LA GALERIE DES FEMMES FORTES

THE GALLERY OF Heroick Women.

Written in French by PETER LE MOYNE, of the Society of JESVS. Translated into English by the MARQUESSE OF VVINCHESTER

LONDON, Printed by R. NORTON for HENRY SEILE, over against S. Dunstans Church in Fleetstreet. M.DC.LII.

The Translators Address to the Ladies of this Nation.

LADIES,

ME Thinks I see your curious Eyes ad­vancing apace to behold this Novel­tie, this fair Gallery of Heroick Wo­men, first erected in France to the Honour and instruction of your Sex, and now transported into England up­on the same Account.

These Gallant Heroesses repaired first from all the Regions of History to the Court of France to lay down their Crowns at the Queen Regents Feet: This Ceremonie and Duty performed, they had a desire to passe the Sea, and inform themselves of the con­dition and state of this Island; And finding no Queen here to whom they might render the same obedience, they resolved to address themselves to you, hoping to finde amongst such noble Company, some Ladies, who resemble them at least in part of their Vertues, if not in all.

A Voyage of this Nature deserves the best Entertainment; And the most sumptuous Feast you can set forth to such illu­strious Guests in acknowledgement of the Honour they have done you by this Visit, will be the pure oblation of your Hearts inflamed with a desire to follow their Glorious steps, and imi­tate their Exemplar Vertues.

[Page] The conversation of such brave women cannot chuse but be most delightful and instructive to you: and some of your hours I assure my self, will be well imployed in giving a serious Atten­tion to the Stories of their renowned Actions, and in reflecting chiefly on the examples of those Christan Heroesses, who beau­tifie this rich Structure, and contribute most to your Imitation. Their gallantry is so perfect, as you need not doubt, but they will gladly suffer your noble Hands to take some Flowers out of their Garlands; which if well applyed, Crowns may be for­med on them, and one day placed upon your Heads by some worthy Person of our Countrey, who taking notice of your Vertuous Carriages and improved Actions in this land of trial, may hereafter erect a new Gallery, in which your Statues and Names will remain a Spectacle of Honour and Imitation to Posterity.

I need say no more, having given you sufficient matter of Emulation: It is powerful in all great souls, and observed to be particularly grafted in your Sex. I will not then detain you any longer from entring into this resplendent Gallery, but open the Do [...]r to you by this little tribute of Respect, rendred to your fair Hands by

Your most Humble Servant WINCHESTER.

The Authors Panegyrical Address to the Queen Regent.

MADAM,

THE Heroick Women assembled in this Gallery are come from all parts of Hi­story to lay down their Crowns at your Majesties Feet, and to congratulate in common the Honour you have rendred to your Sex. True it is, Madam, that all the Eyes of Europe are now fix'd on you. And there are no Mouths so little Chri­stian and so much ingaged elsewhere, which do not seriously, and sincerely applaud you.

However, Madam, I may say, that the Company I present unto you will bring no confusion to the Feast. They are Sove­raign and Illustrious Women, who have been like your self, the choicest objects of their Ages: They are Victorious Per­sons, whom Vertue and Glory have Crowned with their own Hands. And this must needs be a sweet satisfaction to you that so many Soveraign and Illustrious Women have descended from their Thrones and Theaters to become your Spectators. The Sound and Acclamations of so many Heroesies who ap­plaud you with their Hands cannot chuse but be a pleasing harmony to your Ears.

The chief thing, Madam, is, that these Applauses are no Stage Representations; that these Acclamations are no con­strained or purchased Flatteries. They are serious and legiti­mate Tributes, which the vanquished pay to their Victress. And you have vanquished them with so much Grace and Ju­stice; [Page] the Advantages you have over them are so charming, and your emulation hath been so modest, as there is not one a­mongst them who is not thankful and well pleasing with your Victory.

This Victory, Madam, so acceptable to the Vanquished, is intirely Yours. It is not of your Regency; It is of your whole Person: And though it be Peaceable and free from blood, yet it is not inferiour to those tumultuary and bloudy Victories you have gained in the generall distemper of all Europe. It is certainely your great glory to have overcome on the Rhein, on the two Seas beyond the Alps and the Pyrene­an Mountains: But your Glory (Madam) is much greater, by having ouercome in Histories and Annals, in Heroick Ages, and in the Region of great Examples. And what noise soever is made by the Arm's of France, the Reputation of your Vertue Victorious over the Artemisias, the Rada­guna's and Pantbea's, is far more illustrious and resplendent then the renown of your Fortune victorious over so many de­feated Armies, and reduced Fortresses.

I need not fear that any one will accuse me of flattery, or re­proach my words with hyperbolicall Excesse. Heathen Ver­tues were never of the force, or stature of Christian Vertues, and amongst these later yours (Madam) are the most Vi­gorous and eminent; they are Heroick and Soveraign▪

Your Piety indeed is of another Elevation and Zeal, then their affected shews of Devotion, who limit to the circle of their Beads, who referre all their Meditations to the modesty of their dresse, and to a few tears squeezed out by force. Your Piety amuseth not its self in making smoak in the house of God, and trafficking with him by consuming Tapers, and evaporating Perfumes. It draws from the bottom of your heart the fire Incense and Victime of the Sacrifices it offers to his Divine Majesty; And which is more acceptable to him then all the Gums of Land and Sea; which is more pleasing to him then the bloud of slaughtered flocks; it presents unto him the Contrition of a Soveraign heart, the Humility of a Crowned head, and the abasement and adoration of a humili­ated and religious Authority.

[Page] This private Worship, and these domestique Sacrifices, make not her whole imployment; she hath other more gene­rall Practises, and other Exercises exposed to the eyes of the world. These Practises are Instructions which equall the worth of Laws: And these Exercises are Examples which command. She refers her particular devotions to the edifica­tion of the People: She Prayes and Meditates for an infinity of Souls: And the Propagation of Faith, the Defence of the Church, the safety of the Kingdom, the Peace and Tranquil­lity of the whole Christian World are the points of her Medi­tation, and the scope of her Prayers.

Publick persons ought thus to meditate and pray for the Publick: Their Devotion should be a devotion of Order, and their Zeal a zeal of Discipline. They cannot vow any thing better then wholesome Laws, and good Examples, not any thing more holy then Mercy and Iudgement. And what is aspiration and desire in their Oratory, ought to be reduced to Order and Policy in the Body of the State. In this sence it is said, that Piety is an universal Good, and for all uses; And in what sence soever it be spoken, the extent of this saying is at present filled up by the extent of your Piety, which is the Generall Merit, and the Common good of the Kingdom.

Is it not your Piety, which hath forced heaven, and over­come the resistance of yeers; which hath obtained the fruit of Benediction, the expectation and desire of the People, after all their desires were exhausted, and their hope and patience in a manner consumed? Is it not this Piety which hath retained on our side both the Fortune which the death of the deceased King had set at liberty, and the reputation which seemed rea­dy to retire with Fortune? Is it not this Piety which crowned the ashes of this good Prince and brought Victory to his Fu­nerall; which infused resolution and courage into the sorrow of France; which shewed unto our Enemies couragious and formidable Tears, and a bold and triumphant Sadnesse? Is it not this Piety which hath made the Perfume wherewith our mali­cious Devils have been chased away; which hath bound up the spirit of Discord, fatall to Regencies, and funestous to the Minorities of Princes?

[Page] Our fear Madam was, that we did ask too much, and did beleeve our wishes too great when we demanded a smooth and peaceable Regency for your Majestie, and when we wish­ed the King a Minority free from Rebellion and Troubles: Yet what we behold at present Madam, is far greater then our wishes, and much exceeding our demands. VVe see a Regency managed with Vigour, and Addresse, still attempting and prosperous: A Regency which hath the splendor and re­putation of the most Illustrious Reignes. We behold a Mi­nority Victorious and Conquering: A Minority respected by Subjects, and dreadfull to Enemies: A Minority which is the hope and support of the Christian VVorld. VVe see a VVoman who diverts bad blasts, and changeth malignant Constellations: A VVoman belov'd and follow'd by For­tune: A VVoman the Superintendent and Directresse of Victory. VVe behold a Child, who hath the Credit and Reputation of Reigning Soveraigns. VVho is the Arbitra­tor of Princes, and the Master of Nations; who ballances and decides the Affairs of Europe.

All these Prosperities, Madam, are after God the works of your Piety, the fruit of your Devotions, and the reward of your good Deeds. Your Oratory is the common Fortresse, and generall Magazine of our Frontiers. It is the principall Peece of our Campes, the most redoubtable to our Enemies. In your Oratory, that is formed which destroys their Engins, and disorders their Designes: that which takes in their Towns, and defeats their Armies: And all our Victories commence in your Cabinet, through your Zeal and Prayer, before the Con­duct of Generals, and the Valour of Souldiers compleat them in the Field.

By this way of Combatting you make a holy VVar, and fight like a Christian Heroesse. Thus the good Angels and blessed Souls fight in the behalf of Men: Their Piety is their Valour, and their Prayers are their Weapons. And your Majestie, who so profitably imployes this Victorious Piety, and these combatting Devotions, merits no lesse thereby the Name of Heroesse, and the Title of Conqueress, then if you [Page] exposed your Person to the labour and toil of Sieges, to the perils and hazards of Battels.

Force is not so great as it is esteemed, for being cloathed in Iron, for handling fire and steel, for making a breach with Canon-shot. True and eminent Force is to defeat Armies by desiring their overthrow; It is to demolish Citadels and Forts, by bowing knees, and lifting up hands to Heaven: It is to take in Cities, and to subject Nations by a Tear let fall a hundred Leagues from thence, by a word which no man heareth.

Such was the Force of the Prophets, Generals of the Hosts of God: Such was that of Moses, Gideon, and Debora, who led the Elements, and Meteors to the Warres; who had Na­ture and Fortune in their Troups; who effected more by a signe given by their hands, then could be performed with armed Nations, and a whole world of Engins. Such was the Force of the Victorious VVidow, who vanquished all Assria, encamped before a City, and defeated it with a few sighes and tears. It was like that of St. Hellen who overthrew Maxen­ [...]ius his Party, by her good works; Like that of Pulcheria, whose Alms and Fastings were the principall weapons of two Raignes. Like that of C [...]otilda who preserved Clodoueus, inga­ged in a disadvantagious Encounter, and repulsed the Germans, who poured down like a deluge upon their Frontiers. And even at present, Madam, this Force is the same with that of your Piety, which at the foot of Altars performes all the me­morable Exploits of our field Armies; And which even in your Closet gains Battels, and takes Towns in all the parts of Europe.

But this commanding and Victorious Piety is not the one­ly Peece of your Regency: It is assisted by Prodence and Justice, by the Graces and Magnificence, by all serviceable and delightfull Vertues; And these Co-operating Vertues, acting as they do, in the Spirit and by the conduct of Piety which governs them, are indeed of another Elevation then those which Act in the spirit of the World, and by the direction of Morality.

[Page] That Prudence which the VVorld inspires, is but a tutor'd and disciplin'd Malignity, but a certain Venome tempered with Flegme, and infused with method. Your Majestie puri­fied both within and without, hath nothing of Malevolent or Imposture, nothing of captious or double, Dealing.

The lights of your VVisdom cannot be false, comming from so high a Region, and from so cleer a Source. They can­not be defective, Marching with so even a pace, and levelling at so elevated an End; nor cannot it be reproached, as having either by mistake or weaknesse fixed it thoughts upon those mean and inferiour Ends, which humane Prudence seeks in Time, and within the limits of Matter.

Justice meerly Morall, is, to expresse it well, but an authori­zed VVilfulnesse, a wilde and cruell Habit, which lawfully of­fends. Its force is but a force of Obstinacy and unpliableness; By striving to over-bend the Level it breaks it; It snaps in two the line, by endeavouring to hold it too straight. And be­ing often enough abused by the small distance between the ex­tremity of right, and the extremity of wrong; It acts great cruelties where it thinks to produce great Examples. Your Justice, Madam, illuminated and tempered by Piety, which governs it, is equally remote from those two Extreams. It is truely forceable and entire, but it is of a temperate and gentle Force. It is of an Integrity like that of Laws which are far from Cruelty and harshnesse, which are modest and respectfull. And ordaining things with this Integrity and Force, it com­mands Persons with respect, and sweetens in them the sense of what may be the most rigid in its Orders. It cannot be said, Madam, that the Law is a leaden Rule in your hands: It hath there all the evennesse and solidity it ought to have: Nor can it be said to be a Rule of Iron; It hath neither the weight nor roughnesse thereof, nor breaks the things which will be no more then adjusted.

But there is no Law so rigorous which may not be sweet­ned by the Graces with which you Act. And Justice; nay the most unflexible and vindicative Justice would alter its inclina­tion, and countenance, and become milde and munificent in [Page] their Company. In this I say much, Madam, and yet this much is but a part of what may be said. VVe know the Hi­story of the first Domination the VVorld hath seen, and con­sequently know, that they were the Graces which tamed the cruelty of the first Men; which imposed the yoak upon their necks, which made them love bondage and chains. However this yoak was yet but rough-drawn; These chains were rude and and unpolished: And the wonder is, that the Graces which imposed them on Men, were then but unexpert and half rustick. Your Majesties Graces are of a higher Ele­vation, and have another kinde of Force then those other. They are such whose commands oblige, and which are plea­sing to those they binde: They are such as alleviate duties, and sweeten servitude; such as know how to polish the Scepter, and temper the over great resplendency of the Crown. And, Ma­dam, I shall not stick to say, that lesse efficacious Graces then your own have sweetned Injustice, and set a pleasing face up­on Tyrannie.

The Importance is, that these your Majesties Graces are not onelie modest and disciplined, but Religious and entirely Christian: Your Piety hath inspired them with devotion and zeal: It hath sanctified them, and sanctified your Pru­dence and Justice. And this sanctification of the Graces, Ma­dam, is not a vain intertainment of the mind, nor an amaze­ment of unimployed Reason. Force is more necessarie there­to, then to the melancholy austerity of retired Ver­tues. Aud it cannot be but the effect of a continuall and ob­stinate labour, of an ever firme and attentive soul, to please without intermission; to delight with seriousnesse; to be still in good humour and of good example; to gain hearts with­out making any unseemly Advances, or hazarding one single word of Indiscretion.

Magnificence, which is an other Vertue attending on great Fortunes, and great Souls, is governed like your Majesties Vertues, by this directing and commanding Piety, which is the Superintendent of your Life. It is no new thing to see Magnificence at Court. It is Originary of that Country: There [Page] it hath its Theatres and Exercises: And there is no private Per­son so well provided with whom it suffers not inconvenience and constraint. But to speak truly (Madam) it is very rare to see at Court a well Ordered and Regular Magnificence, pu­rified from Pride and Haughtinesse, cured of Ostentation and Excesse, disingaged from sense and from the things it mana­geth. And this Orderly, Regular, Spirituall and unclogged Magnificence hath an other kind of force then Frugality, Modesty, and Simplicity which are far remote from burthen­some, and ingaging Objects.

Soveraignty, Madam, hath a splendor which sutes with its own Condition. It hath lights which belong unto its Digni­tie, and which you cannot lawfully extinguish. The Vertues of your Fortune are of another Order, and ought to have other Marks then those of your Person. And by a disposal contrary to that of the Ark of Covenant, which was only covered with skins, and adorned within with Gold and Purple. Your Majestie may well reserve Modesty for your Interior, and Humility for your Sentiments: but it owes Lustre and Pomp to your Dignity: It owes a specious and splendid Exteriour to the eyes of the World. This mixture of Splendour and Modesty, and this alliance of appearing Majesty with a veiled Humility, is the last form and consummation of Christian Magnificence: And I know not Madam, whether in the whole Course of your life there be any part wherein your Ver­tue is more vigorous, or your Spirit acts more gallantly and with greater Force.

There is mauy times but a constrained and necessitated Mo­deration; nothing but an artificial and ill-looked Poverty in what is stiled the Vertue and Power of private Persons. That which is Humility under Sackcloth, and is Abstinence in a Cloister, would be peradventure Pride and Presumption under Purple; Ambition and Avarice in a Palace. True Power, Madam, consists in floating as you do, above the abundance of your Condition, and the plenitude of your Fortune: It con­sists in conserving the elevation of your Soul, and the Free­dom of your Heart amidst an Infinity of Objects, which [Page] sweetly ruine, and bind with pleasure. It consists in keeping your self in a posture of mind like that of the Cherubius on the Ark, who amongst Gold and Pretious-stones, in the midst of Purple and Perfumes, turn not away their eyes from the Propitiatory. In fine, it consists in preserving the Purity of Intention, and the Rectitude of sight, in the most pompous and resplendent Actions, and in Imitating the Planet-R [...]uli [...]g Intelligences, which look onely upon God, and aim at no­thing but his Glory in the splendor of their Orbs, and amidst the numerous Objects they convey unto us.

These Vertues Madam, which are all Heroick and Royall, have conjoyntly wrought upon the Statue erected unto You in the midst of this Gallery: Magnificence hath furnished the Matter, which is pretious and befitting the Merit and Repu­tation of the Work. The Graces, I mean the industrious and skilfull Graces have carved it, and given it all the Lectures which a compleat Figure can receive from a perfect Modell. Force hath received it from their hands, and raised it upon its Basis. Justice hath graved the Inscription, and Piety hath been the Overseer and Directresse of the whole Peece.

These Artists are none of the common Artificers, nor their works any of the Vulgar ones. Their hands transcend those of the Ancient Sculptors: And the Eternity they are to give, is a far different eternity from that of the Heroes in Mar­ble, and the Gods in Brasse All these Gods and Heroes framed by Men, are long since dead and buried: We scarce retain their dust, & some small fragments half consumed by time It belongs only to the Graces and Vertues to work for Eternity. Not only Years, but even Ages, more injurious then Years treat their Works with respect: And yet at this day in the Books and Memorialls of Worthy Men there are Ancient Pieces of their Modell, which are as neat and entire, as if they came but new­ly out of their hands. The Portraitures they have made of your Majesty, of what matter soever they be composed, will be used with the same respect and esteem, they will not be de­faced and destroyed; they will be entertained and multiplied by Time. And Posterity, even the least Curious, yea the least [Page] Cultivated and rudest Nations will desire their Copy.

VVhiles these honours and this acknowledgement of Po­sterity are in Expectation, be pleased Madam, that the most Noble and Illustrious Part of Antiquity may honour you in this Gallery. This will be no impure and tumultuary Wor­ship: The honours which shall be rendred you by so many Wise, by so many Magnanimous, by so many gloriously chast Women will not be disavowed, and unauthorized. Such fair hands cannot present you but with most pure Incense, nor make you other then beautifull and precious Crowns: And nothing but just and melodious Acclamations, nothing but a Harmony of Honour and Heroick Hymns, can proceed from so many Soveraigne and well instructed Mouthes.

This Veneration will be common to the Illustrious of your Sex: But those of your Race and Name will bring unto it a particular Zeal, as they have a Duty, a Part, and Interests peculiar to themselves. And in the Crowd of so many Hero­esses which will presse to be seen by your Majesty, the Blan­ches and Isabella's, whether of Castile or Austria, will make their Offerings and Vows remarkable amongst the rest. Be­sides Madam, they have a neerer Relation to you, and owe you more then others: And the honour they have to Revive in you, and to be Irradiated by your Reputation, is to them a second Life more Illustrious then the First: It is to them a temporall Beatitude, wherein they take more glory then in the eternity they enjoy in History.

But Madam, the Honour which Heroick Women shall render you, will not be like those Ceremonies of the good Goddesse wherein Men had no share: VVe shall be admitted thereto in Common; we shall mingle our Duties, and Ac­clamations with theirs; their Incense and our own shall make the same Persume; their Hymns and ours shall make but one Consort. Your Goodnesse Madam, and our Duties, your Vertues and the VVonders they have wrought, will be the Subject of these Hymns. The Prosperities and Victories of your Regency will be loudly sung: And Peace which is the Crown of Prosperities, and ought to be the End of Victories, [Page] will be the close of our Songs, and the accomplishment of your Praises.

Yes Madam, this Victorious and Crowned Peace, will be the reward of your Pietie and good VVorks. It will be the fruit of the Zeal and Conduct of those two Princes, who are so Beneficiall and Glorious, either by the hazard of their Per­sons in the Field, or by their Abilities and sincere Intentions in the Cabinet Counsell.

Their Example will infuse Force and Vigour into the Re­sults of Counsell: And so many judicious and sharp-witted Heads, which compose this Illustrious Body, will contribute to the Conclusion of this Important Affair, the union of their Judgements, and the harmony of their Lights. The chief President of Justice, that Christian and French Cato, who might make up a whole Senate, and whom we might oppose to the Ancient Republique, will put his helping hand therto, with that incorruptible Integrity, and that unlimited Capaci­ty, which is the Hope and Ornament of this Reigne, and will be the Example and Admiration of future Ages. I hat other, so just, so well tempered, so well composed, and so charitable wise Person, to whose care your Majesty hath committed the Administration of your Revenues, will contribute thereto that generous and pure Integrity, and that disinterressed and faithfull Zeal, which have always carried him to the good of the State, and the ease of the People. And if he hath been able to sweeten the harshest part of his Ministery, if he hath introduced Civility and good Offices into the Exchequer, and reconciled the Graces with the Treasury, well may he also sweeten the Asperity of Factions, well may he contribute to the restauration of Tranquillity in the State, and to the Recon­ciliation of Peace thorowout all Europe.

Here Madam, I must not forget that so able and faithfull a Minister of State, who assists you to sustain the burthen of Affairs: He is one of our Chiefest hopes, and will be one day one of the principall Instruments of the Peace we expect. The spirit of Ancient Rome wherewith he is so abundantly endow­ed, was a spirit of Direction and Counsel, a spirit Superinten­dent [Page] over Victories, and Arbitrator of Events. Heretofore all known Nations, and the whole world that was capable of Dis­cipline submitted to the Manners and Impressions of this spi­rit. It ordain'd with Authority and Soveraign Power, both Peace and War. It disposed the good and bad Fortunes of Kingdoms, and made the temporall Destiny of Nations. Now if this spirit was so soveraign and efficacious in rusticke Sena­tors, in half savage Consuls and in grosse and Illiterate Sages; we cannot sear that it degenerats and grows weak in him who is the Senator of the Christian VVorld; who is the Consul of a spirituall and sacred Republique, who hath joyned acqui­red with naturall Lights; who hath been polished both by Ecclesiastical and Civil Sciences. The wheels of the State Mad [...]m, directed by this spirit, must needs be [...]rdered rightly and with addresse; nor can the Genius and Purple of the Se­nate, which succeeds the Ancient Senate but give Force and Dignity to our Affairs.

It is not prejudiciall Madam, that this spirit be the spirit of Rome, which was heretofore the Head of the Roman VVorld, and which is at present the Head of the Christian. There is no member to which the spirits of the Head are strangers: There is no Countrey where Wisdom and Fidelity are not naturall. And moreover the most Noble and perfect things, even those that have most Vertue and Force, are not Originary of the places where they Act Great Rivers have their Sources three hundred Leagues from the Countreys they enrich and culti­vate. Fire, Light, and the spirit of the Planets, which pro­duce so great effects in the low Region of this VVorld, are Ori­ginary of the Higher. The Intelligences were not created in the Sphear they move. The Angel-Guardians of this VVorld, are not of this VVorld. And your beautifull Soul Madam, that Soul of yours so Noble and Munificent, so Elevated and Royall, is but a Guest and Passenger in the fair Body it governs.

It is not then Madam, Inconvenient or contrary to Justice, nor yet against Order, that this rare Spirit should be to our Af­fairs what the Administring Spirits are to the Sphears and Pro­vinces committed to their charge: VVe thence cannot expect [Page] but a lesse defective, and a more harmonious Conduct; but an Administration more disingaged from matter, and elevated above the clouds of Interest; but a Tranquillity lesse casuall, and more regular; but a Prosperity more generall and of a larger Extent▪

No, Madam, this Prosperity will not be a restrained and particular Prosperity. Superiour Causes are not Nationall and propriatory, they do no good which is not Universall: And all Europe, even the whole Christian World will have their share of it after France. Th [...] Acknowledgement thereof will be also common, and the Benedictions generall. Your Majestie will receive Praises in every Language for it. And in this con­sort of Praises, Madam, I may peradventure, be so happy as to raise my voice above the rest, to give it a Body and light, and to make it last with your Name and Memory.

So excellent a VVork should not be unadvisedly underta­ken, and in a bad season: It should not be touched with a hea­vie and benummed hand: It requires a calme and commodi­ous Serenity, as also fit and selected hours. I hope to enjoy them, Madam, from the continuation of the fair dayes your Regency doth promise to us.

And I further hope, that the Graces which ingage them­selves in all that belongs to us, setting their hands to this work, together with the Muses, will joyntly draw your Picture, which shall resemble you as neer as is possible.

What I here offer you Madam, is but a rough Draught of this Picture. Your Majestie may see in little the height of my Designe, and the greatnesse of my Zeal: And this Earnest will manifest that by the common Obligation of our Order, and by my particular inclinations, I am as perfectly as any other

Madam,
Your most humble, most obedient, and most faithful subject and servant PETER LE MOYNE, Of the Society of JESVS.

THE PREFACE. Of the AUTHOR.

I Have not undertaken this Gallery to present the issue of my own Brain, a spectacle to the curious or an amusement to persons wanting employment. The end I propose to my self is of greater use, and of a higher Nature. And according to the sense of the most inlightned amongst the Philosophers, who con­ceived the Vertue of Women to be one of the prime pieces of Politick Felicity; if my enterprise had such successe as it may have, and I desire; I should not think to have done less for the publick, then the Founders of Academics and Colleges.

Fruits begin to receive corruption from the Earth; And Rivers from their Springs. There would be no impurity in Metals, if there were none in the Mines. All Figures would be exact [...]nd perfect, if all the Moulds wherein they are cast were uniform and without defect: And Vices would be rare amongst Men, if Women of whom Men are borne were all indued with Prudence. Let not good Antiquity, and old Opinions be displeased that Li [...]urg [...]s was no very great Master in Policie, who set down so many Rules for the Men of Sparta; who im­posed so many Laws and Chains upon them, and abandoned Women to publick and authorized disorders, to Liberties founded on Privi­ledge, and erected into Custom. It nothing avails to prune Trees if the Earth which bears them be left unmanur'd: And in vain would a Physitian proceed with Method and by Aphorisms to the cure of a sick Head, if he suffered had Humors and Indigestions in the Bodie which breed diseases in the Head.

Solomon understood it much better, and this Divine and Inspired Mo­rality, which Wisdom her self taught him, was another kinde of Mora­lity then that carnal and licentious one which a counterfeit Devil, and apparelled like a Nimph, taught a Law Maker of Sparta. This Wise man, who was particularly chosen by Almighty God to be the univer­sal Tutor of Mankinde, and to read Lessons to all Conditions and [Page] Ages, hath no lesse laboured for the instruction of Women then Men. He shewed himself no Niggard to them in [...] or Proverbs: And his Parables are the Extracts of rectified Philosophie.

The holy Fathers who instruct us also in their [...] when their Learning rem [...]d, with [...] zeal [...] great account of this little part of Moral Philosophie. And the regular and uniform Works which they have lest of it, shew cleerly, that they allotted not there­unto their recreative and [...] hours. If there there be any place where their Doctrine is perspicuous and methodical; where Eloquence is exact and vigorous; where Zeal hath sweetnesse and Force; where the Graces are instructive and edifying; we must acknowledge it to be in that part of their Writings. And these great Masters, who behaved themselves so judiciouly in her other productions, have displayed all their Art, and employed all their Capacity therein: Have acted there with their whole Spirit, and poured forth all their Lights.

The School-Master of Clement of Alexandria speaks alwayes sub­limely, and like a great Doctor. But when he undertakes to instruct Women, he is not satisfied with the Height and Solidity of his Opini­ons; but addes thereunto the Dignity of expression, and the Magnifi­cence of words: He gives a Relish and Glosse to Sentences, Cadence and Lustre to Periods. And the mixture he makes of Profit and Plea­sure is so just and fitly tempered, as he seeme to say for delectation and divertisment, all that be delivers for perswasion and instruction. There is something of the same Greatnesse and Majestie in all the works of S. Chrysostome: But this greatness is polished and cultivated; and this Majestie hath certain Delicacies and particular Graces in all that he hath written for VVomen: And not to say any thing of the Books he composed either to instruct or confirm Virgins, or to comfort and forti­fie Widows, it sufficiently appears by the Letters he hath written to Olympiada, that he dropped Gold from his Pen, as well as from his Mouth; And that he took particular care to polish this Gold, and give it a new Lustre and fair forms when he employed it for Women.

The Fathers of the Latine Church have not less contributed to their Institution then those of the Greek Church: And what they contributed thereunto is not laboured with less Art, nor seasoned with less Grace. Without citing the true works which S. Cyprian, S. Jerom, and S. Augustine have left us upon this Sub­ject; Every one knows that to Women their choicest Letters have been written; I say those excellent and learned Letters, which seem to contain whole Volumes in few Lines, and great Books reduced into Epitomies. S. Cyprian doth not appear an Affrican in those quaint Let­ters▪ All the rudeness of his Countrey is sweetned in them: They are set forth with all the Ornaments of his Rhetorick. S. Jerom is not guilty in his, of that Austerity, who seems not to have written but in Choler: Not only the tartnesse wherewith the Criticks reproach him is tem­pered, but the very Thorns of his profession flourish in them: And the [Page] Stones of his Desert are there precious. As for S. Augustine, what he hath composed there, appears wonderful by the sweetnesse of his Spirit mixed with that of his Stile; and he hath left in them as many Rayes of light as there be Sentences.

I say nothing of S. Ambrose who hath had Bees for his Nurses: And who was, to give a true Character of him, an intelligent and discoursive Bee. Every one knows that he hath inserted all the Honey of his Hive into the Books he composed for Virgins, and into that he addressed to Widows. The expressions therein are so pure, so exquisite, and delightful, the sentences of choice and elaborate; and there is every where so great a profusion of Flowers, as he thought fit to justi­fie them by the Condition of those Persons to whom they were to be presented. The most peevish and harsh of all Authors have written for the Instruction of Women. I speak of Tertullian, who besides the Book he wrote concerning the veil of Virgins, hath composed another touching the Apparel of Women, and a third concerning their Attires. And if there be any harshness or asperity in those works, as in all others of his Composure, this harshness is at least magnificent, and like the riches of Barbarians: These asperities have a kinde of Dignity and Splendor; They have something I know not what, which shines and wounds; which resembles unpolished Gold, and misshapen Diamonds.

The holy Fathers have not only applyed Moral Philosophie and Rhetorick to the Instruction of Women, but have made Poesie and the Muses serve to the same use. And those severe ones, who lived only of pure Light and Spirit, did not conceive it unworthy the severity of their Life, or the Sanctity of their Priesthood to measure Syllables, to adjust Words, to paint and flourish their Discourses, to give a Relish to their Doctrines, and Grace unto Vertue; to instruct by divertise­ment, and to make what is profitable passe under the Colour of de­lightfull.

Adhel [...]s who was one of the most learned Bishops of Scotland hath left us a Poem, where Virginity, Chastity, Modesty, Devotion, and the other Vertues of Maids are adorned with all the Gold and pre­tious Stones of Parnassus, which is the Peru of Poets. We have like­wise another of the same matter and form, which Avitus Arch-Bishop of Vienna composed to Crown the Virginity of his Sister Fuscina. And albeit this Crown be in the time of the first Lilies which were sent into France, yet the Flowers thereof remain at present as fair and fresh after twelve hundred Yeers, as if they were but newly gathered. Thereby these two holy Bishops have rendred Honour to the Muses; They have reconciled them to Chastity; They have sanctified their Ornaments and Attires; They have done to them what Moses and Aa­ron did with the Looking-glasses and Jewels of the Egyptian Ladies.

My designe is not to assemble here all the Authors who have contri­buted their Lucubrations, and Writings to the Instruction of Women. The Assembly would be too great for so narrow a space; And it were [Page] to make a compleat Library of a Preface. Such as I have alledged, are sufficient to evince the Importance of this Instruction, and to per­swade, that it forms at least the Moity of Christian Policy. Could Doctors and Prelats so inlightned by God, so penetrated by the Unction of the Holy Ghost, so purified and heated by the Fire of the Altar, lose their Fire in unprofitable Productions? Have they consumed their Time, and wearied their Hands to effect nothing considerable? And would Saint Iohn himself have written to a Woman with the Pen of an Eagle, wherewith he had written to the Angels and Churches of Asia, wherewith he had made the first Draughts of what was before, and will be after time; if he had not believed that a Letter written to a Wo­man might be as Canonical and profitable, as Letters directed to Angels and Churches?

These Reasons and Instances more powerful then any other have ingaged me in this Work. My Pen is not the Pen of an Eagle like that of Saint Iohn. I write not by the Wisdom and Light of the Holy Ghost, as Solomon did. I have no Gold to employ like Saint Chrysostome. I fall very short of the Idea's and Conceptions of the alledged Fathers. And if these great Saints and eminent Men did not believe, that the matter upon which I Labour was unworthy of their Capacity, and beneath their Idea's; I ought not to fear, that it may appear Noble and Precious enough for mine. And no man ought to call in question the Utility of a Work, whereof so many Learned Hands have left such excellent Models.

It is true that I have given a new sonn to this matter, and altered the Shape and Figure of those Patterns. There is a Philosophy more delight­ful and instructive then that Anatomized one, read in the Schools. Her Attractives are modest, and accompanied with Force: she hath no affected Dress; and having a more lovely Aspect, and better Fashion then the other, she gives not less Edification, nor a worse Example. She doth not produce like that other, crude and discoloured Axioms, formless and dry Decisions. She Beautifies them with exquisite Inventions, with curious and coveted Figures. She knows how to adde Lustre to Force, and to give Grace and Dignity to what is solid.

I conceived that my Designe might fall into the hands, and under the direction of this Inventive and pleasing Philosophie, magnificent in Mate­rials, and rich in Designs. And to the end she might not have all the trouble of the Work; I have to her, associated Portraiture, Poesie, and History, which are three other illustrious and renowned Co-operatresses: and these three, associated to this noble Superintendent, have framed this whole Structure which I consecrate to the Publick, under the Title of The Gallery of Heroick Women.

This Title is not so limited, as it may seem to some who know not Vertues but by the Draughts which Painters form of them; and do not believe that there is any other Fortitude, then that which they see with a Helmet on its Head, and a Pillar on its shoulders. This armed and ro­bustious [Page] Fortitude is but subordinate to another general one which assists all the Vertues; which is present in all great Actions, which supports all good Works, which is the Directress of all Heroes both in Peace and War. It is to this Fortitude St. Ambrose and St. Gregory attribute after Plato, the Victories of the Spirit over the Flesh, those of Vertue over Fortune, those of the Honest and Honourable Good over the Delightful and Profitable. It is of this Fortitude Solomon speaks in that Picture, where the Heroick Wo­man is drawn with so fair Colours, and Crowned with so magnificent an [...]ogy.

In effect, Temperate and Chaste Women require Fortitude: Loyal and Constant Women need it: Modest, Reserved, and Devout Women need it as much; And peradventure they require more then those presumptuous and haughty Gallants, who fancy to themselves that they support States; And that their Arms are the Pillars of Empires. Courage is necessary both to bear handsomly the Chains of Marriage, which though never so well gilded are yet painful; and to endure its Yoke, which is never so smooth as not to incommodate; it is so needful to resist both pleasing and frightful Passions, flattering and dreadful Objects. It is requisite to regulate Love, even that Love which is Honest and Lawful. It is neces­sary to bridle Lawful Joyes and innocent Pleasures: to moderate ob­ligatory Sorrows, and Afflictions authorized by Nature and Cu­stom. In a word, there is no Christian or Moral Vertue to which Cou­rage is not required. And for this Reason my Gallery hath a larger ex­tent, then the Frontispiece doth promise. There is room for all Vertu­ous Women by what Names soever they are called: And the Prudent, the Chaste, the Faithful, the Couragious, the Constant, the Pious may all enter into it, and keep their degrees there under the Title of Heroick VVomen.

The assembly of these Gallant Women might be greater then I have made it: And albeit Solomon was troubled to finde one single Heroick VVoman, yet since his Time enough have appeared to Plant here a whole Colonie. Of all this great Number I have chosen twenty of the most Renowned all Illustrious amongst them. And not to produce them confusedly & in disorder, I have divided them into four Squadrons. The first of Jewish Woman; The second of Barbarian VVomen, to take the word Barbarian in the same sence as it was understood by the Grecians: The third of Roman, and the fourth of Christian VVomen. I exhibite a Picture of each; and the Subject of this Picture is taken from the most re­splendent and couragious part of her Life. Besides, these Pictures are not meerly superficial, & carry a bare outside like those of Philostrates who was content to express what was visible; & to copy out the draughts of the Pen­cil with the strokes of his Pen. They represent chiefly the Interior & that se­cret part wch cannot be disclosed or expressed but by Philosophers. They dis­cover all the Features & Motions of the Heart, all the Postures and Colours of the Soul: And the Scope of it which is wholly Moral, aims more at the [Page] Manners then at the satisfaction of the Eye. Every Picture is accom­panied with a Sonnet, which is another piece drawn in little: And the Sonnet is seconded by an Historical Elogie, where the Life of the He­roess is abbreviated, which serves for the Subject of the Picture. I adde a Moral Reflection to the Elogie, which tends more directly and imme­diately to the Benefit and Regulation of Manners. And there I mark out what is most profitable and instructive in the preceding Example: I establish practical Axioms, and draw from thence useful consequences: I advertise Women of their Duties and obligations, and cause them to take in by Grains and Drops the pure spirit of Christian Philosophie, and the extraction of her Maximes, which they scarce receive but with distaste, in Books where it is without seasoning and in grosse.

In sequence of this Reflection, and in order to the Maximes which are given therein, I propose a Moral Question, in which there is enough to satisfie the Intellectual part, and to fortifie the Appetitive. And after the having decided it to the advantage of Vertue, and to the edifica­tion of those Women I desire to instruct; I confirm my Decision by a Modern Example, which I take either at our own Door, or fetch it from our Neighbours; to the end being seen neer at Hand it may make the deeper impression, and act with more Vigour. Besides, these Exam­ples are all illustrious and Heroick: They contain great and wonderful things: And I have chosen them of this form, to teach such as run after the Fantomes of Romances; that Truth is not only instructive, but also more delightful and divertising, then falshood; and that natural Bodies are more Luminous and Graceful, then all the Apparitions and Specters which Magick Art produceth. As for the Heathen Women which I bring upon the Stage, I place them not there as perfect Mo­dels. I know very well that their Vertues have been but rough drawn; And that wanting the light of Faith, they remain imperfect. But I know also, that such fair rough drawn Vertues are presented there, as we may gather from thence wherewith to form excellent pieces. And by the same reason that the Son of God alleadged Nin [...]ve against Jerusalem, and proposed Tyre to Judea, one may alleadge the Heathen and Barbarian against Christian Women: one may well propose Pantheas to Catherins, and Zenobias to Agathas.

I particularly declare, that I do not pretend to justifie the Death of those who slew themselves with their own Hands: what Colour soever the Philosophie of that time gave to their Deaths; and with what paint soever the Poets have set them forth. If they had the Force and greatnesse of Courage, it was enormous and disproportioned; it was a greatnesse beyond limit or compasse. Nevertheless this doth not hinder that these enormous and great disproportioned Women may have something of imitation. One may frame by a Colossus a Figure of a middle and very exact Stature. In Moral Philosophie as well as in Logick, Errour may be serviceable to Truth: And a good conse­quence may be drawn from a bad Principle.

[Page] Behold what I had to say in order to the designe and structure of this Work. I have nothing to adde to what hath been said, but these few words with which S. Ambrose concludes the second Book he dedi­cated to Virgins. Since the tasts of men are so different, and that there are as many Opinions as Heads; If any Neatness and Care appear in some places of my Discourse, those places can justly displease no Man: If there be any mature and serious ones, they will please the Palat of those in whom the Maturity of understanding accompanies the Maturity of Age: If any be found flowered and delightful, they will not offend such as are in the Age of the Flowers of Grace; and Men will grant me, that it is no lesse necessary to write for these Persons then for o­thers. There remains nothing more for me to say to the Reader. He may enter into my Gallery when he pleaseth; The Door is open to him.

DEBORE [...]

[Page 1]THE GALLERY OF HEROICK WOMEN.
The Gallant Jewes.

DEBORA.

THIS Country so delightfull to the eye, and so adorn'd with the riches and orna­ments of Nature, is the western Part of Palestine. You cannot choose but know it at first sight by that verdure which makes it enjoy as it were a perpetuall spring; And by those tufts of Palms and Cedars which serve as naturall Garlands to crown it. These Towns and Cities which appear afar off are not built by the Israelites. They have as yet erected in this Country nothing but flying Towns and walking Cities. They have only built with Canvas and Cordage: All their Houses have been hitherto but field habitations: And during the obstinate and continual wars wherein they were imployed, their thoughts were more taken up in rendring souldiers war­like and forming Captians; then in hiring Masons and making [Page 2] Architects. Besides at present the whole Countrey is fild with the rumour of wars and preparrd against the Cananites. Ten thousand men selected out of two Tribes, are rlready advan­ced towards Mount Thabor: And the men you behold in arms about the great Palm are the most remarkable of the people, whom Debora the Prophetesse and Governesse of Is­rael retained with Barac to instruct them in the discipline of war, and excite them to act gallantly.

You never beheld a Tribunall like that of this Governesse. Surely their enters more splendor and pride in the Thrones of Kings, but lesse naturall Majesty and true Glory. This is not the work of a year, nor the master-peece of a Carver: It is of the Suns own modeling, that Illustrious and universall Artist, which forms Mettalls and precious Stones. And you may belie [...]e, that having wrought a whole age to perfect it, he hath not kept from thence that soveraign spirit, and those pleasing Rayes▪ which draw respect in dazeling the sight. The greatest splendor and the chiefe glory thereof neverthelesse is derived to it from Debora, who gave it her Name, and chose it for the Seat of her Justice. The Graces when she gives Au­dience under this Palme, serve her son Herralds and Guards; And at all the Decrees she pronounceth, every lease seems pli­able to crowne her words.

Surely also no woman was ever heard to speak more sove­raingly, nor with an Authority, accompanied with more sweet­nesse and efficacy. Prophesie and Law were never expounded by a more powerfull Mouth. And it is a wonder that all the Offices of Regal Dignity, being so weighty and combersome, are not felt by so beautifull a head. She often gave Judge­ments, and composed differences under this Palme: At present she gives our Orders for the Combate, and exhorts her Of­ficers; and within a few houres you shall see her upon the head of Troops joyning action to Command and contributing by her courage and example, to the victory which she her self had prophesied. Though you hear not her words, and that even her voice doth not reach you, yet her very Countenance is intelligible and perswasive: Her Gesture and Looks give [Page 3] vigour and lustre to her speech: And from her very eyes, which are the two fairest peeces of her Eloquence, there issues forth something, I know not what, of vigour and bright­nesse, which would make it self to be understood by the deafest persons, and perswade the most incredulous; which would even cast fire into the coldest, and excite the most drowsie and stupid souls.

Barac and the other chief Commanders by hearing her, took a second courage and a new zeal. They fight already in desire and thought; in the agitation of their hearts and with the fiercenesse of their looks. The encounter is hot in their ima­gination, and the vanquish'd enemies are forced to flie. There is not a Souldier so ill armed, there is not a Commander so little versed in war, who hath not victorious visions; who a­lone and without striking a blow puts not a whole Troop of Canaanites to flight; who figures not to himself the possessing the Head of their General, and the Crown of their King loaden with chains. But as yet there is not one drop of blood shed in their imaginary Combats; there is not a Launce bro­ken, nor a dart thrown: And it would be fine sport to the enemies, if they had no other defeat to fear. There is ano­ther field of battel, and other dangers which attend them, they shall have no occasion to defend themselves at so great a di­stance, and to fight against Apparitions: And by a revoluti­on which they expect not, and humane Prudence cannot prevent, their fortune which they believe to be so well establi­shed and guarded by so great a multitude of armed chariots and offensive engines, will be suddenly ruined by two VVo­men.

See how this Palme already crowns one of them, she bears not onely the Name of Debora; but seems to be animated by her spirit, and to possesse like her a warlike soul and a prophetick Instinct. Her verdant youth more gay and pleasing then ordi­nary, is a presage of victory. Her very arms embracing the Queen Regent applaud her promises, and infuse courage into her Auditors: You would say that they congratulate her ap­proaching Triumph, and demand for their share of the booty [Page 4] a Trophy of the arms of the enemies General. But behold, Debora armed and ready for the Combat: her elevated arm testifies the impatience of her zeal: and her heart appears al­ready inflamed in her eyes and on her face. Her grace never­thelesse is not altered by it; her animosity is becoming and modest; and from this little fiercenesse, which is as the flow­er or cream of choler, and a tincture of zeal added to her o­ther natural attractives, a third quality and a mixture of cou­rage and sweetnesse is formed, which will work a double effect upon the Enemie, and at once, and in an instant imprint in them, both terrour and reverence.

SONNET.
DEBORA speaks.

A conqu [...]ring Sybil I, a Prophetesse,
With Voice and Arm serv'd Israel in distresse:
My Prophesies and brave exploits made Fame
Through Idumea trumpet forth my Name.
My just Decrees beneath the Palme, did cause
My Words to be erected into Laws:
The Character to Kings and Judges given,
My brow did wear, stampt by the band of Heaven.
What cannot Vertue do, with Beauty grac'd?
My self without a purple Robe she plac'd
In such a blest Regality, as nere
Knew what Conspiracies or Rebels were.
Without or Guard or Forts I was secure;
I did not make my Subjects necks endure
The yoke of Cittadels; but having gain'd
Th' Affection of their Hearts, I freely reignd.

ELOGIE OF DEBORA.

HISTORY doth not furnish us with a Gallant Woman more ancient then Debora, to whom I give the first place in this Gallery. She succeeded Moses and Joshua, and inherited from the first, the Spirit of Prophesie, from the second, Courage and military vertue: and from both, Authority and Magistracy. Priest­hood excepted, she exercised all the Offices, and filled up all the Dig­nities of that time: and out of her divided graces, a Prophet, a Judge and Captain was formed. Her Audiences had something I know not what of military: she exercised there a kinde of field Magistracy; and gave them under a Palme of her own Name, which served her for a Tribunal of Triumph, and crown'd her Decrees, as well as her Vi­ctories. God having chosen her to break the yoke of his people, and to redeem them from the bondage of the Canaanites, she assisted with her Person in the battel given them by Bara [...], and contributed her con­duct, predictions and courage, to the glory of that day. She con­tributed thereunto even her last hopes: and though the were a Wi­dow, and that her husband had lest her but a spark of what remained, (to make use of a sacred word) yet she hazarded in that fight with this spark the resource of her blood, the foundation of her house, and the seed of her posterity. I speak according to the sence of the Doctors, who believed that Barac was the Son of this excellent Mo­ther, that he became a Souldier and Captain under her discipline, and had learn'd of her how to fight and overcome. So that in his time, to joyn my words with those of S. Ambrose, a Widow was seen govern­ing a holy Nation, a Widow distributing rights, and arbitrary duties, a Widow mediating between God and his people; a Widow or­daining peace and war; a Widow directing combats and victories, a Widow leading an Armie, nay the Mother and Commandresse of the General of an Armie. And the untractable and mutinous Jews, whom no human prudence could govern in time of peace, faint hearted and van­quish'd Jews, whom no valour of men could defend in time of war, were reduced to order and military discipline, became docible and victorious under the Regency of a Widow. The wonder is, and it must be added here to crown her memorie, that no complaint was made, not any fault found during this Regency. And the sacred Writ which hath not concealed the defects of the Patriarchs, and hath published to posterity the dissidence of Moses and Aaron, the imprudence of Jo­shua, the incontinence of Samson, the fall of David, and the follies of So­lomon, sound nothing to reprehend in Debora, and left us only her Pro­phesies and Hymns, her Laws and Victories. This example is wonderful, and our sex hath reason to be jealous of it, there was in this woman wherewith to form three great men: and this triple Spirit which was given at once and in grosse, might satisfie for the government of three Races, if it had been placed severally and bestowed by intervals.

MORAL REFLECTION.

FRom time to time such examples are seen, to the end we should be advertised, that souls of the first magnitude may be found in bodies of the second sex: that the instruments which God em­ployes receive their vertue from his hand, and not from their own mat­ter▪ and that the authority and impression of his finger upon what faces soever merits respect, and requires obedience. We ought to sub­mit to those Powers he hath established, as we are subject to his Sun and Planets. And as we undertake not to prescribe Laws to the Pla­nets, and to order the course of the Sun, but leave them to the gui­dance of those intelligences which move them, and equally bear and without murmuring the sweetnesse and force of their influences: so ought we not by an unlawful usurpation, and which would appear a certain sac [...]ledge of State, to set our selves in the Seat of Magistracy, and undertake to judge our Judges and rule our Masters. We must not degrade Authoritie, nor make our Soveraigns our subalterns. Let us rest content in beseeching God to inspire them. And this prayer once made, let us leave them to the inspiration of God and to the conduct of their good Angels, who are their invisible Counsel. And what ever arives to us from them, let us bear it with equality of minde, and remember that there is no losse comparable to that of obedience.

Certainly if S. Paul wills us to be subject to superiour Powers, and to bear even with our most rigorous and insupportable Masters, far mote just is it that we submit to the Powers, whose commands are milde and pleasing, and which are, like Debora, assisted by fair Vertues and Graces. It seems that God acts more visible by those, and that his Authority is more resplendant and appears most clearly through theirs▪ The obedience likewise which men render them is commonly more blessed and victorious: and if we consider what is done under Deboram Judea, under Pulcheria at Constantinople, under Amal [...]sonta in Loembardy, under Isabella an Spain, and lastly in Flanders under Mar­ga [...] Dutchesse of Par [...]a, we will confesse that such miracles are wrought under the government of women as have not been done un­der that of men.

The hand of God is not shortened; and our Regent, not to speak of others, hath much of resemblance with the Jewish Regent. She hath the spirit of wisdom, which is an habitual, constant, and peaceable Prophesie. She gains battels in her Closet, and at the foot of Al­ta [...] ▪ She gives Judgements under the Palme of the deceased King, and under her own: and if her good intentions be not obstructed, she will suddenly render them under the Olive, and Peace shall be the co­ronation of her Vertues.

MORAL QUESTION.
Whether Women be capable of Government?

I Know very well that there be Politicians who are against the go­vernment of Women; but I know also, that these Polititians are no Evangelists, and that there is no Creed as yet made of their Opini­nions. The example of Debora is a famous and Prophetical proof a­gainst their Doctrine. It is adeclaration of God himself to which there are no Axioms to oppose. And when we see a woman made the Go­vernese of his people, and the General of his Armies, a Woman who gave Judgements, and gained Battels, a Woman who had the mission of Prophets, and the Authority of Judges, which were then particu­lar Soveraigns and Kings without [...] and D [...]adem: It cannot be said that Women are absolutely uncapable of Government without opposing the Sacred History, or accusing with contempt the choice which God made of her for the ruling that Nation which he himself hath sanctified.

States are not governed by a beard not by an austere Countenance: they are ruled by the strength of wit, and with the vigour and activity of reason: and Wit may be as strong, and Reason as vigorous in the Head of a Woman, as in that of a Man. There are some Planets called Males, and others Females. These are not lesse regular not lesse active then those: they have not lesse light, nor are guided by lesse perfect Intelligences. As for the want of heat, and the excesse of moisture where with Women are reproached, besides that these are but super­ficial differences, which reach not to the soul, nor can place any me­quality between mindes; it will be granted me, that not the hot and cholerick, but the cold and phlegmatick are the wisemen.

Let us say▪ likewise that it imports not of what colour, or of what stuff a Pilots garment be made, provided he understand the Card, and have the knowledge of the Windes and Stars▪ little more doth it im­port of what [...] or Complexion the body is, serving but for a gar­ment to the soul with governs. The main importance is, that this soul be well instructed and directed: and it is not from the bulk the instruction is formed: it is not the strength of the nerves which pro­duces good Counsels If wit and prudence were so meanly de [...]ed, the Law-makers and Wise men of Greece would have been Wrastlers. That ancient Senat, which was the purest and most spiritual part of the Roman World, would have been a company of Gladiators: and if now adayes the Ministers of State were to apply themselves to wrastling and running, we must choose them amongst Smiths and Seamen. I here have been some weak and tender Princes, to whom the affairs of two King­doms seemed of no weight; and who governed both on this side and [Page 8] beyond the Seas without quitting their Closets. Some strong and [...] ones have been seen who bowed under the lightest, and were disturbed with the most easy and gentle affairs. They might be excellent Wrasile [...], but were most unfit to be Princes. They were composed of the Arms and Feet of the State, and could bear all its Office [...] but they were not composed of the Head; they had not the form, not could perform the functions of it.

It is not then the vegitable part which forms great Princes. The good conduct proceeds not from the strength of the Arms, not from the well closing of the Shoulders: the Stern is handled otherwise then the Oa [...], and other forces and hands are required for the Scepter, then the Hatchet. Women as well as Men may have these hands and forces. Prudence and Magnanimity which are the two principal instruments of [...], appertain to both sexes. There is as much discourse con­cerning the sight and courage of the Female, as of the Male Eagles. The heart of a [...]onesse is as great as the heart of a Lion. And the female Palm as well as the male, serves to make Crowns, and support Trophies.

Women are accused of excesse, inconstancy, and weaknesse: and notorious examples of them are alleadged which cannot be disavowed. But surely [...] proceed from persons, and not from sexes: and if we abandon reason, to act by producing presidents and memorials, I fear very much that the Catalogue of bad Princes will be found more ample, and their actions more dark and staind with blood, then those of bad Princesses. Let us speak freely, our Abab was little better then their Jeva­b [...]l, not our Manasses then their Athalia, our Tiberius and Caligula were not better then their Cleopatra and Messaline; and three or four hours of [...] reign proved more fatal to the Roman Empire, then the whole life of his Mother Agrippina, if we except the night of his conception, and the day which brought him forth.

Women cannot only reproach us with the Monsters of our sex which dishonoured Diadems and sullyed Sceptres; but may also alleadg the Vertues and Graces of their own; which bore them with Dignity and managed them with addresse. And not to introduce Amazons and o­thers in the time of Fables, which are the imaginary spaces of History: Zenobia conserv'd the conquests of her husband Odenatus, and stoutly up­held the Forces of the Empire. Pulcheria governed under Theodocius and Marcian, and had Vertue enough to supply the duties of two Empe­rours, and to contribute unto the happinesse of two Reigns. The Re­gency of Bl [...]ch was more fortunate to France, then all the lives of its slothful Kings. But it is not needful to look so far back into History to finde women, who have governed with wisdom and courage. Some of them may be found there, whose memory is very fresh, and who but lately appeared upon the stage.

EXAMPLE.

Isabel Infanta of Spain, Arch Dutchesse of the Low-Countreys.

I Hear daily that the same is said of Spaniards as of Hawks: and it is a common saying, That the Females are better then the Males: but in my opinion the saying is biting and over sharp: And it would sa­vour much more of Civility to say with one of our Authors, that great Queens, and Women sit for commands are of Spain; as great Kings, and valiant Men are of France. To alledg none but celebrious and remarkable example, Blanch the Mother of S. Lewis, Isabel the Wife of Ferdinand, Margarite Daughter to Charles the fift, and Isabel her Neece the Daughter of Philip the second are sufficiently illustrious, and of credit enough to defend this truth. And their bare Names without other discourse, may be invincible Arguments, and of soveraign Au­thority to such as would prove, that the Princesses of Spain understand the Art of ruling powerfully, and with a Majestical grace; that they know how to manage the Scepter with address: and that there is no Crown so weighty, which is not well supported on their Heads. I will reserve the two [...] for another subject, and content my self to give a touch with my Pensil upon the two last. They are not as yet clean out of our sight: and we have their pictures drawn to the life, and their blood with their spirit in our good Queen their Neece.

Isabel the Intanta of Spain and Arch-Dutchesse of the Low-Countreys hath thown to what height the understanding of Women may advance in the Science of well governing. And though fortune made her not a great Queen, yet Vertue made her a Heroesse, who gives place in no­thing to those that make the greatest noise in History. I shall not need to produce Testimonies thereupon, or to cite Books and Authors. Our whole Age is equally knowing in the life of this wise Princess: her memory is publikely honoured in all the Courts of Europe: nay even such as were no Friends to her House, had for her the Castilian heart and the Flemish spirit. They have applauded her in good earnest with handsfree from the Dominion of Spain: and besides she is daily crown­ed at Paris and Leyden, as well as at Madrid and Bruxels.

Her vertues were no shadowes nor parcels of vertues; they were so­lid and perfect ones: vertues for every use and of every form: and Po­licie is acquainted with no vertues which had not in her all their force and extent. Though they have all an affinity with each other, yet all of them have not the same resemblance, nor the same functions in the civil life. There are some which are born with us, and are as it were the advances and graces of Nature. There are some which must be acqui­red, and are the fruits of labour and study. There are some which are [Page 10] strong and vigorous, fit for action: there are pleasing and polished ones which serve onely for shew. The Infanta possessed them all: and what most imports, she had them all great, and in a condition to pra­ctise them with splendor.

First, she was born with this graceful Soveraignty, and by natural right, which hath its title and force upon the face of beautifull per­sons: and this Soveraignty is a powerful and very useful piece when it is well managed: it governs by the bare aspect the most harsh and least tractable hearts. It softens the hardest commands, and takes from them what is biting and vexatious: it would infuse even mildenesse and grace into Tyranny. Certainly it is not beauty which deliberates, which judgeth, which enacts Laws and Ordinances. But the Common people, for whom the most part of Laws and Ordinances are made, is an Animal into which there enters more of the body then minde, and which obeyes more by sense then reason. Likewise it is true that this flower lasts not long, and appears only in the Spring: but saded Roses retain full a good odour: And besides that the Infanta kept all her life time certain remnants beautiful enough, of this first flower; these very remnants were supported by so sweet and becoming a Majestie; they were accompanied with so many graces and civilities, and so many other flowers of the latter season were mixed with them, as no body could well distinguish between them and those of Youth.

The Intellect is the eye of Wisdom, and the guide of all vertues. It is the chief Minister of Princes, and their natural Counseller: and Po­licie can effect nothing if it be not enlightned by it. The Infanta's understanding was ranked amongst the most elevated and capable ones, and could suffice for all the parts and duties of Government. There were no affairs so vast or weighty, which it did not compre­hend and manage with ease: there were none so obscure which it did not inlighten: none so confused which it did not set in order. Her Counsellers were never busied to finde her wayes and expedients: it was enough to give their approbation to those she furnished of her own: and she never furnished any which were not advantagious, and according to the measure of affairs. Besides this capacity of minde, and this interiour prudence even borne with her, she used great care, and extraordinary diligence to study the capacity of other men, and had the dexterity to appropriate to her self by a discreet and judicious Do­ [...], the understanding and prudence of those Ministers that assisted her. This Do [...]lity so much esteemed by Politicians, and so highly preferred before an opiniative and presumptuous ability, was to her as an universal science, and a second capacity of greater use, and lesse subject to [...] then the first. Thereby the being yet in Spain, and in the School of her Father King Philip the second, she replenished her self with the lights and science of this Prince, the ablest of his time in the science of Kings. Thereby she framed an abridgement of the experi­ence and great age of the Spanish Ministers, and applyed it to her own [Page 11] use. Thereby remaining single in the Government of Flanders after the Decease of the Arch-Duke Albertus, she made the understanding of Cardinal de la C [...]e [...]a her own. She added to his Prudence that of Marquess Spi [...]la, and of President Rosa: And all the wise principles of State, wherewith the Grandees at Court were inriched, became her own.

Moreover this Capacity did not consume it self in vain speculations in wandring and fruitlesse Idea's; it was active and attempting, bold and laborious. And there have been some Princes of great repute, who acted lesse Gallantly and with lesse vigour then this Princess. The pains she took in Audiences is incredible: the never made affairs wait upon her: never was her Closet or minde shut to them▪ never did the accuse them of importunity, nor complained of their crowding in. Likewise she never remitted them to the care of her Officers: she was as jealous of them, as if she had inspired them with understanding and conduct, as if her hands had brought happinesse to them, as it they had taken addresse and light from her presence. Secretaries were to her rather Officers for shew, then use. She her self finished the most difficult and important dispatches: and when it was needful to write in commanding terms, and in a maiestical stile▪ when it was necessary to use the Character of Grace, and civil, and obliging expressions, she did not pay with borrowed words, or hired conceptions, her minde furnished her abundantly with all that could perswade Soveraignly, and with Dignity, and with all that was capable of gaining hearts, or taking them by force.

When she was resolved for the siege of Breeds, which served so long for the exercise and spectacle of all Europe, and which was before the siege of R [...]bel the Idea and Masterpiece of the military Science, she wrote with her own hand for aid to all the Princes her Allies; to all the Communities of the Low-Countreys for Contributions and Convoyes; to all the Commanders of her Troops to issue forth Commissions, and to give out Orders. And it may be said, that all the chief Engines of this famous Enterprise received from her mouth, from her hand, and pre­sence, a spirit of Authority which infused vigour into them, and made them act with successe.

She wanted not even courage and addresse in military affairs: but her courage was bound up, and her military addresse restrained. And had she not been so famous, and so very exemplar amongst modest and pious women she might have had the first place amongst the valiant and Heroick. It not suiting with her condition to sight with her hands, she sought with manly counsels, and bold resolutions. She imployed the valour of the heart and the courage of the countenance, where it was not permitted her to use the strength of the Arm. She marched con­fidently even into the mouth of danger, and expected it sometimes with a steady pace, though only armed with the stability of her mind, and the Dignity of her looks. Such as have written the History of the wars in [Page 12] Fl [...]nders sa [...], that before the battel of Newport she was pleased to be present at the general Randezvous of the whole Army before Bruges; and that the went from one company to another, animating the Soul­diers with the fire which issued forth of her eyes and mouth, and with the money the scattered abroad with her hands. They adde that at the S [...]ege of Oste [...]d she visited their Quarters on horseback: she encou­ [...]aged the Souldiers, and sent them to fight fortified with presents and promises: she ordered the batteries, and she her self levelled the Ca­nons, as if she had a desire to manifest thereby, (to use this saying of the Poet) that the Goddesses can thunder as well as the Gods; and that they have like them their Arcenals and Thunderbolts. Certainly if it hath been said, that the military sweat of the first Consuls, and those hands which tasted of Liberty, gave to the earth they cul­tivated a stately secundity mixed with glory; I doubt not but the Canons levelled by this I rincesse, received from her eyes and cou­rage a second fire which gave spirit to the first, and redoubled its force.

But her most usual dutie in her Armies was not to make breaches and ruine walls, it was a wholsome and charitable duty: a duty of P [...]ety and mercy: and this duty contributed to victory: this mercie assisted to the taking of Towns and the gaining of battels. Knowing that there are some enemies more formidable, then those against whom men arm and intrench themselves: and that the Canon com­posed of Iron and Fire is lesse destructive to Armies, then necessities and maladies, she took a particular care of the infirme Souldiers; she caused them to be liberally and abundantly furnished with necessaries. She disposed of her Jewels and moneys laid up for her trifling pleasures, to provide them Drugs: and the lost hours, which another would have imployed at play, and recreative walks, she imployed in furnish­ing them with pla [...]ters and making swath-bands for such as were wounded. I have been told of some Princes who tore their shirts to binde up their Souldiers wounds: I know the name of that Person who once made his Diadem serve to the same use. But concerning this matter I have learnt nothing, nor read any thing of Antiquity which is not very ordinary, if compared with the Charity of the Infanta. It is very credible, that the vertue of those Remedies was no ways weak­ned by this Charity: and I doubt not but the Plaisters and Swath-bands, which passed through so pure and beneficial hands, preserved more Souldiers, then Casks and Curresses. Whereupon I call to minde that couragious Victorius, who was called the Mother of Camps and Armies. This name indeed is full of glory, and in my opinion of higher value then the Statues and Triumphs of many Emperours: but of what esteem soever it be, the Infanta deserved it by a better title then Victo­rius: she was not only the Mother of her Armies, but even the Preserver of them: her charitable acts made them subsist, her presence and Piety made them overcome.

[Page 13] To these imployment of the field we must joyn the inclination and dexterity she had in that innocent war and pastime which is used in Woods, without effusion of human blood, and without leaving Wi­dows and Orphans. She there gave a little more freedom to her mo­desty, and suffered its bounds to be a little more enlarged: we know likewise that she there performed all that a most couragious and dex­terous person could have done. And as if she had delighted in a danger wherein she might be humanly valiant, and overcome without doing hurt; she was seen to encounter chafed Wilde-boats with a jave­lin in her hand; And to shew in this single sport a [...] serious a valour and as true courage as would have been requisite on a breach or in a set Battel.

There is a haughty capacity and a swelling Pride: There is a savage Courage and a magnanimity which would fain strike a terrour into others. This alliance of vices with vertues was not observed in the In­fanta, she was both modest and capable: she was humble and prudent: and her magnanimity though high and couragious was yet sweetned by a goodnesse victorious without Arms, and conquering without vio­lence, which gained her more hearts, then all the forces of Spain could overcome. This goodness did onely acquire her the love of her Sub­jects; but it gained her Subjects where she had no Jurisdiction: It entertained her servants without Pensions or Wages. It made her Do­minion of a larger extent then her own Country. It made her reign of a longer durance then her life. Besides it was an universal goodnesse for all uses: a goodnesse without delay or resence: at all howers and in all proportions: a spring of goodnesse which could not be exhausted by any effusion: a goodnesse ingenious to do good; and to do it seasonably and to the purpose▪ to do it with a good grace and Majesty.

It is wonderfull that this awful Princess, who at her pleasure gives li­mits to Fortune and Ambition, and extinguishes the most enflamed Pas­sions; it is wonderfull I say, that even death it self could not suspend the inclination she had to do good: and the last breach of her life was a spirit of grace, and an effusion of good deeds. She had received the last Sacraments, and her soul strengthned with the bread of the strong, and prepared by extream unction, expected only the moment of ex­piring, when she remembred that many petitions were remaining in her Cabinet unanswered. These were petitions of the afflicted and miserable, who were apparently in danger of never coming out of their misery, if she drew them not forth before the alteration which her death was ready to produce in affairs: she gave order that these peti­tions should be brought her; and causing her head and hand to be raised up, she imployed all that remained of her sight and motion to signe them in the best manner she was able. Surely she could not die more gloriously, nor with a more noble and natural essusion of good­ness. And this makes me remember the Sun, which still enlightens the Earth, and doth good to it, even when it is in the Eclipse. Thereby [Page 14] she supports whole houses which are ready to sall: she raiseth up some which were already fallen: and this last trembling of her head sup­ported Communities and wrought the preservation of many Families. This was the right way of reigning charitably, and exercising a most benigne Soveraignty, to give pardons and grant favours in the very sight, and even in the arms of death. This was the true way of dying Royally, and after an Heroick manner, to rise up out of the bed of death, that she might save Families from shipwrack which were rea­die to perish, and to employ the last breath of her life, to make the miserable revive▪ to restore them hope, goods, repose, and Fortunes at the very rendring up her soul. Surely those ancient Heroes who took a vanity to die standing, and to have their bodies upright, and their souls elevated never died so nobly, nor in so good a posture. And that Prince, the delight of Mankinde, who reckoned amongst his acquisitions the goods he had bestowed, and counted amongst his losses all those which were remaining, how thristy a manager soever he were of favours and benefits, yet he never arrived to that height as to oblige by his last breath, and to do good in the last motion of his Soul.

There are forced favours and constrained benefits, which fall but by drops: there are some which carry with them as it were the stings of repulses and [...]ll Language, and serve onely to distaste those that re­ceive them. Nothing of this Nature came from the Infanta. Her favours were without delay, and often prevented the asking: they were all pure, and without thorns: and her benefits resembled gold which should grow without earth and ordure: they were not only of great value and solidity, but they had besides much lustre; they sur­prized the heart and dazled the sight.

This Grace of doing good was the particular character, and as it were the proper Beauty and Mark of the Infanta. All her actions, I say her most serious and vigorous actions were imbued therewith: her piety it self had taken a tincture of it: and though her vertue were one of the highest and [...]reest from ostentation, yet she never did any thing fiercely and with shagrin: she acted nothing which was not gallant and civill, which was not done with reflection and study, which relished not of quaintnes [...]e and magnificence: Nay, it is said, that even her se­venties did not distaste; and that her very rigours were obliging. Whereupon it is related, that when she was in Spain, a certain Knight less wounded in his heart then head, having entertained her with some discourses, into which there entred fire and adoration, the wise Prin­cesse who knew very well that there was something of Eudimien and of the Moon in this man, had more pity then anger for him. And to free her self dexterously from his importunities procured the King her Father to give him an honourable employment attended with a great Revenue which carried him far enough off from Spain. Thereby she sa­tisfied Vertue without exaspirating the Graces, and proved at once so [Page 15] rigorous and indulgent to this melancholly person, that with one stroke she punished his love, and made him a Fortune.

Above all, this goodness of the Infanta appeared admirable in sup­porting ruined Powers, in comforting great wounded Fortunes in con­serving the Lustre and Dignity of eclipsed Planets put out of their Houses and Courses. To perform the like acts of mercy, another sort of charity is required then is practised in Hospitals: and the pain of an ulcerated Prince demands other lenitives then the pain of a broken Leg, and of an Arm cut off. The Infanta did sundry times such good deeds, and her charities have ascended even to crowned Heads. Princes flying to her for protection, and decayed Princesses found with her their House and Rank. They found there preparatives and remedies for their wounds, even pretious preparatives, and agreable and perfumed remedies: and the Hand it self which touched them was so skilful, as to charm their anguish, and to take away the seeling, and almost the very remembrance of their falls.

Authority which is to Princes a Crown without matter, and a cha­racter of invisible Majesty; which is in them a vertue that acts with­out motion, and procures them obedience without force or violence: This Authority I say, which is formed out of the vertue of a Prince, and out of the esteem of his Subjects, was soveraign in the Infanta, and alone affected more then all the Engines of Spain assisted with all the Mines of the Indies could have done. She neither wanted Armies nor Cittadels to support her Commands: and what she did with two words, another could not have done with four Cittadels, and as many Armies. Her Subjects obeyed her intentions, what marks soever they had of them, and by what mouth soever they were declared. Even strangers and enemies honoured her Name, and had for her, submissions of re­spects, and compla [...]ncies of esteem; even to that degree that the French, who had not respected the Kings Authority before the Barri­ers of the L [...]re; and the Royal Pallace yielded respect to the Autho­rity of the Infanta even upon the Frontiers of her Countrey, and had a scruple to sight threescore leagues from Bruxel [...].

All these vertues of Peace and war which became familiar and do­mestick to the Infanta, which assisted her in her Closet, and followed her in the field, were under the conduct of another superiour vertue, and of a higher discent. I speak of Religion which is the Tutresse of States, and ought to be the Superintendent of Policie. That truly was the predominant vertue of this great Princesse: but it was not a super­stitious and timerous Religion, a Religion of scruples and apish fa­ces; much lesse was it of those artificial and painted ones, which com­pose and fit themselves for shew, which have studied looks, and tears of reserve for the publick, which deride in private the masked part they act in Churches. The Infanta was solidly religious, and even with vigour of spirit: she was humble and submissive to God without de­jection: she dr [...]aded him with that respectful fear which is the only [Page 16] fear of the wise and constant. Noblenesse and Dignity were to her so inherent, as they entred in a manner against her will into all her good works: And in her least devotions there was a tincture of Majesty, and some thing I know not, what which had a touch of the greatness of her birth. And surely to speak my thoughts of it▪ Great men are not permitted to be lesse devout then mean persons: and crowned heads owe no lesse subjection to God then others. But the devotion of Great ones ought to be more magnificent and resplendent, then that of in­feriour persons: And crowned heads even in their submissions, and when they humble themselves have a lustre and motion of dignitie which others want. The fire of the mountains which God himself hath touched is another kinde of fire, then all those which are enkin­dled with the sat and moisture of the valleyes: And the majestical submission of the [...]alm, bowing under the weight of its fruits, renders far more honour to Heaven, then the lightness of a reed under the first winde which [...] it.

As the greatnesse and dignity of the Infanta assisted her piety, and had their place and share in all her devotions: so her piety entred into all the actions of greatnesse and dignity which related either to her quality or office. It had the first rank and principal Authority in her Counsel: It was present in the beginning and end of all her enter­prises; It gave them the platforms and designes of all that was to be executed, both within and out of her Dominions: And what propo­sition soever was made either for Peace or War, it was alwayes the first heard. This Piety had likewise its part in the liberalities and profusi­ons of the Infanta, and dispensed them so Christianly and with so gene­ral a Charity, as they overflowed even into the [...]ouses of the poor. By this means Churches and Hospitals became the festival recreations of the Palace▪ Citizens did not fast for the good ch [...] of Courtiers: And mercy as well as magnificence did honour to the publick. Even diver­tisements and pastimes were practised in the sight of this piety proper for all uses: It brought thither order and discipline: It took from them even the indecency of gesture, and the immodesty of discourse: It only left them a serious and regular gallantry, and a most pure and spotlesse joy. Affairs were also blessed and prosperous in the hands of so religious a Princesse. Flanders was never more happy then in her time: And it hath been very evident since her death, that war and ill fortune bore her respect while she lived. But the vertues of this great Princesse detain us too long: behold more matter then is requisite to crown her. Let us make the draught which we promised of her Aunt the Dutchesse of Parma; and let us examine whether there will be mat­ter enough to compose a fair crown to her memory.

Margarite of Austria Dutchesse of Parma and Go­vernesse of the Low-Countreys.

MARGARITE of Austria Dutchesse of Parma may well be placed with the Infanta Isabel her Neece, and serve as an advan­tagious and modern proof for the Government of Women. She had much of the spirit and addresse of Charles the Fift; I say of that spirit of government and authority, and of that politick addresse which did more mischief to France, then all the forces and machina­tions of the Empire united and combined against her. She being sprightly and already capable by her birth, it was not very difficult to polish her self by practise, and to adde to so excellent a nature, as to a rare and valuable matter, perfect habits, and exquisite and accomplish­ed comportments. She received the first strokes of these habits in the Court of Florence, where adversity furnished her all it could with the best impressions, and most exact and fairest forms. A second marriage having caused her to passe from thence into the house of Fer [...]ese, the discipline and cares of Paul the Third, the ablest person of his time in the Science of Princes, compleated in her minde the rough draught she had brought from the School of the Medicean Family.

A while after she was called to the Government of the Low-Coun­treyes by Philip the Second, who had less regard in this choice to the blood and memory of Charles his Father, then to his proper interest, and to the conservation of his Patrimony of seventeen Provinces. They remained yet all in peace and obedience when the Dutchess of Parma arrived there: and there was then no speech of Factions or States, Guex or Hereticks. But this calm lasted not long: And the Heresies of Germany and [...], which had crept into those Provinces quickly drew thither Rebellion after the dissention. This alteration of time gave work enough to the Governess: but it was a glorious work and full of reputation, wherein she had Kings for her Encou­ragers, and was looked on by all Europe with astonishment. It was likewise to the wise and speculative of that time a wonderful spectacle to see a woman wrastle alone against so great and dangerous a storm. Yet she got the upper hand at last: and after nine yeers of agitation, she brought back the vessel into the Haven in despite of the windes and tides, which had forced it out. I say that she was to wrastle alone against the storm; because the Councel it self had begun the trouble, and the Ministers hired to save the vessel were the first that split it, and made way for the waves.

Grau [...]lle Archbishop of Arra [...], whom King Philip had assigned to the Governe [...]s for an honourable Spye, and a Pedagogue raised to the degree of a Minister of State, gave her more jealousie and distrust then good advice, and proved rather obstructive, then assistant to her. His [Page 18] Corrivals and Enemies accused him of all the ill had hapned. Such as stood indifferent, suspected him for raising a tumult in the vessel, to the end the stern might be wholly left to himself. As for the Prince of Orange. the Earls of I [...]mond and H [...]rn, the Marquesse of Berg, and other D [...]tch Lords, being all declared enemies against Granville, and secret Corrivals to each other, all suspected of Rebellion, and ill affected to the Domination of strangers, they brought nothing to the Councel, but a spirit of contradiction and confusion; nothing but interested and partial opinions, nothing but hidden conspiracies and open ani­mosities. By which means they more imbroyled then assisted the Go­verness and not daring either to reject or take their advice, she might be truly said to be abandoned amongst all these guides, because they were either [...]uspected or disloyal▪ and that it was equally dangerous either to leave or follow them. Nevertheless she forcibly overcame all these difficulties. she de [...]te [...]ously loosned her self from these incombrances: And after di [...]erted and discovered conspiracies▪ after extinguished, and chastised [...]ditions, after the revolt of Towns reduced to obedience, she chased away Rebellion and Heresie out of Flanders: she sweetly and de [...]erously tyed up again the [...] which gaped after liberty, and had already broken a piece of his chain. The States of Holland would have been at present but a Republick in Idea; and Leyden would have been [...] to Spain as to Bruxels, if King Philip had left for a longer time the Government unto the Dutchess of Parma. Ruy [...] and the Duke [...] were indeed of this opinion: Likewise none but indulgent and popular Ministers were ignorant, that clemency is more persuasive, and make [...] it [...] better obeyed then severity. But the advice of Car­dinal Spinosa and the Duke of Al [...]a carrying it against their opinions; the King concluded upon the way of rigour and force. The duke of Al [...]a. being sent to put them in execution, opened afresh with fire and sword those wounds, which lenitives had closed up: and what the dex­tent [...] and mildeness of a wise and obliging woman had re-established, was [...]ned by the violence [...] of a bloody and rigorous Minister of State. Philip to [...] this errour resolved to send back the Dutchess into [...]lande [...], which very earnestly demanded her, believing that its cure could come from no other hand then hers. But he desired it too late and out of season God thought that she had laboured enough, and sufficiently overcome; and therefore called her to give her repose, and the crowns she had merited. The Flemings being out of hope to have her Person, conserved her Memory: They honoured her in Publick, and in their houses, and whereas they had solemnly, and with ringing of Bells thrown down that insolent and proud statue which the Duke of Al [...]a had caused to be set up in the Citadel of Antwerp, they erected in their hearts, which were stronger then Citadels, a statue of pure esteem and glory to the Dutchess of Parma.

[Page]

IAHEL [...]

[Page 19]Iahel.

THERE is now an end of the Cananites and of their Fortune: their Armie composed of so many Troops and Engins of war was defeated by the Israelites, who are still pursuing the remainder of it. And all the presages are deceitful, nay even Prophesie it self is a lyer, or their Empire shaken by this Blow will not much longer expect its fall: the Earth is covered over with the bloody parcels of so formidable a Bodi [...]; some of them have fallen upon all the Mountains, and into all the Valleys of the Countrey; and the stately Head thereof, which hath hitherto rolled along, happens to be broken in pieces by the Hand of this Woman. It is Jahel who hath finished the overthrow of the Canaanites by the death of their General, whom she killed with a Nail in her own [...]ent, where he had sheltred himself after the routing of his Armie: she is still moved with the blow she so lately struck. Certainly she could not have given a more hazardous one, nor of greater conse­quence: and the Age of our fore-fathers which was an Age of Miracles and of prodigious Adventures, hath never seen any thing of like Courage, nor of greater Fame.

The joy she felt at the successe of so high an enterprise adds new lustre to her eyes, and a second grace to her face. The confidence of her looks corresponds with the boldnesse of the Action; her hands armed with the fatal Hamm [...]r which pro­ved of more force then the warlike Engines of the Enemies, and performed more then all the Lances and Swords of the Israelites, prepared themselves to gain a second Victory: And [Page 20] yet her Hands all heated as they are with breaking the Chain and Yoak of Israel upon the Head of Sisera▪ seem willing to give the like blow even unto the Ghost of the Cananean King, whom her imagination hath brought Captive to her, and loaden with Chains.

Neverthelesse Sisera wrastleth in vain against the Earth. At the same time he pushes with his arms as it were to force her to give back: and by a contrary effort he seems willing to carry her away with his head. His heart strives within to succour the wounded part, and not being able of himself to assist it, with all the remainder of his force, he conveyes thither Anger, Rage, and Despair. These impotent and furious Passions appear confusedly, and with horror on his face swollen with the blood and spirits which are there poured out from the whole bodie. It would be hard to distinguish them by their proper features, and by the Colours which are natural to them: All of them have participated of the Anguish which is mingled with them, and are grown either pale with Death which entred by this wound, or red with the blood which flowed from thence.

