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Ester hath hang'd Haman (1617)

Ester Sowernam.

Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was edited in July 1998 by Risa S. Bear, University of Oregon Library. It is based on the copy in the Harvard Library. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 1998 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and corrections to the Publisher, rbear[at]uoregon.edu.

Dedicated to Gloria Johnson.


Ester hath hang'd
a lewd Pamphlet, entituled, The Arraignment of Women.
With the arraignment of lewd, idle,
froward, and vnconstant men, and
H V S B A N D S.

Diuided into two Parts.
The first proueth the dignity and worthinesse
of Women, out of diuine Testimonies.
The second shewing the estimation of the Foe-
minine Sexe, in ancient and Pagan times; all which
is acknowledged by men themselues in their
daily actions.


Written by Ester Sowernam, Neither Maide,
Wife nor Widdowe, yet really all, and there-
fore experienced to defend all.

I O H N 8.7:
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.


Neque enim lex iusticior vlla
--------Quam necis Artificem arte perire sua.


Printed for Nicholas Bourne, and are to be sold at his shop
at the entrance of the Royall Exchange. 1617.


rable, Noble, and worthy Ladies,
Gentlewomen, and others, vertuously dis-
posed, of the Feminine Sexe.

RIght Honourable, and all others of our Sexe, vpon my repaire to London this last Michaelmas Terme; being at supper amongst friends, where the number of each sexe were equall; As nothing is more vsuall for table-talke; there fell out a discourse concerning women, some defending, others obiecting against our Sex: Vpon which Occasion, there happened a mention of a Pamphlet entituled The Arraignment of Women, which I was desirous to see. The next day a Gentleman brought me the Booke, which when I had superficially runne ouer, I found the discourse as far off from performing what the Title promised, as I found it scandalous and blasphemous: for where the Authour pretended to write against lewd, idle, and vnconstant women, hee doth most impudently rage and rayle generally against all the whole sexe of women. Wherevpon, I in defence of our Sexe, began an answer to that shamefull Pamphlet. In which, after I had spent some small time, word was brought mee that an Apologie for women was already vndertaken, and ready for the Presse, by a Ministers daughter: Vpon this newes I stayed my pen, being as glad to be eased of my entended labour; as I did expect some fitting performance of what was vndertaken: At last the Maidens Booke was brought me, which when I had likewise runne ouer, I did obserue, that whereas the Maide doth many times excuse her tendernesse of yeares, I found it to be true in the slendernesse of her answer, for she vndertaking to defend women, doth rather charge and condemne women, as in the ensuing discourse shall appeare: So that wheras I expected to be eased of what I began, I do now finde my selfe double charged, as well to make reply to the one, as to adde supply to the other.
      In this my Apologie, Right Honourable, Right Worshpfull, and all others of our Sexe, I doe in the first part of it plainely and resolutely deliuer the worthinesse and worth of women; both in respect of their Creation, as in the worke of Redemption. Next I doe shew in examples out of both the Testaments: what blessed and happy choyse hath beene made of women, as gratious instruments to deriue Gods blessings, and benefits to mankinde.
      In my second part I doe deliuer of what estimate women haue been valued in all ancient and moderne times, which I prooue by authorities, customes, and daily experiences. Lastly, I doe answer all materiall obiections which haue or can be alledged against our Sexe: in which also I doe arraigne such kind of men, which correspond the humor and disposition of the Author; lewd, idle, furious and beastly disposed persons.
      This being performed, I doubt not but such as heretofore haue beene so forward and lauish against women, will hereafter pull in their hornes, and haue as little desire, and lesse cause so scandalously and sladerously to write against vs then formerly they haue.
      The ends for which I vndertooke this enterprise, are these. First, to set out the glory of Almightie God, in so blessed a worke of his Creation. Secondly, to encourage all Noble, Honourable, and worthy Women, to expresse in their course of life and actions, that they are the same Creatures which they were designed to be by their Creator, and by their Redeemer: And to paralell those women, whose vertuous examples are collected briefly out of the Olde and New Testament. Lastly, I write for the shame and confusion of such as degenerate from woman-hoode, and disappoint the ends of Creation, and Redemption.
      There can be no greater encouragement to true Nobility, then to know and stand vpon the honour of Nobility, nor any greater confusion and shame, then for Nobility to dismount and abase it selfe to ignoble and degenerate courses.
      You are women; in Creation, noble; in Redemption, gracious; in vse most blessed; be not forgetfull of your selues, nor vnthankefull to that Author from whom you receiue all.

A L L   W O R T H Y   A N D   H O P E-

full young youths of Great-Brittaine;
But respectiuely to the best disposed and
worthy Apprentices of L O N D O N.

HOpefull and gallant youths of Great-Brittaine, and this so famous a Citie. There hath been lately published a Pamphlet entituled The Arraignment of lewd, idle, froward and inconstant Women. This patched and mishapen hotch-potch, is so directed, that if Socrates did laugh but once to see an Asse eate Thistles, he would surely laugh twice to see an idle franticke direct his mishapen Labours to giddy headed young men: he would say, as he did when the Asse did eate Thistles, like lips, like learner, so a franticke writer doth aptly chuse giddy fauorites.
      The Author of the
Arraignment, and my selfe, in our labours doe altogether disagree; he raileth without cause, I defend vpon direct proofe: He saith, women are the worst of all Creatures, I prooue them blessed aboue all Creatures: He writeth, that men should abhorre them for their bad conditions: I proue that men should honour them for their best dispositions. [H]e saith, women are the causes of mens ouerthrow, O proue, if there be any offence in a woman, men were the beginners. Now, in that it is farre more woman-like to maintaine a right, then it is man like to offere a wrong, I conceiued that I could not erre in my choyse, if I did direct a labour well intended, to worthy young youths, which are well disposed.
      When you haue past your minority, or serued your Appren[ti]ships vnder the gouernment of others, when you begin the world for your selues, the chiefest thing you looke for is a good Wife.
      The world is a large field, and it is full of brambles, bryers, and weedes: If there be any more tormenting, more scratting, or more poysonable weede then other, the Author hath collected them in his lothsome Pamphlet, and doth vtter them to his giddy company.
      Now my selfe presuming vpon your worthy and honest dispositions, I haue entred into the Garden of
Paradice, and there haue gathered the choysest flowers, which that Garden may affoord, and those I offer to you.
      If you belieue our aduersary, no woman is good, howsoeuer she be vsed: if you consider what I haue written, no woman is bad except she be abused.
      If you belieue him that women are so bad Creatures, what a dangerous and miserable life is marriage?
      If you examine my proofes to know directly what women are, you shall then finde there is no delight more exceeding then to be ioyned in marriage with a Paraditian Creature. Who as shee commeth out of the Garden, so shall you finde her a flower of delight, answerable to the Countrey from whence she commeth.
      There can be no loue betwixt man and wife, but where there is a respectiue estimate the one towards the other. How could you loue? nay, how would you loath such a monster, to whom
Ioseph Swetnam poynteth?
      Whereas in view of what I haue described, how can you but regardfully loue with the vttermost straine of affection so incomparable a Iewll.
      Some will perhaps say, I am a woman and therefore write more for women then they doe deserue: To whom I answere, if they misdoubt of what I speake, let them impeach my credit in any one particular: In that which I write,
Eue was a good woman before she met with the Serpent, her daughters are good Virgins, if they meet with good Tutors.
      You my worthy youths are the hope of Man-hoode, the principall poynt of Man-hoode is to defend, and what more man-like defence, then to defend the iust reputation of a woman. I know that you the Apprentices of this Citie are as forward to maintaine the good, as you are to put downe the bad.
      That which is worst I leaue to our aduersary, but what is excellently best, that I commend to you: doe you finde the gold, I doe here deliuer you the Iewell, a rich stocke to begin the world withall, if you be good husbands to vse it for your best aduantage.
      Let not the title of this Booke in some poynt distaste you, in that men are arraigned, for you are quit by Non-age. None are here arraigned, but such olde fornicators as came with full mouth and open cry to Iesus, and brought a woman to him taken in adultery, who when our Sauior stoopt downe and wrote on the ground, they all fled away.
Ioseph Swetnam saith, A man may finde Pearles in dust, Pag. 47. But if they who fled had seene any Pearles, they would rather haue stayed to haue had share, then to flye and to leaue the woman alone, they found some fowle reckoning against themselues in our Sauiours writing; as they shall doe who are heare arraigned. And if they dare doe like, as our Sauiour bad the womans accusers,
He that is without sinne throw the first stone at her; so let them raile against women, who neuer tempted any woman to be bad: Yet this is an hard case. If a man raile against a woman, and know no lewdnesse by any, he shall proue himselfe a compound foole. If he rayle at women, who in his owne experienced tryall had made many bad, he shall shew himselfe a decompounded K. I doe not meane Knight: The best way is, he that knoweth none bad, let him speake well of all: he who hath made more bad then he euer intended to make good, let him hold his peace lest hee shame himselfe. Farewell.

Ester Sowrenam.


Arraignment of Women.

C H A P. I.

