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
daily actions.

Written by Ester Sowernam, neither Maide,
Wife nor Widdowe, yet really all, and therefore
experienced to defend all.

Iohn 8.7John 8:7
“He that is without sinne among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
“Neque enim lex insticior ulla
Quam necis Artificem arte perire sua.”

Printed for Nicholas Bourne, and are to be sold at his shop
at the entrance of the Royall Exchange. 16171617.


All Right Honou
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 A2v
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, whichA3r
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

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 A3v

All Worthy and Hope
young youths of Great-Brittaine;
But respectively to the best disposed and
worthy Apprentises of London.

Hopefull and gallant youths of Great-
, 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
ships under the government of others, when you begin the world forA4r
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

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 maintainetaine A4v
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


Ester Sowrenam.

An B1r

Answere To
The First Chapter of

Arraignment of Women.

Chap.Chapter I.

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 B1v
Epist.Epistle ad Ciprianum.
which respect I say with Saint Jerome, “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

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
, &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 this 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 B2v4
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
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. B3r

Chapter II.

What incomparable and excellent prerogatives God
hath bestowed upon Women, in their first

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
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 B3theB3v 6
the woman. Now of what estimate that Creature is
and ought to be, which is the last worke, upon whom
The last
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 degree,
Created upon
a refined subject.
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
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. God 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

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
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, B4v8
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

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
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 givenC1r 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
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
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
by Justice,
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
of womens
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: CWomanC1v 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, 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 formavit,
opificem se malorum sciat, maximum & hominibus
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.

Chap.chapter III.

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 C2v 12

Exod.2Ex.2 Moses was preserved by the daughter of Pharao.

Iosua 2.6.Jos. 2:6 The Messengers sent by Duke Josuah 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 1:17 In the great famine of Samaria, the widow of Sarepta
was chosen to preserve Elias, and Elias to preserve

4 Kings 4.Kings 2:4 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

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 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.

Chap.chapter IIII.

What excellent blessings and graces have beene bestowed
upon women in the Lawe of

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 C3Marie 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

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, C4r15
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
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 C4v

To the courteous and friendly

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

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
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.

Ester Sowrenam.


Chap.chapter IIIIV.

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
of womans
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,
, 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 DforD1v 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 the 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 D2motherD2v 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 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
What travaile? what charge? what studie? doe
not men undertake to gaine our good-will, love, and D3liking?D3v 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 then 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
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
comes by marriage;
the womans
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 D4v24
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, it 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
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 EbeganE1v 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
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 E2r 27

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.

Chapter VVI.

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 weeE2v28
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 E3r29
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.

Chap.chapter VIVII.

Joseph Swetnam his Enditement.

Joseph Swetnam, thou art endited
by the name of Joseph Swetnam of
Bedlemmore, in the Countie of Onopolie:
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 publishingE3lishingE3v30
most blasphemously that women by their
Creator were made for Helpers, for Helpers (thou
sayest) “to spend and consume that which Man painfully
; 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,

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 E4r31
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.

Chap.chapter VIIVIII.

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, E4v32
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

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 F1r33
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
: 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 familierFlierF1v 34
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
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
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 contagiontagion F2r35
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
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?F2v 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
: 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
, no man is hurt but the cause is in himselfe. The prodi- F3r37
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
to his lewd inclination. When men complaine
of beautie, and say, “That womens dressings and
attire are provocations to wantonnesse, and baites to allure
, It is a direct meanes to know of what dispositionF3 onF3v38
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 made 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.
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 so 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 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 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
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 forgoe G2r43
forgoe her former corrupt & disordered behaviour.”
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
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 G2v44
hath hardned her tender sides, and gentle heart
Many men complain
of women
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
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 women 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 G3v46
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
but that man
was the first
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 G4r47
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

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 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.

Defence of

Women, against the Author
of the Arraignment of Women

Chap.chapter VIIIIX.

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 H1r 50

More blessings therein to women doe fall,

Then unto mankinde have beene given at al.

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 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 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 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.

Joane Sharp.


Faultes escaped.

  • Page 3325. Line 1. for “cary”, reade “curry”.

  • p.page 3633. l.line 301 for sincerity”, r.reade scurility.

  • p.page 3836. l.line 2830. for something” r.readeany thing.

  • Ibid for “countrey”, r.reade counter.

  • p.page 40.
    l.line 5. for “contempt”, r.reade contention.