The praise of all women

Gosynhill, Edward

STC 12102
Ringler 12102 and TP 2142, also TP 1064 (titlepage verse). UMI microfilm reel 134

The prayse of all women, called mulierum pean
London: W. Myddylton,1542?.

Composition Date: 1542? [STC].

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¶The prayse of all women called Mulierum Pean. Uery fruytfull and delectable vnto all the reders.
¶Loke & rede who that can.
This boke is prayse to eche woman.

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WHat tyme the crabbe his course had past
And Phebus atteyned the Aquarye
The selfe-same time whan it frose fast
Amyddes the moneth of Ianuarye
5 I in my bedde, and slepe in myne eye
A sodeyne assemble before me dyd appere
And women they semed by abyte and chere.

A_wake they sayde, slepe nat so fast
Consyder our grefe, and howe we be blamed
10 And all by a boke, that lately is past
Whiche by reporte, by the was fyrst framed
The scole of women, none auctour named
In prynte it is passed, lewdely compyled
All women wherby be sore reuyled.

15 Consyder therin, thyne owne good name
Consyder also our infamye
Sende forth some other, contrary the same
For thyne and ours, bothe honestye
The Pean thou wrote, and lyeth the bye
20 Be quycke herein, prolonge nat thus
As thou woldest our fauour, nowe do for vs

¶Amongest all other, one baldely prest
Obey sayd she shalt thou be thou never so strong
Her male & her mantell, she threwe on my brest
25 For I am she sayd she, thou hast do most wronge
A_wake a_wake, thou slepest ouer_longe
Uenus am I cleped, my name shall nat be hyd
Nowe sharpen thy pen, and wryte as [I] the byd. I] a 1542, 1557

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Of trueth it is, wryte on quod she
30 The nature of man inclyneth to synne
Rather than vertue, and reason is why
Eche nature dothe ende, as it dothe begyn
Salte wyl be water, [though] none be therin though] thought 1542, 1557
The tre of the rote, dothe take his verdure
35 The fruyte wherby, is knowen swete or soure.

So at the begynnyng, where man had that vse
Of wyt and reason, to be ruled by
By_cause he offended, he made excuse
The faute allegynge, to the femynye
40 God to haue dysceyued, yf it wolde haue be
And as he tho, to lye begon
So to this daye, he holdeth on.

¶Of vs pore women customably
Without cause iust, to rayle and iest
45 No nature naturate, vnder the skye
Fysshe, fowle, worme, ne beest
But with theyr owne kynde, the[y] lyue at rest they] the 1542, 1557
Man of all other, of maners so rude
Can nat saye well by his symylytude.

50 A great abuse, and shamefully holde
Suche frowardnes, in hande to haue
The selfe-same thynge, whiche most they shulde
Laude and loue, it to depraue
And that of nede, whiche most they craue
55 So to improper, great foly it is
For in no wyse they may vs longe mys.

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Recorde the goodnes, of god almyghty
At the creacyon, whiche he began
Perceyuynge it coulde nat endure a_ryght
60 Without any helpe made to the man
Faciamus (sayde he) and made Eue than
The woman the man, to helpe and assyst
It foloweth therfore, we can nat be myst

¶Howe-be-it, ye men fast pore and prye
65 All that ye may vs women agayne
Nothynge lefte out, ye may come by
Of holy wrytte, nor th[a]t poetes do fayne that] thot 1542, that 1557
All is alledged as thynge certayne
And what that makes nat, for your purpose
70 Shall be interpretate, with a lewde glose.

Exemples many, faynt and feble
Mo than ye may well iustyfye
And saye it is a thynge impossyble
Any one good woman founde to be
75 Whiche euyll sayenge to ratyfye
A sence of Salomon ye aledge, which sayth
Mulierem fortem quis inueniet.

But as to that thou shalt nat tary
Lenger than nedes to make reporte
80 As at this tyme them to contrary
By any exemple, the nexte to retort
Taken an nowe of the lyuynge sorte
Contynue thy processe, tyll thou may espye
A place therfore more necessary.

