance joyned with caution is sufficient for it, since God himself that is the spring of good­ness and wisdome, saw himselfe traduced for a while by the impostures of his enemies that reported him a Man addicted to vice and debauchery. This one example shewes sufficiently that there is somwhat else requi­site besides vertue and dexteritie to preserve it. There is a strange unhappiness in some per­sons, that exposeth them to be talked of, no body knowes why: and that happens oftner to the vertuous then the other, because their denials procure them Enemies, and they are often in danger, like Susanna, to be accused of a crime they have refused to com­mit. There are some faces too that attract censure; and this proceeds from fools, ima­gining that one cannot laugh without being vicious, and that there is no innocence but in frowardness & Melancholy. It is the beliefe of the ignorant, that vertue should alwaies cry, and know not that we should beware of a dark humour, as of water that is over­cast. And of all kinde of wits, there are none so harmless, as the most cheerfull. It were [Page 21] to be very dull, to beleeve one could not have a good humor without having an ill con­science: if there were neither malice nor ene­mies in the world, there are few things so sure or so true, that cannot bee taken di­verse waies; and if we examin well all our Actions, it seemes that they are almost all subject to interpretation and dispute. Who can judge certainly (setting Christianity a side) of a man giving almes in publick, if it bee for good example or vanity? May not one say of a patient Man, that it is a signe of insensibleness, as soone as of vertue? Who knowes whether a merry humor bee a testi­mony of loosness or of freedome? Those that are serious, may they not pass for vaine or stupid, aswell as for modest? the interpre­tation makes all; and if the things were not indifferent, wee speake of them more accor­ding to our sense, then their nature. Since it is so, wee should seeke our consolation in our owne hearts, as wise men doe; and when we have done all that lies in us to deserve a good reputation, wee may despise an ill one. The neglect of detraction silences ill tongues, and the being moved with it quickens them: It is to acknowledg the force of their weapons, to confess that they have wounded us; and those that are extreamly troubled with them, [Page 28] comply with their designes that would offend them, for tis to satisfie our enemy to let him know, hee keepes us unsatisfied. They that say that ill tongues are like sharpe set rasors, should add, that their edge hath most effect upon soft and yeelding things, and that stones turne their edge: it is as much as to say that spirits too sinsible suffer more then those that are of a firmer and more constant temper. Whatsoever one steales or cuts from Reputation, at last it comes againe like hair after it hath beene cut, if the roote remaine, and innocence staies with patience: howso­ever if we be unjustly tax'd, we should com­fort our selves more in the truth, then be displeased by an imposture. The innocent should be no more afflicted when they are called guilty, then if they were said to be sicke when they are well. From hence we may learne why vertuous women are less vindicative when they are tax'd then vitious, because as the most ill favourd will somtimes be thought the handsomest by painting, so the most unworthie strive by their cunning to be beleeved the modestest. This is the reason, they are so troublesome, and that one cannot touch their sore never so lightly, but they will cry out. All the world knowes how Lucretia kild her selfe upon the violence of [Page 29] Tarquin; she said when shee was dying, that she had two irreproveable witnesses, her bloud to Men, and her soule to the Gods. But I am almost of the opinion of a great Author, that accuseth her not to have bin al­waies so chaste, as she would have had be­leeved by her death, and that if she had not bin guilty, she would have found more re­medie in her Conscience then in her death. Some say, that she resisted rather out of an humor then consideration of vertue, and that having pass'd her time with some other Mi­nions of lesse quality then the Tyrant, she feared that all her other faults should have been discovered by this, and that this fear made her resolve rather to let her selfe out of the world with her owne hands, then to stay in it too long to survive her Repu­tation.

Of Inclination to VERTUE, chiefly to the Devotion of the times.

THose that imagine that Wo­mens Piety is but a tender­ness in their nature, or weak­ness of their wits, are not of my opinion; and me thinks, do them no less affront, to deny them this divine quality, then if they should take their eyes from them, which make the best part of the face. We may believe, that they that would have a woman irreligious, de­sire she would be insolent and without in­genuity; and having after razed out of her minde the sense and respect of Religion, they mean to spoil her of that which gives her so powerful an advantage amongst men. It is an old craft that began with the world, and licentious men do but the same in that with the Women of this age, which the Di­vel did practise upon the first, when he took [Page 31] from her the fear of God, that so he might afterwards easily perswade her to all kinde of liberty. Those impious ones, that steal the immortality of the Soul, to bestow it on their infamous delights, and that would (if they could) deprive of an eternall exi­stence this most pure and simple essence, that contains all, and is bounded by nothing, are very foolish to aime at the reputation of good wits, by the slighting of Religion; especially during a Reign, and in a Court, where there may be engraven in greater Characters, then was ever upon the Medals of Adrian the Emperour, The Emperiall Piety. The Hermits of this time, may (as well as that of Theodosius the younger) leave their solitude, and come and study perfecti­on in the Kings Palace, and take examples of austerity in the seat it self of pleasures. We have no need now adayes to seek in Cloysters precepts for a Christian life; 'tis enough now to be a good Courtier, to be devout. One cannot now observe the laws of Policy by violating those of Christianity; and it is an happy necessity, that makes the licencious Wits of the Court inexcusable; that now adayes, unless one will make him­self ridiculous, a man must get his fortune and his salvation both together. Ladies that [Page 32] would shew that they are inclined to ver­tue, should be more gratious to such Spirits as are addicted to it then to the other, lest it should be thought if they favour'd either libertines, or stupid ones, that the resem­blance had tyed this knot; Those that shew either hatred or coldness to deserving per­sons, declare by the repugnancy to good things, they are fit for nothing but ill ones: weake wits have not estimation enough to publish their vertue, nor discretion e­nough to conceale their defects. Yet we often see those that are full of vanity and affe­ctation, picke out among those fools their admirers and confidents; as if it were not a blind choice to elect so ill judges of their merits, and so ill secretaries to their de­lights. Ignorance and simplicity are two unsure trusts, interest and perswasion will drawe any thing from them, and if im­prudency were not provoked, it would often speake, when it should be silent. Midas addrest himselfe ill to reedes to keepe secret his long eares; he would have been better served by a discreet Man, then he was by that plant; and dull peo­ple, as he did, finde by wofull experience, that there can be no true fidelity, where there is no wit or reason: there are more [Page 33] Histories of this then fables, we need not look back to the times past to seeke exam­ples, which we have store of every moment, which might serve for the subject of Tragedy and farses.

And for piety, if any body objects against it, that it deads good humor, and breeds too much Melancholy for company. In­deed I doe not approve of those that put their devotion upon the racke to make it scoul, as if one could not be saved without being ugly. When the grace of God is in the soul, the face is toucht over with the sweetness of it, and not the features and colours of the damned. The weather is o­vercast when it is disposed to raine, and dejected looks prognosticate somewhat ominous in their musings. Those that have no purpose to doe ill, nor remorse for ha­ving done ill, are not of this froward humor, which is as contrary to devotion as to com­liness. This no way detracts from penitence; it raines in summer, aswell as winter, and love sheds as many teares, as feare. Joy cryes aswell as sorrow, and the remem­brance of sin doth not deject us so, that the returne to grace may not raise us a­gain to joy. Sometimes it rains when the Sun shins, so Repentance doth often [Page 34] powr down tears upon smiling faces. Bees draw honey from Flowers without spoyling them by touching them; Devotion doth yet more in every profession where it is, beautifying and making it more lovely. And if precious Stones put into honey, take a lustre from it according to their naturall colours; so there is no condition in the world that doth not improve the estimation of it, when it is accompanyed with Piety; it makes the professed Religious more cheer­full, and Lay men lesse insolent, modera­ting pleasures, and sweetning austerities; it makes Marriage the comlier, Warre the juster, Commerce the faithfuller, and the Court the fuller of honour. It is much ig­norance and tyranny, to believe it can be found no where but in Cloysters, and that one can have nothing to do with it abroad in the world, without incroaching upon the Charter house or the Capuchins.

We are in times where it is not account­ed of, if it be not excessive in appearance; so that many content themselves to have a becoming Devotion, or rather, a humane Religion. I never see this monstrous De­votion, but it puts me in mind of the Tro­jan Horse, that was stuff'd with enemies, for which notwitstanding (by reason of the pre­tence [Page 35] of piety they did not onely open their Gates, but broke down their Walls to re­ceive with more solemnity the Present de­voted to Minerva; but since Laocoon, that took a Lance in his hand to sound it, and to try if it were hollow, was punished for his just curiosity, let us content our selves to disapprove of these shewes of the times, lest we come off as ill as he did, if we un­dertake to quarrell with it. Indeed, those Women that keep such adoe, and use so much craft to deceive some eyes under the pretext of conscience, do like Spiders, that take a great deal of pains to make Webs, where they themselves are hung at last, without any other advantage, but to have caught flyes, and they shallow-brains. Cleer spirits scorn this, and I cannot conceive how discreet women can mistake dreams for re­velations, or let themselves be surprized by such illusions. Likely, those that seem very fond of their Husbands, it is with de­signe to deceive them; and among the Ro­mans, Ladies have been suspected of their Husbands death, onely for crying exces­sively over their Tombs.

In Religion as well as Society, dissimu­lation is commoner then truth; and this great shew is at least suspicious, if not viti­ous: [Page 36] superstitious women make more scru­ple of a litle sin then of a great one. And are like the Jewes, that made more Conscience of entring into the Pretor-hall, then of con­demning Christ; or of not washing their hands, then of persecuting Innocence. It is true, that women retaine that of the first, that made more Ceremony, and shewed more feare to touch the forbidden fruit, then to eate it. These questions, tales and scru­ples without reason, trouble not discreet persons, that follow Alexanders example, vertuously cutting off troublesome knots, ra­ther then yeelding themselves to unty them, as the vulgar doe, that are ignorant of true devotion. Notwithstanding this, lest we should passe from one extreme to another, we must behave our selves in taxing supersti­tion, as those that in the time of Xerxes, burned the houses in Asia. They medled not with the buildings neer the Temples, not only to preserve those sacred places from being burnt, but for feare they should be so much as black'd: so in this case, we omit ma­ny things which we might blame with justice, but not without danger of driving weake Spirits to impiety: when superstition riseth from simplicity, it deserves pitty or excuse; but when from art, punishment and suffering. [Page 37] The ears that cover the corne, or the leaves about trees are not superfluous, nature hath given them either to preserve or beautifie them. Ceremonies are of the same use to Re­ligion, and as devotion is inseparable from love, it borrowes often loves raptures, and Gods servants can containe themselves no more, then prophane ones, which honor their Mistresses, even in haire and Ciphers; Divine love expressed more favour in the ef­fects then the worldly: and a great Author sayes very well, That if the Poets Cupid have two wings, that the Seraphins have six. It is true, that Hypocrites are not so reproveable as Libertines, because it is better to counterfeit vertue then vice. But in what concernes con­versation, the best covering is to have none, because it is easier to be good in effect, then only in shewe, and it is lesse paine to certifie the Conscience then to set the behaviour. After all this, it cannot be denied that women are not firmer and truer in their devotion then men, since in that occasion where there was most affection to be shewed to God, there were found three Maryes under the Cross, where there was but one Disciple.

Of Chastity and Complacency.

IT is fit to joyn these two fair Qualities, to reduce them to a perfect temper; since there be some that become shy and wild by being Chaste; and others that refuse nothing out of Complacency. It is indeed, to be either too good, or too ill an humour, and is but changing of vices, in stead of avoyding them. If Vertue have two extremes that offend it equally, one must not make use of the one for defence a­gainst the other; as if one must be covetous, for fear of being prodigall; or throw ones self into the fire, to escape the water. Mo­rality approves not such a carriage; it doth not teach us to pick out, but fly from sins; to fix only upon Vertue, which is hard to find, because either excesse or scarcity hides it from the ignorant. They that think wo­men cannot be vertuous and obliging, un­derstand little the nature of Vertue: nay, [Page 39] are voyd of common sense, much more of any right opinion. Vertues are but divers, not contrary, and the correspondence is too naturall not to be able to subsist in the same subject; when they are well suted, they do better in one anothers company, then a­lone. 'Tis that which Theodosius was so much commended for among the Emperors, seeming to make himself esteemed by con­trary Qualities; his gentlenesse abated not his Majestie, nor his severity his Compla­cency.

