Arraigned by

A new Comedie,

Acted at the Red Bull, by the late
Queenes Servante.

A group of women standing around a king on a throne, and a man in the foreground labeled Swetnam.


London, Printed for Richard Meighen, and are to be sold at his Shops
at Saint Clements Church, over-against Essex House, and
at Westminster Hall. 16201620.

Enter Loretta, Prologus.

Loretta[Speaker label not present in original source]

The Women are all welcome; for the men,

They will be welcome: our care’s not for them.

’Tis we poore women, that must stand the brunt

Of this dayes tryall: we are all accused.

How wee shall cleere our selves, there lyes the doubt.

The men, I know, will laugh, when they shall heare

Us rayl’d at, and abused; and say, ’Tis well,

We all deserve asmuch. Let um laugh on,

Lend but your kind assistance; you shall see

We will not be ore-come with Infamie,

And slanders that we never merited.

Be but you patient, I dare boldly say,

(If ever women pleased) weele please to day.

Vouchsafe to reade, I dare presume to say,

Yee shall be pleased, and thinke ’tis a good play.

Actorvm Nomina.

Atticus, King of Sicilie.

Lorenzo, his Sonne.

Lisandro, Prince of Naples.




three Noblemen
of Sicilie.

Scanfardo, Servant to Nicanor.

Two Gentlemen.

A Captaine.

Swetnam, alias, Misogynos, The Woman-hater.

INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that cb is unmatched.

Swash, his Man.

Two Judges.



Womens Parts.

Aurelia, Queene.

Leonida, the Princesse.

Loretta, her Maid.

Three or foure other Women.


Act. I.

Scen. I.

Enter Iago and Nicanor, two Noblemen
of Sicilia, in private conference.


Hee was a vertuous and a hopefull Prince,

And we have just cause to lament his death,

For had he liv’d, and Spaine made war agen,

He would ha’ prov’d a Terror to his Foe.


A greater cause of griefe was never knowne,

Not onely in his death, but for the losse

Of Prince Lorenzo too, his yonger brother,

Who hath beene missing almost eighteene moneths,

And none can tell whether alive or dead.


How do’s the King beare these afflictions?

Enter another Lord.


Now you shall heare how fares his Majestie.


Oh my good Lords, our sorrowes still increase,

A greater tide of woe is to be fear’d,

The Kings decay, with griefe for his two sonnes.


The gods forbid, let’s in and comfort him.

3. Lord.

Alas, his sorrow’s such

He will not suffer us to speake to him,

But turnes away in rage, and seemes to tread

The pace of one (if living) living dead.


See where he comes,

A Lords A1v

Lords, let us all attend,

Enter King in black, reading.

Untill his grace be pleas’d to speake to us.

Dead March.


Death is the ease of paine, and end of sorrow,

How can that be? Death gave my sorrowes life,

For by his death my paine and griefe begun,

And in beginning, never will have end: for though I die,

My losse will live in future memorie,

I and (perhaps) will be lamented too,

And registred by some, when all shall heare

Sicilia had two sonnes, yet had no heire.

Ha! What are you?

Who dares presume to interrupt us thus?

What meanes this sorrow? Wherefore are these signes?

Or unto whom are these observances?


Unto our King.

3. Lords.

To you my Soveraigne.


Your Subjects all lament to see you sad.


You all are Traytors then, and by my life

I will account you so:

Can you not be content with State and rule,

But you must come to take away my Crowne?

For solitude is sorrowes chiefest Crowne.

Griefe hath resign’d over his right to mee,

And I am King of all woes Monarchie.

You powers that grant Regeneration,

What meant you first to give him vitall breath

And make large Kingdomes proud of such a Prince

As my Lusyppus was, so good, so vertuous:

Then, in his prime of yeares,

To take him from mee by untimely death?

Oh! had my spirit wings, I would ascend

And fetch his soule againe from—

Oh my sad sorrowes! Whither am I driven?

Into what maze of errors will you lead mee?

This Monster (Griefe) hath so distracted mee,

I had A2r

I had almost forgot mortalitie.


Deare Lord have patience, though the heavens
are pleas’d

To punish Princes for their Subjects faults,

In taking from us such a hopefull Prince,

No doubt they will restore your yonger sonne,

Who cannot be but stay’d, and will, I hope

Be quickly heard of, to recall your Joyes.


No, I shall never see Lorenzo more,

This eighteene moneths I have not heard of him,

I feare some Traytors hand had seyz’d his life:

If hee were living, as that cannot bee;

I sooner looke to see the dead then hee:

For I am almost spent; This heape of age,

Mixt with my sorrow, soone will end my dayes.


My Liege, take comfort, I (your Subject) vow

To goe my selfe to seeke Lorenzo forth,

And ne’r returne untill I find him out,

Or bring some newes what is become of him.

3. Lord.

The like will I, or ne’r come backe agen.


Old as I am, I’le not be laft behind,

And if my Soveraigne please to let mee goe.


I thanke your loves, but I’le restrain your wils:

If I should part from you, my dayes were done,

For I should never live till your returne,

Enter Nicano.

Nicanor my deare friend, Iago, Sforza,

One of you three, if I die issuelesse,

Must after mee be King of Sicilie.

Doe not forsake mee then.


Long live your grace:

And may your issue raigne eternally.


As for our daughter fayre Leonida,

Her female Sexe cannot inherit here,

One must injoy both her and Sicilie.


What sudden shout was that? Some know the cause;

Can there be so much joy left in our Land,

A2 To A2v

To raise mens voyces to so high a sound?

Enter Nicanor.

Or wast a shreeke of some new miserie?

For comfort cannot be expected here.

The newes, Nicanor.



Happie, Sir, I hope,

There is a Souldier new arriv’d at Court,

Can tell some tidings of the long lost Prince:


Sir, shall he have accesse?


Oh joyfull newes!


Is it a question, Sforza? Bring him in,

As you would doe some great Ambassadour;

He is no lesse. Comes he not from a Prince?

He do’s, if from Lorenzo hee be sent.

A flourish, with Trumpets. Enter a Captaine,
brought in by the Lord Scaufardoe.

Thou Man of Warre, once play the Orator,

Prove Griefe a guiltie Thiefe, condemne my feares,

And let my sorrowes suffer in these teares:

Have I a sonne or no? Good Souldier speake.


Sir, I arriv’d by chance upon your coast,

Yet hearing of the Proclamation

Which promis’d thousands unto any man

That could bring newes to the Sicilian King,

Whether Lorenzo were alive or dead.


We’le double our reward, what-e’r it be,

If hee be living: Dead, we’le keepe our word:

Then prethee say, What is become of him?


Not for reward, but love to that brave Prince,

Whose memorie deserves to out live time,

Come I to tell what I too truely know:

In the Lepanthean battel not long since,

Where he was made Commander of a Fleet,

Under Don John the Spanish Generall,

He did demeane himselfe so manfully,

That he perform’d wonders above beliefe;

For A3r

For when the thethe Navies joyn’d, the Cannons plaid,

And thundring clamors rang the dying knels

Of many thousand soules; He, void of feare,

Dalli’d with danger, and pursu’d the Foe

Thorow a bloudy Sea of Victorie:

Whether there slaine, or taken prisoner

By the too mercilesse misbeleeving Turkes,

No man can tell:

That when Victorie fell to the Christians,

The conquest, and the glorie of the day

Was soone eclipst, in brave Lorenzo’s losse;

That when the battel and the fight was done,

They knew not well whether they lost or wonne.


This newes is worse then death; Happy were I

If any now could tell me he were dead;

Death is farre sweeter then captivitie:

My deare Lorenzo! Was it thy desire

To goe to Warre, made thee forsake thy Father,

Countrie, Friends, Life, Libertie? and undergoe

Death, or Captivitie, or some disaster

That exceeds ’em both? Yet, howso’er,

Captaine, We thanke thy love; give the reward

Was promis’d in the Proclamation.


I’le not be nice in the refusall, Sir,

It is no wonder t’see a Souldier want:

All good wait on yee; may the Heavens be pleas’d

To make you happy in your long lost sonne.


My comfort is, whether alive or dead,

He bravely fought for Heaven and Christendome;

Such battels martyr men: their death’s a life

Surviving all this worlds felicitie.

Lords, Where’s Leonida, Our beautious child,

She’s all the comfort we have left Us now;

She must not have her libertie to match,

The Girle is wanton, coy, and fickle too:

How many Princes hath the froward Elfe

A3 Set A3v

Set at debate, desiring but her love?

What dangers may insue? But to prevent,

Nicanor, wee make you her Gardian:

Let her be Princely us’d; but no accesse

By any to her presence, but by such

As wee shall send, or give commandment for:

’Tis death to any other dares attempt it.

I heare, the Prince of Naples seekes her love:

Shee shall not wed with that presumptuous Boy,

His father and Our selfe were still at oddes,

Nor shall He thinke Wee will submit to Him,

Certaine he knowes not of Lisandro’s sute,

For if he had, he would a come himselfe,

Or sent Ambassadors to speake for him.

We’le give his answer ere to morrows Sunne

Shall retch to his Meridian, wretched state of Kings,

What end will follow where such woes begins?



Exeunt omnes.
Manes, Nic.
& Scanfardoe.


My good Lord?


How lik’st thou this?

I am made Gardian of my owne harts blisse,

The Princesse is my Prisoner, I her Slave,

I keepe her Body, but shee holds my Heart

Inviron’d in a Chest of Adamant.


Is your Heart Iron?


Steele, I thinke it is;

And live an Anvile hammerd by her words,

It sparkles fire that never can bee quencht,

But by the dew of her cœlestiall breath.

Oft have I courted, bin rejected too,

Yet what of that? I’le trye her once agen.

What many Princes have attempting fail’d,

I by accesse may purchase, that’s my hope;

The King I’me sure affects mee, nothing then

Is wanting but her love, that once obtain’d

Sicill is ours: Scanfardoe? if we win,

Thou shalt be Lord Nicanor, I the King.

Scen. A4r

Scen. II.

Enter Mysogenos solus.


By this, my thundering Booke is prest abroad,

I long to heare what a report it beares,

I know ’t will startle all our Citie Dames,

Worse then the roring Lyons, or the sound

Of a huge double Canon, Swetnams name,

Will be more terrible in womens eares,

Then ever yet in Misogenysts hath beene.

Enter Clowne.


Puffe, give me some ayre,

I am almost stifled, puffe, Oh, my sides!


From whence comm’st thou in such a puffing

Hast thou been running for a wager, Swash?

Thou art horribly imbost. Where hast thou beene?

My life, he was haunted with some Spirit.


A Spirit?

I thinke all the Devils in Hell,

Have had a pinch at my hanches,

I have beene among the Furies, the Furies:

A Pox on your Booke: I have beene paid ifaith,

You have set all the women in the Towne in an uprore.


Why, what’s the matter, Swash?


Ne’r was poore Swash, so lasht, and pasht,

And crasht and dasht, as I have beene,

Looke to your selfe, they’re up in armes for you.


Why, Have they weapons, Swash?


Weapons, Sir, I, Ile be sworne they have.

And cutting ones, I felt the smart of ’em,

From the loines to the legs, from the head to th’ hams,

From the Front to the foot, I have not one free spot.

Oh, I can shew you, Sir, such Characters.


What dost thou mean, man, wilt shame thy selfe?


Why, here’s none but you and I, Sir, is there?


Good, good, ifaith. This was a brave Revenge.

Clow. A4v


If’t be so good, would you had had’t for me.


And if I live, I will make all the World

To hate, as I doe, this affliction, Woman.


But we shall be afflicted in th’ meane time.

Pray let’s leave this Land: if we stay heere,

We shall be torne a-pieces: would we had kept

In our owne Countrey, there w’are safe enough:

You might have writ and raild your bellifull,

And few, or none would contradict you, Sir.


Oh, but for one that writ against me, Swash,

Ide had a glorious Conquest in that Ile,

How my Bookes tooke effect! how greedily

The credulous people swallowed downe my hookes

How rife debate sprang betwixt man and wife!

The little Infant that could hardly speake,

Would call his Mother Whore. O, it was rare!


Oh, damn’d Rogue!

I stay but here, in hope, to see him hang’d,

And carrie newes to England, then I know,

The women there will never see me want,

For God he knowes, I love um with my heart,

But dare not shew it for my very eares.

What course, Sir, shall we take to hide our selves?


The same we did at Bristow, Fencing Boy;

Oh’t is a fearefull name to Females, Swash,

I have bought Foiles alreadie, set up Bils,

Hung up my two-hand Sword, and chang’d my name:

Call me Mysogenos.

Enter Scanfardo.


A sodden Nose.


Mysogenos, I say. Remember, Swash, heere

comes a Gentleman.

I know him well, he serves a Noble Lord.

Seignior Scanfardo, happily encountred.


Thanks, my noble Gladiator, Doctor of Defence.


A Master, Sir, of the most magnanimous Method

of Cudgell-cracking.

Scan. B1r


Ime glad I met with you.

I was now comming to be entred, Sir.


That you shall presently. My Rapier, Swash.

Come, Sir, I’ll enter you.


What meane you, Sir?


You say you would be entred, if you will,

Ile put you to the Puncto presently.


Your Scholler, Sir, I meane.


O welcome, Sir, What, have you brought your


Yes, Sir: what is’t?


Twentie Piastros, your admittance Sir,

And five, your quarteridge.


Besides Ushers Fees.

There goes a garnish and a breake-fast too.


Well, I’m content, there ’tis.


Come when you will, find you Piastros, Sir,

And we’ll find you crackt crownes.


Booke him, my bold Usher.


That I will, your denomination, Seignior.


Seignior Scanfardo, Della Sancta Cabrado.


Seig. Scan. Della Sancta Cabrado? a terrible name.


Give me your hand, Scholer, so Ile cal you now.

Ile make you one of the Sonnes of Art.

Swash, give my Scholer the Foyle.


Doe not take it in scorne,

I have gi’n many a good Gentleman the Foyle, Sir.


I was going this morning to practise a young

That shortly goes to fight at Callie Sands.

Come, Sir, to your guard.


Not here in publike, I am a young beginner.