IF the Author of this Arraignment had performed his discourse either answerable to the Title, or the Arguments of the Chapters; hee had beene so farre off from being answered by mee, that I should haue commended so good a labour, which is imployed to giue vice iust reproofe, and vertue honourable report. But at the very first entrance of his discourse, in the very first page, he discouereth hinselfe neither to haue truth in his promise, nor religious performance. If in this answere I doe vse more vehement speeches then may seeme to correspond the naturall disposition of a Woman; yet all iudicious Readers shall confesse that I vse more mildnesse then the cause I haue in hand prouoketh me vnto.
      I am not onely prouoked by this Authour to defend women, but I am more violently vrged to defend diuine Maiestie, in the worke of his Creation. In
Epist. ad Ciprianum.
Sup. Math.
which respect I say with Saint Ierome, Meam iniuriam patienter sustinui, impietatem contra deum ferre non potui. For as Saint Chrisostome saith, iniurias Dei dissimulare impium est.
      If either Iulian the Apostata, or Lucian the Atheist should vndertake the like worke, could the [one] deuise to write more blasphemously, or the other to scoffe and flout at the diuine Creation of Woman, more prophanely then this irreligious Author doth?
      Homer doth report in his Illiads, that there was at the seige of Troy,a Græcian called Thersites, whose wit was so blockish, he was not worthy to speake: yet his disposition was so precipitate, hee could not hold his tongue. Ioseph Swetnam in all record of Histories cannot be so likely paraleld as with this Thersites. What his composition of body is I know not, but for his disposition otherwise, in this Pamphlet I know, he is as monstrous as the worke is mishapen, which shall plainely appeare in the examination of the first page onely.
      The Argument of the first Chapter is, to shew to what vse Women were made; it also sheweth, That most of them degenerate from the vse they were framed vnto, &c.
      Now, to shew to what vse woman was made, hee beginneth thus. At the first beginning a Woman was made to bee a helper to Man: And so they are indeed, for they helpe to consume and spend, &c. This is all the vse, and all the end which the Authour setteth downe in all his discourse for the creation of woman. Marke a ridiculous jeast in this: Spending and consuming of that which Man painfully getteth, is by this Authour the vse for which Women were made. And yet (saith hee in the Argument) most of them degenerate from the vse they were framed vnto. woman was made to spend and consume at the first: But women doe degenerate from this vse, Ergo, Midasse doth contradict himselfe. Beside this egregious folly, he runneth into horrible blasphemy. VVas the end of Gods creation in VVoman to spend and consume? is helper to be taken in that sence, to helpe to spend? &c. Is spending and consuming, helping?
      He runneth on, and saith, They were made of a Rib, and that their froward and crooked nature doth declare, for a rib is a crooked thing, &c.
      VVoman was made of a crooked rib, so shee is crooked of conditions. Ioseph Swetnam was made as from Adam of clay and dust, so he is of a durty and muddy disposition: The inferences are both alike in either; woman is no more crooked, in respect of the one; but he is blasphemous in respect of the other. Did Woman receiue her soule and disposition from the rib; Or as it is said in Genesis, God did breath in them the spirit of life? Admit that this Authors doctrine bee true, that woman receueth her froward and crooked disposition from the rib, Woman may then conclude
To take a vantage vpon a disaduantage.
vpon that Axiome in Philosophy, Quicquid effecit tale, illud est magis tale, That which giueth quality to a thing, doth more abound in that quality; as fire which heateth, is it selfe more hot: The Sunne which giueth light, is of it selfe more light: So, if Woman receiued her crookednesse from the rib, and consequently from the Man, how doth man excell in crookednesse, who hath more of those crooked ribs? See how this vaine, furious, and idle Authour furnisheth woman with an Argument against himselfe, and others of his Sexe.
      The Authour hauing desperately begunne, doth more rashly and impudently runne on in blasphemy, which he doth euidently shew in the inference vpon his former speeches: And therefore (saith he) Euer since they haue beene a woe vnto Man, and follow the li[n]e of the first leader. Now let the Christian Reader please to consider how dishonestly this Authour dealeth, who vndertaking a particular, prosecuteth and persecuteth a generall, vnder the cloake and colour of lewd, idle, and froward women, to rage and raile against all women in generall.
      Now, hauing examined what collections Ioseph Swetnam hath wrested out of Scripture, to dishonor and abuse all women: I am resolued, before I answere further particulars made by him against our sexe, to collect and note out of Scriptures; First, what incomparable and most excellent prerogatiues God hath bestowed vpon poor women, in honour of them, and their Creation: Secondly, what choyse God hath made of women, in vsing them as instruments to worke his most gracious and glorious designes, for the generall benefit of man-kind, both during the law of Nature, and of Moyses: Thirdly, what excellent and diuine graces haue beene bestowed vpon our Sexe, in the law of Grace, and the worke of Redemption: With a conclusion, that to manifest the worthinesse of women, they haue beene chosen to performe and publish the most happy and ioyfull benefits which euer came to man-kinde.
C H A P T E R   II.

What incomparable and excellent prerogatiues God
hath bestowed vpon Women in their first

IN this ensuing Chapter I determine briefly to obserue (not curiously to discourse at large) the singuler bebefits and graces bestowed vpon Women: In regard of which, it is first to bee considered; That the Almighty God in the worlds frame in his Diuine wisedome, designed to himselfe a maine end to which he ordayned all the workes of his Creation, in which hee being a most excellent worke-master, did so Create his workes, that euery succeeding worke was euer more excellent then what was formerly Created: hee wrought by degrees, prouiding in all for that which was and should be the end.
      It appeareth by that Soueraignty which God gaue
The prerogatiues giuen to women in their Creation.

The last worke.

Created vpon a refined substance.

A better countrey.

to Adam ouer all the Creatures of Sea and Land, that man was the end of Gods creation, wherevpon it doth necessarily, without all exception follow, that Adam,being the last worke, is therefore the most excellent worke of creation: yet Adam was not so absolutely perfect, but that in the sight of God, he wanted an Helper: Wherevpon God created the woman his last worke, as to supply and make absolute that imperfect building which was vnperfected in man, as all Diuines do hold, till the happy creation of the woman. Now of what estimate that Creature is and ought to be, which is the last worke, vpon whom the Almighty set vp his last rest: whom he made [to] adde perfection. [T]o the end of all creation I leaue rather to be acknowledged by others, then resolued by my selfe.
      It is furthermore to be considered, as the Maide, in her Mussell for Melastomus hath obserued: that God intended to honour woman in a more excellent degree, in that he created her out of a subiect refined, as out of a Quintessence: For the ribbe is in Substance more solid, in place as most neare, so in estimate most deare, to mans heart, which doth presage that as she was made for an helper, so to be an helper to stay, to settle all ioy, all contents, all delights, to and in mans heart, as hereafter shall be shewed.
      That delight, solace, and pleasure, which shall come to man by woman, is prognosticated by that place wherein woman was created: for she was framed in Paradice, a place of all delight and pleasure, euery element hath his creatures, euery creature doth corresponde the temper and the inclination of that element wherein it hath and tooke his first and principall esse, or being. So that woman neither can or may degenerate in her disposition from that naturall inclination of the place, in which she was first framed, she is a Paradician, that is, a delightfull creature, borne in so delightfull a countrey.
      When woman was created, God brought her vnto Adam, and then did solempnise that most auspicious Marriage bewixt them; with the greatest Maiestie, and magnificence that heauen, or earth might afford.
Men are worldlings, Women paradicians.

Womans Marriage.

God was the Father, which gaue so rich a iewell: God was the Priest which tied so inseperable a knot. God was the Steward which prouided all the pleasures, all the dainties, all the blessings, which his deuine wisedome might afford, in so delightfull a place.
      The woman was married to Adam, as with a most sure and inseparable band, so with a most affectionate and dutifull loue: Adam was enioyned to receaue his wife, as is noted in the Bible printed 1595.
      There is no loue (alwayes excepting the transcending loue) which is so highly honoured, so graciously rewarded, so straightly commanded, or which being broken, is so seuerely punished, as the loue and duty which Children owe to their Parents: Yet this loue albeit neuer so respectiue, is dispensed withall in respect of that loue which a man is bound to beare to his wife: For this cause, saith Adam, (as from the mouth of God) shall a man leaue Father and Mother, and cleaue onely to his Wife. This word cleaue is vttered in the Hebrew with a more significant emphasi[s], then any other Language may expresse; such a cleauing and ioyning together, which admitteth no seperation. It may be necessarily obserued, that that gift of the woman was most singularly excellent, which was to bee accepted and entertained with so inestimable a loue, and made inseparable by giuing and taking the Ring of Loue, which should be endlesse.
      Now, the woman taking view of the Garden, shee was assaulted with a Serpent of the masculine gender; who maliciously enuying the happinesse in which man was at this time, like a mischieuous
The wedding Ring.

Womans temptation.

Politician, hee practised by supplanting of the woman, to turne him out of all: For which end he most craftily and cunningly attempteth the woman; and telleth her, that therefore they were forbidden to eate of the fruit which grew in the middest of the Garden, that in eating, they should now be like vnto God: Wherevpon the woman accepted, tasted, and gaue to her Husband. In accepting the Serpents offer, there was no sinne; for there was no sinne till the fruit was eaten: Now, albeit I haue vndertaken the defence of women, and may in that respect be fauoured, in taking all aduantages I may, to defend my sexe.
      There are many pregnant places in the Scripture which might be alleaged to extenuate the sin of the Woman, in respect of the sinne of Adam: it is said Ecclesiast. 25. Sinne had his beginning in woman, Ergo, his fulnesse in man.
      Saint Paul saith, Rom. 5. By one mans sinne death came into the world, without mention of the woman[.] The same Saint Paul writeth to the Corinthians, to whom he affirmeth, that all die in Adam, in which the fulnesse and effects of sinne are charged vpon Adam alone, not but that woman had her part in the Tragedy, but not in so high a degree as the man.
Chap. 5.