There are some that affect so much a plea­singnesse, as their smiles seem rather ridi­culous then cheerfull; and others so much on the contrary, as to put on gravity, look like Furies, or School-mistresses: whatsoe­ver is in it, when one considers well these two Humours, they are to be suspected ei­ther of art or stupidity; because if it be without design, there is no wit in it; if it be with design, the serious ones intend to deceive, and the easie ones to be deceived. These believe, that their easinesse is ascribed to their humour; and the others, that their coldnesse is understood an effect of their Vertue. These tricks take not long, espe­cially with discreet persons, among which the best way to seem chast is to be so. As [Page 40] the Hypocriticall are least devout, so the most reserved are sometimes the least chaste. Hecuba may have an handsome Masque, and Hellen an ill-favoured one; but this ugliness or that Beauty abuseth but such eyes as stagger at appearancies. They have more diversity of falsifying and co­lours, then the Rain-bow, whose figure turned upward, their dissimulation doth of­ten set on their husbands foreheads Cha­stity must needs be a divine Quality, since even the enemies of it esteem it, and that the most debauched respect them lesse that yeeld, then those that hold out. Apollo being in love with Daphne, when he could not work upon her by his discourse nor pursuit, turned her into a Laurell, of which he himself hath since worn Crownes. Iu­piter being passionate for Io, had no soon­er gained her, but he chang'd her into a Cow. How different are these two Me­tamorphoses? the refusall is better rewar­ded then the consent. Respect waits up­on Desire, and neglect followes Possessi­on. The God Pan being taken with the beauty of a Nymph, used violence after his prayers, pursuing her to the brim of a River, where she going to precipitate her self, he in pity of her, chang'd her into a [Page 41] Reed, which he made himself a Pipe of, in honour of her resistance, and to have it e­very foot in his hands to play with it, and kisse it. Those that are gained are not used so, because they have not that honour, which our Cavaliers seek with so much care and pains. Those that promise to them­selves never to go so far, and never to do any but indifferent favours, such as Civility allows, after having given way to more then they should, find a precipice where they look'd only for entertainment. Love (like Ser­pents) works himself in intirely, at the least overture is made him; his beginning is ordi­narily contrary to his end; the pretences are alwayes usefull or honourable. I could wish that the imprudency of many Ladies did not so often make a truth of the Fable of Euro­pa: This young Princesse walking innocent­ly on the sea side, where she considered her flocks, saw a Bull that pleased her better then any of the rest; she draws neer to make much of him, and gets upon him; he proud of his fair office, gets by little and little into the water, and so far, as she looks back too late to the shore, not being able to return to it, she was carried away into an Iland, where she finds too late, that this Bull was a God, disguised to surprize her. Thus you see what [Page 42] becomes of it when one playes with beasts, when one is freer and more familiar with stupid then witty passions: Europa was bolder with a Bull, then she would have been with Iupiter, if he had declared him­self; He made his approaches easier under the skin of a beast, then he could have done in the likenesse of a God. The most crafty (in his imitation) counterfeit them­selves simple and ignorant, to attain easier their pretensions. They steal from little favours to greater, and so still carry on their work, till they change their intreaties into threats, and their softnesse into vio­lence; and then one finds too late, that true simplicity is abused, when it plays with falsified. The fear of losing their reputation after having given some advantages, debau­cheth many: but 'tis fit they should be pu­nished for this facility, to teach them, that there is no trusting to beasts; and that the freest and most ingenuous wits are the most vertuous, and most capable of friendship. A Poet speaking of the Favours which Ladies give, sayes, That fools are happier in them then deserving persons, because their vio­lence takes more then the others perswasion, by reason of their opinion, that it is lesse shame to let men take, then to give, as the [Page 43] violence seems to excuse the consent. But tis the opinion but of one man, fitter to be despised, then believed; and that doth not detract lesse from Truth, then from Ladies Honours, which ordinarily are not wound­ded, but for want of cunning against the sub­tilty of their enemies.

It is hard to use so many tricks and inven­tions to be lovely, without loving; those that give love at their pleasure, do some­times receive it as pleaseth him. They should do a miracle, to have so much fire in their eyes, without any in their heart; and let them be never so confident, their looks cannot warm others, without heating it self in its own sphere. Loves weapons are but ill ones; for one seldom useth them to wound others, but they either begin or end with themselves.

I have heretofore thought much upon the Statue of Venus made by Phydias, which had a Tortoise under the feet of it; and I believe, the greatest mystery that can be found in it, is, that Tortoises seldom move, or if they do sometimes stir, 'tis always co­vered or armed, carrying their house over their head. Venus despiseth the solitary and the reserved; those that run after all companies and publick assemblies so eagerly, [Page 44] please her better to enlarge her Empire; and above all things, she hath alwayes lo­ved Nakednesse, since it got her the golden Apple, which Pallaases Arms and Iunu's Cloathes could not obtain of Paris. When either solitude or company grow wearisome, they serve for remedies to one another, as rest and labour, or day and night; but we must know, that the one gives more occa­sions of doing ill then the other; and those that delight to be often among their ene­mies, have a mind either to master them, or make them friends. Let the company be ne­ver so good, cautiousness is better then confi­dence: and since she that should be the Ex­ample of her sex, was abash'd with an Angel that appeared with the face of a man, women should always apprehend men, though they are in the form of Angels, unles it be, that not meaning as she did, they have no need of fear.

It is ill argued, to say, that timorousness re­strains women more then vertue: if their in­clination be ill, sollicitation will imbolden it; experience teacheth us, that if they be appre­hensive, it is rather of being vitious, then of being censur'd. Those that writ the Scrip­tures and the Proverbs, have said all things to their advantage; they have confess'd, that Chastity belongs particularly to Women, be­cause [Page 45] they that have it not are counted Mon­sters. One could not have wonder'd so much at the want of it, if the quality were not na­tural to them. Indeed, there have been men that have possessed this Vertue, but it hath been upon occasions where some considerati­on hath taken away the merit from it. Alex­ander shewed some continency with Darius his wifes; but to prove it was rather policy, then vertue, what did he not do with the A­mazons? Scipio being very young, restored a very handsom woman that was presented him, to her Husband; but there it was pride that was stronger then love, because he had lost his credit with the Spaniard, if he had ac­cepted the offer. What praise doth Lenocrates deserve for forbearing to enjoy that Lady which was brought him? his coldness pro­ceeded from his age; besides, he was drunk, and sought for rest; and if he had not been neither drunk nor sleepy, it was so common a one, as the most debauched would have been ashamed of, as well as a Philosopher. There needs no long discours to prove that chastity belongs not to men, they themselvs quit their part of it, and believe it were to encroach on the profession of women, to practise the pre­cepts they give them, or not to be before them in the violation of so fair Maxims for Honor and Chastity.

[Page 46] Is is not a strange custom and worthie of reproof, to see men take all kind of liberty, without allowing the least? One might think by their tyranny that Marriage was institu­ted to only make Jailers for Women. There is much ingratitude, as well as injustice in it, to exact a fidelity which one will not re­turn, when the obligations to it are equall. Women have wit and conscience enough to beleeve that revenge would cost them too dear, if they lost their own Vertue to take satisfaction of their Husbands viciousnesse. Octavia did not desist from loving Mark Antony singularly, whilest he made love to Cleopatra, and left a great Beauty at Rome, to possesse a lesse in Aegypt. They that have this constancy, deserve admiration; but those that have it not, have some co­lour for their weaknesse: Example pleads for them; for they imagine that it is not likely that a Chrystal should resist blows that might break Diamonds or Marble.

If I may be allowed to give my opinion after my prayers, since God loved one of his disciples more tenderly then the rest, one may have a particular inclination without ble­mishing chastity, that doth not banish affe­ctions, but regulates and moderates them: yet we must take heed that kindnesse which [Page 47] in its own nature is a vertue, be not made a vice in the practice: not to be couzened in it, the end and designe of it must be exa­mined as soon as it begins, and we must as­sure our selves, that it is forbidden, if we pretend to any thing but affection; since dishonest love is the trade of those that do not spend their time in some commendable imployment; we must believe that Chasti­ty is preserved by occupation, and corrupted by idlenesse. Diana hunts, and Pallas studies, but Venus is idle.

Of Courage.

MEN think that Courage is a Qualitie inseparable from them, and by a peculiar pri­viledge essentially tyed to their Sex, without bringing other ground or title to it, but their own presumption: But he that had much adoe to imagine that there was so much as one brave or valiant Woman in the world, made them full reparation for so great an injury; [Page 48] and though he was accounted the wisest and most powerful of all men, he lost that high ad­vantage among women, which weakned him so far as to bring him to Sacrifice to Idols: Histories are full of their generous action for the preservation of their countrey, for love of their husbands, and for the Religion of their ancestors. As the strength of the braine is shewed in walking a top on high, without feare of falling; so the force of our wits is expressed in looking upon precipices and danger without disorder. The stupid have not this advantage when they expect hazards, nor the rash when they seeke them; none but the wise defend themselves from misfortune, without either being precipitate or insensible, since Courage should always be with a free deliberation; and that it is neither a forced vertue, nor a parly natural. I can hardly hold them generous whose con­stitution makes so light, as they are transport­ed without any cause; nor those that Nature has made so heavy, as they cannot resent injuries and offences. This is either an excesse or a defect of sensibleness, and may be better cald stupidity or levity then courage. If there must be Judicionsnes in all the discourse of an Orator, prudency should be found in all the actions of a wise man; and without that, [Page 49] let Polyphemus be never so strong, it will not save his sight; and though Vlysses be the weaker, the Gyant with all his strength cannot defend himselfe against him.

They that know the temper of women, will confesse, that they have a great dispo­sition to true Courage, being neither cold to a degree of insensibleness, nor hot to a degree of rashness. Couragious persons do not throw themselves into all occasions, as if they had as many lives to lose, as the world had hazards & misfortunes: let them set never so good a face on it, even the bravest find some paine to expose themselves, for that which depends meerely on opinion, and are un­willing to commit a fault, which even the losse of their lives cannot repaire. Temerity is punished in the other world after it hath bin blamed in this: those that have this ver­tue, will not allow anger or dispaire the name of Courage, and I cannot thinke that men have reason to call women fearfull, be­cause they are not hasty & unadvised. Those that say, I make an Apology for slackness, wil not take it ill, if I answer, That they make one for brutality. What glory is there to cut one anothers throat? and what advantage, but the fashion to brag of a Profession, which the G [...]thes were masters of, and hath given us [Page 50] both the rules & examples of? What is easier then to let our selves be carried away with fury, and follow the Motions of our passions? Those that the vulgar call valiant are like glasses, which one can scarce touch without breaking. They know not that wits, like bodies, are alwayes most sensible where they are weakest. If it be generosity to be tetchy and complaine every foot, the sick have more then the found, old men then young, & fools more then wise men: when seare and boldness are reasonable, they oppose not one another, the one opens our eyes for a pre­vision of misfortunes, the other animates us to a resistance of them when they are pre­sent.

I doe not thinke that any body will deny this faire quality to women, when they shall have read this story which Tit. Livius hath left us to their advantage, which he con­fesseth to have writ with love and admira­tion. After Philip King of Macedon had put to death the Principall Lords of Thessaly, Many, to avoid his cruelty, fled into strange countries; Poris and Theoxena took the way to Athens, to seeke that Safety which they could not have in their owne Province: they put to sea, but so unhappily, as the con­trary winds drove them back into the same [Page 51] port from whence they had set sayle. The guards perceiving them at the Sun rising, advertised the Prince of it, and strived to take from them that liberty which they va­lued above their lives. Poris in this extre­mity useth prayers to satisfie the souldiers, and to call the gods to his relief. But The­oxena, seeing her death unavoidable, and re­solving not to fall into the tyrants hands, saved her children from captivity by an ex­traordinary resolution. She offerd a dagger to the eldest, and to the lesser a little cup ful of poyson, saying thus, There is no saving of our lives and liberties; and since we must resolve to die, Courage Children, it is bet­ter to chuse a death then to be forced to take it from these insolent hands. They that are strong enough let them make use of this wea­pon, and the weaker of this drinke. Her chil­dren having obeyed her, she threw them half dead into the sea, and embraced her deare Poris to throw her selfe into the water in his armes in the sight of his souldiers, that could not chuse but lament the losse, and admire the resolution of this Lady.

I doe confesse, there is somewhat in this story contrary to our faith, but courage and constancy shine in it in a marvellous bright­ness. I can scarce beleeve there can be found [Page 52] among men greater, nay even a parallel.

If the courage of Theoxena appeared in the defence of her liberty, this of Megistona was yet more remarkable to save that of her countrey. After that Aristotimus had usur­ped the soveraignty of Elida, he expulsed the best part of the Citizens, and seemed to grant the prayers of those unfortunate men, that asked leave for their wives to follow them in their distresses: he yeelded them their request; but assoone as he perceived that the wives were prepared to be gone, and preferred the company of their husbands before the staying in the towne, he put many of them to death and the rest in prison. Yet because Tyranny doth not doe lesse hurt to those that exercise it, then those that indure it, and that there is little safety when one hath as many enemies as subjects, Aristoti­mus began to apprehend his fall; news was brought him that the banishd Citizens had made a body and joyned to besiege Elida. The Barbarian being in dispaire, conscious of his owne weakness, finding no readier re­medy, went furiously to the prison to com­mand the wives to write to their husbands to pacify them. Megistona despised his com­mand, and without fearing the effects of his unjust power, made this answer in the name [Page 53] of all. Thou shewest enough that thou wan­test judgment, as well as Courage, if thou comest to entreat those that thou hast used so ill, and if thou expectest favour from those that never received mercy from thee; The horrid darkness of this place, nor the threats of death shall never make us so base as to betray our countrey, for which we will constantly give our lives, after having lost our liberty. Aristotimus being exasperated by this discourse commands Megistona's sonne to be brought to him to put him to death in the presence of his mother; and when he could not be knowne among the rest, Megistona calls him out by his name, with a protestation that she had rather see him dead then captive in Aristotimus his hands, who drew his sword to kill him. In this disorder the Tragedy was ended, he was besieged without, and they conspired against him within the towne, where he was murdered in the market place. Megistona comes out of prison to be as mercifull as she had bin gene­rous. She saved Aristotimus his daughters from being ravished, representing to this mutinous people, that they should not make themselves guilty of a crime that they had punish'd, nor commit a cruelty upon the children in doing Justice on the Father. [Page 54] Euripides admireth the temperatness of Iphi­genia, when she was made an immolation to Diana for the stag which Agamemnon had kild. Why doe you lament (said she to her father) her that dyes so pleased, since the oracle commands it, and for the good of Greece? and if the successe of your armes be dependant on the losse of my life, I accuse not destiny, and am sorry for nothing but that I have but one life, that I might offer you as many lifes as I wish you triumphs: howsoever your victories shall be cheerfull like to this offering, which is the price and presage of it. This young Beauty in the midst of the publick feares dyed thus sweetly and [...], and res [...]sted no more the Sacrifi­ [...], then a Rose doth the gatherer.