Come to my Chamber, Sir, Ile practise there.


Doe, and Ile teach you the very mysterie of Fen-

cing, that in a fortnight, you shall be able to challenge

any Scholer under the degree of a Provost, and in a

quarter of a yeere, beat all the Fencers in Germany. Our

English Masters of this Noble Science would ha’ gi’n

fortie pound to have knowne that tricke.

B Scan B1v


Say you so, Sir?

By this hand, I shall thinke my money well bestowed

then: but to tell you the truth, Sir, the reason I would

learne, is, because I am to bee married shortly: and they

say, Then or never, is the time for a man to get the ma-



How, marry, Scholer? thou art not mad, I hope.

Doe you know what you doe?


I know what I shall doe, Master, that’s as good.


Doe you know what she is you are to marrie?


A woman, I am sure a that.


No, she’s a Devill, Harpie, Cockatrice.


And you were not my Master—


Scholer, be advised, they are all

Most vile and wicked.


How, Sir?


Dissemblers, the very curse of man, Monsters


That Ile be sworne they are, for I have knowne

some of um, that ha’ devoured you three Lordships,

in Cullices and Caudles before Break-fast.


And creatures the most imperfect: for looke yee,

Th’are nothing of themselves,

Onely patcht up to coozen and gull men,

Borrowing their haire from one, complexions from another,

Nothing their own that’s pleasing, all dissembled,

Not so much, but their very breath

Is sophisticated with Amber pellets, and kissing causes.

Marry a woman, Scholer? thou undergo’st an harder task,

Then those bold Spirits, that did undertake

To steale the great Turke into Christendome.

A woman! she’s an Angell at ten, a Saint at fifteene,

A Devill at fortie, and a Witch at fourescore.

If you will marry, marry none of these:

Neither the faire, nor the foule; the rich, nor the poore;

The good, nor the bad.


Who should I marry then, Sir?


Marry none at all.

Scan. B2r


Proceeds this from Experience?


From Reason, Sir, the Mistris of Experience.

Happy were man, had woman never bin.

Why did not Nature infuse the gift of Procreation

In man alone, without the helpe of woman,

Even as we see one seed, produce another?


Or as you see one Knave make twentie, Master.


Thou saist true, Swash: or why might not a man

Revive againe, like to the Elme and Oake?


Many Logger-heads doe, Sir.


When they are cut downe to the very roote,

Yet in short time you see young branches spring againe.


If ’twere so at Tyburne, what a fine companie

of Crack-ropes would spring up then?


Then we should ne’r be acquainted with the de-

ceitfull devices of a womans crooked conditions, which

are so many, that if all the World were Paper, the Sea,

Inke, Trees and Plants, Pens, and every man Clarkes,

Scribes, and Notaries: yet would all that Paper be scrib-

led over, the Inke wasted, Pens worne to the stumps, and

all the Scriveners wearie, before they could describe the

hundreth part of a womans wickednesse.


Methinks you are too generall: some, no doubt,

As many men, are bad: condemne not all for some.

What thinke you, Sir, of those that have good wives?

I hope, you will confesse a difference.


And Reason too: and here’s the difference,

Those that have good wives, ride to Hell

Upon ambling Hackneyes, and all the rest

Upon trotting Jades to the Devill.


Is that the difference? Ile not marrie sure,

Ile rather turne Whore-master,

And goe a-foot to the Devill.


You’l hardly doe that, if you love whoring, Sir.

For many lose a Legge in such service.


But doe you heare, Sir? how long is ’t since you

B2 be- B2v

became such a bitter Enemie to women?


Since I had wisdome. When I was a Foole,

I doted on such Follies, but now I have left um, and doe

vow to be the everlasting scourge to all their Sex: What

the reason is, Ile tell you, Sir, hereafter: reade but that,

I have arraign’d um all, and painted forth

Those Furies to the life,

That all the World may know that doth it read,

I was a true Mysogenist indeed.


Scen. III.

Enter Iago, and Lorenzo disguised.


You have not seene the Court then?


Not as yet.

But I desire to observe the Fashions there.

How doe you stile your King of Sicilie?


Men call him, Sir, The just King Atticus;

And truly too: for with an equall Scale

He waighes the offences betwixt man and man,

He is not sooth’d with adulation,

Nor mov’d with teares, to wrest the course of Justice

Into an unjust current to oppresse the Innocent,

Nor do’s he make the Lawes

Punish the man, but in the man the cause.

Shall I in briefe give you his Character?


A thing I covet much.


Attend mee then.

His state is full of majestie and grace,

Whose basis is true Pietie and Vertue,

Where, underneath a rich triumphant Arch,

That does resemble the Tribunall Seat,

Garded with Angels, born upon two Columnes,

Justice and Clemencie, he sits inthron’d,

His subjects serve him freely, not perforce,

And doe obey him more for love, then feare;

Being B3r

Being a King not of themselves alone,

And their estates, but their affections:

A soveraigntie that farre more safetie brings,

Then do’s an Armie to the guard of Kings.


You have describ’d, Sir, such a worthy Prince,

That well I cannot say, who is most happie;

Either the King for having so good subjects,

Or else the subjects for so good a King.

But pray proceed.


The Heavens to crowne his joy,

With Immortalitie in his happie Issue

Sent him two Royall sonnes, of whom the eldest

Was the sweet Prince Lusyppus. Was! oh me,

That ever I should live to say, he was:

He was, but is not now, for he is dead.

The yongest was Lorenzo, for his yeeres,

The pride and glory of Sicilians,

And miracle of Nature, whose aspect,

Even like a Comet, did attract all eyes

With admiration, wonder and amazement,

And he good Prince, is lost, or worse, I feare:

But for his Daughter faire Leonida,

Her Fame not able to be circumscrib’d

Within the bounds of Sicilie, hath gone

Beyond the Pirean Mountaines, and brought backe

The chiefe Italian Princes, but their Loves

Were quitted with contempt and crueltie:

And many of our brave Sicilian Youths

Have sacrific’d their lives to her disdaine.

Now to prevent the like event hereafter,

’Twas thought fit her libertie should be awhile restraind,

For which intent, his Highnesse, hath elected

The Lord Nicanor for her Guardian,

Who, ’tis thought, shall after his decease,

Espouse the Princesse, and be heire of Sicill.


You told me of a Prince, you said was lost,

B3 Which B3v

Which you pronounc’d so feelingly, as if

It had beene your losse in particular.


Oh, it was mine, and every good mans else,

That is oblig’d to vertue and desert.


See how Report is subject to abuse.

I knew the Prince Lorenzo.


Did you, Sir?


But never knew in him any one sparke

Of worth or merit, that might thus inflame

The zeale of your affection.


Traytor, thou lyest.

Which I will prove ev’n to thy heart, thou ly’st,

I tell thee, thou hast committed such a sinne

Against his deare Report, that thy base life

Is farre too poore to expiate that wrong.

Sir, will you draw?


Forbeare, incensed man. I doe applaud

Thy noble courage, and I tell you, Sir,

The Prince Lorenzo was a man I lov’d

As dearely as my selfe: but pray resolve me;

Does he live or not?


He lives,

In our eternall memorie he lives: but otherwise,

It’s the generall feare of Sicily,

That he is dead, or in Captivitie.

For when Don John, the Spanish Generall,

Went with an Armie ’gainst the cruell Turkes,

In that still memorable Battell of Lepanto,

Our brave Lorenzo, too too vent’rous,

There lost his life, or worse, his libertie.


Hath not Time with his rude hand

Defac’d the Impression of his Effigies

In your memories yet?


No, nor will ever be, so long

As worth shall be admir’d, and vertue loved.


You know him, if you see him.

Iag. B4r


My Lord Lorenzo!


Rise, my worthy Friend,

I have made proofe of thy unfayned love.


Th’exceeding happinesse to see you well,

Is more then joy can utter: On my knees

I beg your pardon for th’uncivill speech

My ignorant tongue committed.


No, thus I’le be reveng’d.

Imbraces him.

I know thou lovest mee, and I must injoyne

Thy love unto an act of secresie,

Which you must not denie.


Sir, I obey.


Then thus it is, I must conjure your faith,

And privacie in my arrivall yet,

For I intend a while in some disguise

To observe the times and humors of the Court.


How meanes your Grace? can you indure to see

The Court eclipst with clouds of discontent,

Your father mourne your absence, and all hearts

Ore-whelm’d with sorrow, and you present, Sir?


Iago, I’me resolv’d:

Therefore what shape or humor I assume,

Take you no notice that I am the Prince.


Sir, I consent,

And vow to your concealement.


It is enough, my brother’s dead, thou saist:

I have some teares to spend upon his Tombe,

We are the next unto the Diadem,

That’s the occasion I obscure my selfe.

Happie’s that Prince, that ere he rules, shall know,

Where the chiefe errors of his State doe grow.

Act. II. B4v

Act II.

Enter Lisandro, and Loretta,


My Lord Lisandro, y’are met happily.


Loretta! welcome, welcome as my life.

How fares my dearest Saint?


Like a distressed Prisoner, whose hard fate

Hath bard her from all joy in losing you,

A torment which she counts insufferable.


This separation, like the stroke of death,

Makes a divorce betwixt my soule and mee;

For how can I live without her

In whom my life subsists?

For never did the Load-stone more respect

The Northerne Pole, by natures kind instinct,

Then my affections truly sympathize

With her, the Starre of my felicitie.


Therefore shee prayes you, henceforth to desist,

Respecting your owne safetie: Worthie Prince,

The times are troublesome and dangerous:

As for her selfe, she’s arm’d to undergoe

All malice that for you they can inflict.


Oh my Loretta! thou appli’st a balme

Worse then the wound it selfe: It is impossible

For me to live at all but in her sight.

But was this all shee said,

That I should leave her? Death could not ha’ spoke

A word more fatall to my soule and mee:

Let her injoyne mee to some other taske,

Tho it were greater then the sonne of Jove

Did for his Step-dame Juno ever act:

Let it be any thing, so I may not leave

Her sweet societie.

Lor. C1r


Then, here my Lord, read this.


I kisse thee for her sake, whose beautious hand

Hath here inclos’d so mild and sweet a doome.

See what a negative command shee hath

Impos’d upon my sloth to visit her,

As if she taxed my neglect so long:

But pardon, deare Leonida, I come

To intimate thy favor for my stay,

Tho thou wert garded with an host of men.

But how?

I must disguise me in some other shape,

For this is noted, and too full of danger.

Loretta, Who’s admitted best accesse

Unto thy Lady?


Frier Anthonie,

Her Graces Confessor.


As I could wish: I know the Frier well;

I must assume that shape; It is the best:

Loretta, weare this Jewell for my sake;

Nay, prethee take it, not as recompence,

But as a token of that future good

Shall crowne thy merits, with such height and honour,

Fortune shall be asham’d, and held a Foole,

To suffer poore desert to over-match her.

Exit Lis.


I humbly thanke your Grace: Why, here’s a gift

Able to make a Saint turne Oratrix,

And pleade ’gainst Chastitie: I must confesse,

Lisandro is a Noble Gentleman, and ha’s good gifts,

And is, indeed, gracious with my Ladie: Yet for all

that, wee poore Gentlewomen, that have no other for-

tunes but our attendance, must now and then make the

best use of our places: wee have president, and very lately

too. But who comes here? my Lord Nicanor?

Enter Nicanor.

Here’s another Client— I must devise some quaint de-

vice for him, to delude his frostie apprehension—

Oh I ha’t.

C Nic. C1v


Loretta, how is’t, wench? How thrives my suit,

ha? Hast broke with thy Lady yet?


He takes me for a Shee-Broker, but I’le fit him:

I have my Lord, but find her so obdure,

That when I speake, she turnes away her eare,

As if her mind were fixt on something else.

The other day, finding her Grace alone,

I came and mov’d your suit; told her how deare

She stood in your affection; and protested,

You lov’d her more then all the World beside.


Good, good: proceed.


At this she answer’d not a word,

But kept her eye still fixt upon me;

Then I begun agen, and told her Grace

(As from my selfe) how much your Honour

Had merited her favour by desert;

How great you stood ith’ generall eye of all,

And one selected by the King her Father,

(Since Prince Lorenzo’s death) to personate

The King of Sicill after his decease.


Excellent good i’faith. Then what said shee?


At this, I might perceive her colour change

From red to pale, and then to red againe,

As if disdaine and rage had faintly strove

In her confused brest for victorie.

At length, having recal’d her spirits,

She broke forth into these words; What, wilt thou

Conspire with youth and frailtie, to inforce

The rule of my affection ’gainst my will?

Tho’ my body be confin’d his prisoner,

Yet my mind is free. With that, shee charg’d mee

That I never should hereafter urge your suit;

And this was all the comfort that I could

From her with all my diligence attaine.


Cold comfort, Wench, but ’tis the generall fault

Of women all, to make shew of dislike

To C2r

To those they most affect: and in that hope

Thou shalt to her againe: No Citie

Ever yeelded at first skirmish. Before,

You came but to a parley, thou shalt now

Give an assault: There’s nothing batters more

A womans resolution, then rich gifts;

Then goe, Loretta.


’Las, my Lord, you know—


Feare nothing, Wench, give her this chaine of

With it my selfe.


My Lord, I’le see what I can doe with her,



What, Loretta? Oh, you looke for a fee:

Here, take this Gold: And if thou canst prevaile,

(Harke in thine eare) When I am King—


I thanke your Lordship: Ha, ha, ha—

Exit Lor.


This womans weaknesse was wel wrought upon,

Her words may take effect: ’Tis often seene

That women are like Diamonds; nothing cuts so soone

As their owne powder: yet there is one more

Will make a happy second,

Frier Anthonie her Confessor; such men as hee

Can prevaile much with credulous Penitents

In causes of perswasion. Hoe, within?

Enter Servant.


Your Lordship call?


Bid Frier Anthonie

Come visit mee with all speed possible,

I could not thinke upon a better Agent.

Their seeming sanctitie makes all their acts

Savour of Truth, Religion, Pietie,

And prove that love’s a heavenly Charitie,

Without which there’s no safetie. Here he comes.

