ELIZABETH FOOLS WARNING, Being a true and most per­fect relation of all that has happened to her since her marriage.

Being a Caveat for all young women to marry with old men.

Experientia docet.

By Elizabeth With of Woodbridge.

London, Printed for Francis Coles in the Old-Baily. 1659.

[woman with a nosegay]

How my old Naboth rejoy­ceth over his Conquest.

MY old wife hath hang'd her self,
as you may understand,
Now I have got a young wife,
ile bring her to my hand.
By my old wife, 'tis true,
a house I did inherit,
With my young wise I had nothing
but a devilish spirit.
Her ile curb, and keep under,
and lock her out of door,
Take away her meat and drink,
and never love her more.
It was my Sisters counsel,
that I should use her so,
Though she her self doth Lord it,
and what she lists will do.
My sister is a proud dame,
and hath store of riches,
[Page 2] And while her husband liv'd
she alwayes wore the britches.
My daughter is a Goldsmiths wife,
and lives on Tower Hill,
Her husband is a loving man,
and lets her have her will.
My wife shall not so fool me,
her cloaths she shall not weare,
Because she brought me nothing,
O take them daughter Dear.

Her Answer.

HUsband, for portion, 'tis true,
I brought you none,
I could have been without you,
had you let me alone.
You cry'd me in the Market,
fie for shame, wherefore?
Yet sure I am it was not
my cloaths for to restore.
You know full well my silk gown
I never wore two houres,
And though your daughter wears it,
she's gay but with my flowers.
Have I fine cloaths, I am content,
or it I have none
I hope all will be for the best.
though my cloaths be gone.
Whether I have something,
or nothing to inherit,
Yet to a low condition
I can frame my Spirit.
It's not wealth or riches
I so much require,
[Page 3] But Grace, Vertue, Goodnesse
above all I desire:
Let husband, sister, daughter all
against me conspire,
God turn their hearts, and kéep them
from hells tormenting fire.

Elizabeth Fools Warning.

ALl you young women that live here in health
Marry not with old men, hoping to get wealth.
For riches have wings, and flie like the wind,
I married for riches, but none could I find.
Were I now to marry, learn would I more wit,
For now I am forced my living to get.
I married in youth, a man struck in age,
Who vowed fond love, but fell into rage:
Instead of a kisse, I oft got a Ban,
And many a curs'd blow from my old man:
Oh, foolish, simple, Eve, hadst thou béen wise,
Thou mights have liv'd on earthly Paradise;
But now thou mayest repent, alas, too late,
Yet be contented with this thy mean estate.
When I in Woodbridge liv'd a maid,
All my good fortunes were betraid,
By an ancient widower living nigh,
Who cast on me a deceitful eye;
He said, if I would be his wife,
That I should live a happy life;
My Dame her councel did me give,
And said how bravely I might live;
And if now young, I let my Fortune flip,
I never should at such a brave match tip:
For then he told me flat and plain,
[Page 4] That neatly he would me maintain.
His promises then did please me well,
I loved to go fine I must you tell,
Oh! I was fowly cheated by this old slim,
And on a Palmsunday was married to him
Unknown unto my kindred all
On slippery yce I then did fall.
I had not béen married one moneth unto him
But in the Seas of sorrow I daily did swim;
That better have lived I might in a Iayle,
He and his children did at me so rail:
Both he and his Sister at me did scoffe,
My Peacocks feathers they soon pluckt off:
Instead of smiles he gave me a frown
In his locking up my best silk gown,
Which with my petty-coats so neatly wrought
Into his Sisters Chest after he brought;
Which She lockt up upon that score
That I should never have them more.
How? patient Grisill what dost thou now say?
Art thou contented with thy Gown of gray?
How canst thou chuse but mourn and wéep,
Whilst this proud Peacock doth thy Fea­thers keep?
Fall down on thy knées to thy sister unkind,
Perhaps that may please her ambitious mind.
Thy husband will rejoyce when he doth know
That thereby she hath humbled thee so low.
What shall I bend unto that Foe?
Who is the cause of all my woe;
That by the frs of her false lip
Is the chief cause if backward I slip.
[Page 5] When first these wasps at me did flie
Then I would sit me down and cry:
And many dayes I spent my tears in vain,
At length I left this crying strain:
And when old Naboth plaid his part,
I did get patient Grisills heart.
The first year a son by him I had
Which made the old mans heart full sad;
He wrung his hands and wished his flesh might rot
If ever another childe he got.
But within two years after
By him I did conceive a daughter,
And when he saw I did increase his flock,
Vpon his chamber door he hung a lock
For fear it should consume his malting stock;
I askt him then why he was so unkinde,
His answer was he would leave no beggars behinde;
I wish him of that minde, that I no more may have
Till his old proper person be laid deep in the grave:
When I to him (by marriage) was bound,
By me he had a piece of fruitful ground.
He has my youthful building very much de­fac'd
And many years hath laid my ground in waste.
I pray then old man think of it not ill
If another should thy Summer-land Till:
But truly I desire no other man
But my own dear husband if I can.
[Page 6] Paul doth exhort the woman to give her hus­band no offence,
And eke the husband to give his wife due be­nevolence.
But woe to them I say,
by whom offences come,
'Twere better for them they had never béen born
unlesse it had been done.

How Elizabeth Foole and her husband parted by means of her Sister in Law.