What resolution did the French Ladies ex­presse at the siege of Beauvais, when they repulsed Charls Duke of Burgundy when he besieged the towne in Lewis the Second his time? Though Xenophon hath made Cyrus the example of all Monarks, was he not defeated by Queen Tomyris, with these re­proaches, Drinke now thy fill of that thou bast so much thirsted after? Did not the La­dies of Aquileia give their hayre to make bow-strings against the Emperour Maximi­nus? Did not the Roman, and Marcellian [Page 55] Ladies doe the same? And if I may be allow'd to give my opinion after my commendati­ons, Those that kill themselves are not cou­ragious but defperat; it is to render the place in stead of defending it, and give our selves to the enemy, without his taking the pains to overcome us. There is no great resolution to choose death for its owne remedy, and become our owne executioners. Notwith­standing, men are found as often guilty of this lightness as women, without exempting even the greatest personages. Cato conceived he should find more redresse for his ill for­tune in his wounds, and his violence to him­selfe, then in constancy & reason. Ladies must take heed too, that they be not bolder for their passions, then for vertue; 'tis that wherewith their enemies charge them. But howsoever I cannot approve of those that are like Theria the Corinthian; She was so a­fraid of flies, as she would indure no light in her chamber, for feare of seeing them; yet she had boldness enough to kill her husband. It is to abuse feare aswell as boldness, to ap­prehend flies, and to commit murders with so much confidence.

Of Prudence and Discre­tion.

IF the Oracle of Apollo decla­red Socrates the wisest of all men: Socrates confessed free­ly, that his Diotima had taught him the Wisdom and Prudence which the Gods themselves judg­ed incomparable. It was no little advan­tage to this Woman, to have instructed this Philosopher, which might give rules to all men for life and manners.

Though Aristotle were one of the grea­test enemies of Women, he hath notwith­standing given testimonies, that he prefer­red truth before hatred, confessing in the second Book of his Politicks, That they did mannage amongst the Lacedemonians, the Affairs of greatest importance. It is a Tyranny and a Custome that is not lesse unjust then ancient, to reject Women from [Page 57] Publick and Particular Government, as if they were fit for nothing but to spin: Their Wit is apt for more elevated actions: and if one will mark what they have done, one may easily judg what they are capable of. If men sometimes took their advice, whom God hath given for their help and conso­lation in their affairs, it may be they would have a happier successe. At least, these following Stories will witnesse, That the praises we give them, are not ill grounded, and that we have a reason to maintain, that their Prudence hath often brought reme­dy to the most desperate diseases of States and Provinces.

When the Sabines demanded Roman Women in Marriage with their Swords in their hands to revenge a refusall; The Se­nate was puzzled to make an answer, in a case where a denyall would beget a cer­tain Warre, or the grant of it would ha­zard their State; because their Allyance was but a colour to make themselves Ma­sters of Rome: Tutola being very young, presented her self with her advice, which at first surprized them; but afterwards suc­ceeded to the glory of the Romans, and shame of the Strangers. After having per­ceived a great irresolution in the discourse [Page 58] of so many old Senators, whom experi­ence should have furnished with good coun­sell, she proposed to them, to agree to their demands, and to dresse their Maids like Brides, and to carry them to the Sa­bines, who preferred their pleasure before their designe of making Warre. These slaves seeing their pretended Husbands in a sound sleep, subtilly stole their Armes from them, and advertised the Roman Souldiers of it by a lighted Torch; who carryed back a Victory where Fortune had no part. One cannot praise enough the conduct, courage and affection of Tutola, that found an expedient for the Common­wealth, when all the Senate could find no­thing but fear and apprehension.

The Sabine Women have not got lesse re­putation in the like occasion, then the Roman. Although these two people were allyed, yet they made mortall war one upon another: The Squadrons being ready to joyn bat­tell, the Sabines threw themselves between the two Armies, covered with mourning, their hair about their ears, and their chil­dren in their arms. What? (said they to the Romans) have you forgot that we are your daughters? Do you not see that we are between our Fathers and our Husbands; [Page 59] and that you will be no lesse obliged to la­ment the victory if you gain it, then if you loose it; since these children will be without Fathers, and your daughters without hus­bands. And you Sabines, what fury transports you to seeke the spilling of blood, which is so allyed to you? You can never report your victory, without publishing in Parricide, and relating a story which will be as shameful to you as lamentable to us. We have put on black, because mourning is unevitable, since we must needs bewaile our husbands, or our Fathers: if you have a minde to goe on, exercise your rage upon us, that had rather dye then be either widows or Orphans. This Spectacle with their discourse, did so soften the hearts of those warriers, that they con­tracted an inviolabile Friendship. The Sa­bins afterward inhabited Rome, and these two people became one; and Romulus, to honour the wisedome and conduct of the Sabines, gave their names to the Decargos, bands of ten men.

The prudency and generosity of Ladyes, gave the Laced monians an occasion to build a Temple dedicated to Venus armed, where Pallas seemed to cite her before Paris, to demand satisfaction of him for taking a­way her armes, after having carried the [Page 60] Apple from her; but Venus replyes nothing in her defence, but that if she had been vi­ctorious naked, she would be so much more, armed. Yet to speak my opinion more particularly in this Morall; me thinks, it is not enough for worthy women to have a pleasingnesse without Discretion: La­dies are but humane by Beauty; but as it were divine by Prudence: Beauty asketh but love, but Wisdome challengeth admi­ration. It is Vertue that gives them most authority and respect: and without which, the rest are without ornament, at least with­out order, like scatter'd Flowers which the wind parts, and carries up and down confu­sedly. With Discretion the vicious preserve their honour, and without it the vertuous lose it. In matters of Love and Pride Wo­men never want dexterity; their Wit al­wayes accompanies their Passion. Iacobs Mother is witnesse enough of their ability, in the inventions she gave him to supplant his brother.

Prudence and wariness are inseparable: and as Rashness exposeth the most powerfull to danger, so Distrust keeps the weakest in safety. Ladies may, as well as Misers, be afraid of the shadow of a Reed, that is, of the least occasion; since they have a treasure a­bout [Page 61] them as well as they, which is easier lost, and worthier to be kept. The Poets Pallas, which should be an example to the wise, was alwayes armed; to shew them, that they should be still upon their guard. And indeed, what worth soever one can have, she that is without fear is like a Ci­ty without Walls; as easie to be taken as hard to be kept. I mean not a frantick fear, which is a greater ill then that which is threatned; but a wise one, which propo­seth ill accidents without distempering the Body or disquieting the Conscience. If pratling and pert Women be offended that I esteem Modesty more then Prudence, I would advise them to quarrell with their own shameless humour, that decryes them in all companies. Those that ordinarily take so much upon them, have little in them; that are like Apes, that are never more beasts, then when they put on mens cloathes. Discretion is never parted from Prudency, it is Treasure that nourisheth it self whilest it is covered. Like that Lamp in the time of the Romans, that remained almost a thousand years lighted, as long as it was under ground, and went out as soon as e­ver it was brought into the air. Those that would seem wise labour in vain; the best [Page 62] wits cover the Springs of their motions, lest they should not be ingenuously dealt with, and so they should be rather fenced with then trusted.

The greatest and most common sin in the world, is to chuse ill, either for love or fortune. Prudence provides against this miscarrying, since it is particularly imploy­ed to deliberate and elect. Indeed, a great many have much need of this Vertue, and should not wonder if they repent them of their loves; because understanding and e­lection doth not precede them. There are some Women that seem to have meer bru­tality in their designes, making monsters the objects of them, even as far as to imi­tate her in Ariosto, that preferred a Dwarse before a Prince; violating at once the Lawes of Merit, Quality, and Marri­age.

There's no wisdom to hold ones peace, or to talk alwayes; Pratling shews a gid­dinesse in the brain, and overmuch silence either stupidity or scorn. One may dis­course a whole day, and yet speak little; but sometimes one may say too much in speaking but a word. There is not so much discretion to speak few words, as no super­fluous or impertinent ones: Otherwise, [Page 63] the dumbe were borne with great advan­tage, if we must retrenche the use of the tongue in stead of moderating it. Women di­spute secrecie with a great deale of Justice, with men; and though they are accused, to have no inclination to silence, they doe keepe it inviolably when it is required. What threats soever Nero could make to Epicarmis a Roman Lady to learne of her the Complices in a conspiracy she was accused of, he could never make her speake against the purpose she had, of keeping a secret of that importance; the sight of torments shooke the resolution of her partners, but she prevented the executioners, and made the Tyrant confesse, that she had more con­stancy and discretion, then the men had feebleness. This Action witnesseth sufficient­ly, that they are much to blame, that ne­glect women where wisedome and silence are required. When Theseus was in the Labyrinth exposed to the Mino-taur, who gave him meanes to escape but Ariadne? whithout the thrid that she gave, how could he ever have unwinded himself out of those Mazes? This Labyrinth is the Image of intricate affayres or occasions, Theseus represents men puzled in them, the thrid is wisedome: and Ariadne gives it, who fi­gures [Page 64] to us judicious Ladies, which ordi­narily rescue men in extremities, which they could not deliver themselves from. When Iason should have served for a prey to the furious Bull which guarded the Fleece, was it not Medea that charmed them, and freed the passage for that Ca­valier, to carry that away which no body durst undertake? By the Bull we must un­stand Perils, which often intercept the pos­session of brave things; by the Fleece, our designes and pretensions; and by Medea, ingenuous women, that can charme dangers, and have no other spels but their wisdome and behaviour to deliver those that, like Ia­son, have more boldnesse then dexterity to undertake what they have no means to ac­complish.

Of Knowledge and Igno­rance.

A Woman without wit when shee is handsome, is an object rather of pity then desire; and when shee is ill favourd, t'is a fearfull Monster that frights all the world: because as beauty withont discretion, cannot defend it selfe; so ugliness with ignorance is not to be endured; and if the knowledge of good things, sets a gloss and luster on the actions of the one; it serves to excuse and varnish the imperfections of the other, to make her lesse troublesome, and to repaire by the faculties of her wit, the defects of her face. And if I would maintaine, as my theame obliges me, that a Lady should be learned to excell in con­versation, It may be this opinion will offend at first, that of Ignorant and stupid men, that imagine to make a neere resemblance [Page 66] to themselves, that a woman cannot study nor read without forgetting honour and vertue, at least without requiring a justi­fication for it. But those that judge so rash­ly, neglecting what they should desire, as if they were bound to hate the perfection they have not, or that they should not e­steem any but shallow wits, to satisfie the diffidence of themselves, in stead of repre­senting to themselves, that such women, that have not judgement enough to discerne vice, have no more to make choyce of vertue, or to know how to prefer upon all occasions, reallity before apparency. But they that are never so little versed in morality, are not of this mind, because we find every day by experience, that the light of reason is as it were natural vertue, which disposeth us to doe well, almost without study. And that we seldome see a good wit, without a good conscience. The helpe of reading fortifies this good inclination, and those that perswade themselves, that reading is a Schoole to learn to doe ill cunningly, it would become them better to beleeve, that Ladies find in it more arms to defend, then to hurt themselves; and more meanes to Conquer, then to be over­come. Reading and conference are absolutely necessary to render both the wit and the hu­mor [Page 67] acceptable; and as the one collects the matter of our discourses, the other gives us a method to expresse them gracefully, to joyne together facility and abundance; otherwise conversation is but an insuppor­table tyranny, and tis impossible without suffering the torture, to stay long with such women, that can entertaine one with no­thing but with the number of their sheepe, if they be of the country; or if they be of the Court, that speake nothing but what bands and gownes are in fashion. Taylors or shep­herds are better read in this, and a plain sem­stresse hath a great advantage over them in company. It must not then be imagined, that speaking of this accomplished woman, whose image we have now to draw, that wee meane to figure the mother of a family, that can governe well her maids, and takes care to combe her children. Musick, History, Philosophy, and other such exercises, are more sutable to our designe, then those of a good huswife, and there are none so removed from common sense, that will not confess that without these good qualities, though Ladies have an excellent wit, yet it is often full of ill things, and troublesome in dis­course; the best land beares but bryars and thornes, when there is nothing sowed upon [Page 68] it, where Art and Labour might bring fourth Lillies and Tulips: It is that which is often wanting to their good inclinations and de­sires, when tyranny or some other misfor­tune barrs them the possession of these faire qualities, of which Nature has given them a capacity. For to say they are not fit for knowledges, me thinkes it is to mis-judge of there constitution, which as the Physicians say, being more delicate then ours, is also better disposed for them: but it maybe, 'tis an effect of their Judicious choyce, to quit freely the vexation and musings of study, as an occupation that the wisest and most know­ing of men, had call'd wearisome. And I may say without flattering them, or without pretending by this insinuation to the honour of their good graces, that they are capable of as many vertues as men; and if sometimes they quit their claime which they may lay to them, 'tis rather out of Modesty or consi­deration then unaptness. Our ancient Gaules divided with them, the glory of peace and war: reserving only the active part of armes unto themselves, and leaving them the esta­blishment of the lawes and the preservation of common wealths, that was not to be done by ignorant ones: and one may judge in what esteeme our ancestors held them, [Page 69] since they alloted to the men onely the exer­cises of the body, and to women the abilities of the minde. What knowledge can be thought either so difficult or so divine, in which women have not excell'd, at least, as well as men? was not Aspatia judged wor­thy to teach Pericles, who notwithstanding might have instructed all the world? What need we to name many women, that have penetrated the greatest mysteries, and have bin so knowing in Divinity, even to the admi­ration of the greatest Doctors?