Adam his offences vpon his fall.

When Adam had eaten, and sinne was now in fulnesse, hee beginneth to multiply sinne vpon sinne: first he flieth from the sight of God; next, being called to account, he excuseth his sinne; and doth expostulate (as it were) with Almightie God, and telleth him, That woman which thou gauest mee, gaue me, and I did eate: As who should say, if thou hadst not giuen the cause, I had not been guilty of the effect; making (heerein) God the Authour of his fall.
      Now what is become of that loue, which Adam was bound to beare towards his wife? He chargeth her with all the burden; so he may discharge himselfe he careth little how he clog her.
      God hauing examined the offendors, and haveing heard the vttermost they could alledge for themselues, he pronounceth sentence of death vpon them, as a punishment in iustice due and deserued. Iustice he administred to Adam: Albeit the woman doth taste of iustice, yet mercy is reserued for her, and of all the workes of mercy which mankinde may hope for, the greatest, the most blessed, and the most ioyfull is promised to woman.
Adams loue like his childrens in these dayes.

Adam punished with iustice.

Woman punished by Iustice, relieued by Mercy.

The incomparable inuentions of womens wits.

1 Sam. 12

Woman supplanted by tasting of fruit, she is punished in bringing forth her owne fruit. Yet what by fruit she lost, by fruit she shall recouer.
      What more gratious a gift could the Almightie promise to woman, then to bring forth the fruit in which all nations shall be blessed? so that as woman was a meanes to loose Paradice, she is by this, made a meanes to recouer Heauen. Adam could not vpbraid her for so great a losse, but he was to honour her more for a greater recouery: all the punishments inflicted vpon women, are encountred with most gratious blessings & benefits; she hath not so great cause of dolour in one respect, as shee hath infinite cause of ioy in another. She is commanded to obey her husband; the cause is, the more to encrease her glorie. Obedience is better then Sacrifice: for nothing is more acceptable before God then to obey: women are much bound to God, to haue so acceptable a vertue enioyned them for their pennance.
      Amongst the curses and punishments heaped vpon the Serpent, what greater ioy could she heare, or what greater honour could be done vnto her, then to heare from the voyce of God these words, I will put enmitie betwixt the woman and thee, betwixt thy seede and her seede, and that her seed should breake the Serpents head? This must perforce be an exceeding ioy for the woman, to heare and to be assured that her fruit should reuenge her wrong.
      After the fall, and after they were all arraigned and censured, and that now Adam saw his wiues dowrie, and what blessings God hath bestowed vpon her, hee now being a bondslaue to death and hell, stroke dead in regard of himselfe, yet hee comforts himselfe, he taketh heart from grace, he engageth his hope vpon that promise which was made to the
Womans name answerable to her nature.
woman. Out of this most comfortable and blessed hope hee now calleth her Eue, which is the mother of the liuing: which is sutable as well in respect of the promise made to her and her seede, as in respect of those imployments for which in her creation she and all women are designed, to be helpers, comforters, Ioyes, and delights, and in true vse and gouerment they euer haue beene and euer will be, as hereafter shall be shewed, maugre the shamefull, blasphemous and prophane speach of Ioseph Swetnam, page 31. beginning line 15. as followeth.
      If God had not made them onely to be a plague to a man, hee would neuer haue called them necessary euils.
      Out of what Scripture, out of what record, can hee proue these impious and impudent speeches? They are onely faigned and framed out of his owne idle, giddie, furious, and franticke imaginations. If he had cited Euripides for his Author, hee had had some colour, for the prophane Poet in Medea, vseth these speeches, Quod si Deoram aliquis mulierem formauit, opisicem se malorum sciat, maximum & hominibus inimicum. If any of the Gods framed woman, let him know he was the worker of that which is naught, and what is most hurtfull to men. Thus a Pagan writeth prophanely, but for a Christian to say, that God calleth women Necessary euils, is most intolerable and shamefull to be written and published.

C H A P.   III.

What choise God hath made of women to be instru-
ments to deriue his benefits to Mankinde.

ABraham being in danger, was blessed and preserued in respect of Sara.
Genes. 20.



Exod. 2.

Iosua 2.6

Iudges 4.

Iudges 9.

1 Kings 19.

1 Kings 25.

2 Kings 20.

3 Kings 17.

4 Kings 4.

4 Kings 11.

Rebecca by Gods prouidence was the means to bring the blessing of Isaac to fall vpon Iacob.
      The Ægyptian Mid-wiues were a meanes to preserue the male children of the Israelites from the murther entended by Pharao.
      Moses was preserued by the daughter of Pharao.
      The Messengers sent by Duke Iosuah to view the Land of Promise, were harboured and freed from danger by a woman.
      When the Children of Israell had been twentie yeres oppressed by Iabin King of Canaan, Debbora and Iahell, two women; the one wonne the battell, the other slew the Generall.
      When Abimelech had murthered seauenty of his Brethren, he was punished and slaine by a woman at the seige of Thebes.
      Micholl aduentured the hazard of her Fathers displeasure to preserue her Husband Dauid.
      Abigail by incomparable wisedome with-held Dauid from shedding of innocent bloud.
      The Citie of Abdela being in danger, was preserued by a wise woman of that Citie.
      In the great famine of Samaria, the widow of Sarepta was chosen to preserue Elias, and Elias to preserue her.



2 Mach. 7.

The like prouision did the woman, a Sunamite, make for Elizeus, and Elizeus for the woman.
      When the bloud-Royall of Iudah had beene all murthered, Ioas afterwards King, was preserued by a woman.
      What was that noble aduenture so blessedly performed by Iudith, in cutting off the head of Holofernes?
      With what wisedome did Queene Hester preserue her people, and caused their enemies to be hanged?
      What a chast mirrour was Susanna, who rather hazarded her life, then offend against God?
      Neuer was greater magnanimity shewed by a woman, then by that Mother which saw her seauen children tormented most cruelly, yet she encouraged them to the death.

C H A P.   IIII.

What excellent blessings and graces haue beene be-
stowed vpon women in the Lawe of

THe first which commeth in this place, to be mentioned, is that blessed mother and mirrour of al woman hood, the Virgin Marie, who was magnified in the birth of Iesus, glorified by Angels, chosen by the Almighty to beare in her wombe the Sauiour of mankinde.
      With what a faithfull salutation did Elizabeth, Saint Iohn Baptist Mother, entertaine the Virgin vpon her repaire vnto her?
Luke 1.

Luke 2.

Math. 9 17.

Luke 7.

Luke 8.

Luke 2.2.

Luke 2.3.

      Anna the old Prophetesse did miraculously demonstrate our Sauiour.
      The woman which had the issue of bloud: the woman of Canaan, Ioh. 4. The Samaritan woman. Martha, the 11.of Iohn: all these and sundry others are saued, healed, and haue their sinnes forgiuen, in respect of their true and liuely faith.
      VVhat faith? what zeale? what deuotion did Marie Magdelen shew toward Iesus, in prostrating her selfe at the feete of Iesus, annoynting them with pretious oyntment, washing them with teares, and drying them with the haire of her head?
      With what bountie and deuotion did the Maryes, the wife of Herods steward, did Ioanna, with other women contribute of their goods to Iesus?
      How charitable was that poore widdow, whose two Mites our Sauior valued at a greater estimate, then any gift of any other whatsoeuer?
      In all dangers, troubles, and extremities, which fell to our Sauiour, when all men fled from him, liuing or dead, women neuer forsooke him.
      I should be ouer-tedious to repeate euery example of most zealous, faithfull, and deuout women, which I might in the new Testament, whose faith and deuotion was censured by our Sauiour to be without compare.
      I will conclude for women that they haue beene chosen both to set out Gods glory, and for the benefit of all mankinde, in more glorious and gratious imployments then men haue beene.
      The first promise of a Messias to come was made to a woman: the birth and bearing of that promised Messias was performed by a woman.
      The triumphant resurrection with the conquest ouer death and hell, was first published and proclaimed by a woman.
      I might herevnto adde those wiues, widdowes, and virgins, which flourished in the primatiue Church, and all succeeding ages sithence, who in al vertues haue excelled, and honoured both their sexe in generall, and themselues in particular, who in their martyrdomes, in their confession of Iesus, and in all Christian, and deuine vertues, haue in no respect beene inferiour vnto men.

Hus out of the second and third Chapters of Genesis, and out of the Old and New Testaments, I haue obserued in proofe of the worthinesse of our
The summon [summing] of womans blessings and graces.
Sexe: First, that woman was the last worke of Creation, I dare not say the best: She was created out of the chosen and best refined substance: She was created in a more worthy country: She was married by a most holy Priest: She was giuen by a most gratious Father: Her husband was enioyned to a most inseperable and affectionate care ouer her: The first promise of saluation was made to a woman: There is inseperable hatred and enmitie put betwixt the woman and the Serpent: Her first name, Eua, doth presage the nature and disposition of all women, not onely in respect of their bearing, but further, for the life and delight of heart and soule to all mankinde.
      I haue further shewed the most gratious, blessed, and rarest benefits, in all respects, bestowed vpon women; all plainely and directly out of Scriptures.
      All which doth demonstrate the blasphemous impudencie of the authour of the Arraignement, who would or durst write so basely and shamefully, in so generall a manner, against our so worthy and honored a sexe.


To the courteous and friendly
R E A D E R.

