Eſter hath hang’d
An Answere to
a lewd Pamphlet, entituled,
The Arraignment of Women.
With the arraignment of lewd, idle,
froward, and unconſtant men, and
Divided into two Parts.
The firſt proveth the dignity and worthineſſe
of Women, out of divine Teſtimonies.
The ſecond ſhewing the eſtimation of the Fœminine
Sexe, in ancient and Pagan times; all which
is acknowledged by men themſelves in their
Wife nor Widdowe, yet really all, and therefore
experienced to defend all.
Printed for Nicholas Bourne, and are to be ſold at his ſhop
at the entrance of the Royall Exchange. 16171617.
To All Right Honourable, Noble, and worthy Ladies, Gentlewomen, and others, vertuouſly diſpoſed, of the Fœminine Sexe.
Right Honourable, and all others of our Sexe, upon my repaire to London this laſt Michaelmas Terme; being at ſupper amongſt friends, where the number of each ſexe were equall; As nothing is more uſuall for table-talke; there fell out a diſcourſe concerning women, ſome defending, others objecting againſt our Sex: Upon which occaſion, there happened a mention of a Pamphlet entituled The Arraignment of Women, which I was deſirous to ſee. The next day a Gentleman brought me the Booke, which when I had ſuperficially runne over, I found the diſcourſe as far off from performing what the title promiſed, as I found it ſcandalous and blaſphemous: for where the Authour pretended to write againſt lewd, idle, and unconſtant women, hee doth moſt impudently rage and rayle generally againſt all the whole ſexe of women. Whereupon, I in defence of our Sexe, began an anſwer to that A2 ſhamefull ivA2v ſhamefull Pamphlet. In which, after I had ſpent ſome ſmall time, word was brought mee that an Apologie for women was already undertaken, and ready for the Preſſe, by a Miniſters daughter: Upon this newes I ſtayed my pen, being as glad to be eaſed of my entended labour; as I did expect ſome fitting performance of what was undertaken: At laſt the Maidens Booke was brought me, which when I had likewiſe runne over, I did obſerve, that whereas the Maide doth many times excuſe her tenderneſſe of yeares, I found it to be true in the ſlenderneſſe of her anſwer, for ſhe undertaking to defend women, doth rather charge and condemne women, as in the enſuing diſcourſe ſhall appeare: So that whereas I expected to be eaſed of what I began, I do now finde my ſelfe double charged, as well to make reply to the one, as to adde ſupply to the other.
In this my Apologie, Right Honourable, Right Worſhipfull, and all others of our Sexe, I doe in the firſt part of it plainely and reſolutely deliver the worthineſſe and worth of women; both in reſpect of their Creation, as in the worke of Redemption. Next I doe ſhew in examples out of both the Teſtaments: what bleſſed and happy choyſe hath beene made of women, as gratious inſtruments to derive Gods bleſſings and benefits to mankinde.
In my ſecond part I doe deliver of what eſtimate women have been valued in all ancient and moderne times, which I proove by authorities, cuſtoms, and daily experiences. Laſtly, I doe anſwer all materiall objections which have or can be alledged againſt our Sexe: in which alſo I doe arraigne ſuch kind of men, whichvA3r which correſpond the humor and diſpoſition of the Author; lewd, idle, furious and beaſtly diſpoſed perſons.
This being performed, I doubt not but ſuch as heretofore have beene ſo forward and laviſh againſt women, will hereafter pull in their hornes, and have as little deſire, and leſſe cauſe ſo ſcandalouſly and ſlanderously to write againſt us then formerly they have.
The ends for which I undertooke this enterpriſe, are theſe. Firſt, to ſet out the glory of Almightie God, in ſo bleſſed a worke of his Creation. Secondly, to encourage all Noble, Honourable, and worthy Women, to expreſſe in their courſe of life and actions, that they are the ſame Creatures which they were deſigned to be by their Creator, and by their Redeemer: And to paralell thoſe women, whoſe vertuous examples are collected briefly out of the Olde and New Teſtament. Laſtly, I write for the ſhame and confuſion of ſuch as degenerate from woman-hoode, and diſappoint the ends of Creation, and Redemption.
There can be no greater encouragement to true Nobility, then to know and ſtand upon the honour of Nobility, nor any greater confuſion and ſhame, then for Nobility to diſmount and abaſe it ſelfe to ignoble and degenerate courſes.
You are women; in Creation, noble; in Redemption, gracious; in use moſt bleſſed; be not forgetfull of your ſelves, nor unthankefull to that Author from whom you receive all.A3 To vi A3v
To All Worthy and Hopefull young youths of Great-Brittaine; But reſpectively to the beſt diſpoſed and worthy Apprentiſes of London.
Hopefull and gallant youths of Great- Brittaine, and this ſo famous a Citie. There hath been lately publiſhed a Pamphlet, entituled The Arraignment of lewd, idle, froward and inconſtant Women. This patched and miſhapen hotch-potch, is ſo directed, that if Socrates did laugh but once to ſee an Aſſe eate Thiſtles: he would ſurely laugh twice to ſee an idle-franticke direct his miſhapen Labours to giddy headed young men: he would ſay, as he did when the Aſſe did eate Thiſtles, like lips, like Lflawed-reproduction5 letters, ſo a franticke writer doth aptly chuſe giddy favorites.
The Author of the Arraignment, and my ſelfe, in our labours doe altogether diſagree; he raileth without cauſe, I defend upon direct proofe. He ſaith, women are the worſt of all Creatures, I proove them bleſſed above all Creatures: He writeth, that men ſhould abhorre them for their bad conditions: I prove that men ſhould honour them for their beſt diſpoſitions. hHe ſaith, women are the causes of mens overthrow, I prove, if there be any offence in a women, men were the beginners. Now, in that it is farre more woman-like to maintaine a right, than it is man like to offer a wrong, I conceived that I could not erre in my choyſe, if I did direct a labour well intended, to worthy young youths, which are well diſpoſed.
When you have paſt your minority, or ſerved your Apprenticeſhips under the government of others, when you begin the world forviiA4r for your ſelves, the chiefeſt thing you looke for is a good Wife.
The world is a large field, and it is full of brambles, bryers, and weedes: If there be any more tormenting, more scratting, or more poyſonable weede then other, the Author hath collected them in his lothſome Pamphlet, and doth utter them to his giddy company.
Now my ſelfe preſuming upon your worthy and honeſt diſpoſitions, I have entred into the Garden of Paradice, and there have gathered the choyſeſt flowers which that Garden may affoord, and thoſe I offer to you.
If you believe our adverſary, no woman is good, howſoever ſhe be uſed: if you conſider what I have written, no woman is bad except ſhe be abuſed.
If you believe him that women are ſo bad Creatures, what a dangerous and miſerable life is marriage?
If you examine my proofes to know directly what women are, you ſhall then finde there is no delight more exceeding then to be joyned in marriage with a Paraditian Creature. Who as ſhee commeth out of the Garden, ſo ſhall you finde her a flower of delight, anſwerable to the Countrey from whence ſhe commeth.
There can be no love betwixt man and wife, but where there is a reſpective eſtimate the one towards the other. How could you love? nay, how would you loath ſuch a monſter, to whom Joſeph Swetnam poynteth?
Whereas in view of what I have deſcribed, how can you but regardfully love with the uttermoſt ſtraine of affection ſo incomparable a Jewell.?
Some will perhaps ſay, I am a woman and therefore write more for women then they doe deſerve: To whom I anſwere, if they miſdoubt of what I ſpeake, let them impeach my credit in any one particular: In that which I write. Eve was a good woman before ſhe met with the Serpent, her daughters are good Virgins, if they meet with good Tutors.
You my worthy youths are the hope of Man-hoode, the principall poynt of Man-hoode is to defend, and what more man-like defence, then to defend the juſt reputation of a woman. I know that you the Apprentiſes of this Citie are as forward to maintainetaineviii A4v taine the good, as you are vehement to put downe the bad.
That which is worſt I leave to our adverſary, but what is excellently beſt, that I commend to you: doe you finde the gold, I doe here deliver you the Jewell, a rich ſtocke to begin the world withall, if you be good huſbands to uſe it for your beſt advantage.
Let not the title of this Booke in ſome poynt diſtaſte you, in that men are arraigned, for you are quit by Non-age. None are here arraigned, but ſuch olde fornicators as came with full mouth and open cry to Jeſus, and brought a woman to him taken in adultery, who when our Saviour ſtoopt downe and wrote on the ground, they all fled away. Joſeph Swetnam ſaith, A man may finde Pearles in duſt, Pag.47.. But if they who fled had ſeene any Pearles, they would rather have ſtayed to have had ſhare, then to flye and to leave the woman alone, they found ſome fowle reckoning againſt themſelves in our Saviours writing, as they ſhall doe who are heare arraigned. And if they dare doe like, as our Saviour bad the womans accuſers, He that is without ſinne throw the firſt ſtone at her; ſo let them raile againſt women, who never tempted any woman to be bad: Yet this is an hard caſe. If a man raile againſt a woman, and know no lewdneſſe by any, he ſhall prove himſelfe a compound foole. If he rayle at women, who in his owne experienced tryall had made many bad, he ſhall ſhew himſelfe a decompounded K. I doe not meane Knight: The beſt way is, he that knoweth none bad, let him ſpeake well of all: he who hath made more bad then he ever intended to make good, let him hold his peace leaſt hee ſhame himſelfe.
An Answere To The First Chapter of The Arraignment of Women.
If the Author of this Arraignment had performed his diſcourſe either anſwerable to the Title, or the Arguments of the Chapters, hee had beene ſo farre off from being anſwered by me, that I ſhould have commended ſo good a labour, which is imployed to give vice juſt reproofe, and vertue honourable report. But at the very firſt entrance of his diſcourſe, in the very firſt page, he diſcovereth himſelfe neither to have truth in his promiſe, nor religious performance. If in this anſwere I doe uſe more vehement ſpeeches then may ſeeme to correſpond the naturall diſpoſition of a Woman; yet all judicious Readers ſhall confeſſe that I uſe more mildneſſe then the cauſe I have in hand provoketh me unto.
I am not onely provoked by this Authour to defend women, but I am more violently urged to defend 1 lineflawed-reproduction, in the worke of his Creation. In B which 2B1v Epiſt.Epistle ad Ciprianum. which reſpect I ſay with SaintJerome, Meam iniuriam patienter ſuſtinui impietatem contra deum ferre non potui. Sup. Math.supplement Matthew For as Saint Chriſoſtome ſaith, iniurias Dei diſſimulare impium eſt.