Enter Lisandro like a Frier.


The benediction of the blessed Saints

Attend your honour.


Welcome, holy Frier.

C2 And C2v


And crowne your wishes to your hearts desire.


Amen, Anthonie,

I’le say Amen to that; but yet the meanes

To make mee happy, lies within thy power.


Your Honour may command mee.


Then ’tis thus;

Thou know’st with what a generall consent

Of all Sicilia I was prelected

By my dread Soveraigne, to espouse the faire

Yet fond Leonida; granting me for dower

The Crowne of Sicil, after his decease.


I hope, my Lord, there’s none dares question that.


To which intent, how many hopefull Princes

Have beene non-suted, onely for my sake?

And to prevent all meanes of their accesse,

Establish’d mee her Guardian: Now, the Princesse,

Although I have her Person, yet her Heart

I find estrang’d from mee, and all my love

Is quitted with contempt.


The Heavens forbid.


It is forbidden both by Heaven and Earth,

And yet Shee do’s it; and thou know’st then, Frier,

My hopes are frustrate. Therefore (holy Man)

Thou art her Counsel-Closet, her Confessor,

Of reverend opinion with the Princesse.


I doe conceive your Honour.


Be my Orator.


In what I may, my Lord.


If thou prevail’st,

I’le make thee Metropolitane of Sicil.


It shall be all my care.


Then farewell, Father.

Exit Nic.


All my Prayers attend yee.

So, here’s the fence throwne open; now my way

Is made before mee: Godamercy Cowle;

It is no marvell tho’ the credulous World

Thought C3r

Thought themselves safe from danger, when they were

Invested with this habit, ’tis the best,

To cover, or to gaine a free accesse,

That can be possible in any project.

How finely I have guld my Politician,

That covets Love, onely to gaine a Crowne?

But if my Love prove constant, Ile withstand

All his desires with a more powerfull hand.

Exit. Enter Leonida and Loretta.


Tell me, Loretta, Art thou sure ’twas he?


Madame, I live not else.


Thou do’st delude

My feares with fond impossibilities:

Prethee resolve me truly, I do long

Most infinitely.


Not a syllable more now,

And ’twould save your life: not be beleev’d?


Nay, sweet Loretta.

Troth, I doe beleeve thee.



I could fight with any living creature,

In this quarrel ’tis so just.


Have I deserv’d

No more respect, then to be trifled thus?

Come, prethee tell me.


Yes? to delude

Your feares with fond impossibilities?


Nay, now thou tortur’st me.


Well, I have done.

But leave your sighes, your heigh-ho’s and ay-me’s:

For I have newes will warme you like the Sunne,

And make you open like the Marigold.


Why, now thou ravish’st me.


I heard you not cry out yet.


Thou takest such a delight in crossing me.

C3 Lor. C3v


’Faith, now you talke of Crosses, Ile tell you,

You have chosen a Husband, so handsome, so complete,

As if he had beene pickt

Out of the Christ-Crosse row.


As how, I prethee?


Why, Madame, thus:

Ile begin with A. and so proceed to the latter end of the

Alphabet, comparing his good parts as thus: for A. hee is

Amiable, Bountifull, Courteous, Diligent, Eloquent,

Faithfull, Gracious, Humble, Joviall, Kind, Loving,

Magnanimous, Noble, Patient, Quiet, Royall, Secret,

Trustie, Vigilant, Wittie, and Xceeding Youthfull. Now

for Z, he’s zealous: so I conclude, pray God hee bee not



An excellent observation.


Who doe you think’s in love with you?

The old Dragon Nicanor, that watches the fruit of your



Oh, that newes is stale.


He met but just now, and would needs know,

What returne I had made of his Adventure.

But I devised such a Tale for my old Marchant,

Able to make a Bankrout at report,

But he not withstanding fraughts me agen,

With that he was not able, but with this,

This Chaine of Pearle.


Prethee, away with it, Ile not be chain’d to him.


Faith, and ’tis true, a Chaine is the worst Gift

A Lover can send his Mistris, ’tis such an Embleme

Of bondage hereafter. Who’s that?

Enter Lisandro.




How fares my worthy Daughter?


Ev’n as one

Devo- C4r

Devoted unto sorrow, griefe and mone.


Then I must blame you, Ladie, you doe ill,

To blast those Rosiall blossomes. Will you kill

This gift of Nature, Beautie in the prime?


Father, I understand not what you say:

The other day you talkt of Penitence,

Commended Patience, Sorrow and Contrition,

As Antidotes against the soules decay:

And now, me thinkes, you speake of no such thing.


Mistake me not, deare Daughter, I spake then,

Onely to mortifie the sinfull minde,

But now I come with comfort, to restore

Your fainting spirits that were griev’d before:

But Daughter, I must chide you.


Father, why?


For your neglect, and too much crueltie

To one that dearely loves you.


Whom in the name of wonder?


On my life,

This Frier’s made an agent in my suit.


The hope of Sicill, Map of true Nobilitie,

Patterne of Wisdome, Grace and Gravitie.


You prayse him highly, ha’s he ne’r a name?


Yes, is’t my Lord Nicanor.


Oh, is’t he?

His gray head shewes his wisdomes gravitie:

And are you made his Agent,

His Advocate, to play the spokesman? Fie.


Daughter, this is a worke of Charitie,

A holy action to combine in one:

Two different hearts in holy Union.


Frier, no more.

I doe not like of these perswasions,

Either ya’re not the same you seeme to be,

Or all your Actions are Hypocrisie,

My Faith is past alreadie, and my heart

In- C4v

Ingag’d unto a farre more worthy man:

Lisandro is the Prince my love hath wonne.


Then here the Frier concludes: my taske is done.


Lisandro, my deare Love!


The same, sweet Princesse.


Oh, you were too adventrous, dearest Love,

What made you undertake this hard attempt?


Your love, sweet Lady,

That makes all things easie.


Oh, I am made immortall with thy sight:

Here let me ever live: I feare not now

The worst that Fate or Malice can afflict:

I have enough, having thy companie.


And when I leave to love you, vertuous Madame,

Upon that minute, let me leave to live,

That love and life may both expire together.


Come, leave your prating and protesting,

And get you both in, and be naught awhile.

’Tis dangerous talking here in publike,

Good Frier, look my Ladie dye no Nun.

Exit Le. & Lis.

Heigho! now could I with my Sweet-heart

Heere too, I feele such a tickling, somewhere

About me: if he were here now, I would

Never cast such an unwilling deniall upon him

As I have done, having so good a president as I have.

But stay, who’s this?

As true as I live, ’tis he.

Oh, sweet Rogue, thou art come

In the happiest minute.

Enter Scanfardo.


Am I, Loretta? Masse, I like that well.

What, all alone? I like that better too.

But where’s the Princesse?


Oh, she’s safe enough!

Scan D1r


Is she indeed? I like that best of all.


And so do’s shee, I warrant yee,

Or any woman else, that’s in her Case: ha, ha, ha!


There’s something in the wind now, that you

laugh at.


Nothing indeed, sweet Love: but ha, ha!

I laugh at an odde Jest.


Come, I must know’t.


’Deed but you must not.


Why? Dare you not trust me?


Yes, I dare: but

As you are a man, reveale it not.


In troth, Ime angry, that you should mistrust me.


The Frier, the Frier: ha, ha, ha!

He that the Lord imploy’d to be his Agent,

Who doe you thinke it was?


Father Anthonie, wast not?


The Devill it was: no faith,

It was, ha, ha, ha!

It was no other, then Lisandro Prince of Naples,

That stole to my Lady in that Habit,

And guld your Lord most palpably.


Is’t possible?

And where are they now?


Why? faith th’are ev’n at,

Ha, ha, ha, ha!

But good Sweet-heart, be silent.


Not a syllable I: it was a bold attempt,

Knowing ’twas death, if but discovered once.

But come, Sweet-heart, weele ev’n doe,

As our betters have done before us,

The example is easly followed,

Having so good a Schoole-mistris.

Shall we to bed?


Fye, servant, how you talke?

Troth you are to blame, to offer to assault

D The D1v

The chastitie of any Gentlewoman,

Upon advantage.


Pox, leav this forc’d modesty: for by this hand,

I must enjoy you now before we part.


I have so farre ingag’d my selfe, you know,

’Tis now vaine to resist.


Why, now I like thee well.

Where shall we meet?


In the with-drawing Chamber, there I lye.


Goe then, Ile follow.


Ile put out the light.


No matter, I shall find the way i’the darke.

Here was a strange discoverie but indeed,

What will not women blab to those they love?

I am very loth to leav my sport to night,

And yet more loth to lose that rich reward

My Lord will give for this discoverie,

Chiefly to be reveng’d upon his rivall:

Ile not forsake it, Venerie is sweet.

But he that has good store of gold and wealth,

May have it at command, and not by stealth.

Exit. Enter Lisandro and Leonida.


’Tis late, deare Love.


You shall not part from me,

Good sooth, you shall not. Frier Anthonie,

You say, is faithfull: for Loretta’s truth

I dare ingage my life.


Why, so you doe:

Should she prove false, both yours and mine, you know,

Are forfeit to the Law.


You are secure.

Mistrust not then: true love is void of feare.

No danger can afflict a constant mind.

This is no durance, no imprisonment,

Rather a Paradise in joying thee:

My libertie alone consists in thee.

Lis. D2r


That is the reason, Ime so jealous, Sweet,

Since in my freedome both our lives remaine.

As for my selfe, what perill could be thought,

I would not undergoe to gaine your love?

Were it to scale the flaming Ætna’s top:

Whose sulphurous smoke kils with infection,

Cut through the Northerne Seas, or shoote the Gulfe?

Or —


I doe beleeve thee, Sweet.


But yet this houre

Is not frequented by your Confessor, there lyes the dan-



I ha’ confest to thee, from morne till night,

From night till morne againe, all my transgression.

Enter Nicanor.


Were I your Confessor, I know you would

Both sinne, and be confest.


Breake ope the doore.


By Heaven, we are betrai’d.


Oh my deare Love.


My thoughts presag’d as much.

Enter Nicanor
and a Guard.

What shall we doe?


Do not resist, Lisandro, stand: the worst,

We can but dye.

Oh, this Loretta, false, inhumane wretch!


Lay hands upon them both. Is’t so indeed?

Is this the zeale of your Confession?

I feare, death gives the absolution.


Hence, doting Foole, more welcome far is death,

Then to bee linkt to Ages Leprosie.



Beare um away into their severall Wards.

Let them be guarded strongly, till such time

I shall acquaint my Soveraigne with this Plot.

Rather then lose the Royall Dignitie,

Ile strive to ruine a whole Progenie.

D2 Act. D2v

Act. III.

Enter Atticus, Iago, Nicanor, two Judges,
Notarie, and Attendants.


How full of troubles is the state of Kings,

Abroad with Foes, at home, with faithlesse Friends,

Within with cares, without, a thousand feares?

Yet all summ’d up together, doth not make

Such an impression in our troubled thoughts,

As this one Act of disobedience

In our owne Issue.


Gracious Soveraigne, yet for that high respect,

Be favourable: she is your Daughter.

1. Jud.

And the onely hope

Of all Sicilie, since Lorenzo’s losse.


Bring to the Barre the Prisoners: this offence

Hath lost in us a Father and a Friend,

And cals for Justice from us, as a King:

Yet thinke not, Lords, but ’tis with griefe of mind,

Nor can a Father easly forget a Daughter,

Whom hee once so dearely lov’d:

Yet we had rather become Issulesse,

Then leave it noted to Posteritie,

An Act of such Injustice.

2. Jud.

Yet, dread Liege,

Oh, doe not too much aggravate the crime,

Rather impute it to their childish love.


To love, my Lords? if that were lowable,

What Act so vile, but might be so excus’d?

The Murderer, that sheddeth guiltlesse bloud,

Might plead, it was for love of his Revenge,

The Felon likewise might excuse his theft,

With love of money, and the Traytor too

Might say, It was for love of Soveraigntie.

And indeed, all offenders so might plead.

A Barre. There- D3r

Therefore, my Lords, you that sit here to Judge,

Let all respect of persons be forgot,

And deale uprightly, that you may resemble

The highest Judge, whose seat on Earth you hold:

And for you know, the Lawes of Sicilie

Forbid to punish two, for one offence,

Let your care be to find the principall,

The Primus Motor that begun the cause;

For the effect (you see) is but the issue

That one of them may worthily receive

Deserved death; the other, may be sent

(As lesse offending) into banishment.

Exit King. The prisoners brought to
the Barre by a Gard.
Enter Lisandro,
and Leonida.

1. Judg.

Th’ offence wherewith you both stand tax’d

Appeares so manifest in grosse, that now

We need not question all particulars

In publique here: yet your triall shall

Be honourable, as your Persons were

Before this blacke Impression. Therefore say,

Which of you two begun th’ occasion,

By any meanes, direct or indirect?

And answer truely, as you looke for grace.


’Twas I, my honour’d Lords.


My Lords, ’twas I.


Let not this honourable Court be swaid

By false suggestions; that the fault was mine,

Appeares as manifest as mid-dayes Sunne,

’Twas I that first attempted, su’d, and prai’d,

Us’d all the subtile engins Art could invent,

Or Nature yeeld, to force affection,

Onely to gaine the royall Princesse love;

For what can Women above weaknesse act?

Or, what Fort’s so strong, but yeelds at length

To a continued siege?

Th’ attempt, I knew, was hard and dangerous:

D3 There- D3v

Therefore more honourable in the conquest;

Which ere I would have left, I would ha’ past

More dangers then ere Jason under-went.

Then, since you see (my Lords) the guilt was mine,

Pardon the Princesse, Mee to death resigne.


Pardon (my Lords) Lisandro, let me dye:

If ever you’le performe an act of justice

Shall make you truely famous, doe it here,

Here upon me; the guilt alone is mine:

’Twas this alluring face, and tempting smiles,

That drew on his affections. Say that Hee

Did first commence the suit; the fault was mine

In yeelding to it: ’Tis a greater shame

For women to consent, then men to aske:

And yet, before he spoke, I had ingag’d

My heart and love to him, unask’d, unpraid,

And then (you know) how soone our eyes discovers

The true affection that we beare our Lovers:

Then since the guilt alone remaines in Mee,

Let me be judg’d, and set Lisandro free.

