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But more herein to speak I am forbidden,
Sometime for speaking truth one may be chidden. I am not willing, you see, to prosecute the cause against them, and therefore take heed you mistake me not, * matronam nullam ego tungo, I honour the sex, with all good men, and as I ought to do, rather then displease them, I will voluntarily take the oath which Mercurius Britanicus took, Viragin. descript. tib. 2. fol. 95. Me nihil unquam mali nobilissimo sexui, vel verbo, vel facto machinaturum, Sc. let Simonides, Mantuan, Platina, Pet. Aratine, and such women-haters bare the blame, if ought be said amniss; I have not writ a tenth of that which might be urged out of them and others ; t non possunt invectivæ omnes, & satyre in fæminus scripte, uno volumine comprehendi. And that which I have said (to speak truth) no more concerns them then men, though women be more frequently named in this Tract; (to Apologize once for all) I am neither partiall against them, or therefore bitter ; what is said of the one, mutato nomine, may most part be understood of the other. My words are like Passus' picture in I Lucian, of whoin, when a good fellow had bespoke an horse to be painted with his heeles upwards, tumbling on his back, he made him passant: now when the fellow caine for his piece, he was very angry, and said, it was quite opposite to his ininde ; but Passus instantly turned the Picture upside down, shewed him the horse at that site which he requested, and so gave hiin satisfaction. If any inan take exception at my words, let him alter the name, read him for her, and 'uis all one in effect.
But to my purpose: If women in generall be so bad (and men worse than they) what a hazard is it to marry? where shall a man finde a good wife, or a woman a good husband? A woman a man may eschue, but not a wife: wedding is undoing (some say) marrying marring, wooing woing : “ " a wife is 2 fever hectick," as Scaliger calls her, “and not to be cured but by death,” as out of Menander, Atheneus addes,
“ In pelagus te jacis negotiorum,-
But on this rock not one escapes, I say, The worldly cares, iniseries, discontents, that accompany marriage, I pray you learn of them that have experience, for I have none; *maidas yw byws èyermokuny, libri mentis liberi. For my part I'le dissemble with him, .“ Este procul nymphæ, fallax genus este puellæ,
m Febris hec
* Hor. + Christoph. Fonseca. Lisa uxor, & non nisi murtc avellenda.
1 none; » Plautus
Vita jugata meo non facit ingenio : Me juvat,” &c. many married men exclai!ne at the miseries of it, and rail at wives down right; I never tried, but as I hear some of them say,
“ Mare haud mare, vos mare acerrimum," An Irish Sea is not so turbulent and raging as a litigious wife.
« Scylla & Charybdis Sicula contorquens freta,
There is no beast that is so noxious. Which made the Divell belike, as inost interpreters hold, when he had taken away Job's goods, corporis & fortunæ bona, health, children, friends, to persecute him the more, leave his wicked wife, as Pineda proves out of Tertullian, Cyprian, Austin, Chrysostome, Prosper, Gaudentius, &c. ut novum calamitatis inde genus viro existeret, to vex and gaule hin worse quam totus infernus, then all the fiends in hell, as knowing the conditions of a bad woinan. Jupiter non tribuit homini pestilentius malum, saith Simonides: " better dwell with a Dragon or a Lion, then kcep house with a wicked wife.” Ecclus 25. 18. “ better dwell in a wilderness." Proy, 21. 19, " no wickedness like to her," Ecclus 25. 22. “ She makes a sorry heart, an heavy countenance, a wounded minde, weaķ hands, and feeble knees,” vers. 25. "A woman and death are two the bitterest things in the world :” uxor mihi ducenda est hodie, id mihi visus est dicere, abi domum & suspende te. Ter. And, 1. 5. And yet for all this we Batchelors desire to be married, with that Vestall virgin, we long for it,
“Felices nuptæ! moriar, nisi nubere dulce est." Tis the sweetest thing in the world, I would I had a wise, saith he,
For fain would I leave a single life,
If I could get me a good wife. hai-ho for an husband, cries she, a bad husband, nay the worst that ever was is bettei then none : O blissfull marriage, () most
* Synesius, libros ego liberos genui. Lipsius antiq. Levt. lib. Asin. act i. + Senec. in. Hercul. Seneca.
welcome marriage, and happy are they that are so coupled: we do earnestly seek it, and are never well till we have effected it. But with what fate? like those birds in the * Embleme, that . fed about a cage, so long as they could fly away at their plea. sure, liked well of it; but when they were taken and might not get loose, though they had the same meat, pined away for sullenness, and would not eat. So we commend marriage,
donec miselli liberi
Fel intus est quod mel fuit:” So long as we are wooers, may kiss and koll at our pleasure, nothing is so sweet, we are in heaven as we think : but when we are once tied, and have lost our liberty, marriage is an hell, “ give me my yellow hose again :" a mouse in a trap lives as merrily, we are in a purgatory some of us, if not hell it self: Dulce bellum inexpertis, as the proverb is, 'tis fine talking of war, and marriage sweet in contemplation, 'till it be tried : and then as wars are most dangerous, irksome, every minute at death's dore, so is, &c. When those wild Irish Peers, saith • Stanihurst, were feasted by King Henry the second (at what time he kept his Christmas at Dublin) and liad tasted of his Princelike cheer, generous wines, dainty fare, had seen his P massie plate of silver, gold, inamel'd, beset with jewels, golden candle-sticks, goodly rich hangings, brave furniture, heard his trumpets sound, Fifes, Drums, and his exquisite inusick in all kindes: when they had observed his majesticall presence as he sate in purple robes, crowned, with his scepter, &c. in his royall seat, the poor inen, were so ainazed, inamoreil, and taken with the object, that they were perfæsi domestici & pristini tyrotarchi, as weary and ashamed of their own sordidity and inanner of life. They would all be English forthwith; who but English! but when they had now submitted themselves, and lost their former liberty, they began to rebell some of them, others repent of what they had done, when it was too late, 'Tis so with us Batchelors, when we see and behold shosé sweet faces, those gaudy shewes that women make, observe their pleasant gestures and graces, give car to their Siren tunes, see them dance, &c. we think their coditions are as fine as their faces, we are taken with duinb signes, in amplexuñl ruimus, we rave, we burn, and would fain be married. But when we feel the miseries, cares, woes, that
· * Amator. Emblem. De rebus Hibernicis, 1.3. Gemmea pocula, argentea vasa, cælata candelabra, anrea, &c. Conchileata aulæa, bnccinarum clangorem, tibiarum cantum, & symphoniæ suavitatem, majestatemq; princ pis coronaci cum vidissent sella de aurata, &c.
