To defend them againſt the
scandalous reportes of
a late Surfeiting Lover, and all other like
Venerians that complaine ſo to bee
overcloyed with womens
Printed by Richard Jones, and Thomas
To the Gentlewomen of England, health.
Gentlewomēen, though it is to be feared that your ſetled wits wil adviſedly cōondemne that, which my cholloricke vaine hath raſhly ſet downe, and ſo perchance, Anger ſhal reape anger for not agreeing with diſeaſed persons: Yet (if with indifferencie of cenſure, you conſider of the head of the quarell) I hope you will rather ſhew your ſelves defendantes of the defenders title, then complainantes of the plaintifes wrong. I doubt judgement before trial, which were injurious to the Law, and I confeſſe that my raſhneſſe deſerveth no leſſe, which was a fit of my extremitie. I will not urge reaſons becauſe your wits are ſharp and will ſoone conceive my meaning, ne will I be tedious leaſt I proove too too troubleſome, nor over darke in my writing, for feare of the name of a Ridler. But (in a worde) for my preſumption I crave pardon, becauſe it was Anger that did write it: committing your protection, and my ſelfe, to the protection of your ſelves, and the judgement of the cauſe to the cenſures of your juſt mindes.
To all Women in genenerall, and gentle Reader whatſoever.
Fie on the falſhoode of men, whoſe minds goe oft a madding, & whoſe tongues can not ſo ſoone bee wagging, but ſtraight they fal a railing. Was there ever any ſo abuſed, ſo ſlaundered, ſo railed upōon, or ſo wickedly handeled undeſervedly, as are we women? Will the Gods permit it, the Goddeſſes ſtay theyr puniſhing judgments, and we ourſelves not purſue their undoinges for ſuch diveliſh practiſes? O Paules ſteeple and Charing Croſſe. A halter hold al ſuch perſons. Let the ſtreames of the channels in London ſtreates run ſo ſwiftly, as they may be able alone to carrie them from that ſanctuarie. Let the ſtones be as Ice, the ſoales of their ſhooes as Glaſſe, the waies ſteep like Ætna, & every blaſt a Whyrl-wind puffed out of Boreas his long throat, that theſe may haſten their paſſage to the Devils haven. Shal Surfeiters raile on our kindnes, you ſtand ſtil & ſay nought, and ſhall not Anger ſtretch the vaines of her braines, the ſtringes of her fingers, and the liſtes of her modeſtie, to anſwere their Surfeitings? Yes truely. And herein I conjure all you to aide and aſſiſt me in defence of my willingnes, which ſhall make me reſt at your commaundes. Fare you well.
A Protection for Women. &c.
The deſire that every man hath to ſhewe his true vaine in writing is unſpeakable, and their mindes are ſo caried away with the manner, as no care at all is had of the matter: they run ſo into Rethorick, as often times they overrun the boundes of their own wits, and goe they knowe not whether. If they have ſtretched their invention ſo hard on a laſt, as it is at a ſtand, there remaines but one help, which is, to write of us womēen: If they may once encroch ſo far into our preſence, as they may but ſee the lyning of our outermoſt garment, they ſtraight think that Apollo honours them, in yeelding ſo good a ſupply to refreſh their ſore overburdened heads, through ſtudying for matters to indite off. And therfore that the God may ſee how thankfully they receive his liberality, (their wits whetted, and their braines almoſt broken with botching his bountie) they fall ſtraight to diſpraising and ſlaundering our ſilly ſex. But judge what the cauſe ſhould be, of this their ſo great malice towards ſimple women. Doubtles the weakneſſe of our wits, and our honeſt baſhfulneſſe, by reaſon wherof they ſuppoſe that there is not one amongſt us who can, or dare reproove their ſlanders and falſe reproches: their ſlaunderous tongues are ſo ſhort, and the time wherin they have laviſhed out their wordes freely, hath bene ſo long, that they know we cannot catch hold of them to pull them out, and they think we wil not write to reproove their lying lips: which conceites have already made them cockes and wolde (ſhould they not be cravened) make themſelves among themſelves bee thought to be of the game. They have bene ſo daintely fed with our good natures, that like jades (their ſtomackes are grown ſo queſie) they ſurfeit of our kindnes. If we wil not ſuffer them to ſmell on our ſmockes, they will ſnatch at our peticotes: but if our honeſt natures cannot away with that uncivil kinde of jeſting B then 6 B1v then we are coy: yet if we beare with their rudenes, and be ſomwhat modeſtly familiar with them, they will ſtraight make matter of nothing, blazing abroad that they have ſurfeited with love, and then their wits muſt be ſhowen in telling the maner how.