2. Judg.

This knot is intricate.


’Tis fallacie.

Who can alledge one Article ’gainst her?

Th’ offence was, breaking of the Kings command,

That none, on paine of death, should visit her,

Unlesse appoynted by the King himselfe;

And that alone was mine: ’Twas my device:

I tooke the borrowed shape; I broke the Law,

And I must suffer for’t: Then doe not wrong

Her spotlesse Chastitie.

4. Judg.

How, Chastitie?


If any here conceive her otherwise,

That very thought will damne him:

She’s as chaste

As ere your Mothers in their cradles were,

For any act committed.

2. Judg. D4r

2. Judg.

Harder still.

1. Judg.

A confused Labyrinth: we shal ne’r wind out.


My Lords, beleeve him not; the guilt lies here:

’Twas I that sent him that deluding shape,

In which he got admittance; The offence

Rests onely here: And therefore (good my Lords)

Let the condemning sentence passe on mee;

Or else, I will protest to all the world,

You are unjust;

And take my death upon’t.


Fie, Madam, how you wrong your innocence!

And seeming (Lady) to be pittifull

To mee, you are most cruell; for my life

Should be a willing sacrifice to death,

To expiate the guilt of my offence.

Remember what continuall paines I tooke,

By messages, intreaties, gifts, and prayers,

To win your favour, deare Leonida.

Justice in this will be Impietie,

Unlesse it here be shew’d. I beg it may.


I beg against him: He is innocent;

The fact alone was mine: I was the first,

The middle, and the end;

And Justice here must end,

Or ’tis injustice.

Enter King.


Is the sentence given?

2. Judg.

Not yet, my Lord: We are as far to seeke,

In the true knowledge of the prime Offender,

As at the first; for they plead guilty both;

Both strive to aggravate their owne offence,

And Both excuse each other. On our lives,

We cannot yet determine where’s the cause.


It is impossible

That sacred Justice should be hudwink’t still,

Though she be falsly painted so; Her eyes

Are D4v

Are cleare, and so perspicuous, that no cryme

Can maske it selfe in any borrowed shape,

But shee’le discover it. Let um be returnd

Backe to their severall Wards, till we devise

Some better course for the discovery.


Dread Soveraigne, I know no better way,

Then to assay by torture, to inforce

A free confession, severall, one from other:

For though they now, out of affection,

Plead their owne guilt, as if they feard not death;

Yet, when they feele him sting once, then the care

Of life, and safetie, will discover all.


My Lord Nicanor, this is ill advis’d,

Savoring too much of force and tyrannie.

Is’t fit that Princes should subject themselves

To any tortures, such as are prepared

For base Offendors? ’Tis ignobly done,

So to incense the King.


How, Sir!


Ev’n so:

You shew a proud aspiring mind, my Lord,

After a Kingdome, that would ruinate

Two royall Lovers for so small a fact:

But, Marke my words, Nicanor; Ere the Crowne

Impale thy Temples by Her timelesse end,

Mine and five thousand lives shall all expire.


I wey thy words not this.


Nor I thy frowne;

I’le incense one, shall quickly pull you downe.



How’s your opinion then,

To search it out?

1. Judg.

My Liege, we know no better way then this,

Let there be publique Proclamation made

Throughout the Kingdome, that there may be found

Two Advocates, to plead this difference

In publique disputation, Man and Woman,

The E1r

The wisest, and the best experienc’d

That can be found, or heard of in the Land:

Or any such will proffer of themselves

To undertake the plea; For, questionlesse,

None are so impudent to undergoe

So great a controversie, except those

That know themselves sufficient.


Wee are pleas’d.

See it effected with all the speed you can:


The charge be yours, my Lord. Dissolve the Court.

Enter Iago and Lorenzo, disguised like
an Amazon.


Has my poore Sister then withstood a triall?


I, and behav’d her selfe

Most royall, and discreetly: Insomuch,

Shee put the Judges to a non-plus, Sir;

Defending and excusing eythers cause,

Untill Nicanor, with his kind advice,

Desir’d the King they might be tortured,

To see if that would force confession.


Was he the onely Tyrant? Well, ere long

It may be in Our power to quittance him.

I’me glad I know the Serpents subtiltie.

But how concluded they?


I was so vext,

I could not stay a full conclusion.

The Prisoners were dismist before I came:

But how they did determine afterwards,

I long to heare. But what intends your Grace

In this disguise?


To visit the sicke Court,

And free my Sister from captivitie,

With that good Prince Lisandro.

Enter Misogynos and Scanfardo.


A Woman!

Why the more I thinke of their wickednesse,

E The E1v

The more incomprehensible I find it;

For they are, coozening, cologuing, ungrateful, deceitful,

Wavering, waspish, light, toyish, proud, sullen,

Discourteous, cruell, unconstant; and what not?

Yet, they were created, and by nature formed,

And therefore of all men to be avoyded.


Oh impious conclusion! What is hee?


I ne’r had conversation with him yet;

But (by report) I’le tell you, He’s a man,

Who’s breeding has beene like the Scarrabee,

Altogether upon the excrement of the time;

And being swolne with poysonous vapors,

He breakes wind in publique, to blast the

Reputation of all Women; His acquaintance

Has bin altogether amongst Whores and Bawds,

And therefore speakes but in’s owne element.

His owne unworthie soule deformitie,

Because no Female can affect the same,

Begets in him despaire; and despaire, envie.

He cares not to defame their very soules,

But that he’s of the Turkes opinion: They have none.

He is the Viper, that not onely gnawes

Upon his Mothers fame, but seekes to eat

Thorow all Womens reputations.


Is’t possible! that Sicilie should breed

Such a degenerate Monster, shame of men?


Blame not your Countrie, he’s an Englishman.


I will not see the glories of that Sexe

Be-spawld by such a dogged Humorist,

And passe unpunisht.


What intends your Grace?


To undertake this just and honest quarrell,

In the defence of Vertue, till I have

Severely punisht his opprobrious word,

Committed against Women, who’s just fame

Merits an Angels Pen to register.

Scan E2r


Sir, you have alter’d me, I thanke you for’t.


Oh! they are all the very pits of Sin,

Which men, for want of wisdome, fall into.


I see it, Sir, and will proclaime as much.



Leave me, Iago.


I’me gone, sweet Prince.


Tell me, thou jangling Mastiffe, with what feare

Dar’st thou behold that too much wronged Sex,

Whose Vertues thou hast basely slander’d?


Ha, ha, ha.


Laugh’st thou, inhumane wretch? By my best

But that thy malice hath deserv’d revenge

More infamous, and publique, then to fall

By me in private, I would hew thy flesh

Smaller then Attomes.


What, have we here

A Woman rampant? ha!

Tempt me not, Syren, lest thou dost invoke

A Furie worse then Woman.


Hellish Fiend,

How dar’st thou utter such blasphemous words,

In the contempt of Women, whose deserts

Thy dunghill basenesse never could discerne?

Assure thy selfe, thy malice shall be plagu’d

Severely, as in justice thou deservst.


I wey not your threats this; spit out your poysons,

Till your gals doe burst, I will oppose you all;

I cannot flatter, I: nor will I fawne

To gaine a favor; Prayse the hand and foot,

And sweare your face is Angel-like, and lye

Most grosly. No, I will not do’t.

But when I come, it shall be in a storme,

To terrifie you all, that you shall quake

To heare my name resounding in your eares:

And Fortune, if thou be’st a deitie,

Give me but opportunitie that I

E2 May E2v

May all the follies of your Sex declare,

That henceforth Men of Women may beware.

Enter a Herald with a Proclamation, a Trumpet before
him, a great rabble of men following


Atticus, King of Sicilia, to all his loving Subjects
sendeth greeting: Whereas there is a doubtfull
question to be decided in publique disputation, which
concernes the honour of all men in generall, that is to say,
Whether the Man or the Woman in love, stand guilty of
the greatest offence: Know therefore, if that any man, of
what estate or condition soever, will undertake to defend
the equitie of men, against the false imputations of women,
let um repayre to the Court, they shall be honourably
entertayned, graciously admitted, and well rewarded.

God save the King.


Heaven preserve his Grace.


Fortune, I doe adore thee for this newes:

Why, here’s the thing I lookt for; ’tis a prize

Will make me ever famous. Herald, stay,

I will maintaine the Challenge, and approve

That women are first tempters unto love.

I’le blazon forth their colours in such sort,

Shall make their painted cheekes looke red, for um

To have them noted theirs, that all may know

That women onely are the cause of woe.


A Champion, a Champion!

Exeunt. Enter a Woman with a Proclamation, and as many
Women as may be, with a Trumpet
afore them.


Aurelia, Queene, by the especiall priviledge of
the Majestie of Sicilia, to all Ladies, gentle and others, of
the Female Sex, sends greeting: Whereas there is a questionstion E3r
to be decided in publike disputation before, an Honourable
Assembly of both parts, that is, whether the
man or the woman in love comit the greatest offence, by
giving the first and principall occasion of sinning: therefore
know, that if any woman will undertake to defend
the innoncency of women, against the false imputations
of detracting men, let her repaire to the Court, shee shall
bee honourably entertayned, graciously admitted, and
well rewarded. God save the Queene.


Heavens preserve her.


I doe accept it, tis a cause so just,

In equitie and vertue, in defence

Of wronged women, whose distressed fames

Lye buried in contempt, whose Champion

I doe professe my selfe, and doe desire

No greater glorie, then to have that name.

What woman can indure to heare the Wrongs,

Slanders, Reproches, and base Forgeries,

That base men vaunt forth, to dimme the rayes

Of our weake tender Sex? But they shall know,

Themselves, not women, are the cause of woe.

A Champion, a Champion.

Exeunt Omnes. Enter Atticus, Misogynos, two Judges, Notarie, Cryer,
and Attendants ―― And then Lisandro, and
Hortensia guarded.


That Equitie and Justice both may meet,

In paralels, like to Apollo’s Twinnes,

We have ordayn’d this Session. In the which

Let all unequall and impartiall thoughts

Be laid aside, with such regard of truth,

As not the name of Daughter, or the Bloud

Which we call ours, running in her veines,

May any way divert us. Therefore goe on,

And take your seat, stout Champion, and prevaile,

As is the truth you deale for, in this doubtfull,

E3 And E3v

And much ambiguous businesse.


So I wish ――

Passe to his seat with Trumpets. Enter to them Aurelia, leading Atlanta, Loretta, and
two or three more women.


Brave Amazonian beautie, learned Atlanta,

Now is it time your intellectuall powers,

Of wit and judgement shou’d advance themselves

Against the forked tongues of Slanderers,

That pierce the spotlesse innocence of women,

And poyson sweetnesse with the breath of Malice.

So on, and take thy seat! It is our trust,

Th’event will prosper, for our cause is just.


That makes me confident ――

Passe to the seat.


Prepare the Court.


O yes! O yes! O yes! If there be any man ―― or
woman ―― in this Honourable Court ―― that can produce
―― any lawfull cause ―― against either of the Advocates
―― why they should not bee admitted ―― Let
them now speake, or for ever hereafter hold their peace ――


’Tis well. Now sweare the Judges.


Yee shall sweare by the sacred hand of Atticus,
not to respect the person of either of the Offendors: but
justly and truly to waigh and ballance the Reasons and
Arguments of the deputed Advocates, and thereupon
to determine and proceed in judgement, according to the
Lawes of this Iland, as you render the pleasure of Royall

Both Judg.

To this we freely sweare.


Now then, to your Arguments.


Atlanta, for poore innocent women.


Misogynos for the men.


It is an honour farre beyond my weaknesse,

(Most equall Judges) that I am accepted,

I but a woman, before men to plead,

Dumbe feare and bashfulnesse to speake before

Bold E4r

Bold Orators of State, men grave and wise,

That can at every breathing pause, correct

The slipp’ry passages of a womans speech:

But yet withall my hopes are doubly arm’d.

1. Judg.

How doubly arm’d?

2. Judg.

Presume not more then Reason.


First, that my bashfull weaknesse claymes excuse,

And is to speake before such temp’rate Judges,

Who in their wisdome will, no doubt, connive

At small defects in me a silly woman.

1. Law.

Smoothly put on.

2. Law.

A quaint insinuation.


Next, that the cause I handle, is so just,

And full of truth, as were corruption seated

Upon your hearts (as who can ever doubt

Wisdome shou’d so decline) I wou’d not feare,

But that my pregnant Reasons soone shou’d purge,

And clense your secret bosomes from untruth.

1. Law.

A promising Exordium.

2. Law.

The successe is all.


I need not tell you what I come to proove:

That rayling Woman-hater hath alreadie

With his foule breath belcht forth into the Ayre,

The shamelesse cause in question, and doth charge

The supple wax, the courteous natur’d woman,

As blamefull for receiving the impression

Of Iron-hearted man, in whom is graven,

With curious and deceiving Art, foule shapes

And stamps of much abhord impietie.

Wou’d any man, once having fixt his Seale

To any Deed, though after he repent

The Fact so done, rayle at the supple Wax,

As though that were the cause of his undoing?

O idle levitie! Wax hath’s use,

And woman easly beares the mans abuse.

1. Law.

Here’s a by-blow.

2. Law. E4v

2. Law.

How can my Fencer ward it?

Stay: he comes on.


Hum. Doe you wax upon me? as if man

Once having fixt the Seale of Armes of love,

On waxen-harted woman, though another

Came after him, and did adulterate

The stampe imprinted on her, she, forsooth,

Must still be held excus’d. ’Tis weake, and fond,

And woman-like: you flye on waxen wings,

That melt against the Sunne. Therefore attend,

And I will prove unto this honour’d Court,

In all their passions women are impetuous,

And beyond men, ten times more violent.


I grant you that. But who begins the motion,

And is first agent? for as I conceive,

That’s the cause in question.


Deluding woman.


Flattring and perjur’d man.


Did not th’ inticing beautie of a woman,

Set Troy on fire?