accompany it, we make our moan many of us, cry out at length and cannot be released. If this be true now, as some out of experience will enform us, farewell wiving for my part, and as the Comicall Poet merrily saith,
" Perdatur ille pessimè qui fæminam
He knew not what he did, nor what it was.
“ + Stulta maritali qui porrigit ora capistro," I pitty him not, for the first time he must do as he may, bear it out soinetimes by the head and shoulders, and let his next neighbour ride, or else run away, or as that Syracusian in a tempest, when all ponderous things were to be exonerated out of the ship, quia maxinium pondus erat, fiing his wife into the Sea. But this I confesse is Comically spoken, 'and so I pray you take it. In sober sadness, 'marriage is a bondage, a thral. dom, an yoke, an hinderance to all good enterprises, (" he hath married a wife and cannot come") a stop to all preferments, a rock on which many are saved, many impinge and are cast away: not that the thing is evill in it self or trouble. some, but full of all contentinent and happiness, one of the three things which please God, " I when a man and his wife agree together,'' an honorable and happy estate, who knows it not? If they be sober, wise, honest, as the Poet infers,
“ Si commodos nanciscantur amores,
No pleasure's wanting to their life. But to undiscreet sensuall persons, that as brutes are wholy led by sense, it is a ferall plague, many times an hell it self, and can give little or no content,' being that they are often so irregular and prodigious in their lusts, so diverse in their affections. Uxor nomen dignitatis, non voluptatis, as he said, a wife is a name of honor, not of pleasure : she is fit to bear the office,
? Eubulus in Crisil. Athenæus dypnosophist, 1. 13. c. 3. Translated by my brother Ralfe Burton. + Juvenal. Hæc in speciem dicta cave ut credas. Batchelors always are the bravest men. Bacon. Seek eternity in memory, not in posterity, like Epaminondas, that instead of children, left two great victories behind him, which he called his two daughters. Lcclus 28. 1.
Luripides Audromach. Elius Verus imperator Spar. vit. ejus.
govern a family, to bring up children, sit at bord's end and carve, as some carnal inen think and say; they had rather go to the stews, or have now and then a snatch as they can come by it, horrow of their neighbours, then have wives of their own; except they may, as some Princes and great men do, keep as many Curtisans as they will themselves, Ay out impunè,
« * Permolere uxores alienas.” that polygamy of Turkes, Lex Julia, with Cæsar once inforced in Rome (though Levinus Torrentius and others suspect it) uti urores quot & quas vellent liceret, that every great man might marry, and keep as inany wives as he would, or Irish divorcement were in use : but as it is, 'tis hard and gives not that satisfaction to these carnal men, beastly men as too many are: + What still the saine, to be tied to one, be she never so fair, never so vertuous, is a thing they may not endure, to love one long. Say thy pleasure, and counterfeit as thou wilt, as P Parineno told Thais, Neg; tu uno eris contenta, one man will never please thee; nor one woman many men. But as • Pan replied to his father Mercury, when he asked whether he was married, Nequaquam pater, amator enim sum, &c. “No father, no, I am a lover still, and cannot be contented with one. woman.” Pythias, Eccho, Menades, and I know not how many besides, were his Mistrisses, he might not abide marriage. Varieta's delectat, tis loathsome and tedious, what one still? which the Satyrist said of Iberina, is verified in most,
" #Unus Iberinæ vir sufficit ? ocyus illud
As soon shee'l have one eye as one man still : As capable of any impression as materia prima it self, that still desires new formes, like the sea their affections ebb and flow. Husband is a cloak for some to hide their villany; once married she may ily out at her pleasure, the name of Husband is a sanctuary to make all good. Eò ventum (saith Seneca) ut nulla virum habeat, nisi ut irritet adulterum. They are right and straight, as true Trojans as mine hoste's daughter, that Spanish wench in “ Ariosto, as good wives as Messalina. Many men are as constant in their choice, and as good husbands as Nero himself, they must have their pleasure of all they see, anil are in a word far more fickle then any woman.
Hor. + Quod licet, ingratum est. For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, &c. 'tis durus sermo to a scnsuall man.
Ter, act. 1. Sc. 2. Eunuch. Lucian. Tom. 4. neq; cum unâ aliquâ rem habere contentus forem. Juvenal. Lib. 28.