Among the innumerable number of bookes to that purpoſe, of late (unlooked for) the newe ſurfeit of an olde Lover (ſent abroad to warne thoſe which are of his own kind, from catching the like diſeaſe) came by chance to my handes: which, becauſe aſ well women as men are deſirous of novelties, I willinglie read over: neither did the ending thereof leſſe please me then the beginning, for I was ſo carried away with the conceit of the Gent.Gentleman as that I was quite out of the booke before I thought I had bene in the middeſt thereof: So pithie were his ſentences, ſo pure his wordes, and ſo pleaſing his stile. The chiefe matters therein contained were of two ſortes: the one in the diſpraiſe of mans follie, and the other, invective againſt our ſex, their folly proceeding of their own flatterie joined with fancie, & our faultes are through our follie, with which is ſome faith.
The bounteous wordes written over the laſcivious kinge Ninus his head, ſet down in this olde Lover his Surfeit to be theſe (Demaund and have:) do plainly ſhew the flatterie of mens falſe heartes: for knowing that we women, are weake veſſels ſoone overwhelmed, and that Bountie bendeth everie thing to his becke, they take him for their instrument (too too ſtrong) to aſſay the pulling downe of us ſo weake. If we ſtand faſt, they ſtrive: if we totter (though but a little) they will never leave til they have overturned us. Semeramis demaunded: and who would not if courteſie ſhould be ſo freely offered? Ninus gave all to his kingdome, and that at the laſt: the more foole he: and of him this ſhal be my cenſure (agreeing with the verdict of the ſurfaiting lover, ſave onely that he hath miſplaced and miſtaken certaine wordes) in this maner.
Fooles force ſuch flatterie, and men of dull conceite:
Such phrenſie oft doth hant the wise (Nurſe Wiſedom once rejected)
Though love be ſure and firme: yet Luſt fraught with deceit,
And mens fair wordes do worke great wo, unleſſe they be ſuſpected.
Then fooliſh Ninus had but due, if I his judge might be,
Vilde are mens luſtes, falſe are their lips, besmer’d with flatterie:
Himſelfe and Crowne he brought to thrall which paſſed all the reſt
His foot-ſtoole match he made his head, and therefore was a beaſt.
Then all such beaſtes ſuch beaſtly endes, I wiſh the Gods to ſend,
And worſer too if woorſe may be: like his my cenſure end.
The ſlouthful king Sardanapalus with his beaſtlike and licentious deedes are ſo plainly diſciphered, and his bad end well deſerved, ſo truly ſet down in that Surfeit, as both our judgments agree in one.
But that Menalaus was ſerved with ſuch ſauce it is a wonder: yet truely their Sex are ſo like to Buls, that it is no marvell though the Gods do metamorphoze ſome of them, to give warning to the reſt, if they coulde think ſo of it, for ſome of them wil follow the ſmocke as Tom Bull will runne after a towne Cowe. But, leaſt they ſhould running ſlip and breake their pates, the Gods provident of their welfare, ſet a paire of tooters on their foreheades, to keepe it from the ground, for doubtles ſo ſtood the caſe with Menalus, hee running abroade as a Smel-ſmocke, got the habit of a Coockold, of whom thus ſhall go my verdicte.
The Gods moſt juſt doe juſtly puniſh ſinne
with thoſe ſame plagues which men do moſt forlorn,
If filthy luſt in men to ſpring begin,
That monſtrous ſin he plagueth with the horne.
their wiſdome great wherby they men forewarne,
to ſhun vild luſt, leſt they wil weare the horne.
Deceitfull men with guile muſt be repaid,
And blowes for blowes who renders not againe?
The man that is of Coockolds lot affraid,
From Lechery he ought for to refraine.
Els ſhall he have the plague he doth forlorne:
and ought (perforce conſtrain’d to wear the horne.
The Greeke, Acteons badge did weare, they ſay,
And worthy too, he loved the ſmocke ſo wel,
That everie man may be a Bull I pray,
Which loves to follow luſt (his game) ſo well.
For by that meanes poore women ſhall have peace
and want theſe jarres. Thus doth my cenſure ceaſe.
The greateſt fault that doth remaine in us women is, that we are too credulous, for could we flatter as they can diſſemble, and uſe our wittes well, as they can their tongues ill, then never would any of them complaine of ſurfeiting. But if we women be ſo ſo perillous cattell as they terme us, I marvell that the Gods made not Fidelitie as well a man, as they created her a woman, and all the morall vertues of their maſculine ſex, as of the feminine kinde, except their Deities knewe that there was ſome ſoverainty in us women, which could not be in them men. But leaſt ſome ſnatching fellow ſhould catch me before I fall to the grounde, (and ſay they will adorne my head with a feather, affirming that I rome beyond reaſon, ſeeing it is moſt manifeſt that the man is the head of the woman, and that therfore we ought to be guided by them,) I prevent them with this anſwere. The Gods knowing that the mindes of mankind would be aſpiring, and having throughly viewed the wonderfull vertues wherewith women are inriched, leaſt they ſhould provoke us to pride, and ſo confound us with Lucifer, they beſtowed the ſupremacy over us to māan, that of that Cockſcombe he might onely boaſt, and therfore for Gods ſake let them keepe it. But wee returne to the Surfeit.