If either Julian the Apoſtata, or Lucian the Atheiſt ſhould undertake the like worke, could the owne deviſe to write more blaſphemouſly, or the other to ſcoffe and flout at the divine Creation of Woman, more prophanely then this irreligious Author doth?
Homer doth report in his Illiads, that there was at the ſiege of Troy, a Græcian, called Therſites, whoſe wit was ſo blockiſh, he was not worthy to ſpeake: yet his diſpoſition was ſo precipitate, hee could not hold his tongue. Joſeph Swetnam in all record of Hiſtories cannot be ſo likely paraleld as with this Therſites. What his compoſition of body is I know not, but for his diſpoſition otherwiſe, in this Pamphlet I know, he is as monſtrous as the worke is miſhapen, which ſhall plainely appeare in the examination of the firſt page onely.
The Argument of the firſt Chapter is, to ſhew to what uſe Women were made; it alſo ſheweth, That moſt of them degenerate from the uſe they were framed unto, &c.
Now, to ſhew to what uſe woman was made, hee beginneth thus. At the firſt beginning a Woman was made to bee an helper to Man: And ſo they are indeed, for they helpe to conſume and ſpend, &c. This is all the uſe, and all the end which the Authour ſetteth downe in all his diſcourſe for the creation of woman. Marke a ridiculous jeaſt in this: Spending and conſuming of that which Man painfully getteth, is by this3 B2r3 this Authour the uſe for which Women were made. And yet (ſaith hee in the Argument) moſt of them degenerate from the uſe they were framed unto. Woman was made to ſpend and conſume at the firſt: But women doe degenerate from this uſe, Ergo, Midaſſe doth contradict himſelfe. Beſide this egregious folly, he runneth into horrible blaſphemy. Was the end of Gods creation in Woman to ſpend and conſume? Is helper to be taken in that ſence, to helpe to ſpend? &c. Is ſpending and conſuming, helping?
He runneth on, and ſaith, They were made of a Rib, and that their froward and crooked nature doth declare, for a Rib is a crooked thing, &c.
Woman was made of a crooked rib, ſo ſhe is crooked of conditions. Joſeph Swetnam was made as from Adam of clay and duſt, ſo he is of a durty and muddy diſpoſition: The inferences are both alike in either; woman is no more crooked, in reſpect of the one; but he is blaſphemous in reſpect of the other. Did Woman receive her ſoule and diſpoſition from the rib; Or as it is ſaid in Geneſis, God did breath in them the ſpirit of life? Admit that this Authors doctrine bee true, that woman receive her froward and crooked diſpoſition from the rib, Woman may then conclude upon that Axiome in Philoſophy, Quicquid efficit tale, illud eſt magis tale, To take a vantage upon a diſadvantage. That which giveth quality to a thing, doth more abound in that quality; as fire which heateth, is it ſelfe more hot: The Sunne which giveth light, is of it ſelfe more light: So, if Woman receaved her crookedneſſe from the rib, and conſequently from the Man, how doth man excell in crookedneſſe, who hath more of thoſe crooked ribs? B2 See 4B2v4 See how this vaine, furious and idle Authour furniſheth woman with an Argument againſt himſelfe, and others of his Sexe.
The Authour having deſperately begunne, doth more raſhly and impudently runne on in blaſphemy, which he doth evidently ſhew in the inference upon his former ſpeeches: And therefore (ſaith he) Ever ſince they have beene a woe unto Man, and follow the live of the firſt leader. Now let the Chriſtian Reader pleaſe to conſider how diſhoneſtly this Authour dealeth, who undertaking a particular, proſecuteth and perſecuteth a generall, under the cloake and colour of lewd, idle, and froward women, to rage and raile againſt all women in generall.
Now, having examined what collections Joſeph Swetnam hath wreſted out of Scriptures, to diſhonor and abuſe all women: I am reſolved, before I anſwere further particulars made by him againſt our ſexe, to collect and note out of Scriptures; Firſt, what incomparable and moſt excellent prerogatives God hath beſtowed upon women, in honour of them, and their Creation: Secondly, what choyſe God hath made of women, in uſing them as inſtruments to worke his moſt gracious and glorious deſignes, for the generall benefit of man-kind, both during the law of Nature, and of Moyſes: Thirdly, what excellent and divine graces have beene beſtowed upon our Sexe, in the law of Grace, and the worke of Redemption: With a concluſion, that to manifeſt the worthineſſe of women, they have beene choſen to performe and publiſh the moſt happy and joyfull benefits which ever came to man-kinde.Chap. 5 B3r
What incomparable and excellent prerogatives God hath beſtowed upon Women, in their firſt Creation.
In this enſuing Chapter I determine briefly to obſerve (not curiouſly to diſcourſe at large) the ſingular benefits and graces beſtowed upon Women: In regard of which, it is firſt to bee conſidered; That the Almighty God in the worlds frame in his Divine wiſedome, deſigned to himſelfe a maine end to which he ordayned all the workes of his Creation, in which hee being a moſt excellent worke-maſter, did ſo Create his workes, that every ſucceeding worke was ever more excellent then what was formerly Created: hee wrought by degrees, providing in all for that which was and ſhould be the end.
The prerogatives given to women in their Creation. It appeareth by that Soveraignty which God gave to Adam over all the Creatures of Sea and Land, that man was the end of Gods creation, whereupon it doth neceſſarily, without all exception follow, that Adam, being the laſt worke, is therefore the moſt excellent work of creation: yet Adam was not ſo abſolutely perfect, but that in the ſight of God, he wanted an Helper: Whereupon God created the woman his laſt worke, as to ſupply and make abſolute that imperfect building which was unperfected in man, as all Divines do hold, till the happy creation of B3the6B3v 6 the woman. Now of what eſtimate that Creature is and ought to be, which is the laſt worke, upon whom The laſt worke. the Almighty ſet up his laſt reſt: whom he made to to adde perfection to the end of all creation I leave rather to be acknowledged by others, then reſolved by my ſelfe.
It is furthermore to be conſidered, as the Maide, in her Muſſell for Melaſtomus hath obſerved: that God intended to honour woman in a more excellent de gree, Created upon a refined ſubject. gree, in that he created her out of a ſubject refined, as out of a Quinteſſence: For the ribbe is in Subſtance more ſolid, in place as moſt neare, ſo in eſtimate moſt deare, to mans heart, which doth preſage that as ſhe was made for an helper, ſo to be an helper to ſtay, to ſettle all joy, all contents, all delights, to and in mans heart, as hereafter ſhall be ſhewed.
That delight, ſolace, and pleaſure, which ſhall come A better countrey. to man by woman, is prognoſticated by that place wherein woman was created: for ſhe was framed in Paradice, a place of all delight and pleaſure, every element hath his creatures, every creature doth correſponde the temper and the inclination of that element wherein it hath and tooke his firſt and principall eſſe, or being. So that woman neither can or may degenerate in her diſpoſition from that naturall inclination of the place, in which ſhe was firſt framed, ſhe is a Paradician, that is, a delightfull creature borne in ſo delightfull a country.
Men are worldlings, Women paradicians. When woman was created, God brought her unto Adam, and then did ſolempniſe that moſt auſpicious Marriage betwixt them, with the greateſt Majeſtie and magnificence that heaven or earth might afford. God7 B4r7 God was the Father, which gave ſo rich a jewell. God was the Prieſt which tied ſo inſeparable a knot. God Womans marriage. was the Steward which provided all the pleaſures, all the dainties, all the bleſſings, which his devine wiſdome might affoord, in ſo delightfull a place.
The woman was married to Adam, as with a moſt ſure and inſeparable band, ſo with a moſt affectionate and dutifull love: Adam was enjoyned to receave his wife, as is noted in the Bible printed 15951595.
There is no love (alwayes excepting the tanſcending love) which is ſo highly honoured, ſo graciouſly rewarded, ſo ſtraightly commanded, or which being broken, is ſo ſeverely puniſhed, as the love and duty which Children owe to their Parents: Yet this love albeit never ſo reſpective, is diſpenſed withall in reſpect of that love which a man is bound to beare to his wife: For this cauſe, ſaith Adam, (as from the mouth of God) ſhall a man leave Father and Mother, and cleave onely to his Wife. This word cleave is uttered in the Hebrew with a more ſignificant emphaſie, then any other Language may expreſſe; ſuch a cleaving and joyning together, which admitteth no ſeparation. It may be neceſſarily obſerved, that that gift of the woman was moſt ſingularly excellent, which was to bee accepted and entertained with ſo ineſtimable a The wedding Ring. love, and made inſeparable by giving and taking the Ring of Love, which ſhould be endleſſe.
Now, the woman taking view of the Garden, ſhee was aſſaulted with a Serpent of the maſculine gender; who maliciouſly envying the happineſſe in which man was at this time, like a miſchievous Politician, 8B4v8 Womans temptation. Politician, hee practiſed by ſupplanting of the woman, to turne him out of all: For which end he moſt craftily and cunningly attempteth the woman; and telleth her, that therefore they were forbidden to eate of the fruit which grew in the middeſt of the Garden, that in eating, they ſhould not be like unto God: Whereupon the woman accepted, taſted, and gave to her Husband. In accepting the Serpents offer, there was no ſinne; for there was no ſinne till the fruit was eaten: Now albeit I have undertaken the defence of women, and may in that reſpect be favoured, in taking all advantages I may, to defend my ſexe.
There are many pregnant places in the Scripture which might be alleaged to extenuate the ſin of the Woman, in reſpect of the ſinne of Adam: it is ſaid Eccleſiaſt. 25.Eccles. 25 Sinne had his beginning in woman, Ergo, his fulneſſe in man.
Chap.chapter 5. Saint Paul ſaith, Rom. 5.Rom. 5 By one mans ſinne death came into the world, without mention of the woman. Chap.chapter 9. The ſame Saint Paul writeth to the Corinthians, to whom he affirmeth, that all die in Adam, in which the fulneſſe and effects of ſinne are charged upon Adam alone, not but that woman had her part in the Tragedy, but not in ſo high a degree as the man.
Adam his offences upon his fall. When Adam had eaten, and ſinne was now in fulneſſe, hee beginneth to multiply ſinne upon ſinne: firſt he flieth from the ſight of God; next, being called to account, he excuſeth his ſinne; and doth expoſtulate (as it were) with Almightie God, and telleth him, That woman which thou gaveſt mee, gave me, and I did eate: As who ſhould ſay, if thou hadſt not given9C1r 9 given the cauſe, I had not beene guilty of the effect; making (heerein) God the Authour of his fall.