This matter is too ample to prosequute; although men be very sparing and reserved in writing their prayses, they cannot choose but wittnesse this truth, and fill their bookes with such examples. And if we may be al­low'd to go as far as Fable, wee shall find that if men have an Apollo for an Author of their Sciences, that women have also a Minerva, that hath invented the best Lear­ning, and that gives them as just a claime for this pretension. And if I did not feare to support so knowne a truth by fiction, I would be content to refer those that doubt of it to the Poets nine Muses, to which we ascribe the invention of Arts. But not to continue farther proofes, which authorise the justness of this side, Those that say that women draw [Page 70] great advantage out of ignorance, doe they not doe too much honour to the silly and ri­diculous village-simplicity, which ordinarily defends it selfe ill in occasions, and makes little resistance against the importunity of the first that presses or sollicits her. Or if this opinion be good; were not blind men the surer for having lost their sight? as if winking were enough to avoyd a precipice. In the Court, as in the ocean, one must know the rocks, and the sands, to prevent shipwrack; and if woman doe ill after they know it, one should impute the cause of that misfortune to their will, not their knowledge. Otherwise if all kind of reading or Learning be inter­dicted them, a thousand disorders will arise out of their ignorance: they will find to their cost, if contempt can move them, that those that forbid them the use of reading or study of good things, cannot endure an Ine­quality of wits. I cannot choose but laugh, when I thinke of the error of Francis Duke of Brittany, that expressed a great passion for Isabella the daughter of Scotland, when he understood that she had been studied, belee­ving that a woman was knowing enough, when she knew the difference betweene her owne smock, and her husbands doublet. The beleese of this good Prince, would be very [Page 71] ridiculous in those countrys, where the men goe naked, or among those nations that make the shirt and the doublet all of a piece: his estimation of the silly and ignorant obli­geth me to beleeve he had made a vow to love only his owne refemblance. The Empe­rour Theodosius did not so much value the ignorant, he maryed Athenais only for her wit and learning, without sticking at her being but the daughter of a Pedant, of whom she had received nothing, but beauty in her birth, and Philosophy in her education. Those that mistrust a woman when she un­derstands any thing but her beads, live ac­cording to the proverbs, & dare not doe any thing, when it is told them that our ance­sters did not use it. These are weake Spirits, that deserve what they feare, and that ground their suspicions even on the same reasons that should secure them. Indeed I doe not com­mend those that affect too much sufficiency. But excepting this abuse, it must be acknow­ledged, that women that have knowledge and reading, are more pleasing in conversa­tion, and are better pleased in solitude when they entertaine themselves. Their Idea hath somewhat to delight it selfe with, whilst the ignorant lye open to ill thoughts, because knowing nothing wherewith to busre their [Page 72] wits, as their discourse is wearisome, so their thinking must be extravagant. Therefore I would advise them to vow a perpetuall So­litude, because they are every where insup­portable, easie to be seduced, vertuous by chance, and vitious by necessity.

Of Constancy and Fidelity.

THose that beleeve levity natural to women, reading this dis­course, which proves the con­trary, will imagine that I have undertaken to find setlednesse in the wind, assurance in the waves, and strength in reeds: but passing by their opinion, since I have neither purpose nor commission to undeceive all those that are in error, I will shew that for inconstancy, women are in more danger to be injured by it, then guilty of it; and that their diffidence is very just in this time, when the friendships that are promised them with most ceremony, are [Page 73] either without truth, or durance. Constancy is: but for good things, obstinacy for evill. otherwise sinne should be Eternall, and re­pentance should be forbidden for feare of charge. When the alteration is just, it is election, and when it is not, 'tis lightness. As it is not just, that they that are sicke, should alwayes remaine in that state, for fear of being inconstant; so I beleeve that it is no more blamable, to shake off an ill opi­nion, then a feaver, and that repentance is as necessary for the mind as Medecines for the body. What harm is it to prefer a greater merit before a lesse? or to confesse that the Sunne has more light then the Stars? other­wise the first thing wee had seene in the world, should chayne up our liberty, and even deprive us of the right of choice, or make us love that which should be hated.

Those that esteemed Nero, whilest he carryed himselfe moderatly, the first five yeares of his raigne, were they bound to love him when he be came a Tyrant? af­terwards when he had lost his vertue, was there any affection due to him? I loved this man for his merit, this face for beauty, that flower for colour; this man is become vi­tious, this face disfigured, this flower fa­ded; after this why should I dote on an ob­ject [Page 74] whose lovely qualities are ceased? How can the building subsist when the foun­dations are removed? unlesse to keepe the adored lawes of constancy, those that love a picture are obliged afterward to love the cloth, when the features are defaced? There is no religion in love, that obligeth us to honour such relicks, unlesse that the affection change into pity, and that it be rather to avoyd ingratitude, then incon­stancy. This is the reason that those that love but the beauty of the body, cannot both live and love long. There is nothing but the fairness of wit and vertue, that can truly fasten our constancy: Faces aswell as yeares, have their seasons, though the spring be never so pleasant, wee must re­solve to see the flowers passe away, and to suffer a winter after the faire weather.

Yet for all this, there is no colour to intend to blame so noble a vertue, and a quality so necessary in the world, as Con­stancy, without which all Love is but trea­chery, whether it be understood ac­cording to custome, or reason. The follow­ing examples will show sufficiently, that men are to blame, to give the name of vice to womens vertues, calling them obstinate in their perseverances, and light in theirreaso­nable [Page 75] changes. Synogaris being in love with Camna wife to Synates, used all man­ner of devices to bring her to yeeld to his passion; but all his pursuits, with the emi­nency of his Qualitie having no power to shake the resolution of this Lady, he imagined that if her Husband were out of the world, he should compasse what had been refused him: He put him to death, and after this cruelty importuned so the kindred of this Widow, that she made show of an agreement to a Marriage with Synogaris: when they came to the Ceremo­nies, and that they were to go to the Temple of Diana, this chast Lady carried with her a drink, of which she drank half her self, and then gave the rest to Synogaris, who drank it joyfully, not imagining it to be poyson: Camna seeing her designe accom­plish'd, cast her self upon her knees before the Image of Diana, to whom she presen­ted these thanks and excuses; Great Dei­ty, thou knowest how unwillingly and to what purpose I have consented to a Mar­riage with this murderer: If Grief kill'd as often as it ariseth to an extreme, I had not been now in this world: where not­withstanding I have not refused to stay a while, to take vengeance of this persidious [Page 76] man, that thou seest, who beleeves that I can love him, after he hath ravished from me my dear Synatis. Think on thy self, barbarous man, and confesse what right I have to sa­crifize thy life to that, which thou hast rob'd my Husband of. I do not reckon mine own, since I have imploy'd the end of it to give posterity a remarkable testimony of my love and thy cruelty. Camna was so happy, as to see him die first, though he drank last: the Gods gave this satisfaction to her Fi­delity; and she went out of this world of­ten calling upon Synatis, that he might come and meet her to accompany her in this her journey. Can men produce a nobler exam­ple of Constancy? and was it not an erring Philosopher, that maintained publickly, that among a thousand men there could hardly be found one constant; but amongst all wo­men none?

If Constancy be shewn in the continuation of a designe, in spight of all impeachments and crosses; how great was that of Psyche in the search of Cupid? shee saw three god­desses set against her pretensions, Iuno, Ceres, and Venus, and yet her passion became victorious over their malevolence, she did things that seemed impossible, she went down to hel, where she spoke to Proserpina, [Page 77] and the gods esteemed so much her resoluti­on, that they Deified her, and gave her her love, which she had sought so constantly.

After so many effects of their fidelity, it is hard to decide whether the Prince of Philosophers had reason to compare wo­men kind to the first matter, because they desire alwaies to change forms, and though they have a most perfect one, they turne a generall inclination for all others. This Philosopher meant to conclude by this parallel, that women are insatiable and variable for men, as matter is for formes▪ But it is a comparison too injurious, and would suit better with this Philosopher, then with the lightest woman, since he left his Herina for another Mistresse, to whom he erected Altars, to convince himselfe with more solemnity of that fault, which he had accused women of. They have more reason to complain of men, then to fear their reproaches. How is the simplicity of credulous ones now abused? What pawn soever men give, they my be better called cousners then inconstant, because at the same time that they promise fidelity, they purpose to violate it, so as there is no change in their resolution, but only in their dis­course.

[Page 78] Variablenesse doth not distract Wits of the higher strain, one may rely on them: even their least designes remain firm in all the storms of Fortunes. Levity ariseth from the weaknesse of the brain, and Constan­cy from the force of it. After Affection hath fastned two hearts, the separation of them should be impossible; for if Love in its own nature be immortal, it is not true, if it can cease. St. Austine himself said, that his friend and he seemed to have but one soul to live, as well as to love; and death had not so properly separated two, as divi­ded one; and after the losse of this his con­fident, he feared death and abhorted life, be­cause without him he lived but one half of himself; and that he was obliged to preserve this rest, lest his friend should die out-right. There were few so constant as this great per­son. On the contrary, many would believe themselves too innocent, if they did not an­nex treachery and persidiousnesse to Incon­stancy. I cannot conceive how there should any remain of this profession, because all the world detests it; those that use it distrust it, and those that are injured by them, cannot▪ orgive them. Indeed, not to pursue all the [...]ules of Physiognomy to know them, their mind alone witnesseth, that falling out with [Page 79] all the world, they do not agree themselves; confessing without speaking, that horrour which is their sins conception. It must needs be that theirs is the greatest guilt in the world, since they arraign themselves in their own Court of Conscience, even going some­time as far as execution with their own hands; practising a new form of justice, where they are Judges, Parties, Accusers and Exe­cutioners: though we naturally love our selves, they cannot shew themselves mercy; and one may read in the colour of their face, that none can absolve them, when their own soul condemns them and torments them. It must needs be the most horrible, and the most inexcusable of all sins, since those that are guilty of it have so much pain to commit it, and that they do much harm unto them­selves, in doing it to others. 'Tis for this reason, that Fidelity is alwayes cheerfull a­mong thorns, and Perfidiousnesse alwayes troubled, and pensive even in the beds of Roses. A loyal spirit feels not his torments, and a trayterous one tasts not his pleasures. Their senses are diversly suspended, because vitiousness bitters even their delights, and vertue sweetens and relisheth the others ills and sufferings.

There needs no proofs to shew that Wo­men [Page 80] are seldomer perfidious then men: we may judg by these following examples of the rest. What excuse could Ptolomy King of Aegypt find after the receit of so many obligations from Pompey, for his comman­ding him to be murthered, while he fled to him for refuge, after the defeat of Pharsa­lia? those that have read the History, will confesse that it was an unparallell'd cruelty and treachery. Though Iulius Caesar had declared Brutus for his heir, yet he was one of the first that struck him in the Senate, without any consideration of the favours which he expected or enjoyed from this Em­peror. When the soul is sullied with this vice, it is capable of all the malice that can be ima­gined. Covetousness keeps close to it, which when any woman hath a propensity to, she can hardly be faithful; there is nothing that she would not buy or sell to be made rich. It is the most infallible mark of a gross spirit and a debauched soul: Ladies should not ex­presse any inclination to it, for fear of the fortune of Prochis, who after she had resisted menaces and submissions, yeilded when she saw the money told. Credulous and ignorant women are in no less danger, their goodness betrayes them; they are perswaded to many things which their easiness consents to against [Page 81] their honour. It seems that such are neither false nor faithful, since they have neither in­tention for the one, nor ability for the other. It is this simplicity, which as the Poet sayes, may be excused, so they delight not in their own delusion. The crafty are subject to do that by malice, which the silly do by misfor­tune. Subtilty sometimes lays traps where it self is caught: There are ills in which flight is better then resistance; good swimmers are oftnest drowned, because their skill tempts them to fall so far down the stream, as they cannot come up again. Constancy and Fide­delity expresse themselves even in the least actions; the gate gives marks of it, and the lightnesse of the motions leads us to judg of the weight of the wit.

Alfonso King of Arragon said, that womens inconstancy appears in their inclination to dance; It was an ill conclusion drawn from an innocent thing: But that Prince seemed to have such an experience of it, as seeing a young Lady dance with a Gentleman who made love to her, said to him, Comfort your self, this Sybil will quickly render the Ora­cle you ask; because the Sybils heretofore gave no answers but in motion.

But to leave the marks of Constancy and fi­delity, & come to the effects. It must be con­fessed, [Page 82] that women have been incomparable in them. Among the Heathen, Pompeia Pau­lina caused her veins to be cut, when she saw her Husband Seneca condemned by Nero, refusing to live after the death of him that had taught her to love philosophically, that is, constantly. They closed up her veins a­gainst her will, but she testified alwayes after, by the palenesse of her face, that the cure was unwelcome, and that she stayed in the world unwillingly, Seneca not being there, of whom she had learn'd to despise life and death, to value Constancy in love. The Wife of Mithridates seeing the Affairs of her Husband desperate, took the Crown that she had on her head, and hung it about her neck, so to end her self; and having broke it at the first stresse, she took the rest into her hands, complaining sensibly, that Crowns, which in good fortune serve for ornament, could not serve for remedie in ill. Among the Chri­stian Ladies, in the most noble occasion of courage that was ever offer'd, did not Mary Magdalen constantly accompany her Master every where, when the Disciples fell off, af­ter all their protestations of never deserting him?

Of Curiosity and Censure.