Having made a long diſcourſe of the Gods cenſure concerning love, he leaves thēem (& I thēem with him) and comes to the principall object and generall foundation of love, which he affirmeth to be grounded on women: & now beginning to ſearch his ſcroule, wherein are tauntes againſt us, he beginneth and saieth that we allure their hearts to us: wherin he ſaieth more truly then he is aware off: for we woo them with our vertues, & they wed us with vanities, and men being of wit ſufficient to 9 B3r to cōonſider of the vertues which are in us women, are raviſhed with the delight of thoſe dainties, which allure & draw the ſences of them to ſerve us, wherby they become ravenous haukes, who doe not onely ſeize upon us, but devour us. Our good toward them is the deſtruction of our ſelves, we being wel formed, are by them fouly deformed: of our true meaning they make mockes, rewarding our loving follies with diſdainful floutes: we are the griefe of man, in that wee take all the griefe from man: we languiſh when they laugh, we lie ſighing when they ſit ſinging, and ſit ſobbing when they lie ſlugging and ſleeping. Mulier eſt hominis confuſio, becauſe her kinde heart cannot ſo ſharply reproove their franticke fits, as thoſe madde frenſies deſerve. Aut amat, aut odit, non eſt in tertio: ſhe loveth good thinges, and hateth that which is evill: ſhee loveth juſtice and hateth iniquitie: ſhe loveth trueth and true dealing, and hateth lies and falſhood: ſhe loveth man for his vertues, & hateth him for his vices: to be ſhort, there is no Medium between good and bad, and therefore ſhe can be, In nullo tertio. Plato his anſwere to a Viccar of fooles which aſked the queſtion, being, that he knew not whether to place women among thoſe creatures which were reaſonable or unreaſonable, did as much beautifie his devine knowledge, as all the bookes he did write: for knowing that women are the greateſt help that men have, without whoſe aide & aſſiſtance it is as poſſible for them to live, as if they wanted meat, drinke, clothing, or any other neceſſary: and knowing alſo that even then in his age, much more in thoſe ages which ſhold after follow, men were grown to be ſo unreaſonable, as he could not diſcide whether men or bruite beaſtes were more reaſonable: their eies are ſo curious, as be not all women equall with Venus for beautie, they cannot abide the ſight of them: their ſtomackes ſo queaſie, as doe they taſt but twiſe of one diſh they ſtraight ſurfeit, and needes muſt a new diet be provided for them. Wee are contrary to men, becauſe they are contrarie to that which is good: becauſe they are ſpurblind, they cannot ſee into our natures, and we too well (though we had but halfe an eie) into their conditions, becauſe they are ſo bad: our behaviours alter daily, becauſe B3 mens 10 B3v mens vertues decay hourely. If Heſiodus had with equity as well looked into the life of man, as he did preſiſely ſearch out the qualities of us women, he would have ſaid, that if a woman truſt unto a man, it ſhal fare as well with her, as if ſhe had a waight of a thouſand pounds tied about her neck, and then caſt into the bottomles ſeas: for by men are we confounded though they by us are ſometimes croſſed. Our tongues are light, becauſe earneſt in reprooving mens filthy vices, and our good counſel is termed nipping injurie, in that it accordes not with their fooliſh fancies. Our boldneſſe raſh, for giving Noddies nipping anſweres, our diſpoſitions naughtie, for not agreeing with their vilde mindes, and our furie dangerous, becauſe it will not beare with their knaviſh behaviours. If our frownes be ſo terrible, and our anger ſo deadly, men are too fooliſh in offering occaſions of hatred, which ſhunned, a terrible death is prevented. There is a continuall deadly hatred betweene the wilde boare and tame hounds, I would there were the like betwixt women and men unles they amend their maners, for ſo ſtrength ſhould predominate, where now flattery and diſſimulation hath the upper hand. The Lion rageth when he is hungrie, but man raileth when he is glutted. The Tyger is robbed of her young ones, when ſhe is ranging abroad, but men rob women of their honour undeſervedlye under their noſes. The Viper ſtormeth when his taile is trodden on, & may not we fret when al our bodie is a footſtoole to their vild luſt: their unreaſonable mindes which knowe not what reaſon is, make them nothing better then bruit beaſtes. But let us graunt that Cletemneſtra, Ariadna, Dalila, and Jeſabell were ſpotted with crimes: ſhal not Nero with others innumerable, & therefore unnameable joine handes with them and lead the daunce? yet it greeves me that faithful Deianira ſhould be falſely accuſed of her huſband Hercules death, ſeeing ſhe was utterly guiltleſſe (even of thought) concerning any ſuch crime, for had not the Centaures falſhood exceeded the ſimplicitie of her too too credulous heart, Hercules had not died ſo cruelly tormented, nor the monſters treaſon bene ſo unhappely execuuted. But we muſt beare with theſe faultes, and with grreater then theſe, eſpecially 11 B4r eſpeciallye ſeeing that hee which ſet it downe for a Maxime was driven into a mad mood through a ſurfeit, which made him run quite beſides his booke, and miſtake his caſe: for wher he accuſed Deianira falſely, he woulde have had condemned Hercules deſervedly.