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85 Howe shulde this worlde contynued be
Man I meane in his most nede
Were nat women, what were ye
Examples many, hereof may ye rede
And ouer that ye se in-dede
90 Howe by the vertue of the femynyne face
Myrth encreaseth, and thoughtes gyue place.

Exempled in Saule, whan he shulde fyght
Agaynst the armye phylystyne Pri. Re .xviii.
Had neyther herte, courage [n]e myght
95 Ne wyst nat what to do therin
With hongry thought hym-selfe to pyne
Had nat the woman hym counseyled and fed
For feare in that fury, Saule had be deed

¶Whan ye lye sycke and lyke to dye
100 Who then attendeth you vnto.
Were nat the woman, there myght ye lye
Donge in your denne, as bestes do
The woman is euer redy to go
For this and that to watche and wake
105 You to recouer many labours to take.

If that your fynger other hede ake
Or elles what ayleth you, hande or fote
There can no medycyne the payne aslake
Without the woman be your bote
110 Lappe you warme in clothes softe
A kercheyffe bonde vnto you hedde
And in her armes bere you to bedde.

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¶Nyght and day than must she wake
And redy be at the fyrst call
115 A culles or some caudel make
As for the sycke dothe best befall
Oneles the woman come withall
No man can get hym vp to sytte
Therof to taste morsell or bytte

120 Thus of the woman great pleasures ye haue
Whiche man to man can nat suffyce
And yet ye do vs all depraue
Sayenge we be neyther sadde ne wyse
And that no profyte by vs doth ryse
125 Where-as in trueth recorde I can
As many aryse as by the man.

A woman playne dyd fyrst inuent
All maner grayne to inne and sowe Oui. meth. li .v.
Ceres named by comune assent
130 And for her wysdome, the people dyd knowe
Honours diuyne they dyd her shewe
And as her merytes dyd than expresse
They named her the good goddesse.

¶And in lyke maner a woman founde
135 The letters fyrst that we nowe wryte Isido. li. i. ant .ix.
The A.B.C. as they do stande
Wherby we vse our myndes to endyte
One to another ful and perfyte
Carmenta called as I remembre
140 Mother vnto the famous Euander.

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Pallas the doughter of Iupyter
Through her entere and pured brayne
The goddesse named of the artyfycer
Of wolle and oyle, fyrst founde the vayne
145 For whiche inuencyon the story is playne
Preferred she was before Neptune
To gyue the name to Athenes towne. August. de ciuita lib .vii. & Oui. in fast. &c.

Soppho the poetresse dyd also fynde
With the harpe to synge the tune to wrest
150 Whiche greatly conforteth mannes mynde
With syghes of sorowe ouer_prest
Saule the kynge coulde neuer haue rest
Tyll Dauyd had harpyd a fytte or two i. Reg .xvi.
The malygne spryte, wolde nat hym fro.

155 ¶The Sybbilles .xii. dyd prophecy
The sone of god shulde man become
One of them shewed the mystery
Unto Octauyan in the sonne
Many is the yeres, that syth is ronne
160 And yet the churche dothe occupye
The selfe-same Sybbilles prophecye.

Hystoryes many I coulde forth lay
That maketh wel with the feminye
Of lyke sentence I dare well saye
165 And grounded on good auctoryte
Howe-be-it because that poetry
Is taken nowe in suche despyte
Of other reasons, I wyll thou wryte

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But fyrst this questyon, aske quod she
170 Demurely, and after a gentyl rate,
To whom be_holden more are ye
Unto the man that you begate
Or to the woman puerperate
I knowe no reason for your excuse
175 But that it shulde your-selues confuse.

As sone as the woman, dothe conceyue
Full dyuers is her appetyde
Bothe bely and hert dothe ryse and heu[e] heue] heuy 1542, heue 1557
The stomake seldome satysfyde
180 For many sondry meates prouyde
Longe for more than she may gete.
And many a sory morsell ete.

¶In case she may it nat optayne
Harde she escapeth with the lyfe
185 And in her labour suche is the payne
That as god knoweth the vrgent grefe
Without a gracyous prerogatyfe
Ware thynge, no doubte, impossyble
She shulde escape, and after haue hele.

190 And whan she is delyuered
Syke and wepe contynually
And as ye knowe but lytell consydered
With many a man, the more blame he
Who but the woman must keper be
195 Prouyde for euery ragge and cloute
And in her armes bere you aboute.