Did not man first begin

To tempt that beautie with the fire of lust?


Beautie first tempts to lust.


Lust tempteth Beautie:

Witnesse the vowes, the oaths, the protestations,

And Crocadile teares of base dissembling men,

To winne their shamelesse purpose: Whereof missing,

Then but observe their Gifts, their Messages,

Their wanton Letters, and their amorous Sonnets,

Whereby they vent the smoke of their affections.

Readie to blind poore women, and put out

The Eye of Reason. But if still they faile,

Then come they on with undermining cunning,

And with our Maides, our Pages and Attendants,

Corruptly worke and make insinuation,

Whilst they at hand with fained languishment,

Make F1r

Make shew as if they meant to dye for love,

When they but swelter in the reeke of Lust.

But heere’s not all: for if this all prevaile not,

Then are they up againe, and with pale cheekes,

Like some poore Starveling, or some Mimick Ghost,

They stalke into the presence of their Mistris,

Fold up their armes, hang downe their wanton heads,

Cast love-sicke glances, and as wofull Comma’s,

In this dumbe Oratorie, now and then they breathe

A passionate sigh, whereat the gentle nature

Of milde compassionate woman once relenting,

Straight they fall out into such sweet complaints

Of their sad suffrings, tuning words of Art,

Able to melt a gentle Eye in teares,

As they doe speake. Then with officious dutie,

They licke a Moat off from her upper garment,

Dust her curl’d Ruffe with their too busie fingers,

As if some dust were there: and many toyes

They use to please, till side by side they joyne,

And palme with palme supplies the amorous heart,

To pay a wanton kisse on Loves faire lips,

And then the Prize is wonne. Judge therefore, Lords,

Whether the guilt doth lye on us or them,

And as your Wisdomes find, save or condemne.

A Plaudite by the women with shouts, crying, “Atlanta,
Atlanta, Atlanta!”


Truth hath she said in all.


O, but the Art of Woman—

1. Jud.

Silence! you have no voice in Court.

2. Jud.

You have your Advocates, therefore must not

1. Law.

These Allegations are unanswerable.

2. Law.

The Court must needs allow them.


Bragge not too fast! for all this glorious speech,

Is but a painted Pageant, made to usher

Some homely Scavenger, and is borne up,

F Upon F1v

Upon the backes of Porters. It wants true worth,

To carrie State, and usher learned Judgement

Into this Court. For what a foolish reason,

Is it to say, Lust tempteth garish Beautie,

Because men court their wanton Mistresses,

In sundry formes of Complement? There’s not

A Citie Tradesman throughout all the Streets,

From the East Chappell, to the Westerne Palace,

But knowes full well the garish setting out

Of Beautie in their shops, will call in Customers

To cheapen ware: Beautie set forth to sale,

Wantons the bloud, and is mans tempting Stale.

1. Law.

How boldly he comes on?

2. Law.

But marke his reasons.


And this is woman, who well knowes her

And trimmes her Beautie forth in blushing Pride,

To draw as doth the wanton Morning Sunne,

The eyes of men to gaze. But marke their natures,

And from their Cradles you shall see them take

Delight in making Babies, devising Christnings,

Bidding of Gossips, calling to Up-sittings,

And then to Festivals, and solemne Churchings,

In imitation of the wanton ends,

Their riper yeeres will ayme at. But goe further,

And looke upon the very Mother of Mischiefe,

Who as her Daughters ripen, and doe bud

Their youthfull Spring, straight she instructs them how

To set a glosse on Beautie, adde a lustre

To the defects of Nature, how to use

The mysterie of Painting, Curling, Powdring,

And with strange Periwigs, pin knots, Bordrings,

To deck them up like to a Vintners Bush,

For men to gaze at on a Midsummer Night.

1. Law.

The tyde begins to turne.

2. Law.

Women goe downe.


This done, they are instructed by like Art,

How F2r

How to give entertainment, and keepe distance

With all their Sutors, Friends, and Favourites,

When to deny, and when to feed their hopes,

Now to draw on, and then againe put off,

To frowne and smile, to weepe and laugh out-right,

All in a breath, and all to trayne poore man

Into his ruine: Nay, by Art they know

How to forme all their gesture, how to adde

A Venus Mole on every wanton cheeke,

To make a gracefull dimple when she laughes:

And (if her teeth be bad) to lispe and simper,

Thereby to hide that imperfection:

And these once learn’d, what wants the Tempter now,

To snare the stoutest Champion of men?

Therefore, grave Judges, let me thus conclude:

Man tempts not woman, woman doth him delude.

A Plaudite by the Men with shouts, crying,
“Misogynos, Misogynos, Misogynos!”

1. Law.

Women, looke to’t, the Fencer gives you a


2. Law.

Beleeve it, he hits home.


Nay, I wou’d speake.

What Tyrannies, Oppressions, Massacres,

Women stand guiltie of: and which is more,

What Cities have beene sackt and ruinate,

Kingdomes subverted, Lands depopulated,

Monarchies ended? and all these by women.


Base snarling Dogge, bite out thy slandrous

And spit it in the face of Innocence,

That at once all thy rancour may have end:

And doe not still opprobriously condemne

Woman that bred thee, who in nothing more

Is guiltie of dishonour to her Sex:

But that she hath brought forth so base a Viper,

F2 To F2v

To teare her reputation in his teeth,

As thou hast done.


O doe not scold, good woman!

1. Jud.

Goe to the purpose.


I forgot my selfe:

Therefore, grave Judges, let this base Impostor

Tell me one man that ever gave his life,

To keepe his vow safe and inviolate,

Against the assaults of Lust: and for that one,

Ile find a thousand women, that to keepe

Their Chastities and Honours undefil’d,

Have laid their lives downe at base Tyrants feet.

A Plaudite by Women, crying, “Atlanta, Atlanta,

1. Law.

This is but a flourish.

2. Law.

The Fencers Schoole-play beares it.


What hath beene is not now: The Kalender

Of Women Saints is fild up long agoe:

For now a universall leprosie,

Like to an Inundation, over-flowes,

And breakes upon you all: scarce one is free

From wanton lightnesse and vaine levitie.


None like to Nero, and Heliogabulus.


Yes, wanton Hellen and Cleopatra.


I cou’d name more.


I, ten for one, of Women.


Sense-pleasing Sardanapalus is beyond

All Women that can be nam’d.


Ile name you one

Beyond all Men, th’insatiate Messalina:

Who when she had to satisfie her lust,

Imbrac’d the change of Lovers, and was weakened

So farre, she could no longer hold it out:

And being askt if then she were satisfied,

She answereredanswered, No: for though she then were tyr’d,

No F3r

No change could satisfie her appetite.

A Plaudite by the Men, crying, “Misogynos,
Misogynos, Misogynos.”


O monstrous impietie!


Stop the Detractors mouth: Away with him.


Teare him in pieces.


Silence in the Court.


It is enough: my Lords, proceed to judgement;

And lead away Misogynos to his Chamber.

The two Lawyers lead Misogynos away.

1. Judge.

Read the decree.


We the sworne Judges of this present Court,

In equall ballance having weigh’d the reasons,

And allegations of both Advocates,

In their late Declamations, doe adjudge,

And here conclude that—


Read out.


That women are the first and worst temptations

To love and lustfull folly: and to this

We are here present, ready to subscribe.


You are impartiall, and we doe appeale

From you to Judges more indifferent:

You are all men, and in this weightie businesse,

Grave Women should have sate as Judges with you.


’Tis true, ’tis true: Let us have justice.


It is decreed already; attend the judgement.


Yet at the last let your Aurelia kneele,

And for the Ofspring of your loynes and mine,

Begge favour.




You alwayes have bin just

In other causes; Will you in your owne

Be so unjust, severe, nay tyrannous?

The very Beasts, by naturall instinct,

F3 Pre- F3v

Preserve their issue; and will you be then,

More cruell and unnaturall then they?


Arise; and know, A King is like a Starre,

By which each Subject, as a Mariner,

Must steere his course. Justice in Us is ample,

From whom Inferiors will derive example.


Oh, be not so obdurate!


I’le heare no more.


Yet, gracious Sir, for my indevouring paines,

(Though fruitlesse now) let mee (a Stranger) beg

One boone —


But not the thethe freedome of Leonida.


Since she must die; I beg she may not basely

Be hurried forth amongst uncivill men;

But that your Queene, and I, and some few others,

With any one of your attendant Lords,

May see her execution.


Take your desire.


The blessed Heavens be thankfull to Atlanta.


And crowne her with all blessings.


Take my thanks too. And now, my Lords, proceed,

And give your finall censure.

Exit Attic. Cornets, a flourish.


Come, Atlanta, come;

Teares fill mine eyes, and Griefe doth strike me dumbe.

Exit Aur. Atlan. and all the Women.

1. Judge.

Leonida, By the judgement of this Court,

You are found guiltie as the Principall,

In the offence committed; for which, we doome you

(According to the Lawes of this our Iland)

To lose your Head.

2. Judge.

And you withall, Lisandro,

By the like Law, must within fifteene daies,

Betake you to perpetuall banishment.


Welcome, sweet death.

Lis. F4r


Nothing can expiate

The Kings severe Decree, and Her hard fate.



Enter Iago and Sforza, severall.


Health to your Honour.


Noble Sforza, thankes.


Have you not heard the newes?


Of what, my Lord?


Lisandro, and the Princesse.


Not as yet.


Then I’le resolve you.


Pray you doe, my Lord.


The Advocates both used their utmost skill,

To justifie and quit the Sex they stood for,

With arguments, and reasons so profound

On eyther side, that it was hard to say,

Which way the scale of Justice would incline.


I joy to heare it; And to say the truth,

Both Sexes equally should beare the blame;

For both offend alike. But pray’ proceed.


At length, the Advocate that stood for us,

Prevail’d so farre, with his forc’d Oratorie,

The Lord Nicanor too, abetting him,

That maugre all the Amazonians wit,

Which was (indeed) beyond expression,

The sentence past against the female Sex;

And the poore Princesse is adjudg’d to death.


The Heavens forbid! The Princesse doom’d to die?


Too true, my Lord: I heard the words pronounc’d.


A sentence most unjust, and tyrannous.

Where’s the Detractor?


Crown’d with Victorie,

And intertain’d with Triumph.

Iag. F4v


That just Heaven

Should suffer such an impious wretch to live!

I must goe looke the Princesse; when must she dye?


To morrow’s Sun beholds a daughters fall.


A Sunne must rise to night, to dimme that Sunne,

From the beholding such a horrid deed.

’Twas cruell in a King, for such a fact;

But in a Father, it is tyrannie.

Enter Misogynos.


Forbeare, my Lord, the times are dangerous.

See! here’s the Champion.


Looke how the Slave glories in his conquest,

How insolent he stalkes!

Shall we indure such saucie impudence?


Put up, put up, my Lord,

He is not worth our indignation:

Let us a-while observe him for some sport.

Enter Scanfardoe.


My noble Fencer, I congratulate

Your brave atchievements in the last dayes triumph.


I thanke you, Scholler. Was’t not bravely done?


Done like thy selfe: the spirits of Mantua

And old Diogenes doubled in thee.


I thinke, I have given

The Female reputation such a wound,

Will not be cured in haste.

Enter two Gentlemen.


Ha, ha, ha, ha; Pernicious slave.

1. Gent.

Worthie Misogynos.

2. Gent.

Noble Champion,

We doe applaud

Your merit, in the report

Of your late conquest.


Thanke you, Gentlemen;

Truth will prevaile, you see.

I speake not for my selfe, in my owne quarrel;

But the generall good of all men in the world.

1. Gent. G1r

1. Gent.

We know it, Sir.


Degenerate Monster, how he justifies

His slandrous forgeries?


But, Gentlemen,

How goes the rumour?

What do’s the Multitude report of mee?

1. Gent.

Oh Sir, the Men applaud you infinitely;

But the Women—


I respect not them:

Their curses are my prayers.


Oh damn’d Rogue!

1. Gent.

If you’le be rul’d by me, go shew your selfe

Amongst them all in publique: O ’twill fret

Their very galls in pieces.


That was well.

Some body second that, and we shall see

Excellent pastime; for they’le ne’r indure

His sight with any patience.


Doe i’faith,

That they may see you have conquer’d.


And I will.

But should they grow outragious—

2. Gent.

Feare not that: we’le all along with ye.


Will you conduct me safe unto my Schoole?


I, I, we’le be your Gard.



Oh what a Coward ’tis?


You doe him wrong:

He fights not with his hands, but with his tongue.

Why doe I trifle time? I’le to the Court;

This crueltie afflicts my very soule.

Good my Lord, joyne with me; we’le to the King,

And see if wee can alter this decree.

Oh ’tis a royall Princesse, faire, and chaste!


But her disdaine, my Lord, hath bin the cause

Of many hopefull Youths untimely end;

’Tis that has harden’d both the Commons hearts,

G And G1v

And many a noble Peeres.


Why, what of that?

It is not fit affection should be forc’d:

Let’s kneele unto his Grace for her release.

Justice (like Lightning) ever should appeare

To few mens ruine, but to all mens feare.


Scen. II.

Enter Nicanor, and a Gentleman.


The Princesse suffers then?


This Morning, Sir,

Unlesse the mercie of the King be found

More then is yet expected.


Oh my hearrt,

Canst thou indure to heare that heave sound,

And wilt not burst with griefe?


Nay, good my Lord:


Oh, worthie Sir, you did not know the joyes

That we all lost in her. She was the hope,

And onely comfort of Sicilia;

And the last Branch was left of that faire stocke;

Which (if she dye) is wither’d, quite decay’d.

But I have such a losse.


You have indeed:

Yours is the greatest of a particular:

For you have lost a beautious Spouse, my Lord;

And yet the rich hopes of a royall Crowne

Might mitigate your sorrow. You are next.


Doe not renew my griefe with naming that.

Oh that it were to morrow! happie day,

Bestow’d on some more meritorious,

That might continue long, for I am old.

I should be well content.


Say not so:

There’s no one merits that more then your selfe:

You are elected by the Kings owne house,

And G2r

And generall consent of all the Realme,

For the Successour after his decease:

Whose life pray Heaven defend.