Marius daughter indued with ſo many excellent vertues, was too good either for Metellus, or any māan living: for thogh peradventure ſhe had ſome ſmal fault, yet doubtles he had deteſtable crimes. On the ſame place where Doun is on the hens head, the Combe grows on the Cocks pate. If women breede woe to men, they bring care, povertie, griefe, and continual feare to women, which if they be not woes they are worſer.
Euthydomus made ſixe kinde of women, and I will approove that there are ſo many of men: which be, poore and rich, bad and good, foule and faire. The great Patrimonies that wealthy men leave their children after their death, make them rich: but dice and other marthriftes happening into their companies, never leave them til they bee at the beggers buſh, wher I can aſſure you they become poore. Great eaters beeing kept at a ſlender diet never diſtemper their bodies but remaine in good case: but afterwards once turned foorth to Liberties paſture, they graze ſo greedilie, as they become ſurfeiting jades, and alwaies after are good for nothing. There are men which are ſnout-faire, whose faces looke like a creame- pot, and yet thoſe not the faire men I ſpeake of, but I meane thoſe whoſe conditions are free from knaverie, and I tearme thoſe foule, that have neither civilitie nor honneſtie: of theſe ſorts there are none good, none rich or faire long. But if wee doe deſire to have them good, we muſt alwaies tie them to the manger and diet their greedy panches, other wiſe they wil ſurfeit. What, ſhal I ſay? wealth makes them laviſh, wit knaviſh, beautie effeminate, povertie deceitfull, and deformitie uglie. Therefore of me take this counſell
Eſteeme of men as of a broken Reed,
Miſtruſt them ſtill, and then you wel ſhall ſpeede.
I pray you then (if this be true, as it truely cannot bee denied) have not they reaſon who affirme that a gooſe ſtanding before a ravenous Fox, is in as good caſe, as the woman that truſteth to a mans fidelitie: for as the one is ſure to looſe his head, ſo the other is moſt certaine to be bereaved of her good name, if there be any ſmall cauſe of ſuſpition. The fellow that tooke his wife for his croſſe, was an Aſſe, and ſo we will leave him: for he loved well to ſweare on an ale pot, and becauſe his wife, keeping him from his dronken vain, put his noſe out of his ſocket, he thereby was brought into a mad moode, in which he did he could not tell what.
When provender prickes, the jade will winch, but keepe him at a ſlender ordinarie, and he will be milde ynough. The Dictators ſonne was cranke as long as his cocke was crowing, but prooving a cravin, hee made his maiſter hang downe his head.
Thales was ſo maried to ſhamefull luſt as hee cared not a ſtraw for lawfull love, wherby he ſhewed himſelfe to be indued with much vice and no vertue: for a man doth that often times ſtanding, of which he repenteth ſitting. The Romain coulde not (as now men cannot) abide to heare women praiſed, and themſelves diſpraiſed, and therfore it is beſt for men to follow Alphonſo his rule: let them be deafe and mary wives, that are blind, ſo ſhal they not grieve to heare their wives commēended nor their monſtrous miſdoing ſhall offend their wives eieſight.
Tibullus ſetting down a rule for women to follow, might have proportioned this platform for men to reſt in. And might have said, Every honeſt man ought to ſhun that which detracteth both health and ſafety from his owne perſon, and ſtrive to bridle his ſlanderous tongue. Then muſt he be modeſt, & ſhew his modeſtie by his vertuous and civil behaviours: and not display his beaſtlines through his wicked and filthy wordes. For lying lips and deceitful tongues are abhominable before God. It is an eaſie matter to intreate a Cat to catch a Mouſe, and more eaſie to perſwade a deſperate man to kil him ſelfe. What Nature hath made, Art cannot marre, (and as this ſurfeiting lover 13 C1r lover ſaith) that which is bred in the bone, will not be brought out of the fleſh. If we cloath our ſelves in ſackcloth, and truſſe up our haire in diſhclouts, Venerians wil nevertheles purſue their paſtime. If we hide our breaſtes, it muſt be with leather, for no cloath can keep their long nailes out of our boſomes.
We have rowling eies, and they railing tongues: our eies cauſe thēem to look laſciviouſly, & why? becauſe they are geven to lecherie. It is an eaſie matter to finde a ſtaffe to beate a Dog, and a burnt finger giveth ſound counsel. If men would as well imbrace counſel as they can give it, Socrates rule wold be better follewed. But let Socrates, heaven and earth ſay what they wil, Mans face is worth a glaſſe of diſſembling water: and therfore to conclude with a proverbe, Write ever, and yet never write ynough of mans falſhoode, I meane thoſe that use it. I would that ancient writers would as well have buſied their heades about diſciphering the deceites of their owne Sex, as they have about ſetting downe our follies: and I wold ſome would call in queſtion that nowe, which hath ever bene queſtionleſſe: but ſithence all their wittes have bene bent to write of the contrarie, I leave them to a contrary vaine, and the ſurfaiting Lover, who returnes to his diſcourſe of love.