His eyes, which to him had been ill Advisers and unfaithful guards, and had suffered themselves to be surprised by beauty and sleep, bewail the mortal errour they had committed, and seem willing to cast forth with their blood and tears the pleasing poyson which they have taken in from the looks of J [...]hel: Besides they turn up and down in their last pains, as if they sought her out to reproach her of Infidelity; And the very sight of Debora and Barac hapning to be present at this Tra­gick spectacle increases their torment and begets in him a se­cond confusion: The victory of his Enemies proves a tor­ment to him: Death, nay even such a death made it another death to him. But the third yet more sensible and cruel death was, that his enemies in his very presence and sight rejoyce at his death and at their victory.

Surely also this sight may be called the death of Sisera, and the wound which he received therby in his heart though it cast forth no blood at all, is yet more painful to him then that of his pierced head; You would say that he is ready to dart out of [Page 21] his mouth a thousand Blasphemies against Heaven, and as many Imprecations against Jahel; But his voice is stifled with the presse of his passions, and dies in his throat; There issueth forth of it nothing but froth, which is the blood of his in­flamed rage, and not being able to blaspheme with his tongue, he blasphemeth with his countenance and the motion of his lips. Debora and Barac look upon him in silence, and with a kinde of Religious horror. Astonishment which opens their mouth, deprives them of breath, and their stretched out hands seem willing to speak for their tongues that are tyed up.

The very servants which are of their Train are strucken with the like amazement; and as if there were a charm in this spe­ctacle, it took from them their voice by gazing on it. Sisera who could not astonish them by his valour, and with a sword in his hand, doth now amaze them by his punishment, and with the Nail in his head. And if all the people should be de­stroyed, if the Ark it self were a captive, and if the Cheru­b [...]s which guard it were prisoners, there could not appear more Trouble in the minde of Barac, nor more Emotion up­on the face of Debora. But this trouble and Emotion will be quickly followed with joy, and every one resuming the Fun­ction which this spectacle hath suspended, Debora inspired with the spirit of Prophesie shall sing a Hymn unto God of the won­ders which have finished so great a war with the point of a nail, and destroyed the Empire of the Canaanites with the stroke of a hammer and by the hand of a woman.

SONNET.

IN Jahels Bresta Hero's Soul survives,
Which prompts her modest thoughts to brave atchives:
Her flaming eyes declare with how much heat,
She did an Army in one Head defeat.
Sisera her strugling, his black Soul doth groan,
That by a Womans hand he's overthrown:
[Page 22] It quits his Breast, amazed Rage conceives,
And in his Blood its wrath enkindled leaves.
Behold Man's [...]ickle state, how neer ally'd
His Ruine is to his insulting Pride;
And with what ease this Ball is ev'ry way
By Fortune racketed, to finde her play.
She can advance him when in most despair,
As though she rais'd him with a puff of Air:
As strangly too, without her VVheels full poise,
She by the p [...]cking of a Nail destroyes.

THE ELOGIE OF JAHEL.

JAHEL gave the last blow unto the Pride of the Canaan [...]es, and finishing the victory which Debora had begun, she shewed that God had chosen the hands of a Woman to break the yoke of his peo­ple. Sisera the Lieutenant General of Jabin, seeing his Army defeated by the Israelites, saved himself a­ [...]oot in the Tent of Jahel: But Death knows no Sanctuar [...] or place of Refuge: And it is evident, that she suffered him [...] in the heat of the conflict, to kill him afterwards more at [...], and at more lea [...]ure out of the Battel. Jahel inspired by God [...]. And to quench the extream thi [...] which labour, flight and [...] had caused, presented him with milk to drink.

There are some dangerous charities and courtesies whereof we must bewa [...]: And sometimes the presence of Women have defeated those who could not be overcome by stratagems or armed Legions. [...] together with the freshness of this drink having [...] unfortunate Sisera, Jahel without noise pulled up one of the Nail▪ wherewith her Tent was fastned, and with the blow of a [...] to deep into his head, as the Nail pierced it clean through▪ and entred into the earth with his blood and Soul. This Wo­man wa [...] worth an Armie, and a Nail in her hand effected that which ten thousand [...], and as many Swords were not able to effect.

[...] may well believe that this action was done by inspiration▪ other­w [...] [...] not have violated Hospitality, which is naturally holy [...] to the Law of Nations. She would not have corrupted [...] and favour, not have sta [...]nd it with blood and murther: [Page 23] She would have at least respected the gentlenesse of her Sex, and the sanctity of her Tent: But it was Gods will on that day, that two Wo­men should work the Redemption of a whole Nation. And that by this example they should teach posterity that great forces are not ne­cessary to great Actions, that the powers of the earth break asunder if never so little touched, and that without framing Engines or rolling mountains there needs but one thrust to cause the fall of a Colessus.

A MORAL REFLECTION.

I Fear that if I propose the Example of Jahel to gallant women, they will reject my proposition and abhor the blood and [...] of this Precedent. Nevertheless they may imitate her without violating the Law [...] of Hospitality, without exasperating the mildeness of their Sex; without [...]taging o [...] framing the [...] with blood. There are no more Canaanites to overcome▪ not [...] there another Sisera to vanquish: But there are [...], there are com­manding and [...] Passion, which are to the [...] at that day what Sisera and the Canaanites were heretofore to the Israelites: Not only Men ought to take up arms against these spiritual [...] but even Wo­men also must enter into this war, and the [...] which they should hold with them would be a kinde of treason and [...]. Above all, it there be any woman who hath entertained some Sisera in her [...], who hath opened her heart, and promised security unto some predomi­nant Passion, the ought to be advertised, that this sort of charity is destructive and not to be [...] in▪ and that toward [...] mercy proves [...], and fidelity scandalous and of dangerous example. Saul was reproved for the [...] thrown to the king of the Amale­kites, and because he was pitiful out of [...]ason, and against the will of God, he lost both [...]rown and [...]. Take heed of the li [...]e fault, if you be not prepared against the [...] misfortune. And if you have afforded a place of retreat to some Soveraign passion, to some Capital and com­manding vice. Remember that you are bound in honour both to betr [...]y it, and to keep no faith with it, as it is a Sisera to you, so ought you to be a Jahel to it, and you shall be to it an Heroick and victorious Jahel, if you [...]ull it asleep with the blood of the Lamb, and plane a Nail of the Cross in the Head of it.

A MORAL QUESTION.
Whether there was Infidelity in the Act of Jahel?

THe act of Jahel is not numbred amongst those which instantly gain approbation, and which at first sight informs the understanding. The colour of it is not so beautifull, nor the face of it so taking. There appeareth therein much dexterity and courage: but there is de­ [...]ipt in this address, and this courage hath something of barbarous in it: [...], the breach of faith seems in that action very evident, cabinet and chamber [...] cannot fail to fill their Common places there­with▪ and to compose a piece against the infidelity of women: But here and every where else we must defie seeming illusions and the false lights of the superficie [...] We must beware of fastning our opinions up­on the [...] of things, and of judging by the colour. The outside [...] deceitful and [...] into beliefe. And very often colours are more [...] and have more Justice about vice then vertue. Moreover since the holy Ghost himself hath set forth the praise of Jahel, since he hath inspired her with a prophetick mouth, and hath even dictated it to one of his writers, we need not fear to hazard our esteem upon his appro­bation, not make a scruple to honour the memory of a vertue, where­of he hath lest us the [...] and picture after his own manner.

There was then prudence and conduct, addresse and courage in this action of Jahel, and particularly fidelity which is questioned was here­in couragious and magnanimous: It was fortified with zeal, and con­secrated to Religion. I know not whether Jahel might owe something to Sisera and the Canaanites who were the enemies of God, Tyrants over his people, and publick oppressors of the posterity of the Patriarchs. But I know very well that she could not engage unto them a second faith against the first which she owed to God against the Law of her fore­fathers and to the ruine of that holy nation: A treaty of this nature had been an Aposta [...]ie of State and Religion: and she could not have kept her word without the breach of her saith, without betraying her brethren, without sinning against God and Moses.

The Holy Scripture very well observes that there was some kinde of peace between the house of her husband Hebar, and the Canaanites. But this was not a regular peace, and according to usual forms: It was but a good interval hardly and dearly purchased by the weakest side, It was but [...] of [...] and pillages which the Canaanites ac­corded to the house of Hebar in respect of the contributions they drew from them: And doubtlesse this Accord on Hebars part was without pre [...]udice to the faith he owed to God and his people, and this particu­lar repose which he purchased was not a falling off from the common cause. It was in all probability of the same nature as particular Trea­ties [Page 25] are now adayes between common people residing upon Frontiers, who [...] and sword with money, who divert the [...]undation and in [...]oad of the Enemie by contributions which they lay upon them; this is properly called, and without abusing the term, so con [...]ure a tem­pest, and charm wilde beasts. But these charms and comutations do not binde the Common people who put them in practise. They live within the limits of [...], and under the duty of joyning as occasion serves with the Troop of their [...], of ma [...]hing against the common enemie, of [...] the same beasts which they themselves had enchanted.

The Treatie of Hebar with the Canaanites was in this form. It was not a surrender of his right, not a dispensation of his duty; It was an innocent Charm against [...] and sword, against Tyrants and oppres­sors. And the wa [...] undertaken against them proceeding from the will of God, [...] by expresse revelation, and declared by the Reg [...]n [...] Prophet [...], as he might list himself without any [...]reachers amongst the Troops, and [...]oyn hi [...] Arms with the common Arm [...] for the liberty of the people. In Jahel with a good Conscience and me [...]t might let her hand to the same work: the might be a [...]ding by her [...] and forces to break the Cha [...] of her brethren: she might finish by a parti­cular inspiration the victory which Debora had begun with publick. Au­thority, and by the Spirit of Prophesie.

This particular inspiration supported the common Interest, and strengthened natural reason: And Jahel ex [...]ited on the one side, and perswaded on the other, exposed for the people both her life and repu­tation to a hazardou [...] enterprise, and which might leave her an ill [...]ame. Thereby the performed an [...] Act of fidelity towards God whom she obeyed, towards the [...]aw of her Ancesters which she established by the ruine of the opposite Power, towards her people, whole [...]oke she brake, and whose chain [...] she rent in pieces, towards posterity to which she conserved both Religion and the Sanctuary, Freedom and Hope.

Neverthelese this Act is reckoned amongst those extr [...]ordinary one [...] which surpa [...] received Laws, and exceed such measures as are in use. It may well [...] us admiration and respect, but we cannot [...] a mo­del of it, and draw copies from thence. And since Fidelity is an essential part in a Gallant Woman, it is proper to produce some example [...] whereby vertue all Pure and without the least appearance of stain may serve as well for Imitation as Shew.

EXAMPLE.
Joan of Beaufort Queen of Scotland, and Catherine Douglas.

IT is with the History of Scotland as with those frightful pictures wherein nothing is represented but dead and wounded Bodies; no­thing but fired houses and ruines. One cannot ingage himself in it without passing over blood and murthers; nay even upon sacred blood, and paracide murthers, and it is very strange that so little a crown should be divided by so many factions and so often stained with the death of those who have worn it.

That of James the First was a Tragedy which might passe for an Ori­ [...] either in the time of [...], or in the Age of Oedipus; But as there is never any Age represented so cruel wherein some person of good life doth not inter [...]ne, who reads not upon the stage lessons of Vertue and corrects the scandal which others give. Two women who were present at the death of this good Prince, gave an example of Fide­lity which cannot be seen now adayes in history without applauding and [...] it, at least in thought.

The [...] of [...] a Scotchman being possessed with the Ambition of [...], which is a bloody Devil, and the Instigator of Paracid [...], [...] against his Nephew King James: and because he could not depose him but by death, resolved to have his head to obtain his crown: This resolution [...] taken, and obstinately determined, he seeks out trusts and resolute Executioners, and without going out of his own [...], he found some who were truly fit instruments for such an under­t [...] At the appointed day a Groom of the Kings Bed-chamber [...] them in, and shews them the door without defence. This Trai­tor [...], the [...]arl had taken away the bolt, as if he meant to cor­rupt and [...] it to his crime.

All things being prepar [...]d for the Execution, and the moment of the last Act approaching, an Officer discovered the Conspirators, and desiring to [...] the Kings Bedchamber from whence he newly came, he drew upon himself their first blows, and the prologue of their fury. At the [...] Assassinate Catherine D [...]glas who was attending on the [...] to the door, and finding it without any stay, and uncapable [...] her courage and necessity, (which is inventive, [...] thing defensive) makes her arm supply the place of [...] Groom of the Chamber had taken away. [...] had been as strong as her heart, the door would have [...] and sword, nay even against Engines and Canon [...]: [...] for this use, it was broken at the first assault, and the [...] over the belly of the faithful Lady, entred furiously [...] who had no other guard then his Queen.

[Page 27] This good and couragious Princess was no way frighted at the glit­tering of so many swords already staind with blood, and even reaking with the murther which was newly committed at the door. She boldly advanced before her husband, and alone acted the part of al the Archers of his Guard: But the match was too unequal, and fidelity being aban­doned, and without arms could not resist a multitude, nor overcome an armed Furie.

The King being thrown on the ground, the Queen cast herself upon him, and covered him with her body, to the end at least he might not be wounded but through her wounds, nor receive death but through her own: Her Sex was not respected, the Vertues and Graces of her person proved no Sanctuary to her: she received two blows upon her husbands body: and these furious Murtherers having at last by Violence taken her from him, the poor Prince being man­gled all over with wounds, rendered up his soul in the tears and blood of his wife; The Author of this execrable Patricide, and the cruel executioners who had assisted him with their hands, carried not far the blood of their Prince. Divine Justice, and the revenging Angel of Kings followed them by the track and voice of this blood which cryed out against them; and there was none of them which was not brought to condigne punishment: there was made the same ex­ample in several spectacles, and the people had full leasure to be in­structed, and to glut themselves with their punishment. The detestable Earl of Ath [...]e was reserved for the last act of the Tragidy, which lasted three dayes; in each of which he appeared under several Engines of torment and terrour, with a Crown of hot iron upon his head. And thereby unfortunatly and contrary to his own sense was verified the vain prediction of a woman, who had assured him, that he should be one day solemnly crowned, and before a great assembly of people.

We may learn by this History that the Majesty of Kings is sacred; that their blood and lives are holy things, and that there is in Heaven a particular Tribunal, and selected Executioners established against those who violate them. From hence also it is learnt, that the end of Ambi­tion is commonly bloody and tragical, and that it is a dangerous thing and full of hazard to commit crimes and to attempt upon the promises of a Fortune-Teller. In fine to return to my subject we are taught thereby that the strength of hands is not necessary for the force of Acti­on, that delicate and polished Graces can do as much as couragious and strong Vertues, and that Women are no lesse capable of an Heroick and eminent fidelity then Men.

[Page]

IVDITH [...]

[Page 29]Iudith.

THIS strong place which seems to be borne upon the top of this Rock is the Citie of Bethulia; And this Camp which takes up all the Plain about it is the Camp of the As [...]yrians who besiege it. You may boldly approach it, and pass securely and without fear even to the Tent of Holofernes. Wine and sleep have defeated all the Courts of Guards. They have not left a Centinel which was not laid on the ground; even the Fires which should watch for the whole Camp become drowsy, and are half extinguished. You would say that they have been cor­rupted, or forgotten the ancient Discipline: Do not accuse the liberty of the Souldiers, nor the negligence of the Commanders. A stronger vertue then the Souldiers, and a greater Authority then the Officers hath overcome them both, and con [...]ounded the duties and orders of War.

This defeat without murther or effusion of blood is a blow from the Angel of Israel who is come in person to defend the Frontiers of his Countrey; He hath made darknesse which hath something I know not what, of resemblance with that which he heretofore caused in Egypt. And the Night was ad­vanced by his command to contribute its silence and obscurity to the great Action which he prepares. But this obscurity serves onely for the enemies of the people of God, this intelli­gent night is discreet, like that of Egypt; it knows how to distin­guish [Page 30] the faithful, and to put a difference of persons. That which is cloudy and dark for other shall be light for us. And were there nothing but the brightnesse of these luminous spi­rits added to the resplendency of the zeal and eyes of Judith, which seem to infire all the pretious stones of that stately Pa­villion, yet there would be enough to discern from thence the Tragedie which is begun in the Tent of Holofernes.

All things are disposed there, to a strange revolution; and this fatal conjuncture hath in an instant reduced to extremity the life of Holofernes, the honour of Judith, and the safety of Be­thulia. The gallant and victorious Widow who so couragi­ously exposeth her honour for the safety of her people, hath but this moment to manage; and if she doth not happily manage it and with successe, there is an end of her honour and the safety of her people; there is an end of Bethulia, even of Jerusalem it self and of the Temple besieged in Bethulia: It is her work to save all this; and all this cannot be done but by one stroak and by the death of Holofernes. Behold how she is prepared to give this fatal and important blow, which must cut of an hun­dred and fifty thousand-heads, and restore spirit and heart to twelve desolate Provinces. She did not cause Legions or armed Elephants to march before her; she came not accompanied with Giants or Engins of war: she is only invironed with Beauty and Graces: But it is a bold and victorious Beauty, they are magnanimous and conquering Graces: she is onely guarded with attractives and graceful charms: but they are violent attractives, and forcible charms. She is equally dange­rous and graceful, and wounds even by that which delights: Not onely her eyes are piercing, and the lightning which God hath placed in them doth dazel the sight; but even her very feet contributed to the victory, and the eyes of her Buskins have surprized Holofernes by the eye, and enslaved his Soul.

These arms, though divinely reinforced and purified with a Heavenly ray, could not have overcome alone. They effected nothing but after prayer, fasting, and tears. And though these which are spiritual, and of an invisible temper have not wrought upon the sight of Holofernes, yet they have [Page 31] done it upon the heart of God, and opened a passage whereby Safety came upon his people, and Death upon his enemies. Ju­deth is ready to give a beginning to both, The exterminating Angel who assists her, puts not a Lance of Fire into her Hand, nor the point of a Thunderbolt brought down from Heaven; such noble weapons, and descending from so great a height are not necessary for this execution: And God doth not use to leave to the haughty the title of a glorious and renowned death. He presents to her the sword of Holofernes, and putting it into her Hand, he setled confidence and boldnesse in her Heart. You would take this fatal sword for the stroke of a Thunderbolt: you would swear that it is all composed of light­ning: But these lightnings are not like those which are formed in the clouds: they come to it from a Diamond and a Rubie whereof the [...]ilt is composed: and what lustre soever it re­ceives from these fires of pre [...]ious stones which adorn it, it ex­pects more from the innocence and vertue of this fair hand which is ready to imploy it. You would say that it glittereth from the impatience it hath to be serviceable to a stroke, which will be worth many Battels, and which shall be heard by all Ages.

Judeth receives it couragiously and with confidence; but her courage is far from fiercenesse, and her confidence appears modest and submissive, Her faith renewed in this perilous mo­ment, and her zeal breaking forth, enlighten her face, and diffuse themselves by her mouth. And her eyes are lifted up toward Heaven, as if they did shew the way to the prayers she sends thither in silence and accompanied with the spirit it of her tears. There is nothing which so pure a soul, and so holy tears may not obtain; and the voice of this silence is too power­ful and pressing not to be heard. But though it were strong e­nough to penetrate Heaven, and to make it self to be heard of God, yet it reacheth not the ear of Holofernes. Beast that he is, he is far from waking at this voice, he would not awake at that of Heaven, though it should thunder with all its force. He hath not only lost both spirit and motion: but even his hea [...]ing and sight are bound up: and he is more fastned by the fume of [Page 32] wine and the vapours of sleep, then he would be by six great cords and as many cha [...]s.

Do not believe that in this plight he dreams of the taking of Bethulia or the sacking of Jerusalem, that any Siege is laid, or any battel fought in his Head. No Armies are now there to lead, nor Kingdoms to overcome. Judeth is there alone what War, Glory, and Nabuchodonezer were before. But it is not th [...] Judeth whom vertue, zeal, and these Angels have brought: It is a Judeth, not unlike a cheating dream, which hath trans­formed a Heroe [...]s into a mincing Dame; and this mincing and imaginary Judeth shall be suddenly overthrown by the [...] and chast one. The sword which you see in her hand shall do her Justice upon this cheating dream. And all these vain Ideas shall be drowned in the blood of the Dreamer, and shall fall with his Head.

Whilst the measures once more the greatness of her Enter­prize, and that her last tears demand of God courage, and proportion [...]d forces; the Angels who brought her thither re­ma [...]n as a Guard about her person at the door of the Tent. Her Angel Guardian lights her with a Torch, and at the same time bowing down the Pike of Holofernes (which he had seized on) seems to assure her with his looks and gesture that he will second her, if her hand should fail. Observe the Acti­on of these Angels who sport with a cask and Cuyrass: There is a mysterie in their Action, and what they sport at, is the assurance and instruction of Judeth; They break in pieces the Armer of Holofernes, which was thought to be all composed of solid Fires, and of well tempered and well hammer'd Inchant­ments; and which was so long the general terrour of all Asia: In breaking it, they deride the infirmity of human powers; and you see that they shew the pieces of it to Judeth, to assure her that there is nothing to be feared, having guards and seconds to whom Diamonds and Steel are but Glass and Tiffany.

As for those whom you see at the door of the Tent, they stand there to chase away fear and apparitions from this Maid, whom Judeth placed there for a Guard. They remain in that place to repell the Devils, Enemies of Gods people, which [Page 33] might come to the aid of Holofernes. Their arms though seem­ingly obscure are yet composed of a Celestial and most resplen­dant matter: but because lightnings might issue from them which would awaken the whole Camp, they themselves ob­scured them and suppressed all their light. Neverthelesse this restraint is no longer needfull for them. Behold Judeth coming forth with the [...]ead of Holofernes and the Heart of all these dif­ferent bodies, which are half dead with wine and sleep, and which shall quickly be dispatched by the Israelites. The blood still reaks after the sword, and where it passes, the earth greedily drinks up the drops which fall from it.

You believe indeed that the joy of this Victory is not little in the heart of the Conqueresse: It is there so great as it is di­lated on her face, and her eyes have received thereby a second fire with a new and accessory light. It will suddenly appear far greater in Bethulia where the generous Widow is impatiently expected: and to which place she is going to carry, with the Head and Death of the Publick Enemy, the life and freedom of all the people.

SONNET.

PRoud Holofern is laid, the sun his light
Hath mixt with darkness to commence the night:
Whose shadow Judeth for her veil doth take,
Lest with her Beauties lustre he should wake.
The sword which this chaste wonder doth advance
Addes a fierce splendour to her Countenance:
And in this exigent to quell all Fear.
Thou speaks her Angel-Guardian in her ear.
Shrink thou not Judeth, let thy Foe be sped,
He is already little lesse then dead:
[...] [...]
For Sleep and Wine, by their joynt forces, have
Begun thy Conquest, and the Tyrants grave.
It would beseem thee ill to be afraid
Of him thou hast thy humble Captive made:
Well may thy Arm his Head and Body part,
Who with thy [...]es hast from him torn his Heart.

THE ELOGIE OF JVDETH.

IT is not necessary for me to say who Judeth was, and what Act she hath done; she is sufficiently known to every one: For above the space of two thousand yeers she is in all Countreyes, and in the sight of all Nations still cut­ting off the Head of Holofernes, and raising the siege of Bethulia. This part of her life hath been indeed the most radiant and remarkable, but peradventure not the most laborious or Heroick; and she more easily defeated Holofernes invironed with a whole Armie, then Pleasure and Grief, Covetousnesse and Fear, then her own Beauty and Youth. She was victorious nevertheless in all sorts of conflicts, and got the upper hand both of pleasing and terrifying Enemie [...]. At the Death of her Husband she overcame Grief by resig­nation, and shewed, that with the blood of Patriarchs her Predeces­sors, she had inherited their Faith and Constancie: This first Adver­sary being mastered, the overcame also Idlenesse, Pleasures, and the latter Affections, which are the second and most dangerous Enemies of young Widows. She not being able to renounce her Youth, nor to be rid of her Beauty, which were to her like suspected Domesticks, and hard to be preserved: she kept them continually shut up; and likewise [...]aring lest they should make an escape, she weakned them by Prayer, Labor, [...]asting, and Hair-cloth.

She grew warlike by these Domestick and Private Combats, and pre­pared her self all alone, and in one single night for this famous Field, in which the Fortune of the Assyrians was ruined by the Blow received from the Hand of a victorious Woman, and the Head of a vanquished Man▪ Besides, in this so magnanimous and perillous an enterprise she was to overcome, not only a man whom Love had disarmed, and Wine and Sleep had secured, but to overcome the power of Gold, to which armed Legion [...] submit and strong Forts are rendered; she was to over­come the sparklings of pretious stones, which wound even souls which are [...] to the sharpest point of swords: she was to overcome pleasures, which is stronger then valour it self, and triumpheth every day over the Victorious.

[Page 35] Besides these pleasing and flattering enemies certain cruel and ter­rible ones presented themselves, which she was likewise obliged to overcome: Her Enterprise could not prove successeful to her but by miracle; and if it took no effect, she was to passe through all the hands of a furious Army; she must suffer all the punishments and Deaths which inraged Tyranny can inflict; she measured all these punishments, and numbred all these Deaths: And upon a serious consideration of them all the undertook in their very sight and presence this memorable Action, by which with one stroak she shewed her self not onely more couragious and valiant, but more intelligent and prudent then all Judea which she preserved, and all Assyria which she overcame.

A MORAL REFLECTION.

WOmen have not every day Holofernes's to vanquish; but every day they have occasion to fight against excess, vanity, delights, and all pleasing and troublesome passions; The memory of this Heroick Woman may instruct them in all the enterprises and exer­cises of this war, which though made in shadow and without effusion of blood ceaseth not to be laborious, and made with vigour of spirit and stability of courage. Let them learn then from this illustrious and glo­rious Mistresse to discipline their graces, and to give to them devotion and zeal, To imprison dangerous Beauty, and to take from it all the weapons wherewith it might offend, Let them learn from her to re­form Widowhood, and to put themselves under the yoke of God, after they are free from that of men. Let them learn from her to be loyal to the memory of their deceased Husbands, never to divorce them­selves from their Names, and to place under their ashes all the fire which may be remaining in them: as for this celebrious Act, by which Judith overcame all Assyria a Tent, and struck off with one blow the head of a whole Armie, It teacheth men that Heroick Vertue proceeds from the Heart, and not the Sex, that valour clothed with iron is not alwayes [...], and that the weakest and most tender hands may [...] the safety of Nations when God directs them.

A MORAL QUESTION.
Concerning the Choice which God hath made of Women for the pre­servation of States reduced to Extremity.

IT is noted in the Book of Judges, and observed there as a wonder and prodig [...], that meeknesse was once born of force, and that nou­rishment [...] from the [...] of him that devout [...] It is a wonder which [...] of prodigie, and which nevertheless hath not been yet observed▪ that [...] is a portion of meekness, and that the hand [...] accu­sed to have been the Autho [...] of Death, have brought safety and given [...]. However, this second wonder is true, and no lesse surprizing then the first, not lesse proper to frame a [...]. Problem, and a specious [...]. The examples thereof are likewise less [...] and more known; [...] to be seen of them almost in all the Regions of History; And God hath renewed them a [...] often as he hath chosen the hand [...] of Women other to establish tottering States, or to support their [...].

The great wonder in this is, that God hath almost made this choice [...] Counsels and Hope, and in the last confusion [...] And in occasions wherein the Arms of the strong were [...] Heads exhausted▪ he hath raised up Women, who [...] the valiant and [...], who have taken away [...] and the Sword held over the Head of Nations: who have chased away from surrendred [...]owns Armies already victorious; who [...] and Courage to vanquished King, who [...] and fallen Crown. It suffi [...]th to be­lieve that such works are not done, but by the hand of God, and with much of hi [...] spirit and by the Vertue of miracles. There are neverthe­le [...] appearances and Reasons within the reach of out sight, which in this particular make good his Providence.

[...] Power appears therein more independant, and his Wisd [...]m [...] infallible and [...]. There is very often De [...]eption in [...] Thought, and mistake [...] in our Terms. We take Force [...] and that which we call Power, ought to be called [...] and a Weaknesse with a great Train. [...] was to be truly powerful, to take Towns, and overcome [...] Canons and other Arm [...], but with broken Po [...] and [...] This were to be extraordinarily strong▪ not to throw [...] with many Engine, but to break in [...] with blowing on the [...]ace of it; to [...]leave a Mount [...]n with [...] of Snow. And the Art as well as the Courage of [...] might be called Divine, who in the sight of a Storm should [...] with [...]ails of [...], and with a [...] of Paper. [Page 37] It [...]utes very neer with the manner of Gods acting, when in the Tu­mult of [...], and amidst the [...] of falling States, he [...] the Arms of [...], and the Heads of Polititians, and makes choice of weak Women and tender Maids to subdue the victorious, and to [...] up the vanquiried, to support Ruines, and repair Shipwrack.

Secondly, he thereby [...] his little of the God of Host▪ and a powerful Lord in War. He shews that Victory [...] Subject that it follows [...] Orders, and ob [...]ves his Providence▪ And that [...] Com­mon and [...] Ma [...], and this blinde and gidd [...] Fortune, of which [...] much reckoning to made, are but [...]antom [...] of men. Invention. Thirdly he thereby reacheth Humility to the proud ones of the [...]. He reacheth [...] to Conquerours and Haughty spirits, and makes them. [...] that Crowns depend on his [...], and not on the strength of the [...] own Hand. That he takes them off at his pleasure from proud Heads to place them upon the Humble, That he [...] Crowns for Women as well as men, for Shepherds as well as Prin [...]s and that upon what Head soever he placeth them, he still [...] the [...] of them.

In the fourth place, these wonders wrought from time to time by the hands of Women are [...] Acts, and illustrious instructions for the whole [...]. Thereby [...] tongue are refuted and Ca­lum [...]e [...] second work of God [...]. Thereby Women [...] have Heart of the [...]ame matter▪ and as well denied [...] not corrupt them▪ [...]f they be not overcome by [...]. They learn [...] by that [...] tender, and [...] to wool and silk, [...] Actions, [...] a long [...] doth not [...] Vertue, [...] That to pre­pare [...] Courage and [...] adventures. They [...] themselves, to overcome, and to begin the [...] [...] and upon themselves. Jud [...]th was not victorious [...], and without [...] prepared her [...] [...]or it by [...] and Domestick Combats, and this was not till she had over­come pleasure, till she had chased away Pa [...]lion, and [...] from her Heart, till [...]he had [...], driven away the [...] from before [...].

Morecover, this is not the sole example of [...] kind: there are more even in [...] and Nation, a long time before Judeth, Debora, and Ja [...]el [...] people from the Tyranny of the [...]. Some years after [...] preserved them from the Hands of [...], and the general [...] which was prepared for them thor [...]owout all Per [...]. Under the Reign of David▪ the [...] being besieged b [...] Joab, and threatned with the [...] [...]ity, were delivered [...] from the Pillage and the [...] by the Providence of a wise Woman, who perswaded them to clear the [...] hands of a Rebel, who they had harboured, and to [...] Head over the Walls. This Head being thrown over effected [Page 38] more then twenty thousand Arms and Engines could have done: Peace remained to the Abelites, and Joab without taking the Citie re­treated with Victory.

EXAMPLE.
Marulla of Stilimena.

THE Maid of Orleans may well be added to these Gallant Jewish Women, though far distant from their time and Countrey. France in her had a protectress and a Warrier, a Debora and a Judeth, and what she did to deliver that Kingdom from Invaders, who had already put the voke over its Head, is a famous proof of a miracu­lous gi [...]t divinely con [...]erred on some Woman for the preservation of oppressed States, and Cities reduced to extremity. But all the whol­some and warlike Vertues of this Sex are not of so great Antiquity: th [...]se latter Ages have had them as well as the former; and there are some of them as it were born in the sight of our Fathers.

In the time of Mahome [...] the Second, the Turks conducted by Bas [...] a So­lo [...], ma [...]ched down into [...], and set upon Coce [...], which is the chief City of the Island: divers assaults couragiously given in several places, and repulsed with like Courage; at last either by fraud or force they gain'd a gate, where the sight was a long time sti [...]lly maintained; so far that the Governour of the place, who was a man of Counsel and Valor lost his life. He had a daughter called Marull [...], who was then upon the Wall with other Women, prepared to give a handsome reception to the enemy, and to act for their Honour and Religion much more then their Sex required. This couragious Maid had her Eyes and Heart in the Combat, and accompanied it with her Gestures and motions; Though wounded with the Blow which had killed her Father, yet the was not overcome with him, not lost her Spirit and Courage by his Wound. She descended from the Wall to the Gate; she runs through [...] and Sword to the Body of her Father; she takes up his Sword and Buckler, and as if with his Buckler and Sword she had taken the bold­ness of his Heart, and the strength of his Arms, she presents her self to those Enemies, which appeared the most pressing, and were the most advanced. Some the repels, and knocks down others: She fights with so much Courage, and her Courage assisted from above, and supported by the rall [...]d inhabitants proves so happy, as she puts to flight what Turks soever she found in her way, and leads her Companions fighting even to their Galleys. The very same day they returned to sea, and le [...]t the Victory intire to Marulla, and Liberty to Stilime [...].

The next day the General of the Venetian Fleet, thinking to be at the Fight, came to the Feast of it. The People being richly cloathed, [Page 39] and the Magistrates in their ceremonial garments went out to meet him, and brought to him their Deliveress in Triumph. He caused her to come before the Armie raing'd in order upon the shoar. And there after the having Crowned her with an Elogie, which was of more value then the Laurel, or the Oak of the Ancients; He ordained that every Souldier should make her a present, and offered her for a Husband what Captain soever she would please to chuse, with promise, that he would prevaile so with the Senate, as he should be adopted of the Sig­nory, and her Marriage Portion given her out of the publick Trea­sury. Marulla, who was truly bold and couragious, yet more advised and discreet, rendred Thanks to the General for his Presents and offers; and made him this answer, ‘That the difference was great between the Vertues of the Field and those of a Family; that an excellent Ca­ptain might make a bad Master of a Family, and that Marriage being no Warfare, the Hazard would be too great, and the Election too rash, to chuse a Husband in Arms, and to take him in a Field of Battel.’ This Answer set a second Value upon the Act of Marulla: and made appear, that there was a great deal of light in her Fire; and that her valour was both spritely and Juditious: and from that time, they looked upon her, not only as an Amazon, equal to those represented in Fables, but esteemed her also as a learned Person amongst the Muses.

[Page]

SALOMONE [...]

[Page 41]Salomona.

THE Combat you behold, though it be bloody on the one side, and cruel on the other, yet it is none of those where Valour should be brutish, and commit murders. She is very resolute and cou­ragious; but she is disarmed and suffer­ing. In like occasions the weak become strong, the dying victorious; and they that strike and kill, were the vanquished. The Combat is for the God of Abraham and Moses, for the Law of the Patri­archs and Prophets. On the other side this cause is defended by abandoned and naked Faith, and on the other, assaulted by Infidelity, armed with Engins and punishments. The match seems to you to be unequal: And you will hardly believe, that Infirmity and Tendernesse, can be of more Force then Iron and Fire; that a Mother weak both in Sex and Age, and Chil­dren both abandoned and unarmed, should vanquish a furious and armed Tyrant, and overcome all the Executioners of his Train. Nevertheless they subdued them all, and there are al­readie on their side as many Victories as Deaths.

Salomona was present at all these particular Combats: All en­tire that you see her, she hath already delivered up six parts of her heart; And I believe that she is now come to her last Childe, and to her seventh Crown. Her face bears as many Victories, as Years. There is something I know not what, of venerable and August in her wrinkles: and you would say [Page 42] that even the Law it self is come out of the Propitiatory in humane shape, to infuse Zeal into her Followers, and to teach them Fidelity and Constancy.

Certainly Beauty, whatsoever is said of it, belongs not only to Youth. Vertue is graceful in every Age, Her flowers are of the latter season as well as her fruits: And whether by na­tural right, or by an Immemorial Priviledge, she hath ever preserved the advantage of being at once, both Beautiful and Ancient, and of having charms under gray Hairs and wrinkles. You will profess at least, that she hath commanding Attractives in this half dried up skin, and upon these withered [...]heeks: And you will be as much inamored of these venerable Ruines, and this Heroick and generous Caducity, as of adorned Youth, and a scandalous Vivacity.

Besides, do not believe that her Constancie is blinde and obstinate; it is fortified with Sence and Reason, and its solidity is resplendent, and penetrated with light, as well as that of the Diamond As if she were not furnished enough with that which is intrinsical and diffused from her own Spirit; A light more vigorous and pure, descends to her from Heaven, which infires her Heart; and her heart being inflamed with this fire, seems ready to issue forth of her Eyes to receive it, even in its source By the Charity of this Divine Light she came to know the short and ruinous Carreir of time, and the Immense and sollid Extent of Eternity: She hath seen the Waste and Defects of Fortune through the Paints and Disguises wherewith she varnishes her self: And one Single Ray mira­culously extinguished in her apprehension all those Piles of Wood which are set on fire for her self and Children, and made her discern afar off, in the hands of Abraham and Jacob, the Crowns prepared for them.

Illuminated by these Lights, and fortified by this Object, she hath already overcome even six Deaths: and behold her wrastling with the seventh, which assaults her by the youngest and last of her Children. There is tendernesse indeed on that side, but nothing of weaknesse; and this last part of her Heart in being the most innocent and lesse fortified by time shall not [Page 43] be the less invincible. The Tyrant thinks to gain upon her by that way, but he was not well acquainted with her: He per­swades himself, that at least with this single drop of blood which was left her, she would preserve the hope and restauration of her Posterity. But the blood of the Macchabees would not endure the least stain for its Conservation: and so holy and glori­ous a Race could not end more honourably, then by seven Martyrs.

She was far from contributing her voice and Carresses to ini­quity, and from becoming the Temptress of her Son, she for­tified his Minde, and strengthened his Courage: she discover­ed to him her Bosom and Breasts, which are reasons so much the more powerful, as having the more tendernesse: she shews him the Heavens open, and the God of Abraham a Spectator of his Conflict, with the Patriarchs and Prophets. I think also that the spake to him of his Ancestors the Macchabees; and made him understand, that this great Light, is that, of their Conquering Souls, which are descended to assist his Victory, and to finish by his Constancie the Glory and Coronation of their Name, the Triumph and Sanctity of their Race.

The Couragious Youth heareth her with a manly Con­stancie: his Resolution is visible already in his Eyes, and gives a Color to his Face: His Constancie in Punishments will quickly shew, that he is twice born of this Heroick Mother; that he is no less the fruit of her Heart, then of her Womb; and that he hath sucked with his Milk the Spirit and Quintessence of her Vertue, and the very blood and Marrow of her Soul. Be­ing now assaulted by large Promises and magnificent VVords, he only opposeth his silence to this vain Battery: and one mo­tion of his Head, accompanied with a Gesture of Scorn, over turns all those Mountains of Gold which are offered him. The Tyrant being irritated thereby bites his very Lips; wrath pre­pares new Fires in his Heart, both for the Mother and the Son: Some sparkles of them are seen already to issue from his Eyes, and smoak out of his Mouth: and two great stacks of wood will suddenly be here enkindled with his Breath, and the Fire of his VVrath.

[Page 44] Mean while Salomona rejoyceth at the Courage of her Son, she animates him afresh to the Combat; and proposeth to him the Example of his Brothers. She shews him their souls already crowned, who remain at the Gate of Heaven, staying only for his, to begin their Triumph. Those are their Bodies which you see amidst the Executioners and Tortures. Of six, two of them have been delivered up to the Furnace incompassed with Fire; and the four other have been divided between two great Caldrons. They live no longer, and yet still resist; They seem to contest with Insensibility, which is to them, as it were a second Constancy, and a natural Force, which their souls have left them at their Departure. You would say, that they had a mind to make shew of a distinct Virtue from that of their mindes, and to possess their labours and merits apart in this common cause: You would say, that every member hath a Heart peculiar to its self, and a particular life to expose. Their blood, though shed, retains still its vigour; There issueth thence a smoak which proceeds from the fire of their Zeal; nay, even their flead skins, and their lopped off Feet and Hands retain still something of the Spirit of the Macchabees, and seem to seek a second Victory.

There remain none about them but these two Executioners. All the rest are out of the Combat and have lost their Resolu­tion with their Forces. The Fires which have been kindled to consume these Holy Victimes, are overcome by the Divine Fire, which hath left them nothing but the exteriour to burn: Neither do I know whether they respect not the very marks which appear upon these bloody and torn reliques: Surely they owe this and more to that Fire, superiour to all others; And the impression of Charitie ought to be at least in like reverence, and no less sacred then the impression of Lightning. Hereto­fore the Flames of the Babylonian Furnace had this discretion, either Natural or Divinely inspired. They respected the three Jews, whom Faith and Charity had consecrated; And by a violent breaking out, like that of a Lion, who should leave his prey and fall upon his Keeper, they devoured those Mini­sters of Impiery who kindled them.

[Page 45] But nothing but Miracles of Courage and Patience will be wrought here. God will permit the Consummation of the Sacrifice, and receive all the Smoak of it. Salomona her self who hath hitherto fought but in heart, and been only tryed against Compassion, shall be suddenly tryed against Grief. By the same Force wherewith she restrained all her Tears she will pour out all her Blood. She will overcome Cruelty, as she hath vanquished Nature: And after seven Deaths suffered in Minde and by Piece-meal she will endure the last, which shall be the Recompence and Coronation of all the rest.

SONNET.

IN Natures sight in sight of Heav'n above,
Brave Salamona combats Grief and Love:
Which, through her seven Sons Breasts with deadly Smart
Have made a Rent in her undaunted Heart.
Nor Blood nor Tears do trickle from her wound;
All that's in her is with true Valour Crown'd:
Her Faith d [...]ends that Breach, [...]midst horrid pains
Her Soul much more believes, then it sustains.
What cannot Love improve its force unto?
What hath not Faith abundant pow'r to do?
The Love of seven brave Sons, dear as her Eyes,
Makes her endure seven Deaths before she dies.
Yet Faith does more, and by a rare [...]ffort
(Which Love should emulate in its transport)
Makes her seven times a Martyr, ere pa [...]e Death
Constrains her to forsake her vital Breath.

ELOGIE OF SALOMONA.

THe Mother of the Macchabees was peradventure the first Gallant Woman who sought without Arms and overcame by death. She was the Daughter of holy Conquerers, and the Mother of Mar­tyrs, and gave to Jud [...] a Christian Heroess before Christianity. In the common ruine of her Countrey, and general Martyrdom of her Nati­on, all sorts of Engin [...] were applyed to withdraw her Children from the Religion of their Parents. They were put to defend themselves against objects both of delight and terrour, and to overcome a Tyrant armed with favours and punishments.

The Couragious Mother assisted at all their Combats, and contri­buted her voice, her [...]eal, and spirit to their Victory: so far was she from concealing them from Torments and Death, that she produced them one after another, armed with her Vertue, and fortified with her Admonitions: she animated them with her faith, and warmed them with her tears▪ she gathered together their [...]lead skins, and their mu­t [...]lated members, as the matter both of their Crowns and of her own; and as many deaths as she numbred, so many accomplished Victories she counted in her Thoughts.

Not that she was lesse a Mother then the tender and weeping ones [...] Her soul endured Iron and Fire in the bodies of her Children, she [...]ell in [...] with their Members, and her Heart melted away through the [...] Wounds. But she knew the order and quality of her obligation: It was her belief that she owed more to God, then to her own blood, and more to Religion, then to her Race: And knowing that a [...] Death is more happy then a sinner who lives and reigns, she chose rather to make a Family of Saints then of Apostates; and to be rather a Mother in Heaven, then upon Earth.

MORAL REFLECTION.

LEt our Ladies learn of this Jew to be Mothers and Christians: Let them learn by her Example that Children given to God are not lost. That it would be much better to have them innocent in a Grave, then vitious on a Throne, That a good Death is the best Fortune they can attain to. And that it is for the glory of the Macchabees, and the good of Children to be saved even before their time, even with many pains▪ even by their own blood, and through all the Engines of Death▪ and not to be damned after their old Age, loaden with sorrows and sins. It is a glory to the Earth, that Marble stones which come out of its Bosom, should become excellent Figures under the Hammer. And [Page 47] it is better that a Shute should be cut off when it is yet tender, and that it be grafted in the Garden of a Prince, then to have it wither upon the Stem, and serve only for matter of Fuell.

MORAL QUESTION.
Whether Religion be the Principal Vertue of a Gallant Women?

THere are some Vertues indeed of greater noise, and carrying a sa [...]er Glose then Religion, but none of greater use, not more necessary for a Gallant Woman. All the rest, what [...] soever they make, and what colour soever they have, are without her, but Stage-Vertues. They resemble those superficial bodies, made only for shew, which are all Mask and Garment, they have neither life nor spirit, they are without form and consistence: And though they seem to be active, and full of motion, yet they act to no purpose, nor move, but by Artificial wheels. Even Force and Valour which are not sup­ported by Religion, are feeble and impotent: At the most they have but a Flash of Choller and a precipitous Brutallity. Prudence [...] blinde without her [...]ght: And the Graces cannot please, if Religion hath not adorned and instructed them.

There is then no solid and perfect Vertue without Religion, and by this common reason: [...] all the rest should [...], Religion ought to be the principal Form, and the predominant Quality, of a Gallant and sollidly Vertuous Woman. But that is effected by a more [...], and which reflects particularly upon the Courage which [...] this place: there are [...] functions of courage, and [...] were [...] general duties which supportall particular ones, and give a solid state and con­sistence to the whole life. By the first it makes us act equally and with a constant and regulated [...]ennesse; by the second it fortifies the Mind against either Fortune, and keeps it up what winde soever bloweth be­tween the elevation and the fall. By the third it arms the Heart against the corruptions of flesh and blood, and preserves it from maternal Passi­ons. By the last it secures it against the apprehensions of Death [...] it victorious over this dreadful thing, which is the common [...] Bear of mankinde, and the terrour of Nature.

These duties are noble and sublime: But force should impertimently strive to use extraordinary violences, it could never acquit it self with the aid of Morality alone, it hath need of a more powerful assistance to support it, of a supernatural and Divine Coad [...]esse to labour joyntly with it; And this Coadju [...]ess can be no other then Religion, whose part it is to loosen the soul from abject things, and elevate it to God. This elevation also being [...] well undertaken, and made with­out deviation is able alone, to strengthen the minde, and sufficeth with­out other Philosophie for all the duties of courage.

[Page 48] First, all the Actions of life being subjected thereby to the eternal Law, and applyed to soveraign Justice, and to the essential and primi­tive Rule, receive from thence an equal and constant evennesse, and a [...]ectitude incapable of deviation or infringement. Secondly, the soul approaching to God by this elevation, and consequently illuminated by his [...]ght, and instructed in the orders established in the World by that Providence which governs it, doth not repiningly, and with fro­wardnesse receive that part of events which is assigned her; she acco­modates herself by degrees to the rules of this vast Family into which she is entred: she performs her part of the consort, and contributes at least her resignation to the designe of the great Workman, and to the general harmonie of his Work. Concerning Hazard and Fortune, knowing very well, that they are but Figures which Errour hath painted and set up; and that none but Children and Ideots regard them, she equally de [...]ides their favours and their threats: And what­soever happens to her of good or ill, she receiveth it with the same sa­tisfaction of Mind, and acknowledgeth therein the care and goodness of the Father who sends it her.

Thirdly, the soul is purified by this elevation, and disburdens herself of matter: And the neerer this elevation approaches her to God, the stronger and more vigorous she is, the purity also which she re­ceives thereby is more exact, and her disingagement more perfect; she is thereby lesse capable of material passions, and can raise her self to such a degree, and unite herself so close and straightly to the first spirit, that being made one spirit with him, she forgets the allyance and in­terest of her body, and assists indifferently and as a stranger to its sor­rows and joyes.

In fine the Soul brought back by this elevation to the spring of life, and led into the entrance of Eternity, which is promised her, learns to contemn these little Moments which roll within the Circle of time, and mark out to every one the space and length of his life: And so far is she from apprehending Death, or being affrighted at the sight of its terrible Arms, that she looks upon it as her Deliverer, as that which was to break her Chain [...], and loosen her from the wheel of revolutions and human vi [...]issitudes The Synagogue in its declining Age had in Salomona an Example of this Religious Fortitude. The Church in her beginning had the like in S. Felicitas, who was a Roman Salomona, and who of seven Sons which God had given her, and by her restored to him, made seven Christian Maccabees. In these last Ages, in which Schismatical Tyrants have succeeded Idolatrous ones, and unbridled and furious Heresie hath fought against the Church and Faith: There hath been plenty of Heroick Women, who have given examples of the [...] Fortitude and Religion. Behold here one of Note, and chosen amongst our Neighbours, where we shall see a Woman an Exhortresse, not of her Children, but of her Father, a Martyr: A Woman above interest and Nature and equally victorious over Fortune and Death.

EXAMPLE.
Margaret Moor, the Daughter of Sir Thomas Moor, Lord Chancellor of England.

THere is no Person who hath not heard some Discourse of the Birth of the Schism in England, and who knows not the Cruelties which followed that Incestuous and Tragical Love, and that fatal Ma­lice, which of a Prostitute made a Queen; and of an excommunicated Lay-man, of a rotten and mutilated Member, made a Soveraign Pre­late, without Unction and Order, a Schismatical and Monstrous Head. The Lord Chancellour Moor was one of the first and most noble Victims Immolated to A [...]e of Bullen, and to the Schism which was born of this unfortunate Marriage. King Henry omitted no kinde of Tempta­tion to gain this learned and wise old man, who was grown white in the Service of the State, and had spent fourty Years to the Honour of his Countrey and Time. But all his temptations proved weak, and his Offers as well as his Threats returned back to him without effect. The Chancellor was stronger then all the Engins which were prepared a­gainst him: the Prayers and Tears of his afflicted and mourning Kin­dred were not able to move him. The Engins and Rage of an inflamed and furious Tyranny could not alter his resolution.

He had a Daughter called Margaret, who was no lesse the Daughter of his Spirit, then of his Body; He had formed her with his Tongue, and polished her with his Pen: He had imprinted in her by degrees and in divers Figures, the Flower of his Learning, and the Spiritual part of his Soul: And he that shall represent to his imagination an exact Graver, and jealous of the perfection of his Work; who should spend Dayes and Nights about some rare piece of Marble, which he designes for one of the Muses or Graces, will have a right imagination of the Cares and Assiduity which this good Father had shewn in the instructi­on of this excellent Daughter. His Cares also proved successeful, and his Assiduity was very fortunate: And if it be a common saying, that Books are the Children of their Authors, one may well say that this Daughter was the most learned and polished Book which issued from the Minde of Sir Thomas Moor. His Vtopia and other Works, which still live, are but in one Language and of one matter, That other Piece was both Greek and Latine, Prose and Verse, full of Philosophie and Historie.

Of all the Family of Sir Thomas Moor there was scarce any but this Woman learned and couragious, who went not along with the Time, not was pliable to Interest. She was singularly beloved of her Father; and a few Words of her Mouth, accompanied with as many Tears would have battered him more dangerously then all the suborned Mi­nisters [Page 50] of Henry: and all the Engins of Schism. Neverthelesse these so powerful words, and these forcible Tears which might have shaken him, were all imployed to confirm him: Friendship and Tenderness fortified his [...]aith, and gave Courage to his Constancie: And the Piety of the Daughter added to the Zeal of the Father, and finished his Martyr­dom. Sir Thomas Moor being Prisoner in the Tower of London, where he was visited by God alone, and had commerce with none but the Muses which suffered with him; his Couragious Margaret caused a for­ged Letter to be spread abroad, in which she feignedly seemed willing to gain him to the Kings Will, and procured leave by this innocent and charitable deceit both to see and serve him. Being received into the Tower she left at the gate, with the person she had taken upon her, the resentments of Nature, and the weaknesse of her Sex, and entred with the pure Spirit of Christianity, and with a couragious Faith prepared for the Combat.

So far was this Daughter from tempting and assaulting him with the Ruines of his tottering House, that she represented to him the impor­tance of his suffering for that Cause; that Men and Angels were Specta­tours of his Victory, that he had the Applause and Congratulation of the Church, and that the Glory of his Family was raised to the Alli­ance of Martyrs. She spake nothing to him which he knew not before; but she said nothing which did not confirm him. Old reasons received a new light from her Tears, and issued with more vigour out of her Mouth. And whether God placed in her Voice and upon her Lips some tincture of Divine Spirit, whether pleasing persons have a natu­ral Charm, and an Eloquence without Art; or that their sole presence is perswasive. It seemed as if an Angel appearing to this Moor, had in­flamed him with more Zeal, or infused into him more Light. In fine having received the Sentence of Death after Fourteen Moneths of im­prisonment, and an illustrious and solemn Confession of his Faith, made in the presence of all the Ministers of the Schism, his good Daughter was willing to be a spectat [...]ess of his Combat; and to fortifie her self by the Evidence of his Faith, and with the last Act of his Con­stancie, she expected him in his passage, and went to imbrace him in the midst of the people, who gave back out of respect, and with their Admiration and Tears honoured so resolute and so examplar a Piety. At these last imbraces the fervour of friendship mixed with that of Zeal, ascending from her Heart to her Head, caused some Tears to di­still from her eyes. But these were couragious Tears, and such as here­tofore the first Heroes of Christianity shed upon the wounds and Crowns either of their Fathers or Children still warme with Mar­tyrdom.

After the execution of the impious sentence, which had submitted this High Judge of Equity to the sword of a Hangman: Margaret prepared her self to tender her last duties to the Bodie of her Father. Concerning whose Head after it had served a whole Moneth for a spectacle of ter­rour [Page 51] upon London Bridge, she bought it of the Executioner, and caused it to be inchased in Silver; to the end it might remain with his Wri­tings, the Relique of his Family, and of her Domestick Devotion. Notwithstanding, this Devotion wanted not Accusers, and was pursued by Justice. It was made a crime of State, that they might have a pre­tence to persecute Sir Thomas Moor even after his Death, and cause that part of his Heart and Spirit which he had left to his Daughter to suffer a second Martyrdom. She was made a Prisoner, and examined before the Schismatical Tribunal: But she shewed so much Constancie in prison: she answered so prudently, and with so great courage: she made so reso­lute and a noble confession of her Faith, that the Commissioners them­selves being become her Admirers, conceived it much fitter to send her back, then to give a second Victory to her Father, and multiply Martyrs and Crowns in his Family.

[Page]

MARIAMNE [...]

[Page 53]Mariamne.

THIS Terrace incompassed with [...]alli­sters of Jasper belongs to the Palace of Herod: And it can be no other then Mariamne, who comes out of it with so much splendour, and so sumptuously apparelled. There needed no Diadem and Sceptre to make her known; Her Dignitie is neither Artificial nor bor­rowed: It is from her Person, and not from her Fortune. And her Heroick Stature, her Majestical Countenance, and so­veraign Beauty came from the Maccabees, as well as her Blood and Courage. Can you believe, seeing her so Beautiful and Resolute, that she is going to Execution? She goes thither most fair and undaunted as you see her; And all the Graces and Vertues accompany her to that place. Bloody and murtherous Judges, suborned by her Husband, Mother, and Sister in Law, come to give the Sentence of death against her. She ap­peared before this Tribunal of Tyranny and Injustice, with a Countenance of Authority, and a Soveraignty of Heart equal to that of her Face. You would have said, that the Cri­minal was to pronounce the Decree; and that the Lives of the Judges were in her Mouth. But as good Intervals stay not with sweetned Tyrants, nor with charmed Vipers; so malice and poison quickly return to the Judges of Iniquity. Their fury which Innocence and Beauty, equally Imperious, had chained up with respect, is loosned and confirmed; And they at last pronounced her Sentence, but still with Fear and Trembling. [Page 54] As if their Faces had accused their Consciences and given the Lye to their Tongues; As if their very Tongues had re­tracted what was done; their Palenesse and stammering made a Declaration contradictory to their Decree, and justified condemned Innocence. In what manner do you think she re­ceived this unjust Sentence, and procured by her own Hus­band? With more Equality of Spirit, with more Indifferency then she could have received his Carresses. And had it been but a feigned Death they pronounced against her, she could not have appeared lesse moved. She is come hither with all the Calmnesse of her Heart: the Reproaches and Injuries of her wicked Step Mother, who combined with her Enemies did not provoke her. And had she gone to a publick Sacrifice or to some solemn Feast, She could not have carried thither a better composed Modesty. Since it is decreed that she must die, she resolves to die resolutely, and like a Macchabee. And there will not only appear a Constancy in her Suffering, but even a Dignity and Grace. Pitty it is nevertheless, that so perfect a Light should be extinguished at its high Noon, and in the midst of its Carreer: And the Mists must needs be very thick and malignant which could not be dissipated by it.

But we amuse our selves in bewailing her, we lose her last splendour, and the last examples of her Vertue. She is already arrived at the Place of Execution: And the envious Saloma hath so violently pressed the Execution, that at the very in­stant I speak, there is an end of poor Mariamne. Herod him­self is come too late to save her: His Retraction was fruitlesse: They left him not so much leasure as to suspend the wicked Sentence, or to keep back even for one moment the Arm of the Executioner And repentant Love which brought him thither, found nothing but sorrows to vent, and unprofitable tears to shed. Affrightment, Horror and Despair entred into his Soul, at the sight of Mariamne dead Spite, Anger, and Jelousie, at the same time issued from thence: And the marks of these Passions mix'd at their encounter, caused this distemper in his Eyes, and the Confusion you behold on his Face. His Bodie half reversed, and his arms extended follow the posture [Page 55] of his Soul, which remains as it were in suspence between astonishment and aversion, between the respect and horrour of these deplorable Reliques. He was willing at once both to remove his sight from thence, and to sacrifice himself upon them for the expiation of just blood, by blood that was guilty: And to Immolate the jealous Penitent to executed Innocence. He wished that he were able at least to tear out his Heart, and to rid himself with it of his Crime and Punishment. His Eyes besieged by a Death as yet warm and bloody, and by two Spe­cters equally frightful, finde every where Torment and Re­proaches.

Me thinks this Fury strikes Fear into you. Surely she is fright­full; And the most Resolute and Heroick Souls, even those which deride Death with all its disguises, cannot behold her without Trembling, if she appears to them. Of these Serpents which you see upon her Head, some raise sinister Reports, and bad Rumors; others infuse suspitions and di­strusts: There are some which steal in by the Eyes of Hus­bands: others which enter by the Ears of VVives. The fairest Flowers wither as soon as they are touched by them. The best united Hearts are severed, if never so little bitten by them; and from their mouth doth fall, as well the Gall which imbitters the sweetest Humours, as the Venom which cor­rupts the fairest Flowers of Marriage. The Torch which she holds in her Hand is no less pernitious, then the serpents about her Head. All the bad Colours wherewith the most innocent Actions become darkned, are compounded of this Coal. Her Smoak obscureth the purest and clearest Lights, and draws Tears from the fairest Eyes; she robs the fairest Faces of their Lustre and Attraction; Her Fire seizeth on both Souls and Bodies, she causeth Frenzies and Calentures, and even in this Life she makes Devils and damned Souls. All this teacheth you, that this Furie is Jealousie, and Enemie of the Graces, and the Corruptresse of Love. She is come as you see, to act her second part, and begins to revenge that Murder, to which she her self did instigate. All the Serpents which are wanting on her Head, are about Herods Heart, and even tears his Con­science. [Page 56] The Bloody sword which she shews him is a dreadfull Looking-glass to his Imagination. He beholds there, the horror of his Crime, he sees there, the wounds of his Heart and the stains of his Soul.

This Apparition indeed is frightful: but the incensed Ghost which ariseth from this beautiful Bodie is much more: And Herod suffers an other fire, and other stings then from the Torch and Snakes of the Furie: His wandring and troubled Eyes change their station at every moment: They are obsest with these two Spectres, which haunt them every where: And thinking to repose them upon this dying Beauty, wherein heretofore consisted his chief Happinesse, he findes there a Tribunal and Scaffold; his condemnation and punishment. His Yesterdayes Idoll is to day his judge and Executioner. This just Blood which still reaks is, a devouring fire which fills his distemper'd Imagination, and there comes out of it Impreca­tions and Complaints, Outcries of Reproach and Vengeance. These cold and tyed up Hands tear his Heart in pieces: and this Beautifull Head which caused all his joyes and happy dayes, is now the Principal part of his Torment. Mean while she hath only changed place: the blow which cast her down, hath not shaken off her flower: her Grace and Beauty are thereby a little faded, but not defaced: And her open and still [...]rene eyes seem to expect another Death, as if there needed more then one to extinguish them. Thus the eclipsed Moon is still fair, and the Sun sets daily without losing one single Ray, or changing Countenance. The mischief is, that where­as the Moon recovers her defections, and is cured of her Eclip­ses; and the Sun riseth again the next day after his setting; there is no renovation of Light or a new day to be expected for Mariamne: And this Beautiful Head is fallen in her own Blood never to rise again.

SONNET.

MAriamne's dead, her Corps is now the seat
Of Whiteness only, by her Souls Retreat;
The Royal Blood that tinctur'd it with Red,
In Crimson streams flowes from her sever'd Head.
Megaera holds before the Tyrants Eyes
The murd'ring Sword: He in that Glass espyes
The stains wherewith his Heart is cover'd ore,
And sees his Image purpled with her gore.
The Vigorous impressions of this sad
And [...]atal Object render Herod mad:
Two vindicating Ghosts his Eyes invade
With flaming Torch, and with a glittring Blade.
But now his Fury dreads nor Flames, nor Swords,
Her Blood that's boyling still, such Fumes affords
As make him feel all Hells tormenting Evils,
Without the Scorch of Fire, or Scourge of Devils.

ELOGIE OF MARIAMNE.

MARIAMNE hath appeared too often upon the Thea­ter not to be known in this Picture. All things were great in her, Birth, Beauty, Vertue, Courage, nay bad Fortune. She was the Grand-Childe of Patriarchs, Prophets, Kings, and High Priests. Her Countenance captivated Herod, and inchain [...]d him for a time, and her Picture stood in Competition with Cleopatra in the Heart of Anthonie. Her Vertue neverthelesse did not consent to this concurrence; and being far from thinking on forbidden Acquisitions, she never dained to put any constraint upon her self, for the preservation of that which she lawfully possessed. Her Chastity was so severe, and so little in­dulgent outwardly, that there remained within something I know not what of stately and piccant, which exasperated Herod, and made him return to his own Nature. But she was the same to the bitings of [Page 58] this in [...]aged Beast, as she had been to his Indeerments. She retained her confidence, and preserved all her Majesty amidst suborned Accu­sers, confederate and corrupted Judges. The Face of the Executioner did not alter at all the ser [...]ity of her Countenance, and her Head was struck off without paling her Brow, or displacing her Heart. Her Constancie did not begin by her punishment, it began by that which is termed her good Fortune. Having espoused a jealous Tyrant, it was requisite for her to be as couragious in the Palace, as in the Prison; and Resolution was as needful for her under the Diadem, as under the Sword. The Blow which struck off her Head was less her Death then the End of her punishment: for one Crown it cut off, it brake a dozen chains, and it was a Redeemer and not an Executioner which delivered her from Herod.

MORAL REFLECTION.

HEROD glorious and tormented, and Mariamne crowned and unhappy teach us, that the greatest Tranquillity is not found in the Highest Regions of the World. There are no priviledged Territories, nor exempt from Malediction: Many sufferers are seen in Prisons and upon Scaffolds; but the worst treated Persons remain in Pallaces and upon Thrones. These nevertheless cause more Envie then Pitty. The People admire what they ought to lament; and when there is occasion of drawing the Picture of Happiness, they represent her up­on a Throne, and place a Scepter in her Hand, and a Crown upon her Head.

But the People are ignorant Judges, and very unskilful Painters: Every day they judge at Random, and without knowing the Cause; Every day they vent Chimaera's and Caprichio's for well regulated Fi­gures. They sufficiently understand of what matter Crowns are made; and discern well enough how they glitter: but they know not their weight and asperity, nor see from whence they wound. They assist in­deed at the Sacrifices which are offered to crowned Fortunes: They keep an account of all the grains of Incense which are burned to them: but they assist not at their perturbation and torments. They see not the Wheels, nor the Nails wherewith they are pricked; and lesse also do they discern the fire which is put into their wounds. They have a dim sight, and an Imagination filled with a Stage Felicitie, which hath only a fair Ma [...]k and a purple Garment made meerly for shew: but they see not all the tears which trickle down under this specious disguise; not do they see the Wounds which bleed under this Purple.

Let us learn then, not easily to subject our Opinions to our Senses, never to esteem things by the Exteriour, to make more account of a sweet and peaceable Mediocrity, of an obscure and silent repose, then [Page 59] of a bitter and turmoiled Greatness, then of a punishment magnificently attended and exposed to the view of the people. And let us under­stand that this so common saying delivered by a gallant Person con­cerning the Fortune of Labourers may be spoken generally of all com­petent Fortunes: They would be happy if the advantages of Medio­critie were known unto them.

As concerning the Death of Mariamne which was the Crime and Punishment of her Tyrant, it teacheth us that Jealousie is a dangerous Beast; that it makes no distinction of Persons; nay, spares not him that foments it: That it is that ungrateful and cruel Serpent which leaves nothing intire in the House of its Host. And that if the fire be not ex­tinguished with Sulphur, if Wounds be not Healed by Lancing them, it is a very dangerous Experiment, to think to extinguish Spight with Choler, and to cure the bitings of Jealousie with the Teeth and Nails of Crueltie: There is another Reflection to be made upon this Picture; but it will serve as matter for the ensuing Question.

MORAL QUESTION.
Why the most Perfect Women be commonly the least Fortunate?

I Speak not of interiour satisfaction, and of that solitary and re­tired Felicity which appears not in publick, which in wholly consum­mated in the Heart, which proceeds from the quiet of Conscience, and from the [...]alm of an equal Spirit, and disposed to finde every where a setled and commodious abode. I speak of that superficial and specious Felicity, which is all composed of exteriour and hazardous pieces, and which the Vulgar attribute to Fortune. I say that this Felicity was never the Companion of Victory, nor the Domestick of the Graces, and that to take things in the common Track, Persons of greatest me [...]t, have ever been the least Happy, and the most Crossed. Mariamne is not the first upon whom this observation hath been Made: History entertains us only with sad adventures of unfortunate Beauties. There have been heretofore no Tragical Accidents nor violent Deaths, but on their Account: Now adayes there are none but these who la­ment, and are lamented upon Theaters.

To the end we fasten not upon Apparitions, nor accuse either the Hardnesse of Destiny, nor the Jealousie which Fortune hath of Vertue, God hath ordained even in Nature it self which is governed by so just and regular Intelligences, that the most excellent and rare things should retain some Image of unhappinesse, and something I know not what resembling the Adversities of those Persons of whom I speak. None but the great Planets have their Blemishes and suffer Defections and Eclipses The Rose which is the Virgin-flower, nay the Soveraign of [Page 60] Flowers, and clothed in Scarlet (as a certain Person hath said) is the most beset with Thorns, and the most subject to be blasted. Diamonds and Rubies grow in Precipices and upon Rocks, and Pearls are in the Element of Tempests and Bitternesse. It is no small Comfort then to th [...]se Excellent Persons, that they are in the like degree, and in the same condition with the prime Pieces of the World, and the most pre­tious portions of Nature. And if they be not extremely tender, they will finde (I assure my self) that their Bitterness and I horn [...], their Eclipses and Blastings retain something more of Honour, then a [...]ain [...] and corrupt Mildnes [...] then an Essem [...]acle of ill Odour, then an obscure Securitie and a regardlesse Health, wherein Vulgar things do languish.

But besides Honour and Dignity, the Benefit thereof in other Re­spects is great: And it is principally in Regard of those Excellent Persons that this old Proverb is verified, which saith, that Adversity is Instructive, and that Afflictions are better then Doctrines. First they are preserved thereby in Christian Humility, and are cured of a certain interiour and secret Pride, which is the ordinary Disease of Beautifull Women. They learn at least, that the Divinity wherewith Men treat them is but a Poetical and Stage-Divinity; That the Reverence which is rendred them is but a Mask or Play: And their understanding for­tified by Adversities is not easily corrupted by the Smoak of the Incense, which their Adorers offer to them.

Moreover they are advertised thereby that God hath not made them for the Earth: and that Heaven is their proper Region, as it is the Region of Spirits and Light: And surely if that Prince would not be accounted wise, who should cause his Statue to be made of Gold, and placed in a back Court or Stable; can these so perfect reatures, which are the Fairest, and most pretious Images of God, believe with­out Blasphemie, that they have been finished with so much Care to adorn only the low Storie of the World, to Beautifie the Region of Disorder and Misery, the Element of Thorns and Tears? God hath made them then for his Palace, nay even for the Highest and most Lu­minous part thereof. And because he will have them there most pure and spotlesse, he puts them in the fire of Afflictions which purifieth them from the [...]ust and stains they contract upon the Earth, and pre­pares them to receive more purely, and to reflect with greater Force the radiant light of his Face, and the effusions of his Grace.

This is Gods Designe in the Adversities which he sends to perfect Men: These Adversities are Remedies against Pride, and Preservatives against Corruption, they are seeds of Salvation and materials for Crown [...] But these Remedies and Preservatives must be taken with Courage. These seeds remain fruitless if they be not well Husbanded; and th [...]se Materials never become Crowns if Patience doth not form them. The most unfortunate Women will have for their Consolation and Instruction a Model of this Patience in the Following History.

EXAMPLE.
Blanch of Bourbon, Queen of Castile.

WHoever shall read the History of Blanch of Bourbo [...], Queen of Castile, will no longer believe that Vertue is a Charm against Disasters, nor that the Graces are able to inchant Fortune. This Princesse who had Whitenesse and Beauty even in her Name, was of those Li [...]cs, which the Holy Scripture represents unto us besieged with Thorns. She was of those Pearls which were drowned in Bitter­nesse, and abandoned to Tempests. All her dayes were serene, and all hours sweet and quiet under the Climate of France: and by a Destiny contrary to that of Roses, which have prickles onely upon their stalks, and must be first gathered to be Honoured; she was Happy and Ho­noured whilst she was a Maid, and lived in the House of John Duke of Bourbon her Father. The Tempest, Bitterness, and Tragical Revolu­tion of her Life, began from the very Moment of her Marriage with Peter the Cruel, King of Castile. Certainly also the Allyance was too un­equal, and the union too ill made between Innocency and Cruelty, be­tween a most pure Grace and a Devil composed of Blood and Durt.

Before Blanch went into Spain, the Prince had no longer any Heart to give her; Mary of Padilla was become Mistresse of it: and whether it were by Conquest or Usurpation, she reigned there so absolutely, and with so great a Command, as all the Authority of the Queen her Mo­ther, and all the Favour of Albuquerque her principal Counseller, were needful to dispose him to the Consummation of the Marriage. The Wedding was not celebrated; it was tumultuary precipitated, and done in silence without the least Shew or Pomp. It was rather a mourn­ful Act then a Feast of Joy; and if this forced Prince brought to it no­thing but discontent and aversion; the unfortunate Princesse assisted there with the Spirit of a Mourner, and the Countenance of a Victime designed to Death. They had not been two dayes together, but Peter resolved to leave her. He could not live content far off from his Heart, and his Heart was in the Hands of his Mistresse, who laid a charge against him for marrying Blanch, and threatned him as a Rebel Subject and a fugitive Slave.

The Queen his Mother, and his Aunt Elenor being advertised of his Designe, replaced before his Eyes the wrath of an offended God, the ill opinion of his scandalized People, and the incensed Arms of France. He loosneth himself from all these Chains, he overcomes all these Obstacles, and rides post where his Love or his wicked Devil called him. After some Moneths dedicated to them both, he returns to his Wife, drawn by the earnest Intreaties of his Mother, by the good Offi­ces of Albuquerque, by the Counsels and Sollicitations of his Grande [...]. But he returned to forsake her two dayes after, and to give her by a se­cond Divorce, a second Wound more injurious and sensible then the [Page 62] former. The noise of it was great, and the History also saith, that this so violent aversion was wrought on him by a Charm; and that a Jewish Magitian corrupted by Mary of Padilla's Brothers, fastned this Charm to a [...] beset with rich Stones, which Blanch had presented to the King. But [...], if a certain Person said, that Love was a Sophister, and a Mountebank, I may well say, that it was a powerful Sorcerer, and a great Incaanter: It knew how to pervert and corrupt [...]ounder Heads, and better tempered Hearts then that of this Prince, without either Spels or Characters: And whatever Men say of the power of Magick, It knows no Hearbs more Efficacious, nor can compound any D [...]nk more to be feared, then the depraved Habits of a Soul aban­doned by God, and delivered up to a reprobate Sense.

Whatever it be, this Cruel King not only left his Wife a second time never to see her more: but even Banished her to a little Place, where he converted her Chamber into a Prison, and assigned her as many Goa­lets and Spi [...]s as Guards. And his Cruelty passed so far, as he was deli­berating whether he should appoint Commissio [...]ers, to cause her to be put to Death Juridically, and according to the forms of Law.

This barbarous and unjust Treatment of the Fairest and most Vertu­ous Princess of her Age, was a Scandal to all Europe. The Pope sent a Legat armed with Excommunications and Anathema's, to set at Liberty oppressed Innocence, and to punish the Incorrigible and Scandalous King. The Princes of Castile and Aragon made a League with the Inha­bitants of [...], Cordona, and other principal Cities, and joyned in com­mon their Offices and Arms. France offended with the Calamity of a Princesse of the Blood, hastned to side with them. Heaven it self took in hand this Cause: And the King being a hunting, a Spirit appeared to him in the shape of a hideous and frightful Shepherd which threat­ned him with Divine Vengeance, if he recalled not his Wife. All this did not mollifie the obdurate heart of this Prince: On the contrary being perswaded that the Life of Blanch was the Fatal Fire-brand which nourished all these Fires, and that they would be all extinguished with her. He caused her to be impoisoned at Medina in Andalo [...]za: where by a Couragious and Magnanimous Piety, she knew so well how to joyn Devotion to Patience and Incense to Mirrhe, as she sanctified her Prison, and made it a House of Sacrifice and Prayer.

I know not whether any Princess was more perfect then this: but in all appearance, there was never any one lesse happy; she was Espoused in Mourning, she was a Widow during Marriage: and the Wedding day, which is [...] for all others, and makes Flowers to grow even up­on the Chains of Slaves, darkned her Diadem, obscured her Purple, and [...]ielded her nothing but Smoak and [...]horns. But God would have her accomplished and pure, and it was his good pleasure, that Adversity and Constancy should give her the last Hand, and that Princesses should learn by this Example, that Martyrs may be made as well between Balli­sters, and under a Cloth of State, as upon Scaffolds and Amphitheaters.

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PANTHEE se deffa [...] de la vie pour sunire Abradate: et [...] aussi glorieusement son amour et de sa fidelité, [...] [...] mort de son courage et de sa victoire. [...]

[Page 63]The Gallant Barbarian VVomen.

Panthea.

YOU see that it was a remarkable Day, which proved Fatal to vanquished Lydia: And which was like to prove no lesse to Victorious Persia. The Blood runs still from the Wounds of these two great Rivals: And the Earth is covered all over with the pieces of their broken Armies. But Lydia was not acquit for a little Blood and some sleight wounds. She lost there her best Men; and such as remained were put in Chains It is not yet known how For­tune and the Conquerers will despose of Craesus. He was newly driven by Force into his Capital Citie: And his Riches in­stead of fighting in his defence and preservation were taken and led Captives with him.

Persia also did not purchase this Important Victory at a cheap Rate: she lost there much of her pure Blood, and a great number of useful and precious lives. Abradates was the most generally Lamented: His Death, though Illustrious, ob­scured this fair Field, and mingled Mourning with Triumph. And even in the fruition of Victory, it made victorious Cyrus to sigh, and drew tears from his [...]yes. If we had come one mo­ment sooner, we should have seen these Noble and Generous Tears trickle down: they would have taught us that the Eyes [Page 64] of Heroes are not Adamantine Eyes; And that the Vulgar are deceived, who take great Hearts, for Hearts of Brass. Cyrus then bewailed Abradates; but he did it magnificently, and after an Heroick manner. His tears were followed by a pro­fusion of Riches, which will be presently burned with the Dead: And he is newly returned to the Camp, to give out Orders for the Funeral Pomp, and to make choice of the Victimes which were to be Immolated to the Ghost of his Friend. He believes him still in the Field of Battel, where he enjoyes his Reputation, and numbers the Dead and his own Victories.

As for these sad Preparatives and Funeral expences, they are made for the Consolation of Panthea, no less then for the Honour of Abradates. But Panthea is no longer in a Condi­tion to Comfort her self with burn'd Purple, or Gold consumed to Ashes; with the Smoak of a Flaming Pile, and the Blood of a Butchered Flock; with the large shadow, and great Ima­ges of a vast Sepulchre. Her Grief was too violent to expect such Superficial and VVeak Remedies; and to be cured by Ceremonies and Superstitions. She had Recourse to a Con­solation of less Cost, and far more Efficacious: She believed that a small Piece of Steel plung'd into her Bosom, would be to her Sorrow a more Infallible and Speedy Remedie, then Mines of Gold, and Quarries of Jasper, erected into Pillars and Pyramids over her Husbands Bodie. And this Remedie, which she conceived the most speedy and Infallible, she newly took couragiously, and with a boldnesse which merited to be reserved for a lesse Tragical Occasion.

Behold on her Face the Confidence of her Spirit, and the graceful Composure of her Grief. Every thing is very Be­coming to Beautiful Persons: Their Sorrows and Angers look handsomly; Their Tears adorn them, and their very despites Beautifie them; And there is nothing even in their Maladies and VVounds which appears not Decent; There is not any thing even in their Deaths which seems not pleasing from their Attractives, and shines not from the same Lustre which it ex­tinguisheth. That of Panthea hath nothing hideous or gastly; [Page 65] you would rather take it for a sweet Sleep, then for a violent Death. The Graces themselves, if there be any such as Paint­ers and Poets describe, could not sleep more modestly: And a Flower which the North Winde hath withered, could not more gently bow down its Head, nor die more gracefully. It is not likewise a Palenesse which you see upon her Brow and Cheeks; It is a tincture resembling that dying Brightnesse which appears in a Clear Cloud when the Sun withdraws his Beams from it Trust not her Eyes though they begin to close: The Fire Burns still, even when it is extinguished: And the Sun being in the Ecli [...]se ceaseth not to be dangerous, and to offend the sight. The like may happen to these dying Eyes: The Sparkles which fall from them retain still a kinde of Light­ning and He it: and I do not doubt but if [...] were here, and that one of them should enter into his Heart it would in kindle there a second Feaver, and send back the Fire into his former VVound.

VVhilst her Eyes half shut cast forth their last Light, and that her Mouth is open to her last [...]ords, you observe per­adventure the passage of her Soul, and desire to know whe­ther it will issue out by her Eyes or Mouth. A [...]ure your self that through what art soever it passeth, it will passe gene­rously, and depart victorious and through a fair gate. It is cre­dible neverthelesse, that it will sally forth by the nearest Gate to the Heart, and which she her self newly made with her own Hand. A stream of Blood which goes before this great Soul, prepares the way: And spurting up even upon the Bodie of A­bradates, enters there through all his VVounds, as if it would fill his empty Veins; as if it would even penetrate his Heart, to reinkindle the extinguished Fire; and dispose it, by the Spirits which it brings to receive the Soul which was to follow them. Her Countenanc [...] though languishing expresses joy at this en­counter. Her life seems to passe in good earnest with her Blood into her Husbands Bodie: and her Soul is assured to finde there a second Abode, which will prove more happy then the former had been.

Comforted by this Vain and sweet Imagination, she let [Page 66] fall her Head upon the Head of Abradates. You would say that she prepares her self to expire upon his Lips: And that after the transmitting into him her Blood and Spirits, she re­solves to place her Sighs and last Breath upon his Mouth. Love supports her in this Action: But it is an Heroick and Magna­nimous Love, a Love which instructed her in Vertue and fortified her Courage. For Loves, if you are yet to learn it, are not all Wanton and Voluptuous There are Austere and Chaste Loves, there are Valiant and Philosophical ones: And amongst them, Glory and Vertue have their Confederates and Disciples, as well as Vice and Pleasure. He that assists Pan­thea with so much Care, is one of these Confederates of Ver­tue, and Disciples of Glory: It is he that strengthened her a­gainst Temptations, and the Courtships of Ariaspes; he that inspired her with Chastity, and Conjugal Faith; he that taught her to apparel her self with the Reputation of her Husband, and to Adorn her self with his Victories: he that perswaded her rather to love Abradates glorious and dying with a good Name, then living and Infamie.