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In case the man suche labour shulde take
I meane to bere you to and fro
His arme[s] and shulders wolde so ake armes] armer 1542, armes 1557
200 That lame he wolde be of bothe-two
The sely woman hathe neuer do
What in her armes and in her lappe
Nyght and daye she must you wrappe

Lytell or nothynge may she rest
205 But alwayes besy you for to kepe
Aryse and fede you with her brest
And all to styll you whan ye wepe
Where of your-selfe, ye can scant crepe
She must be redy to gyue you pappe
210 From wynde & wether, you warme to lappe.

¶The man may lye and snowre full fast
Whan that the wyfe must watche and wake
Out of the bed her armes cast
The cradell to roke tyll they bothe ake
215 the babe also vnto her take
And whan he is vnclene beneth
Must be content with many yll breth

Shyfte hym ofte, wype and wesshe
Cloutes and clothes newe prepare
220 And be it harde or be it nesshe
[T]he woman must do a_way the ware The] She 1542, The 1557
Thus hathe the mother all the care
All the labour and dyssease
Where-as the father dothe what hym please.

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225 When that ye drawe nere ,xii. monethes olde
Than may the woman nother rest ne sytte
But eu[e]r dadle you in sure holde
Tyll tyme that ye haue founde your fyt
Her brestes ye tere with many a byt
230 And scratche also with your sharpe nayles
And yet the woman you neuer fayles.

¶Where-as the man wolde sure dysdayne
And be therwith impacyent
And peraduenture stryke agayne
235 Nother be eftsons so dylygent
If ons ye dyd hym dyscontent
For as ye se when hym myslyketh
The man dayly his chylderne stryketh

The mother tendreth them alway
240 And scant can suffer them in the wynde
Of them in doute bothe nyght and daye
Lest any male-chaunce shulde them blynde
Ought you nat then to the woman to be kynde
Howe-be-it ye haue no better sporte
245 Than of the woman euyll to reporte

Some saye the woman had no tonge
After that god had her create
Untyll the man toke leues longe
And put them vnder her palate
250 An aspyn-leffe of the dyuel he gatte
And for it moueth with euery wynde
They saye womens tongues be of lyke kynde.

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I saye the fable rehersed before
The trueth well knowen is but a lye
255 All the clerkes that euer were
Do wryte the same and testefye
That god made all-thynge parfetlye
Howe shulde the woman then tonge haue none
And be of goddes creacyon,

260 Because that Eue our prime parent
The wyll of god dyd ons transgresse
They blame all women in lyke consent
And make them-selfe alwayes fauteles
There be of women as of men doutles
265 All-be-it that dyuers haue offended
Yet ought nat all to be reprehended

¶All maner clothe is nat lyke fyne
Nor yet all men complexyoned lyke
Some more of colour, some more sanguyne
270 Some malancolye, some fleamatyke
Some longe and small, some shorte and thycke
Nat euery man of one compleccyon
Nor euery woman of one condycyon

Why shulde the woman then be blamed
275 More than the man, and he lyke bad
Me-thynkes ye ought to be ashamed
And also in conscyence sore adrade
In case that ye any conscyence had
Wytnes saynt Paule, it doth no man beseme
280 Worse of a nother than of hym-selfe to deme Ro .ii.

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¶Admytte that woman fyrste offended
The man persuadynge to transgres
A woman was she, the faute that amended
By meane of her great humblenes. Genises.
285 Of mannes restore the chefe foundres
Eue was she that made vs thrall
And Mary was she that loused all.

And ouer that in genesye
I fynde it wryten, that god dyd make
290 The woman for man an helpe to be
Nat of vyle erthe out of the lake
But of a rybbe that he dyd take
Out of the mannes ryght syde
And the woman made of thynge well tryde

295 Lyke as ye se by experyence
Golde forged of leade, yren and tynne
And is hym-selfe in his fyrst essens
No better than the matter he was fyrst in
And nowe more valued than man myne
300 Lyke so dyd god the femynyne
Plasmate of the masculyne.