CVriosity never agreed well with silence▪ those that know much newes, do not resolve to hold their peace; and Cen­sure infallibly disperseth what indiscretion collects. The wits of curious women are like the vessels of the [...], that emptied as fast as one went to fill them. That which comes in at the eares, run [...] pre­sently out of the mouth, because indiscre­tion, that directs to hearken as lightly as to speake, lets lies out as freely as in. I do not taxe the divine curiosity of Philoso­phers, and good wits, which have detected the secrets of nature, and given us means to regulate the passions of our minde, as well as brought us the wisdome of above; 'tis that hath taught us more morality, civility, policy, and what is usefull to the civiliza­tion of our lives. I condemn but that which is a desire to know what is uselesse or vit [...] ­ous [Page 84] which removes us from the knowledge of our selves, and the truths necessary for vertue or for conscience. Ladies that are pleased to hear all kind of censures, oc­casion ill opinion of their vertue, because that easinesse they shew to believe ill, is as it were an assured proof that they would have the same to act it. There are those that cannot endure that any body should be advantageously spoken of, and that be­lieve the censure of all the world, to be an Apology for their faults, since it comprises them in so much company as if the number of the malefactors did au­thorise the offence; when they hear other womens vertues commended, they grow as sad, as ugly when handsome ones are made love to before them. And if one should examine their thoughts, one should find yet a blacker spring; They are glad to have company in their infamy, but they would have none in their delights, being more moved with jealousie then shame, imagining that those that use their pleasures, steale somewhat from them▪ They are like the Emperour Tyberius, that set officers in Rome to discover and condemne adulteries, that he onely might commit. Vertuous women excuse [Page 85] faults, in stead of publishing them; vitious ones are alwaies mercilesse to their like, thinking to testifie by their hatred, that the crime is unknowne to them; but the effects give their words the lye; and this cunning takes so ill, that they rather defame then defend them­selves. Worthy women banish vice from the world by charity, and licentious ones expell vertue by detraction. 'Tis easie to discerne a chast woman from another; the last examines all, even to the least circumstacce, her ill-nesse is the pattern shee judges by, her expe­rience and her designe makes her give, even to the best things ill interpretations. After Prochis had betray'd her husband, shee spyed into all his actions, hardly blieving him cleare in what shee her selfe was guilty. Vitious old women are alwaies apprehensive, and fear the abuse of liberty, not imagining that even conversation or taking the ayre, may be harmelesse. They feare, me thinkes, lest any should doe so much ill, as they have done, or would doe yet, if they had as much vigour as vitiousnesse. They have no better means to cover their sin, then to expresse displeasure or astonishment, [Page 86] when they heare others blamed, because shewing so ready a beliefe to all imputations, one may judge that they are farre from be­ing lyable unto them; for if they did not set off themselves by a comelinesse, their face consenting to what their mouth forbids, a vitious boldnesse would be too much encouraged, which is well pleased too with a slack facility. Curiosity for trifles and ill things, is a mark of the loos­nesse of conscience, and defect of wit. Such as busie themselves with little tales of their neighbours, and entertain company with them, furnish their wits, as the Chi­nesais do their Cabinets, with old strange rags and gugaus: I would advise all of this humor, that bestow their time either use­lesly or ill, to study the Anatomy of flies, or the art to count the Attomes of the aire; and to punish their body as well as their mind, to live only upon shrimps, in which there is more businesse then meat. This light idlenesse gives an ill character of them, because they are judged capable of vice by weaknesse, if not by illnesse. There are those that speake ill of other on purpose, yet would seem to do it unwillingly; but 'tis to do like Archers, that draw the shaft towards themselves, that it may go strong­er [Page 87] to the mark. How much error and va­nity is there in our judgments and discourse, since between the even and the next mor­ning we differ from our selves more then wee did from others? How can we be assured that she that was to day given to pleasure, shall not to morrow shut her self up to austerity? But suppose our judgments be not false, we must needs offend against charity, if not against truth. Such as have but yet committed one sinne, should not be called vitious, and those that have done many, it may be, will not continue in them; the first correct, the other change themselves. And indeed, there is no cer­tainty to speake of the illnesse of any, without indangering a lie, since a moment or a thought are enough to change perdition into penitence.

Of a Debauched Woman.

THere are few such Islands as that of Cio, where it is said that the lawes of honour and chastity, were preserved in their purity the space of se­ven hundred years, without ever being vio­latedby the ladies of the country. I know not whether it be an effect of their cunning, or their vertue; but howsoever, it was either a chastity, or a reputation of a great standing, which deserves as much admiration, as the depravation of this age doth blame, suffer­ings, or corrections. It may be this discourse will not be welcome to such as I should be glad it should be usefull. But if the vitious be not disposed▪ to take our remedies for this cure, at least they must resolve to endure our reproaches for their shame; and if our precepts be not Soveraigne enough to close up the incurable ulcers of these old she-sinners, and to draw them out of the mire [Page 89] where the weight of their crimes hath buried them; and those whose eyes are more con­trite then their consciences, being alwaies a­water rather to lament the losse of their youth, then the enormity of their crimes: at least this will restraine the young ones from sinking into so obstinate a loosnesse; I speake boldly of all, because if they be debau­ched, I would not be friends with them; if they be vertuous, I need not fear falling out with them; the one will applaud my censure, the other wil do me honour in disproving of my doctrine, as I do of their life. This passion is not that which properly is called love, but some other disease which cannot be cured but by miracle; and one may reproach such as are infected with it, as the Poet did Myrrha, that it is not Cupid, but one of the enraged furies that lights such a flame. It is a fire of hell that has blindnesse for smoke, scandal for light, and infamy and shame for ashes; these are the sad relicks of such, that having long prostituted themselvs, save of the ruins of their honor, nothing but a sad repen­tance▪ but what honour soever we conceive of them, we must be more obscure then reproch­ful in this matter, in which we should cover by modesty, that which hatred & truth might oblige us to publish: this crime has one great [Page 90] advantage being so reproveable, that its own beastlinesse defends it, but 'tis rather by others shame then pity.

Those that have inclination for all our sex, love none, though they love all; when one is come to that passe, there is no more distinction, the most bruitish seemes the loveliest, their fire kindles even in water, by objects that deserve even horror and hatred. Semyramis loved a horse, Pasiphae a Bull, Glauce a Dog, and Glaucippe an Elephant; Appelles musing on this, drew Venus face with her mouth halfe open, to shew, that those of her humour have never their mouths closed, for lures to their own designes; and though they be never so old, their desires alwaies ex­ceed their abilities. Indeed, many resemble Iberina in Iuvenal, that would have as many men as kisses. Then the number of their sinnes passes that of their thoughts, and without borrowing any thing from Poetry, one may say that Arithmetick can­not multiply so high.

Many of this humor have sought reme­dies for their infamous disease in magicall intoxications. What extravagancy is it to think to find in druggs means to be belo­ved, as if love had any roots but in merit [Page 91] and vertue? 'tis that which gives it birth and nourishment; and those that use so much art to make themselves lovely, run the hazard which Apuleius speakes of, that used an oyntment to get wings to flie in at his Mistriss window, but in stead of being changed into a bird, he was turned into a beast. If herbs had any power to recover those that are struck with this disease, Apollo, which is the god of Physick, would have made use of it, when the beauty of Daphne had made him quit heaven for earth, and chang'd the form of a god, for that of a shepherd, Those that endure with so much delight lascivious discourse, show that they would take much more in the action, and that there is nothing said to them, but what they are acquainted with, both by knowledg and desire; 'tis not their gentleness, nor good humor that brings this facility, complacency reaches not so farre. Modesty is alwaies severe, when it is entire, and is tainted, when it is brought to such a soft­nesse. The widow of Sigismund discove­red her self sufficiently, by an answer she made to those who counselled her to imi­tate the turtles, That she loved as much the company of men, as our Lady apprehended that of an Angell; she told him, that if she [Page 92] were to live like birds, she would take an ex­ample rather from Sparrows, then Doves. There is no less danger to read mens Court­ings, then to hear them. After Helin had o­pened Paris his letter, she imagined then that she ought to refuse him nothing. When one has given any favour, she enga­ges her selfe afterwards beyond either the obligation or the intention. Those that have no mind to be overcome, should at first distance all rash hope, lest they take a gentle refusall for a permissi­on. As the most ill-favoured have most need of painting, so the most debauched are most curious in the apparency of vertue This is the reason that they are ordinarily unequall, appearing to day insolent, accor­ding to their humour, and to morrow modest by affectation. Those that compare vi­tious women to Syrens, it may be, do not know the mystery of this similitude. One of the monsters was call'd Parthenope, which is to say, virgin, having a smiling face to allure Marriners, to break their Ships against the points of rocks that were cover'd under water. The most immodest, ordinarily, study to appear the chastest; but for all their falsifying, they are whirlepits of infamy, where none but the unadvised and desperate [Page 93] are shipwracked. The reservednesse of an honest woman, is far different from that of another; the one is natural, the other forced; they seem to live freely and ingenuously, the better to deceive those that are so simple as to believe, that what they doe, is by their humor or innocence, which is a plot to sinke some young Pilot. I never saw censorious women, that were not debau­ched, or that did not mean to be so, imagi­ning that by a false policy, that the universa­lity of their sin would be their justification. Yet to shew the irregularity of their humor, they hate those that imitate them, so that conformity that produceth correspondence in all other professions, begets aversion in this; this is the way to dis-agree with all sorts of women, since the presence of the ver­tuous seems to reproch them, and the company of the vitious to diminish their delights. Poyson dogs adultery, when a woman is once branded with that vice, shee believes shee cannot preserve her Reputation, nor find rest nor as­surance in any thing, but the extincti­on of the witnesses of her uncleane­nesse; then reason cannot curb a Spirit that is frighted with the remembrance of sinne, who drawes boldnesse from vengeance, [Page 94] and naturall weaknesse renders it incon­siderable.

The salvation of impudent women is al­most desperate, how well soever they pro­pose to themselves their own conversion, they relapse alwaies into their owne hell, and there repentance may be ranked among the miracles. If death did not purge the world of them, we should be constrained to make publick processions, to desend our selves from them, as from a curse, that is worse then the other three; but God re­serves to himselfe their punishment, and forbids our medling with those afflictions which he hath prepared for them in the world to come.

If one had well considered these old she-sinners, and compared the features of their faces, with those of their conscience, one should find an equall deformity; or if one could draw them to the life, and perswade us that the divels are like them, I believe no body would be damned; and that this fearfull object would deter us more from hell, then the severest preachers.

But that I may be as briefe as obscure in a subject that feeds my melancholy, and gives me ill thoughts, I will finish this old pi­cture, as Apelles did one of his: When this [Page 95] admirable painter had considered with much delight, the features and charmes of Com­pasp [...]s face, Alexanders Mistriss, he grew so passionate, that he was faine to ask the Originall of the Emperour, in stead of finishing the copy. I do that out of hatred, which he did by love; I find so many horri­ble features in the picture of a debauched woman, as the pensill falls out of my hand, having too much anger, and too few revi­lings to perfect this piece in colours black e­nough.

Of the Cruelty and Pity of Wo­men.

WHatsoever the most part of men believe of womens fury, pity is so naturall to them and their inclination bent to mercy, as even the furies themselves could not chuse but lament the mis-fortune of Orpheus, that went into Hell to demand his Euridice; those pitilesse [Page 96] places, where horror raigns alwaies with cruelty, were not able to suppresse the sensible compassion that the furies were affected with, at such a misery. Af­ter this must it not be confessed, that ten­dernesse is an inseparable quality from wo­men. Since anger is an enemy to this com­mendable habit, I believe it were more ad­vantageous to them, wholly to extinguish this passion, if it were possible, then to think to moderate it by prudence. In­deed it is the most unjust of all, because other passions may have a reall good for their object, whereas this hath never but a seeming, to satisfie the error of those it possesseth, which account not themselves happy, till they have left others in an in­capacity of being so. Thus therefore this passions flattery is ill grounded, because if mischief be transportable from one sub­ject to another, it is without a self dimi­nution, as torches communicate their light. I must confesse it is an incomparable blind­nesse to believe that the impression of an injury, weares out by stamping its owne likenesse on another: Women are accu­sed of extremities in their passions, the world believes that they seek not so much the opportunity of an hasty, as a home [Page 97] revenge, especially when they are irritated either in love or fortune. Though this imposture require rather neglect then an­swer; yet if one would do so much as exa­mine their inclination, one shall find it as innocent as their enemies have drawn it injurious: at least excusable, if not to bee commended. Indifferent wits are easily moved and setled, because their violence slacks; and their motions must needs grow remisse and weake if they continue, because they are neither natu­rall nor rationall. Time, that is received of all the world for so great a Physician, cures but the first troubles of our mind; but when passion is just, it augments pro­portionably as it lasts, because thoughts and meditations strengthen and nourish it, when we weigh maturely the reason of its generation. The sensibleness of infirm and loose spirits, is like fire, that flashes out, as soon as it is lighted in flax; but con­serves it self longer in Iron, and more solid Subjects. Women are not of this light temper, to fly out without reason; as they are unapt to be moved, so have they an equall backwardnesse to reconcilia­tion as well as quarrel. One would be very much deceived, if he should believe by this [Page 98] that my proofs were lesse reasonable then natural; I submit alwaies Morality to Chri­stianity, and confesse that I should rather set up a School for vice then vertue, if I would justifie revenge to oblige women to the prejudice of Religion, and even their own nature, which is enclined to gentle­ness and courtesie. I only praise the con­stancy of their designes, when they are just, otherwise I should be a pernicious Ad­vocate if I pleaded for a sinne that is so pre­judiciall to them, as it makes them passe for monsters; and which they have so little inclination to, or acquaintance, as it is not improper for them only to be cruel, but mis­becoming to be severe; and of the two parts of justice they seem to be borne, but exe­cute the milder. Amongst all the effects of cruelty, one of the most insupportable is, that it is as averse to beauty, as it is to con­science: If tears sometimes become a face, anger hath the same priviledge as grief, and though one may often see a beautifull me­lancholy, yet I have never heard of a lovely fury; this passion is too violent, not to race out all the faire lineaments out of the face: the eyes by little and little fright in stead of charming; the frowardnesse of their mind is drawn out by all their motions, and that [Page 99] may come to such a degree of horror, that one shall not dare to approach them with­out prayer, as we do such as are pos­sessed, whose faces they either have or make.