This manner of loving Gallantly, and like a Heroess was indeed according to Abradates own Heart: And you see in what Posture he set himself to correspond therewith We have not seen him in the Conflict breaking a Squadron of E­gyptians, and pursuing the Victory in a Warlike Chariot; But we behold the Glorious Colours which he brought thence, and received even between the Arms of Victory. It seems that his Valour could not die with him: At least it appears still heated in his Wounds, and stately on his Face. The Rich Armour which his Generous Wife had bought him with her Pearl, was pierced thorow in divers Places; as if a great Soul could not fally forth by one single passage. The blood which trickles down from thence is mixed with the blood of his Enemies, wherewith he is covered, and seems willing still to overcome. All things have in him, some Mark of Honour and Generosity: And even Death it self is bold upon his Brow, and resembles Victory. In this so glorious and Mournfull Condition, his Vertue begot Pittie even in [Page 67] those to whom in the Conflict it had bred Emulation. It was Honoured by the Blood of Enemies, and by the Tears of his Rivals: by the terrour of the one, and the affliction of the o­ther. And immediately a sumptuous Monument erected over his Bodie and that of Panthea, buried in the same Garment, will be to each of them as a second Life and an Immortalitie of Jasper and Porphire.

SONNET.

WHile this Heroick Mede attempts to gain
O're weighty Palms, be by their poyse is slain;
His Brow still sweats with Gallans Actions done,
Still do's the Blood about his Armour run.
His Hearts late active Flames have lost their Fire,
And, through its reaking Blood, in Smoak expire,
While, couch'd among the Dead, his Soul pursues
The wand'ring Shades of those the sword subdues.
O hold, Panthea hold: thy best Relief
Rests in the moderation of thy Grief:
Save thou at least thy Husbands second Heart,
And let one Death suffice your common Smart.
In thee he still survives, and may again
In thee, fair Cruel, by thy Hand be slain:
Th [...] inhumane Steel that shall dismiss thy Breath,
To him must needs procure a second Death.

ELOGIE OF PANTHEA.

PANTHEA had a Philosophers Spirit in a Womans Bodie, and a knowing and disciplined Soul under a Bar­barous Climat. There was nothing weak or rustical in her Life: All her Actions were full of Courage and Dexteritie. Chastity, Grace, and Modesty excepted, nothing appeared in her agreeable to her Sex. Having remained a Captive after the Defeat of the Assyrians vanquished by Cyrus, she was set apart, as the most precious piece of the Spoil, and as the choicest fruit of the Victory. And in this occasion her Vertue appeared more rare and prizable then her Beauty. A noble man of Persia having had the Impudence to attempt upon her Honour, Discre­tion, Chastity, and Fidelity defended it: And the Victory which re­mained to her, evidently shewed that Fortune had not yet overcome her. And that though she were an absolute Captive, yet she had al­wayes a free Heart and a soveraign Soul.

The Affection she bore to her Husband Abradates, was serious and manly, she did not consume it in affected Discourses, and superfluous Apprehensions. She truly loved his Life and Repose; but she was jea­lous of his Reputation and Renown: And she would rather have wished him an untimely and glorious Death, then a dishonoured and compleat old Age. So far was she from making him lose in her Closet the hours of the Field, and from withdrawing him from Gallant Encoun­ters, and Honourable Dangers; that she sent him thither in a costly Equipage like a Conquerer; that she delighted to see in him an adorn­ed and sumptuous Valour, which might both dazle and affright; which might beget at once both Admiration and Fame.

He died likewise Victorious in the Gold Armour which she had bought for him with her Pearl and pretious Stones: as if she intended thereby either to adorn his Death, or to set a Value and Lustre on his Victory. Being brought to her covered over with his own Blood, and that of his Enemies, she received him Couragiously and with a manly Constancy, mixt with sorrow and Majesty. She forbore not to bewail him, but it was done with those modest and decent Tears which do not soften the Heart, but beautifie the Face. Not being able to make his Soul return into his Body, she essayed to substitute her own in the place of it: For that end she opened her Bosom by a wide wound: and leaning on him, as if she were willing to fill his Heart with her Blood and Life; she dyed in two Bodies, and yeelded up her Soul through her Husbands Wound and and her own.

MORAL REFLECTION.

I Put not here a Sword into Womens Hands, nor invite them unto Poison, a Halter, or Precipice. Voluntary Death might appear handsom and becoming in this Barbarian; it would seem black and hideous in a Christian Woman. But Chastity, Fidelity and Constancie are in use with all Nations, and requisite for All Sects. And our Chri­stian Women without darkning or disfiguring themselves may imitate Barbarian. Let them learn of her, that Conjugal Love is not an effe­minate and mincing Passion; That it is vigorous and serious; That it is capable of great Designes, and of Noble and Couragious Thoughts. Let them understand, that though their Sex be exempted from the Dangers and Functions of War, yet their Fortunes and Mindes are not so: that they ought to serve with their Goods and Possessions, if not with their Persons: And that it were a Disgrace for them to spare two or three Pearls, and Parcels of rich Cutwork in Occasions, wherein Princes are Liberal of their Blood, and Kings expose their Crowns and Heads. In fine let them know that their chief Ornament consists in their Hus­bands Glory: that they ought to adorn themselves with all that con­tributes to their Credit and Reputation: And that a man without Honour is as great a Deformity to a brave Woman, as a Head of Clay to a Statue of Ivorie.

MORAL QUESTION.
Concerning the Order which a Gallant Woman ought to observe in Conjugal Love.

IF good Eyes and a great Light be requisite to love regularly, more Courage and Vertue is yet required to it: And well ordained Cha­rity what sweetness soever it promiseth, is the most powerful, and the most rare perfection of a Gallant Woman. There are many who ten­derly love their Husbands: The Heart of a Turtle or the Soul of a Dove, without other Philosophie would suffice for this Tendernesse. But surely, few there are that love them according to measure and in or­der to their duties; few that know how to afford just proportions to their kindnesses, and to set every office in its place, and in the degree which is proper to it: Finally few that can boast with the Spouse in the Canticles of having a regular Love, and a well ordered Charity. And neverthelesse it is this regular Love, and well ordered Charitie which must accomplish the Fortitude of a Woman; For according to the saying of S. Augustine, these give the Character and Tincture to all [Page 70] other Vertues of what Sex soever they be, and by what Names soever they are called.

Morever this Order, to draw the Designe of it in little, and to teach it by Epitomie, must be taken from the very order of those Objects that are beloved. Wherein this proportion is to be exactly observed, that every Object be ranked in the esteem, and according to the degree of its Merit: That the most pretious and important should have the first Cares and be furthest advanced in the Heart; that the rest of lesse consequence should remain in the superficies, and rest satisfied with the second thoughts and remaining Affections: And generally that love should grow intense or remisse, rise or fall, act or acquiesce according to the different weight, according to the several degrees, according to the Value of the good which is to be affected and pursued.

This Rule ought to be in a Gallant Woman, what the Rod was to the Angel whom Ezekiel saw measuring the Temple. She ought not to Love, but with proportion according to the quantity of merit: And how vast soever her Heart is, she must yet be wary of pouring it out rashly and at random, she ought to give nothing of it but by weight and measure. Not that I permit her to divide, and distribute it to whom she pleaseth, she owes it all entire to her Husband: But she owes it not equally to her whole Husband. And as she owes more of it to his Person, then to his Apparel and Livery; more to his Head, then to his Hair, and more of it to his Hands, then to his Nails: so she owes more to his Honour then to his Life; more to his Conscience then to his Honour, more to his Soul and Salvation, then to his Bodie and Fortune.

These measures and proportions are taken from Moral Philosophie, which teacheth us, that such Loves as are loosned from us, and slide out of us, are but small threads of that Love which remains in us. They are taken from Christian Philosophie, which directs that Charity, whe­ther it be terminated in our selves, or shed upon our Neighbour, should be of the same Nature, both in its source, and where it makes its dis­charge; and that it should passe from one to another to the same end, by the same tracks. Now there is no Woman so ill instructed, who knows not, that by the Law of well ordered Charity, she owes her essential and principal parts, and as I may say, the Heart of her Heart, to his Honour and eternal Happiness: And owes only the ac­cessory and superficial parts to his Life and Fortune. By this Law then, as such Wives love themselves immoderately and inordinately, who give to their Honour and Salvation but their second affections, and the remaining cares after their lives secured, and their Fortunes setled. So such do love their Husbands very confusedly, and without discretion, who torment themselves both day and night about their Health, who demand of Fortune Riches and noble Offices for them; and put them­selves to as little trouble concerning their Souls and Salvation, as if the Bodie were the whole Person; and as if beyond the Tomb there [Page 71] were nothing but Fables to be expected and nothing but Fantomes to be feared.

Certainly so inconsiderate a Love must needs have very bad Eyes: And it cannot be, whatever men say, but a very childish and besotted Love, to value things by the sound and colour, to forsake the solid which is obscure, and noiseless; and to run after the superficial which is bright and resounding. What would they say of a Woman who should take the pains every morning to present flowers unto her Husband, and who should at a great expence cause Essences and pretious Powders to be brought from forreign parts to perfume his Clothes and Linen; who should take upon her to feed his Servants and Horses; who should dis­consolately lament the fall of one Hair from his Head, and the prick of a pin on his Hand. And after all these Tendernesses and Cares, could without Emotion and with a quiet Spirit see him choak'd with an Apo­plexie, torn in pieces by his Dogs, and tyed upon a Wheel? What might be spoken of this Woman, ought to be said of the most discreet and prudent Women, I mean the discreet and prudent according to the sence of the World. There are some of these wise and discreet Wo­men who employ all sorts of Cares and Inventions about the Body and Passions of a Husband. The touch of a Lancet which should but scratch the skin would even pierce their Hearts, and cause their very Souls to issue forth by their Eyes. A sleight Feaver which shall draw but a few drops of sweat from him, will congeal the blood in their veins. And as for his soul, which is the essential and important piece in order to Eternity, they lesse deplore its falls and wounds, then they would lament a torn Gorget, or a broken Dish of Purcelane. They will suffer it without trouble to be tormented by as many Hangmen as there are sins to be confiscated to the Divine Justice, and to its eternal Executio­ners, to become a prey to Hell and the second Death.

A Gallant Woman will not have such confused cares, nor such dis­proportionable kindnesses: All her Offices will be Just and Regular. And if Panthea, who was but a Heathen, nay a Barbarous Heathen, had a Heart Noble and Philosophical enough to with her Husband rather a precipitated and Honourable Death, then an effeminate and disho­nourable old Age; our Christian Woman, who hath more light and a better Guide will advance one step farther; and will rather wish for the last perfection of her Love, that her Husband might ascend to Heaven before his time; though he went thither without Feet or Hands, as the Gospel saith, nay without either skin or Head, then to descend into Hell all entire, and loaden with Scepters and Crowns. This Vertue is not without example: some of them are seen in the Palaces of Kings, where present interest crouds in, and findes so much relief; and where the pretensions for the future are so little considerable and abandoned. Those which I am going to present to your View are of this Nature: they give not only instruction to Women, but will render Honour to France, which hath educated Holy Queens and Martyred Princesses.

EXAMPLE.
Indegundis, and Clotilda of France.

SPAIN was never so well cultivated, nor so Catholick as now it is. It hath had Monsters, and Heresies, Gertons and Arians in a time when [...] was [...]et a Virgin and when Rebellions and Errors were not [...] come to disturb her Repose and adulterate her Innocence. We were necessitated to make Alliances and Wars for the instruction of this good Neighbour: And the Faith, whereof she now so much [...]aunteth, hath cost us exposed Princesses and ruined Armies. Inde­gund [...] the Daughter of Sig [...]rt was one of these Princesses exposed for the propagation of Faith, and the reduction of Spain from Arianisme. [...] caused her to be demanded in Marriage for Hermenigildus his eldest Son. The Counsel sat long without being able to resolve on this Alliance with an excommunicated House. But God who intended to make a Saint of Indegundis carried it at last against Sigebert, who feared least in seeking to make her a Queen, she were made a Heretick.

The first [...] of her Marriage had a most pure serenity, and flowers without thorns or bitternesse. Hermenigildus for all the Crowns of the World would not have changed the pleasing tye, which fastned him to so rare and perfect a Princesse: and possessing in her both Vertue and Graces, he thought that there was nothing more to be asked of Glory or Fortune. But so sweet a season was not to last long, Dark Clouds quickly gathered together which overshaded this fair serenity: There grew Thorns and Wormwood amongst these Flowers: And the sweet Chain which was the Dradem of Hermenigildus Heart, chanced to be broken by the malice of his Step-Mother Gosuinda.

This unhappy Woman, possessed by the Devil of Arianism, undertook to pervert Indegundis and proposed unto her to receive the profane Ba­ptism of her [...] Her s [...]atagems and wiles having ill success, she imploi­ed therein, [...] and Tyranny even to that height, as she made her to be cast naked into a Pond, threatning to drown her unless she would change her Religion. The couragious Princess was not daunted at the Death she saw before her Eyes, and as it were upon the Brink of her Lips. She was drawn out from thence with an initiated Martyrdom, and a compleat Victory. And to overcome her self, as she had vanquish­ed Gosuinda and Heresie, she suppressed the resentment of this injurie, and concealed it even from Hermenigildus himself. But the Eyes of [...] are more spiritual, and see farther then others: they have some­thing of prophetical in them: and the most artificial dissimulation with all its Countenances, and Masks, could not make them believe it. The Prince no sooner beheld her as yet pale with the Combat she had lately sought, but he conceived an ill opinion of this Paleness: And [Page 73] not knowing whether he should take it for a signe of the past evil, or for a presage of evil to come; he suffered in a Moment all that Indegun­dis either had or could yet suffer. His Intreaties at last having wrested the Truth out of her Mouth, he left the Court with her, and retired to Sivil.

It was there where the Princesse freed from the Importunites and wicked Devices of Gosuinda set upon Herisie in her turn: And gained a second victory over her, which was evidently the Recompence of the first. She was a Soveraign in her Husbands Heart: and though this Soveraignty of Love placed her above all the Empires of the Earth; yet she had a scruple to reign in that Heart, where the Son of God was degraded. Having an Heretical Husband, she could not believe her self to be entirely Catholick: And becoming one self same Flesh and Bo­die with an excommnnicated Person, she apprehended to be burned or stained with his Anathema: she feared left the sound part might draw putrifaction and infection from the corrupted. But though she were assured of her own salvation by an expresse Revelation from Heaven; yet the eternal Reprobation of her Husband was a frightful Specter, which awaked her every Night, and caused her to have strange Dreams. At every moment she seemed to behold the Sword of the Di­vine Justice severing two so well united halfs; And the exterminating Angels seized upon the one and cast it into Flames.

On the other side she apprehended that the Conversion of Herme­nigildus might prove fatal to both their Lives, or at least that it might infire the State. She had reason to fear the Furie of an irritated Step-mother, and the Hands of an Heretical Father, become a Tyrant. It seemed to her, that it would be more proper to suffer God to work; To expect the effect of his Mercie with patience, and to enjoy, mean­while, the Flower of her Youth, the Fruits of her marriage, and the Offers of Fortune; then to lose all this by an indiscreet Pietie and of Supererogation; and by an Enterprise exceeding her Forces. Faith nevertheless weighed more with her Spirit, then human Considerati­ons: and the Interest of Eternity prevailed against the Interest of Time. She resolved, whatever might happen, no longer to endure this Divorce of Religion, which profaned her Marriage: No longer to suffer the Excommunication and Anathema of her Head, the Here­sie and Reprobation of her Husband.

Love was the first Doctor that began the Conference with Hermeni­gildus: The Graces, who are perswasive without speaking, joyned themselves with Love, and were of the Party. There were neither Texts cited, nor Reasons alleadged in this Dispute: All the Argu­ments were Tears and Prayers: And Tears and Prayers effected more then all the Divinity converted into Dilemmas and Syllogysms could have done. Hermenigildus, shaken by this first Conference, shewed less opposition at the second, which he had with the Bishop of S. Leander. And the Light of Truth working more efficaciously, and with more [Page 74] Force upon a Subject, which the fire of Love had prepared, he submit­ted at last to both. This change made a great noise: and he himself, to give notice of it to all Spain, caused Mony to be coyned which was as it were a publike Act of his Faith, and an abjuration of Heresie, which his Image and Name published thorowout all the Cities.

After this, the Father irritated at the Conversion of his Son, and the Son inflamed with his new received Faith, came to an open Breach. [...]n [...]aged Gosuinda, and the Furious Hereticks enkindled the Wrath of the Father. The Church of Spain being under persecution, and the Catholicks ill treated, increased the Zeal of the Son. Indegundis tryed all sorts of Expedients to bring things to moderation, and to reconcile [...] to his Father, as she had reconciled him to God. ‘She seriously and with Tears represented to him the ill example and dan­gers of this War, and made him discern, that after a long contention it could lead him but to a decryed and scandalous Victory, or to a dismal Defeat followed by a Tragick Death. She made him call to Minde the Heroick Maximes of that Faith he had embraced: And often repeated to him, that according to this Faith Acts of Injustice might less handsomly be committed, then suffered: and that there was no Sufferes in so bad a Condition, who was not of more value then the most happy Criminal of the World.’ But the Fire was al­ready too much [...]nkindled: And there were too many Hands and Mouths, which stirred the Coals on all sides. Hermenigildus who foresaw that it would be great and lasting, resolved not to cast himself all entire into it, and without reserve. He believed that if the dearest part of himself were removed, the other part which he should expose thereunto, would thereby become more Couragious, and be better pre­pared against all the stroaks of Fortune.

He resolved then to send Indegundis into Africa: And Indegundis was not a little troubled to resolve for this passage: She was in very great apprehension concerning the Life and Liberty of her Husband: but her fear was much greater for his as yet tender Faith, and for his initia­ted Salvation: And having conjured him at her departure to make an Accomodation with his Father; and to endeavour rather to gain then vanquish him: She added with a serious Tone, and with a more affir­mative Countenance, ‘But Hermenin [...]ldus to what side soever the For­tune of War shall encline, and what proposition soever shall be ten­dred you, take heed of entring into any Treaty wherein Religion en­ters not with you If Peace can be purchased with some losse, remain a looser in Gods Name to obtain it: but let the losse be of your For­tune, and not of your Piety. Abandon freely to the bad time, your Pretentions and Rights, your Crown and Succession, nay your Head with your Crown, and your Life with your Succession: but proceed in such sort, that you preserve at least your Faith, and rest assured that conserved Faith will render you all things with use.’ Hermenigildus promised to remember her good Instructions: He himself took the [Page 75] Spirit and Zeal thereof from her Mouth. And all that he promised, he kept exactly and with Constancy.

War having bin unfortunate to him, and the Imperial Forces which he had called to his aid having betrayed him after a long Siege, he lost Sivil and Cordona. And in this extremity he remembred the tears of Indegun­dis; and acquainted Leovigildus with the inclination he had to Peace and Obedience. The old Man, who was not ignorant that despair is a dangerous weapon, and that the last Efforts of the vanquished, and the bitings of dying Beasts are equally to be feared, sent his Brother Richardus to him, who ended the matter by perswasion, and brought him in, without giving other Assurance then his Word. This confi­dence was Hazardous and full of Danger: And it is credible, that the remembrance of Indegundis wrought more effectually therein, then the perswasions of Ricaredus. The old man also having him in his power, forgot his own Blood and Nature; and having in vain tryed him, like a Tempter and a Tyrant, with Offers and Threats, Chains and Prisons, not being able to deprive him of his Faith, he took off his Head

Indegundis received this Newes with a sad Satisfaction, And a Resent­ment wherein even in Despite of her, Nature was present with Grace. She bewailed her dead Husband, and crowned him a Martyr; And she could not crown him more richly then with her Tears. A few dayes after God called Indegundis to give her a Crown. Affliction, Love, and Zeal loosned her Soul: she died Victorious over Nature and Heresie: And at her expiring cast forth a light which illuminated all Spain, and finished the Conversion of that Countrey under the Reign of Ricare­dus who succeeded [...].

The Combats of Clo [...]ld [...] were no lesse celebrious, nor lesse glorious to France then these of Indegundis. But Spain drew not thence the same advantage: And the ill treatment it gave her had not so happy a sequel. She was Daughter of the great Clodovens, and of this holy and wise Clo [...]ld [...], whom Christian France acknowledged for her Mother and In­structresse. The King her Father caused her to espouse Amanlry, who was a Go [...] by Birth, and an Arian by profession. He was ignorant what a Monster is formed of Barbarism and Heresie assembled in one and the same Bodie: but he believed that a far stranger and dreadful Monster might be charmed by the Vertue of his Daughter: He believed that the Name of Clo [...]lda was an Apostolical and miraculous Name: and that the second might well effect in Spain, a Conversion like that which the first had wrought in France. But the time for this Conversion was not yet come: Ama [...]lry imitated those obstinate Asps, which are men­tioned in Scripture: He shut his Eyes and Stopped his Eares, for fear of being charmed by Clo [...]lda. So far was he from respecting the Graces, which instructed him; and from submitting to so sweet and pleasing a Vertue, that he became a Tyrant and Executioner to them: He used all possible Inventions to pervert these Graces: He practised all sorts of Violence to betray this Vertue to Heresie. It lay not in his power to [Page 76] overcome the Courage of Clod [...]ve [...]s, and the Sanctity of their Daugh­ter. The good Princesse armed with their Spirit, and fortified by the remembrance of their Triumphs and Miracles, resisted his Wiles and Violence. How little soever she had complyed and given way to the Tempter, she might have reclaimed the Tyrant, and made him a good Husband: But the preferred Honourable Wounds before deceitful and dangerous Carresses; and rather affected a Tyrant who might crown her, then a Husband who might corrupt her.

It cannot be expressed how costly this crown was to her: and how much she suffered from a Prince and People equally Barbarous and pos­sessed with the same Devil and Heresie. Her Husband tormented her at Home with the Countenance of a Hangman, and with words of Blood and Death, and abroad she suffered the outrages of an insolent and [...] Multitude, which followed her with Reproaches and throwing of stones, when she went to Church. The Heretical Ministers added [...] to this publick Violence: And Amaulry himself, who authorized it by his Example, did once so outragiously beat the poor Queen, that he covered her all over with Blood, leaving her half dead. Having re­covered her senses, she sent her bloody Hankerchief to her Brethren Kings The Blood of the Innocent had both Spirit and Voice upon this Linen, and carried Indignation and Wrath thorowout all France. [...] took horse, and marched at the Head of thirty thousand men to require his Sister. This journey cost Amaulry his Life, and Spain cha­stised, de [...]ayed the Charges of it. As for Clo [...]ilda, she was called to Heaven before her Arrival in France. Peradventure God foresaw that her Merit would suffer some diminution by repose; and that her Crown might be lessened thereby. And intending to give it her compleat and fulls round, he bestowed it on her immediately after her Victory. However it were, Clo [...]ilda added to Indegundis, to Blanch of Bourbon, and others who followed them, made us believe that Spain was fatal to our Princesses, as it hath been thought to be fatal to those Planets who go thither to expire. In effect all those that have been sent thither dyed very young, and replenished with Life and Light. But this death was only in appearance like that of the Planets. God made them passe from thence to a better Life, and to a Kingdom of longer durance. And it is credible that they have there a particular Lustre, and hold the rank of Princesses amongst highly descended Martyrs, and noble Sufferers.

[Page]

CAMME Princesse de Galatie, victorieuse de l'Amour et de la Mort, fait un sacrifice fidelité et de vengeance à l'Ombre de Sinnate son Mary. [...]

[Page 77]Camma.

HOW vain are the Hopes of Man! And how dangerous Imposters, and treacherous Guides are Desires! Sinnorix came hither to give a beginning to his Marriage: Death, which is found every where, would be at the Feast in Despite of the publick Joy. That which is very strange, Love himself brought him thither: and by a new and Fatall Revolution of all things, Vertue is there a Cheat and a Homicide: And the betrothed serve as Victimes to the Sacrifice prepared for the Ceremonie of their Nuptials.

Fidelity and Treacherie are the Subject of this Action; Camma and Sinnorix are the Actors; and the Temple is the Scene. Sinnorix not being able to overcome the Chastity of Camma, at last caused her Husband Sinnarus to be slain, that he might succeed to his Bed and Throne. And Camma knowing no other way to be quit with Sinnorix, compassed it by the feigned Consent she gave to his Addresses. She deserted not her Revenge to time and occasions which might happen: she would not expect obscure and Domestick ones: she believed that she ought to satisfie her self in a high, and remarkable way: And without giving one moment of Truce to her Enemie, she comes to poison her self publickly with him, by the drink which was prepared to confirm with Cere­monie, [Page 78] and by a solemn sacrifice the Contract of their Mar­riage.

The Declaration she made of so Couragious, and so little expected an Action, raised a Tumult in the Temple, and con­fusion amongst the people. No person is seen there who re­flects on the Goddesse, or remembers the Sacrifice. The Victimes which were already at the Foot of the Altar crowned with Garlands of Flowers, and powdred over with fine Meal, were affrighted at the Noise made about them: And saving themselves with their Garlands and Ribbons threw down the Perfumes and Censors; and scattered the Assistants surprized with Astonishment, Superstition, and Fear. Instead of bring­ing them back, the most confident accompany them in their Flight. The Virgins of Diana only stayed behinde, and they themselves were detained by a Terrour which tyed their feet and congealed the Blood in their Veins. Their astonishment and fear appeared on their faces, which bore the Color of their Garments. The very flowers of their Crowns seemed to wax pale by their Example, and Affrightment. The Torches fallen from their Hands are extinguished by the Milk and and Wine of the Goblets which were tumbled down: And of these two confounded Liquors a third is composed, which retains the Colour of them both.

In this general tumult Camma alone remains quiet and undaunted. She was never more fair and Graceful then you now behold her: She never drank any thing more delici­ous or pleasing to the taste, then that Remnant of Death she newly gave her Enemie. The sweetnesse of the Revenge she took, wrought upon her Heart before the poison, and penetrated even to the bottom of her Soul. There was spread from thence upon her face an effusion of Joy, accompanied with a majestical and pleasing fiercenesse, even Anger it self was there graceful: and the last drops of its Gall had there a kinde of Sweetnesse. Nothing is seen in her of that Death she had taken in: her Couutenance resembles a Conqueresse, and in her Attire something appears festival and Triumphant. [Page 79] The very Flowers where with she is Crowned seem to rejoyce that they shall not be carried to a profane and polluted Bed: And that they shall dye Ghast and without Blemish in her Company. It was believed that she had taken them to sacri­fice with more decencie; and to render Honour to her Mini­stery, and new Marriage: And this was done to go more ad­orned to Sinnatus, and to Triumph over Sinorix with more Pomp.

The wretched Man dejected by the Guilt of his Consci­ence, and pierced by the Reproaches of Camma, falls on the Ground with the Fatal Cup which deceived him. The Pale­nesse of Death, which he drank, begins to spread it self on his Face: And disquieted by his Despair, no lesse then by his An­ger, he looks upon Camma, with Eyes which speak neither a Lover nor a Husband. I think also that he vents forth against her all the Gall of his Spirit, which is more bitter, and comes from a far worse spring then the poison he drank. And being able to do her no more mischief, he dismembers her at least by his desires and Gesture: And makes of her Bodie as many pieces, as he sends forth Imprecations and Reproaches against her. She hears him coldly and without Trouble. It may be said that she loves him in this Condition: And having never beheld him without Horrour, she now sees him with Joy. Meanwhile the Poison gaining on her Noble Parts, and find­ing the Heart half open, by the Effort which her Soul makes there to sally forth, and reunite it self to Sinnatus; behold her sinking between the Hands of her Maids.

They are well recovered of their first disorder; but in no Condition to help her, if their tears serve not for an Antidote. The best they can do is to lift up their Eyes and hands to the Goddesse, and to demand of her by their Gestures and Sighes the preservation of so sublime a Vertue, for the Honor and Ex­ample of their Sex. Do not believe that they are heard. Camma opposeth their Petitions, and offers up Prayers to the contrary. In the Smoak of the extinguished Torches, and the overturned Censors she beholds the Ghost of Sinnatus still bleeding from his VVound, who gives her a signe, that it is time to depart; And [Page 80] that she is expected in the Region of Chast and Faithful Souls. Her impatience redoubles at this Object: And her Heart clo­sing up she takes leave of the Goddesse; Craves Pardon for ha­ving in her Temple, and at the Foot of her Altar and Image, sa­crificed to Love and Revenge: And with these last words, ren­dred up her Spirit with a serene Countenance; and such as a Conquerour would have, who after the gaining of a Victory, should expire in the f [...]uition of his Glory.

SONNET.

THis Queen, whose noble wrath admits no rest,
(With poison at her Lips, Death neer her Breast)
Do's the now trembling Synnorix upbraid
With that sad stroke his murd'rous Hand convey'd.
Her Husbands Ghost, which often call'd in vain,
(With Langnor pale, yet bloody as when slain)
Waits to receive her in that Cloud the late
Extinguish'd Torches with their smoak create.
Brave Soul forsake not thy fair Prison; stay,
Do not, Renowned Camma, post away
To thy Sinnatus, ere the poisnous Draught
Have on his Murd'rers Head due Vengeance wrought
To which the Heav'ns and all things else conspire
With his sad Fate, and thy inflamed Ire:
And Love himself i [...] accelerate his pain,
Megrra's Torch, and Deaths cold Shafts hath ta'ne.

ELOGIE OF CAMMA.

CAMMA Princess of Galatia, and the Wife of Sinnatus, was doubly Soveraign, and reigned by the right of her blood, and by that of her Face Her Beauty which was her first Crown, drew Suters to her, and furnished her with Combats: and these Combats rendred her Spint sit for War, and manifested her Courage and [...]idelity. Her Vertue made Fortune Jealous, and her Beauty begot Love in Si­norix. But not complying with Sinorix, and abandoning all to Fortune, she remained victorious over both Sollicitations and Services proving unsuccesseful to Sinorix, he employed Despair and Crimes: And per­swaded that a vacant place would be weakly defended, and with lesse obstinacie, he murdered Sinnatus; and of his Bodie makes a step to his Bed and Throne. This Blow strengthened the Couragious Princesse instead of dejecting her. She gave no Ear to the bloody Ghost of Sin­natus which summoned her; And before she would follow him resolved to revenge his Death.

After so soul and base a Treachery Sinorix renewed his addresses, and sweetned them with the Name of Marriage. He presented himself to Camma with all the Artifices and Disguisement, by which he thought to hide from her his Crime. She failed not to discern it through all his Arts and Disguises, and to scent the Murther and blood which remained still fresh upon him. Nevertheless the restrained her self: And for fear of losing her stroke if she lifted up her hand too high, she enclosed her Designe in her Heart with her Anger.

In sine, after many premeditated difficulties, and counterfeit irreso­lutions she seigned to submit to the perswasions of her Kindred who sol­licited her in Sinorix behalf; and gave them her Consent and Promise. At the assigned day for the Ceremonie of her Marriage, all things be­ing ready for the Sacrifice, she took the cup in which poison was steep­ed: And having out of respect poured forth two or three drops there­of upon the Altar of the Goddess, she drank part of it, and gave the rest to Sinorix. The unhappy Creature expecting to taste the first sweets of his Marriage, drank there his Death, and the punishment of his Crime. Camma had the satisfaction to see him die with her: And having enjoyed two or three hours of her Revenge, and the Glory of her Fidelity, she went to carry the News of both to Sinnatus.

MORAL REFLECTION.

ALL the Lines of this Picture are instructive, and the very shadows of it are luminous, and enlighten the understanding. We learn from the unfortunate Beauty of Camma, that as there be flowers which impoison, so there are Riches which render those unhappy who possess them: And that very often we are only slung with what glit­ters about us, as well as with what pleaseth and adorns us. We are taught likewise by her Courage, that in the Combats of Vertue, Victory consists in the strength of the Minde, and not of the Bodie: That the weakest Sex may herein Dispute in point of advantage with the stron­gest: and that a Crown is more for the Heart, then for the Arms or for the Head. On the other side we learn from the Crime of Sinorix, that unchast Love is a dangerous Guest: It enters with Nosegayes in its Hand, and Garlands on his Head; And assoon as it comes into a House, and hath there setled it self, it exhibits poisons and swords. We gather also from his punnishment, that Divine Justice, though it sets forth late, yet it fails not to arrive in due time: And that without causing Exe­cutioners to come afar off, it often makes our Idols become our Tor­mentors, and our sins our punishments.

MORAL QUESTION.
Why Conjugal Love is more Faithfull in Women, then in Men.

I Suppose the Truth of the Thesis, and suppose it upon the Report of History, which is the Conserver of Truth, and the Depository of fair Originals and eminent Examples. I have been consulting on it in all Countreyes and Ages: and I confess that in every Countrey and Age where I have examined it, History hath shewn me Heroick Women by Troops, who dyed out of Fidelity and Love to their Hus­bands. But when I required from it Husbands of the like Vertue and Courage, scarce could it furnish me with enough to make a number. This certainly is wonderful, yet most true: And such as shall not have Faith enough to believe it upon my word, may inform themselves upon the places.

They will be shewed in Greece the Ashes of E [...]ad [...]e, who cast her self into the flaming Pile of her Husband; and who by an honest and law­ful Love performed that which a furious Heroe, and vaunting Philoso­phers have done either out of brutish despair, or ridiculous vanity. They will be shewed the Web wherewith Penelope preserved her self for Vlysses: the Cup in which Camma drank death and revenge: Another Cup wherin [Page 83] Artemisia drank the Ashes of Mansolus. They would cause them to see at Rome the Coals which Porcea swallowed: the Dagger of Aria and those efficacious words by which she gave Reputation to her Death, and Courage to that of Petus: The Lancet wherewith Paulina opened her Veins, that she might die with Seneca: And divers other famous pieces which are in Veneration with the Ancients; and which are seen still coloured with Blood, and marked with the Fidelity of Wo­men. The sight of these pieces is sufficient alone, and without other proof to perswade, that Women love more constantly, and with more Fidelity then Men. But I suppose this Advantage of Womens Fidelity above that of Men, who have hitherto lest no Reliques of it: And seeking Reasons for it in Natural and Moral Philosophy, I finde eight, which added to the Memorials of Antiquity, will strengthen this Pro­position against the malitious Allegations wherewith some use to as­sault it: And which may make it at least an Article of Human Belief.

First, if Philosophy and Experience have Authority enough to be credited therein, Affections follow Humours; and take their quali­ties and tincture from the temper which serves them for matter. Now it is not doubted, but Melancholy is the predominant Humour in a Woman: it is not doubted, but that her Temper is more moist and her Complexion more tender then ours: we ought not then to doubt, but that her Affections are more adhering and setled: and that she is more strongly united to whatsoever she fastens her self. Why should we doubt it, since Melancholy hath been hitherto believed to be the matter of Constancie, and the most proper Oyle to nourish the fire of Love? Since we see that loft things are better linked together then hard ones: and that without Humidity no lasting union can be made. From thence comes the ancient saying, which declares that the affecti­ons of Women can endure no Mediocrity: and that whatever they de­sire, they desire it obstinately, and without intermission.

Let us adde Instinct to Humour, and Necessity to Complexion: and what Faith teacheth us, concerning the Creation of Woman taken out of the side of Man, being supposed; Let us alledge for the second Reason, that the Instinct of the part to the whole being of necessity, and consequently stronger then the Instinct of the whole to the part, which is but of congruity: It was according to the order of Nature that a Woman should do by an Intelligent and Judicious inclination, what all other separated parts perform out of a blinde and insensible Propension. And since Man, from whom she was taken, is necessary for her conservation; it appears nothing strange, that she adheres more constantly to him, and renders him more affection then she receives: And besides, this surplusage which she gives him, is lesse an advance and a work of supererogation, then a duty and acknowledgment.

After this second Reason there follows a third, which is grounded upon the Assistance and good Offices which Women receive from Men. This assistance is frequent and more then ordinary, and these offices [Page 84] continual and at all hours. Those which the Bodie receives from the Head can hardly suffer lesse interruption; those which the Moon ex­pects from the Sun can scarce be more necessary to her. And therefore if good offices be the tyes of Hearts, and the chains of Souls; is it not reasonable that Women should love more then they are beloved; and be more strongly [...]astned then they fasten; since in the Domestick So­ciety they servelesse then they are served; and are more obliged then they oblige? Should they have lesse of good Nature then [...], which fastens it self inseparably to the Tree that supports it, and ne­ver leaves it either in Life or Death? Should they love lesse constantly then the Female Palm, which never findes comfort, never receives verdure, nor is ever capable of Renovation after the Death of her Male to which she was allyed.

This Fidelity doth not only appertain to the dutie and gratitude of Women: but it concerns their Honour and Glory: And whether in their opinion there be something of Nature and Instinct therein; whether there be not something of Tradition or Hear-say; they are all perswaded that Constancy, next to Chastity, is the predominant Ver­tue and the essential quality of Vertuous Women. Men place not therein their puncti [...]o of Honour: there is no Title less alledged among them, there is no quality more cheap, then that of a good Husband: They scarce rank or hold it considerable in the Description of a Gallant Man. And from hence it comes, that Constancie and Fi­delity, whereof I speak, being not controverted with Women, they have ingrossed them both to themselves, and left to men in their room Valour, Knowledge, Justice, and other Vertues, which as they concei­ved, suted better with the Dignity of their Sex.

Moreover, it is the chief Ambition of good Women to be beloved by their Husbands entirely and with perseverance. This begets their Peace and Content at home: this procures them a good Name, and a good odour of Reputation abroad On the other side they know, and Nature hath taught it them, that the Heart is the only Bait with which another Heart may be taken: and that Love, to which wings are given, is a Bird not to be caught, but by another Love. From whence it ariseth, that to possess this so important Love, they make advances of it which exhaust them, and whereof very often there remains only in them a habit of loving solitarily, and an obstinate and customary Fidelity.

Besides, it is with the Heart of a Woman, as with Rivers which are kept in, and shut up; and have but a little Descent by which they have liberty to disburthen themselves. Conscience and Honour, Chastitie and Fear, the Laws of God, and the Laws of the World are the ob­stacles which encompass it on every side: and it cannot dilate it self without breaking them, not break them without extraordinary vio­lence. Likewise, when amidst so many obstacles, the discharge lies open to it on the Husbands part, it pours it self forth on that side with more impetiosity and restriction, then doth the Heart of a Man, [Page 85] which resembles those shallow Rivers, which have neither Ridges not Ba [...], but many little open streams through which they disburthen themselves.

Let us also say, that Women being freed from many affairs where­with Men are charged; And Love being, as a certain Person said, the businesse of persons wanting employment, and the occupation of those that are at leasure: they must necessarily love with more Force, and with more application of minde then they are beloved.

In sine, I adde for the eighth Reason, that Love hath Jealousies like a King: It is also the Princely and Soveraign Passion: And in a Heart where it reigns, it cannot endure that any should go equal with it, nor play the Mistresse. Now the Hearts of Men are more divided, and sub­ject to more Passions then those of Women. Every day occasions and affairs introduce there some New Passion: and every one will com­mand in its turn, and reign at least on the day of its Arrival. Perfect Love, which is Jealous of its Authority, and an enemie to disorder and confusion: not knowing how to be at quiet and in a state of Honour amidst these turbulent Passions, gives way to them, and retires into a Womans Heart: And it is there lesse disquieted and more abso­solute: No Rival is found there to rise up against it: There is no Pas­sion which doth not obey it. For this Reason, Fortune, Affairs, and the Passions which are of their Train standing almost all for the Husband, nothing remains for the Wise, but Conjugal Love accompanied with Fidelity and Constancy. I might produce great number of Reasons for it: but it is the weight and not the multitude which ought to perswade. Let us conclude this Question with an Example, which will manifest in despite of Monteigne, that there are modern as well as ancient Fidelities: and that good Wives have appeared long after the Age of either Ar [...] or Pa [...]l [...]a.

EXAMPLE.
Sanchia of Navarre.

I Am to draw in this History the Picture of two Sisters, who have not not one drop of Blood in their Veins, not one Hair on their Heads by which they resemble each other. This nevertheless is neither strange nor new: the Rose and Thorn grow upon one stalk: and one fire produceth both Light and Smoak. The representation thereof in that respect will not be lesse delightful: And by an opposition like that which is made by the Impostures of the Perspective, a Grace and a Fury, an extream Fidelity, and an extream Treachery will be seen there upon the same Ground, and almost under the same Line.

Sanchias the second, King of Navarre was slain by Ferrandus Gon­zales [Page 86] Earl of Castile in a publick and regular Duel, undertaken solemn­ly, and in the fight of two Armies, to end their quarrel, and to spare the Blood of their People. This Disaster left so lively a resentment, and so obstinate a grief in Theracia, Daughter to the deceased King, and Wife to the King of [...], that she took an oath never to admit of any Lenitive but Revenge, and the Blood of Gonzales. She sought every where this Lenitive of Blood, and this Revenge which might [...] seeing no Honourable or lawful occasion which might lead her to effect it with a good Conscience, she resolved to compasse it by Treason and Surprise. The wrath indeed of a Woman is a dangerous Wrath: All that she hath of sweet is imbittered and turns into Gall when she is netled and in despite of her Natural Constitution poison [...] forth of her Eyes, and the teeth of Serpents enter into her mouth. But though she be every way to be feared; yet she ought [...] to be mistrusted when her fire is rakedup: when her teeth are hidden: and when her Gall and Poison are covered with a seeming sweetnesse. And we may take also in this sence the saying of holy Scripture, which advices us to avoid the fury of an irritated Dove.

These Ashes of a plaistred Reconciliation, and this feigned meek­nesse of a Dove, had like to have ruined Gonzales. He would have pre­served himself from an open Fire: and would have defended himself against an Eagle which should have assaulted him by Force. Theracis counterfeits her self tractable and inclined to Peace; makes an offer of Reconciliation: And to establish a solid and lasting Peace between Na­varre and Castile, she proposes a Marriage between her Sister Sanchis and Gonzales. Surely the Bait was too tempting, and too subtilly pre­pared, and with too much dexterity to catch nothing. Gonzales who was generous and no Enemie to Peace, gave ear to this Proposition; receives from the Queen of Leen (deputed for the solemnization of the Contract) the Promise of absent Sanchia, and returned her his. When all things were agreed, he undertakes a journey to Navarre, with no other Attendance then his own Family: Neither did he think to go to a Siege or Battel: he beheved that his Voyage was to a Treaty of Mar­riage: and a Marriage is not treated of with Armies and Engins of War: No man espouseth a beating Drum or flying Colours.

As soon as he arrived in Navarre, King Garcius a Complice in the Treason of his Sister Theracia, received him with outrages and re­proaches: and without giving him time to recollect himself commits him to Prison, and causeth him to be loaden with Chains more harsh and ponderous, then those which he came to seek. Sanchia advertised of so soul a Treason, to which she had contributed innocently, and with no ill intent, thought her self obliged, for the Justification of her pro­mise, and for the Honour of her House, to assist a Prince who was taken in her Name, and by her promise. She found out a means to see him in Prison, and this sight mollified her Heart, and laid it open to Passion, which never before found any accesse unto it. Pitty which is [Page 87] not bashfull and suspected by no man, entred first boldly, and without resistance: Love stole in fearfully after her, and was there received up­on the ingagements made by Gonzales, and upon the faith which had been given him. Sanchia was already sufficiently tied by the promise delegated to the King of Navarre her brother, and to her sister the Queen of Leen: But she found her self there much faster tied by the chains of Gonzales: She renewed to him the promise she had sent him by the ministers of her brothers treachery: And having given necessary orders for his liberty, she took him out of prison, and fled away with him to Castile, where she was married to him in great pomp, and with the general applause of the people.

I confesse that there was much of boldnesse in this action; and I would not pardon it in a Maid, who had followed a wandring fire, and played the part of a [...], or a Lucipps. But if we consider that Sanchia was no longer at her own dispose, nor at her brothers: that she was promi­sed and betrothed to Gonzales: that she had given her faith out of obedience: And that she owed more to her betrothed faith, then to the treachery of her House; her boldnesse will be no reproach to her memory: And men will rather give her an honourable ranke amongst the Her [...]sses, then joyn her with the wandring women of Romances. Ne­verthelesse the King her brother did not take it in that sense. As soon as he was advertised of his prisoners and sisters flight; he presently rai­sed a powerfull Army and fell into Castile: But he fell in under so ill a Planet, that he was defeated in the first Battell; and by the sport of Fortune, which mingles at her pleasure, chains and Crowns, and pla­ceth them sometimes upon one Head, and sometimes upon an other; or to speak more Christianly, by a just disposure of Divine Providence, which would punish Injustice and Treachery, the King of Navarre in his turne remained prisoner to his Fugitive, and was loaden with the same Chains he had brought for him.

After some moneths of imprisonment, Gonzales moved by the per­swasions of his Wife, set him at liberty, and sent him back with ho­nour to his Kingdom: These benefits ought to be ranked amongst those Coals, which according to the saying of the Wiseman, give new heat to congealed Charity, and reenkindle extinguished affection: But they stirred up hatred, and inkindled a new warre which would have caused great flames and ruines, if the wise and couragious San­chia, before one drop of blood was spilt, had not mediated between her Husband and Brother, and quenched with her tears the fire which had taken on all sides. These tears which had vertue enough to extin­guish a warre already flaming, and to pacifie two Kingdoms in Arms, had not enough to sweeten the Animosity of a Woman. The Queen of Leen reserved her passion in all the Treaties which were held: And in all the Articles which were proposed to her, whatsoever her lips and tongue did swear, and whatsoever her hand did signe, she full sware in her mind, and signed in her heart the death of Gonzales.

[Page 88] The obstinate Princess not content with having laboured unprofi­tably and at a great expence to dishonour the Name of the King her Brother, with having perverted her Faith and falsified her pro­mise, took away also the Honour and Reputation of the King her Husband: And perswaded him to make of his Word and Faith a se­cond snare for Gonzales. The Faith of Kings is sacred; Their Promise is holy, And it is a prophanation, and a kinde of Sacriledge to convert them into Deceits and Treasons; and to make them serve for Baits to Circumventions. This Prince nevertheless seduced by his Wife, con­sented to the Prophanation of his Word and Faith. He convened the States of his Kingdom, and sent thither the Earl of Castile. The Earl had sight good enough to discern afar off the snare which was laid for him: but he had too good a Heart, and too confident a Soul to avoid a snare from which he knew not well how to flie, but by flying from his Duty, and turning his back to his Reputation. He stuck fast then to his Reputation and Duty; and committed his Life and Liberty to Fortune. Fortune nevertheless which is said to be favourable to bold Actions, gave him no better entertainment at Leon, then he had re­ceived at Navarre. He found there a second Prison, and as strong and heavy chains as the former: And found no Sanchia in that place, who might break these chains and open the Prison for him. But Love which was more just then Fortune, and works far other Miracles, did not long retard the bringing thither his Deliveress: And if she had been Couragious and Faithful during the time of Contract, she shewed her self yet more Couragious and Faithful in the state of Marriage.

Assoon as she had notice of her Husbands Captivity, her first thought was to march in the head of twenty thousand men, to destroy his Pri­son with Fire and Sword, and to bring him back to Castile through the Ruines, and Light of a flaming Province. To this first thought which arose from her Courage, another succeeded, wherein there was more of Prudence, and more of Safety for her Husband. She fixed upon that, though the danger thereof was more evident for her self: And she resolved to oppose to a foul and treacherous fraud, an innocent and purely charitable deceit. She chose amongst the most Faithful ser­vants of the Earl her Husband, all those who had most courage and strength, and commanded them to follow her without noise, and with Arms of more effect then shew. This done, she began her journey in the habit and Marks of a Pilgrime: passeth every where for a Woman of quality, who went to perform her Vow made to S. James. And be­ing arrived in Leon with two Knights, she so craftily and dexterously assaulted the Gates of the Prison, as at length they were opened to her, and obtained leave to see her Husband.

The apparition of an Angel invironed with fire and covered over with light, could scarce have more dazled Gonzales, then the arrival of disguised Sanchia had done. After the first Embraces, and the Tears that were mixt with them, which supplyed the place of Words, she [Page 89] acquainted him in few words with the occasion of her coming: And conjured him to take the garment and liberty she had brought him, and to leave her in exchange his Chains and Apparel; nay his punishment and Death, if it were decreed he should die. This exchange being made, he went out of Prison with the Garment and Heart of Sanchia; And found the two Knights at the Gate, who brought him to the place where his servants waited for him. The next day the light disco­vered that charitable Fraud which the night had concealed. The King of Leon on the sudden expressed an Anger, which seemed never to be allayed without effusion of Blood. But reason returning by degrees, admiration succeeded his wrath: He highly praised a deceipt so well meant, and of so great example. And having magnificently treated his Sister, he sent her back to her husband with ceremonie and pomp: and this Pomp served as a Triumph to Conjugal Love and the Fidelity of Women.

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ARTEMISE [...]

[Page 91]Artemisia.

THERE is nothing here but exceeds the measure of mean Spirits: Nothing but transcends the Capacity of shallow Heads. The Mausolaeum which you be­hold, is one of the Worlds great Mira­cles. Artemisia who caused it to be built, is another far greater Miracle, though not so vast, nor wearieth so much the sight. But both have wherewith to fill with her Renown, as well the present as future Times: Wherewith to furnish matter for new Fables; And to serve in History for a spectacle of magni­ficence, and prodigie to all Nations and Ages.

They are no common Architects which direct this sumptu­ous and stately structure. Love is the undertaker and hath traced out the designe: Magnificence presides in the Execu­tion; and all the Arts gathered together work there under her Command, and by her Orders. Surely it were needful to have a very vast apprehension, and Eyes capable of great objects to contemplate at once these pendant Quarries wrought into Pillars: And to behold at one View a whole Mountain of Jasper erected into an Obelisk. Asia and Africa must be there­by exhausted and impoverished: I do beleeve that at present there are left neither Marble in their Bosoms, nor pretious Metals in their Veins. And you there behold in Frizes, Chapters, and Ballisters, all that the sun was able to produce rich and resplendent in many Ages. Not only all the Trea­sures of the Earth have been exhausted to serve for this Enter­prize, [Page 92] but whole Colonies of workmen have been consumed therein; And all those rich carved Pieces, whereof your eyes partake in an instant and without trouble, are the Invention and labour of the ablest heads and the most skilfull hands of Greece.

Leocarez who was the Authour and Father of the most ex­quisite Gods, and of the most eminent Artists of these dayes, imployed all his skill in that Statue which he made of one sin­gle Agate. It hath no other colours then what the Stone brought with it from the Quarry. And neverthelesse by a con­currence, which exceeded the expectation of the VVorkman, Nature so well mingled them, and with so much equality and proportion, that a Picture, were it drawn by the hand of Apelles himself, could not better resemble Mausolus. Three Lamps framed of three large Rubies make a precious Fire, fed with Balm under this Figure. There is a fourth, which is compo­sed of a more noble matter, which sends forth a cleerer and more resplendent flame, though it be invisible. It is the heart it self of Artemisia, which burns alwayes equally and with the same fire, and consumes before her Husbands Ghost still pre­sent to her eyes.

I observe that you have a long time fixed your sight parti­cularly upon the face of this Colossus, and upon the strange Characters it bears. The Characters are Egyptian and Sacred. The Subject is the Elogy of Mausolus, expressed in figured and mysticall termes. The mourning of his Widow, and sor­rows of his People are not there forgotten: But all this, as you may see, is there onely in Epitome, and in a cold and livelesse stile. The most Magnificent, even the most eloquent and faithfull Epitaph of Mausolus is in the heart of Artemisia. Love and Death have grav'd it with their Pencils. There is not a word in it which hath not both life and heat, which doth not love and sigh, which doth not resent and is not resented. Is it not that which the Architect meant to expresse by this Love and Death, which he hath couched at the Foot of the Obelisk? Would you not say that these Characters were but newly in­graven, and that they made all Passengers who shall read them [Page 93] to accompany with their sighs and Tears, the Sighs of the Arts, and the Tears of the Muses; the sadnesse of the Metals, and the mourning of the Marbles?

As for those two other Loves which close up the Ballisters, they are numbred among those which have contributed their Cares and Labours to this vast Work. They hold also the Square and Compass in their Hands: And seem thereby wil­ling to give Testimonie against the Errours of the ignorant, who perswade themselves that Love can act nothing which is not tumultuous and irregular; And that there is nothing but confusion and disorder in all its productions. Love neverthe­less (whatsoever these ignorant persons may say of it) is the superintent of Harmonies and Accords; and the first inventer of Squares and Measures: And I do not doubt, but if some one of those people came hither, he would presently avow that Love is more regular and better proportioned in this vast building, then Philosophie ever was in the Tub of the Cynick. Surely also it is wonderful to behold, such regular Enormities, and such adjusted proportions amidst so great excesse. But nothing yet there appears save the first draughts of this pro­portion and evennesse: And one must expect the last form of the whole Bodie to judge of the correspondencie between these enormous and monstruous parts, which are the Temerities of Art, the Exaggerations of Marble and Jasper; And if I may say so, the Hyperboles and Amplifications of Architecture.

We are not the only persons in whom so sumptuous and magnificent a mourning begets astonishment. Those that you see at the Foot of the steps, though they belong to the Court of Artemisia, and are accustomed to the Majestie of her De­signe, and have their Mindes and Eyes as full of it as ours. Some expresse their astonishment by their Gesture, and seem to say that this Monument will one day draw all Europe to Asia, and be an Heroick Temple, where Magnificence and mourn­ing, Love and Death, Artemisia and Mausolus will be ho­noured together, and receive from Posterity an equal worship, and like Oblations. The rest further advanced observe her action, and accompany it with their respect and silence.

[Page 94] The affliction of her Minde seems to have passed even into her Garment, which is black and without ornament. Her sad­nesse nevertheless is Majestical and becoming: And upon her face, still pale by the Death of her Husband, there appears a kinde of pleasing languishment, which demands compassi­on and would beget Love, if it were in a subject either lesse elevated, or lesse austere. Two Turtle Doves which she her self newly sacrificed to the Spirit of Mausolus burn before her, with her Hair upon an Altar of Porphirie: And mean while the fire which seized on her Heart by degrees consumes the tyes of her Soul, and prepares it to go joyn it self with the other Heart which expects it. The ashes of Mausolus, which she hitherto so charily preserved, are moistned with her Tears in the Cup you see in her hand. She takes it up to drink them: And her moist and sparkling Eyes which partake something of the Sun and Rain seem to say to those that understand them, that she nevertook any thing more sweet and pleasing to her tast: That the richest works of Art and Nature could not worthily enough conserve so pretious a Pledge: That these dear Ashes are due unto the fire of her Heart, and that nothing but Arte­misia alone could make a fit sepulchre for Mausolus.

SONNET.
ARTEMISIA speaks.

BEhold this Sepulchers proud structure, where
Glory and Grief do equally appear:
Where Asia (rais'd into one Monument)
Tyr'd all the Arts, and Natures skill outwent.
Love with his shafts hath wrought the Sculpture fair,
Love did the Cyment with his Fires prepare,
And makes, in spite of Death, my Lover have
An endless life in this stupendious Grave.
But tell me Love, what Glory do I gain
By these my sumptuous Labours, if I daign
Marbles to be the Rivals of my Fame,
And share with them my Souls resplendent Flame?
Now if the gentle Shade, with wandring Feet,
Among the Dead do stray, it will be meet
That of its Flame my Soul the Fuel be,
And that his Ashes live intomb'd in Me.

ELOGIE OF ARTEMISIA.

IT is nothing strange that Artemisia speaks in this Picture: She hath lived above three thousand yeers in the Memo­rie of Man. Her Fortune and Dignity nevertheless hath not preserved it for her. Whatsoever hath been said of Gold, it doth not exempt those from corruption who wear it in their Crowns: and the Names of Kings and Queens ought not to be more priviledged then their Persons, which die upon Thrones. Vertue hath made Artemisia live to this day, and would have her remain to her Sex, an everlasting Example of a peaceable Magnanimity; and of a Widowhood Couragious without Despair, and afflicted without Dejection. The one Moity of her dyed with Mausolus, and she burned with him that part of her Heart in which Joy resided: But she reserved the other in which was Fortitude and Courage. And if since the fatal Moment which had thus divided her, she was never seen to delight in any thing, yet no man ever observed the the least weaknesse in her. Her modest and strict mourning, and her well becoming and Majestical reservednesse suted with a perfect Wi­dow: But her bold and Couragious activity in War her dexterous and free Conduct in managing affairs; and her constancie in re­jecting all sorts of second affections, was like a Woman, who acted still with the Heart and Spirit of her Husband, and who had even espoused his shadow. But not being content to have preserved his Courage in her action, and his image in her Memory, she must needs have also his Ashes upon her Heart; And erected his Name and Tomb into a Mira­cle, by a structure in which all the Arts wearied themselves, and Na­ture her self was almost exhausted.

MORAL REFLECTION.

ARTEMISIA though a Heathen and a Barbarian is to young Widows a Governesse full of Authority and of great Example. She teacheth them that the most invincible and strongest Widow­hood is not that which sends forth the loudest cryes, and which seeks to express it self by Poisons and Precipices: That it is Modesty and Fidelity which make chast Matrons, and not Hairs pulld up by the root, and torn Cheeks, That a sober and lasting Mourning is more decent and exemplar, then an unequal affliction which tears it self to day and paints it self to morrow, which is furious on the day of a Husbands Buriall; and will endure no Discourse but of Poison and Ropes, and two Dayes after will have their Haire curled, their faces painted and spotted. And that a Heathen woman having in one Monument placed all the wealth of a whole Kingdom, to raise unto the Name of her Husband an imaginary and fantasticall Eternity. It is a very great shame that Christian women should not distribute even for the salvation of their Husbands, and the Comfort of their own Souls the Remainder of what they spend upon Play, Vanity, and Excess. And because this Truth is important and of great use, I conceived, that it would be very beneficial to give it a more solid foun­dation, and to make a Discourse of it apart, where it shall have all the proofs and all the light whereof it is capable.

MORAL QUESTION.
In what manner a Gallant Woman should mourn, and what ought to be the duties of her Widowhood.

THose Women are very ill instructed in the Morality of their Sex, who reduce into Shagrin and sadnesse all the Duties and Vertues of a prudent Widow. A serious and constant Love doth not wholly pour it self forth into tears; And all the decency of exemplar Fidelity consists not in a black cypress Veil or Gown: It is not expres­sed by shadowed lights, and weeping Tapers; And it is not discovered by studied looks, and by fourty hours of artificiall darkness. Philoso­phy, I say even Christian philosophy, forbids not tears in like occasi­ons, It is impossible that blood should not flow from hearts which are divided, and from souls which are severed by force. And since man, as the Scripture tells us, is the head of the woman, the wonder would be no lesse, if a Wise should lose her Husband without weeping, then if a body should not bleed when the head is cut off: But she ought not also to perswade her self that her wound must run everlastingly; And [Page 97] that it concerns her honour to have alwayes tears in her eyes, and com­plaints in her mouth. Sadness, Mourning, Solitude, relate indeed to her duty, but make not the most important, and indispensable part thereof: And yet by a publique Errour, which time and custome have authorized, this lesse important part is superstitiously observed. Wo­men are not content with a regular and discreet sadness, they put on an extravagant and fantasticall kind of sorrow; And Opinion begin­ning where Nature ends, they sigh for fashions sake, and weep artifi­cially, after the true mourning hath consumed the reall sighes, and when tears in good earnest are exhausted.

A Prudent and Couragious Widow will give no way to fancy, or opinion, and will submit all that she can reasonably and with decency, to lawfull Customes, and to instructed and cultivated Nature. But ha­ving once satisfied these duties of tendernesse which proceed more from the superficies then the bottome of the heart, she will reserve her self for more solid and serious duties of greater force and use, wherein her affection and fidelity may act more profitably, and be produced with more honour and reputation. The weak widows who raise up a hea­vie and slothfull sadness to a degree of Vertue; and the wilfull who glo­ry in an incurable grief, will oppose to these duties the example of the widow Palme, I mean of that Palme from which the Male is taken away: She is never cured, as they say, of her driness, which is her affli­ction; and what care soever is taken to reestablish her, she dies at length languishing, and of I know not what secret disease, which resembles our Melancholy.

However it fares with the widowhood of the Palme, which is but a Metaphoricall and figurative widowhood, as her love is but symboli­call and allegoricall: If it be lawfull to make comparisons, and ren­der figure for figure, I will say that a prudent widow ought to leave unto weak souls examples of weakness, which resides in the lowest story of souls; and to seek out in the Region of light and pure spirits, patterns of a generous mourning, and of an active and well governed affliction: She will performe during a widowhood of many yeers, what the Moon doth during a widowhood of few hours: An obscurity is seen upon the face of the Eclipsed Moon; And this obscurity is, to speak proper­ly, but the sadness and mourning of her widowhood, occasioned by the interposition of the Earth between her and the Sunne. But this sad­ness which deprives her of colour, takes not away her force. It makes her not descend from her Elevation, nor diverts her course: Though she appears black to us, yet she forbears not to keep her Station, and to move regularly and in order: And her mourning doth not hinder her from following the conduct of her Intelligence. The affliction of the sage Widow ought to be just and regular, like that of the Moon. Her mourning ought not to deject her heart, nor discompose her carriage. It ought not to obscure the light of her soul, nor retard the activity she owes either her House, or the Republique, to which she is after the death of her Husband, what the Moon is to the World in the absence of the [Page 98] Sunne. Her affliction is not exempted from these duties, and her Sex gives her no dispensation for them. The Widow and afflicted Turtle doth not abandon the care of her neast, and the feeding of her little ones. And the Mother Eagle when the Male is taken from her doth not forbear to prey and make warre upon Serpents. There are exam­ples enough of this Active and Couragious Widowhood, of this reaso­nable and well ordered sorrow, of this discreet and magnanimous mour­ning. This which I am going about to propose, is Illustrious and full of Reputation: and the sight of it ought to be so much the more de­lightfull, in respect a Copy of it is now drawn, which posterity will esteem no lesse then its Originall.

EXAMPLE.
Blanch of Castile, Queen Regent of France.

SPain boasts to have produced Artemisias as well as antient Lidea; And she boasts not of them without reason. The chiefest point is, that she hath produced them as Quarries of stone produce fair Statues. Their matter was indeed of Spain, but the lineaments and beau­ty of their Figure they owe to France. Blanch the Mother of St Lewis was one of these Artemisia's born in Spain, and formed in France. Her Race was one of the most Illustrious and Remarkable in that Countrey. The Mines of Gold, and the Veins which bear the most Precious stones, were not so rich nor famous. And we may say that her Heroick life, and great actions were to the greatness of her birth, what a rare Figure is to rare Matter.

She was the most respected and renowned of four Crowned Widows, who in their time were the honour of their Condition, Sex, and Age. The first was Margarite of France, sister to Philip the August, who had the Courage to undertake a Warre against Infidels, and to go seek out in the Holy-Land, honourable and renowned Dangers and Crowns, Blessed by God and Men. No lesse Courage was requisite for Queen Blanch, to consent to the Expedition of her Son Lewis against the Turk, and his enterprizes beyond the Seas, then was necessary for Margarite to begin a holy Warre, and to ingage her self by an expresse Vow, in dan­gers of the Sea and Warre. And whatsoever the most Malignant inter­preters of the best actions may say of it, who avouch in despite of Hi­story, that Blanch perswaded St. Lewis to take a Journey into Syria, that she might Reigne a second time, by a second Regency. It is certain that this Crosiad, or holy Warre, was the heaviest cross of her life, the pu­nishment of her heart, and the torment of her soul; the death of her pleasures and joys: And the Couragious Queen since the very moment her Son left her, did nothing but suffer in minde, and fight in imaginati­on. Nothing but dangers, and objects of fear were presented before [Page 99] her Eyes; And in the Lo [...]er it self she was continually tossed by Tempests, and thought her self in danger of suffering shipwrack with her Son; every day she was a Prisoner, and sick with him, and every night she died by the Hand of some Arsacide or Saraz [...]n whom her ap­prehensions and dreams represented to her: The second illustrious Widow of her time, was Hed [...]ga Dutchess of Silecia. The Church, to which appertains the Crowning of Vertues, rendred Honour to her long and difficult Repose, to her painful and laborious Solitude: And judged her worthy to be Canonized, after a Widowhood of thirty years spent in a Monastery. The Vertue of Blanch had need of no lesse Cons [...]ancie at Court. Her Widowhood was no lesse laborious, her Devotion no lesse servent, nor less exercised or profitable in that place, and she required no lesse Courage against the pleasures of the Palace and the Pride of Authority, then was necessary for [...] amidst the Aus [...]ctities and Humiliations of a Religious Life. Elizabeth of Hun­gary was the third Widow, who honoured this Age, so fruitful in So­veraign Examples, and Crowned Vertues. Her Charity and Works of Mercie retain still a good odour in the Church, and edifie the faith­ful. It is reported that the Emperor Frederick the second, who was present at the opening of her Tomb, made an offering to her of three Crowns of Gold: And by this Ceremonie crowned in one single Per­son, a holy Virgin, a holy Wife, and a holy Widow. The Charity of Queen Blanch was practised in a higher degree then that of Elizabeth. Her works of Mercie were more universal, more necessary, of greater use and better Example. The poor were not only entertained and the sick comforted by her good deeds; but Nations were conserved there­by, and Provinces setled in Peace, Wars extinguished, Troubles paci­fied, good Lawes established, publick abuses reformed, Heresies either humbled or abolished, and a whole kingdom preserved in peace, and quietly governed, and with Justice. These Royal Charities and Mer­cies of State, are of a quite other Rank then the particular ones which are practised in Hospitals. And the Crown of a Holy Queen which Blanch hath merited thereby, may equal those of a holy Wife, of a holy Widow, and of a holy Nun, which the purchased by her other Vertues.

But I look upon her here as a Widow: and without doing injury to the memory of three others, who were not set forth with so much ad­vantage, and who left lesse light behinde them; We may well place her upon the Stage, and propose her for the pattern of a modest and constant, active and victorious Widow. Her heart by the Death of the King her Husband suffered all that a Heart violently t [...]rn from another, and divided between Grief and Love, could endure. But Reason and Piety prevailed over Grief and Love; and so well ioyned the pieces of this Heart, that a scarre onely remained without weaknesse or under­cencie.

After this secret and domestick Combat sought against two predo­minant [Page 100] passions, and authorized by Nature; she began by the Cares and Duties of a Mother, which was to her more intimate, and of a longer standing then a Regent: and applyed her first thoughts to the education of her Son. Having a designe to make him a Holy, Wise, and Victorious King, she placed about him able Religious men, and of good [...], who seasoned in him the first principles of Piety; Men of busi­nesse and experience who read him lessons of State-affairs, and taught him Policie sutable to the time and practise; Captains and Knights of Reputation, who instructed him in the Science of War, and rendred him one of the most Gallant men at Arms in the whole Kingdom. Passing from thence to the Functions of her Regencie, she began with setling Religion, which ought to be the principle Pillar of a State. And because she was not ignorant that the least Divisions in this Pillar might procure the general destruction of the whole building; and that Conspiracies and Revolts are the ordinary Attendants of Schisms and Heresies, she vigorously endeavoured the reduction of the Albi­genses. Her pains therein found so happy success, as she dissipated the Remnants of this unhappy Sect: And Raymond Earl of Tholouse forced by her Arms, submitted to the Authority of the Church; expiated the Apostacie of his House, and the Rebellion of his Progenitors, made publick satisfaction, and in his shirt, to that Religion which he had so often violated.

These happy successes of a most happy Regency did not hinder the Commotions of some disgusted Princes from shaking the vessel, and indangering it in the midst of a Calm. They did not hate the Princess who governed, she was too amiable, and ruled with too much Pru­dence and Grace: But it vexed them to see the Stern in her hands; and they were willing to take it from her, with a purpose to break it, and to divide it amongst themselves. Noise and Tumult did not astonish the Regent not put her in disorder: she dexterously managed the most tractable, and brought them back by little and little to their duty, she shewed her Sword lifted up to the most perverse and untractable per­sons. And by her Prudence, no lesse then by her Courage, their raised Troops, and plotted Enterprises were reduced to Deputies, and a Con­ference. Force having proved so unsuccessful to them, they resolved to practise Treason, and undertook to carry away the King as he was going to the appointed Assembly at Vandome. But it is a dangerous thing to undertake to steal away a young Eagle from under the Wings of his Mother, and to carry away by force a young Whelp from a Lionesse. Blanch being advertised of their Conspiracie saved the King in the Castle of Mount-le-Hery: and from thence brought him back to Paris with a strong Convoy, and even the sight of the Conspirators, to whom there remained only shame and despite, which are the first punishments of discovered Treasons.

After these appeased Troubles the Duke of Brittany on the one side, and the Earl of Champain on the other, raised with new Charges a new [Page 101] party. Blanch went out the first in the most rigid season of the Year. The heat of her Courage was so great in this War, and her March so speedy and vigorous, that not being to be stayed either by [...] which stopped the most rapid Rivers, nor by the Heavens which poured down Snow, she returned in few Moneths victorious over Winter, Na­ture, and Rebellion. The Earl of Champain was defeated with less Noise, and with gentler Arms. The King being already set forth to chastise him, the Regent got before him, and went to try whether perswasi­ons might prevail without Force. But he yielded neither to perswasi­ons nor Force. They were the Graces which vanquished him; The face of Blanch left nothing to be acted by Reason or Arms, It gained the Victory without Combat; It concluded the Treaty without con­testation or Articles. And the Earl who was come forth a Rebel to the Son, returned back a Slave to the Mother, and a sworn Servant to them both.

All the whole Regency of Blanch was thus powerful. And in the Field as well as in the Closet, in Military no lesse then Civil Enter­prizes, she shewed that her Heart and Head were equally capable of the two parts of Regality: That her Hands were as fit for the Scepter as for the Sword; and that she knew how to govern as efficaciously, as handsomly to overcome. This so lively and beneficial light did not escape the being assaulted with very soul slanders, which fell upon that which ought to be most respected and inviolable in a Woman. But the vapours which arise from the Earth do not darken the Sun, nor hinder it from doing good to the World; and these Obloquies took not away one single Ray from the Vertue of Blanch, nor hindred her from shining and finishing her Course peaceably and with Honour. In fine, to equal also in austerity and submission, such as she had excelled by action and in the Government of affairs, she imbraced like them the profession of a regular life. Thereby the acquired out of the World the Regality of the poor and humble, the Soveraignty of Spirit and interiour Unction. She finished what was wanting to a Queen by adding to that Dignity the Title of Religious. And the Veil which she took was to her a second Crown, which gave a second Lustre and set a new value upon the first.

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MONIME. Femme de Mithridate, se deliure de la tyrannie de la Fortune▪ et [...]

[Page 103]Monima.

YOU have heard of the Rout of Mi­thridates, and of the last part his treacherous Fortune plaid him. This extravagant, after many phantastical prancks, and dayly disorders at last entertained new Loves, leaving him, to bequeath her self to the Romans. She carryed away ather going off, all the favours she had given him: she resumed all her Crowns and Scepters: And of so many Marks of Love, of so many stately Pledges, and glorious Ensignes, she left him onely an impoisoned Ring, to the end his Despair might possesse at least something that was rich; and that a Dia­mond might procure him a more honourable and glorious Death, then a halter could do.

This pernicious Example spread it self thorowout all Asia; and the Infidelity of Fortune was followed with the Revolt of the People. But that which will move Pittie even in Trea­cherous Asia, and would do the like in Fortune if she had any sensible part; that which will be lamented by deserting and Rebellious People, is that Mithridates as jealous of his Wife, as despairing of his Affairs, resolved to depart out of the World, to remain no longer in the power of Fortune; and to take a Course that his Wife might first go out of it, not to leave her behinde in the Hands of his Enemies. This Barba­rous Resolution accompanied with a far more Barbarous Command hapned to be brought to the Queen, by an Eunuch [Page 104] of her Chamber. The Message was delivered solemly and with Ceremonie, with mournful looks, and a Pomp which re­sembled some great Funeral. Monima on the contrary received it with her Festival Countenance, and a Face full of Joy. She likewise adorned her self, and put on all her Jewels to per­form it with the greatest shew and Lustre. As if she had taken this Message for a Defiance of Fortune and Mithridates, she resolved to brave them both, and inform the World, that she had rather be with Death, then alive with Jealous Mithridates, or deceitful Fortune.

Being informed that her Husband carried in an easie and woundlesse Death an impoisoned Ring; she believed that her Diadem might well be as compassionate to her, and render her the like office. And that after the having deprived her of Liberty it might deprive her also of Life. But the Diadem as you see is broken in her hands: You will peradventure be­lieve that Majestie opposeth it self thereunto, and that it con­cerned his Honour not to suffer an Ensigne of Dignity, and a Sacred, and Regal Ornament to become an Instrument of Despair, and a Fatal Core. You will perchance believe that the Graces are come to the Aid of an Innocent and ill treated Grace▪ and have hindred the Pearls which are particularly de­dicated to them from being prophaned by her Death, who is the Glory of their Sex, and the Pearl of Asia. Others will believe, and peradvanture with more probability, that the Di­adem had much of the malice and Spirit of Fortune which wrought it; And that it being made to deprive Monima of Li­berty, it ought rather to break then to bestow it on her. How­ever it were, the Wise and Couragious Queen looks upon the pieces of it with a Countenance where there is lesse of Despair then Contempt, and more of a Philosopher then a Woman. This haughty and becoming Action, mixed with fiercenesse and modesty, hath something I know not what which explains it self more efficaciously then Clamours and Reproaches: And a furious Woman, who should exclaim with open mouth against Fortune, could not do her more Despite, nor so highly reproach her Impotencie.

[Page 105] Surely also the Woman that you see is not a painted Idol, a dainty and voluptuous Barbarian, and Asian fit onely for the Bed and Table. She is a Couragious and knowing Beauty, a severe and Stoical Beauty; A Beauty which lead Philosophie into a Seraglio; which reformed the Riot and Delights of a debauched Court, which preserved amongst the Women and Eunuchs of Asia, the Constancie and Austeritie of the Sages of Greece: Notwithstanding all this, she is commanded to die: In vain do the Vertues and Graces intercede for her; In vain do they appeal from her Husbands barbarous Will; They will not procure it to be cancelled whatsoever they alledg to the contrary: And you see already the poor Queen laid on her Bed, and ready to re­ceive the stroke which was to execute it.

But consider here on the one side the trouble of a brutish and discomposed Soul: And on the other side the calme and serenity of a wise and well instructed Spirit. The Eunuch is affrighted with the cruel Obedience which he is going to ren­der unto his Master. Of his two hands the guilty one which was to give this unhappy Blow, proves weak and feeble, scarce able to bear up the Sword. The other, more innocent is lifted up as if it stood upon its Guard either against some Fantome which threatned it, or against the Lightning which issues forth of Monima's Eyes, and which fills the Chamber with a sudden and new Light. It would be hard to judge whether it be out of Fear or Respect, that he turns away his Head; whether he be affrighted with the Jealousie of his Master, or dazled with the Majestie of his Mistresse; whether he apprehends the being unfaithfull to the one, or impious and Sacrilegious to the other. Monima nevertheless con­firms him, and presents to him her naked Throat. To be­hold the Serenitie of her Countenance, and the sweetnesse of her Eyes, you would take her for a Captive, who flatters her Deliverer, and intreats him speedily to break her Chains. Hence it appears who would be most terrified with the Prick of a Thorn, and who would be lesse bold in gather­ing a Rose.

[Page 106] You are astonished to see so much resolution joyned with so many Graces, and so much Constancie in a Countrey of Riot, and in an Asian Court. Surely also the Graces are sel­dom accompanied with Resolution. Constancie is not the Companion of Riot: And the Vertue of Monima is not borne upon this Stately and Sumptuous Bed where you be­hold her. The Jewels which load as much as they adorn her, neither setled her Minde, nor fortified her Courage. Philo­sophie hath educated and trained her up with her own Hands; and good Books have formed her. They have been her In­structors in her Fathers House: They are her Councellors and Confidents at Court: She hath given them all the Hours which others bestowe on their Looking Glasses and Flatterers: She hath drawn from them that Constancie and Vigour of Spirit, which you behold in her; And even at present she caused them to assemble upon this Table, to be supported by them in this Combat; and to overcome Fortune and Death by their Assistance and in their Sight.

But what Disposition soever she had to die Couragiously and like a Conqueresse; her Despairing VVomen cry out against her Courage, and oppose her Victory. The boldest amongst them put back the Eunuch with her Hand and Voice: She gives him injurious Language, and yet tenders supplications to him. Anger and Pittie speak both at one by her Mouth; and you would say, that either willingly or by force she will obtain from him the Death he prepares for her Mistresse. The rest melt into Tears, and tear their Hair; as if of their torne Hair Ropes were to be made to tye the Hands of Death: And as if by their Tears shed in streams they were able to Ransome their Mistresse; They would like­wise Redeem her with their Blood, if Death would be paid with the Exchange: And if they could either deceive or satis­fie the Jealousie of Mithridates.

They alone were not afflicted at the deplorable end of their Fair and Wise Mistresse. The Vertues and Graces which alwayes attended her, are yet more afflicted at it then they. VVe might behold from hence these Fair afflicted Women, [Page 107] and become Spectators of the Modestie of their Sadnesse, and the Comlinesse of their Tears, if our Eyes were purer, and more accustomed to Spiritual Visions. Fortune her self, who hath composed all this Tragick Scene, cannot look upon her without some kinde of Regret; and I do not doubt but she would make another Catastrophe, and conclude it by a more happy issue, if she could make a Reconciliation with Vertue, and be cured of the Jealousie which he hath of her.

SONNET.

MOnima here dyes; her Jealous King requires
Her presence with him in Hels dark Retires:
Love tears his wings, enrag'd at that Decree,
And Nature curses such Barbaritie.
By her stand sighing the Dischevel'd Graces,
Affrightment pales her waiting Damsels Faces:
Fortune her own revolt can hardly brook,
She crosses and admires her with one look.
Behold the noble Pride that doth possess
This Gallant Heart, a Conquerour no less
Of charming Objects, then of ills that have
The most of Terrour, and doth Fate out-brave.
The Diadem which Fortune had design'd
Wherewith [...]enslave this Heart, which nought can binde,
Is, by it, turnd' into a Cord, to free
It self from Fortunes loath'd Captivity.

ELOGIE OF MONIMA.

MONIMA in a private condition was born a Princesse; and before her bad Fortune had placed a Diademe on her Head, she was crowned by Nature. The title and power of her Regality were seated in her Mind, and on her Face. But it was a Regality without fears and jealousies▪ A Regality free from conspiracies and revolts. Though unarmed and tender by her Sex and Complexion; she was yet more immoveable then the walls of Mileta besieged by Mithridates, more Couragious then his Troups which beleaguered it: and after the Fortune of her Countrey was o­vercome, she vanquished the Victorious. Mileta was taken by force; Monima could not be so, either by force or composition; And amidst the ruines of a pillaged City, she remained alone ungarded, and yet impregnable. Mithrid [...]tes, who could not think himself Victorious, if he did not possess her, caused her to be assaulted by fifteen thousand Crowns: The like Battery would have defeated four Legions, and made a breach into three of the strongest Cittadels in Asia: Monima was not so much as shaken by them; This generous obstinacie com­pleated the conquest over the Assaulter, and perswaded him, that his Crown was not too large for so great a heart, nor too resplendant for so beautifull a Head. He gives over unlawfull pursuits, and sought Mo­nima in the way of Marriage, she consented thereunto through the am­bition of her Kindred; And rather to repair the ruines of her Coun­trey, then to ascend to his Throne. She likewise found there nothing but guilded Nails, and persumed chains, which proved to her a glorious punishment, and a magnificent Bondage.

Some time after, Mithridates overcome by the Romans, and resolved for death, caused his last will to be carried to her, by which he ordai­ned her to go and wait for him in the other World, with assurance that he would presently follow her. This generous Woman accepted this barbarous Testament, with lesse Emotion then she had consented to the contract of her Marriage. And without going farther to seek means to execute it, that she might brave Fortune, who had changed her Palace into a Prison, and her Throne into a Wheel, she resolved to make a cord for her self of her own Diadem. That Regall Ornament which was made to torment the minde, and not to kill the body, being broken between her hands, she tendred her throat to the Eunuchs sword who brought her this news: And her soul went forth Victorious over Fortune, Death, and Mithridates himself, who had done her more mis­chief then either Death, or Fortune.

MORAL REFLECTION.

LEarn of this Woman to discern evils under the painting, and tho­row the masks wherewith they are disguised. Take heed of wish­ing to your self high and splendid Miseries: Beware of running af­ter celebrious and remarkable punishments. We are not scorched but by that which glisters: We fall onely from high places: And Fortune raises onely those upon the Stage whom she hath a minde to torment: You esteem any life wearisome in a private condition, and all dayes seem rainy to you, and all hours clowdy in an obscure and ignoble Fa­mily. Monima would have rather desired to wax old amongst the Lilies and Roses in her Fathers little Garden, then to expose her self to a thousand thorns, and perchance to as many blemishes in the Palace of Mithridates. This Palace was to her a gallant Prison, and her Sove­raignty a specious Yoak. She was inchain'd with her own Diadem, and tormented upon her Throne: And the matter of her glory was the matter of her servitude, and the instrument of her punishment Her bloud retains still a voice and spirit in this Picture; And if you hearken to her Ghost, it will tell you, that your Liberty though obscure and in­commodious, is of more value then the lustre and riches of her Chain; that it would be better for you to be your own Mistress in a Cottage, then to be a slave under a Cloth of State: And that a Turtle is more happy in the Desert, then an Eagle in a guilded Cage.