Adams love like his children in theſe dayes. Now what is become of that love, which Adam was bound to beare towards his wife? He chargeth her with all the burden; ſo he may diſcharge himſelfe he careth little how hee clog her.
God having examined the offendors, and haveing heard the uttermoſt they could alledge for themſelves, he pronounceth ſentence of death upon them, Adam puniſhed with juſtice. as a puniſhment in juſtice due and deſerved. Juſtice he adminiſtred to Adam: Albeit the woman doth taſte of juſtice, yet mercy is reſerved for her, and of Woman puniſhed by Juſtice, relieved by Mercy. all the workes of mercy which mankinde may hope for, the greateſt, the moſt bleſſed, and the moſt joyfull is promiſed to woman.
Woman ſupplanted by taſting of fruit, ſhe is puniſhed in bringing forth her owne fruit. Yet what by fruit ſhe loſt, by fruit ſhe ſhall recover.
The incomparable inventions of womens wits. What more gratious a gift could the Almightie promiſe to woman, then to bring forth the fruit in which all nations ſhall be bleſſed? ſo that as woman was a meanes to looſe Paradice, ſhe is by this, made a meanes to recover Heaven. Adam could not upbraid her for ſo great a loſſe, but he was to honour her more for a greater recovery: all the puniſhments inflicted upon women, are encountred with moſt gratious bleſſings & benefits; ſhe hath not ſo great cauſe of dolour in one reſpect, as ſhee hath infinite cauſe of joy in another. She is commanded to obey her huſband; the cauſe is, the more to encreaſe her 1 Sam 12.Sam. 1:12 glorie. Obedience is better then Sacrifice: for nothing is more acceptable before God then to obey: CWoman10C1v 10 women are much bound to God, to have ſo acceptable a vertue enjoyned them for their pennance.
Amongſt the curſes and puniſhments heaped upon the Serpent, what greater joy could ſhe heare, or what greater honour could be done unto her, then to heare from the voyce of God theſe words; I will put enmitie betwixt the woman and thee, betwixt thy ſeede and her ſeede, and that her ſeed ſhould breake the Serpents head? This muſt perforce be an exceeding joy for the woman, to heare and to be aſſured that her fruit ſhould revenge her wrong.
After the fall, and after they were all arraigned and cenſured, and that now Adam ſaw his wives dowrie, and what bleſſings God hath beſtowed upon Womans name anſwerable to her nature. her, hee being now a bondſlave to death and hell, ſtroke dead in regard of himſelfe, yet hee comforts himſelfe, he taketh heart from grace, he engageth his hope upon that promiſe which was made to the woman. Out of this moſt comfortable and bleſſed hope hee now calleth his wife by a name, in whoſe effects not onely he, but all mankinde ſhould moſt bleſſedly ſhare: hee calleth her Eve, which is, the mother of the living: which is ſutable as well in reſpect of the promiſe made to her and her ſeede, as in reſpect of thoſe imployments for which in her creation ſhe and all women are deſigned, to be helpers, comforters, Joyes, and delights, and in true uſe and goverment they ever have beene and ever will be, as hereafter ſhall be ſhewed, maugre the ſhamefull, blaſphemous and prophane ſpeach of Joſeph Swetnam, page 31. beginning line 15. as followeth.
If God had not made them onely to be a plague to a man,11 C2r11 man, hee would never have called them neceſſary evils.
Out of what Scripture, out of what record, can hee prove theſe impious and impudent ſpeeches? They are onely faigned and framed out of his owne idle, giddie, furious, and franticke imaginations. If he had cited Euripides for his Author, hee had had ſome colour, for the prophane Poet in Medea, uſeth theſe ſpeeches, Quod ſi Deorum aliquis mulierem formauit, opificem ſe malorum ſciat, maximum & hominibus inimicum. If any of the Gods framed woman, let him know he was the worker of that which is naught, and what is moſt hurtfull to men. Thus a Pagan writeth prophanely, but for a Chriſtian to ſay, that God calleth women neceſſary evils, is moſt intolerable and ſhamefull to be written and publiſhed.
What choiſe God hath made of women to be inſtruments to deriv his benefits to Mankinde.
Geneſ. 20.Gen. 20 Abraham being in danger, was bleſſed and preſerved in reſpect of Sara.
Geneſ.27Gen. 27 Rebecca by Gods providence was the means to bring the bleſſing of Iſaac to fall upon Jacob.
Exod.1Ex.1 The Ægyptian Mid-wives were a meanes to preſerve the male children of the Iſraelites from the murther entended by Pharao.C2 Moſes 12 C2v 12
Exod.2Ex.2 Moſes was preſerved by the daughter of Pharao.
Ioſua 2.6.Jos. 2:6 The Meſſengers ſent by DukeJoſuah to view the Land of Promiſe, were harboured and freed from danger by a woman.
Iudges 4.Jgs.4 When the Children of Iſraell had beene twentie yeres oppreſſed by Jabin King of Canaan, Debbora and Jabell, two women; the one wonne the battell, the other ſlew the Generall.
Iudges 9.Jgs.9 When Abimilech had murthered ſeaventy of his Brethren, he was puniſhed and ſlaine by a woman at the siege of Thebes. 1 Kings 19.Kings 1:19 Micholl adventured the hazard of her Fathers diſpleaſure to preſerve her Huſband David.
1 Kings 25.Kings 1:25 Abigail by incomparable wiſedom with-held David from ſhedding of innocent bloud.
2 Kings 20.Kings 2:20 The Citie of Abdela being in danger, was preſerved by a wiſe woman of that Citie.
3 Kings 17.Kings 3:17 In the great famine of Samaria, the widow of Sarepta was choſen to preſerve Elias, and Elias to preſerve her.
4 Kings 4.Kings 4:4 The like proviſion did the woman, a Sunamite, make for Elizeus, and Elizeus for the woman.
4 Kings 11.Kings 4:11 When the bloud-Royall of Judah had beene all murthered, Joas afterwards King, was preſerved by a woman.
IudithJdt What was that noble adventure ſo bleſſedly performed by Judith, in cutting off the head of Holofernes?
HeſterEst With what wiſedome did Queene Heſter preſerve her people, and cauſed their enemies to be hanged?
Suſanna. What a chaſt mirrour was Suſanna, who rather hazarded her life, then offend againſt God?Never 13 C3r 13
2 Mach. 7.Mc 2:7 Never was greater magnanimity ſhewed by a woman, then by that Mother which ſaw her ſeaven children tormented moſt cruelly, yet ſhe encouraged them to the death.
What excellent bleſſings and graces have beene beſtowed upon women in the Lawe of Grace.
The firſt which commeth in this place to be mentioned, is that bleſſed mother and mirrour of al woman-hood, the Virgin Marie, who was magnified in the birth of Jeſus, glorified by Angels, choſen by the Almighty to beare in her wombe the Saviour of mankinde.
Luke 1.Luke 1 With what faithfull 1 lineflawed-reproduction did Elizabeth, Saint John Baptiſt Mother, entertaine the Virgin upon her repaire unto her?
Luke 2.Luke 2 Anna the old Propheteſſe did miraculouſly demonſtrate our Saviour.
Math. 9.19.Mat. 9:19 The woman which had the iſſue of bloud: the woman of Canaan, Iob. 4Job. 4. The Samaritan woman. Martha, the 11. of IohnJohn. 11: all theſe and ſundry others are ſaved, healed, and have their ſinnes forgiven, in reſpect of their true and lively faith.
What faith? what zeale? what devotion did C3Marie14 C3v14 Luke 7.Luke 7 Marie Magdalen ſhew toward Jeſus, in proſtrating her ſelfe at the feete of Jeſus, annoynting them with pretious oyntment, waſhing them with teares, and drying them with the haire of her head?
Luke 8.Luke 8 With what bountie and devotion did the Maryes, the wife of Herods ſteward, did Joanna, with other women contribute of their goods to Jeſus?
Luke 2.2.Luke 2:2 How charitable was that poore widdow, whoſe two Mites our Saviour valued at a greater eſtimate, then any gift of any other whatſoever?
Luke 2.3.Luke 2:3 In all dangers, troubles, and extremities, which fell to our Saviour, when all men fled from him, living or dead, women never forſooke him.
I ſhould be over-tedious to repeate every example of moſt zealous, faithfull, and devout women, which I might in the new Teſtament, whoſe faith and devotion was cenſured by our Saviour to be without compare.
I will conclude for women that they have beene choſen both to ſet out Gods glory, and for the benefit of all mankinde, in more glorious and gratious imployments then men have beene.
The firſt promiſe of a Meſſias to come was made to a woman: the birth and bearing of that promiſed Meſſias was performed by a woman.
The triumphant reſurrection with the conqueſt over death and hell, was firſt publiſhed and proclaymed by a woman.
I might hereunto add thoſe wives, widdowes, and virgins, which flouriſhed in the primitive Church, and all ſucceeding ages ſithence, who in all vertues have excelled, and honoured both their ſexe in generall,rall,15 C4r15 rall, and themſelves in particular, who in their martyrdomes, in their confeſſion of Jeſus, and in all Chriſtian, and devine vertues, have in no reſpect beene inferiour unto men.
The ſummon of womans bleſſings and graces. Thus out of the ſecond and third Chapters of Geneſis, and out of the Old and New Teſtaments, I have obſerved in proofe of the worthineſſe of our Sexe: Firſt, that woman was the laſt worke of Creation, I dare not ſay the beſt: She was created out of the choſen and beſt refined ſubſtance: She was created in a more worthy country: She was married by a moſt holy Prieſt: She was given by a moſt gratious Father: Her huſband was enjoyned to a moſt inſeparable and affectionate care over her: The firſt promiſe of ſalvation was made to a woman: There is inſeparable hatred and enmitie put betwixt the woman and the Serpent: Her firſt name, Eva, doth preſage the nature and diſpoſition of all women, not onely in reſpect of their bearing, but further, for the life and delight of heart and ſoule to all mankinde.
I have further ſhewed the moſt gratious, bleſſed, and rareſt benefits, in all reſpects, beſtowed upon women; all plainely and directly out of Scriptures.
All which doth demonſtrate the blaſphemous impudencie of the authour of the Arraignement, who would or durſt write ſo baſely and ſhamefully, in ſo generall a manner, againſt our ſo worthy and honored a ſexe.To 16 C4v
To the courteous and friendly Reader.