¶Ye se also the ryche Rubies
And other stones of hye vertue
Set in golde at poynt deuyse
305 And in thynge of small value
In symblable wyse hym-selfe Iesu
Wolde of the woman incarnate be
Mayden and wyfe his mother Mary.

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And sythe that god the woman create
310 Of thynge thus pured, and nat the man
To the ende she shulde helpe hym algate
Of congruence it foloweth than
That in no wyse mysse ye can
The man (as who sayeth) is the adiectyue
315 And the woman is playne the substantyue.

For as wytnesseth the accidence
The adiectyue may nothyng do
Oneles it be vnder pretence
Of other substance put therto
320 The man in lyke effecte also
Without the wo[m]ans helpynge hande womans] wonans 1542, womans 1557
By hym-selfe may nat longe stande

¶Yf a man without womans consent
Myght haue redrest the fyrste offence
325 It had nat neded the omnipotent
To haue come hym-selfe to make the admendes
The woman was chosen by diuyne assence
To be through her humylyte
The well of our tranquilyty.

330 And who that lysteth the trueth to trye
Shall fynde in the Bible thorowe & thorowe
That god dyd fauoure the femynyne
Many tymes as well as you
And in the woman dyd of[t] renewe oft] of 1542, 1557
335 Agaynst all naturall dysposycyon
In steryll age parentall fruycyon.

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As fyrst in the boke of Genesye
Of Ioseph, Isaac, and Samuell
With other mo in places sondry
340 As of Sampson ye may fynde well
Lyke of the Sunamyte befell
The Bible rede and ye shall fynde
That these were borne past course of kynde. Ge .iii. i. Reg .i. Iudici .xiii. iiii. Reg .iiii.

¶And in lyke case Elyzabeth
345 The mother, of holy Iohan_Baptyst Luce .i.
Saynt Anne also as scrypture sayeth
Conceyued Mary mother of Chryst Math .i.
Mary also that man neuer wyst
Conceyued by grace both god and man
350 Mayden & mother bothe nowe and than

Thus haue ye sure certifycate
That god muche fauoureth the femyn kynde
Sythe he hym-selfe after suche rate
Tendreth in them the deuout mynde
355 And furthermore no doute I fynde
That god permytted man to make
Wonders many for the womans sake.

As fyrst we fynde by diuine spyracyon
Done by the prophet Helysye iiii. Reg iiii.
360 A lytell oyle and all by myracle
Made to encrease and multyply Ibedem.
And to his hostyes by prophesye
Gaue a chylde, and to the same wyfe
Restored he sone from deth to lyfe. Ibedem.

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365 Ouer that it may nat be nayde
Whan man had broken the precepte
Seynge hym-selfe so nakedly arayde
For shame amonge the leues he crepte
God hym called, he no fote stepte
370 But blamed the woman for his consent
To fortyfye his euyll entent his] his his 1542

But what sayde god, loke and rede
Maladicta terra in opere tuo Genes.
Cursed be the erthe thou dost on fede
375 And swete for thy lyuynge thou shalt also
Mynde had he none to call for grace tho
So where god made hym of erth or than
Yf he cursed the erth, he cursed man

¶So of the woman it can nat be sayde
380 For she of a rybbe was made before
But for she was so lyghtly betrayde
Penaunce she had, but nat so sore
Curst was she nat, howe-be-it euermore
God sayde in chyldynge whan she dyd lye
385 With sorowe her sede shu[l]de multyply. shulde] shusde 1542

That man was curst oft we rede
Besydes that I rehersed haue
As Chayn and Cham for theyr lewde dede
And those that the prophet dyd mocke & depraue Gene .9 .iiii. re .ii Tren .ii. et Mala .ii.
390 With other (no fewe) where-as god gaue
Many tymes vnto the woman
His blessynge as well as to the man.

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Thus all-thynge pondred in balance playne
God fauoureth alwayes the femynitye
395 We then to haue them in dysdayne
Standeth nat well with equytye
And who-so sayde the good rare be
I durst auenture my heed to lose
To proue he lyeth that maketh that glose.

400 ¶Thousandes or two I dare well say
Of them that yet here lyuyng be
In ful recorde forth bryng I may
And seke nat farre out of the countre
I coulde also manyfestly
405 Dyuers rehers and theyr names tell
The place assygnynge where they do dwell.