Nowe while this greedye grazer is about his intreatie of love, which nothing belongeth to our matter: let us ſecretlye our ſelves with our ſelves, conſider howe and in what, they that are our worſt enemies, are both inferiour unto us, & moſt beholden unto our kindenes.
The creation of man and woman at the firſt, hee being formed In principio of droſſe and filthy clay, did ſo remaine until God ſaw that in him his workmanſhip was good, and therfore by the tranſformation of the duſt which was loathſome unto fleſh, it became putrified. Then lacking a help for him, God making woman of mans fleſhe, that ſhe might bee purer then he, doth evidently ſhowe, how far we women are more excellent then men. Our bodies are fruitefull, wherby the world encreaſeth, and our care wonderful, by which man is preſerved. Frōom woman ſprang mans ſalvation. A woman was the firſt that beleeved, & a woman likewiſe the firſt that repēented of ſin. C In 14 C1v In women is onely true Fidelity: (except in her) there is conſtancie, and without her no Huſwifery. In the time of their ſicknes we cannot be wanted, & whēen they are in health we for thēem are moſt neceſſary. They are cōomforted by our means: they nouriſhed by the meats we dreſſe: their bodies freed from diſeaſes by our cleanlines, which otherwiſe would ſurfeit unreaſonably through their own noiſomnes. Without our care they lie in their beds as dogs in litter, & goe like lowſie Mackarell ſwimming in the heat of ſommer. They love to go hanſomly in their apparel, and rejoice in the pride thereof, yet who is the cauſe of it, but our carefulnes, to ſee that every thing about thēem be curious. Our virginitie makes us vertuous, our cōonditions curteous, & our chaſtitie maketh our trueneſse of love manifeſt. They confeſſe we are neceſſarie, but they would have us likewiſe evil. That they cannot want us I grant: yet evill I denie: except onely in the reſpect of man, who (hating all good things, is onely deſirous of that which is ill, through whoſe deſire, in eſtimation of conceit we are made ill. But leaſt some ſhuld ſnarle on me, barking out this reaſon: that none is good but God, and therfore women are ill. I muſt yeeld that in that reſpect we are il, & affirm that men are no better, ſeeing we are ſo neceſſarie unto them. It is moſt certain, that if we be il, they are worſe: for Malum malo additum efficit malum peius: & they that uſe il worſe then it ſhold be, are worſe then the il. And therefore if they wil correct Magnificat, they muſt firſt learn the ſignification therof. That we are liberal, they wil not deny ſithence that many of them have (ex confeſsio) received more kindnes in one day at our hands, thēen they can repay in a whole yeare: & some have so glutted thēemſelves with our liberality as they cry No more. But if they ſhal avow that women are fooles, we may ſafely give thēem the lie: for my ſelfe have heard ſome of them confeſſe that we have more wiſdome then need is, & therfore no fooles: & they leſſe thēen they ſhold have, & therfore fooles. It hath bene affirmed by ſome of their ſex, that to ſhun a ſhower of rain, & to know the way to our huſbands bed is wiſedome ſufficient for us womēen: but in this yeare of 158888, men are grown ſo fantaſtical, that unles we can make them fooles, we are accountedcounted 15 C2r counted unwiſe. And now (ſeeing I ſpeake to none but to you which are of mine owne Sex,) give me leave like a ſcoller to proove our wiſdome more excellēent then theirs, though I never knew what ſophiſtry ment. Ther is no wiſdome but it comes by grace, this is a principle, & Contra principiūum non eſt diſputand ūum: but grace was firſt given to a woman, becauſe to our lady: which premiſes cōonclude that women are wiſe. Now Primūum eſt optimūum, & therefore women are wiſer then men. That we are more witty which comes by nature, it cāannot better be prooved, then that by our anſwers, men are often droven to Nōon plus, & if their talk be of worldly affaires, with our reſolutions they muſt either reſt ſatiſfied, or proove thēemſelves fooles in the end.
It was my chance to hear a prety ſtory of two wiſe mēen who (being coſen germane to the town of Gotam) prooved thēemſelves as very aſſes, as they wer fooles: & it was this. The ſtelth of a ring out of a wiſe mans chāamber, afflicted the looſers mind, with so grievous paſſions, as he could take no reſt, til he went to aſke a friends counſel, how he might recover his loſſe. Into whoſe preſence being once entered, his clothes unbuttened, made paſſage for his friends eieſight unto his boſome: who ſeeing him in ſuch a taking, judging by his looks that ſome qualme had riſen on his ſtomack, the extremity wherof might make his head to ake, offered him a kertcher. This diſtreſſed man halfe beſides himſelfe, howled bitterly that he did miſtake his caſe, & falling into a raving vain, began to curſe the day of his birth, & the Deſtinies for ſuffering him to live. His fellow wiſe-man, miſtaking this fit, fearing that ſome devil had poſſeſſed him, begāan to betake him to his heeles: but being ſtopped frōom running by his cōompanion, did likewiſe ban the cauſe of this ſuddain change, & the motion that mooved the other to enter his preſence: yet ſeing how daungerouſly he was diſturbed, & knowing that by no meanes he could ſhun his company, calling his wittes together (which made him forget his paſſion) he demanded the cauſe of the others griefe: who taking a ſtoole & a cuſhion ſate downe and declared that he was undone through the loſſe of a ring which was ſtolen out of his window: further ſaying, Sir, is it not beſt for mee to goe to a Wiſe-woman to knowe of her what is C2 become 16 C2v become of my ring? The other anſwering affirmatively, aſked this: if he know anye? betweene whom, many wiſe women reckoned, they both went together for company, wher we wil leave them.