Amen, Amen,

And send him long to raigne; but not on earth.

Sir, you are neere the King; Pray, if you heare

His Highnesse aske for me, excuse me, Sir:

You see my sorrow’s such, I am unfit

To come into the presence of a King.


I see it, Sir, and will report as much.


You will report a lye then; ha, ha, ha.

My Lungs will not afford me wind enough

To laugh my passions out. To gaine a Crowne,

Who would not at a funerall laugh and sing?

All men of wisedome would, and so will I:

Yet to the worlds eye, I am drown’d in teares,

And held most carefull of the King and State,

When I meane nothing lesse. Lorenzo’s dead:

The scornefull Princesse, that refus’d my love,

Is going to her death. The King, I know,

Cannot continue long: Then may I say,

As our Italian heires at fathers deaths,

“Quid Iude, Reine ta soll.”

The King alone made mee the King:

Me thinkes I feele the royall Diadem

Upon my head already; ha, ha, ha.

Exit. A dumbe shew.
Enter two Mourners, Atlanta with the Axe, Leonida
all in white, her haire loose, hung with ribans; supported
on eyther side by two Ladies, Aurelia
following as chiefe Mourner. Pase
softly over the stage.
A Song in parts. Whilst wee sing the dolefull knell Of this Princesse passing-bell, G2 Lte G2v Let the Woods and Valleys ring Ecchoes to our sorrowing; And the Tenor of their Song, Be ding dong, ding, dong, dong, ding, dong, dong, ding, dong. Nature now shall boast no more, Of the riches of her Store, Since in this her chiefest prize, All the Stocke of beautie dies; Then, what cruell heart can long Forbeare to sing this sad ding dong? This sad ding dong, ding dong. Fawnes and Silvans of the Woods, Nimphes that haunt the Cristall flouds, Savage Beasts more milder then The unrelenting hearts of men, Be partakers of our mone, And with us sing ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, dong, ding dong. Exeunt Omnes. Enter Misogynos, and Swash.




At your Buckler, Sir?


Perceivst thou nothing, Swash?


How meane you, Sir?


No strange signe of alteration; hum.


Beyond imagination.


How, good Swash?


Why, from a Fencer, you’re turn’d Orator.


Oh! Cedunt arma Togæ; that’s no wonder.

Perceivst thou nothing else? Looke I not pale?

Are G3r

Are not my armes infolded? my eyes fixt,

My head dejected, my words passionate,

And yet perceivst thou nothing?


Let me see, me thinkes, you looke Sir, like some

Desperate Gamester, that had lost all his estate

In a dicing House: you met not

With those Money-changers, did you?

Or have you falne amongst the female Sex,

And they have paid you for your last dayes worke?


No, no, thou are as wide, as short in my disease:

Thou never canst imagine what it is,

Unlesse, I tell thee. Swash, I am in love.


Ha, ha, ha, in love?


Nay, ’tis such a wonder, Swash, I scarce beleeve,

It can be so, my selfe, and yet it is.


The Devill it is as soone, and sooner too:

You love the Devill, better then a woman.


Oh, doe not say so, Swash, I doe recant.


In love? not possible:

This is some tempting Syren has bewitcht you.


Oh! peace, good Swash.


Some Cockatrice, the very Curse of man?


No more, if thou dost love me.


Your owne words.

I know not how to please you better, Sir.

Will you from Oratour, turne Heretike,

And sinne against your owne Conscience?


Oh, Swash, Swash!

Cupid, the little Fencer playd his Prize,

At severall weapons in Atlanta’s eyes,

He challeng’d me, we met and both did try

His utmost skill, to get the Victorie.

Lookes were oppos’d ’gainst lookes, and stead of words,

Were banded frowne ’gainst frowne, and words ’gainst

But cunning Cupid forecast me to recoile:

For when he plaid at sharpe, I had the foyle.

G3 Swash G3v


Nay, now he is in love, I see it plaine:

I was inspir’d with this Poeticall vaine,

When I fell first in love; God bo’y yee, Sir:

I must goe looke another Master.




Y’are a dead man: beleeve it, Sir,

I would not give two-pence for a Lease

Of a hundred pound a yeere made for your life.

Can you that have bin at defiance with um all,

Abused, arraigned um, hang’d um, if you could:

You hang’d um more then halfe, you tooke away

All their good names, I’me sure, can you then hope,

That any will love you? A Ladie, Sir,

Will sooner meet a Tinker in the street,

And try what Metall lyes within his Budget,

A Countesse lye with me, an Emperour

Take a poore Milke-maide, Sir, to be his Wife,

Before a Kitchen-Wench will fancie you.


Doe not torment me, misbeleeving Dolt,

I tell thee, I doe love, and must enjoy.


Who, in the name of women, should this bee?


What an obtuse Conception do’st thou beare?

Did not I tell thee, ’twas Atlanta, Swash?


Who, she Amazonian Dame, your Advocate,

A Masculine Feminine?


I, Swash,

She must be more then Female, has the power

To mollifie the temper of my Love.


Why, she’s the greatest enemie you have.


The greater is my glorie, Swash, in that

That having vanquisht all, I attaine her.

The Prize consists alone

In my eternall credit and renowne.

Oh, what a Race of wittie Oratours

Shall we beget betwixt us: Come, good Swash,

Ile write a Letter to her presently,

Which G4r

Which thou shalt carry: if thou speedst, I sweare,

Thou shalt be Swetnams Heire.


The Devill I feare,

Will dispossesse me of that Heritage.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1. Gent.

But are you sure she is beheaded, Sir?

2. Gent.

Most certaine, Sir, both by the Kings Decree,

And generall voyce of all, for instance see.

1. Gent.

The wofull’st sight,

That ere mine eyes beheld.

2. Gent.

A sight of griefe and horrour.

1. Gent.

It is a piece of the extremest Justice

That ever Memory can Register.

2. Gent

I, in a Father.

1. Gent.

Oh, I pray forbeare,

The time is full of danger every-where.

Exeunt. Enter Lisander, and the Guard.


Good gentle friends, before I leave the Land,

Suffer me to take my last fare-well

Of my owne dearest deare Leonida.

Accept this poore reward: would time permit.

I would more largely recompence your loves.

1. Gua.

You have prevail’d, my Lord, but pray bee

We are injoyn’d by strict Commission,

To see you shipt away this present tyde.


Indeed, I will.

1. Gua.

Then here you may behold,

All that is left of faire Leonida.



2. Gua.

How fare you, Sir.


Oh, Gentlemen,

Can you behold this sacred Cabinet,

Which Nature once had made her Treasurie?

But now broke ope by sacrilegious hands,

And G4v

And not let fall a teare: you are unkind.

Not Marble but would wet at such a sight,

And cannot you, strange stupiditie!

Thou meere Relike of my dearest Saint!

Upon this Altar I will sacrifice

This Offering to appeaze thy murd’red Ghost.

1. Gua.

Restraine, my Lord, this Passion, we lament

As much as you, and grieve unfaynedly

For her untimely losse.


As much as I? Oh, ’tis not possible.

You temporize with sorrow: mine’s sincere,

Which I will manifest to all the World.

See what a beauteous forme she yet retaynes,

In the despight of Fate, that men may see,

Death could not seize but on her mortall parts:

Her beautie was divine and heavenly.

1. Gua.

Nay, good my Lord, dispatch, the time’s but


Indeed, I will, to make an end of time:

For I can live no longer, since that she,

For whose sake onely, I held truce with time,

Hath left me desolate: no, divinest love,

What living was deny’d us, weele enjoy

In Immortalitie, where no Crueltie,

Under the forme of Justice, dare appeare.

Sweet sacred Spirit, make not too much haste

To the Elizian Fields, stay but awhile,

And I will follow thee with swifter speed,

Then meditation: thus I seale my vow.


Me thinkes, I feele fresh heat, as if her soule

Had resum’d her former seate agen,

To solemnize this blessed Union,

In our last consummation, or else it stayes,

Awayting onely for my companie:

It does, indeed, and I have done thee wrong,

To let thy heavenly eyes want me so long.

But now I come, deare Love, Oh, oh!

I. Gua H1r

1. Gua.

What sound was that?

2. Gua.

Oh, we are all undone,

The Prince has slaine himselfe: what shall we doe?

1. Gua.

There is no way but one, let’s leav the Land:

If we stay heere, we shall be sure to dye,

And suffer for our too much lenitie,

Though we are innocent.

2. Gua.

Then haste away:

The doome weele execute upon our selves,

And ship with speed for Holland, there, no doubt,

We shall have entertaynment,

There are warres threatned betwixt Spaine and them.

1. Gua.

Then let us hoyse up sayle, mercy receive

Thy soule to Heaven, Earth to Earth we leave.

Exeunt. Enter Atlanta.


What spectacle is this? A man new slaine,

Close by the Princes Herse! Who is’t? Oh, me,

The Noble Prince Lisandro. Cruell Fate,

Is there no hope of life? See, he looks up,

Ile beare him out of the ayre, and stop his wound:

If there be any hope, I have a Balme

Of knowne experience, in effecting cures

Almost impossible, and if the wound

Be not too deadly, will recover him.

Exit Lorenzo. Enter Aurelia and Iago.


Deare Queene, have patience.


How, Iago, patience?

Tis such a sinne, that were I guiltie of,

I should despayre of mercie. Can a Mother

Have all the blessings both of Heaven and Earth,

The hopefull issue of a thousand soules

Extinct in one, and yet have patience?

I wonder patient Heaven beares so long,

And not send thunder to destroy the Land.

H The H1v

The Earth, me thinkes, should vomit sulph’rous Damps,

To stifle and annoy both man and beast,

Seditious Hell should send blacke Furies forth,

To terrifie the hearts of tyrant Kings.

What say the people? doe they not exclaime,

And curse the servile yoke, in which th’are bound

Under so mercilesse a Governour?


Madame, in every mouth is heard to sound,

Nothing but murmurings and private whispers,

Tending to severall ends: but all conclude,

The King was too severe for such a Fact.

Enter Atlanta.


Atlanta, welcome, Oh my child, my child,

There lies the summe of all my miserie!


Gracious Madame, doe but heare me speake.


Atlanta, I should wrong thy merit else.

What wouldst thou say?

Something I know, to mitigate my griefe.


Rather to adde to your afflictions.

I am the Messenger of heavie Newes.

Lisandro, Prince of Naples,


What of him?


Beholding the sad object of his love,

His violent passion drove him to despayre,

And he hath slaine himselfe.


Disastrous chance!


I found him gasping for his latest breath,

And bore him to my Lord Iago’s house,

I us’d my best of skill to save his life:

But all, I feare, in vaine: the mortall wound

I find incurable: yet I prolong’d

His life a little, that yet he drawes breath:

Goe you and visit him with utmost speed:

The Queene and I will follow.


Goe? Ile runne.

Exit Iago.
Aur. H2r


Was ever Father so unmercifull,

But for that Monster that was cause of this,

That bloudie, cruell, and inhumane wretch,

That slanderous Detractor of our Sex:

That Misogynos, that blasphemous Slave?

I will be so reveng’d.

Enter Clowne.


Madame, no more,

He is not worth your wrath:

Let me alone with him.


Whist, doe you heare?


How now, what art thou?


Not your Servant, and yet a Messenger,

No Servingman, and yet an Usher too.


What are you then, Sir? speake.


That can resolve you, and yet cannot speake,

I am no Foole, I am a Fencer, Sir.


A Fencer, sirrah? ha, what Countrey-man?


This Countrey-man, forsooth, but yet borne in



How? borne in England, & this Countrey-man?


I have bin borne in many Countreyes, Madame,

But I thinke I am best be this Countrey-man,

For many take me for a silly one.


For a silly one?


I, a silly one.


Oh, Madame, I have such welcomenesse!


For me, what is’t?


The baytes of women have prevented us,

And hee has intrapt himselfe.


How, by what accident?


Love, Madame, love, read that.


How’s this?

To the most wise and vertuous Amazon,

Chiefe pride and glorie of the Female Sex.

H2 A H2v

A promising induction: what’s within?

Magnanimous Ladie, marvell not,

That your once Adversary do’s submit himselfe

To your unconquer’d beautie.


Cunning Slave.


Rather impute it to the power of love,

Whose heavenly influence hath wrought in me,

So strange a Metamorphosis.


The very quintessence of flatterie.


In so much, I vow hereafter, to spend all my

Devoted to your service, it shall be

To expiate my former blasphemies:

My desire is shortly to visit you.


It shall be to your cost then.


To make testimony of my hearty contrition,

Till when and ever I will protest my selfe,

To be the converted Misogynist.


Ha, ha, ha, why, this is excellent!

Beyond imagination.


You must not slip this opportunitie.


Ile not let passe a minute: his owne man

Ile make an instrument to feed his

Follies with a kind acceptance, and when he comes,

Let me alone to plot his punishment.


Excellent Atlanta, I applaud thy wit.


Ile make him an example to all men,

That dares calumniate a womans fame.

Attend an answere, Ile reward thee well.


I thanke your Madame-ship, Ime glad o’ this.

Tis the best hit that ever Fencer gave.

Exeunt. Enter Atticus, Iago, Sforza, and Nicanor.


How took the Girle her death? did she not rave?

Exclaime upon me for the Justice done

By a just Father? how tooke Naples sonne

His Exile from our Land? What, no man speake?

My H3r

My Lords, whence springs this alteration?

Why stand you thus amaz’d? Methinks your eyes

Are fixt in Meditation; and all here

Seeme like so many sencelesse Statues,

As if your soules had suffer’d an eclipse,

Betwixt your judgements and affections:

Is it not so? ’Sdeath, no man answers?

Iago, you can tell: I’me sure you saw

The execution of Leonida.

Not yet a sillable? If once agen

We doe but aske the question, Death tyes up

Your soules for ever. Call a Heads-man there.

If for our daughter this dumbe griefe proceed,

Why should not We lament as well as you?

I was her father; whose deare life I priz’d

Above mine owne, before she did transgresse:

And, could the Law have so bin satisfi’d,

Mine should ha’ paid the ransome of her cryme.