GEntle R E A D E R, in my first Part I haue (what I might) strictly obserued a religious regard, not to entermingle anything vnfitting the grauitie of so respectiue an Argument.
      Now that I am come to this second Part, I am determined to solace my selfe with a little libertie: What aduantages I did forbeare to take in the former, I meane to make vse of in this second.
Ioseph Swetnam hath beene long vnanswered, which had beene performed sooner, if I had heard of his Booke before this last Terme: Or if the report of the Maidens answere had not stayed me. I haue not so amply and absolutely discharged my selfe in this Apologie as I would haue done, if either my leasure had been such, as I could haue wished, or the time more fauourable, that I might haue stayed. What my repaire into the Countrey enforceth me to leaue rather begunne then finished; I meane (by Gods grace) to make perfect the next Terme: In the meane time (gentle R E A D E R ) I bid thee kindly farewell.

Ester Sowrenam.


C H A P.   IIII. [sic]

At what estimate Women were valued in ancient
and former times.

PLato in his Bookes de Legibus, estimateth of Women, which doe equall Men in all respects, onely in bodie they are weaker, but in wit and disposition of minde nothing inferiour, if not superiour. wherevpon he doth in his so absolute a Common-wealth, admit them to gouernment of Kingdomes and Commonweales, if they be either borne therevnto by Nature, or seated in gouernment by Election.
      It is apparent, that in the prime of antiquity, women were valued at highest estimate, in that all those most inestimable and incomparable benefites which might either honour or preserue Mankinde, are all generally attributed to the inuention of women, as may appeare in these few examples following.
      When meum & tuum, Mine and Thine, when right
The incomparable inuentions of womens Wk.
and wrong were decided by warres, and their weapons then were the furniture of Nature, as Fists, Teeth, Stones, Stakes, or what came next to hand: A Ladie of an heroicall disposition, called Bellon, did first inuent a more man-like and honourable weapon for warre, which was the sword, with other Armour correspondent, for which she was at first (and so euer since) honoured, as the Goddess of warre.
      When at the first the finest Manchet and best bread in vse was of Acorns, by the singular and practicall wit of a lady called Ceres, the sowing of Corne, and TIllage was inuented.
      The inuention of the seauen liberall Sciences, of all Arts, of all Learning, hath beene generally with one consent ascribed to the inuention of Iupiters daughters, the nine Muses, whose Mother was a royall Ladie Mneneosum.
      Carmentis a Ladie, first inuented Letters, and the vse of them by reading and writing.
      The royall and most delightfull exercise of Hunting was first found out and practised by Diana, who thervpon is celebrated for the Goddesse of Hunting.
      The three Graces, which adde a decorum, and yeeld fauour to Persons, Actions, and Speaches, are three Ladies, Aglaia, Thalia, and E[u]phrosune.
      The heroicall exercses of Olimpus, were first found and put in practise by Palestra a woman.
      The whole world being diuided into three parts in more ancient times, euery diuition to this day keepeth the name in honour of a woman.
      The foeminine Sexe is exceedingly honoured by Poets in their writings: They haue no women-Goddesses, but in things which are especially good. They haue Bacchus for a drunken God, but no drunken Goddesse. They haue Priapus the lustfull God of Gardens, but no garden-Goddesses, except of late in the garden-Allies. They will obiect here vnto mee Venus, she indeed is the Goddesse of Loue, but it is her blinde Sonne which is the God of Lust; poore Ladie, she hath but her ioynture in the Mannor of Loue, Cupid is Lord of all the rest, hee hath the royalty, she may not strike a Deare, but she must imploy her Sonne that sawcie Boy.
      For Pride, they held it so farre from women, that they found out Nemesis or Rhamnusia to punish and reuenge pride, but none to infect with pride.
      They haue Pluto the God of Hell, but no proper Goddes[s] of hell; but Proserpina,whom Pluto forcibly tooke from Mount Aetna, and carried her away, and made her Queene of Hell; yet she doth not remaine in Hell but one halfe of the yeare, by a decree from Iupiter.
      If I should recite and set downe all the honourable records and Monuments for and of women, I might write more Bookes then I haue yet written lines. I will leaue and passe ouer the famous testimonies of forreine Kingdomes and Common-wealths, in honour of our Sexe: and I will onely mention some few examples of our owne Countrey and Kingdome, which haue been incomparably benefitted and honoured by women.
      Amongst the olde Britaines, our first Ancestors, the valiant Boadicea, that defended the liberty of her Countrey, against the strength of the Romans, when they were at the greatest, and made them feele that a woman could conquer them who had conquered almost all the men of the then known world.
      The deuout Helen, who besides that, she was the Mother of that religious and great Constantine, who first seated Christian Religion in the Imperiall throne, & in that respect may be stiled the mother of Religion, is still more honuored for her singular pietie and charitie towards him and his members, who dyed for vs vpon the Crosse, then for her care and industry in finding out the wood of that Crosse on which he dyed.
      In the time of the Danes, chaste Æmma, whose innocency carried her naked feete ouer the fire-hot Plow-shares vnfelt; with the Saxons Queene Elfgiue the holy widdow, and the Kings daughter Eanh a Virgin Saint, both greater Conquerers then Alexander the great, that men so much boasted of, who could not conquere himselfe.
      Since the Normans, the heroicall vertues of Elenor wife to Edward the first, who when her Husband in the Holy Land was wounded with a poysoned Arrow, of which there was no hope of recouery from the Chyrurgions, she suckt the poyson into her own bodie to free him: together, curing that mortall wound, and making her owne fame immortall: so that I thinke this one act of hers may equall all the acts that her great Husband did in those warres besides.
      Philip, wife to Edward the third, no lesse to be honoured for being the Mother of so many braue children, then of so many good deeds, which worthily got her the title of good.
      Margaret the wise, wife to to Henrie the sixt, who if her Husbands fortune, valor, and foresight, had beene answerable to hers, had left the Crowne of England to their owne Sonne, and not to a stranger. The other Margaret of Richmond, mother to Henrie the seuenth, from whose brests he may seeme to haue deriued as well his vertues as his life, in respect of her heroicall prudence and pietie; whereof, besides other Monuments, both the Vniuersities are still witnesses
      Besides this, it was by the blessed meanes of Elizabeth, wife to Henrie the seuenth, that the bloudy wars betwixt the houses of Yorke and Lancaster were ended, and the red Rose and the white vnited, &c.
      It was by the meanes of the most renowmed Queene (the happy Mother of our dread Soueraigne) that the two Kingdomes once mortall foes, are now so blessedly conioyned.
      And that I may name no more (since in one onely were comprized all the qualities and endowments that could make a person eminent) Elizabeth our late Soueraigne, not onely the glory of our Sexe, but a patterne for the best men to imitate, of whom I will say no more, but that while she liued, she was the mirrour of the world, so then knowne to be, and so still remembred, and euer will be.
      Daily experience, and the common course of Nature, doth tell vs that women were by men in those times highly valued, and in worth by men themselues preferred, and held better than themselues[.]
      I will not say that women are better than men, but
Men sue to a Woman.
I will say, men are not so wise as I would wish them to be, to wooe vs in such fashion as they do, except they should hold and account of vs as their betters.
      What travaile? what charge? what studie? doe not men vndertake to gaine our good will, loue, and liking? what vehement suits doe they make vnto vs? with what solemne vowes and protestations do they solicite vs? they write, they speake, they send, to make knowne what entire affection they beare vnto vs, that they are so deeply engaged in loue, except we doe compassion them with our loue and fauour, they are men vtterly cast away. One he will starue himselfe, another will hang, another drowne, another stab, another will exile himselfe from kinred and country, except they may obtaine our loues: What? will they say that we are baser than themselues? then they wrong themselues exceedingly, to prefer such vehement suits to creatures inferiour to themselues; Sutors doe euer in their suites confesse a more worthinesse in the persons to whom they sue. These kind of suits are from Nature, which cannot deceiue them:
Suit is alwais preferred to the better.
Nature doth tell them what women are, and custom doth approue what nature doth direct. Aristotle saith, Omnia appetunt bonum, euery thing by nature doth seeke after that which is good. Nature then doth cary men with violence, to seeke and sue after women: They will answere, and seeke to elude this Maxime with a distinction, that bonum is duplex, aut verum, aut apparens, that goodnesse or the thing which is good, is either truely good, or but apparantly good; so they may say, women are but apparantly good. But the heathen Orator and the deuine philosopher to, affirme, if we follow the true direction of nature we shall neuer be deceiued. Nature in her vehement motions is not deceiued with apparant shewes. It is naturall, they will say, for the Male to follow the Female; so it is as naturall, for the Female to be better then the Male, as appeareth to be true in obseruation of Hawkes: the Spar-hawke is of more esteeme then the Musket; the Goshawke more excellent then the Tersell; so in Falcons, the females doe excell: The like men are bound to acknowledge women; the rather in respect of their owne credit and honour. To what obsequious duty and seruice doe men binde themselues, to obtaine a fauour from their deuoted Mistresse, which if he may obtaine he thinketh himselfe to be much honoured, & puts in place of most noted view, that the world may take note: He weareth in his hat, or on his brest, or vpon his arme, the Gloue, the Scarfe, or Ring of his Mistresse: if these were not relickes from Saintly creatures, men would not sacrifice so much deuotion vnto them.
      Amongst diuers causes which proceede from nature and custome, why men are so earnest Sutors to women, I haue obserued one, which by practise is
Womens fauours estimated as relicks.