Learn then from the unfortunate Dignity of Monima, that the hap­piness of Women consists not in those remarkable Pieces, and specious Colours, whereof Fortune composeth great Ladies. It is made up of the tranquillity of the Minde; Of the satisfaction of the Heart, and the repose of Conscience: And the priviledge of sitting in presence of a Queen, contributes nothing to the tranquillity of the Minde, Nor pla­ceth the soul in a better seat. Crowned Coats of Arms, and the Title of a Palace written in golden Letters upon the gate of a House, are not Defences against Adversity, Discords, and the exterminating Angels Canopies of State, and Balisters are not respected by spight and jealou­sie, nor by unquiet Nights, and perplexing Dreams. There is nothing that prohibits evil passions, and detractions, to follow Coaches which have right to enter the Louvre: And commonly the thornes of the Heart spring from the Jewels on the Head; The wounds and ulcers of the Conscience proceed from the trickings and ornaments of the face. In fine, if the Vertues and Graces be for you, do not envie others their good Fortune: And remember, that flowers are more fair and continue longer fresh in Valleys then on Mountains. There is another Consideration to be had upon this History, and because it is curious and pra­cticall▪ The ensuing Question will teach us the speculation and use thereof.

MORAL QUESTION.
Whether it appertains to the dutie of a gallant Woman to expose her Life to satisfie the minde of a Jealous Husband.

IT would be very Inhumane to go about to lay more weight upon the yoak of married Women. It lieth heavy enough already upon their necks and hearts: And if the most Couragious amongst them had not their comforts, they would scarce be able to bear it one hour. It is enough that they have been condemned to obedience and subie­ction, without being still subject to Jealousie: And that an imaginary and barbarous duty, which nature avows not, and which is neither ac­cording to the universall, nor written Law, should oblige them to sa­crifice themselves, as often as it shall please this fantasticall fury. Truly not to speak of other burthens; The condition of Mothers would be harder and more deplorable then was heretofore the con­dition of Children, who were immolated to fiery and sanguinary Idols. And if they owe their bloud and life to the cure of their jealous Hus­bands, there is scarce any so happily married, or so discreet, that three or four times a week, ought not to prepare her self, either for a knife, rope, poison, or precipice.

Extream and expensive Remedies are not for daily Maladies; and there is no Malady so popular and common to weak Spirits as Jealousie: nor is there any infirmity which doth so easily, and at random seiz up­on unsetled brains. There needs but a piece of Ribbon, or a Nosegay, but a word, which signifieth Nothing, but a sigh vented by chance to make a man jealous: And being once so made, he hath visions and ra­ving sits, which exceed the whimsies of frantick people. His minde and thoughts will quarrell with all the Figures in a piece of Tapistry, and will take them for Rivals, that debauch the eyes of his Wife, and court her in silence. If she presents her self before her looking-glasse, he will accuse her very Image of bringing her some message of assigna­tion: And in case she commend but an ancient marble Statue, or look but fixedly on a Picture, it will hinder his sleep. He will even mistrust the prayer Books he shall see in her hands; And when she shall say her Hours, he will beleeve that she reads Love-letters: There will be no Domestique upon whom he will not ground some suspition: And the most faithfull, will in his conceit, be taken either for disguised Gallants, or confidents maintained at his expence.

Would it be just to oblige Women to the Warranty of all these ex­travagancies? And would it not be extreamly cruell, to demand their bloud, to make a Remedy for so fantasticall a Disease? There is then no written Law, nor any Tradition which ordains them to die for their jealous Husbands: But excepting life and conscience, they can have [Page 111] nothing so intimate to their Souls, nothing so fixed to their Hearts, which they ought not to tear from both; be it to prevent Jealousie which might grow, or to cure that which may be already grown.

This they owe first to their Conscience; and to the Evangelical Precept, which ordains them to cut off their Hands and Feet, if they be feet of Offence, and hands of Scandal. I say not that they should cut them off with Saw or Rasor: but by an unbloody and moral in­cision, whereby, without tearing one single Nail, without taking from them one Hair, they deprive them of all the functions, which may occasion a fall. It imports not that these functions be innocent of their own Nature; and that besides there be no evil intervening in­tention to spoil them. Persumes are excellent things; yet Women to whom Persumes are offensive, would not excuse their Husbands indi­scretion, should they take pleasure to torment them with Essences and Spanish Gloves. Let them use as much Justice in the Subject now in question, and let them not conceive themselves innocent before God, when they obstinately persist in torturing their Husbands with Conversations and Customs, which though indifferent and without bad designe, cease not to beget strange convulsions of Minde; and to cause sometimes their Brains even to turn in their Heads.

Secondly it concerns the purity of their Reputation, that they gene­rously rid themselves of all the habits, which make way for suspitions, and may leave any shadow of Jealousie. It is a strange Domestick; It is impossible that it should remain long in a House without causing a great noise and fume. Now this noise bears a part in all Tatlings and detractions: And the same fume which makes the Husbands Head turn round, and fills his mouth with bitternesse, slains also the reputation of the Wife. If she be not esteemed unfaithful, she will at least be ac­counted disobedient: And though of these two blemishes the second be lesse sordid, and savoureth not so ill as the first; yet it is still a ble­mish which sullies; and when Reputation comes to be once sullied on the one side, no great scruple is made to stain it on the other.

But though Women had no Conscience nor Reputation to preserve; yet the very interest of their quiet should be alone prevalent enough to withdraw them from Gossipping. Certainly those small delights where­with they amuse themselves, cost them strange anguishes of Minde; and are followed with very tart reproaches. They bring not a Flower from any suspected Walking-place which becomes not at home a Thorn in their Heart and Head, and very often tormenting Devils approach them in Angelical shapes; They finde a Domestick Hell under an im­broidered Heaven. This implies not that Jealousie doth every where perpetrate murders, and that it alwayes imployes poison, Sword, and halter, yet is there no place where it doth not bite and scratch. It is never without Teeth and Nails; and its Teeth, which cause nothing but pain, are more to be scared then Ropes and Swords, which might give Re­pose in taking away Life.

[Page 112] A Gallant Woman will not insist upon these three Reasons where Interest is more prevalent then Honour: She will passe to the fourth, where Glory is most pure and Vertue is disinterested. What others will do through terrour of Conscience, or to preserve their quiet and good repute: she will do the same upon the sole account of her Hus­bands affection, and out of a Complacencie purely conjugal. There is yet more; and this is the last degree, to which without doubt Women will never ascend in Troops. Her Love being Heroick, and her Complacencie vigorous and Couragious: not only to cure her ap­prehensive Husband, and to remove all the Thorns from his Heart, and all cares out of his Head; She will rid her self of objects, even of the shadow of objects which might nourish these Cares and Thorns. She will even destroy her own Beauty, if he do but suspect it: she will ex­tinguish her Graces, if he mistrust them of holding any intelligence with a Forreign Love: she will dye couragiously, provided she may die innocent, and without staining his hands with her Blood.

Although I have said that Women will not ascend in Troops to this high degree: yet some there are, who have arrived to this Pitch, and gone thither more innocently and couragiously, then Monima, she whom I shall immediately produce will finde few equals. She cannot be placed in too great a light, nor upon too fair a Stage. She cannot have too noble Spectators: and History will never give her so many applauses and Crowns as she deserves.

EXAMPLE.
The Brave Hungarian.

THe Wound which Hungary received at the taking of Seget was great and dangerous: And if God had not reached out his hand, and upheld that Kingdom; it was ready to perish by this wound. The siege was famous by the presence of Solymon the second, who be­gan this last Expedition with five hundred thousand men, and left the finishing of it to his Reputation and Fortune, dying a few dayes before the taking of the place, and almost in the sight of Victory. It was not the Earl of Serins fault, who defended the Town, that Soly­mons Fortune and Reputation died not there with his Person; and that Victory did not abandon him in this Action, and remain to the Christi­ans▪ The Ladies of Seget did what service they could with their Jewels and Pearls which were converted into Money for the pay of the Garri­son: they served also there with their persons. And by a Zeal much bolder then that of the Carthaginians, who gave their hair to make Ropes for Engins of War, they employed their Arms to the repairing of the Walls, and exposed their Heads to the defence of the breaches and Gates.

[Page 113] At the last assault given by the Turks, the Earl of Serin perceiving that the hour of perishing was at hand, resolved to dye most magnifi­cently and in Pomp; and to give Lustre and Reputation to his Death. He [...]ought in an Imbroidered Sute, and with a string of Diamonds tyed about his Hat, having the keyes of the Town fastned to his Scarse, and a hundred Crowns in his Pocket for that Souldier, who should send him to Triumph in Heaven. The History renders this testimony of his Death; that it was a Triumphant and Victorious Death. But though it was victorious; yet it did not equal the Death of a Ladie of Siget, who surpasseth all that is left us of the Memory of Heroick time.

She was a Woman of quality, and one of the fairest: but she was none of those languishing Beauties and without Vigour; of those Beauties which resemble the stars of the North, which have no activity, and shine faintly, and without heat. She was vigorous and bold, yet vigorous with sweetnesse, and bold with a good Grace and Comlinesse. Her Husband who loved her passionately, and even to the degree of Jealousie, scared nothing but her taking in the taking of Siget. The Image of captivated and inchained Hungary, nay of flaming and bloody Hungary was to his apprehension a lesse dreadful apparition, then the Image of his Captive Wife. To rid himself of this Fantome, which followed him every where, and to secure the Honour and Freedom of his Wife, of whom he was more Jealous, then of the Honour of Christianity, and the Liberty of Europe; He resolved to take her out of the World, before the Victorious Turk should enter the City; which was no longer able to resist, and had too good hearts left to yield themselves.

This so Tragick and soul a resolution was no sooner fixed in his Minde, but the slains thereof appeared even in his Eyes and upon his Face: His Wife who was discreet and quick-sighted observed them, and was touched therewith, she pardoned his Jealousie in consideration of his Love: And though she was fully prepared for death, yet she did not desire a death which might make him a Criminal, whom she loved more then her own life. She took him aside and made him un­derstand, that his bad intention could not be hidden from her: She was so dexterous as to draw the confession of it from his own mouth, and upon his Confession she strongly and efficatiously represented to him the infamie which would remain to him from so Barbarous an Act, and the Scandal which he would give to his Age, and leave unto posterity. ‘I confesse said she, that I owe you all my blood; And behold me ready to give it without reserving one drop▪ But have patience till some other come to shed it: Do not fullie your hands with it; stain neither your memory nor your soul there­with: Do not inkindle an eternal fire by it. For my part, I ap­prehend far more Life then Death: and all the Scimiters of the Turks cause in me far less fear, then their most gentle and pretious Chain, were it more sweet and pretious then the Diadem of the Sultanesse. But [Page 114] permit me to die gloriously and with Reputation: Do not dishonour the Repose which you seek, Disparage not your good affection: My Honour is not so desperate, that it cannot be preserved but by a Crime. You think to justifie your self by laying the blame upon Love: You are much mistaken, if you take it for a murderer: Do not put the Dagger into its hands: Do not solicit it to commit a murder; and if you cannot restore it the goods you have received from it, leave it at least its Reputation, and do not envie its Innocencie. An honou­rable Death is not so hard a thing to find in a Town taken by force: There enter enough of them by Gates and Breaches. Let us fallie forth together with Swords in our hands to chuse an illustrious and renowned end. Let it be by fire or sword; let it be short or lasting it imports not; It will be sweet to me, provided I dye a rival to your Va­lour, and not a Victime to your Jealousie.’

Having said this, she caused her self to be compleatly armed, and went out with a Sword in her hand, and a Buckler upon her arm; her Husband followed her, armed with the like weapons, and encouraged by her words and Example, which gave him a second Heart, and a new Spirit. They went on boldly where fire, noise, and danger were greatest. And as soon as they came to the place, where they were to fight between the flaming Fire, and the victorious Army, They shewed by the won­ders which they did, that there is no valour like the valour of despair­ing Love, and of Graces armed in defence of their Honour. After a long and rude fight, they were at last rather overpressed then over­come by a barbarous multitude, irritated by their own losses, and their resistance: And feeling their strength stealing away with their Blood, they gave each other their last imbraces, and fell upon a heap of dead bodies, which had been slain by their Hands. They could not die more sweetly then in the fruition of their mutual Fidelity: They could not have a more magnificent Tomb, then their Arms and Victo­ries. Their souls which imbraced each other as well as their Bodies, could not be severed by Death. And it was believed that God, who is the Author of chast Unions, received them into Heaven in this con­dition, and crowned them with the same Glory.

[Page]

ZENOBIE. Reyne des Palmyreniens, victorieuse des Reys et des Lyons, [...] la chasse et les dresse par sen exemple à la vaillance et à la victorie. [...]

[Page 115]Zenobia.

CONFESSE that this new Spectacle hath surprised you; And that you could not have believed the Graces so Couragious, nor Lovers so Adventu­rous, as to go in chase of Tygers and Lyons. Besides, if it were to the chase of Swans, which are harmonious and amiable, and armed only with feathers: If it were to the chase of Bees, which have nothing but honey in their bodies, and respect Innocents and Virgins: the party would be lesse unequal, and the divertisment lesse hazardous and rash. Beauty which is the Mother of the Graces, and Loves goeth also sometimes a hunting; But it is onely to the chase of Eyes and Hearts, which have neither teeth nor nails, and can neither bite nor scratch: And now adayes the chil­dren of this Mother have the boldness to hunt Tygers and Lyons.

But shew no fear for them; they are accompanied by Ze­nobia, who yesterday gave chase to the Roman Eagles, which are more dreadfull and furious Beasts, then Lyons and Tygers. Yes, she whom you see hunting there so gallantly, and with so gracefull a boldnesse, is the famous Zenobia Queen of the Pal­myrenians, who lately gave Chase to the Roman Eagles: And by the defeat of the Imperiall Army, secured to her self the Conquest of Egypt. So glorious and painfull a Chase well de­served that peace and divertisments should succeed. But this generous Woman hath not learn'd to refresh her self like o­thers [Page 116] in her Closet and under a Canopy of State. Her very re­pose is Active and Heroick: and her divertisments ars dange­rous Combats, and essayes of Victories.

You may approach without danger, and contribute at least with your eyes to the noblest Chase which was ever given. It is not like those which are practised in the Amphiaters of Rome, where captive Beasts are chased by captive Men▪ There is no­thing here which is not Glorious and Noble; They are Sove­raignes that chase, and are chased: And that which is yet more wonderfull, Lovers are here bold, and the Graces adventerous and dreadfull. Beauty indeed was heretofore seen armed; but it was rather for shew then a Combat: And her weapons were as little dangerous, as the prickets which Roses bear. Zenobia was not content with furnishing her with Arms; she made her warlike, and taught her all serious and practick Combats.

Consider with what boldnesse she attaqu's this Lyon. It appears by her countenance that she takes this danger for a pa­stime of her Courage. The fiercenesse you see in her is not a fiercenesse of any trouble or emotion: It is a demonstration of courage, and a tincture of boldnesse spread upon her face: It is a valour of countenance, and a Meene of Combat: It is a manly and military Grace: It is a tart sweetnesse, which plea­singly affrights which begets at once both fear and love. But Zenobia imployes not here any thing of this tartness; she re­serves it for other occasions, when she is to grapple with Consuls and Kings. This Chase is to her but a meer divertisment: And her heart could not be more calme▪ nor her face more se­rene, had she been to deal only with Beasts in a painted Cloth.

Her Horse couragious by Nature, and proud of the fair burthen he bears, casts forth his feet as if he meant to give the first stroak, and anticipate the Javelin which is ready to part from the Princesses hand. The chased Lyon prepares to receive them both: And he was even ready to have cast himself upon Zenobia; but the lightnings which her heart and spirit dart in­to his eyes, the flaming of those feathers which dance about her head, and the jewels wherewith she is adorned making her ap­pear like a flaming fire, he looks upon her with an irresolute [Page 117] Anger mixt with Fear: And you would say beholding his posture, that he deliberates between the dazling brightnesse, and the threatning Javelin.

Disquiet not your self, and abandon the fear you expresse to have of Zenobia; she is accustomed to overcome all sorts of Enemies; and if she should fail of her stroke, Araspes who is present with a sword in his Hand to second her, would have Courage enough to draw upon himself the danger and Fury of the Beast. He could not be worse treated by him, then he is by his own Love, which exposeth him to a thousand cares and vexations, tearing him in pieces without teeth or nails. Like­wise the most frightful instruments, and the greatest wounds do not alwayes cause the greatest Torments. Such as delivered up their Slaves to Lions, were lesse cruel then he that com­manded his own to be cast amongst Lampryes; and it were better to be crushed in pieces by an Elephant, then to be gnawn by Rats, or eaten up by Flies.

This poor Prince Zenobia's Prisoner, even a Prisoner with­out Chains and Manacles, is come from a remote Countrey to offer her his Person with his Kingdom. But he assaults a place too well provided: and though a Scepter and a Throne be powerful Engines; yet in vain will he bend the forces of his Throne and Scepter against her. The Heart of Zenobia is too well fortified against all sorts of second affections: The Name and Image of Odenatus leaves no place empty there: And surely she will not violate the Vow of VVidowhood which she made to his Ghost and Memory. Eraspes is in Despair of her, as you see; yet his Despair is respectful, and accompanied with esteem: And he loves better Zenobia generous and inflexible, then he would do Zenobia base and yeelding. Observe his Respect in his very looks, his Despair by his Palenesse, and the fire of his Heart under the Ashes of his Face. See how he suspends his Address and Courage before his Conqueresse: He will leave her all the Glory of the Chase: And looking on her with imploring eyes, he demands of her for himself, the same fair Death she prepares for the Lion: and intreats her to do that favour at one stroke to them both. But she was satis­fied [Page 118] in having wounded him with her eyes, without under­taking to wound him by her hand. And so far was she from taking away his life, that she was ready to have given him his Liberty, and reduced him to himself, if he would have em­brac'd it.

As for this stately Beast, he will carry no further either his Liberty or Life: And in recompence of them both he will have the Glory to be overcome by the same Arm, which Ye­sterday vanquished the Roman Eagles. Her two sons who stand by her, intend to share in her Victory, and finish with their Bowes what she is going to begin with her Javelin, It is not requisite that I shew them to you to make them known. Their Beautiful and Couragious Mother is so to the Life upon their Faces and in their Actions, as there are no Eyes so bad which do not suddenly discern, that these two lovely Coppies come from this fair Original. You will remain astonished to behold in them so great Courage in so tender an Age; if you consider that they are born of an Heroess, who possesseth all the Graces of her Sex, and all the Vertues of ours. Her active and contagious Courage is not only communicated to her chil­dren, who grow warlike by hunting, and learn by practising on Lions to vanquish Kings: But it animates her whole Fa­mily, and inspires all her domesticks: And her House repre­sents no lesse the Court of a Queen, then the Camp of a Con­queresse. The most usual and chief imployment of her Do­mesticks is to fight and overcome. Her very Daughters be­come valiant by her Example, and have the Generosity of Amazons, wearing their habits, and executing their Fun­ctions.

They stay to hunt in the neighbouring Wood: And from hence you might have the pleasure of their Chace; you might be Spectators of their Boldnesse and Activity, if the Trees did not hinder your sight. Behold three of the boldest and most diligent about the Queen, who undertake to set upon a Tyger, which she had wounded in passing by. But he is no longer in a condition either of saving or defending himself. The Arrow hath pierced his shoulder, and whether he received with it [Page 119] some Charms from the hand that sent it, or whether these Cu­pids which binde him with strings of Myrrhe, have deprived him of his Natural fierceness; It seems that his Wound af­fords him more Glory then it gives him pain. You would say that one single stroke doth not suffice him: and that he expects to dye from more then one hand; and to do Honour by his Death unto more then one Grace. And had there been some se­cret attractive in these shafts, had the Cupids that binde him drawn them out of their Quivers, and lent them to these Hun­tresses he could not expose himself to their strokes with more Cheerfulnesse and Delight.

SONNET.

WIth armed hand, with brow where lightning springs,
After defeats of Consuls and of Kings;
Zenobia, in this Wood, her self will grace
With the wilde Triumph of a dangerous Chase.
The Flames of Courage which her Eyes do shoot,
By Charm, or [...]we, render the Lion mute;
Who vanquish'd without fight, doubts which to try,
A noble Death, or noble Slavery.
Careless Spectators, from the like surprise
Defend your selves, since from these conquering Eyes
Are sent such fires and shafts as though no sound
Is by them made, do make a mortal Wound.
They have been practis'd in the chase of hearts:
And if yours be not wing'd, to flye their Darts,
They easily may in this stout Lions steed
Be either taken or be made to bleed.

ELOGIE OF ZENOBIA.

ZENOBIA, who hunts Lyons and Tygers in this [...] makes warre also at present against all Asia in this Histo­ry: And in all places where her memory is mentioned, we see Towns taken either by force, Armies defeated, of Crowns acquired. She was of the Race of the Ptolo [...], and descended from Cleopatra, whose Beauty, Spirit, and Magnificence she inherited. Besides these qualities of succession and hereditary Graces, she had acquired Vertues; and she was of her self Modest, Couragious, Eloquent, and Warlike. Her Beauty, to behold it in the Pictures which Historians have left thereof, was a [...] and Military, an Active and Commanding Beauty: And her Heroick Statute, her confident Meene, her stately and bold Grace, her spark­ling and flaming Eyes, and all her Exteriour, like that which Pain [...] ascribe to Vertue and Victory, was to her as a specious Dignity, and a certain pleasing and becomming Authority, which perswaded without speaking, and subjected souls by the sight.

So perfect a Body was inhabited by a more perfect Soul, which [...] ­sembled a fair Intelligence in a beautifull Planet. She was very ex­pert in the knowledge of Princes, and private Men, in Policy, and is the Military Art: She possessed both pleasing and profitable [...] She was so well read in the History of the East, as she her self composed brief Annals of it: And thereby also she equalled the glory of these Conquerours who were no lesse renowned by the Pen then the Sword, and who at night wrote down in their Tents, what they had [...] day in the Field. The Cabinets of Cleopatra, in which there were Jewels enough for four Crowns, could not have enough to honour [...] History. She deserved respect from the most injurious time. And if there be, as they say, a Genius Guardian of Books, and a [...] of Learning, Let us avow that he hath very ill discharged his [...], in having saved either the true or forged Epistles of the Tyrant [...], in having conserved the impure Visions of [...] and the [...] Dreams of Apulci [...]s, and done nothing to preserve this glorious Monu­ment of the Wit and Eloquence of Zenobia.

In all times malicious and jealous persons have given out, that there was no good correspondence between the Graces and Vertues; And that very rarely, the Fair and Learned were Chast and Modest: Zenobia hath given the lie to these spitefull and distrustfull people: And the Roman Historians, who for reason of State, have more sullied the repu­tation of Cleopatra, then the Sunne of Egypt had blacked her face, did never intrench upon the honour of her Progeny. She was a chaster Wi [...]e then the most part of their Vestals were chast Virgins. As soon as she suspected her self to be with Childe, she declared her self a Widow until she was delivered: And though in this manner she every yeer took [Page 121] upon her a Widowhood of nine moneths during her Husbands Life; yet after his death she could never perswade her self that she was a Widow. [...] lived still in her thoughts; and his Bodie having been ravished from her by the Crime of one of her kindred, she remained [...] married to his Name and Memorie.

[...] also and pleasure, which are the Incendiaries of dishonest Love, were not of her Court, nor had any accesse about her. War and hunting took up her whole time, and were all her divertisments. And when there were to Kings to overcome, nor Towns to besiege, she went unto the Woods to fight with wilde Beasts, and to enter by force into their [...] and Caves. During the Life of [...], she waged War against the Persians for the Romans: and after his Death she made War of her self against the Egyptians and the Romans themselves. She marched in the Head of her Troops, alwayes the first in fight, and the last in the [...]. Her eyes were the Common fire of her Camp: the most effe­ [...]e there warmed themselves, and drew vigour and Courage from [...]. And when she made any speech in the day of Battel, she left nothing to be effected by Clarions and Trumpets.

Her designes were no lesse vast, nor lesse elevated then those of her Grandmother Cleopatra, who prepared a Yoke and Chains for the Gods of the Capitol; and had the Ambition to have Consuls for her [...], and to be attended by Captive Dictators. She thought like Cleo­patra to make her self the Commandresse of all the Grandees of the [...]: and undoubtedly she would have carried her Arms even to [...] self, and shared the Empire with Victoria, who was another [...] Princesse of the West; if Fortune, jealous of her Honour, had not with [...] and all the Forces of the Empire come against her. [...], she could not be but half defeated, and by Composition: And [...] rather triumphed over by her a Treaty, then by a just Victory. [...] Triumph was also followed by the Triumph of his Captive, who [...] in her turn. He had but half overcome, and with much [...], the Valour of the Mother: the Beauty of the Daughter van­quished him totally and without Trouble; and having at length [...], as some Authors affirm, [...] had the satisfaction to see her [...] upon the Throne of Caesars, and her Image adored at Rome.

MORAL REFLECTION.

IT is great Pittie that so eminent a Generosity, so Heroick a Con­stancie, so invincible a Chastity, so modest Graces, so many Vertues of Peace and War should be damned: And that Zenobia the Cou­ragious, the Temperate and Chast, should finde as bad an Eternity as Messaline the dissolute and incontinent. But how should we help it? Heathen Vertues, what Beauty soever they have, how well adorned so­ever they be, are in fine but foolish Virgins. The Heavenly Bridegroom knows them not: and what supplications soever they present at the gate of his Palace, it will never be opened to them. If Chastity, Temperance, Modesty, and Fidelity, which shall not come to him with full and light­ed Lamps, and shall not be presented to him by Faith and Charity, will not be admitted to these Nuptials. If there be no place there for temperate, and modest Heathen Women, who had no warning to pre­pare their Lamps, and to follow these lovely Guides to the Bride­groom; what will become of the licentious and debauched Christian Women, who have broken their Lamps, contemned, and rejected their Guides? Certainly if it be written that penitent Nineve shall condemn incorrigible Jerusalem; it is much to be feared that the gallant Zenobia, and other Vertuous Heathens shall rise up in the day of Judgement to give Testimony against our Ladies, who refute their belief by their course of life: who condemn by their Wantonnesse and excesse, the force of Christianity, and the Austerity of the Gospel; who had ra­ther lose eternal Crowns, then part with little flowers half perished, serving only to infect them with their ill odour, and to prick them with their thorns.

MORAL QUESTION.
Whether Women be capable of Military Vertues?

I Dispute not here against the general practise; nor pretend by pri­vate authority to discard an Immemorial Discipline, and a policie as antient as Nature. Lesse also is it my designe to publish an edict by which all Women should be summoned to War. They ought to keep themselves to the distribution which Nature and the Laws have made, and Custome received; and to content themselves with that part which hath been assigned them in oeconomie and houshold affairs. I say only, that this common Right which deprived them of Arms, hath not rob'd them of Courage, nor cut off their Hands; that military Ver­tues are neither too unwieldy nor too harsh for them: And if it were the [Page 123] good pleasure of Custome, valiant and victorious Women would not be ranked amongst the prodigies of their Sex. The Number of them would be as great, and the Examples as common as of Wi [...]e and Chast Women.

First, the Heart is the essential part of Gallant and Valiant Men: It is the Heart which begins all assaults and Combats; which gives the first Charge, and comes off the last: and it cannot be denyed that a Womans Heart is as vigorous, and of as good a temper as that of a Man; if we consider that it was made by the same Hand, and formed of the same matter. And there is some ground to believe, that it may be more vigorous and of a better Temper: if we remember that the first Wo­man was made of a matter already solid, and which had need of soft­ning. Moreover as Steel what hardness soever it received from Nature, cannot be formed into the iron of a Lance nor into a Sword unlesse it be softned: so Courage is gross and material, immoveable and unactive, before it be sharpned: And Choler according to the saying of the Philosopher, must be whetted that it may become Valour and service­able for War. Now it is certain and experience shews it, that this Choler which excites Courage, and gives it the title of Valour, is more quick and sudden in Women then Men: And consequently if Custom hath deprived them of acquired and habitual Valour, it hath not taken from them Natural Valour, and that Spirit of Choler which is a com­bating Spirit, and the last tincture of that Humour which produces Gallant Men.

Some will oppose to me here the delicacie of their complexion, and the tenderness of their Temper. It will be demanded of me what reckoning will be made of such a Hand as may be hurt by an ill sowen Glove, or an ill polished Ring? Of such a Head as sweats under silk, and bows under a soft Pillow? Of such a Bodie as may be pierced through by a Beam of the Sun, and be beaten down by a single Hail­stone: To this one may answer; first, that this Weakness proceeds from the ill Education of Women and not from their temper: And Plato observes very judiciously to this purpose, that if the excesse of Hu­midity, which allayes their Vigour, and renders them more tender then Men, were dried up by moderate exercise; their Complexion being reduced thereby to a more just and exact quality then ours; their Bo­dies would become by that means stronger and more active, and have a more free and lasting motion. Whereupon, that I may not seem to vent a Proposition at random and without proof, he makes us observe, that among all the Species of Animals of prey, the Females have the swiftest pace and the strongest flight, and sight more couragiously, and with more vigour then the Males.

In the second place we must answer, that valour doth not require Arms of Steel, nor Hands of Iron: That the antient Hero's were not brazen Statues: that they were not all of the Complexion of that fa­mous Grecian, who wrastsed against the greatest Chains: And that [Page 124] even in these dayes men dryed up by the Sun, and hardned by Frost, are not the Persons who gain victories. Let us adde for a third answer, that tendernesse is not so timerous as they make it, nor so incompatible with Valour. Roses which are so Beautiful grow compleatly armed, and though tender forbear not to prick. Bees which live within the Honey Comb, and are sed by the Spirit of Flowers, have stings and wage war. The Holy Scripture makes mention of a Dove which was no lesse formidable then Eagles: And not to go so far, the Heart it self, which is the scat of Valour, is the most tender part of the Body: It is composed of flesh without Nerves, and Bones; hath neither Teeth nor Nails to fortifie it. There may well then be generous Spirits and vigo­rous Souls in tender Bodies, as there are good swords in Velvet Scab­bards, as victorious Hands are seen in persumed Gloves; as Conque­rors are lodged in painted and guilded Tents.

That if it be necessary to support reason by experience, and to make History speak for Philosophie; it will produce from all Ages whole Armies of couragious and warlike Women; Women Conqueresses and victorious over men; even the most gallant and valiant amongst men. That famous Cyrus, who deserved the Name of great by the great­ness of his exploits, was defeated by Thamaris Queen of Scythia: And the Scythiaus themselves who were all born Souldiers, and had no other Countrey nor Houses then a Camp and Tents, were overcome by the Amazons. That famous Semiramis to whom a Prophet gave the Name of Dove, was indeed a Dove in her Closet, even a voluptuous and per­fumed Dove, but a victorious Eagle in the Field: And in her time Asia had no King out of whose hands she wrested not the Scepter, and from whose head she snatched not the Crown. Bund [...]va was another Eagle, to usefull the same Phrase, but a Northern Eagle, who in several Battels vanquished the Roman Eagles; and intended to chase them out of England▪ Zenobia, whose Picture I have newly given you, did not treat them more gently in Egypt and Persia: and the Commanders of Nati­tions and the Conquerors of the World were necessitated to come to composition in point of Victory with a Woman.

France hath had Amazons as well as Scythia and other Countreyes be­yond the seas; And to defer to another time the Maid of Orleans, whose Valour came to her by Inspiration and Miracle; not to produce here a [...] L [...]sse who drove the Flemmgs out of Amreus; and forced out of their Hands a Town taken, and a victory gained: not to speak of the boldness wherewith the Ladies of Be [...]ais repulsed the Hugonots during the Civil Wars of France: The memory remains still fresh of the late Siege of C [...]brey, and of the Heroick Courage, which the Wife of the Marshal of Balagus shewed there to the general astonishment of all those that beheld her upon this Stage. She assisted in all Military du­ties, she visited the Sentinels and the Courts of Guard; she made Speeches upon the Bulwarks, she gave Life to their Labours by her Presence and Example. And if betimes she had known how to gain the [Page 125] Hearts of the Inhabitants; the Head of Count Fue [...]tes, and all the Arms of his Camp would have unprofitably wearied themselves at this Siege. She was likewise of the House of Amboise; and the Name of Amboise, is a Name of valiant Men and Women. The Race is couragi­ous and full of Heroick Spirits in all the Branches thereof. It resembles that of Palms, whose Females are as vigorous as the Males, and as fit for Victories and Triumphs. And besides now that we have War with Spain, if some Count Fuenutes should present himself before [...]resie, he would not indeed finde there the Courage and Magnanimity of the Marshal of Baligni's Wife to be cruel and haughty, but a Valour accompanied with sweetnesse, and a civilized and gentle Magnanimity, mixed with armed and liberal Graces. And assuredly this mixture of sweetness and courage, and this conjunction of Arms and Liberalities in the Gover­ness could not be the least strong piece of the Cittadel.

But it is not necessary to inroll here all the gallant Women, who have made Beauty warlike, and armed the Graces. The Princess whom I am going to produce will finish the convincing of those who place va­liant Women amongst Monsters: And who believe that a Cask and Plumes of Feathers upon a Womans Head, make no less a Prodigie then heretofore the Snakes did upon the Head of Medusa.

EXAMPLE.
Joan of Flanders, Countess of Montfort.

EAgles whatsoever they do are still Eagles: And whether they sport in the Air, or have any thing in Chase, they sport with Vi­gour, and chase couragiously and with vehemency. Joan Countess of Mountfort, and Daughter to Lewis Earl of Flanders, was one of these ever generous and bold Eagles. Her whole Life was a perpetual War­fare, or a continual preparation to it. Her first divertisments were la­borious and manly: And at the Age when Maids begin to see the World to go to Bals, and shew themselves at publick Meetings; she began to learn the riding of great Horses, running at Tilt and fighting at Banners.

She learnt all these Exercises without forgetting the Bashfulness of her Sex, without taking off from sweetness or discomposing Graces: And there was alwayes upon her Face, and in all her Actions, a mixture of Beauty and Valour; a tincture mingled with Boldness and Modesty, and a certain Air like that of Minerva, drawn by the antient Painter, who was armed and yet appeared a Virgin. Her Valour likewise was not a Valour for Carrousels and Turnaments: and her Gallantry was not painted and specious. From counterfeit VVars and Chamber Com­bats, she passed to real VVars, and Field Encounters: she was present at Sieges and Naval Battels: she gained all kindes of Victories, and merited all sorts of Crowns.

[Page 126] Joan Duke of Brittany dying without Children, left to the Earl of Mountfort, and Charls of Blois the strife about Succession. The Earl be­gan the pursuit of his right by a seizure: and assisted by the VVit and courage of the Countess his Wife, partly by Force, and partly by dex­tetity, he gained the most considerable places of the Province. Charls prevented by what was done, had recourse to the Court of Peers and to the protection of the King, whose Neece he had married. The Court adjudged the difference about succession in his Favour: And the King committed the Execution of the Decree to his Son the Duke of Nor­mandy, sending him with an Army into Brittany. After the reduction of some Places, the Earl of Montfort was taken at Nants, and sent Prisoner to Paris, where he dyed in the Tower of the Lo [...]er.

This fall of the Count must evidently occasion the Ruine of his Countesse, As they say, the Death of the Male Palm is followed by that of the Female; But all Loves are not of the same complexion, nor subject to the same Symptomes. The generous Widow remained unshaken between her Husbands Death, which lay extreamly heavy on her heart, and the war he left upon her shoulders: And it was a hard task for a Widow to stand out against all France, her Enemie and in Arms. She visited in Person all the Towns of her Party: she setled the affrigh­ted people, and confirmed the wavering Garrisons: she gained noble souls by her Caresses, and the mercenary by presents, And by her Ex­ample infused courage into the one, and fidelity into the other.

Afterwards the War being reinkindled by the first ray of the spring: And the City of Rennes, after some assaults, being rendred to Charles of Bloi [...], notwithstanding the resistance of William of Cad [...]vilal who com­manded there; the French Armies marched to besiege Henebond, to which place the Countesse betook her self with her choisest friends: She manfully sustained the siege, and served there with her whole Person: She acted no lesse with her armes then with her heart and head; And she alone was of more use then many Souldiers and Captains. She gave out Orders, and was the first in executing the Orders given: She made one in all the Sallies, and assisted at all the Assaults. And when she ascended upon the walls, and went through the streets mounted on a warlike horse and compleatly armed, the lightning of her eyes and the fire of her heart spread upon her face, and this Valour of carriage and coun­tenance which reinforc'd her Beauty, and gave it a quicknesse, did encourage the most scarful, and awaked the most drowsie and faint-hearted.

One day, when the Besiegers equally irritated by her resistance, and their own losses come to a general Assault, the Couragious Princesse having for defence set in order all her people, even her Women and Maids, whom her example had made warlike, ascended unto the top of a Tower to discover the state of the sight: And as soon as shee dis­cerned that none but servants were left for the Guard of the Camp; she came down from the Tower, took Horse and Sallying forth by a Po­sterne [Page 127] Gate in the head of three hundred Cuirassiers she fired the Ene­mies Quarters. The smoak and flame called them quickly back to the defence of their Tents and Baggage. The Countesse having done her work, made a Gallant Retreat in the sight of her Pursuers: And the wayes of Herel [...]and being shut up, she got with her Party into Aulroy. The besieged were five dayes without hearing any tidings of her: Meanwhile she made up five hundred Horse: And the sixth day very early in the morning she presented her self before the face of the Camp: She forced all that she found in her way, and entred the City with a great sound of Trumpets: Victory her self could not enter more Gloriously, not be received with more joy.

It was not onely her work to resist Force and Engins rais'd against the Walls, but the was to defend her self against Stratageins, and to contest with those artifices which slack the courage of her people, and debauch them from her service. But in fine, her Prudence, her Dexterity, and the Eloquence of her intreaties accompanied with her presents, stayed them till the arrival of the English succours which raised this first Siege. She procured afterwards a Cessation of Arms, which gave her time to passe over into England, and in Person to sollicite new aids. Magnifi­cence, Civility, and all the Graces asked them in her behalf, and caused them to be Imbarked: Her Valour and Fortune preserued them at Sea, and rendred them Victorious in Britany.

The Naval Army of Charles of Blois having set upon her before the Islands of Garnsey, the manifested that her Valour was for both Ele­ments: and that she had as good a Heart, and as solid a Head in a ship, as upon a Bulwark and in [...]renches. She fought all the day with a Sword in her Hand, under a storm of Iron and Fire, and amongst many dead Bodies of different forms and all of them frightful enough. Neverthe­lesse she did neither sink under Iron nor Fire: she beheld with a sted­saft Eye all the shapes of these bloody and gastly dead Corps: And though they had been more terrible and in greater numbers, she would not have sailed to carry away the Victory in the midst of them, if the Night and Tempest which intervened had not taken it out of her hands. As soon as she landed with her Troops, she marched directly to Vanues, and began the War afresh by besieging this Place. Her presence and Example proved the two strongest Instruments wherewith the Walls were beaten down. And the Town at last being taken by Force after several assaults, in which she sought both with Voice and Hand, she made her entry on horseback, and like a Conqueress.

If I were to follow this Victorious Woman in all occasions, and in all the fights at which she was present; I should write here a History of ma­ny yeers: It sufficeth to say for conclusion, that after divers Sieges and Battels, she placed the Crown upon her Sons' head. And if she had lived in an Age of Statues and triumphant Arches, she would still triumph in Marble and Brass, upon all the Gates and publick Places of all the Cities in Brittany, as she still sights and will fight eternally in our History.

[Page]LVCRECE [...] par Tarquin, laue son malheur et sa reputation de son propre [...] la liberté Romaine et a la Republique. [...].

[Page 1]The Gallant Roman Women.

Lucrecia.

HOw dangerous a Good is Beauty! how difficult is it to keep! and to what strange Adventures is it exposed! I know not whether the danger would be so great to have the keeping of a sa­vage Beast in ones house, as to harbour a hand­som woman: or whether the Graces, I say the modest and chaste Graces, are not more to be feared, then irritated For­tune become an Enemy: Lions at least have intervals of Innocence; they bite but till their hunger is satisfied: and there are some Feasts which bad Fortune celebrates: there are days of Truce for those whom she persecutes. Beauty knows none of those days of Truce, nor those intervals of In­nocency. Her very Complacences are dangerous, and her Repose is to be feared. And to the end you may know that it is not only a debauched and licentious Beauty which is de­structive, that of Lucrecia ruined Tarqu [...]n: And Lucrecia her self, who was so severe to her own Beauty, and kept it so watchfully, and under so great restraint, happens to be newly murthered by it.

You may have peradventure heard of the undiscreet gal­lantry of those Princes who are in the Camp of Ardea. The [Page 2] other day they entred into discourse concerning the merit of their VVives, and every one giving the prize to his own, it was resolved that the Eyes should be chosen Iudges of this difference: without adjourning the agreement to the next day, they all took horse together, and rid Post to Rome and Collatia. It is said that all the voices were for Lucrecia: she gained unhappily an advantage, which she did not dispute: and this unfortunate and fatal Purchase cost her the loss of her Honour and Life. Young Tarquin of his own Nature Arrogant and full of Pride, and inheriting from his Father the name of Proud, being returned to Collatia, and received by Lucrecia as her Husbands Friend, came with a Sword in his hand to surprize her in Bed, and offered her a Violence which surpasses the Title of Proud and Tyrant. I will not ac­quaint you with the particulars of this Attempt, but only say, that by break of day the poor VVoman, grown desperate in her Misfortune, sent in all haste for her Husband Collatin, and Lucrecius her good Father; They being come, with Bru­tus and Valerius their intimate Friends, she with Tears related to them the sad Accident of her violated Chastity: and ha­ving engaged them by Oath to Revenge it, she on a sudden, preventing their Excuses and foresight of her Intention, struck her self to the Heart with a Dagger which she kept hid under her Gown. Behold the last Act of this funestous Tragedy; which will perchance have yet more sad sequels: and you are come very seasonably to receive the last sights of the first Roman Heroesse.

She gave her self but one blow, and all that were present received it. A stream of blood ran from Lucrecia's VVound: Streams of Tears flowed from her Husbands and Fathers VVound: And of these tvvo sorts of VVounds, I know not which is the deepest and most painfull. I know not whether the blood comes more from the Center of the heart, or whe­ther it slides away with more resentment, then the tears. How­ever it were, Lucrecia appears well satisfied with the stroke she newly gave her self. You would say that with her blood there issues forth something, I know not what, that is lumi­nous, [Page 3] and clears the dark clouds which the shame of the last night had left in her eyes, and on her brow. You would say that her Innocence and purity of heart are seen through her wound: and her wound is to her, as it were, a new mouth, which cals upon the eyes, and perswades in silence. Do you hear what this mouth, eloquent without noise, and perswasive without words, uttereth: It protests against the outrages and tiranny of the Tarquins: it implores the revenge of Gods and Men, and doubtless it will obtain it from them both, and obtain it by the voice of her blood, which is cou­ragious and bold, which is animated with indignation and justice, which is full of a Roman spirit and vertue.

There is nothing seen effeminate or weak in her person; nothing which is not either a proof of her innocence, or a mark of her courage: And though there were no other testi­mony for her, yet her justification is clear and manifest in her looks, in the ayr of her face and countenance. The tin­cture of vertue is not there a superficial painting, and an ad­dition of art; it is there interiour and natural: it hath been still entertained by the effusions of her heart, and the [...]ayes of her soul: And now that her soul hath abandoned it, and that her heart pours it self out through her wound, this fair tincture resists still the colour of death, which effaces all the rest; you will not believe that I say too much, if I aver that it would neither submit to the stain of vice, nor to the dye of impudence.

You may have seen bashfulness elsewhere: All honest wo­men have this tincture, and the brown should have it as well as the fair. You may have also observed modesty elsewhere; it is a natural ornament, and no costly dress, which may be used by rich and poor. But perhaps you may have never seen but upon this face a couragious bashfulness, and a vigo­rous and heightned modesty. This temper belongs to the ancient Heroesses, who armed the Graces, and led them forth to the wars. Those of Lucrecia, though not warlike, appear not less bold; and her beauty, though brought up in the shade, and under a veil, hath no less vigour or courage.

[Page 4] Nevertheless this powerfull and couragious beauty begins to decay, and these wounded Graces will quickly expire one after another. Mean while it is apparent that the loss of their Honour doth more disorder them, and is more sensible to them then the loss of life. Their shame is still fresh and en­tire, and fear is not yet come upon them. Their blushes do not vanish, though their spirits steal away with their blood; and before they die of their wound, they will expire with re­gret, for having complyed with the last nights crime, though they then assisted without being seen, and by meer con­straint.

Collatin, who had the greatest loss by this accident, seems the most afflicted: He supports Lucrecia, who sinks between his arms; and he himself would need anothers arms, if he were not sustained by wrath, which came to the succour of his heart, and inflamed his countenance. Seised as he was with wrath and grief, indignation and pitty, he could not express himself but by his eyes; and his tears, since his voice failed him, bid unto Lucrecia the last adieu, and confirm to her the good opinion he had of her Innocence.

To this discourse of tears, Lucrecia makes answer with blood, and sighs: She casts down her eyes upon her wound, as if she meant to give a sign to Collatin to behold at least her naked heart through this gaping wound. I believe that the last motion of her lips is an oath, whereby she assures him that he shall find it free from the stains of her body; that he shall meet there with no other image then his own, nor any print of a forraign flame: and that if there remain still any ashes of it, they are the ashes of a lawfull fire, which he alone hath inkindled, and which is no less pure then the sacred fire of the Vestals. Though there be nothing but spirit and breath in this oath, yet it is understood by Collatin, who makes the like protestation of fidelity for the future. But it is only exprest in tears and sighs, he hath forgotten all other terms: And Lucrecia, who yet well understands them, ac­cepts the protestation of his eyes, and consigns it to her soul, which carries it with joy to the other world.

[Page 5] Brutus, who stands by, makes a third protestation, which is of a different form, and will not be accomplished but with fire and sword. The countenance you behold in him is not his ordinary meen: The language he speaks is new to him, and without doubt the Genius of Rome hapening to be pre­sent at this action, appeared to him, and inspired him to the full. It is from his light this Romans eyes are ardent, and his whole face as flaming fire: It is with his spirit he is possessed, and they are his words which issue forth of his mouth. VVith one hand he holds the bloody Dagger which he but newly drew forth of Lucrecia's wound, and seems to of­fer it as a sacrifice to the Genius that speaks to him; the other he lifts to Heaven; and accompanying with his voice and fire, the voice and smoke of the chaste blood, which distils from the fatall Dagger, he vows to the Gods and his Coun­try the ruin of the Tarquins, and the extirpation of Sove­raignty.

This new fire stayes not with him: it passes to Valerius and Lucrecius the Father: It dryes up the tears upon their Cheeks, and sadness in their hearts, and inkindles in place thereof an anger, which is yet but a particular and domestick fire, and such an one as will soon set Rome and all Italy in an univer­sall flame. These two grave Senators confirm by their ge­sture and countenance the same oath which Brutus takes: Their fiery eys and their faces grown young again, by a heat unknown to their age, swear in the same form to extirpate the Tarquins. Col [...]atin dazled with his affliction and loss, doth not mind what they do; but when he shall return out of this amazement, he will mingle his zeal with theirs: And all four consecrating themselves to liberty and revenge, by touching that blood which this woman gathers up, they joyntly renewed their vow to Lucrecia's Ghost. And Lucre­cia will be hereafter, next unto liberty and vertue, their Do­mestick Divinity, and the principall Religion of their Fa­milies.

SONNET.
LUCRECIA speaks.

ALL Nations know my Tragedy; I find
That still the fact is fresh in ev'ry mind;
The blood still from me flows, which in Rome's sight
Repair'd my wrong, and wash'd my honour white.
Nature admird my genrous Death, set forth
In History, by Pens of greatest worth;
And to eternize me, each hand that's rare
In Glory's Temple draws my Picture faire.
But all these marks of Honour, and of praise,
What do they serve me for, since now adayes,
They slander my disaster with the name
Of Crime, and wrongfully arraign my Fame.
But this affront my noble Ghost resents,
And to my Fate her thence-sprung sorrow vents:
Nay rather then endure so soul a slain.
I in this Pourtrait kill my self again.

The Apology and Elogy of LVCRECIA.

LVcrecia complains in these verses of her rigorous usage, and of the charge laid against her, to the dishonor of her Memory. I have seen this charge, and the sentence annext to it in the Books of the City of God: I have been present sometimes at the de­clamations which one of the highest and strongest Vertues of her Sex is wont to make against her: And I confess, that if she be judged by the Christian Rule, and the Laws of the Gospel, she will be hardly able to justifie her Innocence. The most favourable will be at least of S. Austins opinion, and conclude with him, that she neither merited the death she gave her self, if she were innocent in her dishonour; nor the praises she received, if she were guilty of it.

Nevertheless, were she withdrawn from this severe Tribunal, where no Heathen Vertue appears, which is not in danger to be condemned: were she to be judged by the Law of her own Country, and by the Religion of her time, she will be found one of the chastest Women of her Age, and one of the most couragious of her Country: Noble and Vertuous Philo­sophy, which so often accuseth her, will absolve her of her disaster, and be reconciled to her; and every one will confess that her sin is less ascribable to her own fault, then to the imperfection of the Law, which had ill di­rected her, and to the scandals of that Religion which had given her but bad presidents.

In effect, the Law of that Country was then but specious and superfi­cial; the Moral was only applyed to plaister over the exteriour, to imitate the countenance and gestures of Vertue, to make fair masks and hand­som delusions: It touched not upon corrupted intentions, it had no Rule for inordinate desires; and in case depraved passions came not so far as to ill effects, yet it abandoned them to their own sense, and permitted their hearts to enjoy a liberty more then popular: It allowed them an unpu­nishable and unrestrained freedom. As for the Religion of the Romans, which erected Courtisans into Goddesses, and sacrificed to Adulterers, it was not to be expected that it should produce Virgins and chaste Women. Therein Lucrecia, even ravished Lucrecia was better then the Gods of Rome. It was not the love of pleasure, nor the fear of death which induced her to sin, but the love of Honour, and the excessive fear she had to lose it: and if she were not endowed with the resolution of Susa [...]s, who sunk neither under death nor infamy, it suffices to say in her excuse, that she knew not the God of Susanna: And the miracle would have been too great, it a Hea­then Woman had equalled one of the highest Vertues amongst the Faith­ful, without the Law, and the Graces, which made them so.

Let us not forbear then to commend Lucrecia, she is worthy of our praises. Ancient Rome, which hath been the Nurse of sublime natural ver­tues, & of great Pagan Heroes, hath brought forth nothing more high and great, nothing more gallant and couragious, then Lucrecia. This great City [Page 8] was the Exterminatrix of insolent Kings, and the Mother of the Common-wealth: And to bring into the World this famous Maid, who ought to have commanded so many Nations, she opened her own bosom, and procured to her self a remarkable and violent death. Therein she was more glorious and worthy of esteem then the Mother of the first Caesar, whose belly was [...] up to make way for the Usurper, whom she bore in her womb. The outragious Villain who offered violence to her Honour, did not dishonor her: Honour stuck close to Vertue, and Vertue cannot be torn out of the heart, it must fall of it self. Being unable with her single hands to resist armed Force, she repelled it with her minde; and her soul raised it self as much as it could, not to be stained with the impurity which defiled her body. Besides, she was willing to cleanse it with her blood: and the zeal of her Modesty was so great, as she punished upon her self the unclean­ness which another had committed.

MORAL REFLECTION.

YOU who see Lucrecia dying in this Picture, take heed lest her blood fall upon you, and put you to the blush, if you be a less chaste Christian, then she was a chaste Idolatress. And if you be pure in that point, and possess the prime Vertues of your Sex, remember that a chaste Woman is but an initiated Christian, and that it is no great praise to you to be un­der the Law of a Virgin born and a Virgin-God, what so many other have been under lascivious Gods, and adulterous Goddesses. But if your Honour be humble and modest; if your Chastity be sweet, charitable, and religious; if you be numbred amongst the industrious and prudent Vir­gins; if you listen to the Bridegroom with patience, and with a Lamp lighted in your hand; if you be strong in the strength of Christianity, all Ancient Rome, whether of your Sex or ours, was endued with less Forti­tude then your selves: And you do not only take away the honour from Lucrecia, but you take it also from the Cornelia's, the Panthea's, and the [...]; you take it from all the Vertues of the Republick and Empire.

MORAL QVESTION.
Whether Chastity belongs to the Honour of Heroesses and great Ladies?

I Have seen the discourse of Tassus, concerning the vertue of Ladies: and I understand very well the difference that he places betweeen the honour of Women, and that of Heroesses: But I very well discern to what his discourse doth tend: And I am not ignorant of his sickness caused by the Princess [...] of Es [...]e. Surely if he were upon his oath, [Page 9] where he could not be heard by the Princess [...], he would give the lie to his own book, and stand for the received truth. and if by preoccu­pation or interest one single licentious and scandalous word happen to escape him, his [...], Glorind [...], and G [...]ld [...]pp [...] would depart out of his Ierusalem to declare against him, and would by force of Arms constrain him to retract this word of scandal, and to condemn his [...] and [...]. But whether he hath been the Author of this novelty, which gives so ill ex­ample, whether he had learnt it by tradition, or whether the Philosophers of his Country have made a mysterie of it; certainly it ought not to pre­vail against common Morality. And Ladies would be ill advised to re­nounce the belief of their Sex, and relinquish the Doctrine which Nature her self hath taught them, to follow the opinion of an interested Inno­vator, of an amarous and pretending Poet, who sought to accommodate Philosophy to his passion, and draw advantage from the novelty of his erroneous Doctrine.

They must then keep themselves to that Morality which all Nations and Ages have received, and believe generally and without exception that chastity is an essential part appertaining to the honor of their whole Sex. Why should Heroesses be exempt from it? why should impurity be permitted those that art born in Pallaces and under Crowns? Is it that they are of a third Sex and of another Species▪ Is it that deformity and de­ [...]sts a [...]ter nature under cloth of God? And is it that great Fortunes are so efficacious and luminous, as they purifie vice, and give lustre and grace to sin? surely it would be very strange, if out of the ordures and infection of petty Bourgers houses, gold and perfumes should be made in Pallaces, if tattered garments, which would discredit the wife of a mean shopkeeper should adorn a Princess; If the dirt of the hands and feet should become a Paint and Ornament of the head, if spots which appear unseemly in a little Star should not be so in a great Planet: This would be to relapse into the error of the Ancient Idolaters, who sung Hymns to their adulterous Gods, and punished their servants for the same crimes: who adored in publike debauched and pratling Goddesses, and at home preached chastity to their wives and daughters.

I add hereunto, that by the right of Nature, and by the Order established in the world Greatness and Nobility have a particular obligation to purity. The noblest spirits and the most elevated Intelligences, are, if I may say so, the purest Virgins, and the freest from the staines of matter. The Planers, who are the Pe [...]s and Nobles of the corporeal world, have the advantage in point of purity, as well as in that of Greatness and Nobility. And not only fire, which is the superior Element, is purer then the rest; but it is also more purifying, and a more declared enemy to whatever defileth. By the same reason gold and silver, which are the Soveraign Mettals, are esteemed for their purity; And the same purity gives a value to Pearls and precious Stones, which are, as a gallant person said, the Majesty of abbreviated Nature. Regulation observed with so hansome order and so just a dispo­sition of things, is to Princesses and great Ladies a Law of purity which [Page 10] they have found in their birth. It cannot be more lawful for them to dis­pence with it by the moral Doctrine of Tassus, then it can be permitted by the Philosophy of Chymicks, that either Gold should be mixt with Brass, or Diamonds be blemisht with Flaws.

Moreover, if Chastity be a natural Ornament, and an easie attire without art, which is proper and peculiar to the second Sex, I see not why it should less appertain to the condition of Heroesses, then those fancied Ornaments, and such cumbersome rich Dresses, in which they are so curious. It would be very strange that they who might not decently apparel themselves in course cloth, might yet appear decently without the robe of chastity, and that nature had made for them the whiteness of Pearls and the fire of Di­amonds, and for others the whiteness of chastity, and the fire of modesty. And assuredly Nature hath not given them so many Beauties, nor imprint­ed in them so lively lights, which we ordinarily observe in them, to the end these Beauties should be prophaned, and these lights obscured; and that by their prophanation and staines they should scandalize such as be­hold them. She is too jealous of so excellent things: The exact curiosities wherewith she hath ranked them, the care she hath had to preserve them for the purest part of the world, are marks visible enough of what she ex­pects from great Ladies, to whom she uses to be so liberal of such treasures.

And if modesty be an Ornament proper to their quality as well as to their Sex, it cannot be denyed, but the contrary vice is by the same reason a stain to them both, nay a stain so much the baser, as the subject upon which it fals, is of a higher birth, or of a more elevated fortune. And therein not to displease the Muses, whom I respect, and Pc [...]sie, which [...] honor, their Tassus seems to me ridiculous, for permitting that to illustrious Ladies, which he permits not to ordinary Dames. He might have maintained with as much reason, that scabs are noisome on the feet▪ and on the face; that due which spoils linnen or course Cloth, gives lustre to Silk or Scar­let; and that defects, which would disgrace a figure of clay, would not do the like to one of Ivory Was he so possessed with his Love, or so troubled with Melancholy, as he had forgotten that great Persons may not have small imperfections, and that the least defects disfigure the fairest works? Hath he never observed that all the defections of the Moon are numbred? That there happens no Ecclypse to her which causeth not all Historians to speak of it? That the spots and defections of the Sun, though they be only such in appearance, are yet ill interpreted by the world? And if he had ob­served all this, in what sense, to what end, and with what colour could he write, that those Heroick persons, of whom he speaks, might lose their fairest flower, and receive no dishonor by it.

Nay more, publike honesty here joyn it self with the honor of parti­cular persons against this fair Morality of Tassus. Impurity is not only more fordid, and of a worse odour in these eminent persons, but more con­tagious, and of more dangerous consequence. Ill example, and an infecti­ous air is alwayes to be feared from what part soever it comes, and what wind soever moves it. But it hath a more subtile poyson, and a more pene­trating [Page 11] malignity, when it issues from great Houses, when it is breathed forth by a mouth of Authority, when it is carried in garments of silk and gold. And [...] in these times Princesses, and such as approach neer to their degree, had declared themselves for the ill Doctrine of Tassus, the very next day all other women would believe that it concerned their honour to be Gallants. And the licentiousness of Ladies would be brought in fashion, as well as their Apparell and Dresses.

It will nothing avail to oppose hereunto the example of Semiramis, of Cleopatra, and of other Princesses who have been couragious, magnificent, learned and expert, and yet have not been very chaste. I have said already, that this stain was so much the baser, as being placed upon a more precious matter, and wrought with more art And if the integrity of Cato the Sensor and drunkard could not justily drunkenness; I see not how the inconti­nence of Ladies will be justified by the valour of victorious and un­chaste [...], or by the spirit and generosity of the knowing and licen­tious, the magnanimous and debauched Cleopatra. Surely it is great pitty that so many Vertues have been so ill lodg'd, and with so bad company. And since the Holy Ghost hath compared fair women who are not wise, to Sowe's adorned with bracelets of gold: since a Philosopher hath said, that fair ignorant persons were vessels of Allabraster fill'd with vineger, we may also say by the same reason that these magnanimous, debauched, and these learned, licentious women were full fraught vessels, and loaden with dirt, magnificent Pallaces, and infected with Ordure and unwholsome air; costly Monuments, and filled with putrifaction. And therefore we must conclude, that modesty is a vertue necessary for Hercesses; And that great Ladies have more interest in its conservation, then those that are inferior to them both in birth and fortune. The discourse by which Tassus en­deavors to prove the contrary, is scandalous: And if I might be credited, he would be condemned by the express sentence of all Ladies; And his Au­thor would be banished out of all Closets, and Chambers, as Poets his pre­decessors were heretofore out of the Commonwealth of Plato.

EXAMPLE.
Gondeberga of France, Queen of Lumbardy.

THere are not only good reasons to alledge against the bad doctrine of Tassus, but whole Volumes of examples to oppose against him: And for two or three licentious women, who have dishonoured No­bility, and disparaged the Graces, Historie might send Heroesses in Troops, who have been chaste and magnanimous, who have had the same degree of courage and modesty, and have conserved the tincture of purity in the splendor of a soveraign Fortune.

I leave all the fabulous ones which are created by Poets, and nourished [Page 12] by the Composers of Romances. I leave even the true ones which are too far-fetch'd, and appertain to forraign History; and it satisfies me to pro­duce a French woman, who hath been more chaste and valiant then Lu­crecia, and will no less couragiously defend the honour of Ladies; though I do not expose her with a sword in her hand, nor represent her prepared to commit a murther.

Gondeberga, a Princess of the blood of France, and neer allyed to King Dagolert, was born with all the Graces and Advantages she could receive from Nature. Her Nobility was of a Race which had this quality of the Pome-Granad- [...]ee, that it bears no head that is not crowned, and full of Heroick spirits. Her beauty was soveraign by right of Nature, which reigns without strong holds and Armies. Her wit and courage might have made a Conqueror, if it had been placed in another Sex. Nevertheless it was a courage without cruelty▪ [...] was a wit tempered with sweetness and force: And as for her vertue, it was so pure, and of so good odour, as it pene­trated all her actions, and left no part of her life, upon which detraction it self could colourably [...]asten an untruth.

Being advantaged by this natural endowment, which was more to be esteemed then all the Crowns Fortune could give her, she was espoused to Arioldus King of Lombardy. The first years of her marriage were happy and peaceable, either by her carriage, which was pleasing and dexterous, or by the power of her vertue, which wrought successfully upon Arioldus heart, and disposed him sweetly to contribute his esteem and complacences to this domestick felicity. Nevertheless as there be Serpents which are natu­rally enemies to fair Flowers; and as Dogs do not bark against the Moon but when she is perfect, and possesses all her light; so there be jealous Devils who have a particular spite against pleasing and illustrious vertues: and it was one of these infernal Spirits who impoysoned the mind of Ari­oldus, and changed the happy state of Gondeberga.

She had in her service a young Lord, native of Lombardy, named Ada­l [...]sus, a person of a gracefull aspect, and full of courage; who besides his exteriour gallantry, had also that which was useful and serviceable in the Field. But as the most part of Court Vertues, to qualifie them rightly, are but sportive, and painted Vertues; but poor ones, which act the part of Queens, and deformed ones with fair masks: so this gracefull meen, and great courage of Adalulsus, covered a dangerous pride; and an ex­tream presumption lay hid under this Gallantry. Nevertheless, whether these defects were covered over with so curious a plaister, and so artificially applyed, as nothing of it appeared to the eyes of the Queen, whether she suspected it to proceed rather out of Youth then any formed malice, or that she really believed that vertues did lose nothing of their grace in the com­pany of vices, she did not forbear to have a singular esteem of him, and to reserve those favours and kindnesses for him, which she had for no body else.

These favours indeed were very innocent and pure: and there was no­thing undecent and immodest in these kindnesses. But discretion was [Page 13] wanting: and Gondeberga should not have trusted so much to her inno­cence, and the purity of her intentions, as not to remember, that there is no­thing so pure, which may not be impurely interpreted; and that even the spi­rit of Roses, innocent as it is, serves for matter of poyson to Spiders. Moreo­ver there are some men so vain, and so well perswaded of their own merit, as they cannot believe that a woman, what preservatives soever she may carry about her, and with what Vertues soever she is guarded, can look upon them without forfeiting her liberty at first sight, and her reason at the second. And the extravagancy of some proceeds so far, as to perswade themselves, almost with the good man of the Comedy, that the Dog-daies, and the Southern wind, which cause Feavors, are less dangerous to wo­men then their presence.

Adolulsus was one of these good people; he easily believed that the esteem which Gondeberga expressed towards him, proceeded from passion. He took her civilities and favours for coloured Courtships, and fore-run­ners of a vanquished Chastity, which was willing to be summoned, to the end it might surrender with Ceremony, and according to the forms of War. Adding temerity to this Vision, he had the impudence to speak to her of Love, and to violate Majesty by the impurity of his mouth, and by the blasphemies of a sacrilegious solicitation. Gondeberga, who was one of those generous Ladies, who are not to be touched without punishment, and who have thorns of Roses, as well as their Graces & Blushes; remain­ing a while without making any reply, either because she feared to prosti­tute her voice and soul to the ears of this infamous person, or that she de­liberated on the punishment of his Audacity, she suddenly rose up, and without other answer, spit in his face at her departure.

I expect indeed that gentle spirits will not approve this quickness, and that they will alledge against her the address & moderation of the wise and vertuous [...], who punished with a profitable and honourable dismis­sion that lunatick Sp [...]rd, who had discovered his love to her. But sure­ly the boldness of the Lombard, who violated the sanctity of a Crown, which came neer to Sacriledge, was another kind of folly, then that of the Spaniard, which related more to his head then heart: who was respect­full and modest: And passing no farther then to Congi [...] and Grimaces, might be satisfied with wind and smoke. Let not the Stoic [...]s and their Pa­radoxes take offence at it, all fools are not of the same stamp, nor will be treated in the same manner. And if mildness were seasonably used by the Princess of Spain towards a melancholy Innocent, who discoursed not of his folly, but to windows, and only expressed himself by his guittar in his Serenades. The severity was no less opportune, which the French Lady ex­ercised on a furious person, who had need of chains.

However it were, Ad [...]lulsus equally confounded, and irritated by the af­front he conceived to have been offered him by Gondeberga, retired, with shame upon his face, and poyson in his heart. He likewise deferred not long the vomiting it forth, and what he vented, troubled all Lombardy, and dispersed its bad odour as far as France. He represented to himself, that [Page 14] in affairs of this nature one ought not to be fearfully wicked, and by halfes; that bold and consummated Crimes were the most successful, and that since the King could not sail to be advertised of what had happened, it were good to begin first, and turn the storm upon the head of Gondeberga.

Being fortified by this resolution, and his natural Audacity, he presented himself before the King with the face of an Impostor, and a countenance versed in the art of dissimulation and lying. ‘He began by a counterfeit grief & false regrets: He complains of the harshness of a new duty, which changeth the duties of his condition, and offers violence to his honor. He calls that necessity, cruel, and unfortunate, which enforces him to become an informer against a person, who was sacred to him, and for whom he would have exposed a thousand lives. And after a tedious int [...]cacy of many confused words, by design and craft, it fell from his mouth, that he had discovered a strange practice between the Queen and Tason, Governor of T [...]kan [...]: That the end of this practice was to poison the King, and to raise Tason to his Bed and Throne: That there remained nothing but a fit conjuncture to execute this design. And that if an effi­cacious and couragious prudence were not opposed to so pressing a mis­chief, and which hung already over his head; it is to be feared that his delay and circumspection might prove fatal to him; And that a moment of time ill managed, might draw, together with his death, a general ruin upon the State.’

A [...]lus affrighted with so strange a relation, and a danger so little ex­pected, remained speechless for a while: And his mind perplexed with the confusion of wandring thoughts, and ballanced between belief and doubt, knows not what resolution to take. His thoughts being fixed at last upon the testimony of Adalulsus, the contestation was great in his heart between a Husband and a King between Love and Fear: And these pieces being so neer to him, and so contrary in themselves, he neither presented to his mind an expedient, whereby he might reconcile them, nor any consi­derable reason upon which he might justly give sentence for either. At last he submitted to fear, and declared for the King, upon whose conservation the Husband depended▪ And being perswaded, that in dangers of this nature distrust brings safety, and to be credulous is the part of a wise man; with­out deferring the business till the next morning on the same day he secured the Queen, and caused her to be carried to the Castle of Amello, where during the space of three years she had commerce with no person whatsoever: And light it self beheld her only by intervals and stealth.

The wise Princess patiently did acquiesce to the will of the King her Husband; And endured this civil death with a constancy, which shewed cleerly that there was something in her more noble then her blood, and more Soveraign then her Crown. This trial, though harsh and painful, proved not unprofitable to her. It gained her the consummation, and the last purity of vertue: And when God perceived this last purity, and this compleatment, which forms great Examples and Heroick models, he [Page 15] caused a deliverer to come from this side the Alpes, who took her out of prison, and replaced her with honor upon her Throne.

Dag [...]bert advertised of this unjust Treatment, and contrary to the Arti­cles which the King of Lumbardy had entred into concerning his Neece, sends an Embassie to him to complain of the injury, and to require the justification of the prisoner. Anselo [...], to whom the Commission is given, discharges it couragiously, and with words of authority which savored more of command then Remonstrance. ‘He represented to him that the blood of France had been till then pure, and held in veneration: That it hath never been yet known that one single drop of it was ever stained. That the King his master could not perswade himself, that it had begun by his Neece to lose its lustre and become corrupt; that it concerned his honor and duty to justifie her: That to this end he had sent a Champion to fight with the Informer. And that if [...] refused to grant the Combat according to justice and custome; he would come in [...] [...]solve his Neece with a hundred thousand men, and inkindle [...] fire at the gate of her prison, that all Lumbardy should feel the [...] of it.’

[...] having assented to the Combat for the decision of this affair, [...] the Queens Cousin threw down his Pledge, and it was taken up by [...], who judged it more safe to commit his life and honor to the fortune of Arms, which might prove favorable to him, then to abandon them both to a certain loss by an anticipated Declaration. Adalul [...]us was indeed both dexterous and valiant: But there is no Address against the providence o [...] God; There is no valour which sinks not under his justice. He was overcome and punished by death, after a publike confession of his impe [...]tute. And Gondeberga was re-established with the general Aplause of all Lumbaray which had deplored her misfortune, and still conserved for her, its good affections and suffrage.

The History doth not only speak in favour of the chastity of Heroesses, and defends it against the scandalous Morality of Tassus: But one may also draw other lights from thence, which are no less instructive, nor less use­full for the direction of Ladies. First, this so pure affection of Gondeberga towards Ada [...]lsus, ought to teach our malicious Criticks, that very often what they find of ill Odour in particular actions, proceeds from the depra­ved disposition of their own brains; That they take sometimes Stars for Co [...]v [...]ts; and that they suspect impurity and corruption even in those friendships, where there is nothing but a pure spirit, a most pure light, and a fire loosned from matter.

But it is not enough for Amities to be pure and innocent, they ought to be considerate and reserved, and must take heed of making indiscreet advances. Rash and presumptuous Adalulsus are to be found every where, who have alwayes prepared matter to inkindle a fire out of the least sparks of affection which are discovered to them. And what most imports, is, that they cannot be satisfied with a secret temerity, and an interior presumption. They become confident by their imaginary conquests. They dream of fa­vors [Page 16] and fortunes, and divulge them when they are awake. They counter­feit Assignations, and forge Letters; And these counterfeit Assignations are followed by real quarrels: These forged Letters inkindle fire in Families, and blast the best Fames, and the most innocent lives; surely such must needs be incorrigible who cannot be converted by so many examples. And though the sacred scripture forbids us to lament an Inchanter, who suf­fers himself to be stung by a Serpent which he himself hath charmed, yet is he more to be deplored then a woman who confides in so deceipt­full a faith as that of men, and hazards her reputation upon oaths which have been so often broken.

In fine, misbelieving Christians and baptized Epicures will learn from the double revolution of this Tragedy, that although truth and justice do not visibly intervene in all actions which are represented upon the Theatre of this world, yet we cannot say that they sleep behind the Scene, or re­main there idle. They suffer there indeed confusion and disorder for a time, but it is not a perpertual confusion, nor a disorder without art. And this art cannot appear till the conclusion, to which they by design reserve the deli­verance of Innocence, and the punishment of Calumny.

[Page]

CLELIE. et ses Compagnes deff [...]nt le camp de P [...]rsene, par la hardiesse de leur [...] et portent à Rome la ioye la paix et la gloire. [...]

[Page 17]Claelia.

HAve an eye and hand upon your Horses, gene­rous Fugitives: The River where you pass is rapid and full of danger: and though it be of your party, and a Roman like you, yet one may fear that it approves not of your flight: and that it carryes you away to Sea, instead of bringing you back to Rome. But I may cry out with open mouth, and with all my strength, yet cannot be heard. It is impossible for my voice to reach them amidst the confused clamors, and the pressing outcryes of a whole Camp pursuing them. The tumult as you see is great upon the shore. The whole Army near upon have quit their Tents: you would say that the signal is but now given either for a battel, or a general assault; and this tumultuary Sally, and with so much noise, is only design'd to apprehend nine or ten Maids who are fled from thence.

Do not believe that this accident is a prank of the Devil, who causeth panick fears: much less is it to be taken for a game of Fortune, of this insolent and fantastical Sportress, who often raises these fears in the greatest Kings and Ar­mies. It is a mysterie of Romes Genius: It is a serious presage [Page 18] of her future Empire, and a certain forerunner of the Vi­ctories which are ordained her: For it is fit to inform you where you are, and to render you an account of the spectacle which begets your astonishment.

This River is Tyber the nurse of Rome. It is not yet adored by other Rivers, and acknowledged by all Seas. It is not yet crowned with Triumphant Arcks, Obelisks and Amphithe­aters, as one day it will be: And nothing but initiated Towers and imperfect VValls appear upon its Banks, which are as it were the swath-bands of the yet Infant Republike. Mean­while it rolls along gravely and with pomp: And as if it were already sensible of its future glory, you would say that it doth accustome it self betimes to the Roman dignity, and the Majesty of the Empire.

As for these Maids who so boldly and with so much danger pass it over, are of the chief Families of Rome, and the Companions of Claelia. The Senate had delivered them up for Hostages of the Treaty made with Porcena, who but yester­day kept the City besieged, and endeavored to replace the Tarquins. But being perswaded by Claelia that their detention was an imprisonment sweetned by specious terms, and by forms unknown both to their Sex and Age, and that in other respects it stood not with their honor nor the dignity of the Commonwealth to suffer so fair a portion of Rome to be led Captive into Tuscany, they made an escape out of the Camp by confederacy: And behold them crossing Tyber with a boldness, which will compleat the liberty of their Country, and be recompenced with Elogies and Statues.

The noise of it is great, and the astonishment general through the whole Camp of Porcena. He came himself to the Sea side to be a spectator of his second defeat, and of the disorder in his Army. The loss of a battel would have less weakned him then this bold Act which assaulted his reputa­tion, and overcame him without effusion of blood. The at­tempt of Mucius, who lately undertook to kill him in the midst of his Camp, had apparently left him more courage and hope to overcome the fortune of Rome, and to humble the pride of the Romans.

[Page 19] He resented indeed this adventure, wherein he saw all his designes ruin'd and his reputation lost. But he resents it ge­nerously and like a King: His astonishment was not bar­barous and stupid: He was not one of those unjust persons, who can only esteem such Vertues, as are their stipendia­ries, and wear their Liveries. He looks with respect upon the presages of the growing Monarchy: And though he hath taken upon him a superficiall and exteriour anger to satisfie his irritated people, and to contribute something to the vio­lated Treaty; yet interiourly, and in his heart he applauded this boldness, and submitted the Tuscan Fortune to the Ro­mane. He will presently make a greater noise, and send De­puties to the Senate to complain of the breach of Faith by the Fugitives, and to require restitution of them. But he will only restrain his anger till their return: And changing his part as soon as he shall have them in his power, he will con­vert his Complaints into Praises. He himself will compose an Elogy of Claelia, and seriously, and with a solid reward crown the same Vertue which he menaceth with his countenance.

The Soldiers who went disorderly out of their Tents, ren­der not so much Honor to his Vertue, nor look upon it with so respectfull and peaceable an eye. The alteration appears as extream in their spirits: and their indiscreet and tumultu­ous anger clearly demonstrates, that in Armies, sound judge­ment is not common, and reason resides ordinarily all in the Generall. Cast your eyes in this occasion upon these who are as immovable, as if this adventure had charmed them: You would take them for armed Statues, or for Gyants that sleep standing, and with open eyes. They have likewise but an uncertain and confused sight, and the least amazed amongst them cannot say, whether he sees what is done, or whether he dreams. Behold others who stretch forth and stir their arms, as if they had wings, and were to flie after these Maids. But whatever hath been said of Icarus, they will not rise up from the ground with their arms; and their whole flight being meerly imaginary, nothing but their reproaches and imprecations will pass the River. The arrows of these [Page 20] Archers are much more to be feared by Claelia and her Com­panions: They have iron teeth and reall wings; they can flye faster, and wound more dangerously then the reproaches and imprecations of the rest. Behold the straining of some in bending their Bows, and the strength of others in dis­charging their Arrows. Let us cry out to them to spare in­nocent and disarmed Beauties, and not to offer violence un­to a Sex for which VVar and Barbarity it self hath respect; to pardon at least the Graces of Rome, if they will not honor its Vertues, and submit to its Fortune. But by no means, let them alone; their Arrows will be more humane and discreet then themselves; they will better understand the rights of their Sex, and the common respects which are due to them. The noise they make in the ayr, is as it were a complaint of the violence which hath been offered them: You would not take them for Courriers sent after these Fugitives; you would take them for other Fugitives, who save themselves after the first. Some fall down at Claelia's feet, others sink before her Companions, and all these Arrows plunging themselves in the River, assure them by their fall that they come not to hurt them.

Meanwhile the couragious Damsels recover the other shore, where Glory and the Genius of the Republike expects them. Claelia, who instigated them, is still their guide, and advances first upon a Horse generous by Nature, and pro­bably proud with the Beauty and Nobleness of his bur­then. That other so famous Beast upon which Europa cros­sed the Sea of Creete, was less stately, and swam less gallantly, and with less pomp. See how he manages his feet in mea­sure and cadence, and how his lofty head salutes afar off the Towers of Rome. Surely he would merit to be consecrated, as well as the she VVolf, which was Nurse to the Founders of the City. And the Senate will appoint him at least a Statue, and cause her memory to be kept in Marble.

She that governs him is as little affrighted with the Ar­rows, as with the cryes and reproaches which follow her. Fierceness is beautifull, and boldness pleasing on her Face. [Page 21] There is something, I know not what, that is Noble and Ma­jesticall about her, which resembles Soveraignty. And were she armed, one would imagine that it vvere Victory her self which abandons the Tuscans, and is going to render her self to the Romans. Her Companions follow her vvith a bold and resolute cheerfulness: The vveakest are mounted two by two upon their Horse; the rest hold by their Tayles, and swim the best they are able. They have all an equall confi­dence; and the fire vvhich issues forth of their eyes, and addes something, I know not vvhat, of splendor to the fierce­ness of their looks, clearly shews that they are very pure Ro­man vvomen, and that their hearts are full of the blood and spirit of the Republike. The vvaves becomming smooth under their bodies, carry them vvith respect and delight. It seems that some Soveraign Genius, and full of Authority is come opportunely to keep them in awe: And if some of them rise above the rest, they do it vvith so much modesty, as gives occasion to believe, that it is only to applaud this Ad­venture, and to testifie their joy.

The God of the River comes forth in person to be a specta­tor, and to partake of the hopes of Rome, and of the presage of her Victories. Behold him Crowned vvith branches of Corrail, and Encompassed with Reeds, vvho expresses his astonishment by his action. Tears of joy trickle down from his eyes, vvhich are mingled vvith the vvater vvhich fals from his Hair and Beard. Horacius vvas lately received by him vvith less gladness, when he cast himself between his Arms after the fall of the Pridge, vvhich had been so brave­ly and couragiously defended by him. And his hands lifted up to Heaven, seem to thank the Gods for having allyed him to a Republike, whose Daughters triumph over Kings, and know how to vanquish Armies without fighting.

SONNET.
CLAELIA speaks.

CLaelia escapes, she to the shore is nigh,
The Fortune of great Rome do's with her fly:
Before a Camp, whose shafts pursue her pace;
Her heart, to brave them, mounts into her face.
Tyber invites her from his Channel's side,
His waters under her do gent'ly glide,
And, while she swims triumphantly, do even
Shine with her beauties like a spangled Heaven.
You beauteous Fugitives, depose all feare
Of meeting Death; these shafts in their careere
Stop to respect you; and these waters show
Your fires consume them, they are sunk so low.
But set these Charmes apart, yet were't in vain
To think you e're could perish: You obtain
From Vignon's Pencil an enlivening breath,
And what he quickens, is exempt from Death.

Elogy of Claelia.