But, that the World should know our equitie,

Were she a thousand daughters she should die.


I can forbeare no longer. Then (Sir) know,

It was about that time, when as the Sunne

Had newly climb’d over the Easterne hils,

To glad the world with his diurnall heat,

When the sad ministers of Justice tooke

Your daughter from the bosome of the Queene

Whom now she had instructed to receive

Deaths cold imbraces with alacritie:

Which she so well had learn’d, that shee did strive,

Like a too forward Scholler, to exceed

Her Teachers doctrine,

So cheerefully she went unto the Block,

As if shee’d past unto her nuptiall bed.

And as the trembling Bride when she espies

The Bridegroome hastily unclothe himselfe,

And now beginning to approch the bed,

H3 Then H3v

Then she began to quake and shrinke away,

To shun the separation of that head,

Which is imaginary onely, and not reall.

So, when she saw her Executioner

Stand readie to strike out that fatall blow,

Nature, her frailtie, and the alluring world,

Did then begin to oppose her constancie:

But she, whose mind was of a nobler frame,

Vanquish’d all oppositions, and imbrac’d

The stroke with courage beyond Womans strength;

And the last words she spoke, said, I rejoyce

That I am free’d of Fathers tyrannie.


Forbeare to utter more. We are not pleas’d

With these unpleasing accents: Leave the world

So cheerefully, and speake of tyrannie:

She was not guiltie sure, We’le heare no more.


Sir, but you shall: since you inforc’d me speake,

I will not leave a sillable untold.

You ask’d if Naples sonne were banish’d too?

Yes, he is banish’d ever from the sight

Of mortall eyes againe: for he is dead.


Lisandro dead! By what occasion?


I scorne to answer thee. The King shall know,

It was his chance upon that haplesse houre,

To passe that way, conducted by his gard,

Towards his banishment: where he beheld

The wofull object of the Princesse head:

There might you see love, pittie, rage, despaire,

Acting together in their severall shapes;

That it was hard to judge, which of all those

Were most predominant. At last, despaire

Became sole Monarke of his passions,

Which drew him to this error: Having got

Leave of his gard to celebrate his vowes,

Unto that precious relique of his Saint,

Where having breath’d a mournfull Elegie,

After a thousand sighs, ten thousand grones,

Still H4r

Still crying out, Leonida, my love.

Then, as his death were limited by hers,

He sacrifiz’d his life unto her love:

For there (unluckily) he slew himselfe.


The King’s displeas’d, my Lord.


No matter: I’me glad I touch’d his conscience

To the quicke. Did you not see

How my relation chang’d his countenance,

As if my words ingendred in his brest

Some new-bred passions?


Yes, and did observe

How fearefully he gaz’d upon us all:

Enter Queene.

Pray heaven it prove not ominous.


The Queene!


Where is this King? this King? this tyrant? He

That would be cald The just and righteous King,

When in his actions he is most unjust;

Beyond example, cruell, tyrannous?

Where is my daughter? Where’s Leonida?

Where is Lusippus too, my first borne hope?

And where is deare Lorenzo? dead? all dead?

And would to God I were intomb’d with them,

Emptie of substance. Curse of Soveraigntie,

That feed’st thy fancie with deluding hopes

Of fickle shadowes; promising to one,

Eternitie of fame; and unto all,

To be accounted wise and vertuous,

Observing but your Lawes and just decrees;

That under shew of being mercifull,

Art most unkind, and cruell: nay, ’tis true.

Goe where thou wilt, still will I follow thee,

And with my sad laments still beat thy eares,

Till all the world of thy justice heares.

Ex. King,
and Qu.


This Physick works too strongly, and may prove a

deadly potion. Sforza, good my Lord, if any anger be

’twixt you and I, let it lye buried now; and let’s devise

some pastime to suppresse this heavinesse. A melancholy

King makes a sad Court.

Iag. H4v

Iago[Speaker label not present in original source]

I never heard him speake so carefully

Of the Kings welfare. I, with all my heart.


Who’le undertake this charge?


I will, my Lord: Let the device be mine.


I’le get the Amazon to joyne with you:

Her rare invention, and experience too,

In forraine Countries may availe you much,

In some new quaint conceit.


Doe, good my Lord:

I’de ha’t assoone presented as I could.


To night, if it be possible: farewell.

I must goe looke her out.


Ha, ha, ha, ha.

So by this meanes, I shall expresse my selfe

Studious and carefull.

Scen. II.

Enter Atlanta and Aurelia.


But dost thou thinke hee’le come?


He cannot chuse.

I sent him such a loving answer backe

By his Solliciter, able to make

An Eunuch to come with the conceit.

The houre’s almost at hand. Madam, command

A banquet be set forth: My charge shall be

Enter with a Banquet, Women.

To give him intertainement: whilst your Grace,

Loretta, and the Ladies of your traine,

Or any others you shall please to appoint,

Be ready to surprise him. So ’tis well.

Now leave the rest to mee.


My deare Atlanta, I commend thy care.


Call it my dutie, Madam, and the love

I owe to sacred vertue, to defend

The I1r

The fame of women. All withdraw awhile,

Ex. Women.

I thinke I heare him comming. I, ’tis he.

Enter Misogynos and Swash.


This is the place, Sir, she appoynted you.


Is this the Orchard then,

Where I must pluck the fruit from that faire tree?


I would it might prove Stone-fruit,

And so choke him.


Ha! what’s here? a banquet?


Banquet? Where?


Readie prepar’d? why, this is excellent!

What a kind creature ’tis?


Did not I say

How monstrously she lov’d you? Come, fall to.


Before my Mistresse come?


I’faith Sir, I;

This is but onely a provocative,

To make you strong and lustie for the incounter.


And here’s Wine too;

Nothing but Bloud and Spirit.

Fall to, Swash.


A sweet thing is love,

That fills both heart and mind:

There is no comfort in the world,

To women that are kind. Here, Sir, I’le drinke to you.


I would she would come away once: Now, methinks,

I could performe. And see! but wish and have.

Enter Atlanta.


Oh. are you come? I see you keep your houre.


I should be sorry else.


Nay, keepe your place.


Will you sit downe then? Sirrah? Walke aloofe,


Let him be doing something. Here, take this.


I have made bold to taste your Wine and Cates,

And when you please, we’le try the operation.



I Mi I1v


You know my mind.


You men are all so fickle, that poore we

Doe not know whom to trust.

But doe you love me truely?


By this kisse.


No, save that labour, Sir: I’le take your word.

Yet, how should I beleeve you, when so late

You rail’d against our Sex, and slander’d us?


Oh doe not thinke of that, that’s done and gone.

Doe not recall what’s past. I now recant:

And (by this hand) I love thee truly, Love.


May I beleeve all this?


Come hither, Swash.

How often have I sworne to thee alone,

I lov’d this Lady; never none but shee?


Yes, truely, that he has.


You may be proud, I tell you, of my love,

There is a thousand Women in this Towne,

To imbrace me, would clap their hands for joy,

And run like so many wild Cats.


That they would,

I dare be sworne for um,

And hang about him like so many Catch-poles,

He would ne’r get from um,

And yet this happinesse is profer’d you.


Which I cannot refuse,

You have, you know, such a prevayling tongue,

No woman can deny you any thing.


Why, that was kindly spoke. Where shall wee


Hearke in your eare, I’le tell you.


Best of all.




Doe you thinke mesuchme such a foole?


Till then farewell: I’le speedily returne.

Ex. Atl.


Why law now, Swash, I told thee she would yeeld,

No woman in the world can hold out long.

Oh I2r

Oh beware when a man of Art courts a woman.


I, or a Fencer, Sir: We lay um flat before us.

But, pray you tell me, Master, Doe you love

This Lasse sincerely?


Ha, ha, ha. Love? that were a jest indeed,

To passe away the time for sport, or so;

Th’are made for nothing else:

And he that loves um longer, is a foole.


Me thinkes ’tis pittie to delude her, Sir:

I’faith she’s a handsome wench.


Away, you Asse.

Delude? what are they good for else?

Enter Atlanta.

She comes againe. Out of the Orchard, Swash.

Welcome, Sweet heart.


Are you in private, Sir?


There’s not an eye under the Horizon

That can behold us; If Suspicion tell,

I’le beat her blind as ever Fencer was.


Sir, now you talke of Fencing, I heare you

Professe that noble Science.


’Tis most true.


I love you, Sir, the better; ’tis a thing

I honour with my heart. If any one

Should scandalize or twit me with your love,

You can defend my fame, and make such men—


Creepe on their knees, aske thee forgivenesse,

Or any other base submission.


Oh, what a happinesse shall I injoy?

But can you doe this if occasion serve?


Would some were here to make experience,

That thou mightst see my skill.


Sir, that will I.

Strike him.


How’s this?


Impudent slave,

How dar’st thou looke a woman in the face,

I2 Or I2v

Or commence love to any: Specially to mee?

Thou know’st I’me vow’d thy publique enemie,

Which this, and this, and this shall testifie.


Oh that I had a weapon, thou shouldst know,

A thousand women could not stand one blow,

From my unconquerd arme.


That shall be tride.

I’le fit you, Sir, in your owne element.

I thinke thou darest not looke upon a sword.

See, there’s a foyle: I will but thumpe you, Sir.

Thy life’s reserv’d unto a worse revenge.



Oh. Some Devil’s enterd in this Idol sure,

To make mee misbelieve. Oh.


Cowardly slave. A Fencer? you a Fidler.

He cannot hold his weapon,

Gard his brest; no, nor defend a thrust. Art not asham’d

Thus to disgrace that noble exercise?


Oh: Hold, hold; I yeeld, I yeeld.


Has our Countrie meats fed you so high,

You needs must have a stale for your base lust?

I’le satiate your sences ere I have done:

And so much for your feeling: For your taste,

You have had sufficient in your sweet-meats, Sir:

Your drinke too was perfum’d to please your smell.


I, but I have had but sowre sauce to um.


Why then the Proverbe holds. Now for your

Madam, come forth, and bring your followers.

Enter all the Women.


I’de rather see so many Cockatrices.

Oh that my eyes might be for ever shut,

So that I might ne’r behold these Crocadils.


Where’s this bawling Bandog.


Here, here, here, here.


Murder, murder, murder. I’me betraid.

I shall be torne in pieces. Murder, ho.

Aur. I3r


Is this the dogged Humorist that cals

Himselfe the woman-hater?


On my knees.


Dost thou reply, vile Monster? Binde him, come.

Old W.

Let me come to him, Ile so mumble him.


Remember faire Leonida my child,

Whose innocence was made a Sacrifice

To thy base Forgeries and Sophistrie.


Out, you abominable Rascall.


This for your hearing, Sir: now all is full.


Ladies, Gentlewomen, sweet Atlanta, all,

Heare me but speake.


No, not a syllable.

You have spoke to match alreadie, you damn’d Rogue.

But weele reward you for’t. Skrew his jawes.


Oh, oh, oh.


Now, thou imhumane wretch, what punishment

Shall we invent sufficient to inflict,

According to the height of our revenge?


Let’s teare his limmes in pieces, joynt from


Oh, oh.


Three or foure paire of Pincers, now red hot,

Were excellent.


Will not our Bodkings serve?


Hang him, Slave, shall he dye as noble a death

As Caesar did? No, no: pinch him, pricke him.

A Boy.

I have small Pins enow to serve us all.


We cannot wish for better: take him up,

And bind him to this Post.

Lor ,.

Faith, Post and Paire,

As good a Game as can be.


Come, let’s to ’t,

Shuffle the Cards, and leave out all the Knaves.


No, the Knaves in at Post, and out at Paire.


Shall it be so? Agreed?

Deale round.

I3 Scold I3v


First, stake.


Oh, oh, oh, oh.






Nay, Ile not passe it so.


Oh, oh.

A Boy.

Faith, Ile be in too.



Enter two Old Women and Swash.


Againe, for me too, I will vye it.




And for mee, Ile not deny it.




Ile see you, and revy’t agen.


Oh, oh.


For your two, Ile put in ten.


Oh, oh, oh,
oh, oh.


How now? stay, who’s this?


I could not find the way out of the Orchard,

If I should ha’ beene hang’d, but fell into these

Old Womens mouthes: but the best is,

They had no teeth to bite me, but my Grandame heere

Scratches most devillishly.


Here’s a Whelpe of the same Litter too.

Come hither Sirrah, doe you know this man?


Yes, forsooth, I know him,

He was my Master once, want of a better.


Then you were one of his Confederates, Sir.


I his Confederate? I defye him,

He knowes I alwayes gave him good counsell,

If he had had the grace to follow it:

Here he is himselfe, let him deny’t if he can.


Oh, oh, oh,


Did not I ever say, Master, take heed,

Wrong not kind Gentlewomen,

Honest loving women? Many a time

Have I beene beaten by him blacke and blue,

For looking on a woman, is’t not true?


Oh, oh.


You seehissee his bringing up,

To I4r

To make a mouth at all this companie.


This is an honest fellow; he shall escape.

Sirrah, thou lovst a woman?


I, with all my heart.

Scold ,.

He lookes as if he did.


Well, stand aside, weele imploy you anon:

Forbeare your tortors yet, something is hid,

That we must have reveal’d, and he himselfe

Shall be his owne accuser: you all know,

He hath arraign’d us for inconstancie:

But now weele arraigne him, and judge him too,

This is a womans counsell: Madame, we make you

Ladie Chiefe Justice of this Female Court,

Mistris Recorder, I. Loretta, you,

Sit for the Notarie: Crier, she:

The rest shall beare inferior Offices,

As Keepers, Serjants, Executioners.


Ide rather be a Hangman then a Seriant:

Yet there’s no great difference, if one will not,

T’other must.


Mother, goe you and call a Jurie full,

Of which y’are the fore-woman.

1. Old W.

Thanke you forsooth, Ile fetch one presently:

’Tis fit he should be scratcht, and please your Grace:

Sure, he is no man.


We want a Barre. O, these two foyles shall serve:

One stucke i’ the Earth, and crosse it from this Tree.

Now take your places, bring him to the Barre,

Sirrah, ungag him.