Gentle Reader, in my firſt Part I have (what I might) ſtrictly obſerved a religious regard, not to entermingle anything unfitting the gravitie of ſo reſpective an Argument.
Now that I am come to this ſecond Part, I am determined to ſolace my ſelfe with a little libertie: What advantages I did forbeare to take in the former, I meane to make uſe of in this ſecond. Joſeph Swetnam hath beene long unanſwered, which had beene performed ſooner, if I had heard of his Booke before this laſt Terme: Or if the report of the Maidens anſwere had not ſtayed me. I have not ſo amply and abſolutely diſcharged my ſelfe in this Apologie as I would have done, if either my leiſure had beene ſuch, as I could have wiſhed, or the time more favourable, that I might have ſtayed.
What my repaire into the Countrey enforceth me to leave rather begunne then finiſhed; I meane (by Gods grace) to make perfect the next Terme: In the meane time (gentle Reader) I bid thee kindly farewell.
At what eſtimate Women were valued in ancient and former times.
Plato in his Bookes de Legibus, eſtimateth of Women, which doe equall Men in all reſpects, onely in bodie they are weaker, but in wit and diſpoſition of minde nothing inferiour, if not ſuperiour. Whereupon he doth in his ſo abſolute a Common-wealth, admit them to government of Kingdomes and Common- weales, if they be either borne thereunto by Nature, or ſeated in government by Election.
It is apparent, that in the prime of antiquity, women were valued at higheſt eſtimate, in that all thoſe moſt ineſtimable and incomparable benefites which might either honour or preſerve Mankinde, are all generally attributed to the invention of women, as may appeare in theſe few examples following.
The incomparable inventions of womans wit. When meum & tuum, Mine and Thine, when right and wrong were decided by warres, and their weapons then were the furniture of Nature, as Fiſts, Teeth, Stones, Stakes, or what came next to hand: A Ladie of an heroicall diſpoſition, called Bellona, did firſt invent a more man-like and honourable weapon Dfor18D1v 18 for warre, which was the ſword, with other Armour correſpondent, for which ſhe was at firſt (and ſo ever ſince) honoured, as the Goddeſſe of warre.
When at the firſt the fineſt Manchet and beſt bread in uſe was of Acorns, by the ſingular and practicall wit of a Lady called Ceres, the ſowing of Corne, and Tillage was invented.
The invention of the ſeaven liberall Sciences, of all Arts, of all Learning, hath beene generally with one conſent, aſcribed to the invention of Jupiters daughters, the nine Muſes, whoſe Mother was a royall Ladie Mneneoſum.
Carmentis a Ladie, firſt invented Letters, and the uſe of them by reading and writing.
The royall and moſt delightfull exerciſe of Hunting was firſt found out and practiſed by Diana, who therupon is celebrated for the Goddeſſe of Hunting.
The three Graces, which adde a decorum, and yeeld favour to Perſons, Actions, and Speaches, are three Ladies, Aglaia, Thalia, and Emphroſune.
The heroicall exerciſes of Olimpus, were firſt found and put in practiſe by Paleſtra a woman.
The whole world being divided into three parts in more ancient times, every diviſion to this day keepeth the name in honour of a woman.
The fœminine Sexe is exceedingly honoured by Poets in their writings: They have Gods as well for good things, as for bad; but they have no women- Goddeſſes, but in things which are eſpecially good.
They have Bacchus for a drunken God, but no drunken Goddeſſe. They have Priapus the luſtfull God of Gardens, but no garden-Goddeſſes, except of late in the19 D2r19 the garden-Allies. They will object here unto mee Venus, ſhe indeed is the Goddeſſe of Love, but it is her blinde Sonne which is the God of Luſt; poore Ladie, ſhe hath but her joynture in the Mannor of Love, Cupid is Lord of all the reſt, hee hath the royalty; ſhe may not ſtrike a Deare, but ſhe muſt imploy her Sonne that ſawcie Boy.
For Pride, they held it ſo farre from women, that they found out Nemeſis or Rhamnuſia, to puniſh and revenge pride, but none to infect with pride.
They have Pluto the God of Hell, but no proper Goddes of hell; but Proſerpina, whom Pluto forcibly tooke from Mount Ætna, and carried her away, and made her Queene of Hell; yet ſhe doth not remaine in Hell but one halfe of the yeare, by a decree from Jupiter.
If I ſhould recite and ſet downe all the honourable records and Monuments for and of women, I might write more Bookes then I have yet written lines. I will leave and paſſe over the famous teſtimonies of forreine Kingdomes and Common-wealths, in honour of our Sexe: and I will onely mention ſome few examples of our owne Countrey and Kingdome, which have been incomparably benefited and honoured by women.
Amongſt the olde Britaines, our firſt Anceſtors, the valiant Boadicea, that defended the liberty of her Countrey, againſt the ſtrength of the Romans, when they were at the greateſt, and made them feele that a woman could conquer them who had conquered almoſt all the men of the then known world.
The devout Helen, who beſides that, ſhe was the D2mother20D2v 2o Mother of that religious and great Conſtantine, who firſt ſeated Chriſtian Religion in the Emperiall throne, & in that reſpect may be ſtiled the mother of Religion, is ſtill more honoured for ſingular pietie and charitie towards him and his members, who dyed for us upon the Croſſe, then for her care and induſtry in finding out the wood of that Croſſe, on which he dyed.
In the time of the Danes, chaſte Æmma, whoſe innocency carried her naked feete over the fire-hot Plow ſhares unfelt; with the Saxons Queene Elfgive the holy widdow, and the Kings daughter Edith a Virgin Saint, both greater Conquerers then Alexander the great, that men ſo much boaſt of, who could not conquere himſelfe.
Since the Normans, the heroicall vertues of Elenor wife to Edward the firſt, who when her Husband in the Holy Land was wounded with a poyſoned Arrow, of which ther was no hope of recovery from the Chyrurgions, ſhe ſuckt the poyſon into her own bodie to free him: together, curing that mortall wound, and making her owne fame immortall: ſo that I thinke this one act of hers, may equall all the acts that her great Husband did in thoſe warres beſides.
Philip, wife to Edward the third, no leſſe to be honoured for being the Mother of ſo many brave children, then of ſo many good deeds, which worthily got her the title of good.
Margaret the wiſe, wife to Henrie the ſixt, who if her Huſbands fortune, valour, and foreſight, had beene anſwerable to hers, had left the Crowne of England to their owne Sonne, and not to a ſtranger.The 21 D3r 21
The other Margaret of Richmond, mother to Henrie the ſeventh, from whoſe breſts he may ſeeme to have derived as well his vertues as his life, in reſpect of her heroicall prudence and pietie; whereof, beſides other Monuments, both the Univerſities are ſtill witneſſes.
Beſides this, it was by the bleſſed means of Elizabeth, wife to Henrie the ſeventh, that the bloudy wars betwixt the houſes of Yorke and Lancaſter were ended, and the red Roſe and the white united, &c.
It was by the meanes of the moſt renowmed Queene (the happy Mother of our dread Soveraigne) that the two Kingdomes once mortall foes, are now ſo bleſſedly conjoyned.
And that I may name no more (ſince in one onely were comprized all the qualities and endowments that could make a person eminent) Elizabeth our late Soveraigne, not onely the glory of our Sexe, but a patterne for the beſt men to imitate, of whom I will ſay no more, but that while ſhe lived, ſhe was the mirrour of the world, ſo then knowne to be, and ſo ſtill remembred, and ever will be.
Daily experience, and the common courſe of Nature, doth tell us that women were by men in thoſe times highly valued, and in worth by men themſelves preferred, and held better then themſelves.
I will not ſay that women are better then men, but I will ſay, men are not ſo wiſe as I would with them to be, to wooe us in ſuch faſhion as they do, except they ſhould hold and account of us as their betters.
Men ſue to Women. What travaile? what charge? what ſtudie? doe not men undertake to gaine our good-will, love, and D3liking?22D3v 22 liking? what vehement ſuits doe they make unto us? with what ſolemne vowes and proteſtations do they ſolicite us? they write, they ſpeake, they ſend, to make knowne what entire affection they beare unto us, that they are ſo deepely engaged in love, except we doe compaſſion them with our love and favour, they are men utterly caſt away. One he will ſtarve himſelfe, another will hang, another drowne, another ſtab, another will exile himſelfe from kinred and country, except they may obtaine our loves: What? will they ſay that we are baſer then themſelves? then they wrong themſelves exceedingly, to prefer ſuch vehement ſuits to creatures inferiour to themſelves. Sutors doe ever in their ſuites confeſſe a more worthineſſe Suite is alwaies preferred to the better. in the perſons to whom they ſue. Theſe kind of ſuits are from Nature, which cannot deceive them: Nature doth tell them what women are, and cuſtom doth approve what nature doth direct. Ariſtotle ſaith, Omnia appetunt bonum, every thing by nature doth ſeeke after that which is good. Nature then doth cary men with violence, to ſeeke and ſue after women: They will anſwere, and ſeeke to elude this Maxime with a diſtinction, that bonum is duplex, aut verum, aut apparens, that goodneſſe or the thing which is good, is either truely good, or but apparantly good; ſo they may ſay, women are but apparantly good. But the heathen Orator and the devine philoſopher to, affirme, if we follow the true direction of nature we ſhall never be deceived. Nature in her vehement motions is not deceived with apparant ſhewes. It is naturall, they will ſay, for the Male to follow the Female; ſo it is as naturall, for the Female to be better then23 D4r23 then the Male, as appeareth to be true in obſervation of Hawkes: the Spar-hawke is of more eſteeme then the Muſket; the Goſhawke more excellent then the Terſell; ſo in Falcons, the females doe excell. The like men are bound to acknowledge women; the rather in reſpect of their owne credit and honour. To what obſequious duty and ſervice doe men binde themſelves, to obtaine a favour from their devoted Miſtreſſe, which if he may obtaine he thinketh himſelfe to be much honoured, & puts in place of moſt noted view, that the world may take note: He weareth in his hat, or on his breſt, or upon his arme, the Glove, Womens favours eſtimated as relickes. the Scarfe, or Ring of his Miſtreſſe: If theſe were not relickes from Saintly creatures, men would not ſacrifice ſo much devotion unto them.