THe Republike was but newly born when she was attaqued in her cradle by the Tarquins, and besieged by their Allies. [...] a yong Roman, ambitious to set her at liberty, entred in a disguised habit into their Camp, and attempted upon the life of Porcenna; The blow and death he carried, having by a happy mistake for the King lighted upon his Secretary▪ The inraged Roman punished his hand for the error of his eyes, And in the sight of Porcenna and his People he burnt it with the fire of the Altar which was there prepared for a sacrifice. There­by he gave them a second astonishment, far greater then the first, and af­frighted them more with the punishment he inflicted upon himself, then he had done by his bold attempt; Porcenna despairing of taking the City from whence as many Gladiators might sally forth against him, as there were young men whose blood and courage the burnt hand of Muc [...]us might inflame, sent Propositions of peace to the Senate which entertained them and offered him the children of the chief Families of Rome for Hostages of their Faith. The Treaty was concluded, and the Hostages ac­cepted: Porcenna withdrew his Army from the City, and being incamped along the [...]yber, made way for the adventure represented in this Picture.

The Hostages followed the Camp, and each of them was religiously observed, and as an Article of Peace. Claelia was particularly considered, both in regard of her birth and gracefull behaviour, and the courage which appeared in her looks. This Virgin, who knew not how to distinguish between an Hostage and a prisoner, and who had only learned hitherto to be free and Chaste, not accounting her Chastity very secure in a Camp al­lied to the Ravisher of Lucrecia, preached honor and liberty to her Compa­nions, and offered to lead them couragiously to both. Perswaded by the Eloquence and authority of her countenance, by the force and vigour of her words; they all went forth with her, and casting themselves into the River Tyber, they crossed it under a cloud of Arrows and Darts which pur­sued them▪ Being arrived at Rome, as much inflamed by the action they had performed, as bathed with the water they had newly passed over, these came a crowd of people to applaud and load them with Benedictions and Crowns. The next day the [...]us [...]ans sent to demand them with threats, and the Senat returned them back to make good their saith, and accompanied with excuses.

At then return to the Camp, Porcenna praised them in the presence of the whole Army which was set in Battel array to receive them with cere­mony and pomp. He professed, that if Mucius had affrighted him. Claelia had vanquished him; and that so bold and couragious a flight was his defeat, and the victory of Rome. This done, he sent her back with such Hostages as she was pleased to choose. The Senate received her in Tri­umph; And to leave unto Posterity an Eternal mark of her vertue, caused her Statue to be erected on Horseback, which was the first of this name [Page 24] and Form, and the eldest of all the Brazen Statues of the Consuls, and of all the Marble ones of the Dictators, which adorned the City since her time. The Republick, which received its Birth from the Vertue of a Woman, was conserved by the boldness of a Maid: And the Camilli, Fa­ [...] and the Cat [...] inherited from Lucrecia and Claelia, Courage, Glory and liberty.

MORAL REFLECTION.

THis generous Maid, who rather affected an honorable and perilous Freedom then a subjected & captivated Security, is to chaste Women a great Mistress of Honor and Christian Liberty. She teacheth them gallantly & like a Roman, the very same which St. Ambrose doth in so hand­som a Latine stile. She tells them that Chastity is not servile, and cannot be made a Captive; that it cannot endure chains; no not those which adorn and beautifie; that it is an enemy to all sorts of Prisons, even glorious and magnificent ones, even those which are built for riot and pleasure. This free and generous Chastity did not invent the Neck-laces, Bracelets, and other ensignes of this pretious and specious servitude which Women have made for themselves. And when they are imposed on them by a su­periour Power, and the tyrannie of Custom, so far is Chastity from re­joycing, or beautifying and adorning her self therewith, that she wears them with regret and pain; and groans under chains of gold and pearl, as Hester did under the yoke of her Diadem.

But if she cannot endure these jewels which adorn the body, much less can she bear with those which afflict the minde; which are the yoke and torment of the heart, which bind the thoughts and inchain desires; which make of a poor soul a voluntary and obstinate Captive. Likewise there is no servitude more aver [...]s to her, then that of the heart. It is very hard for a woman to be held by that, and remain chaste: And how strong soever a place may be, yet it is taken when Hostages are once given. Besides, it is observable in this History, that the generosity of Claelia effected more alone then all the heads of the Senate, and all the arms of the Camp: And that which is very strange, a vertuous Woman and a bold Maid were the Foun­dresses of the Republick, and the principal causes of the Roman Liberty. A more famous proof cannot be brought, concerning the utility of the Ver­tue of women. But this matter will have a more just extent in the en­suing Question.

A MORAL QVESTION.
VVhether the Vertue of VVomen be as beneficial to the Publick, as that of Men?

THis Question is not one of those extravagant Problems and Para­doxes which are made at random, and without any appearance of doubt. On what side soever you take it, there is a probability, and evident and colourable Reasons for it: And the vertue of Claelia, which was no less profitable, nor less esteemed at Rome then that of Horatius and Scerola, doth clear it at least of Temerity. However my intention is not to decide it. It will suffice that I set down plainly and sincerely the pre­tentions and right of the Parties. The Readers will deliver their opinion how they please, concerning my Relation: If there be injustice in their Censures, this injustice will neither prove Murther nor Theft: and after this, there will remain neither any death for them to expiate, nor any re­stitution to be made.

Let us begin with our own Vertue which is the eldest, and will have the first place; and let us forget nothing which may support her Right, and set a value upon her Advantages. First the Vertue of Men is a Ver­tue of Command and Authority, a superintendent and directing Vertue. She is for that side which governs and directs: And it is as well a part of her Duty as of her Right to govern and conduct. For this reason, as in a humane Body the Head is of more use then the Arms, and Discourse then Motion: As the Art of a Pilot is more necessary and useful in a Ship then the skill of the Marriners: As the valour of a Commander in chief, nay an infirm and weak Commander, is more important in an Army, and contributes more to Victory then the valour of Souldiers who are in per­fect health (which hath caused this saying, That Stags which should have a Lyon for their Captain, might overcome Lyons which should be led by a Stag.) So in a Common-wealth, the vertue of Men which is on the commanding part and hath the superintendency and government, seems to be more advantagious then the vertue of Women, which is dependant and subalte [...]n, and hath only by natural Right a docility, subjection and obedience.

Secondly, What is said of Good, is to be said of Vertue. That Ver­tue which is the most common, and whose limits are least restrained, which acts the most universally and in more then in one place; which extends it self to more subjects, to more uses, and to a larger space, ought to be without doubt the most beneficial to the Publick; as it is in its self the most perfect, and in its Stock and Natural Goods. Now the vertue of a Man is dispersed through the whole Body of the Common-wealth: It act [...]s in all the parts thereof, and gives to every one that life and motion which is proper to it. All Civil Functions appertain to it, All Military offices [Page 26] enter into its Duty: Churches and Tribunals, City and Country, the Court and Desert are under its jurisdiction; and consequently for this con­sideration it cannot be disputed in point of utility with the vertue of a Woman, which is a particular and quiet vertue, a restrain'd and sedentary vertue; a Vertue which scarce goes abroad without staining its self, or at least without blushing, which can no further inlarge its self then the length of the silken and woolen tyes, wherewith it is fastened to its home.

In fine, Vertue is more profitable where it is most active; It is most active where it is most vigorous: And doubtless it must be more vigorous in subjects naturally solid and fortified by use, then in weak and slothful ones, where it is weak and remiss. It is then more vigorous and active, and consequently of greater utility in a man who is of a stronger and more solid complexion then a Woman; and who hath more vigour, more s [...]dness, more constancy, and more natural stability. And this Reason added to the two former, seems to conclude for us, and to give the prize to the vertue of our Sex.

However the vertue of Women hath likewise its right and pretentions: [...] grounded upon Reasons and Examples: It can alledge for its self Ex­perience and [...]: And if we give credit thereto, it wants but indiffe­rent and dis [...]ntere [...]ed Judges, and an eloquent and famed Advocate for [...] of its cause. Though I have never been at the Bar nor possess that valent of Spirit and Language, wherewith combats are sought in the long Robe; yet I will adventure to say something in its behalf. And if here­tofore Military Orders have been instituted to defend it with Arms, I be­lieve that without deserting the cause, one may at present defend it with the Pen.

To begin then by giving an Answer to the Reasons of the adverse pa [...]y, I say, It is certain that Publick Good is rather a work of Vertue which commands and governs, then of that which obeys and is governed. But it is [...] certain, whether this commanding and ruling Vertue be [...]ely on out side it is found also on the other, and not as a stranger. It acquits it self there in the same charge, and executes all the Functions which [...] can perform amongst us: And sometimes these charges succeed there more happily; these Functions are performed with more address and with a better grace Assuredly of this Vertue found any opposition, either Natural or Moral to our Sex, Ar [...]isia and Zenobia, Tul [...]eria and Amala­senta would be no less prodigious then the fabulous [...] and Gorgone's. And the wonder would be no less rare to see a Woman reign, then to see a Woman flie▪ Yet that is not so, and the number of Princesses is large enough▪ who have governed more happily and with more dexterity, I say [...] weak Princes such as [...] the simple; I say capable and able ones, even those capable and able Princes, who have most affected to be like Tiberrus.

As for what hath been said, that the most diffused Vertue, and the most universal in its actions, is the most beneficial to the Publick; I con­fess [Page 37] that it hath been spoken judiciously and with reason: But the Vertue of Women hath been wrongfully and injuriously represented as an hono­rable Captive, to whom its house was given for a Prison, and was bound with tyes of thred and couen. I know not whether the use and custom of this Age have not in this point offered violence to Nature: But I know very well that there was a time when it was more free: and that the Ver­tue of Women, less restrained then now it is, served more profitably in all the parts of the Rebulick. The Jews had Women Generals of Ar­mies, and Women Judges and Prophetesses: Women have publickly taught Philosophy and Rhetorick at Athens: A Woman succeeded in the School and reputation of Plo [...]us in Alexandria. The Universities of Palus and Bo [...]g [...] have had women Graduats and Readers: And to say nothing of those whom Orators, Poets, and Painters have had for their Competi­tors and Rivals, there is scarce any Nation which hath not furnished Hi­storie with Heroesses and Amazons.

It hath been said in the third place that Vertue is more active, and conse­quently more beneficial in a strong subject wherein it is vigorous, then in a weak one wherein it is remiss. This Proposition being understood of the vigorous operation of the soul, contributes nothing to a Man, not takes nothing from a Woman. Their souls are essentially equal and of the same temper: There are some Men indeed in whom Wit and Courage, Dis­course and Resolution (which are the Nerves and Muscles of the Soul) have less hold and vigour, then in many Women. And that if the Propo­sition be understood of the strength of the Body, and the solidity of Mat­ter it is from our purpose, and carries besides our Level. Vertue is not of so low a degree: It hath not been given us to bear great burthens, and to hew down Trees: And the Moral hath not placed amongst the qualities of a good Magistrate, and the conditions of a perfect Prince, the strength of the arms, and the breadth of the shoulders.

From this consideration then, the equality is at least seeming between the vertue of a Man, and that of a Woman. And some person who would not rest satisfied with having reconciled the parties, and reduced their pre­tensions to equality, might adde over and above to the right of Women a new weight of Reasons, which would carry it against the right of Men. First he might say, that the particular disposition of Families and the Fa­milies themselves, resemble particular States, and abbreviated Kingdoms, in which Women Reign. If they be Wise, Vertue and Peace Reign there joyntlie with them: And from this Peace of well ordered Houses, the pub­lick tranquillity, and good order of Cities ariseth.

Unto that, he might adde that the matter and first seed of mens Vertues comes from a good birth, and is form'd by good Education: And that the Vertue of Women contributes much to a good Birth, and doth all in matter of good Education. It doth not import that Man should be the first Principal or Original of Man, and that a Woman should be but the second and subaltern. Thus is the Sun the first Producer of Trees and Mettals, and yet Trees are good or bad according to the disposition of the Earth [Page 28] which is their common Mother: And under one Sun Gold and Palm-Trees are produced in one place; and elswhere nothing but clay and thornes▪ It is the same with men; if there be of them Intellectual and Stu­pid, Couragious and Faint hearted, Modest and Insolent, all these good and bad qualities derive from the Vertues or Vices of their Mothers. They take in their wombs by track of time, and drop by drop the different [...] and several tinctures of good and evil, sleep'd in their blood and mingled with their humors: as Potters Clay receives a good or bad shape from the Mould in which its Cast.

I [...] very well what de [...]terous and careful Tutors are able to per­form, and what is done in Colledges and Academies. But surely what address soever these Tutors have, and what Care so ever they imploy, yet they change not the matter which they work upon. Iron becomes not gold in the hands of the Goldsmith. Nor is Earth converted into Marble under the hands of the Engraver. Precious matters ought to come from the Quarry and Mine: And Noble Subjects and capable of hand­som formes, are to be composed in the Mothers womb. I speak nothing of Education, which is a painful generation and of long labor, and a Birth of many years It is certain that this Education is effected by the cares and hands of Women And if children be like shape-less lumps, to which it is necessary that the tongues of Mothers should give the right form; it cannot be doubted but these tongues give them also the tincture, either of vertue or vice, according to the good or evil qualities wherewith they are indued.

In fine, one might alledge for the last proof of this Discourse, that the vertue of Women is more efficacious then ours; and that our Ex­amples are not so much followed nor run after in such throngs as theirs; whether by reason Meekness is more attractive and perswasive then Force, and that pleasing Originals never want Coppiers: Whether by reason guides of this Nature take away all excuses from the Faint-hearted and Tamerous: and that there is no Person who dares complain of the thornes and [...]ggedness of the way in their Company: Whether by rea­son all men being either Sons of Husbands to some Women, the Sons follow by instinct, of out of respect the wills of their Mothers; and the Husbands accommodate themselves out of friendship or complacencie to the inclinations of their Wives. And for these reasons the vertue of Women being generally followed, and having Imitators in both Sexes, it seems one may conclude, that their Sex is more profitable, and more conducing to the Publick Good.

EXAMPLE.
Theodelinda, Queen of Lumbardy.

IMpetuous Rivers which precipitate themselves with noise, stay Passen­gers, and beget Spectators. And the quiet ones which gently and in silence [...] those places through which they pass, scarce finde any one to behold them. Nevertheless these impetuous Rivers are dan­gerous neighbours. They never do good which is not accompanied without some dammage: And their manner of enriching is common­ly by ruine and waste. It is even so with Military and Calm Ver­tues; both of them are serviceable and beneficial to the Publick: But the Military do not profit innocently and without prejudice. They only re­pair those ruines which themselves have made: And the riches which they distribute are slained with Blood, and acquired by Rapine. However by reason they make a noise and act tumultuarily, men run from all parts of the World to see them. Their Memory receives Elogies in every Language, and Applauses from all sorts of hands; And their Images are preserved with honour in History. From thence comes it that all Writers make so glorious mention of Warlike women, and that on the contrary they scarce take notice of the Peace­able, who have effected Good in a calm repose, and by wayes usual and proper to their Sex.

Th [...]linda was one of these peaceable, obliging, and less famous Women: And perchance we should not have at present any picture of her, if the Great St▪ Gregory had not taken the paines to draw it with the same hand, wherewith he Administred the Sacrament, Blessed the People, and wrought Miracles. She was the Daughter of one [...] King of [...]: And that which is very won­derfull, though she were born in a half barbarous Age, and more then three hundred Leagues from the Roman Excellency and Learn­ing, yet she equalled the Memory of the most Accomplished, and Learned of Ancient Rome. The chief thing is that her Science had no resemblance with those specious and superficial Sciences which serve only for shews she was pleasing and solid, she delighted be­neficially, and with profit: and all the lights of her minde were beneficiall and fruitfull.

So perfect and so adorned a Vertue required a more glorious Theatre, and less distant from the eye of the world then [...] King of Lumbardy, enamoured with her reputation, sent a magnificent Em­bassie [Page 30] to the King her Father, to ask her in Marriage. And his Embassa­dors being returned with satisfaction, he undertook upon their relation a great piece of Gallantry, and resolved to go disguised unto the Court of Ba­v [...]a, to be a Spectator of the wonders which Fame published of Theode­linda. He saw her, he was vanquished by her; and returned more wound­ed by her presence, then he had been by her reputation. A while after the Marriage was celebrated in great pomp at Milan: And there was nothing wanting to the happiness of their Marriage, but the lasting of it. But what help for this▪ Is there not some malignant Constellation which causeth the best Fortunes to be less constant and lasting then the bad? Hath not Time a spight chiefly to handsome lives, and beautifull Couples? And do we not see that Roses last but a day, and Thornes a whole year?

Nevertheless, this Marriage, which lasted so short a time, was to Lum­bardy the beginning of a long and important happiness. Autharus who had War with [...], being enforced to take the field, to stop the Con­quests of the French, who were entred into his Country, Theodel [...]a in the interim staid behinde, intrusted with the Government of the State. It was very difficult to have good success therein, being young, a stranger, and unacquainted with the Country. Notwithstanding she did undergo this Office with so good a grace; she governed so judiciously; and shewed so much courage and dexterity in the managing of Affairs, as she gained the approbation of all degrees: and in less then six moneths she became the absolute Mistress of all hearts. Not one remained free; not one which would not be hers. And by a strange revolution, at the same time that Au­th [...]rus and Childebert fought for the Crown of Lumbardy, Theolelin [...]a van­quished it without Arms, and took it innocently both from the Possessor and Pretender.

This was not done by a trick of Fortune: she is without motion, and may well be sported with, but can sport with no man. It was done by a particular design of Divine Providence, which was willing to prescribe a great imployment to the Vertue of [...], and to make use of her for the good of the Church. In effect, Autharus dyed before the end of the War: and the Lumbardus not finding themselves strong enough for the French, made as Honourable an Accommodation as they could with Childebert. Their first care after the conclusion of Peace, was to choose a fit person to fill up the Throne, which Autharus dying without Children, left vacant. It is apparent that the Customes of Nations, the Interests of State, and the Pretentions of particular persons would have [...] return in­to Bar [...]ta. Her Vertue yet carryed it against Custome: the Graces made sure for her, and gained all the voyces on her side: and by a general consent her hands already accustomed to govern well, were judged the most pro­per to mannage happily the interests of the State, and to divert with addresses the mischief which was feared from the ambition of par [...] ­lar persons.

[Page 31] The Crown was solemnly delivered up to her: And from that time she began to Reign of her self; and by the right of her Vertue, which is the fairest right of Kings, and the most illustrious claim which can enter into their [...]. Surely this cannot be paralleld in History▪ And there would need a very perswasive vertue and of great authority to effect it. They must be Graces of a high expectation, and of a fair carriage, which could gain with so much ease upon great Ambitious Men, and a merce­nary People; and procure the unitement of them both, in the choice of a Woman and a Stranger Being satisfied of her dexterity and capacity, they invested her with absolute Power and Soveraignty without restriction. They did not imitate those that binde their Princes upon their Thrones, who tye their hands to the Scepter which they make them bear, and take from them dispolute of the same Authority which they give them. They only declare unto her that if after the having tryed the weight of Re­gality, she should think fit to share it with a Husband; they wished that she world seek no Forreign assistance, but settle her affection upon some person of that Kingdom.

Confirmed by this proposition, and by the advice of her Councel, she cast her eyes upon [...] Duke of Th [...]n, and divided with him her Person and Regality. This [...] was a young Prince of a handsom aspect and of [...] courage, who was endued with all the Qualities fit to undertake and overcome: And it was to be [...]eared, le [...]t Fortune, which he might court, should raise him to the Throne, had not [...] pre­vented her. Not content to have made him a great King, she undertook to make him a Catholick King, and to withdraw him out of the slavery of the Arian Heresie. This was evidently an enterprize of greater labour and of longer time, then all those which are performed with iron and sil­ver Engines, with [...]leets and Armed Nations. Nevertheless she accom­plished it by her cares and good offices, with Prayers and [...]ears. Her Prayers drew upon [...] the light of Heaven: And every Tear proved a perswasive reason to him, which all the Arian Doctors were never able to answer.

Her conquest reacheth farther then one individual soul, though it were a Soveraign one and raised above others. It was more ample and of grea­ter advantage to the Church. The chief Noblemen of the Kingdom, and almost the whole People being converted by the Conversion of their new King, submitted with him to the zeal and piety of their good Queen: And this zeal was so [...] is, and of so great authority, this piety was so efficacious and victorious, that in a very short time all [...], and the Provinces subject to it, abjured Arianism, and became Catholique, by the industry of a Woman She effected much more and advanced the [...]tivity of her zeal, and the victories of her piety to a higher degree. Adalulsus had increased his sins and dominions by the violated rights of the Church, and by usurped Lands. He had thrown Catholique Bishops out of their Seas, and introduced into the sheepfold disguised Thieves, publike impoi­soners, and Doctors of Error and Pestilence. The vertuous Queen enjoyed [Page 32] no repose till the good Pastors were recalled; till the Church was re-established in her Rights and Honors; and till restitution was made her [...] the [...]ands which impetuous and bold Heresie had taken from her.

These actions did not proceed from an unprofitable and idle Vertue: The most couragious and warlike ones did never act so vigorously, and with so much success. And all the Crowns gained by the valiant Women in this History were never worth so much as a flowre of Theodelind's Crown. The great Saint Gregory, who governed the Church at that time, under­stood the weight and importance of her Services: And being willing to reader her publike and lasting thanks for them, he Dedicated his Dia­logues to her by a Preface, wherein she triumphs to this day: and where­in there i [...] not a word which is not worth a Statue erected to her Vertue.

Some time after the E [...]ark of Ravenna did over-run the Territories of Agilulsus, and took in some Places which lay convenient for him, and were ill guarded. This [...]on, which was become more gentle, yet had not suf­fered himself to be enchained, quickly found again his Teeth and Claws, and hastened to take revenge. All things tended to a perilous and scanda­lous War; and not only the E [...]ark [...]at of Ravenna, but even the Patrimony of Saint Peter was in danger, if [...], gained by Saint Gregory, had not extinguished by her dexterity and Tears the fire which already began to be inkindled. Thereby she preserved liberty to the Church and sacred things: she freed the Church from her yoke: she brake in pieces the Chaines prepared for the successor of the Apostles, and chased away the Barbarians from before Rome. Her whole life was thus powerfull: And I know not whether there ever passed away one hour of it which was not beneficiall both to the Publike and particular persons. The most Magni­ficent Churches were built by her: and what is more to be prized then many erected Churches, was, that by her cares and good offices Lumbardy re-entred into the Church. But we must not make a whole Book of one Example▪ And I have sufficiently discoursed of it, to encourage the Vertue of Women, to give them a holy and profitable Emulation, to withdraw them from idleness; to make them understand, that Christian Conquests, Conversions of People, Heroick Works, and great Crowns belong as well to their Sex as ou [...]s.

[Page]

PORCIE a [...]le des charbons ardens, pour aller apres son Mary: et par la hardiesse et [...] de sa mort, egale la reputation de Cat [...]n et la gloire de Brutus. [...]

[Page 33]Porcia.

THE defeat of Brutus could not be concealed from Porcia. The noise and mourning for it are great everywhere: The Publik as well as Particulars regret it equally and in common: and I believe that the very Statues in the Senate and Tribune have lamented a Citizen with whom in fine the Republike and Liberty of Rome even then expired. This generous woman did not receive this loss with outcryes and fainting fits; she did not violate her Cheeks and Hair; she did not accuse Heaven, nor reproach Fortune for it; and one may say that the news of Brutus Death found Brutus living and victorious in Porcia. Nevertheless, with all this Fortitude and Courage, she took a resolution to die: and you need not doubt but she will execute the resolution she hath taken.

Nothing of Cowardize ought to be expected from the Daughter of Cato; nothing of weakness from the widdow of Brutus. She is couragious from her Race, and a Philoso­pher by Alliance: and her Death will be as Stoicall as that of her Husband and Father: Her kindred and friends being willing to preserve this fair remainder of the ancient Vertue, [Page 34] did in vain set guards upon her: she made them understand that they might inchain her body, but could never fetter her soul: That she could pass through a thousand Chains, and as many closed Gates: and that if her Fathers Vertue was able to free him from the power of Caesar; and that of her Husband, to preserve himself from the victory of Anthony; Hers would not remain captive to their importune cha­rity and troublesome offices. In fine, whether she had per­swaded or prevailed with them, you see her out of their hands: And how little soever their cares are retarded, it is much to be feared they will come too late, and not finde her alive.

A slave who had broken his Chains, and freed himself from a long imprisonment, could not be more joyfull then you behold her. Her joy notwithstanding is modest and se­vere: As her heart never changes place, so her face never alters colour: and her Death from this very instant will be as quiet and serene, as her Contentments were heretofore. She represents not to her self the place to which she goeth, nor the way she takes. She hath nothing but Brutus in her thoughts, and before her eyes, and provided she go to him, it is indifferent to her whither she go by Sword, Precipice, or Poyson. The shortest way is the best in her opinion: and the nearest Gate, what spectre or terrifying object soever hath the guard of it, will be fitter for her purpose then one more free and remote.

But all wayes appear to her equally barred up, and the di­ligence of her servants removed from about her, all that could open any passage unto death. She pretends that this cha­rity is a violence offered her, she is vexed and angry at it; yet this vexation is without trouble, and this anger ascends not to her face. All her thoughts are busied to deceive these officious Importunes, and not to take revenge of them. There are no offensive arms which she doth not try upon her self in imagination. Her Fancy puts into her mouth, and to her throat all it can compound of Poysons, or forge into Swords. She attempts to strangle her self with the Scarf you see in he [Page 35] hand: she tryed in vain to do it with her Neck-lace and one of her Bracelets: And nothing remains but to tear off her Hair, and work it into a Cord. Surely to commit a mur­ther with such instruments, is to inrage Beauty, and render the Graces cruel. But all means of getting out of prison seems lawfull and honest to a Captive.

VVith this thought she entred into her Closet; she found an opportunity to dye more couragiously, and without vio­lating such [...]nnocent things. She found there a pan of Coa [...]s which little Cupids, the Authors of fair Couples, and Super­intendents of vertuous Amities have prepared for the ea [...]e of her affection. I doubt not but she sees them by the light of the fire within her Soul, which is mingled with that of their Torches. And you may behold them as well as she, if your eyes were purified from the vapors which arise from Matter: The two least present to her the pan of Coals, which they carry upon their heads. They render her this last office, with smiles and serene countenances: You would say that they animate her with their sparkling eyes, and with the joy of their looks; and that their mouthes half open, seem to promise her the acclamations of Fame, and the applauses of all Ages. A third Cupid, greater and stronger then the two other, and hanging in the ayre, lights with his Torch the Coals which are in the Pan: I believe notwithstanding that his Torch, what vertue soever it hath, contributes less there­unto then his presence. And if some one might say, that by only touching a Tree with the end of his Finger, he cou [...]d set a whole Forrest on fire; it is apparent that this Cupid might in passing by, and with his bare shadow infire Mountains, even frozen Mountains, and covered over with Snow.

Do you not observe upon the face of Porcia the pleasing mixture which proceeds from the light of this Torch, added to the fire of her eyes, and that which her heart spreads upon her Cheeks? There truly it is where confusion appears no­ble, and where delight and glory enters. Painters and Dyers could invent nothing like this. And the concurrence is not so lovely upon a Rose freshly blown, when the first rayes [Page 36] of the day newly flaming, and still red from its birth, adds an artificial Purple to that which is natural to it. You have a sight piercing enough to sever the brightness of the fire from the fair dye of blood, and to distinguish the lustre which ap­pears outward, from that which Courage begets, and is re­flected from the bottom of the Soul.

But you are too attentive in contemplating the action of Porcia: And her heart is more visible by that then her face. VVith one hand she puts a burning Coal into her mouth; with the other she takes a second, as if she needed many to conclude her life: And whether the grief for her loss hath suppressed all other sorrows; whether she hath no sence re­maining but in her heart, where her soul contracts it self a­bout the Image of Brutus; you would say that they are Ru­bies which she handles; you would say that they are Leaves of Roses which she swallows. But whether it be insensibili­ty or resolution, whether it be Love or Philosophy, it doth not hinder the fire she had within, fortified with an exteriour flame, from burning the tyes of her soul.

I conceive them already consumed, and this generous soul speedily departing out of her fair prison, will joyn it self with her likeness which is come to receive it. Her Guards affrighted and surprized, hasten with tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouthes. But their tears will not quench this fire, nor will their complaints terrifie Death, or chase it away from the place into which it is entred. This fire will shine in the eyes of all Nations and Ages, and give an eter­nall lustre to the memory of Porcia: This Death will be pa­ralleld with that of Cato and Brutus: And this Closet will be as fair a Perspective in History as the City of Vtica, and the Philippian Field.

SONNET.
PORCIA speaks.

LEss worthy of regret, then envy'd praise,
I by a Death which Nature did amaze,
Equal'd a Father's Glory, and the Fame
Of a dear Husband, who their Fates ore-came.
Their Vertue, which I trac'd, did me attend
When they were gone, to guide me to my end;
But envious Fortune in revenge, did strive
By cross Designs, to keep me still alive.
My cruel Friends amidst this hot alarm,
By their offensive cares my hands disarm;
Therein obstructing, like inhumane foes,
My passage to sweet Death, whose gates they close.
But Love, to give my Soul desired room,
Came with his Shafts to open me my Tomb;
And I, for want of weapons, to expire,
Swallow'd the Coals his Torch had set on fire.

The Elogy of Porcia.

THis Picture is of a magnanimous Woman, who dies of Grief and Love, and resolutely like a Stoick. It is the famous Porcia who was the Rival of a Father Defender of the Publick Li­berty, and of a Husband the destroyer of Tyrannie: And who renewed in the Age of Riot and Pleasure, the Vertue and Severity of the Primitive Republick. She was the daughter of Cato, and the wise of Brutus: Of the one she was born constant and invincible: she became wise and learned from the other: and had Vertue for her inheritance, and Philosophy for her Dowry. Her Husband ruminating upon the death of Caesar, and the Deliverance of the oppressed Republick: she deserv [...]d to be admitted to the communication of this fatal secret, and to assist his high thoug [...]ts busied in contriving the Destiny of the Empire. She con­spired with him in heart and spirit; she promised to send at least her de­sires, her vows and zeal to the execution. And since her Husband seemed to mistrust her silence and fidelity, she made by one stroke of a dagger a great and painful wound in her thigh: And thereby she shewed him what she was able to do against torments, and gave him some of her blood in Hostage for her Constancy and Loyaltie.

After the death of Caesar, and the ruine of Pompey's Faction; Brutus having slain himself upon the bloody Body of the Republick, defeated in the Philippian Plain; Porcia d [...]ed not like him, blaspheming against Ver­tue, and repenting her self for having ever served it. She continued her reverence to it to the last; and honoured it with her last words. Seeing her self besieged by her kindred, which took from her all means of cut­ting asunder the tyes of her soul, she resolved to kindle there a fire with burning Coals, which she swallowed down. Thus she set at liberty what remained of her Father and Husband: And by her death the blood of the one, and the heart of the other, once more overcame Tyrannie.

MORAL REFLECTION.

WOmen ought to learn from this example, that the fault cannot be charged upon their Sex that they are not valiant: That their in­firmities are vices of Custom, and not any defect of Nature: And that a great heart is no more discomposed by a tender body, then is a great Intelligence by a beautiful Planet. Doves would have the boldness of Eagles, and Erins the courage of Lyons, if their souls were of the same Species.

One may gather out of the same Example, another instruction for Husbands: Brutus was a man honest enough, and a Philosopher able enough to read them a Lecture. And they should not be ashamed to learn of him, that Wives are given them for Assistants and Co-adjutresses, [Page 39] that they ought to have a place for them as well in their Closets as Beds; and to share with them in affairs no less then at Table: And that capacity grows from imployment, and fidelity from confidence. Judgement pro­ceeds from the head which is not changeable from the variety of that which covers it. Augustus proposed nothing to the Senate, upon which he had not deliberated with Li [...]ia who was as his Associate in the Empire, and if one may say so, his Domestick Colleague. The Holyest of our Kings being a Prisoner to the Saracens, would conclude nothing about his Free­dom but with the consent of the Queen his Wife: And under the Reign of Ferdinand, Spain was not happy and victorious, but by the prudence and courage of Isabella. The ensuing Question will inform us, whether Porcia were endued with generosity? And whether women be capable thereof?

MORAL QVESTION.
VVhether VVomen be capable of an Eminent Generosity?

I Have been present at some Disputes undertaken upon this Question: And sometimes it hath caused me to have innocent and pleasing quar­rels with my Friends. I have seen some who could not endure that a Woman should be commended for Generosity: It is, said they, as if one should praise her for having a good seat on horse-back, and for well handling her Arms: It is as if one would set her forth with a Helmet or the skin of a Lion: It were to confound the bounds which sever us, and place disorder in Morality. And a generous Woman is no less a Solecism then a Woman Doctor, and a Woman Cavalier. It is an incongruity al­most as undecent as a bearded Woman.

To this I did Answer, that Vertues having their seat in the Soul, and need­ing only a good disposition of the Soul to operate, belong to both Sexes; That Generosity is one of those Vertues: That the office of the Body and the action of its Members are not necessary to it; That all its Functions are interiour and performed in the heart: And that the heart of Man and Woman is of the same Matter and Form. I added thereunto, that the Comparison of Arms and Military Exercises concluded nothing against the Generosity of Women: That all things are becoming to well-shaped persons and of a handsom aspect: That Semiram [...], H [...]psicrates and [...] were as gracefully set forth with Helmets as with Crowns: And that ano­ther as well known in Fables, was not found unhandsom in the Lions skin, which Hercules wore. That besides that, there have been women seen who knew how to manage a horse, to throw a dart, & use their swords with a good grace. No just comparison can be made, nor a right consequence drawn from the exercises of the Body in reference to the Habits of the Soul. That a Woman Doctor and a Woman Cavalier were but Errors of [Page 40] Grammar which do not violate Morality. That Generosity not being fa­stened to the heart of a man as a beard is to his face, it might belong with­out any incongruity or undecency to both Sexes.

To these Reasons which came to my minde, and which I alledged tu­multuary and without choice in like Disputes, others of more weight and better prepared may be added upon meditation. Generosity, to define it rightly▪ is a heighth of courage, or an Elevation of minde, whereby a soul raised above interest and profit, is led inviolably and without deviation unto Duty which is labourious, and to Gallantry which is painful and diffi­cult in appearance. And because this disposition taken in its usual foyle, and in respect of matter, scarce belongs to any but Great and Noble Persons: the name of Generosity hath been given to it, which is a name of Great­ness and Nobility. Whether then that we take Generosity materially, and for that cream of good blood and pure Spirits which nourish and sustain it: Whether we take it Morally for an immutable and constant resolution to pursue Duty and Gallantry, even to the contempt of Interest, and with the loss of benefit, it will appear that in either sense, Women are no less capable thereof then Men.

First, it was never said, that Nobility appertained only to one Sex, and that the cream of good blood was all on the one side, & all the dregs on the other. The distribution of it is equally made, and according to natural Justice. Sisters possess it in common and without distinction with their Brothers▪ And it is with noble Races as with Pomegranate Trees, which bare no Flowers without Purple, nor Fruit without Crowns: And it is the like with Palm Trees, whole Males and Females are of equal Noble­ness. Wherefore a noble minde belonging no less to Women then Men, and the pure blood dispersing its self equally through the veins from their Birth: it remains that Generosity should have on either part an equal stock, and that the matter of which it is composed should be common.

Secondly, The true form and proper spirit of Generosity proceeds from the Intention, and pursuit of that pure and laborious Good which is its object And this object is not so difficult, nor placed in so high a Re­gion as women cannot pretend to it. They are not so meanly born that they cannot raise themselves above what is pleasing and profitable: they may have higher a [...]ms and more noble desires; Nature hath given them as well as to us, the rellish and appetite of acting gallantly: And in History the foot-steps remain still fresh, of those who have arrived to this vertue through thorny passages and precipices, even through flames and tortures. The frequent toyls they have undergone to run after a luminous and de­ceitful Fantome, testifie their disposition and forces, shewing what they are able to do herein. and when Queens and Princesses shall be exposed, who have cast themselves from their Thrones, who have mounted upon flaming Piles, who have passed through Swords, to follow a seeming and imaginary Good, who will be so incredulous and obstinate as to deny that Women have a Natural inclination to an effective and real Good?

Thirdly, as Princes and great Persons have their Duties and a Gallantry [Page 41] which is proper to their Fortunes: So Princesses and great Ladies, besides the Duties and Gallantry of their Sex, have second Duties, and a particular Gallantry, which appertains to the Decency of their condition. Now if these Duties be laborious, if this Gallantry be difficult and environed with dangers; if one cannot arrive to it but with trouble and ruines? If to at­tain to it one must abandon certain Interest, and ruine a present Fortune? If one must part with his blood, and expose his life, what will a Couragious Woman and of qua [...]ty do, and to what side will she betake her self? Can any one wish that she should submit to fear and conjectures▪ That she should expose her honour to preserve her Fortunes? That she should fail in her Duty, not to prejudice her estate? That she should suffer her blood to be stained, rather then part with one drop of it▪ This truly would be very poor, and unworthy of a Noble Soul. She must then renounce the pleasure and profit; she must trample upon the Mines of her Interests: she must renounce Fortune, and reject her Parents; she must expose her self even to death and punishments, to advance [...] and with de­cency to Duty.

Since this cannot be effected without an Heroick Generosity, one must of necessity either grant this Generosity to Women, or allow that they may be Covetous and Interessed out of Duty; that they be lazy and disloyal, handsomly and with decency, ungrateful and treacherous by the right of Nature, and the priviledge of their Sex.

But Nature hath not conferred on them so bad a Right, no [...] so scanda­lous a Priviledge. On the contrary, she would have them all born with an inclination to what is glorious: And whether she hath infused some Ray into their souls; or whether their hearts in their very Birth have re­ceived in Impression of it, like to that which Iron receives from the Load stone: the [...] hearts adhere unto this lustre, in what matter soeve [...] is found: And their souls at the first Idea, which excite [...] the rage [...] they have received of it, turn to it by their own instinct, and without ex [...]pecting any extrinsical motion which presseth them to it. From thence it comes that Women are generally curious in what is fair and glorious, di­ligently seeking after all the Species of it, and observing all the Rules and Formes thereof. And if upon their Bodies, and in their Garments, in their Moveables, and all things else they so pas [...]ionatly affect, a materiall and sensible Beauty, which is of the lowest Order▪ It is not credible, that they have less inclination to the Intellectual Beauty; and of the first Or­der, which is the Beauty of what is Noble and Gallant. From hence we may conclude regularly, and in good form, that the inclination to this Splendo [...] being, as truly it is, the Fountain of true Generosity, one cannot deprive them of it without taking from them thereby that inclination which is most Natural to them; it being the second spirit of their hearts, and the first property of their Sex.

But why should we take it from them? Hath Nature made them les [...] Noble then the Females of other Animals, to whom she hath given ano­ther kind of Generosity, which she hath not bestowed on the [...] ▪ I know [Page 42] not whether any man hath made this observation before me; yet it ought to be made, and Women may draw instruction, and advantage from thence. Lions and Tygers, Leopards, Male-Eagles, and all other beasts which are naturally so fierce and couragious, never fight but for Interest, and Prey: And their whole Courage, to express it well, is but a violen [...] greediness; Their Valour is but for necessity and Rapine: Hunger is the only Punctilio of Honour which sets them on, and without this provo­cation their fierceness pines away, and their mettal grows dull. It is not the same with Females, their mettal is more Noble, and their valour less In­terested. They fight not only for their proper necessities, and do it as cou­ragiously as the Males: But they fight also for others wants, for the defence and preservation of their young ones, which the Males use not to do; even to that heighth, that they expose themselves to fire and sword for this Du­ty, which is the only Duty and Good they are capable of. Hath Nature then given Generosity to Lions and Eagles, hath she given it to Turtles and Doves, and shall it not be in her power to give it to Women, to whom she hath given a Soul of the same form, a Heart of the same temper. Blood and Spirits of the same tincture as she hath given to Men? Let us conceive her to be more regular and exact in her Works: We will believe nothing of it gratis, no [...] out of complacency: We ground our belief upon Na­tural Reasons, and the Morality which Philosophy alledges for it. We be­lieve upon ancient Examples, and those Modern ones, which History hath conceived of it: And if all others were forgotten, we should have enough of this which is of our Nation; which is present before our eyes; which hath begotten astonishment in our Age, and will give emulation to all Posterity.

EXAMPLE.
Francis Cezely the Lady of Barry.

THere are some froward persons, who never esteem any but stran­gers, and can approve nothing but Antiquity: who generally dis­like all that is of their own Country, and have always a quarrel to the Age they live in. These kind of People adore▪ Demy-Caesars of Plaister, and Pompeys of Marble, who time hath maimed; and scarce cast their eyes upon entire and living Hero's of their own Age. They shew us Tamber­l [...]s and [...] as a wonder, who are the Divinities of their Galleries and Closets. They alledge to us Alphonsos and G [...]smans, not without an Elogy; and incessantly Preach to us of Granadian vertues, of a Moorish Wisdom. As for French Vertues, which speak their own Language, and are born in their sight, they cite them not but with a spirit of contradiction, and to reprehend them. These Gentlemen think much to endure the Aire and Soyle of their own Country: And if they bear any respect to the Sun which inlightens them, the reason is, because it comes from the Indies, [Page 43] and was in being before the Deluge. We ought to harbour more reason­able thoughts, and judge of things more discreetly, and with more equity. Vertues are not National, nor tyed to differences of Time: There are some of all Countreys and Ages: And I may say, that it is the same with those of these dayes, as with our Sun, which is as Great as in the time of our Progenitors, and as luminous as that which produces the gold and precious stones of the Indies. This will appear in the subsequent Example: It is Modern, and of France, and more to be valued then all that Antiquity, whether Grecian or Roman hath ever seen most Generous and Illustrious.

Whilst Henry the Third fought against the Head of the League about Paris, the Provinces being torn in pieces by their own Members, received dangerous wounds. His strongest Attempts were upon [...], where the Confederates had either taken by force, or gained by practice all the best Places. They only wanted La [...]cate to become absolute Masters of that Pro­vince; and to have free Commerce with Spain, which was a great suppor­ter of the League. Being out of hope to possess it by open Hostility, and to enter it like Lions & by a Breach, they had recourse to a Stratagem of ill ex­ample, and sought out by-wayes to enter in like Foxes. This Device being dexterously managed, took effect as they had Designed. And Monsieur de Barry who held La [...]cate for the King, being gone out with no sinister in­tention upon the Liberty, which a short Cessation of Arms had given him, fell into an Ambuscado which was laid for him.

The Confederates of the League conceived La [...]cate to the taken with the Governour: but they had neither taken his Fidelity nor Constancy: And in case his Fidelity and Constancy should have been taken; he had in­trusted the place with another Constancy, and a second Fidelity, which were better fortified, and harder to be taken then its Bulwarks and Half-moons. I speak of his Wife, whom he privately advertized of his mishap, injoyning her by a few words, written with a coal upon his Handkercher, to repair as soon as possibly she could to La [...]cate. This Gallant and Gene­rous Woman did not deliberate upon the Orders which required the con­duct and courage of the best experienced Captain: And because expedi­tion was particularly recommended to her, she immediatly put to Sea and exposed her self to the dangers of Water and Fire, to Tempests, and the Frigots of the Enemy. And God who reserved her for a far more Heroick and exemplar combat, ordained that she should happily arrive at La [...]cate.

Mean while Monsieur de Barry was carryed prisoner to Narb [...]: And La [...]cate was there a [...]taqu'd by continual Assaults given to his Courage and Fidelity. There was neither fire nor sword imployed in these Assaults. A man of so much Honour and Courage, who had contemned two thou­sand Pikes, and as many Muskets upon a Breach, could not fear a Dagger or a Pistol in a Chamber. He was batterd only with large Offers and mag­nificent Promises, with Governments and Pensions: Unto which, to Bat­ter him on all sides, words of terrour, and threats of death were added against his Children and Wife, in case he provided not for their safety, by the rendition of the Place.

[Page 44] In all these Assaults Monsieur de Barry shewed himself a dis-interessed Servant, a Couragious Husband, and undaunted Father. His Answer was, ‘That he had never known other Interest to preserve, then his Honour; not pretended to any other Fortune, then the discharge of his Duty: That Governments & Pensions were too weak Arms to vanquish him. That an innocent and unspotted Poverty would be more glorious to him, and give him better content, then criminal and sullyed Riches: That the death of his Wife and Children, which they placed before his eyes, was a Fantome which did no wayes affright him: that he owed much to his own Blood and Nature, but far more to his Loyalty and Prince. That his Reputation was never to him then his Family, and his Conscience more interiour, and of an older date then his Posterity: That a fit of the Cholick might to morrow take away his Wife, that his Children might be as soon hurryed away by a Feaver; and that it should not be said, that to reserve his Wife for the Cholick, and his Children for a Feaver, he had robbed his Prince of his Right, his Coun­try of Repose, his Name and Race of their Honours.’

When La [...]cate was Battered in this manner at Narb [...], the Confederates of the League battered it at a neerer distance, in a place which they conceived less Naturally strong: And it was done with weapons from which they expected more effect, then by Mines and Canons. They presented them­selves before La [...]ate, and demanded to speak with Madam de Barry, who was prepared for all the sad events which so dismal a beginning might produce ‘They acquainted her that her Husband was their Prisoner: That after his lost Liberty, he was still in the Eve of loosing his life: that both nevertheless depended on her: That an easie ransom should be set upon him: And that without alienating his Lands, without empty­ing his Coffers or pawning his Jewels; in a word, he should be restored to her for the bare keys of La [...]cate.

This Lady was of a Family which a Canonized Saint, and a Pope esteemed Blessed, had in some kinde Sanctifyed. By her Father she was of the Race of St. Ro [...]. By his Mother who was of the House of the Earl of Ro [...], she came to be allyed to Vrban the fift. Besides this Heri­ditary Sanctity, and belonging to her Family, she had much Piety of her own, and was very vertuous by her own Acquisitions. Her Piety never­theless was not tepide and timerous: her Vertues were none of those idle and Antick ones, which amuse the most part of Women. They were strong and couragious; they acted continually and with vigour; and this vigour was supported by a Generosity which might make a life Heroick, if it had been placed in another Sex, and in a Soveraign Condition.

She needed no less courage to resist the Assault, and to acquit her self with honour of so perilous an Attempt which was made upon her. She made answer to those that proposed to her an exchange of La [...]cate, and her Loyaltie for her husband: ‘That she owed her first and highest affections to her King and Fidelity: And that she would not take them off to give them to her husband, to whom she owed but second and inferiour [Page 45] ones. That she loved him intirely, and had great tenderness for him, yet loved him in his degree and with order, and that there was nothing remiss or weak in her tenderness. That she understood better then any body the worth of her Husband: That were he to be sold innocently, and to be put to a Lawful ransom, she would not only alienate her Lands and pawn her Jewels to redeem him, but even rent out the labour of her hands, and make money of her blood and death, if she could compass it by her sweat and pains. That nevertheless for this, she would never alienate her Fidelity, nor engage therein one single point of her Con­science: And that if she should make so ill a bargain, her husband would be the first breaker of it. That he would never be perswaded to depart out of Prison without his honour; nay he would never descend from a Scaffold, nor ascend unto a Throne without it. But should he forget his honour (went she on) yet I will never be unmindfull of mine: I know too well the value of it, nor will I ever dispossess my self thereof for any gain or loss which may arise from it. I understand very well to what Marriage obligeth me; and what I owe to my Fami­ly: But I was not born a marryed Person, as I am born a French-Woman. And it shall never be said that to preserve a Family, which was but yesterday, and peradventure will not be to morrow, I have laid open a Fort to Rebellion, and contributed to the ruine of my Countrey.’

The Confederates of the League being overcome and repulsed at this first Assault, did not yet retire: they continued the Battery for the space of seven weeks: And every day they gave some new onset upon the Place, through the heart of this generous Woman. Sometimes they sware to make her Husband suffer all sorts of torments: And they made her endure them all in her imagination with terrifying looks, and far more frightfull words. Sometimes they threatned to render him back to her by piece-meal: And these threats were worse then Canon shots, or Granadoes, but they fell upon a heart which was stronger then the strong­est Bulwarks; and which would not have yielded either for Canon shot, or for all their Granadoes. In fine, the Confederates of the League despair­ed of taking La [...]cate by so well guarded a place: and the dolefull and tra­gick execution which followed their despair, clearly shewed that they spake in good earnest; and that their threats were reall. Monsieur de Barry was strangled in his Chamber by the hand of an Executioner: And neither the Cord nor Engine wherewith he was strangled, could not draw from his mouth any sign of irresolution, nor one single word of weak­ness. In History there are more glorious and famous Deaths then this; but a more magnanimous & heroick one hath not been seen. Remarkable Deaths are not made so, by the Grandeur of the Armes which destroy; they arise from the greatness of Courage, and the force of resolution: and there are enough which will not yield before two hundred Piles, and a battery of twelve Canon. But there are few which render not themselves to the Rope of an Executioner. Surely it were to be wished, for the good of the [Page 46] State, that we might have many Copies of this gallant Man, and of this generous Woman: If there were but one in every Town of the Kingdom, it would be at least impregnable through coveteousness or fear.

The sending back the body of Monsieur de Barry, did in a strange man­ner incense the Garrison. In the first heat of anger and compassion, the Soldiers transported by both, ran unto the Governors house, with a reso­lution to kill Monsieur de Loupian, who was a Gentleman of quality, and a particular Confident of the house of [...]oye [...]e. Monsieur Mont [...]rancy, who kept him Prisoner, being advertised of the taking of Monsieur de Barry, had given him in charge to his wife, that he might be responsible to her for the life of her husband; and that by the right of Reprisals he might make satisfaction with his own life if the other miscarryed. Doubtless there had been an end of him, and all the credit of the League could not have saved him in this tumult, if Madam de Barry had not been more ge­nerous and humane then is observed in the single order of Nature. But she was so after a more pure and sublime manner: and there was in her heart another kind of spirit, and other principles, differing from the spirit of the world, and the Maximes of Morality. ‘She presented her self before this irritated Troop, and spake so efficaciously, and with so powerfull and perswasive a grace of Monsieur de Loupians Innocence, of the Crime they would commit, in making him undergo the penalty of a murther, whereof he was not guilty; of the punishment God would infallibly inflict upon this offence; that she appeased their spirits, and removed all spite and rage from their grief. Addressing her self afterwards to her Son He [...]d [...]s, whom the soldiers had followed, she proposed to him the Heroick constancy, and the inviolable Fidelity of his Father; The Patrimony of Glory which his death had purchased to their Family; the stain which the unjustly spilt blood of Monsieur de Loupian would bring upon this still-fresh Glory: the repentance which follows pre­cipitated Anger and unlawful Revenges: The Protection they ought to expect from him, who makes himself to be called the Father of Or­phans, and the Defender of Widows.’ And by these reasons, fortifyed by her example, and animated by a spirit of Vertue and Authority, she saved this poor Gentleman, and sent him back to Monsieur Mont [...]rancy, with a Convoy.

The History of Spain makes a great deal of noise about the Generosity of G [...]an the Good, who being summoned by the Moors either to de­liver up Terissa, which he defended, or to be a Spectator of his Sons death, who was a Prisoner in their hands, would not become a Traitor to re­main a Father, and chose rather to preserve his Honour then his Race. Truly this Generosity was Heroick: And Spain, so magnificent in great words, and in vast and high expressions, hath no words so great, nor ex­pressions so vast which can equal it. Nevertheless the action of a Woman, and a French Woman hath surpassed it: And the Loyaltie of Madam de Barry was so much the more Gallant and Generous then that of Gu [...]man, in as much as a dearer pledge, and a more irreparable and sensible loss was [Page 47] to be hazarded thereby. The Spaniard consented to the loss of a young Plant which was dear to him, and made one part of himself: But per­chance this young plant was not single: This part was served from him; And besides others might grow up in its place. The French Woman came not off at so cheap a rate; she was to undergo the loss of the Stem, and of all the Roots. She was to suffer the Incision of a part which was in­herent in her; which stuck to her flesh and bones, which was flesh of her flesh, and bone of her bone, which made up the mo [...]ty of her heart and spirit. And the chiefest matter is, that this so difficult and costly fideli­ty was exercised in a time of trouble and tumult; In a time when Laws were in disorder, and Duties in confusion: when Rebellion was Cano­nized by the People, and Loyaltie made an Hackny: when Soveraignty was L [...]tigious, and brought into Dispute, when the oppressed Crown seemed ready to be torn in pieces, or to change its Master.

The Command of La [...]cate continued to this generous Widow: And for the space of seven years she performed the Functions of it with so much courage, and with so laborious an Assiduity, as she left nothing more to be desired in point of her care and conduct. By her presence she gave incouragement to the labours and exercises of the Souldiers: She was as­sisting in their Duties, and kept them in an exact Order, and under a regu­lar Discipline: She Commanded pleasingly, and with Dignity; and she her self added example, and the shew of action to her Commands: And whatsoever an active and vigilant Captain, Armed with Authority, could have done in a Garrison Town, this gallant Woman did it generously and with success, she did it with comeliness and a pleasing grace.

The deceased King Henry the Great, who esteemed nothing rashly and out of fancy, highly prized this Generosity: And when some Cour­tiers affecting the Government of La [...]cate, represented to him, that a Place of such importance was not safe in the hands of a Woman: He often An­swered, ‘That he reposed more Trust in this Woman, then in the ablest Man of his Kingdom: That he knew not any one, who could give so gallant an Earnest, or so precious a Pledge of their Fidelity, as she had done: And that above all, it concerned the honour of France, to have it known, that there were Ladies of that Nation, not inferiour to Captains.’ Nothing could be added to these few words: They spake more then our longest Elogies can do. They Crown the Memory of this Generous Woman, and are a greater Honour to her then a triumphant Arch, and many Statues.

[Page]

ARRIE fortifie son Mary contre la Mort et par l'essay et l'exemple de la sienne, [...] qu'on meurt sans douleur, quand on meurt auec courage. [...]

[Page 49]Arria.

WEE are come too late, and have lost the fairest piece of the most magnanimous action Rome hath ever seen: The Actors as you see are few in number, but all choice and famous ones: And what they doe in private, and with­out noise, will be speedily carryed to Theatres and pub­like Places, and wi [...]l receive Applauses from all free and Roman Hands.

You come not so far off, and are not so great a stranger to Rome, that you have heard no speech of Arria. She is a mo­dern Copy of the ancient Vertue: she is a young woman, and hath the Features of the old Republike. Her Apparell and Speech sutes indeed with this time: but her Courage, Constancy, and Fidelity are of the Sabi [...]s Age. And though she lives under the Reign of Claudius the Simple, and in the Court of Messeline the Incontinent, yet nothing of this Reign, nor of this Court appears in her Manners: They are of Lu­crecia's Age, or of some other far purer Time, and less remote from the primitive Vertue. Common Fame may have told you all that can be said of this womans Vertue: but it could not as yet inform you what you see of her Courage.

[Page 50] Sh [...] returned long since from Dalmatia, following in a small Bark the Fortune and Ship of her Husband, who was led away Captive. You may have heard that he had been one of the Heads of the Scribonian Conspiracy; and that he h [...]d liberty to pass which way he pleased to Messalin and Narcissus. His wife perceiving him irresolute, between Fear and Courage, she her self took a couragious resolution, that she might fortifie him by her example, and teach him how to make choise of a Consular Death, and equall to the [...] and Triumphs of his Ancestors. I could wish that we had been present at the Discourse which she newly had with him. VVe might have heard the Images of the Cicinna [...]s speak: we might have seen the memory of Cato and Brutus, and the glory of all the Defenders of Liberty laid before him to give him Courage.

To the force of so many Heroick reasons, and of so many magnanimous words, she added the force of her Example, which is far more Heroick and Magnanimous. And the mortall stroke she but even now gave her self, set a value up­on her Reasons, and fortified them by a present Authority, and by a Personall and still-fresh Experiment. She exhorts him with her eyes, and countenance as you see: she exhorts him with her hand, with which she presents him a Dagger. But her most efficacious and pressing Exhortation is that of her wound, which is a mouth of good credit and belief; a mouth which can only say what it thinks, and nothing which it doth not perswade. This stream of blood which flows from thence, hath her voice and spirit: and this spent all warm, that it penetrates the heart of Cicinnas, dissipates his fears and coldness; stayes his trembling fits, and fortifies his weakness; and raises up there against Death a true Patrici­man Vertue, of the Age of Liberty, and of the spirit of Rome.

Arria accompanies with the sweetness of her eyes the vi­gour of this spirit: and the shadow of approaching Death was so far from obscuring them, that they never cast forth more fire; they never diffused so pure and penetrating a light. You believe peradventure that this is done by an [Page 51] effusion which is naturall and common to all Torches which draw near their end. For my part I believe, and believe it with more probability, that this surplusage of light issues from the very soul of Arria, which shews it self openly by these fair Gates to the soul of Cicinna [...], and exhorts it to [...]ally forth couragiously after her. But from what spring s [...]ever this pure and glorious effusion ariseth; it is certain that Cicinna is penetrated by it: and his soul, which fear had impri­soned, being now inflamed and attracted by the power of this light, expects only the fatall stroke which was to set it at liberty.

To give this blow, Arria presents him a Dagger, still warm with her blood and courage. Love is the mediator of this commerce, and at the same time, and by the same inspiration infuseth courage into the mind of Arria, and resolution into the spirit of Cicinna. Take not this Love for one of those nice ones in whom Poppy causeth the head-ach, and who would not adventure to touch a Rose, unless it be disarmed: It is one of those couragious and magnanimous Loves, of those which have produced Heroes and Heroesses, of those which know no other Garlands but Helmets, no other Posies but Swords, of those which take delight in Frost and Rain

, in Chains and Prisons. And I am much mistaken if it be not the very same Love which led Euadne to the flaming pile of her Husband, which sparkled the Sword wherewith the true Dido guarded her self from a second Marriage: and which lately also cut off the Hair of the Vertuous Hypsicratea, put the Helmet on her head, and made a Queen become a Foot-soldier in the Army of Mithridates.

At present this Love playes the Exhorter and Philoso­pher, it speaks to Cicinna of liberty and glory, and animates him to follow the Example and Courage of his wife. You would say, that in guiding his hand to the Dagger which is offered him, she assures him, that it will cut off the ligaments of his soul without hurting him; that it hath been mollified in the bosome of Arria, and by the fire of her heart; that her blood hath qualified it, and take from thence all that it [Page 52] had of malignity and sharpness: and that not only so No­ble and Honourable a weapon as that, but even a Cord pre­sented by the hand of so gallant a woman, would be more glorious then many Diadems wrought by the hand of For­tune, and presented by those of Messaline.

Cicinna seems fully perswaded by these reasons, and con­firms them by his gesture and countenance. He is no longer the same fearfull and irresolute man as before: He hath still the same head and body, but another heart is placed in this body, and another spirit in this head. He hath no longer any blood in his veins which is not Romane: All his thoughts are triumphant, and all his sentiments worthy of a Consul: and shortly his soul, greater then Fortune, and stronger then Death, will depart victorious over both, and re-unite it self to the soul of Arria.

This Example of constancy and conjugall Fidelity is very precious to Rome at this time: and no doubt but the young Arria and Trascus her Husband, who are spectators thereof, will make good use of it. They greedily and studiously col­lect the circumstances thereof, and look upon it as the princi­pal piece of their Patrimony. Truly it is wonderfull to be­hold a wisdom at the age of eighteen; to behold maturity and youth in one and the same head. To see a woman cou­ragious and constant; a woman grave and serious in an age of divertisements and pleasures. She conceives her self more rich from the lessons and examples of her mother, then from the succession of all the Consuls of her House: and three drops of her blood, and four syllables of her last words have something in them which is dearer to her then all the Pearls of her Ancestors. She likewise stores up these words, and layes up about her heart all that she can gather of his blood, and of the spirit which is mingled with it. Surely this must needs be her good Genius, who inspires her so timely to arm her self thereby: and she cannot choose but foresee the occa­sions wherein it will be usefull to her to have conserved the memory of her Mother, and fortified her self with her Blood and Courage.

[Page 53] Traseus was no less solicitous to reap benefit by this illu­strious Example: The present misfortune of Cicinna is a pre­sage to him of his future mishap: and not finding himself so weak as to crouch under the age, nor so powerfull as to alter it; he clearly sees that the least he can expect, is to be ruined by it after the rest. He restifies at least by his countenance that he will not fall cowardly, nor expect till they push him on: and all the rules of Phisiognomy are deceitfull, or he will be an Original of his time, and his death will have one day a place amongst the Heroick Examples.

SONNET.
ARRIA speaks.

ARria instructs her Husband, by her wound,
That in a gallant Death no smart is found:
The Noble Blood, which from her Bosome flows,
Of her Chaste Fire the heat and tincture shows.
Conjoynth with this blood of matchless worth,
A Fate-subduing Love hath issu'd forth;
Who thus Cicinna's coldness doth exhort
To close thus gallant Scene with like effort.
Thy Honour now Cicinna, is at slake
No less then is thy Life; then Courage take:
Beware lest abject fear restrain thy hand,
And put thy Glory to a shamefull stand.
Arria thy wound upon her self hath ta [...]ne;
To her own Death she hath annext the pain
Of th [...]e, and by [...] extreamly rare,
Hath only le [...]t it's Glory to thy share.

Elogy of Arria.

IT is true that the Reign of the fift Caesar was but a perpetual Comedy: But the Interludes thereof were bloody and Tra [...] ­call: And cruelty was almost continually mixed there, with the loves of Messal [...], and the Impostures of Nar [...]issa. The Spectators grew at length weary of so ill composed and represented a Scene: And some of the least patient, and most Couragious amongst them, resolved to force the Republike out of the hands of these Stage-Players. Nevertheless the Conspirators failing in the success they pro­mised themselves, [...], who was their Head, happened to be killed in [...]: And his Complices, abandoned by reason of his death, re­mained in the power of the Beast, whom they had inraged.

Afterwards [...], who was the most ingaged in the Plot, was appre­hended and brought to Rome. The Couragious and Faithful Arria did not deliberate, whether she ought to follow him. It came not into her thoughts that Adversity was a Divorce: she did not believe that bad Fortune ought to be more powerful then Love; nor that it could Lawfully dissolve Marriages. On the contrary, she believed that she was the Wife of Cicinna, a Criminal and Prisoner, as she had been of Cicinna's a Favourite and Consul; and that she ought to have as great a share in his Chains and Punishments, as she had in his Fortunes and Glory. She accompanied him to the Ship: And at the instant of Imbarking, seeing her self put back by the Guards: ‘You will permit at least, saith she, that a Sena­tor of an ancient Consulary Race, may have some body to wait up­on him, during so long a Voyage. I alone will supply the Places of his Attendants: And the Ship will not be the more burthened, nor the more exposed to Tempests.’

None being able to perswade these Barbarous People to receive her all entire, she did not forbear in spight of them, to imbark her spirit and heart with her Husband; and that she might follow him, at least in part, she put her Body into a Fishermans Bark, and exposed it to the Winds and Waves which carried away the rest. Fortune favoured so couragious a Fidelity: The Spirit and Body of Arria arrived at Rome at the same time: And being re-united at their arrival, did joyntly and with mutual cares sollicite the freedom of Cicinna. Her endeavours finding ill success, she resolved to die: And she sufficiently explained her self, by the reproach she used towards the wife of [...] for surviving the death of her Hus­band, slain in her bosom.

Her Son-in-Law Thrascus alledged all that he could devise to per­swade her to live: All that he could invent not prevailing with her: ‘You have a mind then, saith he, that your Daughter should abandon her self to the like despair: And you condemn her to die with me, when Fortune shall ordain that I must perish. My Example doth not [Page 56] condemn her (replyed she:) And when she shall have lived as long, and with as sweet an harmony, as I have done with Cicinna, she may die boldly without my coming back to take the sword out of her hand, or the poison out of her mouth.’Her kindred being advertised by this Answer, that her Resolution was of more force then their Reasons, they renewed their cares and diligences towards her. She besought them to suffer her quietly to die, and not to change an easie death into a painfull one Having said this, she violently threw her self against the next Wall, and fell into a swound. Being come again to her self with much ado: ‘I did tell you, saith she, that all you could do, was but to hinder me from dying quietly and at ease.’

All the violent Attempts which Arria made upon her soul, did not loosen the soul of Cicinna, nor perswaded it to depart Honourably out of the World, and without expecting the violence of his Enemies. She went at last to see him; ‘And declared to him, that if he had not courage enough to go first, he ought at least to have enough to follow her. She represented to him on the one side, the shame of being con­tinually made a [...] game by a prostituted Woman and an insolent Servant, who made a Scene of the Court, and a Fantome of his Ma­sters. On the other side she remonstrated to him the Infamy which the Executioner left to the Ashes and Memory of those that died by his hands. She often repeated to him, that death was only terrible to irre­solute and timerous persons: That it doth never wound such Coura­gious Souls, as loosen voluntarily themselves, and prevent the hand of force. That this last Act would be more looked upon in History, then his Consulship; and would be more resplendent then the Triumphs of his Ancestors.’ And perceiving that he still deliberated between Re­solution and Fear, she plung'd a Dagger into her own bosom, which she had provided for that purpose: And then drawing it forth warm and dropping, she presented it to him with these words, which were the most Heroick and Victorious that ever issued from a Romans mouth: Take this Dagger Cicinna, it hath done me no harm. Cicinna received from her hand, with the Weapon, the Spirit and Courage which came forth of her wound: And died rather by the Magnanimity of Arria, then by his own Courage.

MORAL REFLECTION.

LEt Christian Ladies learn of this Idolatress, in what dis-interessed Love and conjugal Fidelity doth consist: Let them observe how many Combats she hath fought, and how many Victories she hath gained. She had a present and future Interest in his Possessions and Hopes. She was Young, Rich, and the friend of Messal [...]: She might have left her husband to Justice, and reserved her self for a better Fortune, and a more happy Marriage. Her Riches, her Beauty, her Youth were no Criminals: They had not conspired against the Prince: And it was not against them Commissioners were appointed, and Informations given. She rejected nevertheless, the Temptations of her Age and Interest. She listened only to her Fidelity and Love: And taught her whole Sex by her Example, that a good Woman hath no other Interest, then her Hu [...]band; that to her, there was but one Man in all the World; and that he dying, Riches, Youth and Beauty die to her.

Arria likewise reads a second Lesson to Women, which is no less impor­tant, nor less useful then the first: she teacheth them how that Person is deceived, who said that Marriage was but a name of pleasure: And that even now adayes they are much mistaken, who believe it to be a commu­nity of Goods and Fortunes. It is a name of Yoke and Affliction, a com­munity of Evils and Troubles; a society of Cares and Labours. And it is fit that young Women should be advertized on the day of their Mar­riage, that they are not to be Marryed only for that day, but for all the rest which are to follow, how stormy soever they may prove, and what unpleasing hours soever they may have. They ought to know, that with the person of their Husbands, they espouse all their present and future Fortunes; and that they are obliged to follow them, to what place soever the wind drives them, in what storm soever the Heavens pours down upon them. But this ve [...]ity will be more enlarged in the ensuing Question.

MORAL QVESTION.
Concerning the Duty of VVives towards Husbands in the time of [...] and Misfortunes.

I Could not as yet Divine, why Married Women are crowned, and [...] celebrated with so great pomp, and with so much joy. [...] properly, and without a figure; it is to adorn Slaves and [...] it is to lead them to Prison in pomp and jollity; it is [...] them with Ceremony and Musick. I am well read in the [...] Custom: I see very well that Time, Example, and the [...] People are for it But I know also, that Antiquity is neither all [...] Holy. The first Men may have left us their abuses as well as then [...]: And old Errours are not better conditioned then [...] are not justified by the crowd of those that commit them▪ It were [...] to the purpose, and of far better example, that the Wedding [...] of Christians should be grave and modest: That the Ceremony should be serious and frugal; and that instead of being an object of access and pleasure for new married Couples, it should be a Les­son of Petience, and a preparative to Troubles. There would not be seen so many Rich persons [...]umbred, nor so many Innocent Repentants. There would not so many complain of being caught by a specious bait; who curse the flowers under which so many thornes have been hid. They would have at least made trial of the burthen before they laid it on their shoulder [...] They would have measured the [...] forces with this yoke: They would have [...]epared their courage, and head to bear it cheerfully.

[...] even as I say, and it is profitable to be often said; to the end Igno­rance may not give way to Decent. Marriage is not what it appears afar off and [...]. It hath not only more thornes then flowers, and more bad then good moments: Not only the dayes of mourning and [...] there longer and more numerous then the Festival ones: But what is more strange, there is not one thorn, which causes not a double [...] one single touch. There is not one bad moment, which is not reckoned [...] No day of mourning or vexation, which is not double I mean that a married Woman besides her particular thornes and pains which [...] proper to her, ought over and above, and by the obligation of [...], to burthen her self with the troubles and afflictions of her Hu [...]band. She ought to expose her self to the same dangers, and to [...] of the same storms. It is not allowed her to be at quiet, whilst [...] him: She cannot handsomly shelter her self from the [...] which are cast against him: She ought to be tossed up and down with him, to have her share in all the strokes be receives; to bleed at all his wounds. And this is according to Justice▪ and Law, even natural Justice and the fundamental Law of Marriage.

[Page 59] First, If we consider the End which God proposed to himself in the Creation of Woman; we shall finde that she was given to Man to be his Domestique assistant, a neer Co-adjutress, and of the same Birth with him. Now it is certain that assistances and services are not necessary for any body in time of Prosperity. Good Fortune hath no need of comfort or support; of having her Tears dryed up, or her Blood stanched. It is not for her, Oyles and Balm is provided, that Plaisters and Seat clothes are made: She hath a sound Body and a free Minde: She is equally dis­charged from all that is Burthensom and Afflicting. It is only to bad Fortune, Charity and Compassion, I eniti [...]es and Remedies are necessary. She is always either Sick or Wounded in some part: Her eyes are never dry; her Wounds are never closed; and at all times, she hath need of a Preparative and Consolation, of a Physitian and Philosopher. Women, who are Naturally Assistants to Men, and their Co-adjutresses by Divine Institution, appertain more to their Husbands when Suffering and Persecuted, then when Happy and in Favour. And surely their Offices would not be very important, not their Cares very considerable and use­full, if they should be willing to be accommodated with their Husbands Riches, and Illustrious with their Dignity and Glory; if they should free­ly offer themselves to accompany them in Purple, and under a Canopy of State; if they should make no difficulty to share in their Feasts, and to re­ceive with them the gifts of Fortune: And yet when those Feasts were over, and another Fortune arrived; they should become Strangers in their Houses, and to their Husbands; they should be unwilling to suffer with them one drop of rain; they should not speak to them but at distance, and with a scornfull gesture, as if the very [...]ight of their Husbands portended mischief, and that even their shadow were become in­fectious.

Let us add for a second Reason, That as at the Creation of Woman, God considered the incommodities of Solitude, & the need man had of a Com­panion and Assistant; so he considered what was wanting to his entire Perfection, and would not that so noble a Work, and begun with so much Art, should remain Defective, and like those rough-drawn pieces in which there is nothing formed but the Head. He then Created Woman, and gave her to Man, not only as an Officious and Affectionate Co-adjut [...]s; but as a second Moity, and as a necessary part to his Perfection. God having formed and joyned together these two Pieces, he declared in express terms that his Design was, that they should make but one Body: And it is in this sense the words of Saint Paul ought to be understood, when he saith, Man is the [...] of the Woman. This second Reason is yet more precise and pressing then the former▪ And wives thereby are more straightly obliged to take part in either Fortune of their Husbands. And certainly if a Calm and Tempest be common to those that sayl in the same Vessel: If all the Persons of one house have the same days and nights and suffer joyntly all the inequalities of Seasons: The Community doubtless ought to be more entire, and better linked together between the parts of the same Body: and [Page 60] this would be strange and seem Monstrous, if their Sentiments were not equal, and their Compassion mutual: But it would truly exceed all that is strange and exorbitant, if in the Compound, which is made of Wife and Husband, whilst that part which Governs is in Mourning and Affliction, the other which is subject should be jocund, and play the Wanton, and would leave off nothing of her Ornaments or Pleasures: If the Body of a Wounded and bleeding Head were delightfully adorned, covered over with Perfumes, and loadon with Flowers: If a Wife would make one at all Meetings of Pleasure, and take her share in all Divertisements, whilst her Husband suffers the rack of the Sciatica, and the torture of the Stone.

One may also say, the better to establish this Duty, and perswade it more efficaciously, that amongst all kinds of Friendships, there is not any so straight, not better linked together then that of Marriage. It is not exteri­our and superficial, like other Amities: Nor is it upheld like those by civil Tyes, which are weak, and break asunder if never so little touched. It is an Union of the whole Soul and Body; the Tyes thereof are firm and solid. There is Nature and Grace in it: The whole Person is fastned therewith; and Time, which wears out Brass and Steel, cannot dissolve them. Now Friendship, as every one knows, is a Community of Sentiments, and Wills, of Joyes and Afflictions, of good and evil Fortunes. We are further adver­tised by the Wife, that blessings cannot [...] there but after evils: And that good Fortune ought not to have any place there, but as succeeding to the bad. Whereupon we may remember the words of Seneca, who saith, that such Persons understand not Friendship, as seek in a Friend a merry and Table Companion, a Solicitor of [...] ▪ an Agent of favour, a Mediator of Fortune: That we must seek out a Person with whom we may cheer­fully enter into Prison, whose Bondage and Chains we bear; A man in whose company we suffer Shipwrack without exclaiming against the Pla­nets, or complaining of the Tempest; A man for whom we endure the Wrack without pain, for whom we die smiling and with Joy. And if common Friendship, which is free and superficial, and supported only by Nature, hath so painful Duties, and so heavy and hazardous burthens, what must be the Duties and Burthens of the Friendship of Marriage, which is so interiour and necessary, which hath the assistance of God, and the Ver­tue of the Sacrament; which is sustained by Nature, and fortified by Grace? Can it be either Interessed or Timerous, with any Decency? can it hand­somly express a niceness can it apprehend sorrow and death? can it avoid bad Fortune?

I might also affirm, that this Duty is reckoned amongst the comely qua­lities of a Wife, and the honour of a Family; and that no baser perspective can be seen in a house, then a sick and afflicted Husband, and a gossiping and tricked up Wife. This defect wounds generally all eyes: and there are no Pictures in Italy, not Forreign Landschaps: there are no Ancient or Mo­dern Figures can rectifie it. Honor and decency is not only concerned therein, but even contentment and satisfaction. And as hands touch ten­derly a sick and wounded head, and as it is a torment to them if they be [Page 61] hindred from easing its pain, and touching its wounds: so a good wife, who hath a heart truly fixed, who is indu [...]d and penetrated by the Grace of the Sacrament, cannot have a purer satisfaction, then to suffer with her hus­band. And should even good Fortune her self tye her hands and feet to detain her by force with her, and should hinder her from following her persecuted and unfortunate husband; good Fortune would be abhorred by her with all her kindnesses: and were her tyes made of Crowns and Diadems, they would be unsupportable to her.

For these reasons Ar [...]a accompanyed Cicinna to death after she had fol­lowed him through rocks and tempests. [...] dyed couragiously with S [...]bi [...], after she had lived nine years enterred with him: Hypsicratea hardned the tenderness of her Sex and condition, made the Graces and Beauty war­like, that she might accompany Mit [...]ridates, pursued by the Romans and Fortune: And generally all the faithfull Women in ancient times have per­formed the famous and exemplar actions which we behold with applause in History.

EXAMPLE.
Jane Coe [...]lo, the VVife of Anthony Perez, Secretary to Philip the Second.

THe memory of Anthony Perez ought still to be fresh at Court: We have seen him there a long time ago in Person: And every day we see him there in his Relations and Letters▪ I know not whether the name of his wife be so well known there: but I know very well that this is the first time she appears in that place: And peradventure she would never have come, if I had not brought her thither: It is convenient ne­vertheless that she should come and make her self known there: She will there not only contract no bad habits, nor will her vertue be altered by it: but she will give also good examples to our Ladies, and read them Lectures of Fidelity and Constancy. She will teach them, that Marriage is not a society of Pastimes and Traffick; that the Duties thereof do not alter with seasons; that its Tyes ought neither to be broken asunder, nor loosened by Fortune. She will teach them, that they ought to be the same to their ruined and unfortunate Husbands, as to those that are raised up to honours, and in favour; that they ought to love them as dearly under a Chain, as under a Crown; that they ought to bear respect to their ruines, even to the pieces of their Shipwracks, and to the instruments of their Punishments.

This wife and Couragious Woman was of the House of Coello, who held an Honorable rank amongst the Illustrious Families of Spain. But [Page 62] Nobility without Vertue is but the half of a good Woman. It is a precious matter to which fair Features and a perfect Figure is wanting. Jane Coello was not one of these shapeless and defective Nobles: she was none of these rich and rude lumps; of these Marbles which are only esteemed for the Name and Antiquity of the Quarry from whence they come: All the features of a good Woman were compleated in her, as the matter was there pure and precious: And her Vertue was properly to her Nobility, what an exact and regular Figure is unto a rare piece of Marble.

By espousing Anthony Perez, she thought not only to have married a Secretary, and the Favourite of a Prince, a Minister of State, and a great man in expectation; but she believed to have Espoused all that Anthony Perez was, and could be; And prepared her self to Love him, in what condition soever Fortune might place him. If all wives entred into Mar­riage with the same foresight and preparation: If in the Ceremony of their Nuptials, and when they are to pronounce this word of Engagement and Servitude, this great Word which cannot be retracted, they did give them­selves up in such sort, to what is apparently Rich and Glorious: that they still reserve themselves for what is poor and infirm, to which either may be reduced, [...] behinde the Favourite and the Grandee, they did consider the misfortunes and ruins which might happen to them; there would be found more solid pleasure, and more true satisfaction, less disgusts out of Fancy, and less considerable complaints in Marriages: Bad Fortune would not disunite so many Couples, nor make so many Divorces: And Wives equally prepared for the misfortunes and prosperities of their Husbands, would not change then hearts towards them upon every blast of wind; no [...] would have so many different faces as are seen in the Moon. Iane Coello was not subject to this inequality of heart, nor to these varieties of looks. She doth not alter them with bad times, because bad times produced no change in her Husband: And knowing that it was Perez whom she had married, and not a Favourite and Minister of State, she was the same to Perez Criminal and a Prisoner, as to Perez the Confident and Secretary of Philip.

History indeed speaks of the favour and credit of this Anthony Perez, and gives sufficient testimony that his Credit was not a credit acquired at random, and by meer chance. He served a long time in the place of Secre­tary of State to Philip the second, the ablest Prince of his Age, and the most knowing in the Science of Princes. He understood all his Policies, and lived neer those Springs by which this King governed so many King­doms. He was acquainted with the secret of that fatal Cabinet-Councel where so many Battels and S [...]eges were designed; where Europe was assault­ed on all sides, and new Territories invaded. And without doubt he was not an unprofitable piece in this Cabinet; and his hand very often set a going, de [...]terously and with success, those Springs which gave motion to so many Engines. But as Fortune never makes a gift of her Person, though sometimes she lends it: And as the Court is not a Heaven in which fixed Stars are seen; so Anthony Perez fell in his turn from this high [Page 63] [...]levation, and passed suddenly, and without [...]dium from favour into disgrace.

Some have written, that the murther of Secretary Escoredo was the cause of his misfortune. But those have seen but the outside of Affairs, and have taken the Watch for the Spring. We ought rather to believe the Speculatives of the I scurial, from whom we have learnt by tradition that the death of Escoredo, made away by the secret order of King Philip, was indeed the pretence for imprisoning Perez. But the concurrence of Philip and Perez in the love of the Princess of Floby was the true cause of it. Nature had accomplished with extraordinary Care both the minde and body of this Princess: but she had formed but one of her eyes; whe­ther she disparted to make her a second like to the first; whether she would have her rese [...]ble therein the Day, which hath but one; whether as Perez himself spake it to Henry the Great, she apprehended, if she had two eyes, she might infi [...]e the whole World. However it were, this De­fect did not hinder her from subjecting a Prince, who boasted of having two World, under his subjection, and of reigning as long as the Sun shines. And the Malignant Constellation of Anthony Perez designed, that his inclination should concur with that of his Master.

Truly that Concurrence is very perilous; and the danger so much the more certain, as Fortune appears more favourable, and gives there the [...]a [...]est hopes. In all times it hath been preached to Courtiers, and in all seasons it will be unprofitably preached to them without amendment. There are some arrogant and teme [...]arious Loves, which give a bold shock to Crowns and Scepters, which take delight in making Honourable and Soveraign Rivals, which are like that vain-glorious Youth, who would wrastle and run with none but Kings. But these arrogant and temerarious Loves are subject to cruel Tragedies: And not long since, remarkable and sad examples have been seen of them amongst our Neighbors.