Honestie comes by marriage, the womans dowrie.

daily confessed. Plato sayth, that Honestie is of that worthinesse, that men are greatly enflamed with the loue of it; and as they doe admire it, so they studie how to obtaine it: it is apparant, yong men which are vnmarried, and called batchelers, they may haue a disposition, or may serue an apprentiship to honesty, but they are neuer free-men, nor euer called honest men, till they be married: for that is the portion which they get by their wiues. When they are once married, they are forthwith placed in the ranke of honest men, If question be asked, what is such a man? it is presently resolued, he is an honest man: And the reason presently added, for hee hath a wife; shee is the sure signe and seale of honestie. It is vsuall amongst old and graue fathers, if they haue a sonne giuen to spending and companie-keeping, who is of a wild and riotous disposition, such a father shall presently be counselled, helpe your sonne to a good wife, marry him, marry him, that is the onely way to bring him to good order, to tame him, to bring him to be an honest man: The auncient fathers doe herein acknowledge a greater worthinesse in women then in men; the hope which they haue of an vntowardly sonne, to reclaime him, is all engaged vpon the woman.
      In no one thing, men doe acknowledge a more excellent perfection in women then in the estimate of the offences which a woman doth commit: the worthinesse of the person doth make the sinne more markeable. What an hatefull thing is to see a woman ouercome with drinke, when as in men it is noted for a signe of goodfellowship? and whosoeuer doth obserue it, for one woman which doth make a
Womens faults more markable because they are the better.
custome of drunkennesse, you shall finde an hundred men: it is abhorred in women, and therefore they auoyd it; it is laughed at and made but as a iest amongst men, and therefore so many doe practise it: Likewise if a man abuse a Maide & get her with child, no matter is made of it, but as a trick of youth; but it is made so hainous an offence in the maide, that she is disparaged and vterly vndone by it. So in all offences those which men commit, are made light and as nothing, slighted ouer; but those which women doe commit, those are made grieuous and shamefull, and not without iust cause: for where God hath put hatred betwixt the woman and the serpent, it is a foule shame in a woman to carry fauour with the deuill, to stayne her womanhoode with any of his damnable qualities, that she will shake hands where God hath planted hate.
      Ioseph Swetnam in his Pamphlet aggrauateth the offences of women in the highest degree, not onely exceeding, but drawing men into all mischiefe. If I do grant, that women degenerationg from the true end of womanhood, prooue the greatest offenders, yet in graunting that, I doe thereby prooue that women in their creation are the most excellent creatures: for corruption, boni pessima, the best thing corrupted proueth the worst, as for example, the most glorious creature in heauen is by his fall the most damned deuill in hell: all the Elements in their puritie are most pretious, in their infection and abuse most dangerous: so the like in women, in their most excellent puritie of nature, what creature more gratious! but in their fall from God, and all goodnesse, what creature more mischieuous? which the deuill knowing he doth more assault woman then man because his gaine is greater by the fall of one woman, then of twentie men. Let there be a faire maide, wife, or woman, in Countrie, towne, or Citie, she shall want no resort of Serpents, nor any varietie of tempter: let there be in like sort, a beautifull or personable man, he may sit long enough before a woman will solicite him. For where the deuill hath good acquaintance, he is sure of entertainment there, without resistance:
The deuill doth more violently tempt women then men. He is sure of them when he will.

Dissembling in men.

The Serpent at first tempted woman, he dare assault her no more in that shape, now he imployeth men to supply his part; and so they doe: for as the Serpent began with Eue to delight her taste, so doe his instruments draw to wine and banqueting; the next, the Serpent enticed her by pride, and tolde her shee should be like to God; so doe his instruments; first, they will extoll her beauty, what a paragon she is in their eyes; next, they will promise her such maintenance, as the best woman in the Parish or Country shall not haue better: What care they, if they make a thousand oathes, and commit ten thousand periuries, so they may deceiue a woman? When they haue done all and gotten their purpose, then they discover all the womans shame, and imploy such an Author as this (to whose Arraignment I doe make haste) to raile vpon her and the whole Sexe.


Ioseph Swetnam, who was the
Author of the Arraignment of Women;
And vnder his person, the arraignment
of all idle, franticke, froward, and
lewd men.


C H A P T E R   V.

IOseph Swetnam hauing written his rash, idle, furious and shamefull discourse against Women, it was at last deliuered into my hands, presently I did acquaint some of our Sexe with the accident, with whom I did aduise what course wee should take with him. It was concluded (that his vnworthinesse being much like to that of Thersites, whom I haue formerly mentioned) wee would not answere him either with Achilles fist, or Stafford-law; neither plucke him in pieces as the Thracian women did Orpheus, for his intemperate rayling against women: But as he had arraigned women at the barre of fame and report; wee resolued at the same barre where he did vs the wrong, to arraigne him, that thereby we might defend our assured right: And withall (respecting our selues) we resolued to fauour him so far in his triall that the world might take notice there was no partiall or indirect dealing, but that he had as much fauour as he could desire, and farre more then he did or could deserue.
The Iudgesses.
      So that wee brought him before two Iudgesses, Reason, and Experience, who being both in place, no man can suspect them with any indirect proceedings: For albeit, Reason of it selfe may be blinded by passion, yet when she is ioyned with Experience, she is knowne to be absolute, and without compare. As for Experience, she is knowne of her selfe to be admirable excellent in her courses, she knoweth how to vse euery man in her practise; she will whip the foole to learne him more wit; she will punish the knave to practise more honesty; she will curbe in the prodigall, and teach him to be warie; she will trip vp the heeles of such as are rash and giddy, and bid them hereafter looke before they leape. To be short, there is not in all the world, for all estates, degrees, qualities and conditions of men, so singular a Mistresse, or so fit to be a Iudgesse as she, onely one property she hath aboue all the rest, no man commeth before her but she maketh him ashamed, and shee will call and proue almost euery man a foole, especially such who are wise in their owne conceits.
      For his Iurie, albeit we knew them to be of his dearest, and nearest inward familiar friends, in whose company he was euer, and did spend vpon them all that he could get, or deuise to get; yet wee did challenge not one of them, but were well pleased that his fiue Senses, and the seauen deadly sinnes should stand for his Iury.
The Iurie.

The Euidence.

The partie which did giue euidence against him, we knew to bee a sure Card, and one which would not faile in proofe of any thing, and such proofe which should be without all exception, Conscience is a sure witnesse.
      So all things being accordingly prouided, the prisoner was brought to the barre, where he was called and bid hold vp his hand, which hee did, but a false hand God he knowes, his enditement was red, which was this which followeth.

C H A P.   VI.

Ioseph Swetnam his Enditement.

IOseph Swetnam, thou art endited by the name of Ioseph Swetnam of Bedlemmore in the Countie of Onopolie*: For that thou the twentieth day of December, in the yeare &c. Diddest most wickedly, blasphemously, falsly, and

An Enditement.

scandalously publish a lewd Pamphlet, entituled the Arraignment of Women; In which, albeit thou diddest honestly pretend to arraigne lewd, idle, froward and vnconstant women, yet contrary to thy pretended promise thou diddest rashly, and malitiously raile and rage against all women, generally writing and publishing most blasphemously that women by their Creator were made for Helpers, for Helpers (thou sayest) to spend and consume that which Man painefully getteth; furthermore, thou dost write, That being made of a rib, which was crooked, they are therefore crooked and froward in conditions, and that Woman was no sooner made, but her heart was set vpon mischiefe; which thou doest deriue to all the Sexe generally, in these words, And therefore euer since they haue beene a woe vnto man, and follow the line of their first leader. Further then all this, thou doest affirme an impudent lye vpon Almighty God, in saying, that God calleth them necessary euils, and that therefore they were created to bee a plague vnto man. Thou writest also, That women are prowde, lasciuous, froward, curst, vnconstant, idle, impudent, shamelesse, and that they decke and dresse themselues to tempt and allure men to lewdnesse, with much and many more foule, intemperate, and scandalous speaches, &c.
      When Ioseph Swetnam was asked what he said to his enditement, Guilty, or not guiltie, hee pleaded the generall issue, not guiltie, being asked how hee would be tryed, he stood mute, for Conscience did so confront him, that he knew vpon tryall there was no way but one; wherevpon hee thought it much better to put himselfe vpon our mercy, then to hazard the tryall of his owe Iurie.
      Wherevpon we did consider if we should haue vrged him to be pressed, the disaduantage had beene ours: for then his fauourites would haue said as some
Standeth mute.
did say, that Ioseph Swetnam did not stand mute, as misdoubting the proofe of what he had written: But seeing the Iudgesses, the Iurie, the Accuser, and all others, most of them of the foeminine gender, he suspelled the question by vs, being made Generall, that they would rather condemne him to please a generall, although in particular respect of himselfe he knew they would fauour him. And besides that hee held it a strange course, that the selfe and the same persons should be Iudges and Accusers, wherevpon we resolued to graunt him longer time to aduice with himselfe whether he would put himselfe to triall, or vpon better deliberation to recall his errours.
      But that the world might be satisfied in respect of the wrongs done vnto vs, and to maintaine our honourable reputation, it was concluded, that my selfe should deliuer before the Iudges, to all the assembly, speaches to these effects following.

C H A P.   VII.

The answere to all obiections which are materiall,
made against Women.