Amongſt divers cauſes which proceede from nature and cuſtome, why men are ſo earneſt Sutors to women, I have obſerved one, which by practiſe is daily confeſſed. Plato ſayth, that Honeſtie is of that worthineſſe, that men are greatly enflamed with the love of it; and as they doe admire it, ſo they ſtudie how to obtaine it; it is apparant, yong men which are unmarried, and called batchelers, they may have a Honeſtie comes by marriage; the womans dowrie. diſpoſition, or may ſerve an apprentiſhip to honeſty, but they are never free-men, nor ever called honeſt men, till they be married: for that is the portion which they get by their wives. When they are once married, they are forthwith placed in the ranke of honeſt men, If queſtion be aſked, what is ſuch a man? it is preſently reſolved, he is an honeſt man: And the reaſon preſently added, for hee hath a wife; ſhee is the ſure ſigne and ſeale of honeſtie. It is uſuall amongſt 24D4v24 amongſt old and grave fathers, if they hav a ſonne given to ſpending and companie-keeping, who is of a wild and riotous diſpoſition, ſuch a father ſhall preſently be counſelled, helpe your ſonne to a good wife, marry him, marry him, that is the onely way to bring him to good order, to tame him, to bring him to be an honeſt man: The auncient Fathers doe herein acknowledge a greater worthineſſe in women then in men; the hope which they have of an untowardly ſonne, to reclaime him, is all engaged upon the woman.
In no one thing, men doe acknowledge a more excellent perfection in women then in the eſtimate of the offences which a woman doth commit: the worthineſſe of the perſon doth make the ſinne more Womens faults more markable becauſe they are the better. markeable. What an hatefull thing is it to ſee a woman overcome with drinke, when as in men it is noted for a ſigne of goodfellowſhip? and whoſoever doth obſerve it, for one woman which doth make a cuſtome of drunkenneſſe, you ſhall finde an hundred men: it is abhorred in women, and therefore they avoyd it: it is laughed at and made but as a jeſt amongſt men, and therefore ſo many do practiſe it: Likewiſe if a man abuſe a Maide & get her with child, no matter is made of it, but as a trick of youth, but it is made ſo hainous an offence in the maide, that ſhe is diſparaged and uterly undone by it. So in all offences thoſe which men commit, are made light and as nothing, ſlighted over; but thoſe which women doe commit, thoſe are made grievous and ſhamefull, and not without juſt cauſe: for where God hath put hatred betwixt the woman and the ſerpent, it25 E1r25 it is a foule ſhame in a woman to carry favour with the devill, to ſtayne her womanhoode with any of his damnable qualities, that ſhe will ſhake hands where God hath planted hate.
Joſeph Swetnam in his Pamphlet aggravateth the offences of women in the higheſt degree, not onely exceeding, but drawing men into all miſcheife. If I do grant, that woman degenerating from the true end of womanhood, proove the greateſt offenders, yet in graunting that, I doe thereby prove that women in their creation are the moſt excellent creatures: for corruption, boni peſsima, the beſt thing corrupted proveth the worſt, as for example, the moſt glorious creature in heaven is by his fall the moſt damned devill in hell: all the Elements in their puritie are moſt pretious, in their infection and abuſe moſt dangerous: ſo the like in women, in their moſt excellent puritie of nature, what creature more gratious? but in their fall from God, and all goodneſſe, what creature more miſchievous? which the devill knowing he doth more aſſault woman then man, becauſe his gaine is greater, by the fall of one woman, then The devill doth more violently tempt women then men. He is ſure of them when he will. of twentie men. Let there be a faire maide, wife, or woman, in Countrie, towne or Citie, ſhe ſhall want no reſort of Serpents, nor any varietie of tempter: let there be in like ſort, a beautifull or perſonable man, he may ſit long enough before a woman will ſolicite him. For where the devill hath good acquaintance, he is ſure of entertainement there, without reſiſtance: The Serpent at firſt tempted woman, he dare aſſault her no more in that ſhape, now he imployeth men to ſupply his part; and ſo they doe: for as the Serpent Ebegan26E1v 26 began with Eve to delight her taſte; ſo doe his inſtruments draw to wine and banqueting; the next, the Serpent enticed her by pride, and tolde her ſhee ſhould be like to God, ſo doe his inſtruments; firſt, they will extoll her beauty, what a paragon ſhe is in Diſſembling in men. their eyes; next, they will promiſe her ſuch maintenance, as the beſt woman in the Pariſh or Country ſhall not have better: What care they, if they make a thouſand oathes, and commit tenne thouſand perjuries, ſo they may deceive a woman? When they have done all and gotten their purpoſe, then they diſcover all the womans ſhame, and imploy such an Author as this (to whoſe Arraignment I doe make haſte) to raile upon her and the whole Sexe.The 27 E2r 27
The Arraignment of Joſeph Swetnam, who was the Author of the Arraignment of Women; And under his perſon, the arraignment of all idle franticke, froward, and lewd men.
Joſeph Swetnam having written his raſh, idle, furious and ſhamefull diſcourſe againſt Women, it was at laſt delivered into my hands, preſently I did acquaint ſome of our Sexe with the accident, with whom I did adviſe what courſe wee ſhould take with him. It was concluded (that his unworthineſſe being much like to that of Therſites, whom I have formerly mentioned) wee would not anſwere him either with Achilles fiſt, or Stafford-law; neither plucke him in pieces as the Thracian women did Orpheus, for his intemperate rayling againſt women: But as he had arraigned women at the barre of fame and report, wee reſolved at the ſame barre where he did us the wrong to arraigne him, that thereby E2 wee28E2v28 we might defend our aſſured right: And withall reſpecting our ſelves) we reſolved to favour him ſo far in his triall that the world might take notice there was no partiall or indirect dealing, but that he had as much favour as he could deſire, and farre more then he did or could deſerve.
The Judgeſſes. So that wee brought him before two Judgeſſes, Reaſon, and Experience, who being both in place, no man can ſuſpect them with any indirect proceedings: For albeit, Reaſon of it ſelfe may be blinded by paſſion, yet when ſhe is joyned with Experience, ſhe is knowne to be abſolute, and without compare. As for Experience, ſhe is knowne of her ſelfe to be admirable excellent in her courſes, ſhe knoweth how to uſe every man in her practiſe; ſhe will whip the foole to learne him more wit; ſhe will puniſh the knave to practiſe more honeſty; ſhe will curbe in the prodigall, and teach him to be warie; ſhe will trip up the heeles of ſuch as are raſh and giddy, and bid them hereafter looke before they leape. To be ſhort, there is not in all the world, for all eſtates, degrees, qualities and conditions of men, ſo ſingular a Miſtreſſe, or ſo fit to be a Judgeſſe as ſhe, onely one property ſhe hath above all the reſt, no man commeth before her but ſhe maketh him aſhamed, and ſhee will call and prove almoſt every man a foole, eſpecially ſuch who are wiſe in their owne conceits.
The Jurie. For his Jurie, albeit we knew them to be of his deareſt, and neareſt inward familiar friends, in whoſe company he was ever, and did ſpend upon them all that he cou’d get, or deviſe to get; yet wee did challenge no one of them, but were well pleaſed that his five 29E3r29 five Senſes, and the ſeaven deadly ſinnes ſhould ſtand for his Jury.
The Evidence. The partie which did give evidence againſt him, we knew to bee a ſure Card, and one which would not faile in proofe of any thing, and ſuch proofe which ſhould be without all exception, Conſcience is a ſure witneſſe.
So all things being accordingly provided, the priſoner was brought to the barre, where he was called and bid hold up his hand, which hee did, but a falſe hand God he knowes, his enditement was red, which was this which followeth.
Joſeph Swetnam his Enditement.
Joſeph Swetnam, thou art endited by the name of Joſeph Swetnam of Bedlemmore, in the Countie of Onopolie Pamphlet- maker. : For that thou the twentieth day of December, in the yeare & An Enditement. c. Diddeſt moſt wickedly, blaſphemouſly, falſly, and ſcandalouſly publiſh a lewd Pamphlet, entituled the Arraignment of Women; In which, albeit thou diddeſt honeſtly pretend to arraigne lewd, idle, froward, and unconſtant women, yet contrary to thy pretended promiſe thou diddeſt raſhly, and malitiouſly raile and rage againſt all women, generally writing and publiſhingE3liſhing30E3v30 liſhing moſt blaſphemouſly that women by their Creator were made for Helpers, for Helpers (thou ſayeſt) to ſpend and conſume that which Man painfully getteth; furthermore, thou doſt write, That being made of a rib, which was crooked, they are therefore crooked and froward in conditions, and that Woman was no ſooner made, but her heart was ſet upon miſchiefe; which thou doeſt derive to all the Sexe generally, in theſe words, And therefore ever ſince they have beene a woe unto man, and follow the line of their firſt leader. Further then all this, thou doeſt affirme an impudent lye upon Almighty God, in ſaying, that God calleth them neceſſary evils, and that therefore they were created to bee a plague unto man. Thou writeſt alſo, That women are prowde, laſcivous, froward, curſt, unconſtant, idle, impudent, ſhameleſſe, and that they decke and dreſſe themſelves to tempt and allure men to lewdneſſe, with much and many more foule, intemperate, and ſcandalous ſpeaches, &c.
When Joſeph Swetnam was asked what he ſaid to his enditement, Guilty, or not guiltie, hee pleaded the generall iſſue, not guiltie, being aſked how hee would be tryed, he ſtood mute, for Conſcience did ſo confront him, that he knew upon tryall there was no way but one; whereupon hee thought it much better to put himſelfe upon our mercy, then to hazard the tryall of his owne Jurie.
Whereupon we did conſider if we ſhould have urged him to be preſſed, the disadvantage had beene ours: for then his favourites, would have ſaid as ſome ſtandeth mute. did ſay, that Joſeph Swetnam did not ſtand mute, as miſdoubting the proofe of what he had written: But ſeeing 31E4r31 ſeeing the Judgeſſes, the Jurie, the Accuſer, and all others, moſt of them of the fœminine gender, he ſuſpelled the queſtion by us, being made Generall, that they would rather condemne him to pleaſe a general, although in particular reſpect of himſelfe he knewe they would favour him. And beſides that hee held it a ſtrange courſe, that the ſelfe and ſame perſons ſhould be Judges and Accuſers, whereupon we reſolved to graunt him longer time to advice with himſelfe whether he would put himſelfe to triall, or upon better deliberation to recall his errours.
But that the world might be ſatiſfied in reſpect of the wrongs done unto us, and to maintaine our honourable reputation, it was concluded, that my ſelfe ſhould deliver before the Judges, to all the aſſembly, ſpeaches to theſe effects following.
The anſwere to all objections which are materiall, made againſt Women.