Anthony Perez, who was in other things so judicious and prudent, did not in this make use of his Judgement, nor advised with his Prudence. He loved the Princess Floby with Philip: And perchance▪ to his misfortune, he was better beloved by her then Philip. He had a pleasing and affable Wit: he Wrote gallantly both in Prose and Verse. He had an excellent gift in composing a Letter: he translated well a Sonnet and Stanza. His Services favoured not of Authority, nor resembled Obligations. The Graces and Muses, which are attractive and perswasive, spake to his Mi­stress in his behalf. And Philip had for himself but a dazling, and incom­modious greatness; and that Majestly which tortures Love, and imprisons the Graces. This good Fortune, if I may stile it so, was the ruine of Perez▪ Philip chose rather to part with a good Servant, then to endure a Rival more happy then himself. And the death of Escoredo happening in this con­juncture, he put Perez in a Place, where he had leasure to learn, that it is a dangerous thing to stand in competition with his Master.

His Couragious and Faithful Wise, did not account her self a Widow by the fall of her Husband: she did not believe that his Imprisonment [Page 64] had set her at Liberty: The Princess of Floby was no corrosive to her, and she did not rejoyce in her minde with Philip, for having with one stroke freed her from a Rival, and himself from a Competitor. These thoughts of Liberty would have become a tatling Dame, who might have had a loosned spirit, and a Widdowed heart in an engaged Body: And an [...]tated Jealousie might have been satiated with these bitter ima­ginations and these desires of Revenge. ‘The prudent Wife, equally remote from a Gossiping humour, as well as Jealousie, considered that un­happy and devested Perez was not another Man then Perez in favour, and invested with the grace of his Prince: That bad Fortune gives no right of retraction, nor justifies unfaithful Women; And that a heart fastened in good earnest, never withdraws from any thornes which grow in the place where it is fixed▪ She represented to her self, that her Husbands faults did not dispense with her Duty; that a strange and forreign fire had not burnt her Tyes, nor consumed the yoke of her Marriage; that her Fidelity would appear so much the more Christian and Heroick, for being stronger and victorious over a more dangerous Adversary. She perswaded her self, that the most eminent Generosity of a good Woman, and the perfection of her Vertue consisted in preser­ving her self all entire to her divided Husband, and to secure unto him, even to the last, the donation of her heart, though he should every day withdraw his own by piece-meal; In accompanying him to what place soever he should be cast by a storm: And above all in taking as great a share in his adversities as himself, even in those adversities which are the punish­ment of his faults.’

Fortified by these considerations, she made her self a prisoner with Perez. and reserved to her self so much liberty as he wanted; to solicite their common friends; to implore from time to time the goodness of the King; to employ by intervals the credit and favour of tears and supplica­tions for the inlargement of her Husband. Behold how many Combats she fought, how many Victo [...]es she gained in this single action! She overcame Jealousie, which is the most powerful and dangerous enemy of Women She deprived her self of liberty and repose, which are na­tural and inherent Blessings; Blessings which are not parted with, but by extream violence. She subdued Avarice, by the continual profusions she was enforced to make, to render the Gaolers and Guards plyable, in giving them their fill. She was stronger then a Prison, rigorous and terrible by reason of its incommodity, but far more rigorous and terrible in respect of the Princes anger, which had banished all pitty from thence, which had re-inforced the Gates, and redoubled the obscurities thereof; which had added a new hardness to the Iron and Walls. In fine, she was victo­rious over tortures and death it self, exposing her self as she did to both, by the boldness she shewed in conveying her Husband out of Prison, and in deceiving the expectation and anger of the Prince. Truly this boldness was very Ingenious and Witty: And Love was not only resolute in this action, but a Deceiver in good earnest, and without scandal. Notwith­standing [Page 65] all this, the Couragious Woman would have answered with her head, both for the Inventions of her boldness, and the deceits of her Love, if Philip had consulted with the jealousie he had of his Authority, and of his Mistress.

Anthony Perez seeing all wayes barred up against hope; and that not one single Ray of mercy appeared from the Escurial, resolved by the advice of his Wife to seek of himself an end to his Miseries, without importuning any more unpowerful Intercessors, and a deaf Clemency. The reso­lution was, that Iane Coello should procure a Womans Garment to be secretly brought, and that Perez in the evening might go forth with her disguised in this attire, and mingled with the Women of her Train. The Plot took effect as they had designed it: Iane Coello went forth, accom­panied with this new Attendant, and intreated the Guards, with gold in her hand, to permit her Husband to take some rest, who all the last night could not sleep by reason of his disquiets and discontents. Perez set at Liberty by this Device, repaired to Henry the Great, who received him with Honour. And Iane Coello staied behinde in Spain, esteemed by every one for her Courage and Fidelity.

I am the first that have shewn this Couragious and Faithful Wo­man to France: And I now present her unto the Court, to the end our Ladies may learn of her, that great Expences and studied Excesses do not form a gallant Woman: That so fair a Figure deserves better Lineaments and Colours: That the Noblest blood of the World is obscure, and wants lustre, if Vertue doth not give it. That Marriage is a Companion as well for bad Times, and rugged Tracks, as for fair Dayes, and delightful Roads: And that the affection of a good Woman should resemble Ivy, which sticks close and inseparably to that Tree which it hath once imbraced, never leaving it, what snow soever falls upon it, what wind soever shakes it, what tempest soever bears it down.

[Page]

PAVLINE [...]

[Page 67]Paulina.

IS it one of the Graces, or an wounded Amazon who dyes there standing, and in the posture of a Conqueress? She is truly a Grace, even a manly and magnanimous Grace: No Amazon, unless a Philosophick and long Rob [...]d Amazon. She is the wise and vertuous Paulina, who became a Stoick in the house of Seneca; and resolves to die in his Company, and by his Example.

You may have heard what common rumour hath pub­lished of Neros ingratitude, and of the Fatal command of death he sent his Master. This second Parricide no less scan­dalized the Senate, and all the People, then the first, which is yet fresh, and whose blood still reales upon the Earth. And the impiety of the Tyrant after it had caused Agrippina to be murthered, who had been twice his Mother, and brought him no less into the Empire, then into the world; after it had put Seneca to death, the Instructer of his youth, and the Fa­ther of his spirit, could not ascend higher, if it rise not up against God himself; if it fall not on Religion and holy things. Though this last stroke fell only upon Seneca, yet he is the only person that was not surprized with it: and having [Page 68] often beheld the soul of Nero open, and even to the bottom; he ever indeed believed that figures of Rhetorick, and sen­tences learnt by roat, would not be more acknowledged then the Life and Empire he received from his Mother.

He received likewise that barbarous Order with a Tran­quility truly Stoick, and worthy the Reputation of his Sect. He did not appeal to the Senate, he knew very well that the Senate is now but a Body divested of Power, a dismembred Body, and still bleeding of the wounds it had received from the Tyrant. He did not implore Redress from the Laws: they were all at present either banished or dead. He was con­tent to obey without noyse or delay: and you could not ar­rive more seasonably to see a Stoick, dying according to the forms and principles of his Profession. Paulina would also shew, that Constancy belonged to her Sex no less then to ours; and that VVomen might be Philosophers without having commerce with Lycea and Portica, without making Dilemmaes or Sylogismes. She believed, that being the one half of Seneca, she might be couragious by his Courage, and dye by the example of his Death, as she had been enriched by his Riches, and honoured by his Fortune.

Their Veins hapned to be opened by the same hand and Lancet. Their blood and spirits were mixt together in their wounds: And that of Seneca, entring into the Arm of Pau­lina with the Lancet, penetrated her very heart, and seated it self about her soul. You see also, that being instructed and fortified by this spirit, which serves for a second reason, and an accessory Courage, she had the fortitude to expect death standing, which is the last Act of Soveraign Vertue, and the true posture of dying Heroes. The blood streamed from her Arm with violence, as if her soul pressed it to have the glory of going out the first: And to behold the purest and most spirituall parts thereof, which spurt up from the Bason into which it fell, you would say that it takes a pride in the Nobleness of its Extraction, and conceives it self too well de­scended to be spilt on the ground. Paulina calmly, and with­out the least alteration beholds it trickling down. And saving [Page 69] that her Colour vanished away by degrees, and Paleness succeeded, as it doth to the last Rays of a fair day, which dyes in a beautiful Cloud, no change was to be seen in her Coun­tenance.

Her Constancy is no savage Constancy: It hath a serenity and Grace; but it is a pale serenity, and an expiring Grace. She is more covetous of her Tears and Sighs, then of her Blood and Life: she prohibited her Eyes and Mouth to shew the least sign of weakness: And a Statue of white Marble, which should make a Fountain of its artificiall Veins, could not have a more peaceable stability, nor a more gracefull confidence.

This example is very rare: but it is sad, and cannot in­struct the mind, but by wounding the heart. The steam of so Noble Blood draws almost tears from your eyes: And it afflicts you, that you are not able to save the fair remains of so beauteous a Life. Let it no longer torment you: The Tyrant advertised of Paulina's generous resolution, sends Souldiers to hinder her Death, and inforce her to live. Not that he takes care of the Vertues, or is willing to preserve the Graces, which are ready to dye with her. He is Nero in all his actions, and doth no less mischief when he saves, then when he ki [...]s. It is because he delights to sever the best united hearts, and to divide the fairest Couples: It is be­cause he takes pleasure in forcing inclinations, and violating sympathies: It is because he hath a desire to exercise upon friendships and souls an interiour and spirituall Tyranny: It is because after the death of Seneca, he will have the heart of Seneca in his power.

The Balisters of Porphiri [...], upon which you see him lean­ing, is the same, as they say, on which lately at the noise and light of flaming Rome, he sung the firing of Troy. He speaks from thence to the Souldiers he sent to Paulina, and com­mands them to make hast. Though she had but two steps to make, yet they will enforce her to retreat, and fasten her again to life, by binding up her wounds. It were to be wish­ed, for the good of Rome, that they had done as much to [Page 70] Seneca: But if they had Swathes and Remedies to apply to him, Nero could wish that they might be impoysoned Swathes, and killing Remedies. The last year he caused the same Remedies to be applyed to gallant Burrus his other Governour: And doubt not but he will shortly send the like to Seneca, if [...] Soul make not the more haste to expire.

It is not the good old mans fault, that his soul is not alrea­dy at liberty: he presseth it with vehemency enough; and hath made for it Orifices large enough in all his Veins. But Seneca must be long a dying, that his lingring death may be a lasting Instruction, and a Pattern of a large extent. Sure­ly this Seneca is not the man of whom Envy and Detraction hath made so many false Pictures. I perceive nothing of weakness or vice wherewith they reproach him. And this Death, what ever ignorant and traducing spirits say, cannot be the Tragedy of a seemingly Vertuous person, of a masked Philosopher, of a Counterfeit and Sophisticall Doctor.

His calm and setled Constancy, shews outwardly the sta­bility of his mind. He seems to confirm with his eyes, and brow, whatsoever he hath written concerning the contempt of Fortune and Death: You would say that he alledges himself for the proof of his Doctrine. He Philosophizes by as many mouths, as there are wounds: And every drop of his blood is a Stoicall Demonstration: A proof of his Opi­nions, and a testimony which he renders to the Courage of his Sect. His weeping and mourning friends receive with his last words, the last spirit of Philosophy, and the pure lights which already his almost loosned and descryed Soul diffuseth.

The attention they give him is full of respect, and hath something, I know not what, of Religion: It would be hard to say, whether it be to his voice or blood they are atten­tive: whether it be the dictates of his mouth, or those of his wounds which they write.

In this extremity this severe man, who so boldly looks up­on Death, as if he were seeing a Mask, dares not fix his eyes [Page 71] upon Paulina. I think that he apprehends lest friendship might soften his spirit, and the Husband be found more pow­erfull in his heart then the Philosopher. But [...]e not scanda­lized at this tenderness. It is not unseemly in a wise man. He may with credit afflict himself for another: And the Tears which friendship hath exprest, may decently trickle down on his Face.

SONNET.
PAULINA speaks.

PAulina meets Death's Launcet, with a Mind
No less of Stoick, then of Roman Kind:
A Philosophick Love, which charms her Heart,
Will give the stroke to sweeten all her smart.
Inhumane Fortune, through remorse, or hate,
Runs to rebuke her, and repair her Fate:
But her great Soul resists a forced stay,
And with her Blood makes haste to slide away.
You daring Sages, who for Truths promote
Your high fictitious Dreams, and from us Vote
Our Noble Passions; Learn of this Heroique,
And Famous Woman, to be truly Stoique:
And know this truth (whatever you in vain
Have learn'd from your fantastick Founder's Brain)
That the most Tragick Deaths delightfull grow,
VVhen Love himself shall give the fatal Blow.

Elogy of Paulina.

IF there were great Vices in Nero's Age, there were also eminent and very exemplar Vertues. The darkest nights have their Planets: And in the worst Seasons, the Sun hath his good Intervals, and fair hours. This Monster inrag'd against Reason, which made him see his Errours, fell upon Seneca, who had cleer'd and disciplin'd that faculty in him; As if it had proceeded from the Masters fault, who polished the Glass, and not from his own Deformity, that he was hideous. He then gave order for his death: And this excellent Man, who was grown old under another Mistress then this slight fencing Philosophy, which is only bold in a School and against Fantosmes, was ready to submit to this bar­barous Command for proof of his Doctrine, and to put in Practice what he had set forth in Propositions and Opinions.

When it was time to depart, he did not so much as turn his head to listen to Fortune, who solicited, and called him to the Empire. He departed out of a house more worth then ten Millions, as if he had gone out of a thatch [...]d [...]. He shewed himself only sensible for Paulina, whom he le [...]t young, and exposed to the outrages of a bad season, and the insolen­cies of a Tyrant, who had caused it. He endeavoured to perswade her to live, and take comfort in her own Vertue, and the Goods he had left her. ‘But she remonstrated to him, that these indulgent and careful per­swasions were not fit to be used to the Wife of Seneca. That his Example counselled her better, then his Reasons: That it taught as well as Phi­losophy, how to die resolutely and with courage. Their veins were opened with the same Lancet: they mingled their Blood, their Spirits, and Examples:’ And the soul of Paulina would have followed that of Se­neca, if it had not been detained at the last step she was to make. Nero ap­prehending, lest the death of so illustrious a Lady, and of so high a Re­putation might compleat the drawing on him a publick hatred, sent Souldiers, who bound up her veins, and used violence to make her live. But she retained all that she could of death, which was then kept from her: And ever after conserved the desire of it in her heart, and the pale­ness of it upon her face.

MORAL REFLECTION.

PAulina who is still victorious over death in this Picture, informs us that Philosophy hath no Sex; that it communicates it self without making any distinction between Garments and Faces: That the Graces themselves may become Valiant, and Couragious under her Discipline: And that Cowardise proceeds from the corruption of the heart, and not from the tenderness of the temper, nor the dispositions of Fortune. It likewise informs us that Vertue must needs be very weak, and Chri­stianity [Page 73] superficial in the greatest part of Christian Ladies, who per­plex themselves about a Necklace and a few Pearls; who have their hearts fixed on a lac'd Petticoat, who are slaves to a small Fortune, which to express it well, is but a figure of guilded dirt. The least they can expect, is to be condemned by this Heathen woman, who had a soul dis-ingaged from Riches which may vie with those of Kings; who had a free heart even in the arms of a Fortune which was as large as the Empire; and which raised jealousie even in the Fortune of the Emperour himself. The ensuing Question will manifest, whether Paulina could be a Philosopher and a Stoick; and whether I had reason to say that Philosophy hath no Sex.

MORAL QVESTION.
VVhether VVomen be capable of true Philosophy.

A Woman hath been heretofore seen playing the Orator in pub­lick places, who did with unprofitable and studied Discourses, what the Mountebanks now adayes use to do with their Drugs, and Antick faces. There was also a lewd Woman, who affected a brutish and impudent Freedom: who braved Fortune and Nature with a Staff and Wallet; who was Beggerly and Arrogant; and who had, under a rag­ged and tottered Garment, a worse Pride then is found under cloth of Gold and Purple: Both the one and the other was called Philosophy; But both had but the name and a false mask, which drew Spectators to them. And certainly if no other Philosophy had descended from Heaven, then from this bawling and Arrogant Creature: I should have pre­sently concluded, that a good Woman could have no commerce with Philosophy. There is a third, which is the true Mistress of Life, and the Directress of Manners: which hath the general charge of Vertue and Sciences; and is no enemy to the Graces: which is endowed with a modest Capacity, and a Courage without Pride or Fierceness. And if the Question be concerning this Philosophy, we must boldly say, and without fearing to do her injury, that she hath no Sex, no more then the Intelligences: that she is come as well for Women as Men; and she being the last perfection of the Understanding, and the compleatment of Reason, all rational Souls are equally capable of her Discipline.

And to the end this Decision may be established with Method, it is to be noted, that there is Philosophy Speculative and Scientifical, and a [Page 74] Philosophy which is Moral and Active: Both are within the Sphear of Womens understanding, and have no Functions, which exceed their forces. The Speculative doth contemplate the Works of God, and the secrets of Nature: She studieth the Harmony of the World, and the marvellous Agreements both of the superiour and inferiour parts composing it. And the end of her contemplation and study is the sa­tisfaction she receives from known Verities, and acquired Sciences. The Moral flies not ordinarily so high, but her study is Practical, and her Knowledges are applyed to Action. Her Office is to govern the Liberty of Man, to marke him out Bounds, and regulate his Actions; and her [...]nd is to guide those to Happiness who observe these Orders, and keep within the limits thereof.

Surely in all this, there is nothing, which the Understanding of Wo­men may not attain; nothing which is above their reach, and the tracts which Nature hath laid open to them. Why should they not be as ca­pable as our selves of Contemplation, and of the Sciences belonging to Speculative Philosophy? Are their souls more Terrestrial, and more fast­ned to matter then ours? Are they of a different Temper, and of another Extraction? Hath Nature clogged them with some ponderous load? Hath she tyed them with some chain to keep them from ascending? Are they absolutely uncapable of those wings, which Plato hath observed in Con­templative souls? All things then are equal between Men and Women, in respect of the soul, which is the Intelligent part, and makes Learned men and Philosophers: And if there be any Inequality in relation to the body, as the same cannot be denyed, Women have the advantage, and it Perfects in them the Capacity whereof I Discourse.

Some reproach them with the Humidity of their Complexion; but no Man will reproach them of it, when he shall remember that moistness is the matter of which those Images are formed which are useful to Sciences; That it is the proper temper of the Memory, which is the Depository and Nurse thereof; that it can contribute to the light of the Understanding, as it doth to that of the body; that the moist Stars and Planets, have no less brightness, then the other: And that dry heads are not reputed to be the most replenished, and best furnished.

As for tenderness, without doubt they that make it the subject of their Accusation, have not advised with Aristotle. They would then know, that the most delicate Temper, is the least burthen'd with matter; the most pure, and apt to be penetrated by the Lights of the Understanding: The best prepared for fair Images; and for the Impression of Sciences. Saint Thomas also, being to prove the Natural Excellency of the minde of Iesus Christ, conceived that he could not alleadge a more pertinent Reason, then the Delicacy of his Complexion. And generally the most tender and frail matters are particularly covered in most subtile and perfect Forms. And the rarest and most accomplished pieces of the Arts, are ordinarily framed of Silk, ingraven on Christal, and turned in Ivory. Nature hath but one soul [Page 75] intelligent & capable of Discipline: And this Soul is the form of the weakest parts of the whole Body. And even in this so frail Body, the seat of the Un­derstanding and Reason is not in the Bones and Nerves, but in the Brain, which is the softest and most tender part. Whereunto one may likewise add, that in Politick Bodies, the more knowing sort of Men are not composed of Tradesmen and Labourers; of those ignoble Members, who are of strong complexion, and hardened by Labour: They are Studious and Sedentary Persons; such as have been brought up in Repose and in the shade.

Quickness is only remaining, which malicious Persons call Lightness, and whereof they think to compose a strong piece against Women, who pretend to Sciences. But to weaken this piece, and unnerve its force, A question is only to be asked of those who busie themselves about it, Whe­ther Ponderosity arises from the mind, and Ag [...]ty from matter? Whe­ther the Angels and Planets, Intelligence, and Light, make things heavy and immovable? And whether amongst Men, the able be the slow, and the quick the stupid? Sciences require the wings of Eagles, and not the feet of Tortuses. This is the reason why the Seraphins, who are the most knowing and Theological Intelligences, have wings up to their heads. The very word Discourse is a word of agility and quickness: And not to say, that the eyes which are in us, the only parts capable of Study, cannot Study, but by a continual motion: The Animal spirits, which are assistants of Reason, and the material Springs of an immaterial Action, are the light­est, and the most agile part of our substance.

Let us then acknowledge, that Women may share with us in the pos­session of Sciences. Nature had no designe to exclude that Sex from them: And the reasons themselves which are alledged against their Right, con­firm it the more, and have the force of new titles. It is known also that since the time of the Muses, which were Female Sages erected into God­desses: there is no Age which hath not had a sufficient number of most capable Women. [...] hath left us a long Last of Ancient and Modern ones, whose reputation he found to be already perfected, and so many names as he had collected in this Last, are as many efficacious and appa­rant proofs for the Capacity of Women for Sciences.

But these dead proofs, and remote from our sight, are not necessary for us. We have some which have life and spirit, which perswade our eyes and ears: And when all other proofs should fail us, the sole House of Ram­ [...]-l [...]t, would have in this point all the Authority, which an approved and renowned Academy might have. There is in that House a Mother and a Daughter, in whom the pure tincture of the Roman Spirit is pre­served, with the good Blood and Generosity of the Ancient Republick. They are both of them knowing in the Science of the [...] the Iulia's, and the Paulina's their Progenitresses of these judicious and lovely Wo­men, who were the Cabinet-Councel, the Domestique Theater of Con­suls and Dictators. But let no man believe that there is a pride and presumption in this Science: That it is one of those which turn the brain [Page 76] and cause Convulsions in the minde. Let no man take it for a Mass of in­disgested and tumultuary Notions, for a collection of Fables and Histories learnt by roat. It is Modest and Civil with vigour: It is solid without ostentation and rudeness: It conduceth to the conduct of life, and the regulation of manners: And it wants nothing of that which may give imployment and adress to the Muses, Comeliness and Ornament to the Graces. And of these two rare and learned Persons, there may be made an illustrious Demonstration, concerning the Capacity of Women: And by the same reason that heretofore it hath been said, that Athens was the Greece of Greece, one may well say in reference to them, that the House of [...] is the Court of the Court: I do not say of the interressed, am­bitious, and corrupted Court; I say of the ingenious and spiritual, of the Gallant and Modest Court. Nevertheless, whatever I have said, it is not my intention to summon Women to the Colledge; I intend not to make Graduats of them, nor convert their Needles and Distaffs into Astrolabes and Sphears I bear too much respect to the bounds which fever us: And my question is only in order to what they may, and not unto what they ought in the condition wherein things have been placed, whether by the Order of Nature, or by an immemorable Custom, and as old as Nature her self.

But surely, as I would not hold with those who should perform in their Closets all the Exercises and Functions of a Colledge: Who should discourse only in Enthymema's and Syllogisms: And should have no­thing in their heads but the Ideas of Plato, and the Atoms of Epicurus: So cannot I sufficiently praise those which put themselves under the Dis­cipline of that other practical and active Philosophy, which illuminates the minde with her lights, and fortifies it with her principles: which esta­blisheth Decency in Manners, and Stability in Life; which adjusts all Conditions and all Fortunes to her rules. First, if there be a question con­cerning Capacity, it cannot be brought in dispute in relation to them: Some have been found amongst them, who have followed as close as any man the most sublime and speculative Philosophy; who have run through all that may be open to Humane reason, and have been more eminent then S [...]rates and Plato, and more ancient then Aristotle and Theophrastes.

Moreover this practical Philosophy is not of an unknown Country, nor out of the Common Road: It is not needful to have the wings and sight of an Eagle to approach her; one may go thither a foot-pace, and from all the Regions of the World: from all the degrees of State, and from all the orders of life. She hath Disciples that are Soveraigns, and Disciples that are Slaves. And in her Schools King and Subject, Rich and Poor, Master and Servant, have their assigned places according to the diversity of their Conditions, and the difference of their Offices. Besides, the perfection of this Philosophy is not cumbersom, nor subject to disor­der. She allowes all other Lawful professions, and accommodates her self to all degrees of Fortune: she gives Lessons for affairs, and for the whole world: she gives them also for repose and solitude: And to learn [Page 77] these Lessons, it is not necessary that a Woman should abandon the ma­naging of her houshold affairs: That she should be divorced from her Husband; that she should renounce honest Pleasures, and Civil Society, That she should shut her self up in a Chamber hung with Maps, and furnished with Sphears and Astrolabes.

Let us add, that Moral Philosophy hath been given us to order our Passions, to distinguish our Duties, and Offices, to teach the exercises of Vertue, to guide us as by the hand to Beatitude. And have not Womens Passions need of a Governess as well as Ours? May they not be mistaken in their Offices and Duties? Are they born so well instructed, and perfect, that they can learn Vertue without a Lesson or Method? Are they so happy that they can attain to Be atitude by their own address, and without a guid? The injustice would be then extream to deprive them of this Philosophy, the Governess of Passions, the Mistress of Vertues, and the necessary Guide for all those that pretend to Beatitude.

In fine, Women as well as we are to defend themselves against the Gifts, and Outrages of Fortune: They are apt to Swellings and Convul­sions, which follow good and bad Accidents: And no man hath a head so naturally strong, that be can bear Prosperity without the Vertigo, or Adversity without fainting and weakness. Ought we to expect that Wo­men should be preserved from all these infirmities by the meer strength of their Constitution; that their heads should not turn round upon the top of the Wheel, and amidst the perfumes of good Fortune, that their hearts should not change their seats, when they themselves shall change their Posture; and that those hearts should stand after their owners fall? There is no Constitution so well prepar'd, nor of so good a temper, from which this Constancy and Equality ought to be expected without the help of Moral Philosophy. And therefore we must conclude, that Philosophy is not only neither against the Decorum, nor beyond the capacity of the second Sex; but that she is an Ornament and a necessary support to it; and that neither good nor gallant Women can be formed, but according to the Designes, and by the Rules of Morality.

All the vertuous and magnanimous Women, which we admire in Hi­story, have been modelled according to these Designes, and compleated by these Rules. We have known, and do know also some, who have the same features, and are composed after the same manner: And if I did not fear that some might accuse me of Flattery, and Affectation, I would here ma­nifest, that France hath at this time her Cornelia's and Por [...]s, her [...] and her [...]. But let us yield obedience to the Wise-man, who forbids us to praise living Vertues. And let us end this Dispute by an Example, within the Memory of our Fathers, in which we shall behold a learned Princess overcoming with an equal Courage, both the temptations of good, and the outrages of bad Fortune, and by a more then Stoical Constancy, bear­ing upon a Scaffold, the same countenance, which she had born upon a Throne.

EXAMPLE.
Of Jane Gray of Suffolk, Queen of England.

HEnry the Eight being dead, stain'd with the blood of those Martyrs which he had made; and amidst the Ruines of the Church of England, which he had overthrown, Edward the Son of Scymer his third Wife, succeeded to his Crown and Dominions: But as there is no Seed so unhappy, nor of so short a durance as that of wicked men; so the Excommunication and Curse, which had been Fulminated against the Father, being fallen upon the Son, this poor Prince died before he knew well how to live. And by a Will which he made, through the per­swassions of Dudley Duke of Northumberland, Jane Gray was declared his Heir. It may be said, without detraction, that this Will was dictated by Ambition: But it may also be said without flattery, that it was made in savour of the Graces and Vertues, to the advantage of the Sciences and Muses: And the Crown of England could not be placed upon a more beautiful head, or which could do it more Honour, then that of the Lady Iane.

She was born with those Attractives and Charmes, which seat a kinde of Soveraignty upon the face of the most beautiful Persons, and which give a Natural Unction to them, and a Diadem without gold or precious stones: Her minde was endued with far more soveraign Attractives, and with Charms of far greater force then her face. And these native and adorning Graces, were accompanied with other acquired and profi­table ones, which much increased their value, and gave them a second tincture of goodness, and a new lustre. She spake both Greek and Latine as if she had been of Athens and Rome: she had an exact knowledge of the Liberal Sciences, and perfectly understood both kinds of Philosophy. But that which is more to be esteemed then all her Philosophy, more th [...]n all these Sciences and Tongues; is that during the Raign of Vice and Li­berty in the time of Henry the Eighth, and after the scandal of Anne of Bullen, she was possessed with the Modesty and Vertue of these blessed dayes, when England was called the Country of Angels.

Nevertheless we must speak the truth: All these so rare and highly p [...]ed qualities, were not considered in the Will, which was made in favour of Iane. Edward died as weak as he had lived: He abandoned his last Testament to the will of the Duke of Northumberland, as he had done all the rest, and the Duke abused him in his death, as he had done in his youth. This ambitious Minister of State, not being content with having Raigned without a Crown by the toleration of his Master to whom he had left but a specious Regality, and a coloured Dignity; perceiving a gate open, by which Iane, who was married to the Lord Guilford his fourth son, might bring the Crown into his House, he undertook to take [Page 79] it from the Kings sister, and to set it upon her Head, either by Right or Force.

To this effect he besieges the minde of this poor Prince, already spent with his sickness, and disquiered at the presence of death. He was made believe that he could not in Conscience call to the Succession, either Mary the daughter of Katherine of Aragon, or Elizabeth daughter of Anne of Bul­len. He alledgeth against the first, that being cut off the Royal Family by the Divorce of her Mother, she could not be restored to it without con­demning the Memory of the deceased King, and without giving Credit and Authority to the Roman Tyranny. He opposed against the other that being stained with the Adulteries and the punishment of her Mother, she would fully the Honour and Dignity of the Crown if she had but touchd it. From thence he concludes, that Iane Gray descended from Henry the seventh by Mary, heretofore Queen of France, being the last drop of Royal blood, which was sound yet pure and without stain; he could not make another Heir, without casting Fire into the Royal Family.

The Declaration was made for these reasons in favour of lane: The Councel of four and twenty approve it, notwithstanding the opposition of the Archbishop of Canterbury: And two dayes after, the King rendring up his soul, Iane is declared Queen of England. Her Father the Duke of Suffolk, and the Duke of Northumberland, Father to her Husband, went to acquaint her with this news, and prepare her to receive chearfully so great a Fortune. This Fortune was the first dangerous Temperess, against which Iane had need of Inspirations, and helps from Philosophy.

And here it will be confessed, that one ought to be supported by Philo­sophy; That one ought to have a heart extreamly good, and a strong head peece, not to fall into a Trance at such news. Reason ought to be very clear, and the understanding very pure to recive without amazement so sudden and surprising a vapour. I might also apprehend that I should not be believed, but rather accused of an Hyperbole, if I said, that Iane re­ceived one of the greatest Crowns of the World, with the same Modera­tion, as if she had received a Posie of Violets. Regality is not a present to be taken with heaviness, and a negligent hand. It is a kinde of humane Deification: It is the [...] between God and Man: And even the Phi­losophers and Sages, I mean austere Philosophers, and unbyassed Sages, have in all times esteemed it so much, that Pythag [...]ras and Zeno, the Patri­arks of Stoicks, and the most zealous Preachers of Indolence and Aspi­rity, seeing themselves not called to Soveraignty by Fortune, and not knowing how to attain to it by a straight and lawful way, were so bold as to use violence, and aspire to it by Tyrannie. However I will not descend from so high a proposition: I intend to go yet higher, and will rise to something which is more eminent and more Heroick. Iane would have re­ceived at least civilly, and with thanks a Posie of Violets: She absolutely refused the Crown of England: And this so gallant and generous a refusal proceeded from a more Stoical soul then that of Zeno, from a more Philo­sophical heart then that of Pythagoras.

[Page 80] Not that she did not well understand the value of this Crown which she refused: Nor was she affrighted with so resplendent a Fortune, as she would have been terrified by a luminous Fantosme presented before her eyes. But she knew also that there was Weight and Thornes in this Crown▪ And this Fortune with all its Glory, and all these Charms did not tempt her, not appeared to her so lovely, as Justice, Tranquility, or Philosophy. Solicited by the Supplications and Reasons of her Kindred and Husband, who press'd her to consent to her greatness, and not to reject a Felicity which is rare, and never presents it self twice to the same Gate: She answered, t‘hat the Laws of the Kingdom, and Natural right stand­ing for the Kings Sisters, she would beware of burthening her Head and Conscience with a Yoke which did belong to them: that she under­stood the Infamy of those who had permitted the violation of Right to gain a Crown. But it were to mock God, and deride Justice to scruple at the stealing of a shilling, and not at the Usurpation of a Crown. Be­sides, went she on, I am not so young, nor so little read in the guiles of Fortune to suffer my self to be taken by them: If she inrich any one, it is but to make him the subject of her spoil: If she raise others, it is but to please her self with their ruins. What she adored but yesterday, is to day her pastime. And if I now permit her to adorn and Crown me, I must to morrow suffer her to crush and tear me in pieces. Besides, with what Crown she doth present me? A Crown which hath been violently and shamefully wrested from Katherine of Arragon, who dislikes the punish­ment of Arme of Bullen, and of others, who wore it after her. Why would you have me add my blood to theirs, and to be the fourth Victime, from whom this Fatal Crown may be ravished with the Head? But in case it should not prove fatal to me, and that all its venom were consumed: If Fortune should give me warranties of her Constancy; should I be well advised to take upon me these Thornes which would delacerate, though not kill me outright; to burthen my self with a Yoke, which would not fail to torment me, though I were assured not to be strangled with it? My Liberty is better then the chain you proffer me, with what precious stones soever adorned, and of what gold soever framed. I will not exchange my Peace for Honourable and Precious Jealousies, for magnificent and glorious Fetters. And if you love me sincerely, and in good earnest, you will rather wish me a secure and quiet Fortune, though mean, then an elevated Condition exposed to the wind, and followed by some Dis­mal fall.’

These Reasons were powerful, and must needs be perswasive, yet they took not effect: The ambition of the Dukes of Northumberland and Suf­folk was more prevalent. The Lord Guilford fortified her with his reasons: And Iane overcome by so many pressing Solicitors, and in Authority, re­signed to them her Freedom and Life. This resignation, proceeded from a Soveraign Vertue, and a consummated Philosophy: And not doubting but a Scaffold was prepared for her behinde the Throne; and that the Crown which was offered her might not cause the loss of her Head, she [Page 81] submitted her self to Fortune, and consented to accept of Soveraignty with more courage and moderation, then she had refused it. Matters being thus concluded, they brought her to London, where she was solemnly ac­knowledged Queen, and received with Ceremony, the Oath of Fealty from all degrees. But this Oath held as little as her Soveraignty. And scarce had she spent ten days in the Tower, according to the Ceremony observed by new Kings, but the Parliament and People retracted them Oath and Ac­clamations, and delivered her up to the Princess, Mary, her Rival, and the Lawful Heir of the Crown.

A more Eloquent man then my self, would say, that Fortune irritated by her Refusals, plaid her this Prank to humble her Virtue, and to take revenge of the cruelty of her Philosophy: I had rather say, and I will speak it more Christianly, and with more appearance of truth, that it was God who per­mitted this revolution, to save Jane by her fall; and to draw to himself by a Scaffold, so pure and couragious a Virtue, which evidently had perished if she had grown old upon the Throne. There are dangerous Prosperities, and scandalous [...]levations, which God grants us in his wrath. There are wholsom Adversities, and edifying Falls: And those happen to us when God resumes for us his thoughts of Peace, and disposeth us to Grace. Ma­terial men, who onely behold the present and outside of things, judge far otherwise of them: But this Judgement, to speak properly, is a Judge­ment of frantick men, who had rather dye with Ragou [...]s, then to be cured with Rhubarb; They triumph in the danger of their Souls, and praise God for the marks of Reprobation. They deplore the presages and earnest of their Salvation: And they desire so unhandsomly, they pray so propo­strously, and in so bad terms, as if God were to punish them, he could not do it more severely, then in hearing their prayers, and g [...]anting their Petiti­ons.

Iane judged more solidly of Gods designs, and of the course of his Pro­vidence: And albeit so great a Revolution was a very distasteful Remedy, yet she couragiously resigned her self thereunto, and took it with much cheerfulness. Being sent prisoner to the Tower of London, it was observed that she entred it with as Serene a countenance, and with the same dignity of look and action, as she had done the first time to begin the sad Cere­mony of her fatal Reign. While she remained there, she remitted nothing of her Constancy, and her usual Studies. Vigour and Authority appeared in all her words: all her actions were free through the freedom of her Minde; which was enriched with a milde Grace, and a confident Mode­sty: And even in the Pallace, and upon the Throne it self, she could not have more Majesty, nor appear more Resplendant and Soveraign.

The Sentence of Death being pronounced, she Couragiously submitted to it, and answered nothing else, but ‘That her Crime was not for having laid her hand upon the Crown, but for not having rejected it with force enough. That she had less erred through Ambition, then out of respect and reverence to her friends: That her respect, nevertheless, was a Crime, [Page 82] and that her reverence deserved punishment: that she would willingly admit of death▪ and that she could do no less then render satisfaction to the State, and voluntarily take off, and in obedience to the Laws, the Scandal which she had given by a forced Obedience and rendred by con­straint to her kindred.’

Her Husband condemned to the same punishment, having sent to give her the last visit, to the end he might arm himself with the example of her Constancy, and by the vertue of her last words. She sent him word, ‘That he demanded a lenative, which would put fire into the wound; and that it was to be feared, her presence would rather weaken, then strengthen him. That he ought to take courage from his Reason, and derive Constancy from his own heart, and that if his soul were not firm and settled, she could not settle it by her eyes, nor confirm it by her words: That he should do well to remit this interview to the other world: That there, indeed friendships were happy, and Unions indissolvable; and that theirs would be [...]ternal, if their souls carried nothing with them of Terre­strial, which might hinder them from rejoyning.’

As she was led to the place of Execution, she passed by a Gallery from whence she saw her Husbands body carried to the Chappel of the Tower. This unexpected Object somewhat moved her, and begot compassion in her. But it was a manly, and wel becoming compassion; and this Emoti­on did not so strongly invade her mind, as to hinder it from furnishing her in repose with three Sentences, in three Languages. She wrote them down in her Table-book, which she gave to the Lieutenant of the Tower, with an excuse for the trouble she had given him. The Greek expressed, that if his Executed body should give testimony against her before men, his most blessed soul would give an Eternal proof in the presence of God, of her Innocence. The Latin added, that humane Justice was against his Body, but the Divine mercy would be for his Soul. The English con­cluded, that if her fault deserved punishment, her youth at least, and her imprudence, were worthy of excuse; and that God and posterity would shew her favor.

Constancie, Grace, and Majesty, which had ever accompanied her, as­cended also upon the Scaffold with her. One would have said that all that was seen there could be nothing else but a meer representation of her punishment; And that all this Tragical preparation, was but a fiction, and a meer Ceremony. She rendred thanks to the Catholick Divine, who had assisted her, and comforted her dispairing servants, with so well composed a manner, and with so vigorous and Noble words, so full of Judgement and Courage, as it seemed to some, that if Philosophy her self had been to dye, she could not have dyed more couragiously, and with more Dignity.

She made her self ready for the stroak of the Executioner; and to hum­ble her beauty, though it were innocent of her Misfortune, she made a Wreath or Head-band of her own Hair, whereof it seemed Nature had formed her a Diadem. They offered to strike off her head with a Sword, as [Page 83] if the Sword could have diminished the shame of her punishment, and Dignified her Death, and the hand of the Executioner. But she rejected this unprofitable and superstitious Ceremony: And resolved to be Execu­ted with the same Ax which newly came from the Execution of her Hus­band: Whether that she desired to mingle her bloud with his; Whether she believed that a more painful death would be a more just Expiation of her faults: And that the Iron of the Ax would better purifie her soul, then the Iron of the Sword.

Such was the end of the Reign and Life of Iane Grey, who was an A­thenian and Roman in England many Ages after the ruin of Athens and Rome. She shewed our Predecessors an Image of the ancient Constancy, and pri­mitive Vertue. And taught us that the Graces may be learned, as well as the Muses; That Philosophy belongs to both Sexes; And that even in our daies, under the Purple, and upon the Throne, she might be as vigorous and couragious, as she was heretofore under the Wallet, and in the Tub of the Sunck.

[Page]

VNE Dame chrestienne et Francoise combat iusques à la mort pour sa chasteté [...] parcille a celle de Iudith, egale la France à la Iudée. [...]

[Page 85]Gallant Christian Women.

The French Iudith.

HEre we must beware of a bad Calculation by our Fancy, and of a mistake in our sight; if we believe them in this point, we are in the Age of Nabuchodonosor, and in Judea: And the Tra­gick▪ Action we behold, is the death of Holy­fernes, and the victory of Judith. Nevertheless we are far re­mote from that time, and see indeed another Countrey, and other things. It is not credible that Holyfernes is returned so many years after his Death. It is also less credible that Judea hath removed from Asia into Europe. If whole Races, and even the Ages themselves do not revive; if Cities change not Regions, and cross the Seas, assure your self there is no­thing in this of the Adventure of Bethulia.

Know then, that you are in France, and upon the Terri­tories of Gontran King of Burgundy: and that this Maid which you see with a naked and bloody sword in her hand, is a Native of Champaigne. Do not ask me concerning her Birth: This well beseeming Anger, and this modest and composed Fierceness will confirm you better then my self, [Page 86] that she must be of a good Family: And though her Phisi­ognomy may not induce us to believe it, her blood must needs be as noble as her countenance.

As for this man who looseth his blood through two great wounds, which will be perchance more beneficiall then they are honourable to him; his Domestiques, who hasten to his [...]yde, ca [...]l him Duke Amolon. I dare not tell you that he is [...] a French man: there is too much of savageness in his manners and saith. And it would be too great a shame for France, which is so noble a Mother, so Generous, so Civi­lized, and to Christian, to bring forth Scythians and Tartars; and that under so temperate a Climate, and so benign Pla­nets, there should be found souls of the same temper with those which are born under the Pole. But let him be a French man by birth, and a Tartar or Scythian by nature, it doth not hunder Vertue, which playes the principall part in this Action, from being French. And this second Judith will one day more honour her Country, then this second Holy­fernes could disgrace it.

You see the boldness of her Countenance, and the Vertue of her Face. There is much of Judith in both. But there is more then the Look and Face; more then the boldness and Vertue of Judith: It is no common chaste woman you see: It is a Virgin, nay a victorious Virgin which newly fought, even to the effusion of her blood. And by these two fea­tures wherein she transcends Judith, the French Copy ex­ceeds the Originall lew, and the Modern obscures the An­cient Judith.

After a long and obstinate battle fought against this Ty­rant, she was carryed away by his people, and laid with vio­lence upon his Bed: but this was no longer his Bed, but a Sca [...]old made of Silk and Feathers: it was the place ordain­ed for the end of his Tyrannie, and for the punishment of his Crimes. VVine and Sleep had already closed up his eyes, and tyed his hands, and there wanted but a Sword and an Executioner to make a great and celebrious example of him. His Arms being near at hand, the chaste French woman, [Page 87] inspired by the same Angel who inspired the chaste Iew, took advantage of the Sleep and Sword of her enemy, and made of Amolon an Holyfernes.

The two great wounds which you see in his head, were given by that fair and chaste Hand. Pain awakened his bound up, and benummed Reason: and the first drops of his blood extinguished the dishonest fire which the Tears and Prayers of this innocent Maid had enkindled. He is no longer the same brutish and furious person as before. The wanten flames of his heart, and the impure imaginations of his head are all fallyed forth at his wounds: Iudgement and Respect are entred in their Room: you would say that he awakes with new eyes. Those at least retained no longer any thing of that sulphure which was enkindled by the smallest Rayes of Beauty, and which was set on fire by every lovely glance which issued from it.

He seems to endure with torment the sight of his chaste and couragious Enemy: He suffers it nevertheless, and his confusion mixed with astonishment, his shame accompanied with reverence, make a silent Declaration upon his face, by which he justifies the attempt, and acknowledges it for a law­full Victory: He doth consider that the same person is in his power who had newly plunged him in blood, and who had heretofore inflamed him; who had pierced his heart, and newly wounded his head: He no longer remembers his Love, he resents not his injury. His eyes and mind are too much dazled by something, I know not what, of Lummous, which di [...]uleth it self from the countenance of this beautifull Maid.

I cannot inform you whether it be an Impression of the Angel who stands by her, whether it be a Diadem [...] left to her, by the ardour of her Prayer, whether [...] and spirituall flame which her soul did [...] lence of her last Attempt. But whatsoever [...] upon it with a kind of worship and relig [...] [...] doubt not, but being dazled by this armed [...] Beauty, he takes it either for an exterminat [...] [Page 88] by God, or for divine Iustice it self, which his Crimes had drawn upon him, and which is descended from Hea­ven in person with a revenging Sword, to make him an Ex­ample.

However I much fear that this Imagination of Amolon may not be powerfull enough to protect our Judith, if we do not defend her against those furious Attendants, whom their Ma­sters blood hath irritated. I see her in eminent danger, if she be only guarded by her Graces, and the light which environs her. These people do not acknowledge the Graces: and the fire of anger which they have in their eyes, diverts their sight from his light. They stretch out their arms against this innocent VVoman, and before they touch her, they tear her in pieces afar off with frightful cryes and gestures, por­ [...]ending Cruelty. You would say, that their looks would be first with the prey; And that they had a minde to tast it with their teeth and nails.

This precipitated and barbarous fury, doth astonish you. It would amaze bolder men then you are: But this confi­dence of minde, and this Heroick Constancy in a Maid, is to me a far greater astonishment, and Posterity which shall read her History will be no less amazed. The former Com­placencies and Offers begot much more fear in her, then the present Cryes and Threats. And because her Honour is now in safety, and that her life is onely assaulted, she con­ceives the danger wholly past, and that all this tumult threa­tens some other Person. Having heard of the victorious Virgins and Martyrs of Chastity, she regards not the mis­chief these furious People intend against her. Her thoughts are only fixed on the good she may receive from their fury; and looks upon them as People, who will bestow upon her a second Crown.

Zeal, Boldness, and Modesty, are, I know not how, either associated, or confounded upon her Brow and Cheeks. It is indeed rather a confusion then a superficial Alliance. But it is a pleasing and luminous confusion; and a fire reflects from thence, like that which streams from the [Page 89] richest Scarlet. VVill you not believe that it is from this fire the Chamber is enlightned, and that the splendor of those branched Lights, pendant from the seeling, is over­come thereby? It seems also that some Rayes are fallen from thence, which give a new lustre to this Sword, and which are as it were a recompence for the service it hath ren­dred in this danger to forsaken and unarmed Vertue.

The astonishment and respect of Amolon increased, and being more confirmed then before in his first idle fancies, he gives a sign to his people to convert their anger into Religi­on, and to adore her, whom they desire to tear in pieces. But it is to require too much of furious men: Let them with­draw their hands and fury: Let them offer no violence to Innocence, and we will discharge them of their Religion and VVorship.

SONNET.

ORonta weeps, her bleeding mouth appears
To mingle Corall with her Christal Tears;
Her sad Heart powers it self into those streams,
Lest Amolon should scorch it with his flames.
On this rich Bed now snores the Tyrant, blind
with her bright Rayes, and to her Griefs of mind:
Here Wine and Sleep into a Stock have turn'd
That sparkling Brand whom lust full ardors burn'd.
Oronta hear Instructions of concern;
Thy Angel tels thee this proud Holyfern
Must have a Iudith; that the case requires
To arm thy self with Steel against his fires.
The Virgin B [...]e can sling, and valour show;
If then thou causest not the blood to flow
From this Inglorious Head, no other Art
Can quench the Coal of his Ignoble Heart.

Elogy of the French Judith.

THis Picture is of a Iudith, but of a Virgin Iudith, and born in France. History which hath conserved so many scandalous names, and made so many Portraictures of ill Example, might at least leave us the name of this Heroesse, which France may oppose to all the valiant Women of [...] and Italy. All the certainty we know of her, is, that she lived under the R [...]gn of [...], which was a Raign alike famous for great Vertues and [...]: That Nobility, Beauty, and Vertue had an equall share in her; and that she was born in [...], which hath shewn by the Birth of this [...], and the Maid of [...], that this Province was reckoned amongst the number of the Heroick Mothers: And that it had a more generous [...] [...]ndity, then the Territory of the ancient Amazons.

This Virgin innocently, and against her will inkindled love in Duke Amolon, and the Duke received it greedily, and to his ruin. He pursued her by all manner of ways, and by what way soever he followed her, he found himself still the further off. He sent her magnificent Presents, accompa­nied with far more magnificent Offers. And his Presents were turn'd back with his Offers. Irritated to see his Services rejected, and his Magnificence despised, he had recourse to open Violence, and resolved to force that Vertue which he could not corrupt▪ But he assaults a place which was not to be taken by Force no more then by Composition: And his threats had as little Success as his Courtships.

Despair and Rage succeeding his Love, he let loose his People upon her: And the outrages which were done her by his Servants, found her as immovable as did the Presents which had been offered her by the Master. Her heart is not softned at all, nor doth it wast away with her blood; her minde doth not so much as suffer by the wounds of her body: Her very sighs, as if they feared to be suspected of weakness, remain within her mouth. These barbarous Villains wea [...]ed with her Constancy, cast her all bloody and half dead upon [...] bed, and [...]. The Tyrant was no longer in a condition to do her harm: [...] and sleep had boun [...] [...] fast enough: And to make an end of this second [...], there wants nothing but the arm of our second Iudith▪

Inspired from God, she lifts up her eyes to Heaven, and [...] sword hanging neer his bed; ‘Thou insensible Instrument, saith she) [...] up in blood and Murthers, to day at least thou shalt perform an act of Justice and Piety. Thou shalt free me from thy [...], and preserve [...] either by his death, or by my own.’ [...] a sho [...] and [...] to her words: and drawing [...] which [...] followed her generous hand, and received as [...] from the fire of [...] and Courage; she [...] with all her [...] upon the head of [...] The blow which was both Mortal and beneficial, awa­ [...] [...] to his sen [...]es before it took away his life. He ac­knowledged [Page 92] his fault, commended the vertue of his Murtheress, and com­manded her to be set at Liberty. She went to cast her self at the feet of [...], who was ravished with so extraordinary a Vertue, and treated her more like a Conque [...]ess then a Criminal. He honoured her with Prai­ [...] and Presents, and in lieu of the Pardon she required, caus'd an [...] composed of her, which was of greater value then a Crown.

MORAL REFLECTION.

THose understand not Chastity who give it a place amongst the vertues of [...] No vertue is more [...] no [...] ought to be more War­like. There is not any to [...] and Courage are more [...] And to my [...], the [...] armed and full of prickles, is a more true and natural Symbole of [...] which hath only a whitness without weapons [...] we must keep to Cu­stom, and leave the [...] have one, since Custom will have it so But let it be [...] mentioned in the [...] let it be a [...]lly [...] signifying that Chastity will be always armed.

Our French [...] was one of these [...] as well as the He­brew [...] And all chaste Women who [...] willing to imitate them, have need of a Warlike Spirit, and of a resolute Soul disposed for War, even for an obstinate War, without [...], saith St [...] for a War where Neutra­lity hath no place, and where one must necessarily either overcome, or be vanquished▪ The War which Tyrants, and Executioners have made against [...]aith, was [...] on with more State and Pomp: It was done with more noise and preparations of Engines and Punishments: Nevertheless it was not so dangerous, and though Tertullian said, that a head accustomed to precious stones and pearls, hardly exposeth it self to the sword: Yet some have been seen, who have fought less happily for their Chastity then for their Faith; And having been overcome by an Enemy who only assaulted them with flowers, God hath shewed them the favour to rise again, and overcome Tyrannie and Cruelty, armed with all their Engines.

There must be nothing saint or weak in a chaste Soul; there must be no­thing of Languishment or [...]ffeminacy: But there must not be the least [...] o [...] ostentation, there must be nothing lo [...]ty or savage Her cou­rage ought to be modest without oftentation; her resolution tempered with sweetness and Civilitie: And in a word to draw her Picture, she must resemble a Rose which is bashful and armed, which defends it self with blushes, and p [...]cks only those that rudely touch it.

MORAL QVESTION.
VVhether more Resolution and Courage be required to make a Man Valiant, then to make a VVoman Chaste.

WHo will believe that Chastity is more vigorous then Valour, and that to make a chaste Woman, more Courage [...] needful, then to make a valiant Man▪ The Valiant will believe it, they perswade themselves that there is no true Courage but then own, and that Resolu­tion cannot act but by their hands, nor have any right imployment but in War. Then perswasion nevertheless [...] from Truth, and were it not so dangerous to meddle with [...] I might say to them, that they are deceived. One might well agree with them, that courage is a Ver­tue fit for the [...]eld, and that it is by the assistance thereof, Towns are taken, Battel [...] fought, Crowns gain [...]d, and inlarg'd▪ But they ought to confess also▪ that this courage doth not always act amids Fire and Sword; that all the occasions thereof are not bloody, though they be all laborious: and that there are Domestick Combats, in which the Victory is more diffi­cult, & requires more labour then in the Field. The conflicts of Chastity are of that [...] though they be not perform'd like those of Valour with a shew of terro [...], and preparations formidable to the eye, yet are they not less to be feared, not less dangerous; And if we set aside the address and to [...]ls of the body, and this [...] appearance which makes a noise and astonish­eth. [...]here remains nothing which hinders us from concluding, that to [...]ender a Man valiant, less resolution and courage is [...], then to [...]en­der a Woman chaste.

There are many solid and weighty Reasons, which should perswade it▪ And to begin with the Enemies against whom Chastity and Valour are to fight, it is certain that those of Chastity are stronger, and more nume­rous, then those of Valour. It seems to [...] that Chastity is a [...] quiet vertue, because ordinarily it hath only to do with passions which seem sweet and pleasing▪ But these sweet and pleasing passions are harder to overcome, then the [...]ough and formidable: Whether by reason we less distrust them, and that the senses and Nature hold Intelligence with them▪ Whether because then [...]a [...]ed sweetness and Artifice [...] their entry into the heart▪ Whether in respect that no passion being established to resist them, Reason is left single to contest against them▪ And Reason which is not upheld by passions, fights faintly, and without vigour▪ It is not [...] with these troublesom passions, which are enemies to Valour. They [...] finde Nature upon her guard: The Senses cannot grow familiar with them, nor fashion themselves to their rudeness. They would not know how to enter into the heart, but openly, and with violence▪ And the pro­per [Page 94] Function of anger, which is a Warlike passion, being to serve Rea­son against them, War with them cannot be neer so painful as with [...], not the Victory so difficult and doubtful.

We see also, that the number is far greater of brave Spirits, who have overcome Fear, then of valiant chaste Women who have vanquished Love. And amongst so many Heroes whom Poesie hath made, and History [...]ound out: We can hardly name three or four who have not been Ma­stred by it: Some one will say, that this comes home to the Fable of the [...]on, who was vanquished by a Wasp: but whether Love be a Wasp or [...] leave that Dispute to others. It sufficeth me, that those People who were subduers of Monsters, have been vanquished by Love. And I cannot [...] more ancient Authors to give Credit to the power of pleasing pas [...]ions, and to conclude in sequel, that Chastity, whose part it is to overcome them, ought to be more Resolute and Couragious then Valous.

More [...]er the strength of Passions, of what Order soever they be, pro­ceeds from the [...] of those Objects which irritate them. Now the goods which provoke Love and Desire, and fight Externally against Cha­stity, are more hard to overcome then [...]vils which beget fear and dispair, and are opposite to Valour. This at first sight appears incredible: And the Ignorant will suspect it for a Paradox and an Hyperbole. It i [...] true neverthe­less, and the proof will be easie to those who know the different Impres­sions of Good and Bad, and the several instincts of the Will. The first Action of Good is like that of the Loadstone; it attracts the Will, and forcibly fastens it self to it: It doth yet more; it Dilates the Will which it hath fastened to its self; and penetrates it with a pleasing and violent sweet­ness, which hath wherewith to gain and overcome it. Nevertheless, it hath no need of violence against the Will: She renders her self up freely to what is Good, and expects not to be forced from it. She embraceth all that resembleth it: She ever gapes after the Odour and Shadow thereof. And her happiness consisting in being united to it, she cannot repel it with­out suppressing or suspending her instinct, without acting against her self, and offering violence to Nature. Her instinct and disposition in respect of Evil, are far different from the other. As it is an Object of Terror, which woundeth by [...] presence, the Will also cannot endure the Reproa­ches of it▪ She flies eagerly, even from the appearances and presages there­of▪ and for this she needs neither new vigour nor force but her own in­stinct contrariwise she would have need of a second vigour more power­full then the first; and it would be necessary that she should offer violence to her instinct: If she were, I do not say, to follow Evil, but even to ex­pect it quietly, and to suspend the hatred she bears it. It is then more easie to fight against Evil. and to overcome it by a propense and natural resist­ance, then to repell Good, and obtain such a forced victory over it, as is of­fensive to Nature, and constrains her Inclinations. And this truth being sup­posed, I leave unto others to judge, whether the Combats of Valour be more hazardous and painfull, then those of Chastity: And whether to [Page 95] support Nature, and to repulse with her by joynt Forces a danger which affrights and threatens her, it be necessary to imploy more Vigour and Con­stancy, and act more couragiously, and with more resolution, then to force her Inclinations to suppress her instinct and desires; to snatch from her a Good which is Interiour, and Adherent to her; a pressing and obstinate Good; a Good, which is supported by many other Goods, which are her Solicitors and Agents, which render it valuable and sustains it.

This is a third Reason, which much increaseth the dangers of Chastity▪ and the need she hath to be wel armed with courage & warlike Discipline. She is not only to defend her self from voluptuousness, which is an obsti­nate and pressing Enemy: And which can hardly be vanquished, either by open force, diversion, or stratagem. But she is likewise to overcome Avarice, Vanity, and Ambition: She is to resist Engines of Gold and Sil­ver, Batteries of Diamonds and Pearls, and generally all the Assaults which a potent Love, assisted by Fortune is able to give. Some Men go about to Debauch even Reputation and Honour from the service of Chastity, and to imploy them some times against her with better Success then Pleasure and Riches; nay, then death it self and punishments, as it hapned in the fall of [...]. Now it is certain that Gold and Silver are the Engines which overcome all things; with them Towns are taken which have held out against Canons and Mines: By them Armies have been defeated, which had resisted Fire and Sword, the injuries of Weather, and the fury of the Elements: And a Woman hath need of far greater force then that of the Heroes, to maintain a Battery, which hath broken whole Legions, and overthrown C [...]tadels. There are also but too many of them who surrender to it. And in these sorts of Combats, Victories are daily gain'd with Gold and Pearl. Nevertheless that which is remarkable, even Riches, Honors, Presents and Hopes, which have so much power to wea­ken Chastity, are helps which incourage valour, and Fortifie it: And the valiant raise themselves great and resplendent Fortunes, out of the same things, which turne chaste Women.

There is much more then this; And as if Chastity had not enemie [...] enough of her own, she is to contest with those of Valour and Constan­cy. She is not onely assaulted by voluptuousness, and battered with pieces of Gold, and Silver, with Presents and Offers, with Weapons which wound the soul by [...] the senses, and vanquish the heart by delight­ing the Body But she is also assaulted by Tyrants and Executioners with a preparation of [...] and Engines of Punishments: And the [...] which they propose to her is not a resplendent and specious death, and Ho­norable and Glorious death, like that of valiant Men, but a hideous and Tragick Death▪ a Death accompanied with Torments, and like those which are bewailed upon Theaters. The chief thing is, that she is not to contend with this death, and these Torments by resistance, and by repel­ling them with the Sword, as in War: This Combat would be easie, and Nature would both side with her, and support her. But she must over­come by Patience, and in suffering all that an Irritated passion and become [Page 96] furious, can make one suffer. And Nature, to which sufferance is averse, not assisting her in this kinde of fight: She must have a strong resolution, and a very Heroick Courage to resist all alone Fire and Sword, and hold out against the Rack and Tortures.

Those are truly to be esteemed, who expose themselves freely to so ma­ny Deaths as there be Grains of Lead, and Pikes of Iron in the Army of an Enemy; who remain firm before artificial Thunders which strike at a greater distance, and cause more Murthers then those of Nature. But the end of those Persons, how resolute soever they be, is not to put back the Goods which are offered them, and less also to abandon themselves to the Evils which appear and threaten them: She is to acquire all that they see of Riches and Crowns in the hands of Victory: She is to retort death up­on their Enemies, and with Death, all the evils which accompany it, as well as those that follow it. Chastity hath Objects and Pretensions quite opposite to these: And it is her duty to vanquish equally things delight­ful and formidable: The delightful, by a generous refusal; the formida­ble, by an immoveable Patience, and both by an Heroick Magnanimi­ [...].

The couragious Susanna was to fight and overcome all these sorts of E­nemies, drawn together against her in one single Occasion. She vanquish­ed Pleasure, which hath put so many Heroesses under the yoke, and so ma­ny Conquerers in chains. She overcame Infamy, which is the great Bug-Bear of her Sex: She overcame Death, even the Death due to Sacriledges; And that which exceeds all Expression: She chose rather to undergo in­nocently the shame and punishment of Adulterers, then to preserve her Life and Honour by a Stain easie to be washed out, and far easier to be concealed. Certainly the Victories of Sampson, though Heroick and Mi­raculous, if compared with these, will pass but for May-Games, and Fi­ctions: And whatsover is said of it, he shewed less strength in tearing up Pillars, and bearing the fall of a Ruined House, then Susanna did in of­fering her self to the snares which were prepared for her. Let us add now Example to Discourse; and to Inculcate also to the Understanding the ad­vantage which the courage of Chaste Women hath above that of Valiant Men, let us present here to publick view the Picture of a Warlike and vertuous Chastity.

EXAMPLE.
Blanche of Rossy.

THat Mezentius whose Memory even at this day is exemplarily puni­shed, was peradventure but a Fiction of Virgil, made to chastise (in Effigie at least) both Tyrannie and Cruelty; and to read a Lesson of Justice and Clemency to Princes. Nevertheless this Fiction so noto­riously punished, and cryed down for so many Ages, hath not wanted bad Imitators, who have drawn Copies of it so much the more deformed as they more resembled the Original. And not to produce others here, which belong to other Subjects: Accidin was in flesh and bone, in minde and action, what Mezentius was but in Paper and Figure. This Exterminator who was sent about the end of the twelfth Age, to chastise insolent and debauch [...]d Italy, renewed all the ancient Cruelties, and abolish [...]d Punish­ments; And verified all that was strange in Fables, all that was seen Tra­gical, and surprising upon Theaters. His Cruelty extended so far, that to lengthen the punishment and impatience of those wretched men whom he tormented, he caused them to be laid upon half putrified bodies, to the end the dead might by little and little stifle the living, that they might be eaten up by their Worms, and become corrupted by their Pu­trifaction.

This Cruelty of Accidin was accompanied with a barbarous and bru­tish Incontinency. And albeit tenderness and sweetness be a Natural In­gredient to Voluptuousness; His nevertheless was ordinarily Savage, stain'd with Blood, and like a Fury. It appeared such during the whole course of his life, and particularly in the Sacking of Boss [...], which he took by Storm. [...] Baptista of [...], who was either the Governour or Lord of the Place, having been slain upon the Wall, Blanche of Rossy his Wife, who fought compleatly armed by his side, after a long resistance, and Heroick Endeavors, was taken and led in Triumph before the Tyrant, as the most rare and precious piece of his Conquest.

Certainly also she had in her self alone wherewith to merit the enter­prise and labours of three just Conquerors. And the famous Grecian who was so often stoln away, and for whom so many Battels had been fought, was but a third part of this Italian Lady. Her Beauty was no solitary Beauty, and ill attended like the others. It was accompanied with all the Vertues which make the Honour of her Sex; and even those which Honour ours, were not wanting in her. She was very Beautiful, but far more Chaste, and little less Valiant. She had Charms and accomplished Graces: but those Charms were Innocent, and without Affectation: those Graces were Continent and Military: And generally in all her Attractives, there appeared a tincture of Modesty, and Spirits mix'd with bashfulness and courage.

[Page 98] As soon as Acc [...]din had viewed her thus gracefully set forth in Armour, covered over with a certain dust steeped in sweat, which appeared like a Military painting, and such as they give to Victory: A black and violent flame suddenly seized on his heart: And the smoke thereof ascending to his head, extinguished all that was found there of light. It was neither Af­fection nor [...]steem; it was neither Inclination nor true Love. Flames of this Nature do not fasten on all sorts of matter: And although the Sun doth illuminate Comets as well as the Planets; yet it is not from the fire of Planets that he illuminates the Comets.

The relation which was made him of the Valour and Chastity of Blanche, added new fire to his brutish Concupiscence; he was likewise by Nature one of these lustful Devils, who are less lascivious by an appetite they cannot have, then by the inclination they have to defile and corrupt. Rapes and all debauchery, injurious to Vertue, were most pleasing to him; And he took a particular delight in spoiling those Flowers which were Consecrated to her. At first he constrain'd his Humour, and took upon him a flattering and complacent Countenance; but this look was a very improper Mask: And his rude and forc'd complacences were far from softning the Vertue of Blanche. She knew very well that Tygers never grow familiar in good earnest with their Prey, and that though they hide their teeth and clawes, yet they seldom make much of them, without scratching or biting them.

Afterwards he discovers himself, and declares to her his passion with arrogant intreaties, and in a stile of Command. His intreaties, though violent, finding not themselves powerful enough, he came to armed threats, full of death and tortures: And his threats, with all their weapons, proved as weak as his Intreaties. There nothing remain'd to try but force: And as he prepared himself for it, the Chaste and Couragious Blanche slipt out of his hands; got into the window, and transported by her Ver­tues and Courage, and perchance also by her good Angel, she precipitated her self from thence. This boldness astonish'd all that were present: And even Accidin acknowledg'd himself overcome by the fall of his Captive: They that were sent to help her, believed her dead: She was only in a swound, and had one shoulder out of joynt, and an arm broken. She being come to her self, there was neither care not remedies spar'd for her Cure: But as she apprehended more her Cure then death, the same Re­medies which asswaged the pain of her body, augmented the grief of her minde▪ and every moment she prayed against the Vertue of Remedies, and bewailed the ease which she received by them. The Remedies had notwithstanding more Vertue then either her Prayers or Tears: They re­stored her health, and the restauration thereof proved the Crysis of her misfortune.

Accidin no sooner saw her recovered, but he presently renewed his pre­tensions and pursuits. He assaulted her Soul in every part, where it might be assaulted. Having in vain contested against hope, he contested against fear; And caused far greater Threats to succed larger Offers. But this se­cond [Page 99] Assault found not a more prosperous Success then the former. His great Menaces and Offers were tendred without effect; and there was sound nothing base or weak in this great Soul. Perswasion not prevailing with her, he used a Tyrannical and Barbarous Violence; and not being able to gain upon the Spirit of Blanche, he caused her body to be fastened upon a Table, which was more detestable to her then a Torturing Wheel.

This action only sullied the Tyrant who did it; The Vertue of the Pa­tient, who endured it with so much regret, was not defaced by it: Her very Name received not any stain thereby: Nevertheless being transported with pain, and become odious, and almost unknown to her self; she withdrew to the place in which her Husband Interr'd: Where having discovered what remained of his body: where having made a short and interrupted, yet Couragious and Manly Complaint to his Ghost; and where having besought him to come and deliver her soul out of a Prison stain'd by Accidin; she cast her self upon these dear and pittiful Reliques: And in this state, able to beget Emulation in all the Vertuous Women of Antiquity, she rendred up her Soul, not upon the Body of her Husband, (who was no more) but upon his Shadow and Memory.

[Page]

ISABELLE de Castille su [...]e le [...]enin et le peril de la playe de son Mary desesperé des [...] par sa [...]ueris [...]n que l'Amour est le Maistre de la vie et de la mort [...]

[Page 101]Eleonor of Castile Princess of wales.

ALL England is dangerously sick upon this Bed with Prince Edward. The Fortune of the Publike being wounded to the heart by the wound he brought from the Holy VVar, en­dures the same Convulsions as he feels: And the Physitians give them but one day of life, if God send not an Angel, and a Miracle to cure them.

Surely it is very strange that the hearts of a whole Nation should be wounded by one blow, and that one shaft which hath hurt but one Body, should draw Blood from so many Soules. But such is the condition, and as it were the destiny of good Princes: They have a heart and soul in every one of their Subjects: Their blood and veines disperse them­selves throughout all the parts of their Dominions, and their least wounds are followed by publike Symptomes, and po­pular Maladies.

Prince Edwards wound is one of those: The King his Father, and all his Subjects lament it, and their Tears are the Blood of their Soules, which have been wounded by his Bo­dy. You will believe notwithstanding, that in this generall [Page 102] sickness, and amidst these common lamentations, the Princess his wife is the most sick, and most to be lamented. There is also a good half of the Prince in her; and reciprocally more then a good half of her in the Prince. Her love at least is there intire; and with her love there is more of her Life, and more of her Soul then is left behind. Though far remote from the fight, yet she was wounded there to death with him: Her heart found it self just in the offended part: and ever since her soul and life have issued forth by the same wound with her Husbands blood.

At present hope is returned to her, but it is a dolefull hope, and such as may come from despair. The Physitians have declared to her, that the Prince might yet be cured, and that to cure him, it was necessary to seek out some affectionate and couragious person, who would expose himself to take in his Death by sucking the poyson out of his wound. Her Love, which was present at the Consult of the Physitians, perswaded her that this affection could not be expected but from a woman, nor this Courage but from a Princes: That this fatall wound could not have a more soveraign Salve then her Tongue: and that if it were her Husbands destiny to receive a second Life, he could owe it to no other then her Spirit and Mouth.

This inspiration greedily received by her heart, drew from thence this bold and vigorous heat, and this tincture of hope and joy which you see in her Face. There appears in her Countenance something, I know not what, of fierce and stately, which seems to require respect, and yet begets affe­ction. It is peradventure a certain Ayr of Spain which pas­sed the Seas with her, and followed her into England. It is perchance a visible expression of her Heroick thoughts, and an exteriour sign by which her Soul declares what she newly concluded. For whatever this little fierceness may be taken, and what name soever they give it; it sets a harmless edge upon the sweetness of this Princess: It is to her Beauty and Graces a modest and well-becoming boldness: It is as it were a reflection of her Heart upon her Face, and as a de­monstration [Page 103] of the greatness and vigour of her Soul.

But whether it proceed from the greatness and vigour of her Soul, or from the force and greatness of her affection, she valueth not death, to which she is going to expose her self, nor is affrighted at this great train of Terror which the peo­ple set before her; She considers, and hearkens to nothing but her Love, which calls her to an action which will equall Spain to ancient Greece, and old Italy; which will efface the glory of renowned men and women; and infuse jea­lousie into both Sexes: which will be the honour of this Age, and the admiration of Posterity; and will manifest that Charity no less then Faith hath the gift of Cures, and the vertue of Miracles.

Her Imagination was full of these great Objects. But her Husband is the main one, and approacheth nearest to her heart: In her mind she renounceth Reputation and Glory: and by an express Oath taken upon the name and picture of the Prince, which you see in her hand; She dedicates her self to his Cure, and obligeth her self to suck in her own Death, or to give him Life. Let us accompany her to the Execution of this business, and place our selves behind this piece of Ar­ras with the Princes servants, who observe her in silence, and with gestures of astonishment. Vertue cannot have too ma­ny witnesses in like Enterprizes. And this would merit that time past should return, and the future advance to convey to her Spectators of all Ages.

Behold her already upon the Princes Bed, and couched upon the wound she hath discovered. You would say that her Soul to accomplish the Transport she hath vowed, and to pass from the subject she animates, to that she loveth, flows away by her Eyes with her Tears, and drop by drop penetrates the Body of the sick Prince. Do not fear that these Tears should inflame his wound; or that the Ardour of his Feavour be augmented by them. These Tears indeed are very warm, and come from a scorching spring: but they are gentle and benigne; and I believe that not a Tear doth fall, [Page 114] which carryeth not with it some part of the Princesses Soul, and some drop of her Life distilled therein.

VVhat do you think of this Love, who exhorts her with his very looks and action? Doth he not seem to be newly come out of her Heart to declare himself the Author of this great Design, and to enjoy it neerer and in an open way? He is not one of these Interested and Propriatory Ones that will ingross all to themselves, and aym meerly at their own pri­vate satisfaction. Less also is he one of those Discontented and Contentious Ones, who are armed on all sides with teeth and nails; who carry not a Flower which is not ac­companied with Thornes; who make not so much cleer fire, as they do noise and smoke.

You see no Shafts nor Torch about him, because he is a Saving and no Tyrannical Love: He is come to cure an old wound, and not to make new ones: And there entreth nothing but a pure Spirit and Light into the Flames which he inkindles. He is not of the Country of Romances, nor of the Region of Fables: His Origen is from Heaven, even from the most Luminous, and highest part of Heaven. He is next to God the Mediator of holy Marriages, and well united Pairs: He is the common Spirit of Christian Sym­pathyes, and the Moderator of Chaste Agreements, and Vertuous Harmonies.

Such an Exhorter is most powerful, and his Inspirations leave nothing to be acted by Reason. However he is not the sole perswader of the Princess. Her Husband though fast asleep, is no less Perswasive nor Eloquent them he. If Prince Edward speaks not with his mouth, he speaks by the paleness of his face: He speaks from the Ardour of his Fea­ver, and the Palpatation of his heart. He speaks from his wound which hath a Voice of Blood and words of Pas­sion. In silence the Princess yields attention to this Voice and to these VVords: And Answereth them with her Sighs and Tears, which are no less Eloquent, nor less Passi­onate. And ere long when she shall thrust her Tongue [Page 105] and Mouth into this VVound, her Heart will descend upon her Lips to bid the last adieu to the Princes Heart, and to transmit into it her last Flame, together with her Life.

But fear nothing in her behalf: This Love her Inciter, will preserve them both. He put a secret Antidote in to her Mouth, and gave her Spirit the gift of Healing. Her Lips which he purified with a Spiritual and Sacred Fire, will Exorcise Death, and dispossess it of this Body, without taking it into her own: And one day, Edward Cured, and Eleonor Preserved, will be reckoned amongst the miracles of Heroick Charity.

SONNET.

ON some Exploit, Prince Edward, Dreaming lyes,
VVith Death in's Wound, and slumber in his Eyes:
His Spouse, to Cure him, is resolv'd to Dy,
VVith Heart like those of her brave Ancestry.
Love, more then Nature, skill'd in Life's repairs,
Makes him a precious Balsome of her Tears:
VVhose Soul already heals him in Designe,
And, at his VVound, do's with his Soul conjoyne.
Approach thy Mouth and Heart couragious VVife,
'Tis that must save thy gallant Edwards life;
That Heart of thine, with true Affection Crown'd,
Shall make thy Tongue a Plaister for his Wound.
To Cure thy Prince, employ no other Skill;
The Fire, the Blood, the Spirits that Distill
From thy fair Soul, shall from his Body drive
Th' empoyson'd VVound, and keep thy Prince alive.

Elogy of Eleonor.

HEroick Vertue doth not alwaies Kill; not imploys Fire and Sword in all she takes in hand. All her Exploits are not stained with Blood: she knows how to perform them of more then one fashion and colour; and acts not everywhere with Noise, though in every place with Force. There are Obscure victories without witnesses, wherein she hath need of no less boldness, then in those which are gained in the view of whole Nations, and with the noise of Canons and Trumpets.

The victorie represented in this Picture, is one of these. Edward, Prince of Wales, was come back from the Holy Land, with a wound he had recei­ved from an Impoysoned Arrow. The Physitians had allayed all their spe­culations and practises, and all those ways having been unprofitably tryed, they declared to him, that he could not be cured but by the destruction of some Person who might have the courage to suck in death with the poy­son of his wound. Being condemned by this Declaration, he prepares himself to dye, resolving not to preserve life, by the death of another, nor to make a remedy of an Impoysonment. The Princess his Wife, Daugh­ter unto the King of Castile, conceiving her self condemn'd by the same sentence, received it, as if love it self had pronounced it to her: And seeing her self necessitated to dye, either by the death or cure of her Hus­band; She resolved to chuse of these two deaths, that which seemed to her the most Honourable, and least bitter; and which ought of the two moy­ties of her life to conserve to her self, that which was most dear and preci­ous.

This resolution taken with her love, she defers the Execution to the next night; And as soon as the Prince was prepared for it by rest, she gently discovers his wound, and begins to cure it by the purest blood of her soul, which she pours into it with her Tears: That done, she set her mouth to the wound, and with her tongue plunged her heart into it: By little and little she sucks out the Poyson, and so seasonably casts it forth, as she drew from thence all that was Mortal, without ret [...]ning any part thereof to her self.

Whether that this malignant humour were consumed by the subtile and penetrating fire, which her heart diffused by her mouth: Or whether God, who is Life and Charity, had laid his Spirit upon her lips, she pre­served her Husbands life without loosing her own; and by one act cured two sick Persons, and wrought two Miracles.

MORAL REFLECTION.

THere is a large [...] in this Picture; and an excellent lesson for married Women This couragious Spaniard added to the Romans, Greci­ams, and even to those Barbarians, who dyed for their husbands, will speak Eternally for the constancy and fidelity of their Affections: And wil highly prove, and in an Heroick fule, that the loving portion of the heart is more vigorous and couragious in their Sex, then in Ours. But she will also prove for their instruction, that nothing is impossible to well ordered Charity: That her hands have the gift of Cures, and that the vertue of Miracles re­sides on her Lips: That she single and unarmed, hath more Force then Death with all his swords and poysons: and that Barbarous and heathen­ish Love, which knew onely how to dye vainly, and with Audacity, was but an impatient and desperate Love, compared to a Chaste One, which knows how to save in dying, and to reap benefit even by its Dangers and Losses.

But this saving and Wonder-working Love, ought not to be a busie and Effeminate Love, or a Love of Interest and propriety. It must be a Philoso­phick and Couragious Love, Extatick and Prodigal; Elevated above all that pleaseth and affrights. This Torch must be like that, represented in the Canticles, not a wandring and Volatile fire, but a fire ever Equal and Active; A fire which consumes all the little threds of Interests; all Forraign tyes; all Chains and Fetters; even those precious Chains which Fortune frames; nay, those very Fetters which are more worth then Diadems, and which fasten Princes on Thrones. Some will have it, that it consumes even the tyes of the Soul and Body; And alleadge that place of the Canticles, where the power of Love is equalled with that of Death. This point is both important, and instructive: And because one might be dan­gerously mistaken therein, it is fit to make a Question of it apart.

MORAL QVESTION.
Whether it appertains to the Duty and Fidelity of VVomen, to expose themselves to Death for their Husbands.

IF in this point we believe Antiquity, Conjugal Love was heretofore very Tyrannical: And married Women, who subjected themselves to it, ought to be well resolved. It was not satisfied, that they should bear with the ill humours, and bad Fortunes of their Husbands, but it would [Page 109] have them sick of their Maladies, & die of their Deaths: And as if it had not been sufficient to make them slaves, & undergo the yoke, It made them also Sufferers and Victims, and put ordinarily either a rope about their necks, or a dagger in their throats: The chief thing is, that there was a necessity of ta­king that course to acquire the title of a gallant Woman: And such as were able to endure life after the death of their Husbands, could not pretend to the acclamations of their present Age, nor to the Eternity of History. Be­sides, even in these dayes this cruel Custom is used in some parts of the In­die: No Widows are seen in those Countries: And Families are not prejudi­ced there by Dowries which issue out of them: A Father of a Family being dead, the Law of the Country ordains, that he be put in an Equipage for the other World: And that such things as had been most dear unto him, should be burn'd with him. The best beloved of his Wives hath this ad­vantage by his last Will, and the Right which Custom allows her. She dresseth her self more richly, and with more care for death, then she had done for her Wedding-Feast: The whole Kindred in Festival Garments, and adorned like her, Conducts her Solemnly and in Pomp to the flaming Pile: And there she suffers her self to be burnt in Ceremony, and with a more Natural and less affected Constancy then did the [...] Philosopher, who would counterfeit Hercules dying; And presented a Spectacle of his death to the Army of Alexander. I know indeed that this Superstitious, and regular Cruelty of the Indians; And that other tumultuary and preci­pitated Despair of the Romans and Grecians, are equally reproved by the Laws of Christianity. But I am not ignorant also that conjugal Love hath its Meritorious and Vertuous Deaths: And there is some ground to doubt whether such kinde of deaths may happen by way of obligation, and con­cern the Duty of a good Wife.