Howe-be-it as nowe it shal suffyce
[O]f them that gone be many yeres past Of] Nf 1542
Example to take and this treatyse
410 By theyr goodnes to make sure and fast
That none hereafter presume to cast
Fables forged of wylfull mynde.
Agaynst the deuout femynyne kynde.

Abraham maryed one Sarai Geneses xiiii.
415 A perfyte woman as other be mo
In worde and dede alwayes redy
To be obedyent hym vnto
God bad Abraham that he shu[l]de go shulde] shusde 1542
Out of the lande Cananye
420 In-to Egypt from his kyn nye

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Howe-be-it before he thyder came
In his conceyte thus waded he
Called his wyfe, and sayde good dame
One thynge I wyll thou do for me
425 By meane dere wyfe of thy beautye
I doubte yf thou be knowen my wyfe
That I perchaunce shall lose my lyfe.

Say therfore my suster thou arte
That I may fare the better for the
430 I shall (she sayd) with all my harte
And elles-what do, that ye byd me
To helpe you in necessyte
There shall no persone haue knowlege other
But that ye be my naturall brother

435 ¶So into Egypte whan that they came
Sarra was sent for to kynge Pharao
And for her sake was Abraham
The better take with frende and fo
Her brother she called hym. he bad her so
440 Howe-be-it god punysshed the people sore
Tyll Pharao of her had made restore.

And in lyke maner afterwarde Ge .xx.
When that he came to Geratye
Abraham the better farde
445 By reason of his wyfe Saray
God lykewyse punyished greuously
So that the kynge Abymalech
Gaue hym his wyfe with a sore cheke.

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Lyke case befell with Isaac
450 And Rebecca his trusty wyfe
Whiche in lykewyse dyd her forsake
And all for to enlength his lyfe
The woman was his prerogatyfe
Howe saye ye nowe by your lewde fable
455 Were nat these women profytable.

God preserued Sarra twyse
And ons Rebacca gracyously
In case that they had done amys
It had be longe of the man suerly
460 God wolde there shulde be no suche foly
In the woman yf ye marke well
Recorde Saara the doughter of Raguel.

To seuen dyuers maryed was she
And alwayes mayden arose them fro Thobi .vi. & .iii.
465 Because the man wolde by and by
Hys carnall lust with her haue do
No reuerence gyuen the sacrament vnto
At nyght the deuyll was there alwaye
And strangled them before the daye.

470 Preserued was the femynyne
Bycause she was so vertuous
Strangled were the masculyne
Because they were so vycyous
Sodome and Gomore, the lecherous
475 In brymstone we rede dothe boyle & bran Ge .xx.
For the myslyuynge of the man

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The doughter of Jacob amyable Dyne
For the foule rape vpon her done
Her bretherne two brought to ruyne
480 The cyte and slewe the masculyne echon[e] Letters defective here and in the next lineGeneses xxxiii. Geneses xxxiii.
Emmor the father and Sychem the son[e]
God wolde they shulde suche reuel make
And on the men suche vengeaunce take

Of Dauyd the doughter fayre Thamar
485 Whom her owne brother Amon by name ii. Reg .xiii.
Faynynge hym sicke and she nat ware
Agaynst her wyll, she nat to blame
Unlawfully vsed to his owne shame
Longe-tyme bewayled her euyll chaunce
490 In token playne she toke repentaunce

¶Because Raab dyd them defende
From Iosue sent to Ierico Iosue .ii
Holy wryte dothe her commende
And iustyfye her lyfe also
495 Mary_magdalyne another of tho Luce .vii.
For her great fayth and contrycyon
Of all her crymes she had remyssyon

Wherby apereth playne and euydent
What grace is gyuen the femynyne
500 For small offence so sore to repent
Recorded in Thamer and in Dyne
Where stubberne and styffe is the masculyne
Adam to wytnes whiche had no grace
Mercy to aske for his trespace.