Now I pray you tell me your fancie, were not theſe men very wiſe, but eſpecially did they not cunningly diſplay their wiſedome by this practiſe? Sithence that they hope to finde that through the wiſedome of a woman, which was loſt by the folly of a man. Wel, ſeeing according to the old proverb: The wit of a woman is a great matter: let men learne to be wiſer or account them ſelves fooles: for they know by practize that we are none.
Now ſithence that this overcloied and ſurfeiting lover leaveth his love, and comes with a freſh aſſault againſt us womēen let us arm our ſelves with patience & ſee the end of his tongue which explaineth his ſurfeit. But it was ſo lately printed, as that I ſhold do the Printer injurie ſhould I recite but one of them, and therfore referring you to Boke his ſurfeit in love, I come to my matter. If to injoy a woman be to catch the Devill by the foote, to obtaine the favour of a man is to holde faſt his damme by the middle: whereby the one may eaſily breake away, and the other cannot go without he carries the man with him.
The properties of the Snake and of the Eele are, the one to ſting, and the other not to be held: but mens tongues ſting againſt nature, and therefore they are unnaturall. Let us bear with them as much as may be, and yeeld to their willes more then is convenient: yet if we caſt our reckoning at the end of the yeare, wee ſhall finde that our loſſes exceede their gaines, which are innumerable. The propertie of the Camelion is to change himſelfe: But man alwaies remaineth at one ſtay, and is never out of the predicamentes of Diſhoneſtie and unconſtancie. The ſtinging of the Scorpion is cured by the Scorpion, wherby it ſeemes that there is ſome good nature in them. But men never leave ſtinging till they ſee the death of honeſtie. The danger of prickes is ſhunned, by gathering roſes glove fiſted: and the ſtinging of Bees prevented through a cloſe 17 C3r cloſe hood. But naked Diſhoneſtie and bare inconſtancie are alwaies plagued through their owne follie.
If mens folly be ſo unreaſonable as it will ſtrive againſt Nature, it is no matter though ſhe rewardes them with croſſes contrary to their expectations. For if Tom foole will preſume to ride on Alexanders horſe, he is not to be pittied thogh he get a foule knocke for his labour. But it ſeemes the Gentleman hath had great experience of Italian Curtizans, wherby his wiſedome is ſhewed. For Experientia praeſtantior arte: and hee that hath Experience to proove his caſe, is in better caſe then they that have al unexperienced book caſes to defend their titles.
The ſmooth ſpeeches of men are nothing unlike the vaniſhing cloudes of the Aire, which glide by degrees from place to place, till they have filled themſelves with raine, when breaking, they ſpit foorth terrible ſhowers: ſo men gloze, till they have their anſweres, which are the end of their travell, & then they bid Modeſtie adue, and entertaining Rage, fal a railing on us which never hurt them. The ranckneſſe of graſſe cauſeth ſuſpition of the ſerpents lurking, but his lying in the plaine path at the time when Woodcockes ſhoote, maketh the pacient paſſionate through his ſting, becauſe no ſuch ill was ſuſpected. When men proteſt ſecrecie moſt ſolemnly, beleeve them leſt, for then ſurely there is a tricke of knavery to be diſcarded, for in a Friers habite an olde Fornicator is alwaies clothed.
It is a wonder to ſee how men can flatter themſelves with their own conceites: For let us looke, they wil ſtraight affirm that we love, and if then Luſt pricketh them, they will ſweare that Love ſtingeth us: which imagination onely is ſufficient to make them aſſay the ſcaling of halfe a dozen of us in one night, when they will not ſtick to ſweare that if they ſhould be denied of their requeſtes, death muſt needes follow. Is it any marvell though they ſurfeit, when they are ſo greedy, but is it not pittie that any of them ſhould periſh, which will be ſo ſoon killed with unkindnes? Yes truly. Well, the onſet given, if we retire for a vantage, they will ſtraight affirme that they C3 have 18 C3v have got the victorie. Nay, ſome of them are ſo carried away with conceite, that ſhameles they wil blaze abroad amōong their companions, that they have obteined the love of a woman, unto whom they never ſpake above once, if that: Are not theſe froward fellowes, you muſt beare with them, becauſe they dwell far from lying neighboures. They will ſay Mentiri non eſt noſtrum, and yet you ſhall ſee true tales come from them, as wilde geeſe flie under London bridge. Their fawning is but flattery: their faith falſhoode: their faire wordes allurements to deſtruction: and their large promiſes tokens of death, or of evils worſe then death. Their ſinging is a bayte to catch us, and their playinges, plagues to torment us: & therfore take heede of them, and take this as an Axiom in Logick and a Maxime in the Law, Nulla fides hominibus. Ther are three accidents to men, which of al are moſt unſeperable. Luſt Deceit, and malice. Their glozing tongues, the preface to the execution of their vilde mindes, and their pennes the bloody executioners of their barbarous maners. A little gaule maketh a great deale of ſweet, ſower: and a ſlaunderous tongue poyſoneth all the good partes in man.