To this Question, which is not of meer Curiosity, but Instructive and Profitable: I answer, First, that desperate and passionate Women, who kill themselves to follow their deceased Husbands, transgress against conju­gal Love, and violate the Fidelity they owe them. This Proposition draws neer to a Paradox; Yet exceeds not its bounds; and Truth is there well ballanced. One or two Reasons may Justifie it, and draw the assent of the most devoted to the Memory of the Pant [...] and the Porcia's.

In the first place it will be granted me, that the prime care of Lovers should be to nourish their fire, and to keep it still in heat and action; To delend it from all that might extinguish it: And the least neglects therein are Temptations: Doubts are Dispositions to change and commenced In­fidelities. Now this fire is smother'd in blood, and by the violence of de­sperate Widows. It is a great folly to believe that nothing remains after death: The earth of Church-yards is too cold to preserve a single spark thereof: An such as thunder out so great Oaths, that their Ashes will re­tain everlastingly the heat thereof, are highly guilty of Perjury, unless they vent them by way of Poesie. And if it be an act of Infidelity by tract of time, and by piece-meal to suppress ones love from day to day, and to deprive it by degrees of nourishment, what will it be to smother it [Page 110] violently and on a sudden; not to leave it a single spark which may inkindle it?

I know not how they will take what I have to say in this particular. It is true nevertheless, and must be spoken, in what sense soever it may be taken Conjugal Fidelity is more hainously violated, and the dead are far more injured by the delusive Courage of the falsely Constant Women that destroy themselves, then by the weakness of those which will open their hearts to new Affections, and run to second Marriages. These at least pre­serve the Memory of their Husbands; They still retain their Rings on their Fingers▪ They keep their Pictures in their Closets and Hearts: And the second fire which [...]eth on them is not so incompatible, nor so much an enemy to the first, that it permits not some sparks thereof, and a little heat in the remaining Ashes. On the contrary, furious and despairing Wi­dows in what manner soever they voluntarily die, reserve nothing of their first fire: They destroy it even to the Matter, to the very Ashes and Harth: And their Husbands, who might live long and quietly in their hearts, pe­rish a second time by the impetuosity of their Despair, or by the obstinacy of their Grief.

Hence I infer a second Reason against the Falsity of impatient and de­spairing Love. It is an opinion generally received, and supported both by the Sense and Nature, as well as by Speculation and Philosophy: That Persons beloved have a particular Being, and as it were a second Existency in the Imagination, in the Soul and Heart of the Persons that love them. They live there intellectually, and by their Images: And those Images are not dead Figures, nor Impostures of a deceiving Art. They have Life and Spirit; they are true and Natural: They possess all the Perfections and Graces of their Originals, and have neither the Defects nor stains of Mat­ter. Now a Woman who kills her self out of a blinde and precipitious fu­ry, or who consumes her self with an obstinate and voluntary Affliction, takes from her Husband this second Existency; and this intellectual Being and Love, by which he surviv'd himself She voluntarily annihilates, and violently destroys that which death had left her: And if she ought to make a scruple of defacing his Picture, with what colour and pretence can she justifie the violence she offereth to an Image, which was her se­cond Life and Felicity in this World?

It is evident thereby that Constancy is not furious, and that Fidelity is another thing then Despair: That the greatest Love is not that which makes the most haste to poysons and precipices: That Wives cannot more Religiously keep the Faith they owe to their Husbands, not give them stronger proofs of their Affection, then in rendring their Fidelity, and Love, durable and lasting: Then in procuring them in their minde a life full of tranquillity and satisfaction: Then in espousing their Memory, and ma­king a new Contract with their Images: Then in carefully preserving those things which have been dear unto them: And if they be good Wives, they will not doubt but they were more dear to them then any World­ly treasure.

[Page 111] Let it not be said, that this Philosophy is too remiss and indulgent: That it pleads the cause of Nice and Effeminate Dames; That it gives cre­dit and authority to self Love. This cannot be spoken but rashly, and at random; And surely as one may kill himself out of self Love, and through an excess of tenderness; so one may preserve his own life for the Love of another, and by a particular Effort of Courage. Seneca affirms, that for this much Vertue is required: and that the bravest men ought to employ therein, the whole vigour of their Souls. And this Stoack, who was as se­vere by his own inclination, as by the Genius of his Sect; who had been inured to the Axioms, and opinions of the strongest Philosophy; who had so frequent trials of himself against grief and death, freely confesseth, and in good earnest, that he was become a thrifty dispoler of his bad remain­ders; and had spared the dirt and dreggs of his Old Age, to the end he might preserve the Spirit and youth of Paul [...]s, who lived in him.

To this first Decision, Which allows not to Women the use of poyson, and Steel; and imposeth an absolute necessity on them to survive their husbands; I add a second, which replaceth them in the freedom, even in the Right and Duty of dying for them: And the strength of this second Decision, is not repugnant to the moderation of the former. I say then, that albeit the Law, which forbids murther, and especially all self-mur­ther, be express and general: Yet in a perilous occasion, where the life of a husband should be in danger, his wife would be obliged to expose her self for him to this hazard, and to give her own life for the preservation of his, if there were an occasion of making this exchange. I do not ground this obligation upon the right of Common Justice, nor on the Duties of Charity in general. Common, and Universal Charity, doth not extend so far: I ground it upon the Right and Duties of Conjugal Love, which is of greater rigour, then the most rigorous justice, and imposeth more Ob­liging and strict Laws, then the strictest Charity.

And to begin with what is more particular and essential: We know that the proper effect, & the specifical Function of Conjugal Love, is to re­unite two Moyties, which the Creation hath severed: and to reassemble Man and Woman into one body. Moreover we see in all Natural bo­dies, that the less Noble parts expose themselves by instinct to fire and sword, in the defence of the Nobler. We see that the Arms and Hands stuffen and extend themselves to meet the danger which menaceth the head; to receive the blows directed against it: To protect it even by their wounds, even by their death and torture, What our Members do by this instinct, which is a more ancient duty then all Laws & Law makers, which is a blinde Love, and a Natural Charity without merit; a married Woman ought to do it freely, and by election, through the duty of this strict and rigorous Charity, which Conjugal Love imposeth on her. She is but the second part of the body, composed by marriage. Man, to whom the Command belongs, is the Head thereof: and the Law which from the begining was imposed upon Woman, to apply her self to this Head, not onely ordains her to take light and Conduct from thence, but [Page 112] also wils, that to preserve this principle of her Conduct, and this source of her light, she should lay aside the care of her own safety, and repose: that she should take upon her self his dangers and wounds; and even save him by her death, if it will be received in Exchange.

Besides, Love of its own Nature is a general Alienation of the whole Person that loveth. It is a Transport without Contract or Hope of a Re­turn, by which one gives himself all entire, and makes a free Donation of all that he hath, and is, to the Person he affects. Now if this Aliena­tion and Transport may be valid and of force in any kinde of love, it is doubtless in Conjugal Love, which leaves no right of reserve in Married Persons▪ Which takes from them even the free use of their Bodies, and engageth them in a mutual Dependency. And this Dependency is yet more strict and indispensible on the Wives part, who owes unto her Hus­band even the hairs of her Head, and the very Dreams and Fancies which are within it: Whether by Reason the subjection is greater, and the Du­ties more Natural and necessary of the Body towards the Head, and of the Accessory toward the Principal, then of the Head towards the Body, and the Principal towards the Accessory; or whether because Wives give themselves with less reserve, and love more Sincerely, and with more Fi­delity then Men This Alienation, when it is free and compleat, doth not only establish on a Husband a just Title over all the Cares and Affecti­ons of his Wife; but it also establishes in him, a new Right over her Blood and Life. And albeit, this Right cannot be exacted by Justice, yet it may be done by Love, which is a far less severe and vexatious Exacter, but yet more pressing and more efficatious then Justice. Nevertheless this Exacter ought to know, that he cannot make use of this Right but in the Extremity of Hope, and after the Tryal of all other Remedies. An arm of a Man is not cut off to cure him of Rhume and Head-ach: And one may say truly, that this kinde of Love would play the Tyrant, and Exe­cutioner, and even cut the throat of a Wife, to make a Bath for her Hus­band, sick of the Sciatica or the Stone.

In the third place, Love is a true and sensible Transmigration of the Soul, or as some define it, grounded on the Doctrine of St. De [...]ys: It is an Extasie by which the Soul ceaseth to live in the Body, which she ani­mates, to live in that which she Loves. Upon which it is not necessary to make a Commentary in this place; nor to say by way of gloss, that the Word to live ought not to be understood of the first and Substantial, but of the second and Active Life; of this sweet and sensible Life, which affords Gust and Delight to the first. Every one ought to know, that Love is the Original, and, as it were, the Fountain of Joy, Pleasure and Satis­faction, and of whatsoever hath a share in the sweetness of Life: And therefore the sweet life of Lovers cannot subsist, but in the place where they love: Their minds are sick and languishing, every where else: All their thoughts, which tend not thither, are heavy and Terrestrial; are Melancholy and burthened with Anxiety: Their Musings and their Cares can follow no other Track: And of those Souls, it may well be [Page 113] said that they are Aliens, and Incommodated at home; And that their Bodies are to them as bad Innes, nay Prisons and Sepulchres.

Hence it grows, that it doth not only belong to the Duty, but also to the Interest and Repose of a good Wife, to Sacrifice her own life for her Hus­band; and that the gain which may be made thereby, is by two thirds greater then the loss. Thereby she only hazards the most unquiet and worst part of her two lives. She exposeth nothing but her Sorrows and Vexations, for the preservation of her Joyes and Pleasures. Of the two places where her Soul lives, she only forsakes that which is sad and Me­lancholy: And by the ruine of her Prison, she secures her Palace. And that by the choice of a death which lasts but a moment, and is sweetned and purified by Love; She avoids a Widow-hood, which is to Lovers a long and bitter death; A death of the Heart and Minde; a death which endures and makes it self felt as long as it lasteth. Thereby in fine, her Love enjoys the purest and highest satisfaction whereof it is capable: Which is to produce it self entire: To fill up the whole Extent that lies open to it; to pass even to the utmost bounds, and to the last Tryals. Now so long as it advanceth not so far as death, there still remains a great Vac [...] before it. And the most important and perswasive point is yet wanting to Tryals. Being assured by the Testimony of Holy Writ, that Perfect and Consummated Love, is only found in such as Sacrifice their Lives for those who are dear unto them.

Moreover this last and Supream Duty which Conjugal Love imposeth on Wives, and which it may also impose on Husbands, is not one of those Duties in [...] and Speculation, whereof no Example is seen but in Romances. The Couragious Spanish Princess, whose Picture I have newly drawn, was not a Fantome of that Country: And so many others, so well known in true History, were not born in the same Places as the [...] and [...] I leave the Ancient and Forreign Dames to seekers of far-fetched Curiosities: The French Lady, whom I am to pro­duce, is of a Family, good and rich enough to be an Honour to her Coun­try, and Age: And such as treat of Modern Vertues, as of the younger b [...]ood, will learn at least by this Example, that the younger Daugh­ters of France are nothing inferiour to the eldest Daughters of Greece and Rome.

EXAMPLE.
Margaret of Foixe Dutchess of Espernon.

IT is no new thing to hear me Discourse of the bad Intelligence which is between Friendship and Fortune It hath always been believed that Greatness was too much Interessed, and Propriatory, to love real­ly; and that it had a certain Pride and Rigour, which left no room for Tenderness and soft Passions. It hath been said, that Love and Majesty never dwell together: That it rather affects a mean and quiet Condition, then an elevation exposed to Winds and Tempests. And they that have resembled it to a Bird, have not made it flie with Eagles, nor placed it up­on the top of Cedars, and the summet of Mountains. They have rank­ed it amongst Bees, which are Armed, and live like it, of the quintiscence of [...]owers, and of the pure Spirit of the Planets. They have lodgd it amongst Rose Trees, where there is Fire and Thorns like its own. But whatever hath hitherto been believed or said, Friendship and Vertue are not equally at variance with all great Fortunes: There are Grandeurs very Affectionate and wel-Natured, as well as Rude and Intractable. And if the Lizard, which walks only upon his hands, as Solomon saith, be so bold as to ascend even to the Palaces of Kings, and to dwell with them as their Domestique: We must not believe that Love, which is Nobly Descended, and to whom so excellent wings are given, is only born for Cottages. There are no Houses shut against it: And it shall appear by this Example, into what House soever Vertue introduceth it, there is no Greatness which gives not place to it, nor any Interest which obeys it not.

The Fort [...]ne of the deceased Duke of Esper [...]on hath been long admir'd throughout all France: It was likewise Extraordinary and Wonderful; and there was not only colour in the pieces which composed it, but also Force and Solidity; they were all great and Illustrious. In my Judgement nevertheless the decealed Lady his Wife, was the greatest and most Illustri­ous of all those pieces; nay, the strongest and most solid, though it lasted not so long as the rest This great Lady possessed in an eminent degree all the Qualities which may conduce to the glory of a Family, and the happiness of a Husband. Her Nobility was of the first rank: And I know not whether in all Europe there were any Soveraign Title or Crown wherein she had not a share. But there is a Nobility which is proud and insolent; yet hers was Modest and Civil: The Titles of her House did not puff up her Mind And the Crowns of her Allies and Predecessors made her not receive others with scorn. To this Nobleness of Blood was added the Nobleness of her Countenance, and that Soveraignty of Natural Right and Ancient Descent, which begets Majesty in Beautiful Persons; but she was not of those fair Ones who erect their Soveraignty into Liberty and Tyran­ny: Hers still remained within the limits of a lowly and exemplar So­briety. Detraction, which is so bold in lying, and findes out stains in the most Beautiful Planets, had not one word to say against her.

[Page 115] Nevertheless, her Vertue was no sullen Vertue; she was none of those curst ones, who have not a drop of good nature; who know onely how to scratch and bite: She was naturally milde, and cultivated by study▪ and the Graces had so well tempered what might perchance have been o­ver tart in her, as she gave content even where she was severe.

But all these rare qualities do not concern the subject we now treat of: my Question is about Conjugal Love: and the deceased Dutchess of Espernon hath given an Example thereof, which equals the force of ancient Models There are even in these days Illustrious, and Remarkable witnes­ses, which speak not of it but in terms of Praise. But what ever they say of her Esteem, and respects of her Obedience and Cares; of her good Of­fices and Complacences; though they speak nothing thereof which is not Great and Exemplar, yet it leaves not so high an Idea of this Love, as the action of Angou [...].

In that General Revolution which happened at Court in the year 1588. The Heads of the Leag [...]t raised all their Engines against the Duke of Esper­n [...]; and used both openly and privately, all sorts of endeavours to destroy him. However, he was not shaken; so that these Engines did onely as­sault the favour and good will of his Prince. But as soon as Calumny took hold of his Fidelity, and that he was accused for holding intelligence with the King of N [...]varre, his good Master, who till then had defended his own benefits, and interpos'd between his Work and those envious Per­sons who designed his ruin; withdrew his Protection, and consented to the Plot which was laid to seiz on him in Ango [...]leme.

The enemies which he had in the Cabinet Councel, entended the Kings consent even to his destruction: And Orders were sent from the Court to the Magistrates of Ango [...]leme, to bring him alive or dead: The execution of this dangerous Plot was defer'd till the tenth of August, and that day the Magistrate, who was not ignorant how hard a chase he had to follow pre­sented himself with two hundred selected and armed men to seiz on the Duke at the hour he should go forth to hear Mass. I know not whether one ought to believe what is spoken of his good Fortune: but indeed I have heard say, That she was more diligent about him, then the most dili­gent of his Guards: And that his enemies never laid any s [...]ares to catch him, which she did not break asunder; that they never prepared a Pitfall for him, over which she laid not a Plank. However it were, it is certain, there had been an end of him that day, if she had not caused dispatches to arrive to him, which busied him very happily all the morning, and divert­ed him from going forth to expose himself to death, which was prepared for him.

The occasion passing over with the morning, the Conductors of the Enterprize resolved to begin by the seisure of a rich pawn; and to secure the Dukes Person, by laying hold on the good Lady, his Wife, who was at Mass. Mean while, one of the Magistrates, accompanied with twelve re­solute and stout men, entered the Castle: Their Arms were hid under their Cloaks; but their bad Intention being easie to be discovered by their [Page 116] ill looks, one of his Guards had some distrust of them, and ran to shut the Gate against those that followed to second them: the party began hotly to discharge their Pistols before the Dukes Chamber: some of his friends overpowred with number, were slain in the place: but his Domesticks and Guards hasting to the noise, and he himself appearing with a Sword in his hand, the end of the Pray proved as unhappy for the Assailants, as the beginning. The Magistrate, and one of the boldest amongst his Troop, made Payment for the attempt, with their persons; and the rest who were not resolved to lose so much, rendred up their Arms, and abandoned the party.

This first Troop being defeated, the Duke was not for all that out of danger. He was enforced to defend the two Gates of the Castle against fire and the Pe [...]ard; and then to repulse those who began to Scale it. His great­est danger, nevertheless, was in the Church, where furiously entred an armed, and incensed multitude, which seized on the Dutchess. Her quality and Sex deserved at least some respect: but qualities are not distinguished in a Tumult; and no Sex is Priviledged against Fury. Of two Gentlemen that led her, one was killed at her feet, and the other being dangerously wounded, was in little better condition. This Barbarous Act did not af­fright her: the bloud which sprinkled her Gown, and Death it self, which passed over her, wrought no change in her Countenance. Her soul was al­waies Erect, and Elevated above danger; She conserved even the comliness of her gesture, and the dignity of her looks, even words of Authority, and tone of Command: and whereas another less Couragious Woman, might have submitted to Insolency, and have flattered Fury▪ She treated them with Command, like a Mistress, astonishing Audacity it self by her Constancy.

They advertise her that she was Arrested for her Husband; and that if she had a mind to live, and preserve Him, she must consider of disposing him to remit his Person and Cittadel into the hands of the Magistrate.

At this Declaration, which was made to her with threats, and a dagger at her throat, she answered, ‘That she would not enter into any Treaty with Murtherers: That she knew not how to give ill Counsels: nor in what terms a Wise may perswade her Husband to be a Coward: that it troubled her she had but one life to expose for the honour and safety of his: that she was so far from lending them her prayers and tears a­gainst him, that she would joyfully shed even the last drop of her bloud, if that might add either a moment of new lustre to his reputation, or half a days space to his life: And therefore let their fury finish on her, what it had begun. That nothing of weakness should proceed either from her mouth or hands, that they too well accorded with her heart; and that it would better please her to dye at the Castle Gate for her Husband, then to live without him upon a Throne.’

She made large promises; she found her self also as well disposed to make good what she promised; and her Constancy being put to the Test, was found as great and vigorous as her words. I learned from an Illustri­ous Person, and who hath narrowly looked into the affairs of that time, [Page 117] that she was brought before the Castle; and that they might there take the Husband by the fear and danger of the Wife, the same Propositions were renewed to her, with the same Threats and Violencies.

The Couragious Woman reduced to this Extremity, considered nothing but the danger of her husband; and had no fear, but of his Affection and Tenderness. She was not ignorant that all his weakness lay on that side: and that there was no place so strong, which would not be hard for him to defend against her tears: She also cryed out unto him, the better to fortifie this weak part: ‘That she came not to perswade him to a dangerous Piety; and to betray him by her Intreaties: That she came rather to make her Body serve him for a new Barricado against his Enemies. That if he loved her truly, and had a desire to save her, he should love and pre­serve what was of her in him; that on him depended her safety and danger; her good and bad Fortune: that out of him, she could have nei­ther life nor death, nothing to hope or fear; that he should take heed of trusting Traytors, who assaulted his head by his heart: who would sof­ten it to his overthrow, and raise a Compassion in him, to gain his life at a cheaper rate: that he should beware of listening to the suggestions of a Timerous and Apprehensive Love: that he should rather give ear to that Affection which spake to him by her mouth: that it were lost la­bour to preserve her, if he lost himself: that it would be of no advan­tage to his Enemies to destroy her, if he were safe: that in despight of them, and what death soever they should make her suffer, she should al­ways live most happy, as long as she should live in his remembrance.’

She pronounced these words with so Graceful a Confidence, and so Noble and Generous a Tone, as it clearly appeared, that at this instant her heart ascended to her mouth to express it self by its own Language. This e­minent Vertue dazel'd the furious Souldiers, who environed her, and made their Weapons fall out of their hands. The Duke was relieved by his frinds, who came thither from Xaintes, and Ca [...]gnae: And the Capitulation being concluded between him and the Inhabitants, the Dutchess, impatient to see him again, could not expect till the Castle Gate was cleared, but com­manded a Ladder whereby to enter at the window. Certainly after so Il­lustrious and Glorious a Victory, it had been fit the Gate should have been thrown down before her, and that she should have entred the Castle in Triumph, and by a Breach.

[Page]

[...]

[Page 119]The Maid of Orleans.

HAD you known that this day was to be a day of Miracle and Safety to France; and that you should have assisted at the most Heroick action which hath been ever seen, since Sieges and Battles have been in use; you would be sorry to have come too late: But here is yet enough to give you a right prospect thereof. The adventure is wonderfull in all its Parts; there is something great and prodigious in all its Circumstances: And that which remains for us to see, ex­ceeds by much, whatever can be regularly imagined, and with any true resemblance.

You are no strangers to this Country, and need not learn from me to know Orleans by her Steeples, and the circumfe­rence of her VValls. Likewise you are not ignorant of the Constancy and Fidelity which this great City had shewed, when it was besieged by the English, and reduced to the ex­tremity of hope. But that which you do not yet know, and what no man dares hope for, is, that in despite of the English, and in the very sight of their Camp and VVorks, Succours, safety and liberty hapned to enter into this Place, under the Conduct of a Maide. Not only hope was not so bold as [Page 120] to advance so far; but even belief it self, fortified by the sight, hath much ado to reach unto it.

Yea as a Maide, even a Country Maide, and a Sheper­dess, hath wrought this so little expected Miracle. The im­portance is, that this Country Maide is a Prophetess; and that this yesterdayes Sheperdess is to day the Generall of an Army, and will be to morrow a Conqueress. The same God who loosned from the Mountain the little Stone wherewith the great Colossus was overturned, who drew from amidst stocks of Sheep a youth victorious over Lions and Gyants, made choice of this Maide to force France out of the hands of strangers, and sent her to the King loaden with VVarlike Commands, and promises of Victory.

The King, by the advice of his Counsell, after an exact and juridicall Inquisition into her life and words, furnished her with Arms and Troops, to chase away the English be­fore Oreleans. She but now forced their Camp with two hun­dred Lances: and behold her already with Victory and safety at the Gates of the City. This first prosperous Action is an efficacious and famous justification of her Innocence; It is a powerfull and victorious answer to false Rumours, and passionate Calumny: And suddenly the Coronation of the King followed by the totall defeat of the Enemy, will be a more solemn and authenticall proof of the authority of her Mission, and of the verity of her Prophesies.

I could wish that we had seen her in the heat of Fight handle her first Arms by Efforts of consummated Valour. But if we are come too late to be spectators of this Valour, to behold the lightnings, and impetuosity of this Heroick fire, which gave an action so lively to her Arms, and so sudden motions to her whole Body; we may at least discern the light thereof upon her Face; and a remnant of hear which still excites not with so much violence as before, but with more dignity and due proportion. Combat and Victory have left a pleasing mixture of a scarlet dye upon her Cheeks, and on her Brow: and the spirits of boldness receive a kind of sweetness from thence, and a new Grace from the spirits [Page 121] of joy, which were mingled with them. Nothing of the ayr of her Birth, nor of the manners of her Education is seen in her. There is nothing even in her Countenance but ap­pears Noble and VVarlike: And this sudden Metamor­phosis which is made in her, from a Sheperdess into an Ama­zon, hath something, I know not what, which resembles an Illusion, and savors of a Prodigy and Fable.

VVould you say that the very thoughts of grazing, and the inclinations of a Sheperdess had ever entred into this head, which is so free and gracefull under an Helmet? VVould you say that the Sheep-hook had hitherto the charge and imployment of these hands which handle so vi­gorously, and with so much dexterity the Banner and Sword? VVould you not say that she is born in a Maga­zine of Arms, and that she is trained up in a Camp? That she is come to us from the Countrey of Amazons? That she is animated with the same Spirit which animated hereto­fore the Hipolita's, the Rodoguna's, and the Zenobia's? Be­ware of saying it. This were to praise her injuriously, and to dishonour her in handsome Termes: This were to scan­dalize Innocence, and prophane a Person whom God hath particularly Consecrated.

The Spirit which possesseth her is another Spirit then that of the Zenobiars, and Rodoguna's: It comes farther off then the Countrey of Amazons: It is of a much purer and higher Region. You have heard some discourse of that double Spi­rit which inspired Debora with Truth and Valour, and equal­ly replenished the two parts of her double Ministery: Of this double Spirit, which was a Spirit of Fire to David a Con­querour, and a Spirit of Light to David a Prophet. It is the same Spirit which descended upon our Maide; which filled her with his Light and Heat; which gave her the science of Predictions, and the vertue of Victories.

The Sword which you see in her hand, makes me remem­ber that Meteor with two Faces, that famous and mysterious Fire which an Angel-conducter carryed before the People of God. Like that Meteor, it is luminous, and stained with [Page 122] Blood; like that Meteor, it summons on the one side safety and liberty, and on the other side it threatens death and destructi­on. Nevertheless it hath not like that a light only for shew; Its splendor is not presaging: It were inconsiderable, if like Lightning, it wounded nothing but the sight; it ruines and destroyes like Thunder: And they say also, that like Thun­der, it was drawn out of the bosome of the Earth. For this Sword, if you know it not, is a fatal Sword, and resuscitated by Miracle: It belonged to another Age then this: And the Maide divinely inspired, caused it to be taken out of an ancient Tomb, where it rested quietly with the Ashes of its old Master. Scarce had it felt the vertue of this glorious hand, but the agedness thereof fell off with its Rust. It hath received a new lustre, which gives it a new force, and a se­cond life: and behold it already stained with the Blood of strangers, and throughly heated with this first prosperity.

Two hundred Lanciers march bravely, and in an hand­some order after this Maide. Had Fortune her self, or Victo­ry led the Party, they could not have done more gallantly, nor given more terror to the Enemy. To behold the confi­dence and boldness of their looks: To behold this Noble and couragious joy, which appears on their Faces, and in all their motions, you would not say that they intend to cast themselves into a beleagured City, but that they rather march to some Triumph. The enemies still affrighted by the impetuosity wherewith they passed along, retreated disorder­ly into their Forts, conceiving that it would not be safe for them to remain in their Tents.

Nevertheless the number of those that have no longer any need of Tents or VVorks, is great enough. And appa­rently, if the landed Troops had given on at the same time upon all sides, this dayes work had put an end to the Siege: And this so stately Camp, which had been for seven moneths the Prison of Orleans, would become at present the Sepulchre of a good part of England. But so great a work well deserved to be shewn distinctly and at leisure: And to the end this imprisoned and despairing City might behold all the Valour [Page 123] of its Deliveress, it was necessary that its Prison should not be broken but by track of time, and by parcels.

This happy beginning is a certain presage of a far more fortunate Issue. And the Earl of Dunois, whom you see un­der the Gate with Lahire and the other Commanders, is gone forth to congratulate with her aforehand. Peradventure you may have never seen the face of this young Prince: You have never then beheld the greatest Ornament of this Age, and the fairest hope of Posterity. Take time to observe him well; Behold his gracefull carriage, and the dignity of his whole Person; Behold those Rayes of Majesty, which have something, I know not what, of Royal, and are dyed with the Purple of his Blood. Behold the Nobleness of Aspect, and ayr of a VVarriour, which demonstrates his ex­teriour Courage, and his remarkable Valour, and acknow­ledge that he adds much to the name of Orleans, and worthi­ly supports the Greatness and Fortune thereof. It is hoped that his Vertues will not die with him: They will serve for other Ages, and under other Reigns: And all Predictions are false, and Physiognomy is deceitfull, or Princes shall be born from him, who will be Heroes by Race, and Valiant from Father to Son; who will be one day the Honour of their Family, by rendring Honour to France.

SONNET.
The PUCELLE speaks.

FAtal to England, Fortunate to France;
Of th'one I curb'd the surly Arrogance;
And with my Lance the tott'ring Throne sustain'd
Of th'other Realm, whose Freedome I regain'd.
The smoakie Ordures of the burning Pile
Could not my spotless Innocence defile;
And my opprobrious Death more mischief brought
To those that cans'd it, then my Arm that fought.
With Heart which did Heroickly aspire,
I under verdant Laurels kept entire
My Body's flow'r, and not unlike the Bee,
Was rich in Courage, and in Chastitie.
On th [...] English Lions I did boldly press,
And chac'd them oft, a Virgin Conqueress;
And gallantly defended with my Lance,
The Flowr-de-Luce, which Crowns our Kings of France.

Elogy of Pucelle.

HISTORY, which causeth it self to be stiled true and exact, scatters nothing almost in every place, but far fetch'd Fals­hoods, and Fables Magnificently set forth, and with Pomp. It only proposeth Pictures exceeding Natural Proportion, nothing but Colosseses, which seem to be made only to affright the belief of Readers, and weary their sight. There is nothing here of this Model or Statute: All pure and naked Truth, without exaggeration; and ornament is here more taking then these Fables, more magnificent and stately then these Colosseses.

The Maid of Orleans is not the Work of an Inventive and Deluding Fancy. She is not composed of the same Matter with those Valiant Wo­men set forth in Romances, and by Poets. Her Vertue was Sensible and Substantial: She really effected in the Field all that others have done in Picture, and in the brain of their Inventors: Her Victories have not been like theirs which spake only by black'd Paper, and spilt Inke. The same Spirit which called from the Sheepfold the Conquerour of Gelia; which chose a weak and unarmed Woman to defeat the Assyrians broken into Iudea, and to tear its People out of the claws of Holifernes, took this Maid from amidst the Flocks, and sent her Fortified by his Vertue, to raise up ruined France, and to free it from the bondage of Strangers, who would have dishonoured that Kingdom, after they had pillag'd it.

He infused into her a Prophetick Spirit, and a Conquering Heart: He made a Deb [...] and Iudith of her: And heap'd together in her life all that in the time of Miracles appeared most rare and [...]ustrious. It did not suf­fice him to give her Courage and Conduct: He sent her an Angel who laid his hands on her; and this Imposition of hands was to her what the Ceremony of Instaulment is to new made Knights: He instructed her in all the Exercises of War, and taught her more in a moment then [...] and Pot [...] had learnt from Occurtences and Fortune. The English also stood not before her: Their Fortune, which conceived it self already Victori­ous, gave way to her Angel; and what forcible endeavours soever they used to hinder her entry into Orleans, she entred it in despite of them, and deprived them of France by taking this City from them.

After several Fights, wherein she was still Victorious, she fell into the hands of her Enemies, who treated her as a Criminal both in point of Re­ligion and State, and made her undergo the punishment of Hereticks and Sorcerers. God was pleased thus to permit it, to the end she might accom­plish all the Duties of a gallant Woman, and finish that part of a perfect Heroesse, which she had begun: That she might overcome by her Pati­ence as she had done by her Valour; And that the English might be no less defeated by her Death then by her Victories. Besides, this barbarous Injustice heightened their sins, and drew upon them the wrath of God, [Page 126] the Avenger of oppressed Innocence. The Spirit of the Maid, and her good Angel re-inkindled the War after he death. Ever since the English had them on their backs, they were vanquished by them in all Battels, and beaten off in all Sieges. And in fine to preserve themselves from these ex­terminating Spirits, they were inforced to quit all that they [...] [...] ­vaded.

MORAL REFLECTION.

THere is a great difference between the Judgements of God, and those of Men: And we see few places where this difference is more ex­presse, and better marked out, then in the History of the Maid of Orleans. God drew her out of a Village, to inform us, that he makes no distinction either of places or names: that he esteems not men for their Coats of Arms, and ancient Titles: that the blood of a Prince and a Shepherd, are of the same colour and matter: That a Sheep-hook in his sight, is of the same value as a Scepter: And that both high and low, as well as the Palme and Bush, spring from the same Earth. He chose her out of a weak Sex; because he hath ever loved to overcome Pride by Weakness; to throw down Colosseses with grains of Sand, to fell Giants with Reeds. He would manifest, that the weakest and least Warlike hands are able to defend Scepters, and support Thrones when he hath blessed them: that the safety of States depends upon his Providence, and not in the hands of Armies, nor on the heads of their Ministers. And to teach Conquerours, that Victories are gained more by his Favour then by their Forces, it was his good pleasure that a Shepherdesse, who had never handled but a Sheep-hook, should give more then ten times chase to above ten thousand Lances. In fine, God was pleased that a Maid, bred up in a Village, should perform all the Functions of Heroick Ver­tue: that she should undergo all the Trials, and obtain all the Crowns thereof. And thereby he hath taught us, that this sublime Vertue is not always found in elevated Fortunes, nor still lodged in Palaces: That no body is received by her for his own Condition: That no body is re­jected by reason of his Name or his Countenance: that she only consi­ders the heart which hath its Sex apart, and Qualities differing from these of the Body: And that Women, who are more then Women by their Courage, can ascend as high, and approach as neer to Vertue as Men. This Verity is important, and very useful; And the ensuing Question, which I am going to defend, must needs Instruct, with Delectation and benefit, by way of Divertisement.

MORAL QVESTION.
VVhether VVomen may pretend to Heroick Vertue.

THE Heroes, of whom there is so much mention made in History, were not of the Gyants Race: And their strength reached not so far as to root up Trees, and remove Mountains. Common people nevertheless, who can comprehend no other greatness then that which tires the sight; who know no other force then what begets noise and ruines, frame Colosseses in their imaginations, when we speak to them of those persons who are called Extraordinary: And because they hear that men esteem their strength, and prize their valour, they believe in good earnest that these persons had Arms of Steel, and [...]egs of Brass; and that with their Fists they did beat down the Walls of such Towns as they had a mind to take.

I think it necessary to reform this imagination of the Vulgar, and to re­duce it to a more just proportion. It is not the heighth of Statute, nor the strength of the Body which makes Heroes: It is the greatness and elevati­on of the Soul: It is the Courage and Resolution of the minde: And there may be very elevated Souls, and of the first Magnitude, in little Bo­dies; a mind extreamly vigorous may be found in very infirm flesh. On that side then there is nothing which can diminish the right of Women, or hinder them from pretending to Heroick Vertue.

And finally, to render this right of Women more perspicuous, and to support the pretensions of such as shall have the courage to raise them­selves to that Pitch; It is to be supposed that Heroick Vertue, to define it rightly, is but an excellent Vertue, and elevated above common Vertues. This excellency arises to her, first from the Dignity and Eminency of her object, which is Good, considered in the highest elevation it may have. Se­condly, it is derived to her, from the perfection of the Faculties by which she acts: and these Faculties receive their perfection from a spiritual and penetrating Fire, which inlightens and purifies the Intellectual part, which warms and transports the Appetitive. Thirdly, it arrives to her from the Nobleness of her principal functions, which are to act vigorously, and with resolution, and to suffer couragiously, and with constancy. And be­cause Action, how vigorous and resolute soever it be, even the most coura­gious and constant sufferance, cannot attain to this eminent and prime Good, but by a certain transport of the Soul; which the Grecians call Enthu­siasme, this Transport is the fourth Cause, which produceth the Excellency of Heroick Vertue.

Let us say also, to leave nothing unsaid, that the most beautifull and ex­cellent form which Heroick Vertue gives to Love and Anger, is a fifth Cause, which addes to her a fifth degree of Excellency. I speak here ac­cording to the opinion of the Ancients, who believed that Love and Anger [Page 128] were the predominant Passions of Heroes: whether because they are of a more subtile and combustible matter, and that there enters more interiour fire into their temper, then into that of other men: Whether because these two Imperious and Soveraign Passions cannot be well purified but by a more Soveraign and Imperious Vertue then themselves, nor can receive elsewhere, and by an ordinary effort their last perfection, and the fair forms whereof they are capable. All these conditions contribute to the dignity of Heroick Vertue, and raise it to a superiour Order, where common Ver­tues are not admitted.

This Order nevertheless is seated in a place to which one may approach from all the conditions of life: All great Souls are equally summoned to it: On what side soever one ascends, Women may ascend thither as well as Men. [...], the most Eminent and Soveraign gallantry, which is the pro­per object of Heroick Vertue, is not out of their sight, and cannot be above their Pretensions Nature hath not assigned them an end beneath That: There is no bound beyond which, they are exempted from cares, and aban­doned to their own sense. There is no space wherein Good may not be to them more Good; wherein Duty cealeth to oblige them; wherein Vertue looses the rights she hath over them. The Careir of Honour is to Them as great as to Us: And in this Careir there is not one single place which is not marked out, in which it may be permitted them to make a false step; to suffer themselves to be overcome; to abandon Gallantry, to reject a Crown. Moreover they are called to perfection as well as we: And the Son of God, who proclaims to the Saints and Just, that they must not grow weary in sanctifying themselves; and that they ought every day to adde some new lustre to their Righteousness, hath not discharged Women from this labour, nor marked them out bounds, beyond which they may be unjust, and far from Saints. Not only then this Eminent and Sove­raign Gallantry, at which Heroick Vertue aimeth, is not out of their reach, but is within the limits of their right, and enters into their duties: And there may be occasions found which will not leave them the freedome of adhering to an inferiour Good. Such Encounters and Enemies may come in the way, as will excite them even to the last degree of Vertue, or cause them to fall into Vice.

As for what concerns the perfection of the Intellectual, and Appetitive portion, which is as it were the head and heart of Heroick Vertue: It is certain that these faculties are not different where there is diversity of Sex. They have everywhere the same matter, and are capable of the same forms. The lights which descend into mens minds, are not purer, or of a higher Sphear then those that descend into the Souls of Women: And from these equal lights, derived from the same spring, a like fire, and of the same force, may be kindled in the heart of them both. There are some men who have not so much as the first glimmerings of sound judgement. You would swear that they had been made out of the Lees and Dregs of Mat­ter: You would say that not one single spark of this Coelestiall Fire is en­tred into their Constitution: And their souls are so burthened, the rinde [Page 129] which incompasseth them is so obscure and thick, as no light can penetrate them with on single Ray of Truth, which can give them a beginning of any vertuous heats. On the contrary, there are some Women who seem to be onely made out of the pure Extraction of rectified matter. The superiour portion of their souls is so pure, and so lively reflects all the luminous im­pression it receives, the Inferiour hath two so noble fires, and moves so re­gularly, and with so measured and just a swiftness, that it would not savor of flattery to compare them to those fair Compounds, which are formed of the Intelligences and Planets. It is not then the difference of Sex, which makes any difference in the faculties of a soul: and since they have the same perfection both in Man and Woman: since both may be imbued with the same light, and penetrated by the same fire, let us descend freely step by step to the consequence to which this discourse leads us; and let us agree, that Women may be disposed by this light and fire, to the principal Functions of Heroick vertue.

History is as knowing and perswasive in this point as Philosophy: and the Examples she alledges are as just and formal demonstrations, as those which are framed according to the Rules of Logick. If it be shewed by these Examples, that Women are capable of the most vigorous and illust [...] ­ous Actions, it is consequently, and of necessity proved by the same Instan­ces, that they are also capable of an Heroick Transport of this Enthusiasme, without which we cannot pass beyond the bounds which Moral Philo­sophy hath prescribed to common Vertues.

Iudith indeed must needs have been transported with this Enthusiasme, when she ran the hazard of her Life and Honour; when she passed over Walls and Trenches; when she cast her self single and unarmed into the midst of more then one hundred thousand Combatants to redeem Iudea out of their hands, to take off their Generals Head by one blow of a Sword.

Susanna must needs have been stimulated by the same Enthusiasme, when being sollicited to her Dishonour, by Pleasure and Fear, she couragiously rejected them both, and hastened to her Duty through [...], and Death, and a whole storm of stones heaped up against her. There must needs have been much of this Transport and Enthusiasme, in the Mother of the [...], when she exposed her self to Hatchets, and burning [...] ­drons; when she marched over the skins, and bloody limbs of her [...]ead and dilacerated children; when she gave up her heart and entrals, her soul and spirit unto seven different Deaths, to gain the eight, which was worthy the memory of the [...], and sutable to the Reputation of her Race.

But without going so far from our Age, and Modern History; was there not a Transport in that Maid of Agria, who preparing her self to fight upon a breach, by which the Turks endeavoured to bring fire and sword into the bosom of her Country, when her Mother joyning in the same duty with a great stone upon her head, was born away by a Canon shot, appear­ed no waies surprized with this Accident, & quitted neither her resolution [Page 130] not post▪ Her heart did not so much as tremble at the blood, which might have demolished even the strongest wall; and with unchanging countenance she took up this stone, still warm with the blood and death of her Mother, and rolled it upon the heads of the first that entred the brea [...]h.

Was there not an Enthusiasme in the action which a young Woman of the same Town performed at the same Siege? She fought compleatly arm­ed between her husband and mother: and when her husband after a long and obstinate fight was killed by her side, her mother advising her to with­draw, and render him her last duties: ‘God defend me, replyed she, from so unseasonable a piety. Now is the time to revenge his death, and not to deplore it: his [...]uneral may be well performed afterwards, if we live, and if it be ordained for me to dye upon his body, mine will be a Tombe glorious enough for him; and my blood mixt with his, will do him more honour then my tears.’ These couragious words were fol­lowed by a far more glorious action. She threw away her own sword, and took up that of her husbands; whether she esteemed it better then her own, and most accustomed to overcome: or whether she thought it might have retained some remnant of his Valour and dexterity, which would fight with her, and bring her good fortune: And fortified by this imagination, she cast her self fiercely, and with order upon those enemies that were the farthest advanced; She killed t [...]ree with her own hand; made the rest give back; and that done, she retired with her husbands body, and the satisfaction to have revenged his death, which was to her as just and manly a satisfaction, as that which is sought in a spruce and flaunting mourning in a sorrow as Ambitious and Vain as the Ex­cesse.

Besides this Transport, which is a visible and commendable excess of Va­lour and Constancy, there is another kinde of excess which Magnificence seeks in its actions, & which also appertain to Heroick vertue And we must not forget to affirm by the way, that Women have gone as far, and raised themselves as high as Men by this second kinde of Excess. One cannot speak without vast terms of the Egyptian Pyramides: And the abrevia­ted draughts which Antiquity hath left us of them, do even tire our sight. Nevertheless, the highest and most stately of these Pyramides, were built by the boldness and Magnificence of Women. The Ma [...]sol [...]um exhausted the skill of all Architects, and of all the Sculptors of Greece; and left nei­ther Marble not precious stones in Asia and this Monument was the in­vention and enterprize of a Woman.

The pendent Gardens of Babylon, and those Walls so famous for their matter and structure, were the work of a Woman: And this self same person who was filled with nothing but vast thoughts, and unlimited designs, resolving to have her Statue erected in a place where she had gain­ed a battel, caused it to be made out of a whole Mountain cut out into a hu­mane Figure, and seated upon a Throne. And because it would not have been decent to see a Queen alone, she commanded the Artist to dispose the [Page 131] outward and superfluous pieces of the Mountain with so much Art, as there might be wherewith to make out of them half a dozen of Guards. Without dis-interring ruins, buried under so many Ages, there are in France sumptuous proofs enough of the Heroick Magnificence of Wo­men. But being exposed as they are to publick view, it is not necessa­ry to exhibite them in this Place, my Designe not being to Write for Stran­gers or blinde men.

As for what concerns these two Soveraign and predominant Passions, which are the Noblest matter Heroick Vertue can employ, the Constancy and Force of Conjugal Love, even the Transport and last Perfection thereof, will never be brought in Dispute against Women by any man that hath entertained himself but for one quarter of an hour in History. They are not less capable of making good use of anger, of purifying its fire by a more spiritual fire, of guiding it to the supream degree of Ho­nour, by an Heroick transport. And to conclude this point by a single Example, but a remarkable and crowned one; you will finde nothing but Blood, Sallies, and a hasty and precipitate Impetuosity in all that is re­lated of those Heroesses whom we know, if compared to what Semi­ramis did in this kinde.

A Province which she had newly conquered, having chased away her Lieutenants, and shaken off its yoke by a publick Revolt; The news of it being brought to her at the instant her head was dressing, She did not presently Proclaim that Ropes and Gibbets should be prepared, as some Princes have done in like occasions; But without the least raising of her voice, or uttering one tart Word; without making shew of my alteration or surprisal, she took an oath that they should never finish the dressing of her head, till she had chastised these Rebels▪ This Oath taken with a tone of Rallery, and with a Majestical and graceful sternness, she commanded her Women to lock up her perfumes and jewels; sent for her Arms, and gave out Orders for the marching of her Troops; Took horse with her hair half pin'd up, and half discheveld: And the not only began, but fi­nished the War in this posture. And if my memory fail me not, it was after the end of the War, she caused that vast and stupendious Statue to be erected, which I formerly mentioned. Let us acknowledge, that there was much of Magnaminity and Gallantry in this Transport▪ Let us con­fess that this half dress'd head, was upheld by a great heart▪ That there was not a stronger nor a more capable One: And that a Crown could not be found too great or too glorious for it.

Hitherto I have taken Heroick Vertue by lights purely humane, and have scarce spoken of any other then That which hath been known to Philosophers. But if the Question be concerning an Heroick Vertue which is Christian, and sanctified by Grace; which hath been illuminated by the Rayes of Iesus Christ; which hath been imbr [...] by his blood, and penetrated by the Spirits thereof upon Mount Calvery; which is called to that Divine and Soveraign Good, which is of a degree infinitely raised above all the goods of Nature, there can be no doubt but that Women may pre­tend [Page 132] to it as well as we; and that their Pretentions are as Lawful, and grounded upon as good Right as ours. Iesus Christ hath given his Blood and Spirit in common. He cals us in common to the participation of his Cro [...], and to Mount Calvery. And it is particularly noted, that when he was there in Person, many women, & but one single man ascended thi­ther after him. I am unwilling to say that there was some Presage in this, and that it prefigured what was to come▪ I will only say, that ever since they have been seen to ascend thither in greater numbers, and with grea­ter ardour then we; and to throng more about the Cross, which is the [...] Throne of Heroick Vertue. There have been Heroesses then, accor­ding to all forms, and in all the degrees of Heroick Vertue; in the de­gree of Patience, in the degree of Magnificence, in the degree of Mag­nanimity, in the degree of Courage and Valour: And without further inlarging our Reasons, the Example I am going to produce, will be an universal and abb [...]ated proof thereof.

EXAMPLE.
Isabella Queen of Castile.

THe Design of the Monarchy of Spain is not of Plates time, nor ac­cording to the Model of his Republick. It is Modern, and even with­in the Memory of our Fathers. Nevertheless the Author thereof is not known so generally; And even at this day men Dispute it, as they would do about a half defaced piece of Antiquity. Some attribute this [...]nterprise to Ferdinand, who was a Politick, yet Timerous and Sedentary Prince, who managed not Affairs, but with his Minde and Counsel; and acted all by the hands of his Captains and Lieutenants. Others on the contrary, will have it to be set a foot by Charl [...] the Fift, that Fortunate and bold Workman, who was as good for the Field as for Councel; who put his own hand to the Work, together with his Fortune, who was both the Con [...] and Undertaker of his Designes. But whatever may be al­ledged on either side, This so vast and enormous Designe, to speak the truth, [...] neither of a Timerous Person, nor of a Conquerour: It is nei­ther of the Head of Ferdinand, nor of the Arm of Charls: it springs from the War and Courage of Isabella of Castile. This single word serves her for a great abbreviated Elogy: It is the abridgement of a long History, and the subject of many Volumes: And the Heroick Vertue of this great Queen cannot have a more magnificent and ample proof, then a Stru­cture which hath the extent of two Hemisphears, and comprehends as well Nature already discovered, as that which is to be discovered.

This so great an Enterprise was of a far greater Soul, and assisted by all [Page 133] the en [...]oent Vertues; Such as ingeniously Project, such as consult with Prudence; such as execute with address, and such as act with force, la­boured therein conjoyntly with her. Nothing but Great and Heroick, was observed in all the parts of her life: All her days were days of labour, or preparatives to it: And before she arrived to the Age of overcoming by Action she learnt to overcome by Sufferance. Divine Providence having made choice of Her to manifest to these last Ages, how far a great Vertue, assisted by efficacious Grace, may Advance, deprived her early both of Fa­ther and Mother, and placed her single and without support in the way of Vertue, as soon as she could support her self. It was no [...]mall advantage to her to have been severed so soon from softning Tendernesses, and cor­rupting Pleasures. At least she resembled thereby the Ancient Heroes, and to use the terms of that Age, There was less of the Milk, then Mar­row of the [...]on, in her nourishment. Her Childhood also was Disci­plined, and became the sooner Active thereby. She was Serious and Dis­creet, Temperate and Severe, from the Age of Childish Toyes and Pa­stimes: And when other Maids play with Babbies, or are flattered by their Nurses, Adversity made her Warlike, and taught her to vanquish Fortune.

This Severe and Disciplined Childhood, was followed by a Youth full of Storms and Troubles: And God, who would not suffer her to have other then grave Satisfactions, and solid Contentments, permitted that the first Roles of her Marriage should be overspred with Thorns. She had made choice of Ferdinand Prince of Aragon, and King of Sicily, before Alph [...]s [...] King of P [...]tugal, and Charles Duke of [...]uiev [...], brother to Lewis the Eleventh: And this Choice, wherein Inclination was fortified by Interest, had been generally approved by all the high Degrees of this Kingdom. The King her Brother, who ought to be the first in purchasing Honours to his Crown and House, singly opposed this general Approbation, and blasted the publick joy by the sharpness of a private Grudge. He spred snares of all sorts upon the ways of his Sisters Innocence: He used a great deal of Art to dissolve the knot of her Marriage. He endeavoured to break it by violence: But this Tye not being to be broken or loo [...]ened; and his snares being too visible, and too grosly laid to catch the prey which he pursued; he turned his forces and anger upon the Places which belonged to the Patrimony of Isabella: And if his malice had been more prosperous and better conducted; if Defenders of the Right of Innocence had not risen up, he would have turned her naked out of the Kingdom.

But God, who delights in defeating the Designs of Iniquity and tyes up at his pleasure the hands of Usurpers, did not permit that Injustice, though Powerfull, and assisted by Authority, should prevail against disarmed Right, and forsaken Innocence. He was pleased to make use of Henry to exercise Isabella, as Nature makes use of Wind to fasten young Palms: as Artists imploy Fire and Iron to purifie Gold, and to give a kinde of Soveraignty with the Image of the Prince. And after that the Vertue [Page 134] of Isabella made Warlike, and Fortified, Instructed and Beautified by this exercise, had received the last form of Heroick Vertue; he sent death which snatched the Crown from the spiteful and usurping Brother, and placed it upon the head of the Sister, ordained to the glory of Spain, and to the discovery of the new World.

It cannot be said with what Designs she ascended the Throne; with what Dextenty and Force, with what Purity of Intention, and Capacity of Minde she set her hand to the Helm. Policy was never more able, nor more found, or better Designed; Reason of State was never more extended, or powerful: the Graces were never more vi­gorous, nor efficacious then in this Princess. She was the Domestick Oracle of Ferdinand, and the visible Intelligence of his Councel; The Wise and Speculative of his Kingdom received from Her their purest Lights: They deliberated of nothing but in her presence, and by the clarity of her Minde. And ordinarily the uncertainty and doubts of Consultation were not cleared but by her Councels, which dis-intangled confused opinions; which Fortified the Timerous and Irresolute; which gave the being and consistency to Affairs. She held likewise the Place of the first Cause and principal Agent in the conduct of this great Engine: And the History of Spain acknowledgeth that Ferdinand, I say, that able and wise Ferdinand, did act nothing but by the direction, and as subaltern to Isabella.

Her first care was to rally the parts of the State, which the past troubles had dis-joynted. Having rallyed them, she used much Art to link them together. And her Art was so efficacious and successful, as she set them all in their former places, and rendred to every one their first Settlement and Natural Functions. Scarce had she restored Health and Repose to this great Body, but she was necessitated to put her self in Arms to defend it. Alphons [...] King of Portugal invited by Disgusted and Factious People, in­vaded Castile with great Forces, and greater Pretences. Certainly the fire must needs be great which was stirred by Domesticks, and inkindled by Strangers▪ Isabella hastened to the noise and smoke, and did not return till she had quench'd it with the blood of those who had prepared either the Bait or Matter of it▪

Her Crown being setled, she applied her thoughts to the Expedients, how to inlarge it, and to adde new Howers and Titles thereunto. And because there are no Conquests more Just, more Illustrious, nor more He­roick then those which inlarge the bounds of the Church, and Religion, and give new Subjects and Kingdoms to Iesus Christ; She undertook the destruction of the Empire of the Moo [...]s, who for so many Ages had been the Dishonour, Scandal, and Yoke of Spain. It is true that this Enterprise was her Master piece. She performed therein all that an exact and expert Commander could have done with all his Wit and Understanding. She was alwaies present in the Field: she assisted at the taking of principal Pla­ces: And after many years of Toyl and Agitation, she caused that great Col [...]us to [...]all, which so many Ages and hands had raised; and returned with [...] added to her Crown, and the Title of Catholique, which she [...]cquired to her self, and the Kings her Successors.

[Page 135] Not content to raign in a known World, and to overcome by the sun of Europe, she desired to vanquish and raign in another World, and under other Planets. For this end she contributed with her Courage and Treasure, to the resolution and designs of Columba: She sent her Fortune with him in quest of a concealed Heaven, and of an unknown Nature. And if Europe at present be enriched with Gold, and precious Stones out of new Coun­tries: if the new found Lands be enlightened by the Faith and Religion of Europe, both Europe and the new Discovered lands ought to serve as an Ornament and Lustre to the Magnanimity of Couragious Isabella.

This Understanding and Magnanimity, were accompanied with an exact and severe, an incorruptible and Disinterelled Justice. Whereupon I call to minde that being sollicited to pardon a Criminal of quality, who offered a very considerable summ for the maintainance of some Troops which marched against the Moors; She made these Solliciters fully under­stand, that she was not raised to the Throne to make Traffick of Favours and Pardons, and to set Impunity and Crimes to sale And to the end there might not seem to be any thing of Interest in her Integrity, or that she aim­ed at the Confiscation of the Criminals Estate, she gave it all entire to his Children, and would not suffer their Succession to be in the least measure diminished by it.

So far was she from grating upon Crimes and Penalties; so far was she from laying up in her Coffers the price of blood, and the revenue of tears; that this good Princess took no greater pleasure then in giving with liber­all hands; then in making men rich and happy. She measured the felici­ties of her Kingdome by the extent of her good deeds: She counted her Revenues by the gratifications which issued forth of her Exchequer; and her chief stock, her most dear and precious Treasure, consisted in the hearts and affections of her people. Never were any liberalities more natural nor less restraind, more obliging, or better disposed then hers. Never did Mag­nificence act more gallantly, nor after a more Heroick manner, then in her hands: it was never more universal, nor extended to more uses, nor to a larger compass.

Her Profusions did not slide away in unprofitable & transitory Pomps: They were not like Torrents which are onely for shew, and last but a day [...] They resembled Rivers, which are fertile and durable: they afforded sta [...]e and solid riches, and brought happiness to Nations, and plenty to Ages: And to say nothing of those which remained in Spain, where they are still looked upon with astonishment: The great Bible of [...], which hath been so long the most ample and rich spectacle of learned men; the most profitable and stately Ornament of our Libraries, is no less the work of Isabella, then of Cardinal Ximenes her Councellor. This Eminent Princess first advanced this great enterprize; and furnished of her own stock to those preparations which were requisite, long before the Work was be­gunne.

But as there hath never been so bold an Undertaker, who hath not had [Page 136] more bold Successors then himself; and besides, as the same Time which ruins on the one side the works of art, doth perfect them on the other; so the Bible of [...] having raigned near upon threescore year, and held the first [...] in [...], was deposed of its place by the Royal Bible, which [...] the second caused to be printed at Antwerp: And very newly the Roy­all happened to be degraded by that which Monsieur Le lay after the la­bour of thirty years hath published with the generall Applause of all the learned▪

It is true also, that this enterprize was not the undertaking of a particu­lar Person, and of a mean Fortune: It was of a Monarch, nay, of a sump­tuous Monarch, and addicted to Noble expences: It was of a Soveraign and Magnificent Fortune. And if this great Body of seven Languages re­mains [...] to be shewn all intire to Posterity; I know not whether the most credulous Posterity will ever believe that a single private Person of this Kingdom, assisted onely by his Revenue and Generosity, hath affected more then a King of Spain with all his Mountains of Silver, and Springs of Gold, with all his Mines and Indies.

But great Souls, not great Estates, are the things which perform great Actions▪ It was requisite that the Regency of Anne of Austria should have [...] advantage above the Raign of Isabella, and Philip her Predecessor: It was necessary that a moderate Fortune should give Emulation and In­struction to all the great Fortunes of Europe; and that Princes and then Ministers should learn from a Private Person, to be Chri­stianly Magnificent, with the Benediction of God and Men.

Isabella was not onely Wise and Couragious, Magnanimous, Just, and Magnificent: But her Publick and Active Vertues were accompanied with other Domestick and Peaceable Ones, which were not the less vigo­rous for making the less noise; and had not the less merit in being less Regarded. I set down her Devotion in this Last, which had been remark­able in a Religious Woman: her modestie and Civility, which savoured no­thing of the height of her quality: her Patience, which might have made a Heroess in a private Fortune.

Her Court was a School of Piety, Purity, and Modesty for the Maids of Honour which were Educated near her Person. She was an Academy of Spirit, and Honour for Cavaliers: And from this Academy came that famous Gonzales of [...], to whom Spain, so liberal in Titles and Elogies, gave the name of Great Captain, as a reward for driving the Fortune of France out of the Kingdom of Naples. Besides, her Vertue was not one of those Stage Vertues which act not handsomly but before the World, and in the eyes of men.

It was not one of those Mercenary and Interessed Vertues, which serve not but upon good Terms, and for great Wages and Pawn: It was like­wise sincere, and acted as soveraignly, and with as much order in Private, as in the eyes of the Publick It was likewise steddy, as well during a storm as in a calm, and had not a different Countenance and Heart in Affliction, then in Prosperity.

[Page 137] It hath been known by the report of her Attendants, that in all her Child beds, the pain of Delivery, which is the Natural Torture of their Sex, did never force a word of Complaint from her mouth: Marvel­lous was the Moderation which made her suffer with the death of her Son, the death of her Name, and the Extirpation of her Race: And certainly since there is no Tree which doth not bend and complain when a Branch is torn off from it by a Tempest; though it be a wilde Tree; though the Branch which is taken off be half rotten: How much courage were ne­cessary for a Mother, not to be cast down by the blow which deprived her of such a Son; which tore from her so noble a shoot, and of so great hope: A shoot which was to have extended it self to new Worlds, and a new Nature. She was so far from being dejected by this Accident, that it [...]earce g [...]ve her the least disquiet: The gallant Woman prevailed in her minde above the good Mother▪ And the news of this deplorable death being brought her in the Eve of her Daughter Isabella's Marriage with [...] King of Portugal, she knew so well how to seal up her heart; She so handsomly fitted her Countenance to an Action, for which so great Pre­parations were made, that not a sigh escaped out of her Heart, not a Tear fell from her Eyes, which might cloud the Serenity of the Feast.

Her Constancy appeared no less by bearing with the publick Extrava­gancies of the Princess [...] her Daughter, who was sick of the Love of her Husband Philip. His, truly was a Lawful Love, and had received the Benediction of the Church: Not only Bastard Loves are those which appear Monstrous: but even Lawfull Ones, which are Enormous and Ir­regular, have scarce a better Aspect: And the Fires which the Church hath blessed, if they be not entertained with Moderation, may no less of­fend the head and dazle with their smoak then the other. The Love of Ia [...] was one of these Lawful disordered Loves: It was one of these ho­nest fires which heat too much and da [...] with their smoak. And surely she must needs have been much dazled, when she resolved to Imbark her self in the most bitter Season of the year, and to expose her life, her great belly, and the hope of so many Kingdoms, to the Winter and the Ocean, that she might meet with her Husband, who was [...] into Hander [...]. But Fons [...]a Bishop of Burgos, and [...] of [...], Governour of [...], ha­ving hindred her Imbarking, neither Intreaties nor Reasons could prevail to bring her back to her Lodging: She remained whole days and nights without Food or Sleep, exposed to the Air and all the injuries thereof: And assuredly she would have died on the ground, if the Qu [...]een her Mother had not brought her in all haste a Licence to commit her self to the pen [...] of the Sea; Nevertheless she escaped the Sea and Tempesluous Season: But Jealousie escaped with her, and followed her into Hand [...]s, where she renewed her Wounds and former Maladies of Spain, adding a kinde of Tragical Action to her Extravagancy. To say no more, there was a touch of both in the Treatment used towards one of her Women, of whom Philip was e [...]moured: She tore her Face with Scourges, as if she meant to punish the eyes of Philip upon the Face he loved: she made her ear to [Page 138] be cut off to the root, as if thereby she had cut asunder the tyes which held the Heart of Philip. And the News of this Extravagancy, being carried into Spain, Isabella needed little less Courage to overcome her Affliction them to vanquish the Moors.

The last Victories of Isabella were peaceable Conquests, and without Tumult: Yet if we consider them with eyes cleared from the dust raised by the Tumult: If we remember that the same Alexander, who had vanquished so many Barbarous Nations, was defeated by the death of his Favourite; And that this Augustus who had resisted the Forces of the East, was ruined by the bad Reputation of his Daughters; We shall finde that Isabella alone without Arms, overcame more powerfully then Alexander and Augustus have done with all their Armies. Concerning her Death, it was Magnani­mous, and answerable to the Courage of Heroes. It came to her by a se­cret Ulcer, which the toys and agitation of Riding had caused in the War of [...]. Her Courage occasion'd this Disease; her Modesty enter­tains it; and having resolved never to expose it either to the hands or eyes of Physitians, she died at best of her own Vertue and Victory.

[Page]

VNE Dame de Chipre, me [...] le seu aux Galeres des Turcs chargées du butin de Nicosie, et par la [...] mort [...] rue Armée [...], et [...]enge le sac et la seruitude de sa Patrie. [...]

[Page 139]The Victorious Captive.

BE not astonished to behold ruines flaming upon the water: to behold a shipwrack suffered in the very Haven, and without a Tempest. The Accident is strange, and not to be paralleld; and I know not whether the Sea, which is the Theatre of great Adventures, which is the Element of Mon­sters and Prodigies, hath ever brought forth a greater VVonder.

This Coast is the Eastern part of the Isle of Cyprus. The Turks, spectators of this devouring Fire, belong to the Army which came newly from the Sacking of Nicosea: And these flaming Gallies were appointed by Mustapha to bring to Selim the news and testimony of his Victory. But For­tune deriding his vanity, suppressed this News, and detained his Deputies. A generous Captive, more worthy of a Crown then a Chain, not being able to submit to the infa­mous slavery which was prepared for her in the Seraglio, fired the Powder in one of the Gallies; and the fire dispersing it self from this Gally to all the rest, set the Captive at liberty, and revenged the injury done her Country, both pillaged and made a slave to Infidels.

[Page 140] This Resolution required a most Heroick Soul, and of the first Order: And there needed a daring and inventive Cou­rage without Arms, and by one single Act to defeat a whole triumphant Army: to take away the fruit and sense of Vi­ctory, even in the fruition of Conquerours, and not to leave so much as a mark, or news of their triumph unconsumed. It is wonderfull that so high a design, and which might have sa­trated the Souls of four Conquerours, could enter into the Heart of a Captive Maid. But the wonder is yet greater, that from the Soul of this Captive there issued forth such a flame, as made the Sea appear all on fire, which burned the goods and inhabitants of a taken City, which consumed the mourning of an absolute Conquered People, and the joy of a whole Victorious Nation.

If we had arrived but one moment sooner, we should have beheld the first light of this flame. VVe should have seen it sally forth all pure out of this great Soul, which could not be taken with N [...]cosia; which remained victorious even amidst ruined Towers, and forced VValls; which hath preserved liberty amongst so many Chains and Guards. But if this flame appear no more, we see at least its effects; And Poste­rity will see them also after us. VVe behold a City which revengeth the violence of men by the violence of fire; which is burnt upon the Sea after it had been pillaged on the Land. We behold a vindicative and officious death, a death which punisheth Pirates, and disinchaineth Captives.

These flaming Chests were filled with the Treasures of many Races. The Parsimony of covetous Men, and the Excess of the Magnificent were laid up in these Packs of Merchandise, which you see thus smoaking: And Captive N [...]cosia in these Gallies, with her Daughters, was to be unto Scli [...] and the Sultanesses a precious Ensign of Mustapha's Victory. But there is now nothing remaining, saving the Ashes and Smoak of this sad countenance of Rapine: And Mustopha looseth with it the marks of his Victory, and the Ensigns of his Triumph. The Flame devours the Presents which were designed for Sclim, and the waves swallow up what was provided to adorn the Sultanesses.

[Page 141] You would say that these two Elements, otherwise so in­compatible, agree in the division of the prey which is fallen to them. The Fire hath for its share all that is light, and swims above water; and all that is heavy and slides to the bottome, belongs to the waves. Many Loads of curious and rich stuff equally perished there, and make a common smoak. Those pieces of Purple, and Cloth of Gold, are be­come as black as the Cordages and Sayles: And the Ashes of those excellent pieces of Ebony and [...]vory, are coloured like the consumed Masts, and the burnt Oars. But neither the burnt Oars, nor the consumed Masts, nor the bulks of five Gallies, all on fire, afford not so Tragick a spectacle as the unhappy People, who suffer two deaths at once, and are drowned at the very instant they are burnt.

The Fortune of the Victorious is equall to the Fortune of the Vanquished: And the self-same flame melted the Chains of the Captives, and the Weapons of their Guards. Some carryed up into the ayre by the first violence of the Fire, had not a taste of their Liberty, nor so much as saw the Death which freed them. Others less suddenly assaulted, cast themselves into the Sea, and extinguished their life, thinking to extinguish the Fire, which had as yet but seised on their Garments. Those were not more happy who trust­ed to severed Planks, and floating Oars. People are not thus preserved from a shipwrack which the Winds and Rocks have not caused. The devouring Fire followed them; and what ought to have been a Plank of safety, proves to them a floating Pile; and brings nothing to Land but their Ashes: Certainly it is a lamentable spectacle to behold so strange and new asport of Fortune; to behold burning Waves and foaming Flames: To behold unhappy wretches who are drowned in Fire, and burnt in Water, who approach to Death through two contrary Elements, who fall at once into two opposite extreams.

I perceive that you are troubled about the Couragious Captive, who saved her self by this Fire. You could wish that it were in your power to finish her deliverance, and to [Page 142] pluck her out of the hands of Death, as she forced her way out of bondage and shame. In vain do your eyes seek her in this confusion of variously shaped and coloured Deaths. The fire begins its effects by her: and as if it had a mind to fire her all entire, it left nothing but her Soul and Reputation, which are no longer in a condition to be either inflamed, or stained. So chaste and generous a Beauty ought not to be disfigured, or to dye by parcels: and it was not only ne­cessary to preserve the Honour and Purity of her Body, but even the Comeliness thereof: It was requisite to conserve even the Grace and Dignity of her Countenance: and her Death ought to be at least gracefull and glorious. Let us speak more justly, she must not dye: she must only disap­pear, like those Heroes who were carryed away all entire: And nothing ought to remain of her but a name of good odour, and a most Illustrious Memory.

At present her Soul discharged of the burthen of Matter, and freed from the Chains of Fortune, enjoys in repose the fruit of the Tempest which she newly raised, and offers to the God of the Christians a Sacrifice of four Turkish Gallies, and of more then four hundred Innocent Souls which she redeemed from Slavery, and saved from Apostacy. All these beautifull Souls, glorious by their Liberty and Inno­cence, ascend with the fire and smoak of this great Holocaust. Doubt not but in ascending they applaud their Deliveress; and look down with joy upon their broken Fetters, and the pieces of their burnt Prisons which float upon the waves with the bodies of their Guards.

Meanwhile Mustapha overcome in his turn, beholds from the shore the spoyl of his Victory and Gallies. He knew not as yet upon whom to lay the blame: And before hand, out of despite he bites his lips, & blasphemes against the Alchoron, and his false Prophet. The confusion appears barbarous, and stained with blood in his eyes: And the disorder of his mind augments the fierceness of his Action, and the cruelty of his Looks. If he were not so far off, you might hear the re­proaches he vents forth against Heaven, for permitting the [Page 143] fire to seize upon his Fortune; and suffering the Ensigns of his Valour, and the subject of his Triumph to be burnt. The Captains and Souldiers which accompany him, are in no less disorder, nor less furious then himself: And their despair is no less, to see the treasure of their Souls, and the recompence of their blood and wounds thus perishing.

The People of the neighbouring Towns, and the Parents of the Captive VVomen ordained for the S [...]raglio, have very different resentments. The People assembled upon the VVall, look with astonishment upon the Smoak of then Spoyles, and the confusion of the Barbarians Avarice: and they that clap their hands, seem willing to adde force to the fire which is come to punish them. The surprised Fathers, and astonished Mothers suffer on the shore all that their Children endure in the fire, and upon the waves. Tears of joy distill from their eyes for the deliverance of their Daugh­ters: Tears also of compassion and sorrow flow from them for their loss: And the one mingled with the other, make upon their Cheeks an expression answerable to their Courage and Tenderness. These Tears nevertheless have not extinguished the sense of Honour. Even the Mothers render Thanks for the adventure which they deplore: And you would say, that on the shore they expect to receive, with the Ashes of their Daughters, their unstained Memory, and their most pure and glorious Souls.

SONNET.

Vpon these flaming Piles with billows tost,
Nicosia saves her self by being lost:
A brave revenging fire, which in the Main
Blows up this Fleet, consumes her Thraldom's Chai [...].
The boyling Fla [...]s, and the inflamed waves,
Of Slave and Lord, become the common graves:
A world of various treasures, and of fair
Rich movables, are turn'd to smoke and ayr.
In this [...] heat of waves and fires,
Eudoxia flies to the Celestial Quires;
And in repose enjoys, with just renown,
The flame that melts her Chains, and makes her Crown.
By nobler Act no Hero ever flew
Above the Stars; [...]o not the gallant Iew,
Who with an Arm, whose vigour much out-vy'd
A Pillars strength, slew thousands when he dy'd.

Elogy of the Victorious Captive.

THis Picture represents a generous Captive who burnt her chain which she could not break; and took revenge for the pillaging of her miserable Country, by firing the Booty with the Pirats which were carrying it away. Within the memory of our Fathers, the loss of Cyprus began by the ta­king of [...]: And God permitted it to advertise Christian Princes that they ought to stand upon the [...] Guards, and to mistrust any Peace made with the Common Enemy. It is a wild Beast, which seems sometimes to be glutted, and sometimes to be [...]ul'd asleep, but is never tamed in good earnest. His very Freindships are deceitfull and dangerous: And even his Kindnesses leave behind the print of his claws: And when all other Pretences fail him, his Greediness is his Common Right, and the General Wrong of his Neighbours. This City which was so rich, so ancient and renowned; which contained more then Sixty Thousand Inhabitants, and no less stately by an immemorial Magnificence, became a Prey to Mustap [...] and his Army. And that Greatness which so many Ages and Generations had raised, being ruined and cut in peices in one Day, satiated with its Spoyl and Blood, the Avarice and Cruelty which shared there­in.

After that the fury of the [...] was extinguished by the Ruines it had made, the Bas [...] caused the Booty to be brought before him still moist and dropping with the Blood of the Dead, and Tears of the Living which were more to be pittyed then the Dead. He culled out of these sad Remnants all that was precious. He caused all the rare and entire Booties either taken in the Town or in the desolate Country, to be put into four great Vessels, and sent them to [...] as the most glorious and certain Dispatches he could receive of his Victory. These unhappy In­nocents did imbarque with fears, and were with tears carryed from the sight of their Mothers, who knew not what Wishes to make for these unfortunate Creatures, who ought equally to fear both a Calm and Tempest, who could not arrive but to an infamous servitude by a prosperous Wind, who could gain nothing but a deplorable Death by Shipwrack.

The Signal of putting to Sea was given, and the Vessels were already un­der Sayl; when the fairest and most couragious of this miserable [...]oop, reflecting on her Liberty, her Honor, and her captive and [...]alf-burn [...] Country, left in the Reer, and seeing nothing before her but Bondage, Infamy and [...]dishonest Prison, to which she was carryed by the wind; after a thousand Maledictions breathed forth both against Fortune who had unhappily preserved her from the fire and ruines of her House: and against her Sex which had rendred her unworthy of an honorable Death [...] it came into her mind, that the Genius of her Co [...]ntry required [Page 146] some action from her which might make more noyse then her Fall had done.

As this Mayd was wholy taken up with this thought, she perceived a Soldier entring into the Magazine of Powder, she went in readily after him: and having found fire ready at hand, assisted by her good Angel (as One may believe) and inspired by God, jealous of the honor of Virgins, she took hold of this fire, and cast it into a barrel of Powder which was ready to receive it. The Effect was sudden. At the very In­stant the flame disperseth it self with an incredible noyse through the whole Gally, and from thence spred it self amongst the other three which drew neer to assist it. The Couragious Virgin being first carryed away, had not the leisure to be sensible of her Liberty and Victory. But doubt­less her fa [...] soul issuing forth of her body, stayd at least some time to have the [...] of them both: And her first Joy was to behold these devouting and statel [...] flames, which revenged the sacking of Nicofia upon the Victorious; and burnt with the prison and bondage of her Companions the S [...]rag [...]o and voluptuous present which Mu [...]tap [...]a had em­barked for Selum.

MORAL REFLECTION.

WHat I have said in Verse, is true; and I can say it also in Prose. The strong Hebrew who threw down a Pallace, and over­whelmed a whole multitude at his Death, did no more then this Mayd. If she had not so much strength in her Armes, she had peradven­ture more in her Heart and Mind. At least she overcame Love and Pleasure, which vanquished Sampson. And the Captives death which was no less then hers, a bloody Victory without Combat, hath manifested in these latter Times, that Vertue becomes not decrepid with Years; that it is now the very same it was in the Time of Heroes; and that the alteration we observe therein, proceeds from its Subjects, and not from its vigor and strength.

But this chaste and victorious Mayd speaks cheifly to those that pre­tend to Chastity, and are jealous of the flower and glory of their Sex. She teacheth them, that perfect Chastity hath her Enthusiasmes and Raptures, that she cannot endure to be tyed, how rich soever her chains may be: that Fortune hath no Mountains of Gold, nor Rivers of Silver which she doth not pass over: that Ambition cannot build her so eleva­ted a Pallace from which she doth not precipitate her self: that Excess and Voluptuousness cannot tye her with so sweet chains which she doth not break: that even Death it self cannot present to her, Obstacles which she doth not overcome.

It would be a great Shame to a Woman who should profess Chastity, to be fastned to a Trifle: if she could not break a silken thred: if she dare not oppose her self to a few Thorns. And I know not how she would [Page 147] dispose of her Honor, if to conserve It, she were necessitated to set fire on her house, to leap down into a Precipice, to expose her self to Swords & Wheels. Tender Women and such as Love their ease, will make answer to this, that these Raptures belong not to the Vertue of their Sex; And that Chastity is not reduced to so great necessity as Despair must defend it. The subse­quent Question will shew what weight this Answer carries, and whether Christian Philosophy be on her side.

MORAL QVESTION.
VVhether an Heroick Transport be necessary to the Perfection of a Womans Chastity.

THe Question doth suppose a Transport to be Essential to Heroick Vertue: And that there is an Enthusiasme which forms Heroes as well, as there is one which makes Poets: This Transport to define it distinctly, and to give an Express, and pure Notion of it, is an extraor­dinary Effort by which the Soul is violently carryed to Objects, which transcends the common reach of Men. And because our forces be not pro­portionable to those high Objects; and that the best disposed, and most able amongst us, can hardly advance much further without being born up; it hath been always believed, that there necessarily entred into these extraordinary Efforts something, I know not what, Divine, which trans­ported Nature; and of this I know not what, whether it be a Spirit or Divine Fire, the word Enthusiasme is composed, which the Grecians have expresly formed for these Transports.

Here nevertheless we must call to minde that Enthusiasm [...] and Trans­ports are divers, and of a different Species according to the different Fa­culties which are Transported; and according to the different Objects to which they are Transported. If the Rapture comes only from the Intel­lectual and Imaginary part which is Subalte [...], it tends to luminous and elevated Ideas, to Noble and Specious Fantomes and Imaginations: It is effected by glorious Visions, and by bold and magnificent Expressions: And this Enthusiasm [...] is properly That which Ignorant and Prophane Men stile the folly of Poets. But if the Rapture be from the whole Person; if the Intellectual part carryes away the Appetitive, if the Soul Transports the Body; and if by a joynt effort they all tend either to the Divine or Soveraign Good, or to that eminent Honour which is in this life the last point of consummated Vertue; this general Transport, being a Transport of Action, is the same Enthusiasme which they attribute to Heroes, and which Philosophers seek in Heroick Vertue.

[Page 148] And surely it is absolutely necessary to it, whether by reason of the [...] and difficulty of its Object, whereto we arrive not by ridding way, and numbring our steps, or by reason of the Thornes and Obstacles wh [...]h Invi [...]on it▪ And to raise ones self above these Thornes, to sur­mo [...] these Obstacles, it were almost requisite to have a winged Heart: One ought to have at least a Soul to carry it as swiftly, and as high as win [...] could do. It is not likewise doubted for these reasons, but that a [...] sport is necessary to Heroick Vertues; yet there is much ground to do [...]bt whether Chastity be one of these Vertues; whether it be called to the Communication of this Spirit; whether it may not advance to its Good but with violence and by [...].

And [...]f we believe at first sight, the appearance and common notions thereof [...] we will stand for the Negative. First, the Spirit of Modesty, be­ing [...] Spirit of Chastity, is an Apprehensive and Fearful Spirit; a Spirit which [...]dles and Restrains; which Apprehends much noise and [...] which shuns the Stage and Spectators; which affects Privacy, and [...]. Now there is nothing more opposite to this timerous and [...] Spirit, then the Spirit of Transport, which is Bold and Attempt­ing [...] Imp [...]ient and Active, an Enemy to Reservedness and Constraint; [...] of Bounds, and yet more uncapable of Chains.

Moreover all the Masters of Morality teach us, that Chastity ought not to fight but in retiring: that she puts her self in danger when she takes upon her to be Valiant, and shews her Face to her Enemies: that she cannot attain to Victory but by a Retreat, even by Flight, and a very quick and sudden Hight: All this agrees with the Spirit of Transport, which [...] no kinde of Enemie [...], and attaqu [...]s them all without knowing them: which measures no Dangers not Precipices, and fully casts it self upon both, which [...] not to any thing whatsoever, no not to terrifying Death it [...], in which all other things submit.

Thirdly, Chastity is not one of these Vertues which are born for Action [...], and are only serviceable in a Tumult and Storm: she is one of the Peac [...]ble and Sedentary Vertues: she is a Lover of Repose and [...] she hath the Innocence of Lambs, and the meekness of Turtles: she hath a Temper contrary to Lions and Eagles. Of what use would then this Spirit of Transport be to Sedentary Vertue? Of what use could it be in time of Repose and Retirement? What would that Lamb do with this Heart of a Lion? What would this Turtle do with the Violence of [...]:

All these Reasons are very good proofs, that Chastity is a Vertue of its own Nature, Reserved, and a Friend to Repose: But they do not prove, that she is never Armed with Boldness; that she never takes Courage; that she is a ways concealed, and still possessed with Fear: There are some Occasions wherein she must of necessity alter her Humour and Carriage; wherein she must express Resolution and Courage; wherein she must Act, even elevate her self, and elevate her self with a Transport. Doves which [...] Sweet and Innocent, have yet their Sallies and Angers. Pa­tience [Page 149] which is at least as calm as Chastity, becomes Furious when it is Wounded And that Spotless and Silent [...]amb which came to Teach us Chastity and Patience, ceaseth yet sometimes to be a Lamb, and becomes a Lyon when he is provoked.

Let us say, that this Heroick Spirit of Rapture is not necessary to Chasti­ty, when she is not assaulted, and proposeth no Enemies to overcome, not Crowns to obtain. She is then permitted to remove far off from the Tu­mult; She may decently affect Repose, and participate without blame of the benefit of Peace. Her condition in that State doth not differ from that Valour it self, which is not continually provoked and Furious, always covered over with Sweat and Blood: And which useth not every day her Warlike hands and countenance, her Spirit and Garments of Battel▪ But when this Peaceable Chastity is Assaulted; when Dangers and Enemies press her: when she is reduced to the necessity of either rend [...]ing up her self, or of vanquishing by some Extraordinary and Supernatural [...]ffort; where will she finde wherewith to carry on this extraordinary and Super­natural Violence, if the Hero [...]ck [...] whereof I speak, do not inflame her; if the Spirit of [...] do not possess her, it both do not trans­port her, to what place would not her Fears and Restraints hurry her? And even in this, her Condition is likewise equal to that of true Valour, which hath an other Countenance, and an other Heart upon a Breach then in a Closet; which march [...]n with an other kinde of Action and Look to a day of Assault, then to a day of Ceremony.