Proud and ill women are almost alwaies infected with this crime, because that meet­ing with many enemies to their evil intents, there is no malice so black that passion doth not infuse into them, for the ruine of those that intercept either their love or fortune. Aphrodisia wife to the Emperour Dioclesian, tryed alwaies to be beloved of her son in law Erastus, but af­ter having lost many intreaties on him, in a chamber where she thought the opportu­nity would afford her victory, the refusall incensed her with as much spite as shame, she came perplext to her husband to accuse this innocent of a crime he would not com­mit. 'Tis the custome of Debauched wo­men to turn their love into hate, when their desires are discovered and not satisfied and to plot the preservation of their credits even by the ruine of those that would not be their complices. It should seem that the Philosopher Chilon spoke of such when he maintained that it was the uttermost of all comminations could be made to ene­mies, [Page 100] the anger of women. Me thinks it is an incomparable Master-piece, and an art that no body is passed Master of, the pacification of a furious woman. If this passion last till they grow old, they will be sick of it all their lives, because they will fright those that would appease them; when they can no longer give love, they will hardly give patience. The wrinkles will score out their years in their faces, as lines do hours upon the Dyall. And you may judge of the vilenesse of their infa­mous age, since they frighted their nurse e­ven in the Cradle. The head of Medusa that struck so much fear into the world, had but her hair changed into Serpents: these have their eye-browes over and above, to be compleatly horrible. The divel which in­spires them with so much fury, must needs trouble their sight also, when they look in a glasse, since they do not scare themselvs, and in stead of being content to be endured, ex­pect stil to be beloved. Hel may keep its fu­ries, these wil serve in the world, to act or perswade sins blacker, then those that here­tofore drew fire from heaven, or have ope­ned the jawes of the earth. If ugliness be the mark of cruelty, want of wit is the spring head of it. I hold it infallible, that those [Page 101] that have no sweetness nor gentlenesse, are void of understanding and courage. Gene­rous women are alwaies pitiful, they know it is more glorious to overcome their own passions, then their enemies; and that to give life where it may be taken, is almost to resusciate the dead without a Miracle.

But for fear this morality should not be understood, Anaxarates was not cruel in seeing Iphis die in dispaire before her door; the refusal was just, because the demand was not so. 'Twas an offender that did injustice on himself for his temerity. Worthy women should fear less the ruin of importu­nate men, then of their own honour; and it were to be ill advised, to be cruel to them­selves, to be so unfittingly pitifull to inso­lence or detraction.

Of Beauty.

THose that adore or despise Beauty, either offer too much or too little to the image of God. It is one of the rarest presents that heaven hath made to earth▪ but we must ascribe all the merit to the power of him that gratifies us with it. In the opinion of Plato, it is a humane splendor, amiable in its own nature, that has the power to ravish the mind with the eyes. Since heretofore deformed Mini­sters have been rejected from the Temple, let us not believe ill of beauty; God him­self hath thought it necessary, for those that approch his Altars; it must be a mark of our inclination to good, since we as sel­dome find beauty without vertue, as ugli­nesse without mischief. The judgment that we make of the beauty of the min [...] by that of the body, are not most common­ly ill grounded; soules like Queens, pre­pare [Page 103] their residence, where they themselves take the pains to adorn them when they are received into them. And indeed, if vertue be necessary for the establishment of Soveraign authorities: beauty also sweetens them, and welcomes even servitude which otherwise would be insupportable. I find sometimes fair wits in ill-favoured bodies, but they are relicks ill set, which the coun­try people do not so much respect and reverence, as if they were covered with Gold or Pearl. This lovely quality may chal­lenge a command every where, wherethere is the light of eyes or reason. The face alone of Scipio the Affrican Subdued many a barbarous Nation without so much as the drawing of a sword; and Heliogabalus himself from a Priest of the Sun, rose to be Emperour of all the world, as soon as his mother had shown him to the Souldiers; so as all the world payes a duty to such as nature hath thus advantaged. The vul­gar believe, that if there be no ill in hand­some women, at least there is inconveni­ence; the temptation is there, though the sin be not: when beauty is the occasion of ill, 'tis an innocent that makes offenders, and those that complain of it, do as idly, as if one should accuse the Sun for dazling his [Page 104] sight, when he looks too fixedly on that glo­rious body. This is objected, one can hardly keep that which many love, and there is no great assurance in the possession of that all the world aspires to: sometimes Towns are so long besieged, & assaulted at so many several places, as at last they are taken: one cannot praise beauty better, then in confessing all desire it as the object of their delight. If handsome women are sometimes gained, this complaint must be addressed rather to their wit then face. A place is not the weaker, because he hath yeilded which should have kept it; the fault is in the Captaine, not the Fort. Howsoever, ill-favoured ones can have no advantage in this reproach, because since they are never at­tempted, their holding out cannot argue their strength. They should have curiosity only to seek darknesse, because the Sun never rises but to their shame, which seems to shine only to give light to faire objects. They are in more paine to defend themselvs from contempts, then suits, and patience is the vertue they had most need of. Handsome wo­men are accused of being scornfull, but when we think well of it, we shall find that their disdain proceeds rather from conscience then vanity, because they [Page 105] cannot endure the idolatrous pursuits of the excessive praises which artificiall men offer up to surprize them. As Kings laugh at the complements of Courtiers, be­cause they are made more for interest then affection: so women may mock the offi­ciousnesse of Gallants, because all their pains tend but to their own pleasure, and the ruine of indiscreet ones. There is not so much presumption in the most admi­red women, as there is poorness in men that tie their own chaines; the services they do them, and the names they give them, express as much their weaknesse, as the ex­travagancy of their passion. What reason is there to call their Empire Tyrannicall, since their subjects are but so to their own wills, and refusers of liberty? The grave Cato reverenced beauty so much, as he said publickly, it was no lesse crime to in­jure it, then to sack a Temple. Those that imagine that the number of their Gallants, addes something to their beau­ty, and are over-pleased with the submissions and duties that are rendred them, goe out to meet their enemies, and shew they be easily overcome; since respects and prai­ses are strong enough against them, of which men are no lesse prodigall, then [Page 106] women can be covetous; but they should believe that when ingenuity bargains craft, that it seldome gets any thing by it. If women are handsome, those that praise them would deceive them; if not, but make sport with them. Therefore all kind had need of wit and vertue to exempt themselves from danger or neglect. There are some that are scrupulous to praise beauty, because it passes away so soon, and lasts no longer then lightning, and most commonly as well as that, promises tempests and stormes. 'Tis a flower, say they, that fades as soon as ever it is blown, which the wind sheds, the Sun dries, the rain flaggs, and hands do gather it; and that is so delicate, that without be­ing touched, or having enemies, in a mo­ment dyes by its own naturall faintnesse. But is not the same to be said of all other things in the world, which cannot last al­waies? and all beauty can be complained of, is, that it hath not the durance of stars, as well as the fairnesse and lustre. The fai­rest women would find an excellent preven­tion of vanity, if they could represent to themselves at sixteen or twenty years old, the defects, decayes, and incommodities of age. What fair plumbs soever nature or art decks them with, they would like Pea­cocks [Page 107] be ashamed, looking downe to such horrible feet, if they foresaw so much change and ruine. I do not professe here, to preach mortification; but mee thinkes, they should not so much afflict themselves for what years drawe from them insen­sibly, and even diminishes it selfe every mo­ment in spite of Art; were it not for painting, which discovers the defects 'tis laid upon, they would be comfortless and irremediable. Natural beauty deserves estimation, but that of their own making nothing but aversion. Sulpitia among the Romans had so lovely eyes, that those of her time could not see her without adoring. The cheeks of Lavinia were so cornation, that they amazed the Ro­ses into palenesse. The neck and brest of Theodota an Athenian were so beautiful, that Socrates himself fel in love with them. These features or charms must not be acquired by art, nor possessed by vanity; nature blesses some persons with them, on purpose to please our eyes, and elevate our spirits to the love of him that is the head of all humane perfe­ction. Counterfeit beauties fall shame­fully in the sight of all the world, almost like those false stars, which after they have abused our eyes a while, shew us by their fall, that what we tooke for stars, was but a little lighted vapour.

[Page 108] Yet for all this we must not altogether forbid ornament or care for the face, since we whiten over walls when they are old. The ill-favoured also are to be allowed to paint, so it be for publick good, and out of a consideration of not frighting those that look upon them. They would be very much surprized, if they were used as Phryne used those in her company; as soon as ever this Curtisan appeared (saith Gallen) she distasted all those of the assem­bly, leaving them nothing to shew but shame and jealousie; they invented a Game to relieve their dejection, which was mutuall commands to one another; when it came to Phrynes commands, she gave order there should be water brought, and they should all wash their hands and faces; as soon as they had obeyed her, one might see patches and plaisters float, and none al­most knew one another, they were o­ther faces full of spots, and fearful features. This game would trouble many of this time, that naturall beauty remained with a great advantage. By her the Are pagites themselves lost the names of uncorrupted, because not believing her innocent, yet having seen her, they could not judge her faulty. Hyperides pleaded against her [Page 109] to no purpose, though he was very Elo­quent; as soon as she appeared, her presence made her Apology, and she did but shew her self for her defence. It is not now adayes only, that handsome Women get their Causes; when Justice unvayles her self to see them, with a very little Solicitation they get a happy Tryal.

Of Gracefulness.

THe Soul is not more requsite to life then gracefulnesse to please: it takes off from the defects of the ill favou­red, and sets off the beauty of the handsome, by an addition to their perfections. When one is possessed with this lovely quality, (whose prai­ses I write, rather then rules) all that one undertakes is comely. There be many kinds of it; hearts as well [Page 110] as bodies are wounded with severall wea­pons, the complexion, the hair, the gate, the shape, the looks, the discourse, the actions, the voice, and even silence have diverse attractions. There have beene those that were never so handsome, as when they cryed. Panthea had so grace­ful a melancholy, as she obliged Aras­pes to adore her tears; it seems that La­dies possesse this taking quality, with more advantage then men, and this command which they obtain by these charms, is much more powerful and more assured then that which we take by violence. Though this be a gift of nature, rather then art, yet it needs some rules to perfect it, which are learned with pleasure and easinesse in the conversation of Ladies. If the face be the mirror of the soul, mo­rality is necessary to preserve this perfe­ction, since it prescribes rules to the mo­tions both of the body, and the mind. And indeed anger, fear, the disquiet and repose of the conscience, are well figured in the looks; and malice has an inseparable remorse, which dissimulation cannot long bail; by this we may perceive that the beau­ty of the body depends partly on that of the mind, and that the rules of graceful­ness [Page 111] are annexed to those of this regula­rity.

One may better understand the effects of this admirable quality, then expresse the nature of it. It is never to be found where there is constraint, art or ignorance; we must not aspire to an impossible ex­cellence. And art cannot straine it self too high, no more then nature, without making monsters. It happens often, that the extreme desire that some have to please, begets hate in stead of love. On the con­trary, naturalnesse has so gentle charms, as none resists, because they arise from inno­cence; and affectation is never without some imperfection, or too much self-love. How ridiculous is it not to dare to laugh for fear of loosning their patches? or not to change their looks, but in the morning when they dress them? yet this is the fashion of the life of those which will have no glasse, if it do not flatter, nor no light if it be true; and though they pretend much to the devotion of the time, they never go to Masse till the holy water be spent, for fear that receiving any of it, their plaisters should be moystened, and that there should be stains discovered on their faces: but their designe shows it [Page 112] self with their deformity; because stri­ving to shadow their Defects, they make them the more conspicuous. Graceful­ness is so averse to this slavery and fetter­ednesse, as though we could alwayes do well, it is a question whether that would alwayes please. There must be in every thing intermissions to unbend our spirits. Art in this should conform it self to Na­ture; that hath not set Stars all over the heaven, nor Flowers over the earth; and though flowers are not so fair and preci­ous as Stars, yet we look upon them with more pleasure and attentivenesse, be­cause their beauty being of so little stay, leaves us alwayes a desire of seeing them again. Our spirits are cloyed as well as our Senses; they need some rest and re­laxation to digest delights. 'Tis not my meaning to perswade by these reasons, that one should affect faults; but so they be but light ones, we may sometimes commit them so happily, as they prove ad­vantageous; because bashfulnesse that followes them, and displayes it selfe in the face, is an infallible testimony of an innocent soul; that is far from concei­ving of great ills, since it is so sensible of slight ones, and sometimes when they are but imaginary.

[Page 113] If gracefulnesse then be described by doing all things by Nature, and not by studiedness; an ingenuous freedom is better then constraint. All the world yeelds, that difficulty consists in rarities; there is no dexterity to declare a painfulnesse, since a Clown may do as much, but to hide it so finely, as the cunning of it may not be discerned. Candor and In­genuity is not lesse to be wished for Discourse, then for Action; the most or­dinary words are most excellent; a word that is obscure is forbidden. The Philo­sopher that alwayes wept, it may be, would have had a mind to laugh, if he had heard many women, that would passe for Learneder then they are, use in their Discourse such hard words, that do easier expresse their Extravagancie then Conceit.