Let him be gag’d still:

Then you are sure what e’r you say to him,

He cannot contradict you.


Pull it out.


Doe not bite y’are best.


Oh that I were a Serpent for your sakes,

Bearing a thousand stings.

Aur I4v


Worse then thou art,

Thou canst not wish to be, abortive wretch.

Bring him to the Barre.


You’ld not be rul’d by me: I told you o’this,

And now you see what followes,

Hanging’s the least, what ev’r followes that.


Clarke of the Peace,

Reade the Indictment.


Silence in the Court.


Silence? & none but women? That were strange!


Misogynos, hold up thy hand.


His name is Swetnam, not Misogynos.

That’s but a borrowed name.


Peace, you Rogue,

Will you discover me?


Swetnam is his name.


I, Joseph Swetnam, that’s his name, forsooth,

Joseph the Jew was a better Gentile farre.


Then Joseph Swetnam, alias Misogynos,

Alias Molastomus, alias the Woman-hater.


How came he by all these names?

I have heard many say, he was nev’r christen’d.


Thou art here indicted by these names, that thou,

Contrary to nature, and the peace of this Land,

Hast wickedly and maliciously slandred,

Maligned, and opprobriously defamed the civill societie

Of the whole Sex of women: therefore speake,

Guiltie, or not guiltie?


Not guiltie.




Not guiltie.


No, not guiltie.


Darest thou denie a truth so manifest?

Didst thou not lately both by word, and deed,

Publish a Pamphlet in disgrace of us,

And of all women-kind?

Mis K1r


No, no, no, not I.




Calling us tyrannous, ambitious, cruell?


Comparing us to Serpents, Crocodiles

For Dissimulation, Hiena’s for Subtilties,

Such like?


And farre worse:

That we are all the Devils agents,

To seduce Man agen?


That all our studies are but to delude

Our credulous Husbands?


I denie all this.




Nay more,

Thou dost affirme, without distinction,

All married Wives are the Devils Hackneyes,

To carrie their Husbands to Hell.


Inhumane Monster, hast thou nev’r a Mother?


No, forsooth, he is a Succubus, begot

Betwixt a Devill and a Witch.


If I did any such, let it be produc’d.


Bring in the Books for a firme Evidence,

And bid the Jurie give the Verdict up.

Enter two Old Women.

Old W.

Guiltie, guiltie, guiltie.

Guiltie of Woman-slander, and defamation.


Produce the Bookes, and reade the Title of um.


The Arraignment of idle, froward,

And unconstant women.


What say you, Sir, to this?


Shew me my name, and then Ile yeeld unto’t.


No, that’s your policie and cowardise,

You durst not publish, what you dar’d to write,

Thy man is witnesse to’t: sirrah, confesse,

Or you shall ev’n be serv’d to the same sawce.

K Swash K1v


No, no, no, no, Ile tell you all,

He is no Fencer, that’s but for a shew,

For feare of being beaten: the best Clarke,

For cowardise that can be in the World,

To terrifie the Female Champions,

He was in England, a poore Scholer first,

And came to Medley, to eate Cakes and Creame,

At my old Mothers house, she trusted him:

At least some sixteene shillings o’ the score,

And he perswaded her, he would make me

A Scholer of the Niniversitie, which she, kind Foole, beleev’d:

He nev’r taught me any Lesson, but to raile against women,

That was my morning and my evening Lecture.

And in one yeere he runne away from thence,

And then he tooke the habit of a Fencer:

And set up Schoole at Bristow: there he liv’d

A yeere or two, till he had writ this Booke:

And then the women beat him out the Towne,

And then we came to London: there forsooth,

He put his Booke i’the Presse, and publisht it,

And made a thousand men and wives fall out.

Till two or three good wenches, in meere spight,

Laid their heads together, and rail’d him out of th’Land,

Then we came hither: this is all forsooth.


’Tis ev’n enough.


’Tis all as false as women.


Stop his mouth.


Either be quiet, or y’are gag’d agen.


Proceed in Judgement.


Madame, thus it is.

First, he shall weare this Mouzell, to expresse

His barking humour against women-kind.

And he shall be led, and publike showne,

In every Street i’the Citie, and be bound

In certaine places to a Post or Stake,

And bayted by all the honest women in the Parish.

Mis K2r


Is that the worst? there will not one be found

In all the Citie.


Out, you lying Rascall.

Forbeare a little.


Then he shal be whipt quite thorow the Land,

Till he come to the Sea-Coast, and then be shipt,

And sent to live amongst the Infidels.


Oh, the Lord preserve your Grace.


Oh, oh, oh.


Call in his Bookes,

And let um all be burn’d and cast away,

And his Arraignment now put i’the Presse,

That he may live a shame unto his Sex.


Sirrah, the charge be yours: which if you faile,

You shall be us’d so too: if well perform’d,

You shall be well rewarded. Break up Court.


Away, you bawling Mastiffe.


Pish, pish.

Exeunt. Enter Atticus, Sforza, Nicanor, and one or
two Lords more.


Why doe you thus pursue me? Can no place

Shelter a King from being bayted thus

With Acclamations beyond sufferance

Of Majestie, or mortall strength to beare?

We will indure’t no longer. Where’s our Guard?

Where is Aurelia? where’s Iago gone?

To studie new Invectives? If agen

They dare but utter the least syllable,

Or smallest title of inveteracie,

They shall not breathe a minute. Must a Prince

Be checkt, and schooled, pursued and scolded at,

For executing Justice?


Royall, Sir.

Be pleased, to cast away these Discontents.

Iago’s sorrie for his bold offence.

K2 The K2v

The Queene repents her too, and all the Court

Is clowded o’r with griefe: your sadnesse, Sir,

Fils every Subjects heart with heavinesse.

Will’t please your Highnesse to behold some pastime,

There is a Maske and other sports prepar’d:

Prepared to solace you,

To steale away your sorrowes.


Who’s that spoke?

Nicanor, is’t hee? I thought as much:

I knew no other would be halfe so kind,

Nor carefull of our health: doe what thou wilt,

We will deny nothing that thou demandest,

My dearest Comforter, stay to my age,

The hope of Sicilie lyes now in thee.

Come sit by us, weele see what new device

Thy diligence—


My dutie.


No, thy love

Hath studied to delight thy Soveraigne.

Come sit, Nicanor.


Pardon, Sir, awhile,

Ile give command to see it straight perform’d,

And instantly returne.


Make no delay:

We have no joy but in thy companie.


Nor I no Hell, but thy continuance.

Ile present that will shorten it, I hope.


Sforza, thou lovest me too: come neerer us:

But old Iago is a froward Lord,

Honest, but lenative, ore-swaid too much

With pittie against Justice, that’s not good:

Indeed it is not in a Counsellor.

And he has too much of woman, otherwise

He might be Ruler of a Monarchie,

For policie and wisdome. Sforza sit,

Take you your places to behold this Maske.

En K3r Enter Nicanor.


Now they are readie.


Let um enter then.

Come sit by us, Nicanor, and describe

The meaning, as they enter.

Enter Iago, and the Queene.


Heere your Grace

May undiscovered sit, and view the Maske,

And see how ’tis affected by the King:

I know, ’twill nip him to the verie soule.

The Maskers.

Enter Musike, dance.


He that leads the Dance,

Is called wilfull Ignorance.


The next that pryes on every side,

As if feare his feet did guide,

Is held a wretch of base condition,

He is titled false Suspition.


The third is of a bolder Faction,

But more deadly, ’tis Detraction.

The last is Crueltie, a King that long,

In seeming good, did sacred Justice wrong.


This Moral’s meant by me: by heaven it is,

By Heaven, indeed: for nothing else had power

To make me see my Follies, I confesse,

’Twas wilfull Ignorance, and Selfe-conceit,

Sooth’d with Hypocrisie, that drew me first

Into suspition of my Daughters love,

And call’d it Disobedience: false Suspect,

’Twas thou possest me, that Leonida

Was spotted and unchaste.


So, now it workes.


And then Detraction prov’d a deadly Foe.


I knew ’twould take effect.


Most happily.

K3 King K3v


I am that King did sacred Justice wrong,

Under a shew of Justice, now ’tis plaine,

It was my crueltie, not her desert,

That sacrific’d my Child to pallid Death.

Lisandro slew himselfe, but I, not he

Must answere for that guiltlesse bloud was spilt:

For I was Authour on’t, my Crueltie,

Divorcing two such Lovers, was the cause

That drew him to despayre. How they all gaze,

Whisper together, and then point at me,

As if they here had being! yes they have:

But it shall prove a restlesse bed for them.

Why doe they not begin?

Enter Repentance.


Belike they want some of their companie.


But stay, who’s that descends so prosperously,

With such sweet sounding Musike? All observe.

Musike, dance.


See how the splendor of that Majestie,

That came from Heaven, hath disperst away

Suspition, Ignorance, and Crueltie,

And instantly o’rcome Detraction too,

Those enemies to vertue, foes to man,

Are vanisht from my sight, and from my heart.

But let Repentance stay. Ha, shallow Foole,

Doe I so slightly bid her? On my knees,

She must be followed, call’d and su’d unnto.

And by continuall Prayers, woo’d, and wonne,

Which I will never cease, if not too late.

I doe repent me, let this Sacrifice

Make satisfaction for those fore-past Crimes

My ignorant soule committed.


’Tis accepted.

Imbrace me freely, rise: never too late

To call upon Repentance.

Nic K4r


I am trapt.

Oh, the great Devill! whose device was this?

Now all will be reveal’d, I never dream’t

Upon Repentance, I: but now I see,

Truth will discover all mens Trecherie.


Live ever in my bosome. What meanes this?

Enter Lorenzo, Lisandro, Leonida, a Silvan


If a Silvan’s rude behaviour

May not heere despaire of favour:

Then to thee this newes I bring,

Thou art call’d the righteous King,

And as Fame do’s make report,

Heere lives Justice in thy Court:

Know, that all the Happinesse

I did in this World possesse,

Was my onely Daughter, who

Pan did on my age bestow,

She was named Claribell,

Whom Palemon loved well:

And she lov’d him as well againe;

So that nothing did remaine,

But the tying Hymens Knot.

But it chanced so, God wot,

That an old decrepit man

Most prepostrously began,

With flatt’ring words to woo my Daughter,

But being still deny’d, he after

Turn’d his love to mortall hate

Claribell to ruinate,

Striving to o’rpresse her fame,

With Lust, Contempt, Reproch, and Shame.


What wouldst thou have Us doe?

Good Father, speake.


This fellow hath subborn’d a rout

Of K4v

Of some base Villaines here-about,

To take away my daughters life,

Or else to ravish her. To end this strife

Be pleas’d to joyne these Lovers hands

Into sacred nuptiall bands.


Nothing but put um both together, Sir.

The good old Shepheard would faine ha’t a match.


We are content. Come give Us both your hands.


You are a King; yet they are loth

To take your word without an othe.


As We are King of Sicil, ’tis confirm’d

Firme, to be revoked never,

Untill death their lives dissever.


Princes, discover: Here are witnesses

Inow to testifie this royall match.


My daughter, and Lisandro, living?


Nay, wonder not, my Liege, your oath is past.


Which thus, and thus, and thus I ratifie:

There is but one step more, and farewell all.


Oh, I am made immortall with this sight:

My daughter, and Lisandro, both alive?


This is no newes to mee: yet teares of joy

Ore-flowes mine eyes to see this unitie.


Oh daughter, I have done thee too much wrong:

And, noble Prince, We now confesse Our errour:

But heaven be prais’d that you have both escap’d

The tyrannie of Our unjust decree.


What happie accident preserv’d your lives?

Whose was the project? Was it thine, old man?


Madam, ’twas mine: Those that I could not save

By eloquence, by policie I have.


Worthie Atlanta, thou hast merited

Beyond all imitation. We are made

Too poore to gratifie thy high deserts.


Dread Soveraigne,

All my deserts, my selfe, and what I have,

Thus L1r

Thus I throw downe before your Highnesse feet.


My Sonne Lorenzo! Oh, assist, my Lords.

The current of my joy’s so violent,

It does o’r-come my spirits. Worthy Sonne,

Welcome from death, from bands, captivitie.


Welcome into my bosome as my soule.


My princely Brother, could I adde a love

Unto that dutie that I owe for life,

I am ingag’d unto’t, you are my lifes Protector,

And my Brother.


And for a life I stand indebted too,

Which Ile detayne, onely to honour you.


And on our knees we must this dutie render,

To you our Patron, and our Fames Defender.


Behold the joyes Repentance brings with her,

Thy blessings are made full in Heaven and Earth.


Was ever Father happier in a Sonne,

Or ever Kingdome had more hopefull Prince?

But in a loyall Subject, never King

More blest then we are: and the grace we owe,

Though farre too poore to quittance, shall make known,

Thy love and merit. Now we can discerne

Our friends from flatt’rers. Nicanor, as for you,

But that this houre is sacred unto joy,

Thy life should pay the ransome of thy guilt.


Your Graces pardon. ’Twas not pride of state,

But her disdaine, that first inspir’d in me

This hope of Soveraigntie.


Well, we forgive.

Learne to live honest now. Come, beautyous Queene,

We hope that all are pleas’d: and now you see,

In vaine we strive to crosse, what Heavens decree.


L L1v


Enter Swetnam muzzled, hal’d in by


Why doe you hale me thus? Is’t not enough,

I have withstood a tryall? beene arraign’d?

Indured the torture of sharp-pointed Needles?

The Whip? and old Wives Nayles? but I must stand,

To have another Jurie passe on me?


It was a generall wrong; therefore must have

A generall tryall, and a Judgement too.


The greatest wrong was mine; he sought my life:

Which fact I freely pardon, to approove

Women are neither tyrannous, nor cruell,

Though you report us so.


I now repent,

And thus to you (kind Judges) I appeale.

Me thinkes, I see no anger in your eyes:

Mercie and Beautie best doe sympathize:

And here for-ever I put off this shape,

And with it all my spleene and malice too,

And vow to let no time or act escape,

In which my service may be shewne to you.

And this my hand, which did my shame commence,

Shall with my Sword be us’d in your defence.