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505 And furthermore admyt the case
That many women haue sore offended
And thousandes mo done well ofte hase
Shulde all the name be dyscommended
Bycause the best nombre be reprehended
510 If that shulde be reporte me then
What myght be spoken of the men

¶Large be the volumes in euery nacyon
For euer in cronycle to remayne
Yf ye perceyue, and note the fasshyon
515 Euydens ynoughe ye shall haue playne
Agaynst one woman, men twayne
Ye twenty I dare auowe doubtles
Whiche be improued for theyr lewdenes

In token that man shulde be content
520 His wyfe to loue especyally
Abraham had strayte commaundement Genesis xxi
To folowe the mynde of Sarai
And so expulsed by and by
Agar his harlot out of hys house
525 Agaynst her maystres presumptuous.

Howe-be-it because of repentaunce
For none example of lyke foly
God dyd accept her meke pe[n]aunce
And quyte for_gaue her by and by
530 The aungell was sent and bad her hye
Home agayne and knowe her dame
And god wolde multyply her fame.

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Agayne she came, her maysters content Ibidem.
And bare Abraham one Ismaell
535 Which passynge all other was more feruent
And passynge reason more cruell
Than euer yet ye harde of tell
His lyfe durynge to warre he was mouyd
He loued no man, nor none hym loued.

540 So can be nat rede of any woman
Namely in wryttyng autentycall
To be so cruell as was this man
At warre to be with one and all
O that ye men can fyght and braule
545 And kyll eche other comenly
Whiche is nat sene in the femynyne.

¶Howe-be-it there is founde in holy wryt
That some women haue done lyke case
Nat to them-selfe but marked to it
550 Of god onely, by specyall grace
Suche dedes marcyall to brynge to passe
That man myght nat Iudyth to wytnes Iudith .xiii.
Whiche slewe alone myghty Holofernes.

And in lyke case of Delbora
555 Whom god electe his prophete to be
The deth to declare of Sisara
Where and whan to sygnyfye Iudic .iiii.
And gaue her also more specyally
Knowlege in many other cause
560 And made her iudge ouer the lawse,

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At mount_Thabor as sh[e] dyd tell Iudic .v.
This captayne dyscomfet fled out of the thronge
The wyfe of Abner named Iahel
Sisara slewe lyenge a_longe
565 God strengthed the woman & the laude strong
Unto the femynyne lesse and more
And to the man no prayse therfore.

Abymalech that ferefull kynge ii. re .xi
At syege lyenge before Thebes
570 A stone that on the wall dyd hynge
A woman threwe into the prease
And on the heed hyt hym doubtles
Slewe him starke, and so therby
The syege gaue ouer, this is no lye

575 Who was the cause that Abela
Was nat by Ioab beaten downe ii. re .xi.
Who kept the deed but good Raspha
The woman onely dyd saue the towne
And for her dede, ought haue renowne
580 I me reporte, nowe howe saye ye
Be nat the women prayse-worthye.

Sythe god them marked gracyously
Unto these deades before specyfyde ii. Reg .xxi.
It can nat be layde to them playnly
585 Neyther of malyce ne yet of pryde
For synguler wysdome in the[m] tryde them] then 1542, 1557
God preferred the woman than
Suche thynges to do before the man

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¶Of synguler wysdome note quene Hester Hester .vii.
590 The kynge her husbande whiche dyd pacyfye
Where Aman the wretche dyd moue Assuer
Uengeaunce to haue taken on Mardochye
And the Iewes to haue slayne generally
With pety & wysdome she dealed so than
595 That she sauyd the Iewes and hanged Aman.

Of thousand thousandes there was nat one
Unto Ioab the woman sent
That coulde procure for Absolon
A f[y]nall peace with his parent fynall] fenall 1542, 1557
600 Dauyd the kynge dyd sone consent
At the womans request the Bible to recorde ii. Reg .xix.
To call his sone home and be his good lorde.

The prophet also called Nathan
Of counseyle preuy with his souerayne
605 Perceyued well theyr myght no man
Of his full mynde Dauyd refrayne
But Adonyas shulde be kynge and raygne iii. Re .i.
Sent Barsabe to hym forth-on
And she obtayned for Salomon.