Was not the follie of Vulcan worthy of Venus floutes, when ſhe tooke him with the maner, wooing Briceris? And was it not the flatterye of Paris which intyſed Hellen to falſhood? Yes trulie: and the late Surfeiter his remembrance in calling his pen frōom raging againſt reaſon: ſheweth that he is not quite without flatterie, for hee putteth the fault in his pen, when it was his paſſion that deſerved reproofe. The love of Hipſicrates and Panthea, the zeale of Artemiſia and Portia, the affection of Sulpitia and Aria, the true fancie of Hipparchia and Piſca, the loving paſſions of Macrina & of the wife of Paudocrus (al manifeſted in his Surfeit) ſhal condēemne the undiſcreetnes of mens minds: whoſe hearts delight in nought, ſave that only which is contrary to good. Is it not a fooliſh thing to bee ſorry for things unrecoverable? Why then ſhold Sigiſmundus anſwer be ſo deſcāannted upon, ſeeing her huſband was dead, & ſhe therby free for any man. Of the aboundance of the hart, the mouth ſpeaketh, which is verified by the railing kind of mans writing. Of 19 C4r Of al kind of voluptuouſnes, they affirm Lechery to be the cheefeſt, & yet ſome of thēem are not aſhamed to confeſſe publiquely, that they have ſurfeited therwith. It defileth the body, & makes it ſtink, & men uſe it: I marvel how we women can abide them but that they delude us, as (they ſay) we deceive thēem with perfumes.
Voluptuouſnes is a ſtrong beaſt, and hath many inſtruments to draw to Luſt: but men are ſo forward of themſelves thereto, as they neede none to haile them. His court is already ſo full with them, that he hath more neede to make ſtronger gates to keepe them out, then to ſet them open that they may come in, except he wil be pulled out by the eares out of his kingdome. I woulde the abſtinence of King Cyrus, Zenocrates, Caius Gracchus, Pompeius and of Francis Sforce Duke of Millaine, (recited in Boke his Surfeit in love) might be preſidents for men to followe, and I warrant you then we ſhould have no ſurfeiting. I pray God that they may mend: but in the meane time, let them be ſure that raſhnes breedes repentance, and treacherous hearts, tragical endes: Falſe Flattery is the meſſenger of foule Folly, and a ſlaunderous tongue, the inſtrument of a diſſembling heart.
I have ſet down unto you (which are of mine owne Sex) the ſubtil dealings of untrue meaning men: not that you ſhould contemne al men, but to the end that you may take heed of the falſe hearts of al, & ſtil reproove the flattery which remaines in all: for as it is reaſon that the Hennes ſhould be ſerved firſt, which both lay the egs, & hatch the chickins: ſo it were unreaſonable that the cockes which tread them, ſhould be kept clean without meat. As men are valiant, ſo are they vertuous: and thoſe that are borne honorably, cannot beare horrible diſſembling heartes. But as there are ſome which cannot love hartely, ſo there are many who luſt unceſſantly, & as many of them wil deserve wel, ſo moſt care not how il they ſpeed ſo they may get our company. Wherin they reſemble Envie, who will be contented to looſe one of his eies that another might have both his pulled out. And therefore thinke well of as many as you may, love them that you have cauſe, heare every thing that they ſay, (& affoord them noddes which make themſelves C4 Noddies 20 C4v noddies) but beleeve very little therof or nothing at all, and hate all thoſe, who ſhall ſpeake any thiung in the diſpraise or to the diſhonor of our ſex.
Let the luxurious life of Heliogabalus, the intēemperate deſires of Commodus and Proculus, the damnable luſt of Chilpericus and Xerxees, Boleſlaus violent raviſhings, and the unnaturall carnall appetite of Sigiſmundus Maloteſta, be examples ſufficiently probable to perſwade you, that the hearts of men are moſt desirous to excell in vice. There were many good lawes eſtabliſhed by the Romanes & other good kinges yet they coulde not reſtraine men from lecherie: and there are terrible lawes alotted in England to the offenders therein, all which will not ſerve to reſtrain man.