Right Honourable and Worſhipfull, and you of all degrees; it hath ever beene a common cuſtome amongſt Idle, and humerous Poets, Pamphleters, and Rimers, out of paſſionate diſcontents, or having little otherwiſe to imploy themſelves about, to write ſome bitter Satire-Pamphlet, or Rime, againſt women: in which argument he who could deviſe any thing more bitterly,terly,32 E4v32 terly, or ſpitefully, againſt our ſexe, hath never wanted the liking, allowance, and applauſe of giddy headed people. Amongſt the rable of ſevrill writers, this priſoner now preſent hath acted his part, whom albeit women could more willingly let paſſe, then bring him to triall, and as ever heretofore, rather contemn ſuch authors thēen deigne them any anſwere, yet ſeeing his booke ſo commonly bought up, which argueth a generall applauſe; we are therfore enforced to make anſwere in defence of our ſelves, who are by ſuch an author ſo extreamely wronged in publike view.
You all ſee hee will not put himſelfe upon triall: if we ſhould let it ſo paſſe, our ſilence might implead us for guiltie, ſo would his Pamphlet be received with a greater currant and credite then formerly it hath beene: So that as well in reſpect of our ſexe, as for a generall ſatiſfaction to the world, I will take this courſe with our priſoner, I will at this preſent examine all the objections which are moſt materiall, which our adverſarie hath vomited out againſt woman, and not onely what he hath objected, but what other authors of more import than Joſeph Swetnam have charged upon women: alas, ſeely man he objecteth nothing but what he hath ſtolne out of Engliſh writers, as Euphues, the Palace of Pleaſure, with the like, which are as eaſily anſwered as vaynly objected. He never read the vehement and profeſt enemies againſt our ſexe, as for Gracians, Euripides, Menander, Simonides, Sophocles, with the like, amongſt Latine writers Juvenall, Plautus,&c.
But of all that ever I read, I did never obſerve ſuch generall 33F1r33 generall ſinceritie in any, as in this adverſarie, which you ſhall finde I will make as manifeſt as the Sunne to ſhine at mid-day.
It is the maine end that our adverſarie aimeth at in all his diſcourſe, to prove and ſay that women are bad, if he ſhould offer this upon particulers, no one would denie it: but to laviſh generally againſt all women, who can endure it? You might M. Swetnam, with ſome ſhew of honeſtie have ſayd, ſome women are bad, both by cuſtome and company, but you cannot avoide the brand, both of blaſphemie and diſhoneſtie, to ſay of women generally they are all naught, both in their creation and by nature, and to ground your inferences upon Scriptures.
I let paſſe your objections in your firſt page; becauſe they are formerly anſwered, onely whereas you ſay, woman was no ſooner made, but her heart was ſet upon miſchiefe: if you had then ſaid, ſhe had no ſooner eaten of the fruit, but her heart was ſet upon miſchiefe, you had had ſome colour for your ſpeaches; not in reſpect of the womans diſpoſition, but in conſideration both of her firſt Tutor and her ſecond inſtructor: The Devill tooke the ſhape of man. For whereas ſcripture doth ſay, Woman waſ ſupplanted by a Serpent, Joſeph Swetnam doth ſay, ſhe was ſupplanted by the devill, which appeared to her in the ſhape of a beautifull yong man. Men are much beholding to this author, who will ſeeme to inſinuate, that the devill would in ſo friendly and familier a manner, put on the ſhape of man, when he firſt began to practiſe miſchiefe: The devill might make bold of them, whom he knew in time would prove his familierFlier34F1v 34 lier friends. Hereupon it may be imagined it commeth to paſſe that Painters, and Picture-makers, when they would repreſent the devill, they ſet him out in the deformed ſhape of a man; becauſe under that ſhape he began firſt to act the part of a divell: and I doubt he never changed his ſuite ſithence. Here it is to be obſerved, that which is worſt is expreſſed by the ſhape of a man; but what is the moſt glorious creature is repreſented in the beautie of a The Serpent gave the woman bad counſell and her huſband bad example. woman, as Angels. Woman at the firſt might eaſily learne miſcheife, where or how ſhould ſhe learne goodnes? her firſt Schoole-maſter was aboundant in miſchiefe, and her firſt huſband did exceede in bad examples. Firſt, by his example he taught her how to flye from God: next how to excuſe her ſinne: then how to cample and conteſt with God, and to ſay as Adam did, thou art the cauſe, for, the woman whom thou gaveſt me, was the cauſe I did eate. What Adam did at the firſt, bad huſbands practiſe with their wives ever ſithence, I meane in bad examples. It was no good example in Adam, who having received his wife from the gift of God, and bound to her in ſo inſeparable a bond of love, that forthwith he being taken tardie would preſently accuſe his wife & put her in all the danger; but the woman was more bound to an upright judge, then to a loving huſband: it would not ſerve Adams turne, to charge her, therby Men doe ſhew themſelves the children of Adam. to free himſelfe: It was an hard and ſtrange courſe, that he who ſhould have beene her defender, is now become her greateſt accuſer. I may heare ſay with Saint Paul, by one mans ſinne, death, &c. ſo by the contagiontagion35 F2r35 tagion of originall ſinne in Adam, all men are infected with his diſeaſes; and looke what examples he gave his wife at the firſt, the like examples and practiſes doe all men ſhew to women ever ſithence. Let mee ſpeake freely, for I will ſpeake nothing but truly neither ſhall my words exceede my proofe.
In your firſt and ſecond Page, you alledge David and Salomon, for exclaiming bitterly againſt women: And that Salomon ſaith, Women (like as Wine) doe make men drunke with their devices.. What of all this?
Joſeph Swetnam, a man which hath reaſon, will never object that unto his adverſary, which when it commeth to examination will diſadvantage himſelfe. Your meaning is, in the diſgrace of women to exalt men: but is this any commendation to men, that they have been and are over-reacht by women? Can you glory of their holineſſe, whom by women prove Fooliſh men tempted with outward ſhowes. ſinfull? or in their wiſedome, whom women make fooles? or in their ſtrength, whom women overcome? can you excuſe that fall which is given by the weaker? or colour that ſoyle which is taken from women? Is holineſſe, wiſedome, and ſtrength, ſo ſlightly ſeated in your Maſculine gender, as to be ſtained, blemiſhed, and ſubdued by women? But now I pray you let us examine how theſe vertues in men ſo potent, came by women to be ſo impotent. Doe you meane in comparative degree, that women are more holy, more wiſe, more ſtrong, then men? if you ſhould graunt this, you had ſmall cauſe to write againſt them. But you will not admit this: What is, or are the cauſes then why men are ſo overtaken by F2women?36F2v 36 women? You ſet downe the cauſes in your fourth Page; there you ſay, They are dangerous for men to deale withall, for their faces are Lures, their beauties baytes, their lookes are nets, and their words are charmes, and all to bring men to ruine: Incidit in Scyllam qui vult vitare Charibdim, whil’ſt he ſeeketh to avoide one miſchiefe, he falleth into another. It were more credit for men to yeeld our ſexe to be more holy, wiſe, and ſtrong, then to excuſe themſelves by the reaſons, alleaged: for by this men are proved to have as litle wit as they are charged to exceed in wickedneſſe. Are external & dumbe ſhews ſuch potent baites, nets, lures, charmes, to bring men to ruine? Why? wilde Aſſes, dotterels, and woodcockes, are not ſo eaſily entangled and taken? are men ſo idle, vaine, and weake, as you ſeeme to make them? Let mee now ſee how you can free theſe men from diſhoneſt mindes, who are overtaken thus with beautie, &c. How can beautie If men be hurt thanke themſelves. hurt? how can it be a cauſe of a mans ruine, of it ſelfe? what, do women forcibly draw? why, men are more ſtrong? are they ſo eloquent to perſwade? why, men are too wiſe; are they miſchievous to entiſe? men are more holy; how then are women cauſes to bring men to ruine? direct cauſes they cannot be in any reſpect; if they be cauſes, they are but accidentall cauſes: A cauſe as Philoſophers ſay, Cauſa ſine qua non: a remote cauſe, which cauſe is ſeldome alleaged for cauſe, but where want of wit would ſay ſomewhat, and a guilty conſcience wou’d excuſe it ſelfe by ſomething. Philoſophers ſay, Nemo leditur niſi a ſeipſo, no man is hurt but the cauſe is in himſelfe. The prodi- 37F3r37 prodigall perſon amongſt the Gracians is called Aſotos, as a deſtroyer, an undoer of himſelfe: When an heart fraughted with ſinne doth prodigally laviſh out a laſcivious looke out of a wanton eye; when it doth ſurfeit upon the ſight, who is Aſotos? who is guiltie of his laſcivious diſeaſe but himſelfe? Volenti non fit iniuria, hee who is wounded with his owne conſent, hath ſmall cauſe to complaine of anothers wrong: Might not a man as eaſily, and more honeſtly, when hee ſeeth a faire woman, which doth make the beſt uſe that ſhe can to ſet out her beautie, rather glorifie God in ſo beautiful a worke, then infecte his ſoule with ſo laſcivious a thought? And for the woman, who having a Jewell given her from ſo deare a friend, is ſhe not to be commended rather that in the eſtimate which ſhe ſheweth, ſhee will as carefully and as curiouſly as ſhe may ſet out what ſhe hath received from Almighty God, then to be cenſured that ſhe doth it to allure wanton and laſcivious lookes? The difference is in the minds, things which are called Adiaphora, things indifferent, whoſe qualities have their name from the uſes, are commonly ſo cenſured, and ſo uſed, as the minde is inclined which doth paſſe his verdict. A man and a woman talke in the fields together, an honeſt minde will imagine of their talke anſwerable to his owne diſpoſition, whereas an evill diſpoſed minde will cenſure according Womans beauty is good, but the heart which doth lure it is naught. to his lewd inclination. When men complaine of beautie, and ſay, That womens dreſſings and attire are provocations to wantonneſſe, and baites to allure men, It is a direct meanes to know of what diſpoſitionF3 on38F3v38 on they are, it is a ſhame for men in cenſuring of women to condemne themſelves; but a common Inne cannot be without a common ſigne; it is a common ſigne to know a leacher, by complaining upon the cauſe and occaſion of his ſurfeit; who had knowne his diſeaſe but by his owne complaint? It is extreme folly to complaine of another, when the roote of all reſteth within himſelfe; purge an infected heart, and turne away a lacivious eye, and then neither their dreſſings, nor their beautie can any waies hurt you. Doe not men exceede in apparell, and therein ſet themſelves out to the view? Shall women betray themſelves and make it knowne that they are either ſo bad in their diſpoſition, or ſo wanton in their thoughts, or ſo weak in their government as to complaine that they are tempted and allured by men? Should women make themſelves more vaine then yongeſt children, to fall in love with babyes. Women are ſo farre off from being in any ſort provoked Women doe not fall in love with men for their apparell. to love upon the view of mens apparell, and ſetting forth themſelves, that no one thing can more draw them from love, then their vanitie in apparell. Women make difference betwixt colours and conditions, betwixt a faire ſhew, and a foule ſubſtance: It ſhewes a levitie in man to furniſh himſelfe more with trim colours, then manlike qualities: beſides that, how can we love at whom we laugh? We ſee him gallant it at the Court one day, & brave it in the Country the next day; we ſee him weare that on his backe one week, which we heare is in the brokers ſhop the next: furthermore we ſee divers weare apparell and colours made39 F4r39 made of a Lordſhip, lined with Farmes and Granges, embrodered with all the plate, gold, and wealth, their Friends and Fathers left them: Are theſe motives to love or to laughter? Will or dare a woman truſt to their love for one Moneth, who will turne her of the next? This is the ſurfeit which women take by brave apparell. They rather ſuſpect his worth, then wish his love, who doth moſt exceede in braverie. So Mr. Swetnam, doe you and all yours forbeare to cenſure of the dreſſings and attires of women for any ſuch lewd intent, as you imagine: Bad minds are diſcovered by bad thoughts and hearts. Doe not ſay and rayle at women to be the cauſe of mens overthrow,when the originall roote and cauſe is in your ſelves. If you bee ſo affected that you cannot looke but you muſt forthwith be infected, I doe marvaile (Joſeph Swetnam) you ſet downe no remedies for that torment of Love, as you call it: You bid men ſhunne and avoyde it, but thoſe be common and ordinary rules and inſtructions: yet not ſo ordinary, as able to reſtraine the extraordinary humors of your giddy company. I will do you and your friends a kindneſſe if you be ſo ſcorched with the flames of love. Diogines did long ſince diſcover the ſoveraigne ſalve for ſuch a wound: The receipt is no great charge, your ſelfe may be the Apothecarie, it is comprehended in A medicine for Love. Tears. Hunger. A Halter. three words: Firſt, trie with χρονοσ, next with λιμος, if both theſe faile, the third is ſure, βροχοσ. This was Diogenes Antidote againſt that venemous infection. There are more milder remedies which you may put in practiſe: If your hearts be ſo fleſhly, or your eies ſo40 F4v40 ſo tender that you dare truſt neither of them, then truſt to your reaſon to turne your eyes away, or truſt to your heeles as Joſeph did, to carrie all away.