RIght Honourable and Worshipfull, and you of all degrees; it hath euer beene a common custome amongst Idle, and humerous Poets, Pamphleters, and Rimers, out of passionate discontents, or hauing little otherwise to imploy themselues about, to write some bitter Satire-Pamphlet, or Rime, against women: in which argument he who could deuise any thing more bitterly, or spitefully, against our sexe, hath neuer wanted the liking, allowance, and applause of giddy headed people. Amongst the rable of scurill writers, this prisoner now present hath acted his part, whom albeit women could more willingly let passe, then bring him to triall, and as e[u]er heretofore, rather contemn such authors th[en] deigne them any answere, yet seeing his booke so commonly bought vp, which argueth a generall applause, we are therfore enforced to make answere in defence of our selues, who are by such an author so extreamely wronged in publike view.
      You all see hee will not put himselfe vpon triall: if we should let it so passe, our silence might implead vs for guiltie, so would his Pamphlet be receiued with a greater currant and credite then formerly it hath beene: So that as well in respect of our sexe, as for a generall satisfaction to the world, I will take this course with our prisoner, I will at this present examine all the obiections which are most materiall, whcih our aduersarie hath vomited out against woman, and not onely what he hath obiected, but what other authors of more import then Ioseph Swetnam haue charged vpon women: alas seely man he obiecteth nothing but what he hath stolne out of English writers, as Euphues, the Palace of Pleasure with the like, which are as easily answered as vaynly obiected. He neuer read the vehement and profest enemies against our sexe, as for Graecians, Euripides, Menander, Simonides, Sophocles, with the like, amongst Latine writers Iuvenall, Plautus, &c.
      But of all that euer I read, I did neuer obserue such generall sinceritie in any, as in this aduersarie, which you shall finde I will make as manifest as the Sunne to shine at mid-day.
      It is the maine end that our aduersarie aimeth at in all his discourse, to proue and say that women are bad, if he should offer this vpon particulers, no one would denie it: but to lauish generally against all women, who can endure it? You might M. Swetnam, with some shew of honestie haue sayd; some women are bad, both by custome and company, but you cannot avoide the brand, both of blasphemie and dishonestie, to say of women generally they are all naught, both in their creation and by nature, and to ground your inferences vpon Scriptures.
      I let pass your obiections in your first page; because they are formerly answered, onely whereas you say, woman was no sooner made, but her heart was set vpon mischiefe if you had then said, she had no sooner eaten of the fruit, but her heart was set vpon mischiefe, you had had some colour for your speaches; not in respect of the womans disposition, but in consideration both of her first Tutor and her second
The Deuill tooke the shape of man.
instructor: For whereas scripture doth say, Woman was supplanted by a Serpent, Ioseph Swetnam doth say, she was supplanted by the deuill, which appeared to her in the shape of a beautifull yong man. Men are much beholding
to this author, who will seeme to insinuate, that the deuill would in so friendly and familier a manner, put on the shape of a man, when he first began to practise mischiefe: The deuill might make bold of them, whom he knew in time would proue his familier friends. Herevpon it may be imagined it commeth to passe that Painters, and Picture-makers, when they would represent the deuill, they set him out in the deformed shape of a man; because vnder that shape he began first to act the part of a diuell: and I doubt he neuer changed his suite sithence. Here it is to be obserued, that which is worst is expressed by the shape of a man; but what is the most glorious creature is represented in the beautie of a woman, as Angels. Woman at the first might easily learne mischiefe, where or how should she learne goodnes? her first Schoole-master was abundant in mischiefe, and her first huband did exceede in bad examples. First, by his example he taught her how to flye from God: next how to excuse her sinne: then how to cample and contest with God, and to say as Adam did, thou art the cause, for the woman whom thou gauest me, was the cause I did eate. What Adam
[The S]erpent gaue the woman bad counsell and her husband bad example.

Men doe shew themselues the children of Adam.

did at the first, bad husbands practise with their wiues euer sithence, I meane in bad examples. It was no good example in Adam, who hauing receiued his wife from the gift of God, and bound to her in so inseperable a bond of loue, that forthwith he being taken tardie would presently accuse his wife & put her in all the danger; but the woman was more bound to an vpright iudge, then to a louing husband: it would not serue Adams turne, to charge her, therby to free himselfe: It was an hard and strange course, that he who should haue beene her defender, is now become her greatest accuser. I may heare say with Saint Paul, by one mans sinne, death, &c. so by the contagion of originall sinne in Adam, all men are infected with his diseases; and looke what examples he gaue his wife at the first, the like examples and practises doe all men shew to women euer sithence. Let mee speake freely, for I will speake nothing but truly, neither shall my words exceede my proofe.
      In your first and second Page, you alledge Dauid and Salomon, for exclaiming bitterly against women: And that Salomon saith, Women (like as Wine) doe make men drunk with their deuices. What of all this?
      Ioseph Swetnam, a man which hath reason, will neuer obiect that vnto his aduersary, which when it commeth to examination will disaduantage himselfe. Your meaning is, in the disgrace of women to exalt men: but is this any commendation to men, that they haue been and are ouer-reacht by women? Can you glory of their holinesse, whom by women proue
Foolish men tempted with outward shewes.
sinfull? or in their wisedome, whom women make fooles? or in their strength, whom women ouercome? can you excuse that fall which is giuen by the weaker? or colour that foyle which is taken from women? Is holinesse, wisedome, and strength, so slightly seated in your Masculine gender, as to be stained, blemished, and subdued by women? But now I pray you let vs examine how these vertues in men so potent, came by women to be so impotent. Doe you meane in comparatiue degree, that women are more holy, more wise, more strong, then men? if you should graunt this, you had small cause to write against them. But you will not admit this? What is, or are the causes then why men are so ouertaken by women? You set downe the causes in your fourth Page; there you say, They are dangerous for men to deale withall, for their faces are lures, their beauties baytes, their lookes are nets, and their words are charmes, and all to bring men to ruine: Incidit in Scyllam qui vult vitare Charibdim, whilst he seeketh to auoide one mischiefe, he falleth into another. It were more credit for men to yeeld our sexe to be more holy, wise, and strong, then to excuse themselues by the reasons alleaged: for by this men are proued to haue as litle wit as they are charged to exceed in wickednesse. Are external & dumbe shews such potent paintes, nets, lures, charmes, to bring men to ruine? Why? wilde Asses, dotterels, and woodcockes, are not so easily entangled and taken? are men so idle, vaine, and weake, as you seeme to make them? Let mee now see how you can free these men from dishonest mindes, who are ouertaken thus with beautie, &c. How can beautie hurt? how can it be a cause of a mans ruine, of it selfe? what, do women forcibly draw? why, men are
If men be hurt thanke themselues.
more strong? are they so eloquent to perswade? why, men are too wise; are they mischeiuous to entise? men are more holy; how then are women causes to bring men to ruine? direct causes they cannot be in any respect; if they be causes, they are but accidentall causes: A cause as Philosophers say, Causa sine qua non: a remote cause, which cause is seldome alleaged for cause, but where want of wit would say somewhat, and a guilty conscience would excuse it selfe by something. Philosophers say, Nemo leditur nisi a seipso, no man is hurt but the cause is in himselfe. The prodigall person amongst the Gr&ealig;cians is called Asotos, as a destroyer, an vndoer of himselfe: When an heart fraughted with sinne doth prodigally lauish out a lasciuious looke out of a wanton eye; when it doth surfeit vpon the sight, who is Asotos? who is guiltie of his lasciuious disease but himselfe? Volenti non sit iniuria, hee who is wounded with his owne consent, hath small cause to complaine of anothers wrong: Might not a man as easily, and more honestly, when hee seeth a faire woman, which doth make the best vse that she can to set out her beautie, rather glorifie God in so beautifull a worke, then infect his soule with so lasciuious a thought? And for the woman, who haing a Iewell giuen her from so deare a friend, is she not to be commended rather that in the estimate which she sheweth, shee will as carefully and as curiously as she may set out what she hath receiued from Almighty God, then to be censured that she doth it to allure wanton and lasciuious lookes? The difference is in the minds, things which are called Adiaphora, things indifferent, whose qualities haue their name from the vses, are commonly so censured, and so vsed, as the minde is inclined which doth passe his verdict. A man and a woman talke in the fields together, an honest minde will imagine of their talke answerable to his owne disposition, whereas an euill disposed minde will censure
Womans beauty is good, but the heart which doth surfeit is naught.
according to his lewd inclination. When men complaine of beautie, and say, That womens dressings and attire are prouocations to wantonnesse, and baites to allure men, it is a direct meanes to know of what disposition they are, it is a shame for men in censuring of women to condemne themselues; but a common Inne cannot be without a common signe; it is a common signe to know a leacher, by complaining vpon the cause and occasion of his surfeit; who had knowne his disease but by his owne complaint? It is extreme folly to complaine of another, when the roote of all resteth within himselfe; purge an infected heart, and turne away lasciuious eye, and then neither their dressings, nor their beautie can any wayes hurt you. Doe not men exceede in apparell, and therein set themselues out to the view? Shall women betray themselues and make it knowne that they are either so bad in their disposition, or so wanton in their thoughts, or so weak in their gouernment as to complaine that they are tempted and allured by men? Should women make themselues more vaine then yongest children, to fall in loue with babyes. Women are so farre off from being in any sort prouoked to loue vpon the view of mens apparell, and setting forth themselues, that no one thing can more draw them from loue, then their vanitie in apparell.
Women doe not fall in loue with men for their apparell.
Women make difference betwixt colours and conditions, betwixt a faire shew, and a foule substance: It shewes a leuitie in man to furnish himselfe more with trim colours, then manlike qualities: besides that, how can we loue at whom we laugh? We see him gallant it at the Court one day, & braue it in the Country the next day; we see him weare that on his backe one week, which we heare is in the brokers shop the next: furthermore we see diuers weare apparell and colours made of a Lordship, lined with Farmes and Granges, embrodered with all the plate, gold, and wealth, their Friends and Fathers left them: Are these motiues to loue or to laughter? Will or dare a woman trust to their loue for one Moneth, who will turne her of the next? This is the surfeit which women take by braue apparell. They rather suspect his worth, then wish his loue, who doth most exceede in brauerie. So Mr. Swetnam, doe you and all yours forbeare to censure of the dressings and attires of women for any such lewd intent, as you imagine: Bad minds are discouered by bad thoughts and hearts. Doe not say and rayle at women to be the cause of mens ouerthrow, when the originall roote and cause is in your selues. If you bee so affected that you cannot looke but you must forthwith be infected, I doe maruaile (Ioseph Swetnam) you set downe no remedies for that torment of Loue, as you call it: You bid men shunne and auoyde it, but those be common and ordinary rules and instructions: yet not so ordinary, as able to restraine the extraordinary humors of your giddy company. I will do you and your friends a kindnesse if you be so scorched with the flames of loue. Diogines did long since discouer the souerainge salue for such a wound: The receipt is no great charge, your selfe may be the Apothecarie, it is comprehended in three words: First, trie with [chronos], next with [limos], if
A medicine for loue. Time. Hanger. A Halter.
both these faile, the third is sure, [biochos]. This was Dioenes Antidote against that venemous infection. There are more milder remedies which you may put in practise: If your hearts be so fleshly, or your eies so tender that you dare trust neither of them, then trust to your reason to turne your eyes away, or trust to your heeles as Ioseph did, to carrie all away.
      After you haue railed against women, you bring in a fable of a contempt betwixt the Winde and the Sunne; and you apply the morall to women, when as it hath a farre other relation: for it euer hath been applyed to men, to instruct them in the gouernment of woman, for I pray you who is to gouerne, or who are to be gouerned? You should seeme to come from the Sauromatioans, whose wiues were their Masters: but I will set you downe both the Fable and the Morrall, as it was written in English verse long sithence.
    He Sunne and Winde at variance did fall,
    Whose force was greatest in the open field:
    A trauailer they chuse to deale withall;
    Who makes him first vnto their force to yeeld
        To cast off Cloake, they that agreement make,
        The honour of the victory must take.