The Surfeiters phiſike is good could he and his companions follow it: but when the Fox preacheth, let the geeſe take heede, it is before an execution. Fallere fallentem non eſt fraus, and to kill that beaſt, whoſe propertie is onely to ſlay, is no ſin: if you wil pleaſe men, you muſt follow their rule, which is to flatter: for Fidelitie and they are biter enemies. Things far fetched are excellent, and that experience is beſt which coſt moſt: Crownes are coſtly, and that which coſt many crownes is wel worth God thank you, or els I know who hath ſpēent his labour and coſt, fooliſhly. Then if any man geveth ſuch deare counſell gratfuly, are not they fooles which will refuſe his liberalitie. I know you long to heare what that counſel ſhould be, which was bought at ſo hie a price: Whererfore if you liſten, the Surfeitert this pen with my hande ſhall foorth with ſhew you.
At the end of mens faire promiſes there is a Laberinth, & therefore ever hereafter ſtoppe your eares when they proteſt friendſhip, leſt they come to an end before you are aware wherby you fal without redemption. The path which leadeth therunto, is Mans wit, and the miles ends are marked with theſe trees, Follie, Vice, Miſchiefe, Luſt, Deceite, & Pride. Theſe to deceive you ſhall bee clothed in the raimentes of Fancie, Vertue, Modeſtie, Love, Truemeaning, and Handſomnes. Follie 21 D1r Folly wil bid you welcome on your way, & tel you his fancie, concerning the profite which may come to you by this jorney, and direct you to Vice who is more craftie. He with a company of proteſtations will praiſe the vertues of women, ſhewing how many waies men are beholden unto us: but our backes once turned, he fals a railing. Then Miſchiefe he pries into every corner of us, ſeeing if he can eſpy a cranny, that getting in his finger into it, he may make it wide enough for his tong to wag in. Now being come to Luſt: he will fall a railing on laſcivious lookes, & wil ban Lecherie, & with the Collier will ſay, the devill take him though he never means it. Deceit will geve you faire words, & pick your pockets: nay he will pluck out your hearts, if you be not wary. But when you heare one cry out againſt lawnes, drawn-workes, Periwigs, againſt the attire of Curtizans, & generally of the pride of al women: then know him for a Wolfe clothed in ſheepes raiment, and be ſure you are faſt by the lake of deſtruction. Therfore take heed of it, which you ſhall doe, if you ſhun mens flattery, the forerunner of our undoing. If a jade be galled, wil he not winch? and can you finde fault with a horſe that ſpringeth when he is ſpurred? The one will ſtand quietly when his backe is healed, and the other go wel when his ſmart ceaſeth. You muſt beare with the olde Lover his ſurfeit, becauſe hee was diſeased when he did write it, and peradventure hereafter, when he ſhal be well amended, he wil repent himſelfe of his ſlanderous ſpeaches againſt our ſex, and curse the dead man which was the cauſe of it, and make a publique recantation: For the faltering in his ſpeach at the latter end of his book affirmeth, that already he half repenteth of his bargaine, & why? becauſe his melodie is paſt: but beleeve him not, thogh he ſhold out ſwear you, for althogh a jade may be ſtill in a ſtable when his gall backe is healed, yet hee will ſhowe himſelfe in his kind when he is travelling: and mans flattery bites ſecretly, from which I pray God keepe you and me too. Amen.
A ſoveraigne Salve, to cure the late Surfeiting Lover.
If once the heat, did fore thee beat,
of fooliſh love ſo blind:
Somtime to ſweat, ſomtime to freat
as one beſtraught of minde:
If wits weare take, in ſuch a brake,
that reaſon was exilde:
And woe did wake, but could not ſlake
thus love had thee beguilde:
If any wight, unto thy ſight,
all other did excell:
whoſe beautie bright, conſtrained right
thy heart with her to dwell:
If thus thy foe, oppreſt thee ſo,
that backe thou could not ſtart:
But ſtill with woe, did ſurfeit thoe,
yet thankles was thy ſmart:
If nought but paine, in love remaine,
at length this counſell win,
That thou refrain, this dangerous pain,
and come no more therein.
And ſith the blaſt, is overpaſt,
it better were certaine:
From fleſh to faſt, whilſt life doth laſt,
then ſurfeit ſo againe.
Eiuſdem ad Lectorem, de Authore.
Though, ſharpe the ſeede, by Anger ſowen,
we all (almoſt) confeſſe:
And hard his hap we aye account,
who Anger doth poſſeſſe:
Yet hapleſſe ſhalt thou (Reader) reape,
ſuch fruit from Angers ſoile,
As may thee pleaſe, and Anger eaſe
from long and wearie toile
Whoſe paines were tooke for thy behoofe,
to till that cloddye ground,
Where ſcarce no place, free from diſgrace,
of female Sex, was found.
If ought offend, which ſhe doth ſend,
impute it to her moode.
For Angers rage muſt that aſſwage,
as wel is underſtoode
If to delight, ought come in ſight,
then deeme it for the beſt.
So you your wil, may well fulfill,
and ſhe have her requeſt.