This excessive desire of pleasing which wee have blamed, goes along almost alwayes with the apprehensi­on of not being liked; and then when these two contrary passions meet, they cause great inequalities, because if desire excites them, fear cools them; when the one animates us to speak wel orsharply, the other interrupts us, and tyes us to silence: [Page 114] by this one may judg, how much appre­hension as well as vanity injures grace­fulnesse. It happens ordinarily, that such that are alwayes on their guard, and fear every moment to fail, do almost no­thing else. Extreme fearfulnesse dispo­seth the mind to error, as well as the bo­dy to sickness.

Me thinks, if one examined well the cause of this same troublesome passion, that Education doth not contribute lesse to it, then Constitution or Nature. There are those that are bred in such a slave­ry, they can do nothing freely, they dare not hold up their heads with that be­coming confidence that graces actions: their thoughts are alwayes low, and what good inclinations soever they have, shame­fac'dnesse retards the successe of their purpose: Those that have seen nothing, are subject to be amazed at a very little, because the diffidence of themselves makes them admire or fear every thing. Most commonly, after their Salutations they begin their Complements, as we end our Letters. They would find an excellent remedy, if they could beleeve that so little things are not to be admired; and that if one were at leisure to examine that [Page 115] which we wonder at first, after an hours conversation, we should often change the subject of our admiration into the object of our contempt. But every body can­not attain to this resolution; 'tis hard even for the best Wits, to have dexterity with­out experience, or facility without pra­ctice. Actions beget Habits with difficul­ty, and then the Habit being formed, it produces actions with gracefulnesse and ornament. Yet notwithstanding, in bla­ming this rustick shamefac'dnesse, I doe not mean to praise Impudency, because both have limits and effects irregular, be­cause the one carries us beyond our power and decency, and the other keeps us short of them; whereas the modesty that I desire, is between these two viti­ous extremes, to distance us from too good or too ill opinion of our selves.

Of Cloathes and Orna­ments.

THere must be a certain dis­cretion observed in cloaths, lest old men should tax the excess, or theyoung defects; and that a decency may keep the one from laughing, and the other from being angry. This is the reason that it is so hard to please all, and to sute the fashion well to reason, because there are some so absurd humours, as they can endure nothing done in the fashion, and will certainly conclude every thing unjust, if the invention of it be not proved by at least one ages Antiquity. This is very much to undervalue the present time, and to honour that that is past, without con­sidering that wisdom suffers what it can­not redresse, and that there is also lesse va­nity and difficulty to follow the received [Page 117] fashion, then to resuscitate the antiqua­ted. Indeed the light and giddy invent fashions, but the wise and sober accommo­date themselves to them, in stead of con­tradicting them. Habits and words should be suted to the time: and as one would think them mad, that should speak in the Court the language of Chaucer; so we could not judg better of such as would affect to be cloathed so too. Those that censure the inconstancy of the French, should do better to quit their own slavish opinions, that forbid them their owne commodity, lest they should not be cloa­thed like their Grandfathers. I would fain know of those that will not follow the times, of what date they would have their cloathes; because if Antiquity must be the rule, they should go back as far as Adam to cloath themselves with leaves, to render the fashion more venerable by this ancient derivation. Those that say, reason and custome resemble the Sun and the Moon, did light well upon it, because we must serve our selves according to the occasions of the Illuminations of both these Lights, though the one be clearer then the other. Excesse is blameable in all things, but prin­cipally [Page 118] in novelties; tis folly to dispaire them, and vanity to be too much affected with them. As I do not approve those women that study with too much curiosity new fashions, so I cannot esteeme those that yet lament the putting down of high wyers and vardingals. This obstinacy comes from self love; they are no lesse punishable, then those that would make old medals current in commerce for mony, against the lawes of Princes, and custome of the Coun­try. Such women make their owne an­tiquity ridiculous, and make much a do to bring the ruine of time, and the defects of nature to be more remarkable in them­selves. The care and time that is spent in curious dresling, is reprovable when it is excessive, or when the intentions are not allowable. I do not believe that there is any more harm to beautifie faces, then to set precious stones, or polish marble. We azure wainscots, paint images, guild swords, enrich garments. We make even Temples brave, why should ornament be forbidden to complexion or beauty, when the designes are faire too, since it is permitted to all things else? Saint Ierome writing to Gaudensius, about the cloaths of young Pacutula, seemes to excuse the [Page 119] curiosity of women in very remarkable terms. Their sex (saith he) is curious in ornaments, and studies naturally the sumptuousnesse of cloaths, in so much as I have seen many chast Ladies, that dresse themselves very costly, without ha­ving any aim in their designes but their particular contentment, by a certain harm­less complacency or satisfaction: This inclination is so natural to them, as here­tofore many Ladies did entomb their or­naments with themselves, to carry into the other world, that which they had loved so much in this.

Those that dislike these indifferent things which the intention either justifies or perverts, imagine that they have a great advantage over women when they call them the divels fortresses, without consi­dering, though ill spirits work sometimes in their actions and clothes, that they are no more guilty of the ill that happens when their designes are irreprochable, then thunder is when the divels make it light upon men or Churches. Yet this discourse doth not enlarge it self to the defence of vice, or the justification of licentiousnesse. Modesty is a powerfull charme, without it beauty is soul-lesse, [Page 120] and other Vertues may deserve admira­tion, that only merits love: Fxcessive Ornaments add not to Beauty, nor diminish deformity, since in Pythago­ras his Opnion, an ill favoured wo­man set out very brave, is laughter for Heaven, and lamentation for earth. Women that glory so much in their rich cloathes, have nothing but what may be had in Shops; and if they were well con­sidered, it would be found that they a­buse our eyes, as those old Images, which are all hollowed within with rotten­nesse.

But is it not a shameful thing, to see that men are more set on these Superfluities then women? Hortensius a Romane O­rator passed halfe the day in considering and sprusing himself, in stead of learning his Speeches: And without going back so far, we are in an Age where men professe more then ever this blameable curiosity. I believe if one had well examined the set faces and Baby looks of a great many, one would give them the quality of Aristoga­res, that took so much pains to make him­self fine and genteel, that at last he was cal­led, Madam: To speak truly, they are as far out of their design as the decency of [Page 121] their Sex, because they are never lesse pleasing then when they force themselves to constraine others to think so. Ne­gligence is more advantageous to them, then studiednesse, and freedome then reservation. Therefore me thinks that a Poet sayes well, that marks, that Theseus was not brave when Ariadne gave him such proofs of her love. It is to be feared Ladies that too Chevaliere, are beyond modesty: Men too much Ladyed, are short of Manhood. I do not wonder that Pompey lost so ma­ny Battles, since his men had so much care of their faces, as they were never hurt, but in their backs.

But to return to what concernes our purpose. Caesar seeing his daughter Iulia Augusta too curiously brave, considered her a great while, without gracing her with a word, expressing his dissatisfaction by his silence. The next day seeing her more modestly drest, he told her with a smiling face; That that habit became better the daughter of Augustus: the reply of this Princesse was not lesse considera­ble, then the admonishment of the [Page 122] Emperour, I was dressed yesterday (said she) for my Husband, but to day for my Father. The wisest allow wo­men to please many, to subject one; but after they have made that choice, then they are forbidden the continu­ance of their designe. It must be ac­knowledged, that if women dressed themselves only for complacency to mar­riage, there would be not so much ex­cesse; and Husbands would not complain so much, that profusion introduces po­verty and jealousie into their Families. I do not wonder that women have so much ado to walk, since most commonly they carry three or four houses hanging at their eares.

Of Iealousie.

ONe cannot lose that without sorrow, that is possessed with love, and preserved with carefulnesse; there­fore Jealousie is not so un­just as many imagine, because it makes us only fear that another should dispoile us of that which we believe should be on­ly ours. Is it such a fault to watch the keeping what we love; principally in a time where fidelity is so rare, as there is none but those that are assured to be deceived, that do not fear to be so? If the goods of fortune and body yeild to those of the mind, so their losse must be most sensible: when affections which we believe we have deserved by ours, are taken from us, it is the greatest stealth, as they are the most valuable proprieties. [Page 124] And indeed, to reason well of it, Love is an Empire only of two Persons, which cannot be extended further without de­struction, & in it obedience & soveraignty are reciprocal. It is so covetous, as it would not lose so much as a cast of an eye, or a haire. Indeed it is no lesse folly to believe that there is no love left in the mind that begins to be jealous, then to conclude that there is no life in one, that is but sick: on the contrary, pain and sensiblenesse, are ne­ver in dead bodies; so jealousie is never found in hatred or in difference. It must needs be, that this passion has likelihood of reason, since God himself heretofore allowed husbands to try the fidelity of their wives, with a water which they called the water of probation or jealousie. If all suspicions were extravagant or unjust, God would have interdicted them, not have cured them by so solemn remedies, he would have shown rather a detestation, then compassion on them.

So those are grosly deceived, that think they have criminated jealousie, when they maintaine that it derogates from the o­pinion of our owne merits, or the fideli­ty of the person we love: if one examine [Page 125] well this passion, it rises not commonly from that distrust; and we do at the same time believe our selves lovely, and others beloved. 'Tis a fear that discovers not so much our own weaknesse, as it confesseth the merit of our enemies. We do but the same in this, as we do for treasures or other things, which we cannot love without fear of losing. As the most firm in Religion may have doubts, so the most confident in love are capable of some suspicion. The strongest trees are shaken by the wind, though the roots be fixed, whiles the leavs and branches are tossed. One would wish to have no il belief, but reports & conjectures shake us rather to a fearful then a confident conclusion. The mind suffers much in this ir­resolution, and apparencies trouble much when one cannot directly judg of the fals­hood or truth of them. There are both good and ill examples, both to settle and to shake us; and ordinarily our thoughts light up­on them that persecute us, rather then those that ease us. That of Penelope com­forts us, when we represent to ourselves, that her fidelity lasted five & twenty years in the absence of her Husband; but that of Messalina tyrannizes over us, and awakes our suspicions: when we think of our infa­mous [Page 126] impurities, our minds are balanced on both sides, but the misfortune is, that conjectures having given the Alarm, that by too strict an enquiry, we either find, or invent somewhat, to change our doubts into beliefs. Should we not rest our selves, after having had a tryal of a person, and may effects for testimonies of the affection? But all those proofs keep us not from vexing our selves, because fear which is not in our power, interprets ill the least appearances, and buries it selfe even in false objects, when it finds no true.

What tryal soever we have had of fide­lity, when love hath nothing left to desire, it hath all to fear. It is the natural course of our passions, that threaten change, when they are in extremes, and ruine them­selves without any occasion, only because they are humane. Hypocrates has made a good maxime, to advertise us, that bodies are in danger of sickness, when they are too high and strong. But a Poet has a better conceit, for the alteration of minds raised with too violent an affection. The will de­serves as well a wheele of inconstancy for her passions, as fortune for her favours; in the top there is no subsistence long, either [Page 127] by reason of misfortune, or imbecility. Those that are in the highest pitch in love, are like those which are on the top of too great Elevations, their head growes diz­zy, and though no body touch them, they reel till they fall of themselves, meerly by the fear of falling. When the Sun is at noon, it begins to decline, because when it cannot pass that point, it retires and removes it self, when nothing drives it to its setting or another Hemispheere. Our minds seem to have the same motions, and distaste followes liking by an order that is as natural, as that which makes night succeed the day, or ebbs and floods in the sea.

We feel our selvs insensibly weary even of the loveliest things, and though the soul be immortal in her own nature, yet she seems in her actions to express a youthfulness and age, as bodies do. Socrates said, that the Gods did strive to mingle pleasure & pain one with another; but when they could not do that, yet at least they tyed them toge­ther, that the alternative succession may prevent insolence and despair. This hap­pens often without our own voluntary contributions, and as we slip down from joy to sorrow, so oftentimes we perceive [Page 128] our love change into coldnesse or indiffe­rency. The diseases of the mind as wel as the body, are formed most commonly without our consent; we lose the quiet of our soul, as our health, all at once, without any prevision of the change, and not know­ing how to find the cause or remedy of this passion, no more then of a Quartain Ague.