After you have railed againſt women, you bring in a fable of a contempt betwixt the Winde and the Sunne; and you apply the morrall to women, when as it hath a farre other relation: for it ever hath been applyd to men, to inſtruct them in the government of women, for I pray you who is to governe, or who are to be governed? You ſhould ſeeme to come from the Sauromatians, whoſe wives were their Maſters: but I will ſet you downe both the Fable and the Morrall, as it was written in Engliſh verſe long ſithence.
The Sunne and Winde at variance did fall,
Whoſe force was greateſt in the open field:
A travailer they chuſe to deale withall;
Who makes him firſt unto their force to yeeld
To caſt off Cloake, they that agreement make,
The honour of the victory muſt take.
The Winde began and did encreaſe, each blaſt
With raging beate upon the ſilly man;
The more it blew, the more he graſped faſt
And kept his Cloake, let Winde doe what it can
When all in vaine the Winde his worſt had done,
It ceaſt, and left a tryall to the Sunne.
The Sunne beginnes his beames for to diſplay,
And by degrees in heate for to encreaſe;The 41 G1r 41
The Travailer then warme, doth make a ſtay.
And by degrees his Cloake he doth releaſe,
At length is forced both Coate and Cloake to yeeld
So gives the Sunne the honour of the field.
Who by extreames doth ſeeke to work his will
By raging humors thinking ſo to gaine;
May like the Winde augment his tempeſt ſtill,
But at the length he findes his furie vaine:
For all he gets by playing franticke parts,
He hardneth more the milde and gentle hearts.
Like as all Plants, when at the firſt they ſpring,
Are tender, and ſoft bark’d on every ſide;
But as they grow continuall ſtormes doe bring
Thoſe are more hard which Northerne blaſts abide:
What’s toward the Southerne tenderer we finde,
And that more harde which feeles the Northern winde.
Nature his courſe moſt carefully doth bend,
From violence to ſeeke it ſelfe to arme;
Where raging blaſts the trees would breake and rend,
There Nature ſtrives to keepe her Plants from harme
Where violence is unto Nature ſtrange,
Continuall cuſtome there doth Nature change.
So ’tis with women, who by Nature milde,
If they on froward crabbed Huſbands light;
Continuall rage by cuſtome makes them wilde,
For crooked natures alter gentle quite;G Men 42 G1v 42
Men evermore ſhall this in triall finde,
Like to her uſage ſo is womans minde.
As of themſelves, let men of others judge,
What man will yeeld to be compeld by rage?
As crabbedneſſe and cruſtneſſe hearts doe grudge,
And to reſiſt, themſelves they more engage:
Forbeare the Winde, ſhine with the Sunne a while,
Though ſhe be angry, ſhe will forthwith ſmile.
This is the true application of the Morrall. As for that crookedneſſe and frowardneſſe with which you charge women, looke from whence they have it; for of themſelves and their owne diſpoſition it doth not proceede, which is prooved directly by your owne Woman of her owne diſpoſition gentle, and milde. teſtimonie: for in your 45. Page, Line 15. You ſay, A young woman of tender yeares is flexible, obedient, and ſubject to doe any thing, according to the will and pleaſure of her Huſband. How commeth it then that this gentle and milde diſpoſition is afterwards altered? your ſelfe doth give the true reaſon, for you give a great charge not to marrie a widdow. But why? becauſe ſay you in the ſame Page, A widdow is framed to the conditions of another man. Why then, if a woman have froward conditions, they be none of her owne, ſhe was framed to them. Is not our adverſarie aſhamed of himſelfe, to raile againſt women for thoſe faults which doe all come from men? Doth not hee Men infect moſt grievouſly charge men to learne their wives bad and corrupt behaviour? For hee ſaith plainely, Thou muſt unlearne a widdow, and make her forget and forgoe43 G2r43 forgoe her former corrupt & diſordered behaviour. Thou muſt unlearne her, Ergo, what fault ſhee hath, ſhee learned, her corruptnes commeth not from her own diſpoſition, but from her Huſbands deſtruction. Is it not a wonder, that your Pamphlets are ſo diſperſed? Are they not wiſe men to caſt away time and money upon a Booke which cutteth their owne throates? ’Tis pittie but that men ſhould reward you for your writing; if it bee but as the Romane Sertorius did the idle Poet, hee gave him a reward, but not for his writing, but becauſe he ſhould never write more; as for women, they laugh that men have no more able a champion. This author commeth to baite women, or as hee fooliſhly ſayth, the Beare bayting, of Women, and he bringeth but a mungrell Curre, who doth his kinde, to braule and barke, but The diſpoſition of the minde doth anſwere the compoſition of the body. cannot bite. The milde and flexible diſpoſition of a woman is in philoſophy proved in the compoſition of her body, for it is a Maxime, Mores animi ſequntur temperaturam corporis, The diſpoſition of the minde is anſwerable to the temper of the body. A woman in the temperature of her body is tender, ſoft, and beautifull, ſo doth her diſpoſition in minde correſpond accordingly; ſhe is milde, yeelding, and vertuous; what diſpoſition accidentally happeneth unto her, is by the contagion of a froward huſband, as Joſeph Swetnam affirmeth.
And experience proveth. It is a ſhame for a man to complaine of a froward woman, in many reſpects all concerning himſelfe. It is a ſhame he hath no more government over the weaker veſſell. It is a ſhame he G2 hath 44G2v44 hath hardned her tender ſides, and gentle heart Many men complain of women without cauſe. with his boiſtrous & Northren blaſts. It is a ſhame for a man to publiſh and proclaime houſhold ſecrets, which is a common practiſe amongſt men, eſpecially Drunkards, Leachers, and prodigall ſpend-thrifts: Theſe when they come home drunke, or are called in queſtion for their riotous miſdemeanours, they preſently ſhew themſelves, the right children of Adam. They will excuſe themſelves, by their wives, and ſay that their unquietneſſe and frowardneſſe at home, is the cauſe that they runne abroad. An excuſe more fitter for a beaſt then a man. If thou wert a man thou wouldeſt take away the cauſe which urgeth a woman to griefe and diſcontent, and not by thy frowardneſſe encreaſe her diſtemperature: forbeare thy drinking, thy luxurious riot, thy gaming, and ſpending, and thou ſhalt have thy wife give thee as little cauſe at home, as thou giveſt her great cauſe of diſquiet abroad. Men which are men, if they chance to be matched with froward wives, either of their own making, or others marring, they would make a benefit of the diſcommodity, either try his ſkill to make her milde, or exerciſe his patience to endure her curſtneſſe: for all croſſes are inflicted either for puniſhment of ſinnes, or for exerciſe of vertues; but humorous men will ſooner marre a thouſand women, then out of an hundred make one good.
Men are the Serpents. And this ſhall appeare in the imputation which our adverſarie chargeth upon our ſexe, to be lacivious, wanton and luſtfull: He ſayth, Women tempt, alure, and provoke men. How rare a thing is it for women45 G3r45 women to proſtitute and offer themſelves? how common a practiſe is it for men to ſeeke and ſolicite women to lewdneſſe? what charge doe they ſpare? what travell doe they beſtow? what vowes, oathes, and proteſtations doe they ſpend, to make them diſhoneſt? They hyer Pandors, they write letters, they ſeale them with damnations, and execrations, to aſſure them of love, when the end proves but luſt: They know the flexible diſpoſition of Women and the ſooner to overreach them, ſome will pretend they are ſo plunged in love that except they obtaine their deſire they will ſeeme to drown’d, hang, ſtab, poyſon, or baniſh themſelves from friends and countrie: What motives are theſe to tender diſpoſitions? Some will pretend marriage, another offer continuall maintenance, but when they have obtained their purpoſe, what ſhall a woman finde, juſt that which is her everlaſting ſhame and griefe, ſhee hath made her ſelfe the unhappie subject to a luſtfull bodie, and the ſhamefull ſtall of a laſcivious tongue. Men may with foule ſhame charge women with this ſinne which they had never committed if ſhee had not truſted, nor had ever truſted if ſhee had not beene deceived with vowes, oathes, and proteſtations. To bring a woman to offend in one ſinne, how many damnable ſinnes doe they commit? I appeale to their owne conſciences. The lewd diſpoſition of ſundry men doth appeare in this: If a woman or maide will yeelde unto lewdneſſe, what ſhall they want? But if they would live in honeſtie, what helpe ſhall they have? How much will they make of the lewd? how G3 baſe 46G3v46 baſe account of the honeſt? how many pounds will they ſpend in bawdie houſes? but when will they beſtowe a penny upon an honeſt maide or woman, except it be to corrupt them?