    The Winde began and did encrease, each blast
    With raging beate vpon the silly man;
    The more it blew, the more he grasped fast
    And kept his Cloake, let
    Winde doe what it can:
        When all in vaine the
    Winde his worst had done,
        It ceast, and left a tryall to the

    The Sunne beginnes his beames for to display,
    And by degrees in heate for to encrease;
    The Trauailer then warme, doth make a stay,
    And by degrees his Cloake he doth release:
        At length is forc'd both Coate and Cloake to yeeld,
        So giues the
    Sunne the honour of the field.

    Who by extreames doth seeke to worke his will,
    By raging humours thinking so to gaine;
    May like the
    Winde augment his tempest still,
    But at the length he findes his furie vaine:
        For all he gets by playing franticke parts,
        He hard'neth more the mild and gentle hearts.

    Like as all Plants, when at the first they spring,
    Are tender, and soft bark'd on euery side;
    But as they grow continuall stormes doe bring
    Those are more hard which Northerne blasts abide:
        What's toward the Southerne tenderer we finde,
        And that more hard which feeles the Northern winde.

    Nature his course most carefully doth bend,
    From violence to seeke it selfe to arme;
    Where raging blasts the trees would breake and rend,
    There Nature striues to keepe her Plants from harme:
        Where violence is vnto Nature strange,
        Continuall custome there doth Nature change.

    So 'tis with women, who by Nature milde,
    If they on froward crabbed Husbands light;
    Continuall rage by custome makes them wilde,
    For crooked natures alter gentle quite;
        Men euermore shall this in triall finde,
        Like to her vsage so is womans minde.

    As of themselues, let men of others iudge,
    What man will yeeld to be compel'd by rage?
    At crabbednesse and crustnesse hearts doe grudge,
    And to resist, themselues they more engage:
        Forbeare the
    Winde, shine with the Sunne a while,
        Though she be angry she will forthwith smile.

      This is the true application of the Morrall. As for that crookednesse and frowardnesse with which you charge women, looke from whence they haue it; for of themselues and their owne disposition it doth not proceede, which is prooued, directly by your owne testimonie: for in your 45. Page, Line 15. You say, A
Woman of her owne disposition gentle, and milde.

Men infect.

young woman of tender yeares is flexible, obedient, and subiect to doe any thing, according to the will and pleasure of her Husband. How commeth it then that this gentle and milde disposition is afterwards altered? your selfe doth giue the true reason, for you giue a great charge not to marrie a widdow. But why? because say you in the same Page, A widdow is framed to the conditions of another man. Why then, if a woman haue froward conditions, they be none of her owne, she was framed to them. Is not our aduersarie ashamed of himselfe to raile against women for those faults which doe all come from men? Doth not hee most grieuously charge men to learne their wiues bad and corrupt behauiour? for hee saith plainely, Thou must vnlearne a widdow, and make her forget and forgoe her former corrupt & disordered behauiour. Thou must vnlearne her, Ergo, what fault shee hath, shee learned, her corruptnes commeth not from her own disposition, but from her Husbands destruction. Is it not a wonder, that your Pamphlets are so dispersed? Are they not wise men to cast away time and money vpon a Booke which cutteth their owne throates? 'Tis pittie but that men should reward you for your writing; if it bee but as the Romane Sartorious did the idle Poet, hee gaue him a reward, but not for his writing, but because he should neuer write more; as for women, they laugh that men haue no more able a champion. This author commeth to baite women, or as hee foolishly sayth, the Beare bayting of Women, and he bringeth but a mungrell Curre, who doth his kinde to braule and barke, but cannot bite. The milde and flexible dispostion of a woman is in philosophy proued in the composition of her body, for it is a Maxime, Mores animi sequntur temperaturam corporis, The disposition of the minde is answerable to the temper of the body. A woman in the temperature of her body is tender, soft, and
The disposition of the minde doth answere the composition of the body.

May men complaine of women without cause?