But I have too long spoke against my own mind, as well as reason, in favour of a passion that ruines loves reputation, and disorders the souls tranquillity. Reason in­genders love, and love jealousie: but the one and the other resemble little wormes that corrupts the matter that forms them; The one kills his father, and the other his mother. How moderate soever this passi­on be, it is alwayes dangerous, and in this case there must be injustice commit­ted, forbidding the practice by reason of the abuse, because they are too much fast­ned to one another. As there is no little Serpent without some Venom, there is no so well tempered jealousie, that does not produce many misfortunes. Those that compare it to Ivy, do it very fitly, because as that growes ordinarily but upon old heaps of ruines; so this passion wreaths it selfe most commonly about tortured and deject­ed [Page 129] spirits. We see Ivy flourishing with green upon trees that are dry and sapples, so the older men grow, this passion youthens the more, and becomes the stronger in such as age or craziness of wit infeebles or stupi­fies; other plants have their root at the foot Ivy has every where, and even more root then leaves; Jealousy roots it self every day more and more, and insinuates it self more inseparably into the soul, then Ivy can do into trees or walls. It is but the middle kind of wits, that are capable of this contagion; excellent ones are above it, and mean ones below; these are ignorant of the occasions, and the other unmoved with them. It is in this, that stupidity arrives at the same point as wisdom, and Clowns are as happy as Philosophers, otherwise those that afflict themselvs for a mis-fortune where there is no remedy but patience do entertain this error in the world, and have a whole moon in their head, when they think they have but halfe an one on their forhead. It is to be very senselesse, to afflict ones selfe without obliging any body, and make a damnation in this world, for fear of missing it in the next. If the mistrust of jealous ones be knowne, they augment the il instead of the redress; if it be [Page 130] not, it is superfluous, and it is a hidden pain which silence and modesty render more supportable. I do not wonder if jealous ones be lean, their passion feeds on no­thing but phantasmes. Good wits re­strain their curiosity, while indifferent ones let it loose to learn what should be unknown; not considering that in the commerce of this world, the most exact do not make best their accounts. If we could regulate well our opinions, we should suppresse many enemies. Melan­choly and meditations entertain jealousie; diversion and forgetfulnesse put it away. Wit as well as sight wearies, when it is fixt too long on one object. In these oc­casions we must overcome, as the Par­thians do by flying, and rather divert our thoughts, then direct them with too much intentivenesse; it is an enemy with poisoned weapons, and his ap­proach is enough to overthrow; when the memory has once received it, reason comes often too late for a resistance. One may hinder the entrance, but it never goes out before it has ruined the host. Cydippus among the Romans, was so pleased to see buls baited, as he thought so much of it all night, as he rose in the [Page 131] morning with hornes on his head. This spectacle pleasing him, he had enter­tained his fancy with it, and in the end his imagination did him this ill office. 'Tis thus that many make their heads ake without considering that their un­quietnesse and curiosity is hurtfull to them, because if they discover their sus­pitions to be false, they are obliged to repentance; if they find them true, they cannot be too miserable for being too curious. Those that thinke jealousie or envy was the sinne of the Angels, do halfe justifie those that have this passion, since Angels were capable of it with all their illumination, which is so above the reach of men. But we learn too by this example, that it was that which made hell, and that every day ren­ders many miserable, by their own de­lights, even to drive lovers out of Para­dise, if there be one in imaginary content­ments. There is no malice black enough to blind this passions capacity, it gives craft to the dullest, and perverts the most vertuous, to seek satisfaction for this injury.

Cyrce jealous of Silla, fearing that Glausus was in love with her, poisoned [Page 132] the water where she did ordinarily bathe, to make a monster of a Nimph. Murder, poi­son and witch-craft are but sports; jealousy has no bound to its inventions and crimes, but impossibility; tis strange, that those that pass their time, are notwithstanding jealous of their husbands, and violate the law of nature, as well as of Divinity, not enduring to be paid what they lend. Women are most commonly debauched, because they practice what they fear, and their apprehen­sion arises from their experience. Jealous spirits never confess their error, but when there is no help for it. All the world knows Herods suspitions of Mariana, only because she was handsome, having no other ground to believe her faulty, but because her merit might make her be sollicited; but what fury and rage is this, after that he had put this inno­cent Lady to death, he calls for her, as if she had not been dead, and thinks to find her in his palace, as if he had not sent her to her grave? This Tyrant would have committed many of their crimes in a month, since he forgot them so soon, and had as ill a memory as a judgment. Jealousie carries us out of our selves; we have some reason to disavow the ef­fects [Page 133] of it, when we are come back, and when we consider the malice and extra­vagancy of it. We do often by his exam­ple grieve many to death by our suspitions, and then we sorrow for it to no purpose, rendring them their reputation by our repentance, but not their life which they have given to Melancholy, because we do too late convict our blindnesse, to justifie their innocence. The reports of ill spoken women, made Prochis jealous of her husband Cephalus; she imagined he had a Mistris, which he went to seek in the woods, under the pretence of hunting; she hid her self behind a bush, thinking to hear the discourse of his solitary thoughts; he hearing a noise, and believing it was a Deer, shot an arrow at it, which hit her in the heart, she dying, cried out, Cephalus. This word made him know, that he had ta­ken his wife for a beast, it may be he was not deceived, it is to be very senseless, so lightly to abandon our reason, & give a belief to our worst interpretation of the best things.

An ingenuous liberty is a better guard then any restraint, freedom extinguishes desire, and interdiction kindles it. When the opportunities of sin are common, they are neglected, when they are rare, they are made [Page 134] use of lest they should not be met with again so commodiously. In any case, how extreme soever jealousie were, me thinks, the jealousie of Vulcan should remedy it; when he was jealous of Mars and Venus, he spread nets to take them in presence of all the gods, but afterwards what got he by all his curiosity and dexterity, but to be declared infamous with more solemnity, even to be thrown from heaven with a broken leg?

Yet for fear of being deceived in this matter, we must take notice, that jea­lousie is for love, envy for fortune, and emulation for vertue; the goods of for­tune are too gross and material, those of love too light for our minds, only those of vertue deserve to be made their object. 'Tis for her only that competitors endure one another in their designs, and there is no more sedition or dispute amongst them, then there is for the impropriation of the light of the Sun, or the influence of the Stars. So we see among the ancients, that the three Graces hold one another by the hand, and are united in the alliance of vertue, while the three Goddesses are quarrelling for the apple of beauty, and the Triumvirate cannot agree about the [Page 135] possession of the Empire. If we must joyn for this, Christianity to morality, to find retreats for the persecution of jealousie, let us make use of holy Ioseph and the Virgin to teach us, that the chastest of wo­men, has made jealous the simplest of men. There is sometimes more mis-for­tune in it then ill meaning; we must neg­lect the apparencies like him, and suffer suspicions like her. It is no small conso­lation to thinke, that after all the proofs and testimonies that may seem to con­strain us to conclude ill, it is better in this extremity to believe a miracle then a sin, and to acknowledge the power of God, ra­ther then the weaknesse of the creature.


Pag. 78. last line but two, read forgive▪ line penult. read rules▪ line ult, read mind.

A Catalogue of Books Printed for, and sold by Gabriel Bedel, and Thomas Collins, 1656. viz.

Books in Folio.

  • THE Complete Ambassadour, by Sir Dudly Diggs, Containing the Letters and Negotiations of Sir Francis Walsingham, the Lord Burleigh, and o­ther Eminent Persons: being a perfect Series of the most remarkable Passages of State, both at home and a­broad, in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth of blessed me­mory.
  • The History of the Civil Wars of France, Written in Italian by D' Avila, Translated into English by Sir Charles Co [...]terel Knight, and William Aylesbury Esq the whole fifteen Books.
  • Idem, The Continuation alone being ten Books.
  • Sir Richard Bakers History of the Kings of England.
  • Stowes Chronicle, continued to the year 1631. by Edmund Howes Gentleman, with an Appendix of the Universities of England.
  • Seldeni Eadmerus.
  • Idem, His Mare Clausam.
  • Idem, His Notes or Illustrations on Palaealbion.
  • The History of the Reign of King Henry VII. writ­ten by the Right Honourable Francis Lord Verulam, Viscount S. Alban; unto which is annexed a very use­ful Table.
  • [Page] The Life and Reign of King Henry VIII, written by the Right Honourable Edward Lord Herbert of Cher­bury.
  • Orlando Furioso, in English Heroical Verse, by Sir. Iohn Harrington Knight, with the Addition of the Authors Epigrams.
  • The Marrow of the French Tongue, by Iohn Wood­ro [...]ph.
  • Babbingtons Fire works, with Logarithmes.
  • A French English Dictionary, with another in En­glish and French, compiled by Mr. Randal Cotgrave: whereunto are added, the Animadversions and Supple­ment of Iames Howel Esq.
  • Usserii Annales, in two Volumes in Latin.
  • Devotions upon certain Festivals, piously and lear­nedly exprest in Meditations, by that Accomplished Gentleman, William Austen of Lincolns-Inn Esq.
  • Of Government and Obedience, as they stand di­rected and determined by Scripture and Reason, four Books by Iohn Hall of Richmond Gentleman.
  • Daltons Country Iustice, Corrected and enlarged by the Authors own hand before his death; unto which is Annexed, an Appendix or Abridgment of all the late Acts and Ordinances that relate to the Office of a Justice of Peace, to the year 1655. by a Gentleman learned in the Lawes.
  • A Collection of Acts, in the years, 1648, 1649, 1650, 1651. very useful especially for Justices of the Peace, and other Officers, with several other Ordinances of like concernment, by Henry Scobel Esq Clerk of the Parliament. In Co-partnership with Mr. Lee and Mr. Pakeman.

Books in Quarto.

  • Cabala, sive Scrinia Sacra, Mysteries of State and Government, in several Embassies and Letters, by the [Page] great Ministers of King Iames and King Charles, col­lected by a Noble hand, in two Parts.
  • Mr. Seldens History of Tythes.
  • Clavels Recantation, or Discovery of the High-way Law.
  • Powels Search of Records.
  • Three Readings by the Lord Dyer, Brograve and Rysden of Wills, Jointures and Forcible Entrie.
  • The Arguments of the Learned Iudges, upon the Writ of Habeas Corpus, with the opinion of the Upper Bench Court thereupon, with Sir Iohn Elliots Case.
  • Miscellanea Spiritualia, first and second Part, writ­ten by the Honourable Walter Montague Esq Abbot of Nantuel.
  • Barclayes Argenis, Englished by Sir Robert Le Grey's Knight.
  • The Christian Man, or the Reparation of Nature by Grace, written in French by that Elegant and Pious Author, Iohn Francis Sennault, Englished by H. G. Master of Arts, and Student of Christs Church in Oxford.
  • Potters Interpretation of the Number 666.
  • The Perfect Conveyancer.
  • Shoppards Legal part of Tythes.
  • The History of the Grand Seigneurs Serraglio, unto which is added the History of China.
  • Ross against Copernicus and Gallilaus, concerning the Earths motion.
  • Mr Durhams Assize Sermon at Warwick before the Judges, 1651.
  • Palmerin D' Oliva, both parts compleat.
  • The Iesuit the Chief, if not the only State Heretick in the World, or the Venetian Quarrel, by Dr. Swad­lin.


  • The Divels an Asse, by Ben Iohnson. in Folio.
  • The Marriage of the Arts, in Quarto, by Barton Hollyday.
  • The Iust General, in Quarto.
  • The Bastard, in Quarto.
  • The Raging Turk, or Bajazet the II.
  • The Couragious Turk, or A­murath the I.
  • The Tragedy of Orestes, in quarto.
  • Written by Thomas Goffe, Master of Arts, and Student of Christs Church Oxford.
  • The Wits
  • The Plationick Lovers
  • The Triumphs of Prince D' Amour, a Mask.
  • Written by Sir Will. D' Avenant, in quarto.
  • The Faithful Shepherdesse, by Iohn Fletcher Gen­tleman.
  • The merry VVives of Windsor, by Shakespear, in quarto.
  • Edward the IV. the first and second part, in quarto
  • Micha [...]lmas Term, in quarto.
  • Fine Companion, in quarto.
  • Capils Whirlegig, in quarto.
  • The Phaenix, in quarto.
  • Love in its Extasie, in quarto.
  • The Combat of Love and Friendship, by Dr. Mead.
  • The Martyr.
  • Horatius.
  • S [...]avol [...], now in the Press
  • Three Tragedies by Sir William Lower Knight in quarto.
  • The Hectors, or the False Challenge, a Comedy new­ly written, by a Person of Learning and Eminency; wherein is discovered the humours of our present Hectors, false Gamesters, &c: in quarto.

Books in Octavo.

  • Horace, englished by Richard Fanshaw Esq
  • An Apology for Learning and Learned Men, by Ed­ward Wa [...]erhouse, Esq
  • Idem, His two Divine Tracts.
  • Shepherds Iustice of Peace, two parts with Additi­ons. In Copartnership with W. L. and D. P.
  • Idem, His Court-Keepers Guide.
  • Idem, His Clerks Cabinet, or Presidents.
  • A Learned Treatise of the Common Lawes of Eng­land, by Francis White Esq, Barrester of Grayes-Inn. In Co-partnership with W. L. and D. P.
  • Lambards Archeion, or Comment on the High Courts of Justice.
  • The Parsons Law.
  • Ashes Tables to the Lord Cooks Eleven Reports, English. In Co-partnership with W. L. and D. P.
  • Davenports Abridgment of the Lord Cooks Institutes English.
  • The Nuptial Lover
  • Hippollito and Isabella
  • Two small Romances.
  • Brinsleyes small Copy-Books. 3 d. price.
  • Callendarium Pastorale, by Theodoro Bathurst, La­tine and English.
  • The Countess of Arundels Experiments.
  • A Synopsis, or compendium of the Fathers in En­glish.

Books in Twelves.

  • Sir Henry Wottons Works.
  • The Book of Oaths.
  • Ross his Cases of Conscience.
  • Of Liberty and Servitude, in English, by I. E. Esq.
  • Iacksons Evangelical Temper.
  • [Page] Balzacks Prince, in English.
  • Malvetzies Politick Christian Favorite, or the Life of C. Olivarez.
  • The State of France English, published by I. E. Esq
  • Haywards Life and Reign of Edward the VI.
  • Supplementum Lucani, by Thomas May, Anglo.
  • The Accomplish'd Woman, written by the Right Honourable Walter Montague Esq.
  • Steps of Ascension to God, or a Ladder to Heaven, Containing Prayers and Meditations for every day of the week, and all other Occasions, by Edward Gee, Do­ctor in Divinity, now the ninth time reprinted.
Courteous Reader,

YOV may please to take notice, that here are some few Playes worn out of print, which we purpose to reprint; and there are se­veral other Books in the Note also grown scarce, and but smal numbers left. The rea­son of this intimation, or printed Catalogue, is to perpetuate the memory of the said Books and Copies belonging to your Servants,

G. B. and T. C.

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