Shew a womans offence, but that man was the firſt beginner. Our adverſary bringeth many examples of men which have beene overthrowne by women. It is anſwered, before the fault is their owne. But I would have him, or any one living, to ſhew any woman that offended in this ſinne of luſt, but that ſhe was firſt ſollicited by a man.
Helen was the cauſe of Troyes burning; firſt, Paris did ſollicite her; next, how many knaves and fooles of the male kinde had Troy, which to maintaine whoredome would bring their Citie to confuſion.
When you bring in examples of lewd women, and of men which have been ſtained by women, you ſhew your ſelfe both franticke, and a prophane irreligious foole to mention Judith for cutting off Holofernes head, in that rancke.
You challenge women for untamed and unbrideled tongues; there was never woman was ever noted for ſo ſhameleſſe, so brutiſh, ſo beaſtly a ſcold as you prove your ſelfe in this baſe and odious Pamphlet: You blaſpheme God, you raile at his Creation, you abuſe and ſlander his Creatures; and what immodeſt or impudent ſcurilitie is it, which you doe not expreſſe in this lewd and lying Pamphlet?
Hitherto I have ſo anſwered all your objections againſt Women, that as I have not defended the wickedneſſe of any; ſo I have ſet downe the true ſtate of the queſtion. As Eve did not offend without the temptation 47G4r47 temptation of a Serpent; ſo women doe ſeldome offend, but it is by provocation of men. Let not your impudencie, nor your conſorts diſhoneſtie, charge our ſexe hereafter, with thoſe ſinnes of which you your ſelves were the firſt procurers. I have in my diſcourſe, touched you, and all yours, to the quick. I have taxed you with bitter ſpeaches; you will (perhaps) ſay I am a rayling ſcold. In this objection, A difference betwixt accuſing and ſlanddering. Joſeph Swetnam, I will teach you both wit and honeſtie: The difference betwixt a railing ſcold, and and an honeſt accuſer, is this, the firſt rageth upon paſſionate furie, without bringing cauſe or proofe, the other bringeth direct proofe for what ſhe alleageth: you charge women with clamorous words, and bring no proofe; I charge you with blaſphemie, with impudence, ſcurilitie, foolery, and the like. I ſhew juſt and direct proofe for what I ſay; it is not my deſire to ſpeake ſo much, it is your deſert to provoke me upon juſt cauſe ſo farre; it is no railing to call a Crowe blacke, or a Wolfe a ravenour, or a drunkard a beaſt; the report of the truth is never to be blamed, the deſerver of ſuch a report, deſerveth the ſhame.
Now, for this time, to draw to an end; let me aſke according to the question of Caſsian, Cui bono? what have you gotten by publiſhing your Pamphlet; good I know you can get none. You have (perhaps) pleaſed the humors of ſome giddy, idle conceited perſons: But you have died your ſelfe in the colours of ſhame, lying, ſlandering, blaſphemie, ignorance, and the like.The 48 G4v 48
The ſhortneſſe of time and the weight of buſineſſe call me away, and urge me to leave off thus abruptly, but aſſure your ſelfe where I leave now, I will by Gods grace ſupply the next Terme, to your ſmall content. You have exceeded in your furie againſt Widdowes, whoſe defence you ſhal heare of at the time aforeſaid, in the meane ſpace recollect your wits, write out of deliberation, not out of furie; write out of advice, not out of idleneſſe; forbeare to charge women with faults, which come from the contagion of Maſculine ſerpents.
A Defence of Women, againſt the Author of the Arraignment of Women
An idle companion was raging of late,
Who in furie ’gainſt Women expreſſeth his hate:
Hee writeth a Booke, an Arraignment he calleth,
In which againſt women he curriſhly bawleth.
He deſerveth no anſwere but in Ballat or Ryme,
Upon idle fantaſtickes who would caſt away time:
Any anſwere may ſerve an impudent lyar,
Any mangie ſcab’d horſe doth fit a ſcal’d Squire:
In the ruffe of his furie, for ſo himſelfe ſaith,
The blaſphemous companion he ſhamefully playeth.
The woman for an Helpler, God did make he doth ſay,
But to Helpe to conſume and ſpend all away.
Thus, at Gods creation to flout and to jeſt,
Who but an Atheiſt would ſo play the beaſt?
The Scriptures doe prove that when Adam did fall,
And to death and damnation was thereby a thrall.
Then woman was an Helper, for by her bleſſed ſeed,
From Hell and damnation all mankinde was freed.
He ſaith, women are froward, which the rib doth declare,
For like as the Rib, ſo they crooked are:
The Rib was her Subject for body we finde,
But from God came her Soule, and diſpoſe of her minde.
Let no man thinke much if women compare,
That in their creation they much better are:H More 50 H1r 50
More bleſſings therein to women doe fall,
Then unto mankinde have beene given at al.l
Women were the laſt worke, and therefore the beſt,
For what was the end, excelleth the reſt.
For womans more honour, it was ſo aſſign’d
She was made of the rib of mettall refin’d:
The Countrey doth alſo the woman more grace,
For Paradice is farre the more excellent place.
Yet women are miſchievous, this Author doth ſay,
But Scriptures to that directly ſay nay:
God ſaid, ’twixt the Woman and Serpent for ever,
Strong hatred he would put, to be qualified never.
The woman being hatefull to the Serpents condition,
How excellent is ſhe in her diſpoſition?
The Serpent with men in their works may agree,
But the Serpent with women that never may be.
If you aske how it happens ſome women prove naught,
By men turn’d to Serpents they are over-wrought.
What the Serpent began, men follow that ſtill,
They tempt what they may to make women doe ill.
They will tempt, and provoke, and follow us long:
They deceive us with oathes, and a flattering tongue.
To make a poore Maiden or woman a whore,
They care not how much they ſpend of their ſtore.
But where is there a man that will any thing give
That woman or maide may with honeſtie live?
If they yeeld to lewd counſell they nothing ſhall want,
But for to be honeſt, then all things are ſcant.
It proves a bad nature in men doth remaine.
To make women lewd their purſes they ſtraine.
For a woman that’s honeſt they care not a whit,
Theyle ſay ſhe is honeſt becauſe ſhe lackes wit.Theyle 51 H1v 51
Theyle call women whores, but their ſtakes they might ſave,
There can be no Whore, but there muſt be a Knave.
They ſay that our dreſſings, and that our attire
Are cauſes to move them to luſtfull fire.
Of all things which are we evermore finde,
Such thoughts do ariſe as are like to the minde.
Mens thoughts being wicked they wracke on us thus,
That ſcandall is taken, not given by us.
If their ſight be ſo weake, and their frailtie be ſuch,
Why doe they then gaze at our beauty ſo much?
Plucke away thoſe ill roots whence ſinne doth ariſe,
Amend wicked thoughts, or plucke out the eyes.
The humors of men, ſee how froward they bee;
We know not how to pleaſe them in any degree:
For if we goe plaine we are ſluts they doe ſay,
They doubt of our honeſty if we goe gay;
If we be honeſt and merrie, for giglots they take us,
If modeſt and ſober, then proud they doe make us:
Be we houſewifly quicke, then a ſhrew he doth keepe,
If patient and milde, then he ſcorneth a ſheepe.
What can we deviſe to doe or to ſay,
But men doe wreſt all things the contrary way.
’Tis not ſo uncertaine to follow the winde,
As to ſeeke to pleaſe men of ſo humerous minde.
Their humors are giddy, and never long laſting,
We know not to pleaſe them, neither full nor yet faſting.
Either we doe too little, or they doe too much:
They ſtraine our poore wits, their humors are ſuch.
They ſay, women are proud, wherein made they triall?
They moov’d ſome lewd ſuit, and had the deniall:
To be croſt in ſuch ſuites, men cannot abide,
And thereupon we are entitled with pride.H2 They 50 H2r 50
They ſay we are curſt and froward by kinde,
Our mildneſſe is changed, where raging we finde,
A good Jacke ſayes the proverbe, doth make a good Gill,
A curſt froward Husband doth change womans will.
They uſe us (they ſay) as neceſſary evils,
We have it from them, for they are our devils.
When they are in their rages and humorous fits,
They put us poore women halfe out of our wits.
Of all naughty women name one if you can,
If ſhe proved bad, it came by a man.
Faire Helen forſooke her Husband of Greece,
A man called Paris, betrayed that peece.
Medea did rage, and did ſhamefully murther,
A Jaſon was cauſe, which her miſchief did further.
A Creſſide was falſe, and changed her love,
Diomedes her heart by conſtraint did remove.
In all like examples the world may ſee,
Where women prove bad, there men are not free.
But in thoſe offences they have the moſt ſhare,
Women would be good, if Serpents would ſpare.
Let Women and Maides whatſoever they be,
Come follow my counſell, be warned by me.
Truſt not mens ſuites, their love proveth luſt,
Both hearts, tongues, and pens, doe all prove unjuſt.
How faire they will ſpeake and write in their love,
But put them to tryall how falſe doe they prove?
They love hot at firſt, when the love is a ſtranger,
But they will not be tied to racke and to manger.
What love call you that when men are a wooing,
And ſeeke nothing elſe but ſhame and undoing.
As women in their faults I doe not commend,
So wiſh I all men their lewd ſuites they would end.Let 51 H2v 51
Let women alone, and ſeeke not their ſhame,
You ſhall have no cauſe then women to blame.
’Tis like that this Author againſt ſuch doth bawle,
Who by his temptations have gotten a fall.
For he who of women ſo wickedly deemeth,
Hath made them diſhoneſt, it probably ſeemeth.
He hath beene a Traveller, it may be well ſo,
By his tales and reports as much we doe know.
He promiſeth more poyſon againſt women to thruſt,
He doth it for phiſicke, or elſe he would bruſt.
Thus I bid him farewell till next we doe meete,
And then as cauſe moveth, ſo ſhall we greete.