beautifull, so doth her disposition in minde corresponde accordingly; she is milde, yeelding, and vertuous; what disposition accidentally happeneth vnto her, is by the contagion of a froward husband, as Ioseph Swetnam affirmeth.
      And experience proueth. It is a shame for a man to complaine of a froward woman, in many respects all concerning himselfe. It is a shame he hath no more gouernment ouer the weaker vessell. It is a shame he hath hardned her tender sides, and gentle heart with his boistrous & Northren blasts. It is a shame for a man to publish and proclaime houshold secrets, which is a common practise amongst men, especially Drunkards Leachers, and prodigall spend-thrifts: These when they come home drunke, or are called in question for their riotous msidemeanours, they presently shew themselues, the right children of Adam. They will excuse themselues by their wiues, and say that their vnquietnesse and frowardnesse at home, is the cause that they run abroad. An excuse more fitter for a beast then a man. If thou wert a man thou wouldest take away the cause which vrgeth a woman to griefe and discontent, and not by thy frowardnesse encrease her distemperature: forbeare thy drinking, thy luxurious riot, thy gaming, and spending, and thou shalt haue thy wife giue thee as little cause at home, as thou giuest her great cause of disquiet abroad. Men which are men, if they chance to be matched with froward wiues, either of their own making, or others marring, they would make a benefit of the discommodity, either try his skill to make her milde, or exercise his patience to endure her curstnesse: for all crosses are inflicted either for punishment of sinnes, or for exercise of vertues; but humorous men will sooner marre a thousand women, then out of an hundred make one good.
      And this shall apeare in the imputation which our aduersarie chargeth vpon our sexe, to be lasciuious, wanton and lustfull: He sayth, Women temp,
Men are the Serpents
alure, and prouoke men.
How rare a thing it is for women to prostitute and offer themselues? how common a practise is it for men to seeke and solicite women to lewdnesse? what charge doe they spare? what trauell doe they bestow? what vowes, oathes and protestations doe they spend, to make them dishonest? They hyer Pandors, they write letters, they seale them with damnations, and execrations, to assure them of loue, when the end proues but lust: They know the flexible disposition of Women and the sooner to ouerreach them, some will pretend they are so plunged in loue that except they obtaine their desire they will seeme to drown'd, hang, stab, poyson,or banish themselues from friends and countrie: What motiues are these to tender dispositions? Some will pretend marriage, another offer continuall maintenance, but when they haue obtained their purpose, what shall a woman finde, iust that which is her euerlasting shame and griefe, shee hath made her selfe the vnhappie subiect to a lustfull bodie; and the shamefull stall of a lasciuious tongue. Men may with foule shame charge women with this sinne which they had neuer committed if shee had not trusted, nor had euer trusted if shee had not beene deceiued with vowes, oathes, and protestations. To bring a woman to offend in one sinne, how many damnable sinnes doe they commit? I appeale to their owne consciences. The lewd disposition of sundry men doth appeare in this; If a woman or maide will yeeld vnto lewdnesse, what shall they want? But if they would liue in honestie, what helpe shall they haue? How much will they make of the lewd? how base account of the honest? how many pounds will they spend in bawdie houses? but when will they bestowe a penny vpon an honest maide or woman, except it be to corrupt them?
      Our aduersary bringeth many examples of men
Shew a womans offence, but that man was the beginner.
which haue beene ouerthrowne by women. It is answered, before the fault is their owne. But I would haue him, or any one liuing, to shew any woman that offended in this sinne of lust, but that she was first sollicited by a man.
      Helen was the cause of Troyes burning; first, Paris did sollicite her, next, how many knaues and fooles of the male kinde had Troy, which to maintaine whoredome would bring their Citie to confusion.
      When you bring in examples of lewd women, and of men which haue beene stained by women, you shew your selfe both franticke, and a prophane irreligious foole to mention Iudith for cutting off Holofernes head, in that rancke.
      You challenge women for vntamed and vnbridled tongues, there was neuer woman was euer noted for so shamelesse, so brutish, so beastly a scold as you proue your selfe in this base and odious Pamphlet: You blaspheme God, you raile at his Creation, you abuse and slander his Creatures; and what immodest or impudent scurilitie is it, which you doe not expresse in this lewd and lying Pamphlet?
      Hitherto I haue so answered all your obiections against Women, that as I haue not defended the wickednesse of any; so I haue set downe the true state of the question, As Eue did not offend without the temptation of a Serpent; so women doe seldome offend, but it is by prouocation of men. Let not your impudencie, nor your consorts dishonestie, charge our sexe hereafter, with those sinnes of which you yourselues were the first procurers. I haue in my discourse, touched you, and all yours, to the quick. I haue taxed you with bitter speaches; you will (perhaps) say I am a rayling scold. In this obiection, Ioseph Swetnam, I will teach you both wit and honestie: The difference betwixt a railing scold, and
A difference betwixt accusing and slandering.
and an honest accuser, is this, the first rageth vpon passionate furie, without bringing cause or proofe; the other bringeth direct proofe for what she alleageth: you charge women with clamorous words, and bring no proofe; I charge you with blasphemie, with impudencie, scurilitie, foolery, and the like. I shew iust and direct proofe for what I say; it is not my desire to speake so much, it is your desert to prouoke me vpon iust cause so farre; it is no railing to call a Crow blacke, or a Wolfe a rauenour, or a drunkard a beast; the report of the truth is neuer to be blamed, the deseruer of such a report, deserueth the shame.
      Now, for this time, to draw to an end; let me aske according to the question of Cassian, Cui bono? what haue you gotten by publishing your Pamphlet; good I know you can get none. You haue (perhaps) pleased the humors of some giddy, idle conceited persons: But you haue died your selfe in the colours of shame, lying, slandering, blasphemie, ignorance, and the like.
      The shortnesse of time and the weight of businesse call me away, and vrge me to leaue off thus abruptly, but assure your selfe where I leaue now, I will by Gods grace supply the next Terme, to your small content. You haue exceeded in your furie against Widdowes, whose defence you shall heare of at the time aforesaide, in the meane space recollect your wits, write out of deliberation, not out of furie; write out of aduice, not out of idlenesse; forbeare to charge women with faults which come from the contagion of Masculine serpents.
Women, against the Author
of the Arraignment of Women.

C H A P.   VIII.

    N idle companion was raging of late,
    Who in furie 'gainst
    Women expresseth his hate:
    Hee writeth a Booke, an
    Arraignment he calleth,
    In which against women he currishly bawleth.
    He deserueth no answere but in Ballat or Ryme,
    Vpon idle fantastickes who would cast away time:
    Any answere may serue an impudent lyar,
    Any mangie scab'd horse doth fit a scal'd Squire:
    In the ruffe of his furie, for so himselfe saith,
    The blasphemous companion he shamefully playeth.
    The woman for an
    Helper, God did make he doth say,
    But to
    Helpe to consume and spend all away.
    Thus, at Gods creation to flout and to iest,
    Who but an Atheist would so play the beast?
    The Scriptures doe proue that when
    Adam did fall,
    And to death and damnation was thereby a thrall.
    Then woman was an
    Helper, for by her blessed seed,
    From Hell and damnation all mankinde was freed.
    He saith, women are froward, which the rib doth declare,
    For like as the Rib, so they crooked are:
    The Rib was her Subiect for body we finde,
    But from God came her Soule, and dispose of her minde.
    Let no man think much if women compare,
    That in their creation they much better are:
    More blessings therein to women doe fall,
    Then vnto mankinde haue been giuen at all.
    Women were the last worke, and therefore the best,
    For what was the end, excelleth the rest.
    For womans more honour, it was so assign'd,
    She was made of the rib of mettall refin'd:
    The Countrey doth also the woman more grace,
    For Paradice is farre the more excellent place.
    Yet women are mischieuous, this Author doth say,
    But Scriptures to that directly say nay:
    God said,
    'twixt the Woman and Serpent for euer,
    Strong hatred he would put, to be qualified neuer.
    The woman being hatefull to the Sepents condition,
    How excellent is she in her disposition?
    The Serpent with men in their workes may agree,
    But the Serpent with women that neuer may be.
    If you aske how it happens some women proue naught,
    By men turn'd to Serpents they are ouer wrought.
    What the Serpent began, men follow that still,
    They temp what they may to make women doe ill.
    They will temp, and prouoke, and follow vs long:
    They deceiue vs with oathes, and a flattering tongue.
    To make a poore Maiden or woman a whore,
    They care not how much they spend of their store.
    But where is there a man that will anything giue
    That woman or maide may with honestie liue?
    If they yeeld to lewd counsell they nothing shall want,
    But for to be honest, then all things are scant.
    It proues a bad nature in men doth remaine.
    To make women lewd their purses they straine.
    For a woman that's honest they care not a whit,
    Theyle say she is honest because she lackes wit.
    Theyle call women whores, but their stakes they might saue,
    There can be no Whore, but there must be a Knaue.
    They say that our dressings, and that our attire
    Are causes to moue them to lustfull fire.
    Of all things which are we euermore finde,
    Such thoughts doe arise as are like to the minde.
    Mens thoughts being wicked they wracke on vs thus,
    That scandall is taken, not giuen by vs.
    If their sight be so weake, and their frailtie be such,
    Why doe they then gaze at our beauty so much?
    Plucke away those ill roots whence sinne doth arise,
    Amend wicked thoughts, or plucke out the eyes.
    The humors of men, see how froward they bee;
    We know not to please them in any degree:
    For if we goe plaine we are sluts they doe say,
    They doubt of our honesty if we goe gay;
    If we be honest and merrie, for giglots they take vs,
    If modest and sober, then proud they doe make vs:
    Be we housewifly quicke, then a shrew he doth keepe,
    If patient and milde, then he scorneth a sheepe.
    What can we deuise to doe or to say,
    But men doe wrest all things the contrary way.
    'Tis not so vncertaine to follow the winde,
    As to seeke to please men of so humerous minde.
    Their humors are giddy, and neuer long lasting,
    We know not to please them, neither full nor yet fasting.
    Either we doe too little, or they doe too much:
    They straine our poore wits, their humors are such.
    They say, women are proud, wherein made they triall?
    They moou'd some lewd suit, and had the deniall:
    To be crost in such suites, men cannot abide,
    And therupon we are entitled with pride.
    They say we are curst and froward by kinde,
    Our mildnesse is vnchanged, where raging we finde,
    A good
    Iacke sayes the prouerbe, doth make a good Gill,
    A curst froward Husband doth change woman's will.
    They vse vs (they say) as necessary euils,
    We haue it from them, for they are our deuils.
    When they are in their rages and humerous fits,
    They put vs poore women halfe out of our wits.
    Of all naughty women name one if you can,
    If she be prou'd bad, it came by a man.
    Helen forsooke her husband of Greece,
    A man called
    Paris, betrayed that peece.
    Medea did rage, and did shamefully murther,
    Iason was cause, which her mischiefe did further.
    Cresside was false, and changed her loue,
    Diomedes her heart by constraint did remoue.
    In all like examples the world may see,
    Where women proue bad, there men are not free.
    But in those offences they haue the most share,
    Women would be good, if Serpents would but spare.
    Let Women and Maides whatsoeuer they be,
    Come follow my counsell, be warned by me.
    Trust not mens suites, their loue proueth lust,
    Both hearts, tongues and pens, doe all proue uniust.
    How farre they will speake and write in their loue,
    But put them to tryall how false doe they proue?
    They loue hot at first, when loue is a stranger,
    But they will not be tied to racke and to manger.
    What loue call you that when men are a wooing,
    And seeke nothing else but shame and undoing.
    As women in their faults I doe not commend,
    So with I all men their lewd faultes they would end.
    Let women alone, and seeke not their shame,
    You shall haue no cuse then women to blame,
    'Tis like that this Author against such doth bawle,
    Who by his temptations haue gotten a fall:
    For he who of women so wickedly deemeth,
    Hath made them dishonest, it probably seemeth.
    He hath beene a Traueller, it may be well so,
    By his tales and reports as much we doe know.
    He promiseth more poyson against women to thrust,
    He doth it for phisicke, or else he would brust.
    Thus I bid him farewell till next we doe meete,
    And then as cause moueth, so shall we greete.

I O A N E  S H A R P.


Faultes escaped:

    Page 33. Line 1. for cary, read curry. p.36.l.30 for sincerity r. scurility.
    p.38.l.28. for something, r. any thing. Ibid. for countrey, r. counter. p.40.
    l.5. for contempt, r. contention.

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