Let us only oppose hereunto, that the Comparison is not equal between Chastity and Valour; between a Peaceful and Sedentary vertue, and one that is Warlike and Tumultuary. Chastity hath her Wars and Combats: And her Wars are more lasting and ob [...]inate; her Combats are more dan­gerous and labonous then those of Valour. She hath likewise more need of Courage and Resolution, as I have already shewn: And consequently the Spirit of Transport which is the Spirit of Courage and Resolution, is more necessary to her, then to this Vertue of Fire and Sword.

And here the Bravo's, and great Pretenders to Valour, must not flatter themselves, not think to obtain it by the fierceness of their Looks, and the greatness of Words. The honour of Chaste Women is not in a place of easier Access, nor less Elevated then theirs. Nature cannot [...] thither by her own Forces: The Senses know not the way to it; and on what side soever this way lieth, it is possessed by Enemies who use violence even in their satisfactions and terrifie by their Complacences and Ca [...]esses. On all sides and at every step there are Gins, which are so much the more to be feared, as their B [...]s are more rich, and their threds wrought with more silk, and covered over with more Flowers.

Besides, if we were to beware of nothing there but Flowers and Silk; if we were only to defend our selves against Complacences and Caresses: Yet there are sometimes Daggers hid under these Flowers; and these Sil­ken Threds become strangling Ropes. These Enemies are not always Complacent and Courting. They change their Art and Posture according [Page 150] to the Resistance which is made to them. They imploy Iron, where Gold is not powerful enough: and where Sweetness is weak, and Presents effect nothing, they practise Cruelty: they display terror and punishments. I mean that Chast Women have not only pleasing, but even terrifying and bloody Temptations. They are not onely to defend themselves against Ava­ [...]ice and Voluptuousness, but they are to overcome both Torture and Death it self; I say Torture, which is the invention of Tyrants, and the pra­ctise of Executioners; I say Death armed with all its Fires and En­gines.

Is it credible that Chastity, without using any extraordinary violence, without moving or changing place, can overcome all these Enemies whe­ther Complacent or Barbarous? That she is able to loosen her self from all these eyes and snates, whether from those which allure, or those which strangle? That she is able to master all these temptations whether sweet or sparkling, in which Gold and Precious Stones are imployed; whether cruel and terrible practised with chains, like those which Ioseph suffered; with stones, like those shewn to Susanna; with a Scymitar, like that which vanquished the Daughter of Paul [...], Beheaded by Mah [...]et at the ta­king of [...] Again, is it credible that Chastity can be victorious over so many Adversaries, and in so many Conflicts if she be not filled, if she be not Penetrated by this Divine Fire, by this supernatural In­stinct, by this Spirit which begets an [...], and the Extasies of Heroick Vertue.

Nature is strong and Attractive: Chastity must resist her Forces, and loosen her self from her Allurements. The senses stick close to those Inte­rests which are Commodious to them; and the Body hath a strange adhe­rence to pleasure, where flesh and blood bears a part. Chastity must either sever the sences from these Interests, and must break all that fastens the Bo­dy to these pleasures, or she must voluntarily separate her self from the sen­ses, and break violently with the body. Death hath cruel and frightfull Weapons: It is accompanied with terrible and furious Attendants. Cha­stity must be prepared to rush through all these Weapons: and to Essay the Teeth and Nails of these Attendants, rather then suffer the least stain. What­ever may be said, the Reputation of valour is not so precious, nor invironed with so many Difficulties. Her Crowns, even those which are made by the site of Canons and Granadoes, cost not so much: and Heroes are formed at a less expence amidst Pikes and Breaches.

I forget not what hath been said of Modesty. She is the proper spirit of Chastity: and they affirm that she is Timerous and Apprehensive: that she hath Moderation and Reservedness. I confess that for the most part she is not Precipitous: and that she is never Impudent. But she is not more fearful then Fear it self: and Fear hath its sallies as well as Anger and Boldness have theirs. Some couragiously endure Pain, for fear of another Pain. Some cast themselves into the Sea, for fear of falling into it: And to avoid one Death but apprehended, they precipitate themselves into another▪

[Page 151] Let us remember that the Ermine, which is the Symbole of Modesty, and the silent Mistress of the Chastity which Nature hath given to Wo­men. Concerning which, to say thus much by the way, she hath Treated them more Honourably then men, to whom she hath onely given an Ant as the Emblem of Labour and Industry. The Ermine is extreamly fear­full, and hath neither strength nor weapons: and yet this unarmed and ti­merous Creature had rather dye then be sullyed. And when she is pursu­ed, rather then to expose her whiteness to a stain, and save her self by a lit­tle d [...]t, transported by the Instinct she hath in point of Purity, she casts her self into the nets of Hunters, and perishes with Courage. Behold a Transport, and a Transport of Modesty; behold a Sally, and a Sally of Purity in an Innocent and Fearfull Animal▪ And shall We deny the same Transport and the like Raptures to chaste Women? Without doubt they are capable thereof. An Heroick spirit and possessed with Enthusiasm, min­gles it self sometimes with their Vertue, penetrates their hearts, and in them inkindles a fire, breaks all the fetters of their souls, tears them from their bodies, and carries them away with main force.

By this Spirit was that Pelagia of Antioch Transported, of whom S. Am­brose hath left us so fair a Picture. Perceiving her self besieged by Enemies which attempted more upon her Chastity, then her Faith; she threw her self down into a Precipice, with all the Ornaments and Jewels wherewith she had Adorned her self, to render Honour to her Death, and add Grace to her Courage. With the same Spirit her Mother and Sisters were possessed, when pursued by the same Enemies, they cast themselves into a River, and there quenched by Death the wicked Fires of their Lascivious Pursuers. A Maid of Alexandria possessed with the same Spirit, having been informed of the mischief which her Eyes, though otherwise reserved and modest, had done to a young Man, she tore them out of her Head, and sent them to the sick Person, to the end he might inflict such punishment on them, as he should think good; or at least that he might heal with their blood, the wound they had given him.

Blanch of Ros [...] Transported with the same Spirit, wrested her self out of the hands of the Tyrant Acciolin, and cast her self headlong from a Win­dow.

The same Spirit blew the flaming Fire-brand which Mary Cornelia, the Wife of Iohn C [...]rda, thrust down into her body to quench a dangerous Fire, which Age and Occasions began there to inkindle: And this Example of Vertue was given to Spain in the time of Peter the Cruel, and Mary Pa­dilla, That is to say, under the Raign of Adulteries, and in the Age of Li­bertie.

We ought to believe for the love of Vertue, and in Honour of these Chri­stian Heroesses, that there was some Spark of Divine fire in these bold At­temps; and that the Spirit which transported them, came from above, and from a purer Spring then that which forms the Raptures which we may follow, and the Examples which are lawful for us to imitate. Those are not for every day; nor for the use of all sorts of Persons. Besides, God doth [Page 152] not send Angels to all sorts of Persons; nor every day creates new Stars: And unless we have an Angel for guid, and a new Star to follow, it would be a rash attempt to walk upon the Sea, and to chuse a Precipice for our way. The ensuing Example is not of these Extraordinary Ones; yet is it of the great and Heroick▪ And if there be any thing of Transport, it pro­ceeds from an even Spirit, and which is not raised but regularly, and by u­sual and beaten Tracks.

EXAMPLE.
The Chaste Venetian VVoman.

IT is true that Vertue finds Adversaries everywhere: and even in those places where she is in este [...]m and habituated, her Peace is full of trouble and agitation; and her Repose unquiet and interrupted. Nevertheless there are Countries of War, and as it were Frontier Regions, where she is exposed to the Incursions and attempts of her Enemies. And in these Re­gions she ought to be more Resolute and Warlike, then elsewhere: She ought to be expert in all sorts of Combats, and prepared for all manner of Events: She ought to be almost continually upon her Guard, and in Arms. Faith and Chastity, which are neighbouring upon Infidels and Bar­barians, have need of this preparation of Courage, and of this exposed and continuall Discipline.

It is likewise from those Countries these Heroick and Victorious Ver­tues come to us, which Triumph every year in the Church, and do ho­nour to our Annals▪ And a great number of other Vertues, besides those, are come from thence, which have not fought less Couragiously, nor o­vercome with less Force; though their Combats have not made so much noise, no [...] the Church hath Celebrated their Victories. I place amongst this number the Victorious Captive, which hath been newly represented in this Picture. And because she was a Subject to the Republick of Ve­ni [...], I conceived that to fit her with a known Companion sutable to her, it was necessary to joyn with this Gallant Woman, the Daughter of Paul [...], who trumphed over Ma [...]omet, and the S [...]raglio, at the taking of [...], as this other had done over Mustapha and Porta, at the taking of [...].

It is credible that Gods indignation was great when he abandoned [...] to the Ottomans. And Iniquity must needs have been Enormous and Consummated, which deserved that the Mistress of Arts and Scien­ces, and the Mother of so many Saints should be put in Chains. Yet this was her Lot; and hitherto no man hath been found to set her at liberty. Moh [...]met the Second slept not in this occasion; he managed all the mo­ments [Page 153] thereof, and made so good use of the division amongst Christians, as in a short time be disarmed all his Neighbours, and made himself Ma­ster of those places which might restore liberty to Greece. The Island of N [...]grepont which belonged to the Venetians, was first assaulted. Basha Ma [...]t begirt it with a Fleet of three hundred Sail: and Mahomet follow­ed by sixscore thousand men, entred it by a Bridge which he commanded to be made over the [...]rippa, and Besieged the Metropolitan City by Land. It was to defend it self against Treason, and force Intelligences and As­saults. And doubtless strength would have overcome as well as Treason, and the Assaults would not have proved more successful then Intelligen­ces, if General Ca [...], who commanded the Venetian Fleet, had but let Fortune alone, and made use of the Courage and Vessel of two Ca [...]lea [...] Gentlemen, who offered themselves to go break down the Bridge which was erected over the [...]rippa.

The City then was taken in the sight, and by the error of this Faint-Hearted and Timerous Wise man. [...]he dust and noise of the Demolishe [...]d Walls, the Crys and Blood of the Citizens went to reproach him as Far as his ship. And the unhappy Spectator of the Peoples Ruin, whom with a little Courage he might have saved, retired, turning his back to the Repu­tation he abandoned, and to the Smoak of the Island which followed him afar off upon the sea. The Booty was very great for the Conquerors: but the Cruelty of the Victorious was far greater upon the Vanquished. Pyramides were made of their Heads at the Gate of the Church, and in the publick places: and their Bodies being cast into the Channel, spred far with their blood a doleful and pittifull relation of their Misfortune.

Paul [...] Governour of the Island, had done and undertaken during the Siege, all that an Expert and Disciplined Valour was able to Effect; all that Courage could attempt when Religion enflames it, and Despair tran­sports it: He held out longer then the Towers and Bulwarks: and stood upright after their Fall. He fought upon the Ruins and Ashes of a Con­quered City: And they could not have gained it but by Composition and promising him life. But Mahomet was so far from keeping this promise, that he had the Cruelty to command his body to be saw [...] a two. Besides he added Rallery to his Cruelty, as Tyrants cast Salt into Fire, and Vineger into Wounds: And said to him, with a bitter and barbarous Equivocation, that leaving him his head, for which he stood ingaged, he might dispose of the rest at his discretion without any breach of Faith.

This so strange and Tragical Punishment was the Triumph of Paul [...]rici, and afforded him more solid Glory, then four Towns taken, and as many Battels won could have done. It may be well believed, that having overcome like a Martyr, he received also the Palm of Martyrdom; and that the saw of the Turkish Tyrant fashion'd him a Crown of the same Form like those which heretofore were made by the Racks and Wheels of Heathen Tyrants. His Glory nevertheless was not without confusion: And what Faith soever Fortified him against Death, he dyed not without great Apprehension. The honour of his Daughter, whom he left a Pri­soner [Page 154] mix'd confusion with his Glory: And he more feared the love and kindness of Mahomet towards her, then his Fury and Tortures against himself.

This excellent Maid had not then her Equal in any kinde of Perfection: And all the treasures of the Republick could not have ransomed her at the [...]ate of her Worth. Nature produceth every day precious Stones and Pearls: She works every day in gold and silver: But rarely is it her chance to [...]orm accomplished Persons: and her Work merits praise, when she makes but one in a whole Age. Even when her Designs were most neat and regular, and that Matter retained still its first purity, she was not so exact, nor exprest so much care in perfecting her Works. And when now adays she finishes some rare piece, Men ought to come in crowds to see it, as they do to see Miracles: it ought to be in History a mark of Ho­nour to her Age. This Noble Venetain Woman was one of these extra­ordinary Works: And the eyes of the greatest Criticks in the World could observe nothing in her but rare and accomplished: nothing which was not becomming with Dignity, and Majestical with Grace.

On a sudden likewise she dazels the eyes of those that offered to sei [...]e on her: and this dark mist being followed with a kinde of veneration, was like to have made them adore their Prey. But as soon as this amazement was over, they approach to her with barbarous respects, and a stupid and stammering Civility. They strive to make her understand that no hurt should be done▪ that they would conduct her to a place where she should be free and honoured; And as they advanced to lay hands on her: ‘Bar­barians, saith she, in thrusting them back, whither will you lead me, and for what new adventure do you reserve me? I should die here more nobly and better contented: And my Blood will not be more pleasing and gratefull in another place. Be not more merciless concerning me, then you have been in massacring so many Innocents: Commit at least a murther handsomly after so many perpetrated with cruelty: And per­mit one stain of Clemency in your Victory, and upon your Armes. They will receive no dishonour by it, nor will the Spoil become less precious.’

She had persisted farther, but two Basha's arrived, who remonstrated to her ‘that she was not strong enough to resist Fortune, nor to alter the right of War, which had given her to their Prince: That she need ap­prehend nothing in his Victory: That it was not against those of her Sex and Merit he was armed: That he knew how to punish and pardon sea­sonably, and to place Rigour and Clemency in their just postures: That it would be her best course to permit them to bring her before him, and to remit the rest to the disposure of Fortune.’ These words did not per­swade her▪ but she submitted her self to the present necessity, which she could not inforce; and suffered her self to be led before Mahomet.

Not being ignorant to what danger they exposed her, and what assist­ances she needed in the conflict she was to undergo, she prayed in silence and with tears by the way: And besought of God the Spirit of Fortitude [Page 155] and Councel, which make Martyrs, and reserve Virgins. The voice of her tears was heard: God sent her the Spirit she desired: And fortified by this succour, she marched with a confident look, and a resolute counte­nance and more like a Conqueress then a Captive.

She lost nothing of this confidence before Mahomet; and there was no more alteration in the resolution of her Countenance then in that of her heart. On the contrary, she appeared with a more then usual Majesty. And the presence of her Enemy made a certain haughty and disdainful blush come upon Her, together with a Fierceness, yet Modest, and becoming, which contributed Force to Sweetness, and added Dignity to Grace. This Fierceness wrought not the same effect as she intended. Mahomet, whom she thought to Irritate, esteemed her the more; and took this alteration for a Tincture of Noble Blood, and for an effusion of those Spirits which be­get Courage.

At the taking of Constantinople there was found a young Grecian Woman called [...], who had triumph'd over the Conquerour, and rendred him Her Slave The Basha's disliked this Triumph of a Captive, & this Servitude Victorious over their Master; and complained of it with injurious Terms, and mixt with Rallery. Mahomet to procure a cessation to these complaints of his Basha's, and to evidence to them that he knew as well how to over­come his Passions as to take Towns, in the sight of the whole Army, at one blow, struck off the Head of his Innocent and Unhappy Mistress. And this Tragical Execution, followed with a barbarous sadness, induced him to take an Oath, by which he obliged himself to [...]ex a guard upon his Heart for the future, and to preserve it from a second Bondage. This Tra­gedy and Oath returned into his minde at the sight of this Chaste Vanetian But this Object was more powerful then the fidelity of his Oath, and the apprehension of a second Tragedy. He valued not the taking of Nygrep [...] but by the taking of the Maid: And though he were passionatly enamour­ed of Rh [...]es and fair Italy; yet the Conquest of them both, could not have given him more satisfaction.

To the end he might make a breach into her Heart, and become Master of her Soul, as he conceived himself to be of her Body: he [...]aid to her in Magnificent terms which rellished both of a Conquerour and Pretender: ‘That it being her lot to Fall with a City which had a minde to be de­stroyed, she could not Fall more happily then into his hands: And that Fortune knew no better way to raise her, then by this Fall: that he desired nothing but her consent, to render her the most happy of her Sex and Age; and to exalt her to a Seat, where she should have all the Sergnory of Venice and all Italy under her Feet. That Riches and Glory were at her disposure: that he was the Distributer of Scepters and Crowns: that God and his Prophet had sent him to rule the Destinies of Kings, and the For­tune of Nations: that she must bid adieu to the resentment which the loss of her Friends had caused in her: that such was the order of the World, and the disposition of Affairs, as little losses were to usher along great Advantages: that she must not expect that Fortune should be more Indulgent then Nature, which causeth not Harvest to arrive till after the Seed.’

[Page 156] The Couragious and wise Captive forced her Patience till then: But as soon as he came to boast to her of the Magnificence and Pleasures of his Seragl [...]; of the Glory and Felicity of his S [...]tanesses; and when he added, That if she were disposed to comply with his Will, he would make her the Mistress of his S [...]tanesses, and the Queen of his Seraglio. I am a Christian, replyed she very pertly, and a Gentlewoman, I know no hope of Rega [...]y, nor fear of Punishments which can perswade me to do any thing contrary to the Promise of my Baptism, or against the Dignity of my Vertue. To this Profession of Faith, and of Honour, delivered in so Affirmative terms, and with a Tone of Protestation and Authority, Maho­met replyed▪ I perceive very wel the cause of all this; you are yet astonish'd with your Fall: and the Smoak of this Unfortunate City, which you still retain in your Eyes, hinders you from seeing the Good which is of­fered you; But I hope you will recover this Amazement; and that af­ter the Dissipation of this Smoak, you will look more cheerfully upon your good Fortune.’ Having said this, he retired, and left her to his Eu­nuchs, who were commanded to have a great care of her and to dispose her to better Councels.

They conducted her to a Pavilion, where all I [...]dia seemed to be with all her Gold and Precious Stones: having about them so Magnificent proofs of their Masters Power, they failed not to use far more Magnificent Ex­aggerations; and to add Immense and Unlimited Promises to so glorious a Spectacle. They gave her in little, a Model of the Seraglio: but this Mo­del in little, was greater then the real one: It was composed of sumptuous Delusions, and glorious Dreams: and it cost them nothing to build it with Carved Gold, and Fosset Diamonds. The most Magnificent Poesie could not describe so much as these Vain people had set forth in Hyperboles and Promises. And according to their words, if she would consent to the Will of Mahomet, she should tread upon Scepters and Crowns; she should be possessed with all the Goods of Fortune. But all these Painted and Boast­ed Riches coming out of their mouths, were Dissipated by the Winde which formed them, and reached not so far as the Ears of the Victorious Ca [...]ve. Her minde was fixed on more Transcendent Promises, and more Solide and durable Grandeurs: And Faith had so deeply imprinted in her imagination the Wedding of the Lamb, the Crowns prepared for prudent Virgines, and the Eternal Rejection of the Foolish, that she saw neither the Pomps of the Seraglio which were shewn her, nor the Delights of the Sul­tanesses wherewith they endeavoured to Enamour her.

These troublesom people being retired to leave her a little Repose, it came into her thoughts, that perchance the moment of Liberty was procured for her by her Good Angel, to the end by an advanced and Couragious Death, she might break her Chain: she might Triumph over Mahomet & Fortune, and rid her self in an instant of those Fears which possessed her, and of those Vain Hopes which they laboured to infuse into her. The Occasion was fair, and the Means Specious & Magnificent. There was a Table in the Pavilion Composed of Precious Stones, and certain great Vessels Enameled with [Page 157] Gold: therewere about her Red some Silken strings which might serve for this Execution, and offered her a Death as Compleat and Noble, as a Dag­ger, Fire, P [...]ecipice, or a Cord could have effected.

She useth up with this thought, and viewing those stately pieces of Barbarous Excess, as if she deliberated upon the choice of that which was to set her at liberty▪ ‘For what, saith she, dost thou Captive and Inchain­ed Virginity reserve thy self? Dost thou reserve thy self for Martyrdom? and dost thou think thy self strong enough to overcome Death, accom­panied with all its Torments, and armed with all its Engines? But what if the occasion of Martyrdom be taken from thee? What if thou hast no Death to Contest with? What if the Tyrant doth only attempt upon thy Honour? What if he attaqu [...]s with violences, which stain, without taking away thy life? O Captive and Inchaind Virginity! With what Weapons wilt thou defend thy self against these Violences? Why wilt thou remit thy Liberty to an uncertain Death, which perchance will not arrive till thy Honour be lost, having so assured and ready, so Innocent and pure a Means in thy power? This vain shew of Riches, is a Snare laid for thee: go no farther to seek thy Freedom: it expects thee there. Gold is as hard as Iron. A blow from these Vessels may as well break thy Chain in pieces, as the stroke of a Sword: and if thou art well resolved to dye, there are Rocks for thee; there is a Precipice at the corner of this Table. God will pardon necessity; and excuse so just a Violence. He hath heretofore Inspired & Crowned the like. And the Church Honours those Saints which drowned themselves to purchase Salvation, who have a­scended into Heaven by a Precipice. But what am I, that attribute In­spirations to my self, and rank my self amongst the Saints? From whom have I learned to discern Spirits a [...]d their Motions? Do I know of what colour that Spirit is who sollicites me? And if he be a Spirit of Imposture and indisguise; If what I take for Zeal, be Despair; Whither will this Despair carry me, and under the Conduct of this Spirit of Imposture, but to the Unhappy end of the Foolish Virgines? Let us leave Uncer­tainty to the Providence of God: since he is a Jealous God, he will take into his care the Honour of his Spouses. And if heretofore he deprived Fire of Heat, and suspended the hunger of Lyons, well may he extin­guish, if he please, the Ardour of the Tyrant, and suspend his Concupi­scence.’

This Resolution was followed with a Prayer, which came more from her heart then her lips, and into which there entred more Faith then Words. However she was quickly interrupted by the Eu [...]a [...]chs, who came to bring her to Mahomet, whose new Passion could allow him no Repose. The con­tempt of his Captive had incensed him: it troubled him that amongst the Ruins and Ashes of a Sack'd Town, any thing should be found more po­werful then his Victory; greater and more sublime then his Fortune. And he would not have it said, that a Maid, nay an Unarm'd and Inchained Maid, had held out against him, after the taking of so many places, after the Defeat of so many Fleets and Armies.

[Page 158] Nevertheless he tempered himself in her Presence, and renewed to her the same Promises, augmented with boundless and unreserved Additions: But this second Battery shook her as little as the former: and as the Ty­rant prepared himself to add Violence to his Promises, the Couragious Maid put him back with a fierceness both in Countenance and Action, which manifested that she was able to hold out against his Violence, as against his Promises; and that he could neither gain her by Composition nor Force. It is very true, that Love is Impatient and Stately upon Crowned Heads: that it is soft, and easily wounded in hearts accustomed to Overcome. The Heart of Mahomet being mortally wounded by this Action, gave way to Anger, which is never more Furious or Terrible, then when it comes in the Rear of a Potent Love And Mahomet Transported with this second Pas­sion, laid his hand upon his Cymeter, and with one blow Crowned the Captive, broke her Chain, and struck off her Head.

This Victory was not in the time of the Primitive Church: yet it is no less Illustrious then those of that Age. Mahomet the Conquerour was as Redoutable as Nero the Esseminate: and his Tent was a Field of Battel no less dangerous then an Amphitheater. Ladies ought to learn from hence, that Heroick Chastity hath her Enthusiasms and Raptures: And these En­thusiasms and Raptures ought to master all Fears and Hopes: These Rap­tures ought to surmount all that is both Delightful and Terrifying: But they ought never to Precipitate her, if the Holy Ghost doth not transport her, and if she be not excited by a Forreign Violence.

[Page]

MARIE Stuart Reyne d'Escosse seussre le Martyre pour la Foy: et par la constance [...] temps, les exemples de l'ancienne E [...]hse. [...]

[Page 159]Mary Stewart.

YOu will scarce believe what you are going to see: And what testimony soever your eyes render to the truth of this Tragical Spectacle, you will give them more then once the lye, and suspect something of Illusion or Imposture. Truly a holy Criminal, and an executed Queen, is a strange Fantome: And it is a more prodigious thing then all the Prodigies in Fables, to see three Kingdoms dishonoured up­on a Scaffold: To see a Head which hath born two Crowns, laid under the Ax of an Executioner. The Tragedy is not only Inhumane but Monstrous: And yet England applauds this horrid Act, which will be deplored by all Europe.

Mary, heretofore Queen of France, and at present Queen of Scotland, goes to die upon a Scaffold, after she was grown old in Prison. Insolent and furious Heresie respects in this fair Head, neither Regality, which is a kinde of visible and com­manding Divinity, nor Beauty, which is a Soveraignty by naturall Rights, and a Domination without violence. And what the most Barbarous Antiquity may not perchance have ever seen; what the most credulous Posterity will per­adventure never believe; all the Vertues and Graces are [Page 160] violated in her Person, and condemned to the same Punish­ment.

She goes couragiously to it, and with a Countenance, which bears still the mark of her Dignity, and the Declarati­on of her Innocence. She preserved them both after the loss of her Kingdom and Liberty; and Fortune, which deprived her of her Subjects, and is going to deprive her of Life, can­not deprive her Heart of Soveraignty, nor her Looks of Au­thority. They are not fastned to Her, they are born with Her; and create a Majesty independent on a Crown and Purple: And thereby she will be no less a Queen upon a Scaffold, then she hath been upon a Throne.

You do not behold in her those fair Rayes of Beauty and Youth, which were heretofore the splendor and spectacle of the Lo [...]vre, which were the joy and serenity of all France. But at least you see her not dejected by her mishap, nor obscured by her bad Fortune. Her greatness appears all entire, now that the steps and footstool are taken from her: And if her lights were then more pleasing and lively, those at present are more vigorous, and less apt to be extinguished: Her Ad­versities have not only fortified, but rendred her far greater: and the Admirers of her Beauty, who heretofore called her the Sun of the North, and the Planet of the Sea, did not fore­see that her Vertue would resemble the Sun and Planets, which appear greater through a Mist, then in a most pure se­renity, and without a Cloud.

Her white Haires which you see, are not occasioned by Age, they proceed from Afflictions and Persecutions. They are caused by unkind Kindred, and bad Subjects. They come from Elizabeth and her Ministers: And if this be ve­ry unworthy, it is little less strange, that so beautifull a Head should grow white before its time, under so many hands im­ployed to darken it. But this whiteness is no dishonour to her, nor lessens any thing of her Grace. Innocence and VVisdom are of this colour: And even Majesty it self is seen sometimes adorned thereby, and rendred more Venera­ble and August.

[Page 161] Would you believe that those persons who brought her to this violent Death by a precipitated old Age, do not he bitter upon her heart, nor disturb the Calm of her mind? So clean contrary, that she hath laid the very remembrance of their Injuries at the foot of the Cross: She hath retired her thoughts from all objects which might exasperate them: She called them back from all places whence any succour or pitty might arrive to her: and hath deposited them all with her Heart and Faith, in the wounds of the Soveraign Patient, who assisted her during her imprisonment, and at present assists and fortifies her against Death, by the Image and Ver­tue of his Passion.

He encourages her with the Voyce of his Blood, & speaks to her by as many Mouths as he hath wounds. He arms her with his Thorns and Nails: He covers her with his Cross, which is to her an invincible & sacred Shield; a Shield which could not be pierced by all the Darts of her bad Fortune; nor shal it be by the Ax it self of the Executioner which will chop off her Head. Vnder the protection of this Shield, and at the sight of this Example, she marcheth couragiously to Death: And though a Queen, and Innocent, it seems not harsh to her to pass through the hands of an Executioner, having before her eyes, a God executed, and Innocence Crucified.

Can you confide so much in your eyes, as to expose them to this lamentable spectacle? Mine, wounded before the stroke, flie back, not to behold any more of it. Yet I must enforce them to see All. The last Rayes of the setting Sun are the fairest: And the last drops of blood great Souls pour forth, are more sparkling then the rest; and have some­thing, I know not what, of more Vigorous and Noble. Surely this Action must needs be extreamly black, since en­deavours were used to hide it from the light. But the ob­scurities to which they exposed it, will not give it a better gloss; and doubtless if they were capable of sense, they would fear to be stained by it. You would say that these Torches do not contribute thereto their light but with re­gret: You would say that in despite they produce nothing but shadow and smoke.

[Page 162] The Hall is full of Spectators, and hung with black Velvet: And not so much as the fatal Scaffold, but is set forth wth the stately mourning of this barbarous. Tragedy to which it serv­ed. The cruel Ministers of so cruel an Action, thought to sweeten Injustice, & civilize Cruelty; they thought to appease violated Majesty; and to abuse the Patient by this vain and sumptuous Hypocrisie. They ought to know, that Pomp and Ostentation do not justifie Crimes; that artificial & specious Cruelty is no other Fury then naked & unpolished Cruelty: And that the voice of blood causeth it self to be no less heard upon Velvet Carpets then upon the bare ground.

I need not shew these cruel Ministers unto you. They are discernable enough by the greediness of their eyes thirst­ing after blood, and by the impatience and fierceness of their looks. To see the attention they afford this spectacle, you would say that every one of them is the Executioner: That every one is ready to give the blow with his eyes: and that this blow was designed against the Head of the Catholique Church, and not against the Queen of Scotland.

All the other Spectators, in whose hearts there remains some tincture of Humanity, detest this cruel Example. And as many Tears as they shed, are as many Voyces and Impre­cations against those that both advised, and put it in executi­on. But the voice of just blood unjustly spilt, will shortly make a greater noise. It will be heard by all People and Ages; it will be the eternall malediction of that person who so un­worthily violates Nature in a Kinswoman, Majesty in a Queen, Hospitality towards a Refugiate, and Adversity it self in an unfortunate Creature, consecrated by more then twenty years of misery.

You see her kneeling before the Executioner: but you see not her soul already elevated in the presence of God, where by advance it takes possession of the [...]hrone prepared for her. Her despairing Women are on their knees with her, as if her condemnation were theirs, and that they were to die by her Death. The fatal Ax hath pierced their souls, and the blood tricles down by their eyes upon the ground. Their sorrows are none of those which disturb, and make a noise: [Page 163] It deprived them of motion and voice, even of the sense of their Sighs and Tears: And in the condition they remain, I see nothing which resembles them, but those [...]igures of Marble, which seem to weep no less then Fountains.

The noble and couragious Patient, with a serene Coun­tenance beholds this sadness in her VVomen. Her Soul ele­vated above the inferiour portion, is no longer subject unto its tempests and showers, to its sighs and tears. The Clouds of Matter begin to clear up about her, and she already casts forth certain Rayes of advanced glory, which mingle them­selves with those Angels who are come both to guide her, and give a beginning to her Triumph.

The Crown which they brought her, is not of the same matter as the other two which are taken from her: No Thorns or Reeds enter there: There is nothing sharp or brittle; nothing which offends or burthens: And it is not an Ornament of the same stuff and weaving like our Dia­dems, which serve only to make Slaves glorious, and proud Mortals miserable. It is a Crown of solid and pure Glory: It is independent of Fortune, and stronger then Time: And the wise Queen, who understood the value of it, would have given all earthly Crowns to possess but one flower of it.

Behold with what stedfastness of mind she presents her Head to the Executioner, to receive from his hand this glo­rious Crown. But stay, do not stain your eyes with the murther of the Innocent. God will have an account of the least drops of her blood: And wo to the Hands and Hearts; wo to the Mouths and Ears; wo even to the Eyes, in which any stain of it shall be found.

SONNET.

SHall we, unmov'd, behold the Tragick Sight,
Where Death puts out this fair Scotch Planet's light?
Shall Honour, Justice, Law, see Vertue bleed
In Mary's Death, as for some heynous Deed?
Her Grief's Heroick; th' Ax no Paleness brings
Vpon her Blood, sprung from so many Kings:
Her Graces speak, when, words her Tongue denyes,
Her modest Pride endears her to [...] Eyes.
To what renown'd Inchanter do we ow
This piece of wonder? From this Picture grow
Joy and Regret, while there the gazing sight
Do's from a torment entertain Delight.
Art, by a gentle force, surmounteth clear
The pitch of Nature, in this Pourtraict; where
A Queen that's Innocent is made sustain
An Endless Death, without affront or pain.

Elogy of Mary Stewart.

I Might have a scruple, if into the Elogy I am going to make of Mary Stewart, my Pen should insert her Nobility, her Beauty, her Wit, her Graces and Magnificence. Her Picture requires far better Colours and more Artificial Touches. It must be drawn after another manner then that of [...] and Cleopatra: Other Incense must be burnt, and other Crowns placed before a Martyr, then upon the Altar of an Idol. Besides, all these Titles are equivocal Terms; and properly signifie neither Vertue nor Vice. Magnanimous Persons are not always Nobly born: And a great Courage is not ever of a great House. Cedars and Palms grow in Vallies: Broom and Fern-Brakes are found upon Mountains. Beauty is rarely Innocent: And Graces are Flowers which may have an ill odour and grow in a bad Soyl. Con­cerning the Elevation and Lights of the Minde, they are common both to Vertuous and Wicked Persons: And oftentimes we see Comets which have more Fire, and are more elevated then great Planets. In like manner Magnificence is a Vertue which may prove unfaithful and Heretical which may be Imprudent, and condemned with the Foolish Virgins: And we know that the Piramides of Egypt, and other like Wonders have been erected by debauch [...]d Women.

Let us then lay aside equivocal Titles and ambiguous Elogies: We have Proper and Formal ones. Let us not say that Mary Stewart was descended from a continued Line of Kings. But let us say that she had a more generous Heart, a more Royal Soul, and Soveraign Reason, then all the Crowned Kings from whom she derives her Extraction. Let us not esteem her for Beauty, which is common to the Rose and the Poppy; to Chaste, and Lascivious Women; but for a Vertuous and Disciplined Beauty of good Odour and Example. Let us neither praise her Graces nor her W [...]t: but let us commend the Reservedness and Modesty of her Graces: Let us praise the Discretion, Sweetness, and Moderation of her Minde: And let us not speak of her Liberalities, or say that they were judicious and well Ordered: that they were choice, and disposed with Method. Let us say, that she understood the Art and Secret of a Benefit; that she knew how to give with Heart and Spirit, with her Countenance and Looks. And that after Fortune had taken all from her, she continu­ed to be magnificent in Desire and Affection; and to make great Presents with slight things.

The French Muses, who lived in her time, failed not to praise this part of her Vertues, which had been beneficial to them, and done honour to Learning. And truly they would have shewed themselves very ungrate­full if they had not praised Her. It was no fault of this good Princess, that they were not all Rich, and at their Ease, that they were not all Apparel­led in Cloth of Gold, and lodged in the Lourre. She Treated them fami­liarly [Page 166] and as her Companions: she recreated her self with them in Prose and Verse; and the Sport never ended without some Present which clo­sed up the Cadence and Periods, and rendred the Stan [...]a's harmonious.

Concerning Courage which was her Predominant Vertue, and gave her a place in this Gallery, it appeared in France, Scotland, and England. In France she resisted Prosperity, and vanquished Excess and Pleasures, which some have conceived much harder to overcome then Grief and Afflictions. She preserved her self from the Corruptions of the Court, and from the un­wholsom blasts which are ingendred by ease, and which attend a plenti­full [...]ortune. She conserved her Innocence in Greatness: And what is little less then new Created Planets, she shewed much Modesty under a great Crown, and upon the highest Throne of the World a most eminent Devotion and a Consummated Piety.

But because Vertue happy and at ease, is in a continual Violence; and that violent things cannot last but by Miracle: God who made choice of this Princess, and would have her all entit [...], withdrew her out of Prospe­rity, which in length of time might have corrupted her; and delivered her up to Adversity, which Treated her as a Carver Treats Marble: And de­priving her sometimes of one thing, and sometimes of another, compleated the [...]igure of the Heroick Woman, which was yet but rough-drawn in her.

Being returned into Scotland, a Widow to Francis the Second, and to his Fortune; And her Youth, joyned with the Supplications of her People, and Reason of State, having obliged her once more to Marry; that which ought to have been her Support, proved the cause of her Ruine. Heresie imaged at the Zeal she bore to the Conservation of the Catholique Faith, cast Fire into the Royal House to make it pass more easily from thence in­to the Church. Calumny, Ambition, and Jealousie, prepared the Fuel for this Fire, and inkindled the Matter. But the good Queen having quenched it by her Prudence and Address; Heresie which sought to Reign by some one of its Faction, blew up the King her Husband by a Mine. Be­sides some endeavoured to blemish her with being the Contriver of this Fire and Mine: And they slandered her very Mourning; and made her guilty of her second Widowhood.

This Calumny proved a harsh Tryal to her: Yet it was but an Essay, and as it were an Advance of the Disorders and Mischiefs which ensued: And no Tragedy appears so Confused, as the life of this good Princess. All her days were marked with some Revolt and Conspiracy. They were Celeb [...]ous by some Combat or Flight. There was nothing wanting to her but a Crown of Martyrdom, and God gave it her in England, after a Conflict of nineteen years, rendred in several Prisons, and determined at last upon a Sca [...]old, which was more Glorious to her then the Thrones she had lost.

MORAL REFLECTION.

THis Picture moves Compassion, and is of great Example: There is much to Deplore, yet more to Imitate: And for the Instruction of eminent Fortunes, and the Consolation of mean Ones, Greatness is there Innocent and Unhappy. Mary Stewart conserved her Innocence under two Crowns: And in the Vastness of two Kingdoms, which she lost one after the other, she was much longer a Christian, and with more Constan­cy then a Queen.

On the one side this teacheth elevated Persons, that there is no Conditi­on estranged from God, nor any Fortune rejected by him, provided it be just. That the Unction which makes Kings and Queens, doth not ef­face that which Forms Saints and Holy Women: That Palaces and state­ly Mansions are not out of the Road of Heaven. That though Piety, Modesty and Patience reside not usually at Court, yet they are no stran­gers there: And that Vertue is more Perswasive and Exemplar upon a Throne, then in the Tub of the Cynick.

Likewise on the other side they should learn, from the Afflictions of this great Queen, to make less Account of Diadems which are torn in pie­ces, of Scepters which are broken, and of Thrones which tumble down, if never so little touch'd by Fortune, then of the Grace of God, which was a Purple Robe that remained to this devested Queen, an Unction which is not obscured in her Prison, nor effaced with her Blood: A Crown which cannot be taken off with the Head.

She was not only an Innocent and Vertuous, but an Unhappy and Perse­cuted Queen: And thereby she teacheth both Great & Rich Ladies, that there is no Quality Priviledged in this Life. The Purple of Soveraigns hath its Thornes, as well as that of Roses: Great Fortunes and great Structures have their Storms: Elevated Heads have their Tears, as Mountains have their Waters: And whatever Ambition makes us believe, the greatest Suf­ferers are not upon Wheels: They sit upon Thrones invironed with Ballisters.

In fine, the ill Rumors which have been spred of Mary Stewart, and the Insolence of Calumny, which hath disfigured her, teach those of her Sex and Condition, that no Vertue nor Crown is free from detraction. Dogs indeed bark against the Moon which is so pure: Frogs croak against the Sun which is so beneficial and resplendent. Monstrous Figures, and the names of Beasts have been imposed on the Vertues of [...]eaven: And there is no Illustrious Plane [...], which hath not been accused of some Crime. However they take no Revenge: And what stains soever are laid upon them: What Vapours soever arise to them from the Earth, they cease not to do good to the Impostors which dishonour them: they forbear not to inlighten the Earth which obscures them.

There are other Considerations to be made here upon the Providences of God; upon the Adversities of suffering Vertues and a [...]isted Innocence; [Page 168] upon the Blessings and Advantages of these Adversities. But these Consi­derations are too Important, and too useful to be shut up in so narrow a compass. They require more Leisure and Extent: And if whole Volumes should be imployed therein, I need not fear that the subsequent Question would be cast away.

MORAL QVESTION.
Whether Great Ladies in Prosperity, be not in a better Condi­tion then Those in Affliction.

IT is not only now adays that men finde something to alledge against the Works of God, and that his Providence hath need of an Apology. In all Times there have been Impious Censurers and Blaspheming Cri­ticks. who have sought out Defects in the Fairest Pieces of the World; and Disorder in the Conduct and Motions thereof. The greatest and most [...]nsupportable Disorder in the opinion of these conceited Men, is that which they observe in the distribution of the Blessings and Misfortunes of this Life. If we believe them in this Point, there is nothing but Trouble and [...]onfusion; nothing but unjust and irregular Hazards; nothing but tumul [...]u [...]ry and misplaced Fortunes. Hail fall [...]s equally upon the Harvest of the Good and Wicked: Thunder beats down Churches, and spares Place [...] of Debauchery Winds are not more propitious, nor the Sea more calm and favo [...]ble to Pilgrims of the Holy Sepulchre, then to those of [...]. And it often happens that a Turk escapes the same Rock upon which a Christian suffers Shipwrack. They adde hereunto, that Violence is always Rich and Honoured, and Integrity ever Necessitous and Despised. They discover under the Feet of Proud and Prodigal Rich men the Blood, Substance, and Livelihood of the Poor, which dye of Hunger. They shew the Places, and quote the Times where happy and Crowned Injustice made advantage of its Impiety, and Reigned with the contempt of God and Men: whilst Innocence, loaden with Chains, and Executed, ex­hibited upon a Scaffold a Spectacle of its own Dishonour and Punish­ment.

It is true that such Tragedies have been often seen: And lately also [...] produced one very like in the Person of Mary Stewart; England and Scotland [...] thereto with very different Passions: And France saw it [...] off with Sighs and Tears. The Picture of this History with which this Gallery is finished, gives me occasion to justifie here the Divine Pro­vidence in the Conduct of this Innocent Princess; to disclose to great La­dies under Affliction and Sufferance the Riches which are hidden in Tri­bulations; [Page 169] and to perswade them that they are more happy, and in a bet­ter condition in sufferance, then if they remained in a continued prosperity.

I suppose that it is more advantagious to Women, for whom I write, to be apparelled with Vertue then Vice: to be of the chosen number: Of those whom God particularly cherishes, and prepares to Glory; then to be left in the Crowd, without mark or degree, without right or pretence to the future: And I believe that I have reason to suppose it because I write not under the Law of the Al [...]oran, nor in the time of Fables: I write under the Law of the Gospel, and in the Age of Truth: And what I write will be read by Christian Women, and not by Sul [...]esses: It will be read by [...] and [...], by [...]; and not by Strat [...]nic [...]s, by Cl [...]opatra's, by Messa [...]s. Now Adversity is the proper state of Vertue, and Vertuous persons: It is the most commodious and favourable Treatment which God can use towards those precious Souls which he cherishes with Pater­nal Love, and which he hath withdrawn out of the Crowd. It is the Le­gal Ornament and preparation of that Righteousness which he requires in his Spouses. And these their Advantages of Adversity deserve at least that we should not cast an ill look upon it, if we have not a mind to cherish it: They will deserve that we should receive it with patience, if we have not the Courage to meet it, and rejoyce at its arrival.

First, it is certain that bad times are the most proper for Vertue: Her good seasons are produced by Hayl-storms and Wind, by War and Tem­pests: And if Adversity be not her Mother, she is at least her Nurse and Governess. You may see some smooth-faced, adjusted, and simpering Dame set out with holyed Grains and Chaplets; disguised with a con­strained Modesty, and with Tears squeezed out by force: And this dis­sembling Creature would have her self taken for Vertue. But you must not be mistaken in her, she is not Vertue: She is a counterfeit which would fain imitate her, but doth it unhandsomly; which Apes her, yet hath not one hair of her Head by which to resemble her. Vertue, as some imagine, is not an idle quality, and addicted to case: A habit made for shew, composed of Countenances. It is a laborious and active quality: It is a Warlike and Victorious habit: And wise men, to whom heretofore she appeared, never saw her unarmed; they never saw her but amidst Thorns, and upon Mountains: They conceived that her Pallace was built with shipwrackt pieces, with the remnants of burnt house, with great Oaks blacked and beaten down by storms of Thunder. She must be furnished then with Contrarieties, that she may labour; She must find resistance which may exercise her, and give force to the vigour of her action: And if she had no Adversity nor Adversaries; if all her hours were serene, and all her dayes, dayes of Peace, against whom would she offer Combat? In what season would she gain Victories? Upon what Title would she demand Crowns?

This concerns the generall duty of all sorts of Vertues; I say even of those which are only industrious; which only labour exteriourly, and in a Mechanick way; which are limited by Time and Matter. The Vertue of [Page 170] a Pilot hath its chief action amidst the tumult of turbulent Waves, and boysterous Winds; amidst the confusion of the melting Heavens, and the townng Seas. The Vertue of a Physitian, and of Drugs, express their force upon mutulated members, and wounds, through which the blood slides away with life. By the same reason a Wrastler is as no Wrastler at a Ta­ble [...] and a Souldier is as no Souldier at a Ball. The Vertue of them both must be assaulted. It requires Resistance and Adversaries: it is atchieved by Sweat and Dust, with Blood and Wounds.

It is the same with Moral Vertue, nay with Christian Vertue, which is of an Order transcending all the rest. Her condition is to labour and fight, to part with her blood, and to receive wounds. And if this condi­tion seem troublesome to her, she must remember, that in the list of this life the Prize and Acclamations of the Combat are not reserved for Spe­ctators; for those lazie persons Crowned with Flowers and Perfumes, who are content to look on quietly and at their ease. They are for those that fight Couragiously, who mingle their blood and sweat with the dust of the lists, who shew great Hearts and great Souls by great Wounds.

But Vertue is Innocent: And the wounds of the Innocent are more pain­full then those of the Culpable. Such persons as are wounded and over­come in the L [...]sts, such as endure Rain and Wind in the Trenches, such as leave their Arms and Legs upon a Breach, or in a pitcht Battle, are not Criminals drawn out of a Dungeon or a Gally. And after all, if Wounds do so much torment this innocent Vertue, she may lay down her Arms, and depart out of the Lists: She may also settle her self if she thinks good near to Voluptuousness; paint and adorn her self like her, take half of her Nosegayes and Perfumes; borrow her Looking glass and Fan. But this once done, she must no longer call her self Vertue, nor pretend to Glory, and her Crowns. Besides, Vertue never yet appeared effeminate, and vo­luptuous, nor painted or perfumed: And no person was ever seen to pretend to Glory, and run after her Crowns with a head covered over with painting, and loaden with Flowers, with a Fan in her hand, and a Looking glass at her Girdle.

Afflictions and Adversities are then the proper state of Vertue: as War is the proper season of a Souldier; as the Lists is the proper place for him who pretends to the Prize. And therefore let us no longer say that Inno­cent and Vertuous Women are unjustly afflicted: Let us no longer im­pute to hazzard and tumult, what is according to natural order, and placed in a just proportion. And let us learn once for all, that if Vertue be in her right place, when she is in Adversity: if she doth her duty when she suf­fers; Ladies who follow her freely, and in good earnest, cannot complain of their ill Treatment, when God obligeth them to the same duty, and or­dains them to remain in the same state.

On the contrary, he cannot afford them a more important tryall of his Love, not more efficaciously testifie that he hath the thoughts of Salvation, and the heart of a Father for them. Thereby he purifies and frees them from vitious superfluities: He deprives them of what adulterates and cor­rupts: [Page 171] He prepares them for Crowns, and the Inheritance of a Future Life. It is certain that there is no Vertue so pure, which hath not some stain: There is not any so sound, which hath not some part either infected or indisposed: And if this be true of Vertue, which saved her self in the Desert; which put off her shooes, and forsook with them the dirt and High ways at the foot of the Mountain: What will become of that Ver­tue which resides at Court and amongst the great Ones; which hath been nourished with a dangerous and corrupted Fortune; which hath Dome­stiques as much cryed down as Riches, as Scandalous and Debauch'd as Pleasures? Is it possible that she should be so sound, and have so good Pre­servatives as the Ayr of the Court cannot corrupt her? that she should suf­fer nothing from the Opinions and Customs of Men? that she should not be infected by the Contagion of Fortune? that Riches should not puff up her Heart and Head▪ that Pleasures should not beget in her Infirmity or Corruption? And if there be no Vertue so Vigorous, not Reason so well Fortified, which is able to resist so many things which spoil and corrupt; I ask of a Lady, what usage might be best for her in that state, and what choice she would make, if God had left it to her self? I hardly believe that she would choose to be given over by the Physitian. The Election would not be much better, then if she should make choice of a Precipice: the Dispute would not be about the End, but the way to it: And if she had rather perish by a Precipice, she cannot do it more certainly then by sick­ness. It remains then, that she put her self into the hands of the Physitian, and relye on him for the ordering of her Maladies and Wounds.

But she should be very ignorant, if she expected to be cured by him with divertisements▪ with leaving her to her ease, with making her laugh. Do the Maladies of the Body become obedient to such Remedies? Do they heal her wounds with Leaves of Roses, and the Oyl of [...]? Do they not proceed against them with Bitterness and Pain, with Irons and Fire? Nevertheless these Wounds remain only in the Superficies; and these Maladies are often caused by a grain of Sand which pains them, or by a drop of Humour slipt out of its place. And shall we likewise believe that Interiour and Spiritual Maladies; that voluntary and inveterate Wounds will be cured with Ragouts and Perfumes, that they will pass away at Play or at Table? Shall we believe that the Friendly and Domestick Pa [...] ­sions of the Soul, that Vices avowed by the Will, and habituated in the Heart will flie at the sound of Musick; will be chased away by the [...]n oak of a Persuming Pan? They will need bitter Potions and painful Incisi­ons: They will require Remedies of Iron and Fire: And these Reme­dies of Iron and Fire are the Adversities which God Ordains them; and which are profitably and successfully applyed to them by Patience. It is much better then, for Ladies to be Purged and Cured by Adversity, how distastful soever her Medicines may be, then if by an unfortunate Indul­gence they were abandoned to Contagious Prosperity, which would com­pleat their Corruption.

This so harsh Treatment, and painful in appearance, will be yet found [Page 172] more wholsom and beneficial; if we adde, that thereby they are prepared for the Wedding of the Lamb, and for the Crowns of the other Life. We are not received at this Feast with soul Garments, and hands fullied with d [...]t▪ And the fauest Head of the World which should have but one stain will never be Crownd there. It is necessary then for us to be purified be­fore we present our selves to this Feast: And those Souls doubtless are the most happy which arrive there perfectly cleansed. Besides that, they are not made to wait at the Gate, they have Purity here at a cheaper rate then in that Country. The fire of Adversity, what hand soever inkindles it, what winde soever blows it, is not by much so ardent as the Fire of Purga­tory: And we are better Treated by Tribulation, nay by the most severe and harsh can be imagined, then by these purifying Devils, which, as a Ho­ly Father saith, Act the same thing upon Souls, as Fullers do upon Stuffs which are put out to be Dyed.

This so entire and perfect Purity ought to be accompanied with all the Features of an exact and compleat Beauty: And this Beauty also ought to be Royallie endowed, and to have a large stock of Riches. Now the Beauty of a Soul, which is beloved of God, and his Holy Angels, is not formed with Paint and Plaister, with Silk and Flowers: She is framed by Maladies and Wounds: and her most delicate Painting ought to be com­posed both of Blood, Tears, and Ashes. The Beauty of St. Te [...]la was formed by Fire and the Claws of Lions: That of St. Apollo [...] by Flines, with which her teeth were broken: That of St. Cicil [...] by the boiling wa­ter of a Furnace: That of St Cath [...]rine by a Sword and a Wheel. And ge­nerally there is no Beauty in Heaven, which Adversity hath not made, and Patience adorned.

As for those Riches which should make up the Dowry of this Beauty; they are not the Fruit of a sweet Life, nor the Revenue of Pleasure and Pastime. The very Riches of the Earth; even those gross and Material Riches which belong to the lowest Story of the World, are Fruits of Ad­versity, and arrive to us from the Tribulations and Afflictions of Nature. Pearls and Coral are found in the Element of Tempests and Bitterness: Precious Stones are taken out of Precipices and Rocks: Gold and Silver are born Prisoners and in Dungeons: And if they be drawn out of their dark holes, it is to make them pass through Iron and Fire: it is to make them suffer all the Punishments of Criminals. Certainly, if Terrestrial and meer Imaginary Riches are the Fruits of Labour, and the Daughters of Adversity, it would not be Just, that the Riches of the Minde, which form the Great Saints of the Kingdom of God, and the quiet Possessors of Eternity should be the reward of Idleness, and the Heritage of De­lights. These Spiritual Riches then are the Inheritance and Revenue of Ad­versity: And consequently this harsh and Laborious Adversity is more Be­neficial to great Ladies then Prosperity, which stain's and infect's them; which sometimes even impoyson's, and strangles them.

Surely they would be very nice, if they did bear their good Fortune impatiently and with complaints: if they were wounded by their Orna­ments: [Page 173] if they groaned under the Matter of their Crowns. Since Adver­sity is sent them by the Bridegroom to prepare them for his Wedding; It is very just that at least so good an Office should make them rellish the rudeness of its Hands, and the severity of its Countenance. Surely they would weep with a very ill Grace, if they lamented that pressure which adornes them; Because it loads them with Gold and Jewels: because it pricks them by fastening on them Garlands and Crowns. They suffer in­deed the Fortune on their Heads, and the Rack on their Bodies; they ex­pose themselves to Iron and Fire to appear Beautiful in the eyes of men: And it would be truly a great shame that they should please God with less Trouble, and more at their Ease. But here is enough to justifie the Provi­dence of God; and to shew to Vertuous and Afflicted Ladies how high­ly they ought to esteem the Grace and Riches of Tribulation. It remains to confirm them by a second Example, which hath the same Features, and almost the same Colours as the first; and I hope it will have no less Force, nor prove less perswasive, though it be less fresh, and more remote from our sight.

EXAMPLE.
Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England.

IT is true, that Crowns are great Ornaments to Beautiful Heads. Never­theless they are Ornaments which Pain more then they Adorn. And I ve­ry much doubt that no Person would burthen himself with them, if their Thorns were visible. However their Thorns are not so well hid, but that some of their Points still appear: And besides the secret Rack, and In­teriour Crosses which great Fortunes endure; there are likewise Exteriour and Publick Ones, upon which by a particular Order of Divine Provi­dence they are Tormented in the sight of the World for the Instruction of the People, who are present at their Sufferings.

And in this Point the People ought to be advertised, that these Punish­ments of Great Persons are not always Ordained for great Crimes Riches are seen without Vice, as Gold without Brass. There are Great Persons, who like Great Planets have much Light, and very few Blemishes. And yet very often the Crosses of these Grandees are more harsh and heavy then those of Violent and Impious Rich Men; then those of Bloody and Tyrannical Great Ones. God Ordains it in this manner, as I said before, to prepare them for Crowns by Patience, and to leave unto Great Men un­der Persecution, and to Great Ladies under Affliction, Examples of their Rank, and Models of their Condition: And because there is an unmove­able [Page 172] [...] [Page 173] [...] [Page 174] Patience which suffers quietly and without Action; and a stirring and labor [...]ous Patience, which adds Action to Sufferance; it is just, that after the having given a Queen of Scotland for a President of the first, I should give a Queen of England for the second.

Margaret of [...] ▪ Daughter to Re [...] King of Sicily, was one of the most Ra [...]e and Perfect Princes [...]es of her Age: And her Perfections most Rare as they were received, not respected from adverse Fortune. She was descend­ed from the most eminent Race of the World. Reeds are not beaten down by Tempests, but the Branches of great Trees: She was one of the Fairest and most Spiritual. But the Planets which are so Beautiful and Governed by pure Spirits have their Defections and Eclipses: they are persecuted by Mists and dark Clouds, by Imprecations and Calumnies. She was Liberal and Beneficent. Is there any Bounty more lasting then that of Springs? more delated then that of Rivers? Is there a greater Inclination to do good then that of the [...]arth? And yet we see that stones are cast into pub­like Spring [...]; and that all sorts of Ordures are thrown into Rivers: We see that the [...]arth is beaten with Storms, trodden upon by Animals, torn up by men, impoverish'd and denuded once every year. There was no­thing then strange and against the course of the World in the Afflictions of [...]o Noble, so Beautiful, so Able, and Magnificent a Princess: and Fortune did nothing against Her, whereof she had not Publike Examples in Nature.

She was Married to Henry the Sixt King of England: and by this Mar­riage the Truce was continued between two Neighbors, the greatest Ene­mies in the whole World, the most jealous of each other. The poor Princess did not long enjoy the Repose she give to the Publike: and it hapned to her as to Victims, which bear the Sorrows of the People for whom they are Sacrificed. The Nuptials were Celebrated at Nancy with great Preparations of Car [...]ousels and Tournaments, according to the Mode of the [...] of that time, who were only acquainted with Valiant and Manly Delights; with Pastimes which equalled Battels, and produced [...] Victories. Wherein surely, to speak this by the way, they were more Cavaliers, and Men at Arms then those of our days, who know no other [...] then Racing, nor other Tournaments then Dancing, who have [...]ffeminated Magnificence, and taken away from Sports and Diver­ti [...]ements, all that they had of Noble and Military.

Margaret being passed into England, found not there the same Sweetness and Tranquility she had left in France. Not that she was one of those ill lodg [...]d Persons, who have always either Rain or Smoak in their Houses. And Her Marriage was none of those Tyrannical Yoaks and Torturing Chains, which a certain Person wished to his Enemy instead of a Gibbet and [...]alter. She enjoyed at Home a most pure Calm, and without Con­fusion: and her Marriage felt nothing Heavy or Incommodious. The King her Husband had all the Qualities of a good Man, and a good Prince: But being born under a very Contagious Constellation, and of a very Mal [...]volent Influence, the Queen his Wife failed not to he involved [Page 175] therein, and to have her share of the Poison and bad Fortune. She pa­tiently received all that fell upon her. Besides, she joyned Grace with Pa­tience: And being indu [...]d with a pleasing Humour and a Gallant Spirit, she made Answer to such as lamented her Condition, That having taken upon her Marriage Day the Rose of England, she ought to bear it intire, and with all its I horns.

Moreover King Henry had a great inclination to Repose, and no Aver­sion to Pleasure. The Mildness and Indifferency of his Spirit did not Correspond with the Functions of Regality, which required Courage and Resolution Noise and Stirs made him w [...]y his Head; and when things were in his own choice, he contented himself to have Ease and Repose for his part, and left to his Favourites and Ministers of State, the Authority with the Trouble, and Affairs with the Tumult.

This Soft and Slothful Life afflicted the Queen, who had a High and Active Spirit, Noble and Manly Thoughts; and a Head as Capable to fill a Crown as any Prince of Her Time. Not that she did not affect the Repose of her Husband, and wished him his Hearts Content. But her Love being Magnanimous, and of the Complection of her Heart, she would have rather liked in him a Glorious Activeness, and accompanied with Dignity, then this stupid Repose, and these mis-becoming Eases, which Dishonoured him. Truly this Prince, though otherwise good, was not beloved by his Subjects: And his Reputation bore the brunt of all the Faults of his Favourites and Ministers of State. The Revolt of the Grandees, the Seditions of the People, the Mutin [...]es of the Mayor of London (who was then a Popular Soveraign, and a King of the third E­state) and generally all the Disorders of his Kingdom were cloaked with this Pretence.

All these Commotions grieved the Queen: But they did not affright her▪ She hastned still with the first to the most wavering Places: and where Power and Authority might stop any Disorder. Her principal Effort was upon the Kings Spirit: ‘She continually represented to him, and with Pressing and Efficacious Terms, that the Repose of Kings consisted not in the softness of their Bed, but in the stability of their Thrones. That the Throne could not be secure, if Esteem and Authority do not Sup­port it: And that Esteem which ariseth from Action and Authority, which grows from Courage, are lost by Sloth and Softness: that Affairs are truly very ponderous; but that this Weight procures the Stability of Affairs: And that there could be nothing more Fickle and Tottering then a King, who discharges himself of all that lies heavy upon him. That it were to Act a very bad part, to play the Titul [...]r King; and to Reign by Agents and Deputies: That Authority Substituted, and out of its Place, is weak, and without vigour: And the Scepter which hath Force, and begets respect in the Hand of a Prince, is easily broken in the hands of a Subject, and Resembles a Scepter in a Play.’

These and other like Remonstrances, accompanied with the Eloquence of Beauty, and the Perswasion of Love, Fortified the Kings Spirit, and [Page 176] made him take a firm Resolution to Reign for the Future without a Substi­tute, and to Act of himself. He Resumed that Authority, which he had con [...]erred on his Uncle, H [...]p [...]y Duke of Glocester: And he called back all Affairs to his own Conduct: And thereby it appeared how Imploy­ments Protect those whom they burthen: And how Authority Supports and Settles those whom it Loads. The poor Duke of Glocester was no sooner put out of Office and Authority, but his Enemies, which be­fore did not so much as shake him, did now overthrow him: And with­in a short time after his [...]all, he was strangled in Prison by a Sudden and Illeg [...]l [...]cution.

The Faction of the White Rose, which could not endure the Odour of the [...]lower de [...]u [...]e, and beheld with regret a French Woman so absolute in England, [...]ailed not to charge her with the Contrivance of this Death. And [...]while after, the Danger of Richard Earl of Warwick, who was As­saulted neer London by the Kings Guards, and thrust into the T [...]ames, gave Occasion and Authority to this Calumny. ‘The [...]arl of Salisbury, his Fa­ther, and Richard Duke of York, Head of the White Rose, made there­upon several Manifests by Word of Mouth, and Published in the Coun­try and Cities, that this piece was devised by the Queen, who had un­dertaken to cut off the Arms of England, and to deprive it, with its best [...]lood, both of Strength and Spirit, to the end she might deliver it up to France. That she began not her Work amiss. And that if the end of the Enterprise should Correspond with the beginning; if the Great Ones did not look better to themselves, then the Duke of Glocester, and the Earl of Warwick had done, in a short time not one drop of good Blood, not one single Noble part would be left in the Body of the State.

The good Queen was very far from entring into these Tragical Thoughts: And though she truly wished Authority and Power to the King her Hus­band, yet she did not wish him such an Authority, as might be hated and la­mented, not s [...]ch a Power as might cause Desolation and Ruines. Besides, less was it in her Thoughts to procure the Destruction of that [...]ree upon which she her self was Grafted. And if she bore much Affection to the Stem of her Race which was in France, she had much more for its Flower and Fruit which were in England. She opposed nothing to these Rumors, but the voice of her own Conscience, which spake lowder then Calumny, and justified her before God, against the Impostures of Men.

Nevertheless Calumny found so much Matter prepared to take Fire; and blew so hotly, and effectually upon this Matter, as it grew into a great [...]lame, which was like to burn all England, if France had known how to entertain it, and make Advantage of this Occasion and Disorder. The Accident befallen the Earl of Warwick, and the new Authority of the Duke of Somerset, served for a Pretence to Ambition; and were the Spe­cious and Superficial Causes of the War. The Duke of York, accompa­nied by the Earl of Salisbury, and followed by all the Faction of the White Rose, raised a powerful Army; and ordered it to march directly to London. The King took the Field on his part, with the Party of the Red Rose, and [Page 177] with all the Forces he could draw together. The Battel was Fought at Northampton: And God who is not pleased that just Right should always prevail; and that Fortune should follow Vertue every where, permitted the Royal Army to be Defeated, and the King himself to be taken Priso­ner by the Rebels.

The Duke of York grown insolent by his Victory, brought him in Tri­umph to London, and caused him to be shut up in the Tower▪ Seeing him­self secured on that side, he put off his Mask of colourable Pretences, wherewith he began the War: And Represented to the Parliament the double Right his House and Fortune gave him to the Crown. Force in like Occasions is a powerful Piece, and Victory an Eloquent Advocate. However the Parliament yielded not wholly to Force and Victory: It respected the Vanquished Right; and durst not Degrade Majesty, though devested, and loaden with Chains. The Resolution of the Parliament was, that during the Life of Henry, the Duke should rest satisfied with the Title and Functions of Lieutenant General of the Kingdom; and that the Crown should pass by Succession to his Son▪ Edward Earl of Ma [...], to the Exclusion of the House of Lancaster.

A greater Affliction could not befall the Queen; she saw her Enemies upon the Throne, the King her Husband in Prison, and under the hands of an Executioner; the Prince her Son publikely Degraded, and Excluded from the Crown by a Solemn Decree. All that could have Supported her in this Revolution, was either fallen or tottering: And except her Cou­rage and Hopes, which Fortune was not able to cast down, there was nothing about her but Shipwrack'd pieces of a ruined Greatness. But afflict­ed Vertue doth not waste her self in outcryes and tearing her hair: She knows how to Discipline Affliction, and animate Grief: she knows how to set together broken pieces, and contest with Ruins.

The Couragious Queen made this use of it: And instead of exhausting her self by vain Complaints, and Superfluous Tears: Instead of Imputing her Mishap to the Planets, or accusing Fortune, she thought to overcome in Despite of the Planets and Fortune; and began to Levy new Troops. To supply the Defect of Money which she wanted, the grace of her Speech and Countenance served in lieu of Pay to the Souldiers: And this Honourable Payment left a sting in the most benummed Souls, and infu­sed Boldness into the most Fearful. Not believing that she might hand­somly commit to Lieutenants an Affair which concerned the Freedom of the King her Husband, and the Destiny of her House; she resolved to take part in the Danger, and attempt in Person against Fortune. She put her self then in the Head of her Army, and marched directly to York, where the Forces of the Enemy were Encamped.

England never saw an Army which had a more Beautiful Leader: No [...] did it ever see any one Fight with more Courage. The Duke of York, who Mustered above Ten thousand Men, perswading himself that he might purchase a young Queen at a cheap Rate, went to meet her against the ad­vice of his Commanders, and presently exposed the Business to a general [Page 178] Battel. It cannot be express'd what the Queen effected by the Greatness and Courage of her Words; by the fire of her Eyes, by the boldness of her Looks, and of her whole Person. She infused Courage, Ardour, and Impetuosity into her People: She seemed to give even Sense, Activity and Address to their Weapons. If Victory her self had Marched before them, in the Equipage and Lightnings which our Imagination ascribe to her, she could not have done more. The Rebels received a total Overthrow: The Duke of York taken with his Son, the Earl of Rutland, and the Earl of [...] passed through the hands of the Executioner. Their Heads were exposed upon the Walls of York on the point of three Spears; To the end the Example might make a greater shew, and be the more Famous; and that Rebellion might be instructed afar off, and with the more Terrour. A Crown of Paper begitting the Dukes Head, was the particular Mark and Punishment of his vain Pretensions.

This first Victory raised the Queens Heart without Impriding it: And the new Greatness she added to it, was a Solid and Modest Greatness; a Greatness of Designs, and Hopes, and no puffed up and vain-glorious Greatness. Not being able to think her self Victorious, as long as the King her Husband remained a Prisoner, she resolved to pass through all Dan­gers to break open his Prison, or expire at the Gate. This Resolution taken, she steers her course towards London: Meets the Earl of Warwick, who led a gallant Army, and augmented by the Defeat of the Earl of [...]: Couragiously Attaqu [...]s and Routs him, enters London, Crowned with two Victories: draws her Husband out of the Tower; and repla­ceth him upon the Throne with the general Applause of the People. Cer­tainly if there be no Victories so pleasing, as those which are blessed by the Unhappy; and whereat Captives rejoyce even in their Prisons, and [...] ­ [...]ons▪ surely it was with a sweet and pleasing Transport, that this Victori­ous Princess broke her Husbands Chains, drew him out of Prison, and replaced the Crown upon his Head. And whatever is said in order to the Glory of Ancient Triumphants, though they entred Rome with more Pomp and Tumult, yet certainly they did not enter with a more Pure or Lawful Joy, then that of Margaret when she entred the Tower of London.

But the Joy of this World hath wings as well as Fortune: And like her, rides much way, and lodges in few Places. Scarce was Henry well acquainted with Liberty and his new Kingdom; scarce was he replaced upon his Throne, when he understood that all the Thorns of the White [...] were not pluckt out▪ And that Edward Earl of March, Heir to the Ambi­tion of his Father the Duke of York, and Successor to his Enterprises, ad­vanced with a Powerful Army to finish what his Father had but rough­drawn▪ He was not advised to expect him, not to confide in the People of London, an uncertain & Cap [...]icious Monster which had too little Courage, and too many Heads: And he was induced to hope, that he should find bet­ter Terms from Fortune, then from so Inconstant and Wilde a Beast. He Marched forth accompanied by his Wife, the Duke of Somerset, and all the Body of his Party. And doubtless, if he had not made the more haste [Page 179] to get out, the least that could happen was to be shut up in the Tower of London, and to behold from thence the Coronation of his Rival, and the same Applauses which were before given him by all the People.

Edward himself, though newly Crowned, did not trust to the new Af­fection of this People; and did not believe himself sure of any thing, if he had not Fortune and Victory on his side▪ He followed Henry by long Marches: And Henry facing about, the Armies gave each other so rude and forcible a Shock, as Thirty thousand men fell on the Place. Henry being totally Defeated, saved himself in Scotland with the Queen: And the Queen whose Heart was still Armed and Couragious, passed over into France, from whence a while after, she returned into Scotland with two thousand Men, commanded by Brezel Seneschal of Normandy. Henry strengthened by this Succour, and that wherewith Scotland, his new Ally, furnished him, returned again into England, with more Right and Courage, then good Success. He was again Defeated by the Marquis of Montagne, who Commanded King Edwards Forces: And his Overthrow was so great, that the Queen was enforced to save her self in a Wood, with her Son the Prince of Wales.

The Event shewed, that Fortune expected her there to offer her an Af­front; Not being able to overcome her Honourably, and deprive her of Courage by a fair War, she undertook to dispossess her of it by the hands of a Murtherer: And peradventure she had been there Assassinated, if For­tune had not meant to sport yet longer with her, and reserve her for other Outrages. It was no novelty with her to Dispoil a poor Queen: It is her usual Pastime in all Countries, and at all times: And nothing is seen every where but Ransack't Kings; nothing but denuded Princes, nothing but Rich Men impoverished, who complain of her Robberies. But it hath not yet hapned that a King, much less a Queen, should be so unworthily Treated. Certain Villains, who found her in a by-corner, drawn by the Dignity of her Countenance, and the sparkling of her Jewels and Gar­ments, Robbed her with so little Compassion, and used such Brutish Violence towards her, that if any thing delivered her out of their Hands, it was the Quarrel which arose amongst them about the division of the Spoil.

Whilst they were fighting, the Queen whom all these frightful Faces, and so many naked Swords could neither Terrifie nor Amaze, took up the Prince her Son in her arms, and cast her self with him into the thickest part of the Forrest. Another was found there, whom evidently Fortune had placed in Ambush to do her more Injury, then all that she had already suffered. But the Grace: and Majesty, nay the Afflicted Graces, and half naked Majesty, were for this once more Powerful then Fortune. The Queen seeing him approach, advanced with a stedfast pace, and a Counte­nance of Authority; And presenting to him her Son, whom she carried, said to him in Soveraign Words, and with a Commanding [...]one: ‘Friend, receive from my hand the Son of thy King, and the Heir of the Kingdom; I give thee the whole State to be carryed with him: save [Page 180] them both from Rebellion and Fortune, which pursue them.’ She said no more; the Graces and Majesty spake the rest: And what is wonderfull, the Graces without Ornament, and Majesty without a Crown and Precious stones, humbled this Barbarous Fellow, and perswaded him that it was a Queen who spake to him. He took the little Prince into his Armes, and going before the Queen guided her so happily through by-ways, as he pre­sently brought her to the Sea side.

Truly this was a strange Game of Fortune, or to speak more Christian­ly, it was a pleasing Spectacle to Providence, to behold a Great Queen, Grand childe to so many Kings a Fugitive, half naked, and straying in a Forrest like a Vagabond; following on foot a Thief, who alone served for her Querries and Guards, who was all her Train and Court; and in this deplorable Condition, which begot pitty even in Barbarity it self, to conserve her Hopes and Resignation, and still bless Providence in whose [...]ight she had been Despoiled.

As soon as she came to the Sea shore, she put her self with her Son into a Fishermans Boat, which carried her to Sl [...]ce; from thence she passed in­to France and Lo [...]e And through all places where she passed, she was shewn to the People as a Celebrious May-game of Fortune, as a Rich piece of Shipwrack, as a great Head fallen off from a great Collossus. But though this great Head were fallen; yet it remained Entire. The Wind which threw it down, had only displaced it: And likewise after her Fall she kept the Dignity of her former Features, and the Majesty of her Coun­tenance.

Edward also feared her more thus Fugitive and Devested, as she was, then he did all the House of Lancaster, Supported by all Scotland, and by an en­tire Mo [...]e [...]e of England. She raised all the money she could in France; and repass'd the Sea under the Conduct of the Earl of Warwick, who Irritated by the Attempt Edward had made upon the Chastity of his Daughter, re­leased Henry out of that Prison into which he had cast himself, out of the Impatience he had to return into his Kingdom before his time, and in a disguised Habit.

This second Voyage of the poor Queen, was not more Fortunate then the first she Arrived not in England but to be present at the Defeat of her Son▪ and at the punishment of her Husband. Her Son was overthrown in his first Advance, and perished in the Battel of Te [...]xbury. Her Husband was strangled in the Tower of London, and had the Duke of Glacester for his Executioner. As for the Queen, Edward Confined her to a Prison, where her Courage and Constancy Acted their last Part, which was no less pain­full then the former, though done with less Noise, and in Repose: And it lasted till her Father King [...] sent fifty thousand Crowns for her Ran­som which set her at Liberty.

For my own part, I could not close this Gallery with the Picture of a more Gallant and Couragious, more Active and Patient, more Resplendent or Exemplar Vertue. You may finde Instruction there, both for Low and High Conditions, for Prosperous and Afflicted Fortunes, for Men as well [Page 181] as Women. Such as are upon the Earth, and in the Low Story of the World, will learn from hence to Content themselves with the Repose and Security of a mean Fortune, which is not subject to Agitations and Falls; and not to Affect Tumult and Storms which pass over their Heads. Such as remain in the high Region, will learn, not to make so great Account of an Embroide [...]ed and Tottering Greatness, exposed to Tempests and Preci­pices, Famous by its Shipwracks and Ruins. And when they shall per­ceive, that only Glittering things are subject to be broken, that elevated Ones are liable to Falls, and such as are swoln up, do only burst asunder; they will be affrighted with that which is the matter of their Vanity, and will apprehend their Splendor, Elevation, and Pride. Moreover Prospe­rous Fortunes are advertised hereby of their own Inconstancy and Frailty; and the Unhappy, of the Patience they ought to have, and of the Merits they may Acquire.

In fine, Men and Women of what Gold or Earth soever their Fortunes are Composed, and in what Story soever of the World they are lodged, ought to be instructed by this Example, that no Condition or lazy Vertue can be Priviledged in this Life: That the Carreer of Adversities is open to all sort of Persons: That Providence Assigns to every one the Rank and Function which is proper to him: That there is no Victory which is not preceded by some Combat; and that it is a very great shame, that Christians should endure so many Afflictions, and expose themselves to so many Dangers for a handfull of Flowers which last but a day; for a Perfume which is dispersed by the first blast of Wind; for a Crown of Glass which may break every moment: And that for Insatiable and endless Delights, and for a Solid and Eternal Glory, they should fear to endure but the pricking of a Thorne.

THE END.

A TABLE Of the Pictures, Morall Questions, and Examples.

The Gallant JEVVS.

D [...]ORAH Page 1. Her Elogy p. 5. Moral Question, Whe­ther Women be capable of Government? p. 7. Examples, Isabella [...] of Spain, Arch-Dutchess of the Low-Countries p. 9. Margaret of Au­stria, Dutchess of Parma, Governess of the Low-Countries p. 17.

JAEL p. 19. Her Elogy p. 22. Moral Question, Whether there were Infidelity on the Acti [...] of Jael? p. 24. Example, Jone of Beusort, Queen of Scotland, & Catharine Douglas p. 26.

JUDITH p. 29. Her Elogy p. 34. Moral Question, Concerning the choice which God hath made of Women for the preservation of States reduced to Extre­mity. p. 36. Example, Marulla of Scilimena p. 38.

SALOMONA p. 41. Her Elogy p. 46. Moral Question, Whether Re­ligion be the principal Vertue of a gal­lent Woman? p. 47. Example, Margaret Moore the Daughter of Sir Thomas Moore, Lord Chancelour of England p. 49.

MARIAMNE p. 53. Her Elogy p. 57. Moral Question, Why the most perfect Women be commonly the least Fortunate? p. 59. Example, Blanche of Bourbon, Queen of Castle p. 61.

The Gallant Barbarian Women.

PANTHEA p. 63. Her Elogy p. 68. Moral Question, Concerning the order which a gallant Woman ought to observe in Conjugal Love. p. 69. Ex­ample, Indegonda and Clotilda of France p. 72.

CAMMA p. 77. Her Elogy p. 81. Moral Question, Why Conjugal Love is more Faithful in Women th [...] in Men? p. 82. Example, Sanchia of Navar p. 85.

ARTEMISIA p. 91. Her Elogy p. 95. Moral Question, In what manner a gallant Woman should mourn, and what ought to be the Duties of her Widdow­bo [...]d? p. 96. Example, Blanche of Castile, Queen Regent of France p. 98.

MONIMA p. 103. Her Elogy p. 108. Moral Question, VVhether it apper­tains to the duty of a gallant VVoman to expose her life to satisfie the minde of a jealous Husband▪ p. 110. Example, the br [...]ve H [...]garian p. 112.

ZENO [...]IA p. 115. Her Elogy p. 120. Moral Question▪ Whether Women be capable of Military Vertues? p. 122. Ex­ample, Jone of Flanders, Cou [...]tes [...] of Mon [...]fort p. 125.

The Gallant Roman Women.

LUCRECIA p. 1. Her Elogy p. 7. Moral Question, Whether Chastity belongs to the honour of Her [...]sses and great Ladies? p. 8. Example, Gonde­berga of France, Queen of Lombar­dy p. 11.

CLOELIA p. 17. Her Elogy p. 23. Moral Question, VVhether the Vertue of VVomen [...]e as beneficial to the Publick as that of Man? p. 25. Example, Theo­delinda, Queen of Lombardy p. 29.

PORCIA p▪ 33. Her Elogy p. 38. Moral Question, VVhether VVomen be capable of an eminent Generosity? p. 39. Example, Francis Cezely the Lady of Ba [...]y p. 42.

ARRIA page 49. Her Elogy p. 55. [Page] Moral Question, Concerning the Duty of [...] Husbands, in the [...]ne of their Distresses and Misfortunes p▪ 58. Example, Jone Coello, VVife of Anthony Pe [...]ez, Secretary to Philip the [...] page 61.

PAULINA page 67. Her Elogy p▪ 72. Moral Question, Whether Women be capable of [...] Philosophy? p. 73. Ex­ample, Of Jane Gray of Suffolk, Queen of England p. 78.

The Gallant Christian Women.

THe French JUDITH p. 85. Her E­logy p▪ 91. Moral Question, Whe­ther more Resoluti [...]n and Courage be re­quired to make a Man Valiant, then to make a Woman Chaste [...] p. 93. Example, Blanche of Rossy p. 97.

ELEONOR of Castile, Princess of Wales p. 101. Her Elogy p. 107. Mo­ral Question, Whether it appertains to the Duty and Fidelity of Women, to ex­pose themselves to death for their Hus­bands? p. 106. Example, Margaret of Fo [...]xe, Dutchess of Elpernon p. 114.

The Maid of ORLEANS p. 119. Her Elogy p. 125. Moral Question, Whe­ther Women may pretend to Heroick Ver­tue? p▪ 127. Example, Isabella Queen of Castile p. 132.

The Victorious Captive p. 139. Her Elogy p. 145. Moral Question, Whe­ther an Heroick Transport be necessary to the Perfection of a Womans Chastity? p. 147. Example, The Chaste Venetian p. 152.

MARY STEWART p. 159. Her E­logy p. 165. Moral Question, Whe­ther great Ladies in Prosperity, be not in a better Condition, then those in Adversity? p. 168. Example, Margaret of Anjo [...], Queen of England pag. 173.

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