I Lived with my old man full nigh ten year,
But at last (upon condition) I parted from my dear.
He and his sister (yearly) were content
To allow me forty shillings to pay my rent.
I had but six pence in my purse
which was to buy me bread:
And then I went to be a nurse,
my body for to féed.
Vnto a poor woman, nurse, was I,
as you may understand:
And always to her work was nigh,
and ready at her command.
Then did I go to house-keeping
which is the best of all:
Three weeks I lay upon a mat
turn'd up against a wall.
His Sister lent me her flock bed,
my patience for to prove:
[Page 7] But I return'd it her again,
flox choak her for her love.
Sometimes I did get sowing work,
and sometimes I got none:
Had not my son Thomas supply'd my wants
full hungry had I gone.
Now when a whole year was almost spent,
I ask't my money to pay my rent:
But he said one penny be would not give
For to maintain me whil'st I do live.
Yet here is a bone for the old man to knaw,
If he will it not me give, ile have it by Law.
All you that be disposed
to abuse me with your tongue,
I pray first consider
whether I have done the wrong;
And look home to your own hearts,
and there perhaps you may see
Your minds incline to wandring thoughts
as much as others be.


A true relation composed by her, after their parting, of all her sufferings by him.

WHen as I set alone, and harm to none did mean,
I thought upon my sorrows all,
On them I made this theame.
[Page 8] Dear husband pity me,
do not my suit disdain,
But grant me some relief
and mine own cloaths again.
It is ten years ago
since first I loved thee,
But thy love's fled away
by the false fealousie.
When we first married were
as other Couples be,
Within one six weeks time
thou toldst thy minde to me:
Then of a Cherry got
from off thy Cherry-tree,
Thou ferchst a pail of water then
and pour'd it all on me;
Then I sate dreeping there,
almost wet to the skin:
This was my old man's love
to make me a wonderlin.
When he rail'd here and there.
then the wicked bent their bowe;
Thou hast made my head to ake
with many a bitter blowe.
Thus you began your pranks,
and so did use your spight,
You sold one house away,
to wrong me of my right.
Then you sold your houshold-stuff,
and these were your bad tricks,
Now your heart is grown so tough
you have turn'd me to my shifts.
You took away my bread,
and locked up my drink;
Was not this a wofull cross,
[Page 9] let all my neighbours think?
You took away my bed,
which caused me to cry;
Yet all the Town shall plainly sée,
ile bear it patiently.
Then I lay on the mat
many a cold Winters night;
And yet I am in health
though you did use your spight.
You took my cloaths from me,
for them I make great moane,
There's all I gain'd by thée,
now all my gain is gone:
Then did you let your house away
to drive me out of door.
I was fain to hire one roome,
you have made me now so poor.
Thus you used all the meanes
to make me a disdein,
For full seven yeares of this ten
you did my bed refreine.
Though I no cause you gave,
nor nothing you could finde,
It was to try my constancy
you bore this knavish minde.
Then did you to Berry ride,
your bad cause to maintain;
Like an old fool you went,
so you came home againe.
Thus you ride here and there
with your envious face.
Now were it in your power,
you would me quite disgrace.
Though some words I did speak,
such déeds I nere did none:
[Page 10] You with your writings large.
did make a knavish moan.
Oh have not such a minde,
nor be not in a rage:
Do not seek here to bind
the staffe of your old age.
Though your dart pierce my heart,
though your déeds me provoke:
I have a heart fit for your dart,
and prepared for your stroke.
And though you leave me hear,
and nothing to inherit:
It is not all your cruelty
shall ever curb my spirit.
Let railing Shimeon curse,
let Naboth strike his stroke;
Now Devil do thy worst,
I have an heart of Oak.
But if thou loving be,
ile be the same to thee;
Come kisse thine own Betty
and then lets both agrée.
It I like Tamar should do that
which is not good;
I may thank my old Judas
that makes me live so long in widowhood.
Judith judg'd Tamar to be burnt for sin,
When he himself was the main cause therein.

Elizabeth Fools sorrowful journey.

WHen I did first to London go,
By hand was fill'd with care and woe.
[Page 11] I hired a horse, I do it not deny,
For when the seas were dangerous,
I would not go in a hoy.
But had I thought my journy would have béen so crosse,
I would have gone on foot, & not rid on a horse.
I pray good people do not believe,
what some falsely do say,
That I am with the horses Master
rid quite away.
To run away with a married man,
is a thing which I much scorn;
But I was willing to ride of his horse
to have my charges born.
Now in this City I abide,
and he is gone over the main:
I wish good fortune him beside,
till he come home again.
Vpon the road as I did ride,
this councel I did him give:
When he returned home again,
with his own wife to live.
I never advised him in all my life
to live with me from his own wife,
Although I love to laugh, jest,
and be merry,
Yet of such kinde of snares
I will be wary.
Many persons are apt to spie
the mote that's in anothers eye:
But when the beam is in their own
their evil déeds shall not be known
Now may your neighbours judge and say,
That you made one wife hang her self,
and the other goe away.
[Page 12] I care not for friend nor kin,
if I sée they slight me:
'Tis not all their angry looks
which shall here afright me.
For if God doth lend me health
I can live without their wealth.
Let the toad and the spider spit poyson their fill,
Yet the snake and the Adder shall nere have their will.

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