610 ¶And further where-as the Egypcyan kynge
Agaynst the Hebrewes sore moued was Exo .i.
Bycause he se theyr encrease and sprynge
Aduaunsed moche in euery place
Commaundement gaue for any case
615 The mydwyues of the Hebrean lyne
To kyll and slee all masculy[n]e.

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And this we rede in places two
But god wolde nat the excercyse Ibedem.
So that the woman wolde it nat do
620 But made excuse, after this wyse
Abhorringe the shamfull enterpryse
And sayde the Hebreans, in theyr nedes
Can helpe them-selfe and do suche dedes.

Aboute whiche tyme holy Moyses
625 Into this worlde was brought & borne Exo .ii.
Thre monethes kept in secretnes
Magre Pharao, thoughe he had sworne
In a ve[ss]ele of russhes, to haue be lorne vessele] veele 1542, 1557
Cast in the water, to synke or to swyme
630 Redy was the woman, & she saued him.

¶The doughter of Pharao fered nat
Compassyon her moued inwardely
Herynge hym crye, and se hym flote
Commaunded her maydens that wasshed her by
635 A norse to get, and moderly
She hym adopte to be her sonne
God wolde haue thus, by the woman done.

The prophete also good Hely
Unto the woman from god was sent iii. Reg .xvii.
640 Because Galaad and Samary
No moysture had from the fyrmament
And [w]axeth stone-drye, for punysshement waxeth] caxeth 1542, careth 1557
The wydowe of Sarapt, the prophete fedde
Or elles parchaunce he had ben deed.

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645 And in lykewyse the Sunamyte
Moued her husbande besylye
And in conclusyon optayned it
A place to make for Helysye iiii. Re .iiii.
The prophete of god, necessarye
650 Thus holped they him, in an habitacle
After the latyn called a cenacle.

Who was the cause that duke Naaman
Was helyd of his foule lypperye iiii. re .v
No doute the fayre yonge woman
655 Taken with the robbers of Syrye
Because she spake and praysed Helysye
The kynge sent Naaman into Israell
Where in shorte space he had his heel.

¶Who was the fyrst I praye you who
660 That praysed god for vyctorye
After that drent was Pharao Exodi.
Loke in the boke of Exodye
And ye shall fynde it was Mary
Mary the syster of Aaron
665 With sounde of tympane she played vpon.

What tyme Dauyd, the gloriouse kynge
Aged sore a[n]d febled fast
A vyrgyn toke a tendre thynge iii. Re .i.
For no synne, but for he dyd wast
670 Preserued therby, tyll at the last
By very course of naturall kynde
The soule to god he vp resynde.

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Where yonge Abya meke and feble
Had layne longe seke contynually Ibidem .xiiii.
675 To knowe yf it were possyble
He shulde recouer or elles dye
The woman was sent this [is] no lye is] 1542, 1557 omit
The wyfe I meane of Ieroboas
Into Sylo was sent to Ahyas.

680 ¶I praye you who dyd fyrst dyscrye
The euyll entent of Achytophel?
The mayden escryed the conspyracye
Wherby the kynge escaped paryll ii. Reg .xvii.
Ionathan and Achymaas she dyd it tell
685 For had it nat be shortly knowen
Kynge Dauid had ben all to_hewen.

To whom I praye you dyd Selysye
Declare the derth that shulde ensewe
To the man or the woman howe saye ye
690 If that ye can, disclose it nowe?
The woman it was that fyrst it knowe iiii Reg viii.
She tolde her husbande as a kynde wyfe
Wherby at lenght she saued his lyfe.

Who but the woman of Bahurye
695 Saued the lyfe of Ionathas? ii Reg .xvii
If Absalon myght haue come hym by
He neuer had sene Dauid in the face
Neyther his compere Achymaas
A cursed bo[y]e dyd them discrye boye] bowe 1542, 1557
700 A blessed woman kept them secrye.

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Had nat ben Abygall
The gentle wyfe of the churle Nabal i. Reg .xxv.
Dauyd had folowed his othe and wyll
And lefte hym nat one great ne small
705 Upon the morowe to haue pyst on the wall
She sent him vytayle, and went also
And made hym his frende, that erst was his fo.

And as I remembre good Iosabeth
Doughter vnto the kynge Ioram iiii. Re .xi.
710 Yonge Ioas saued from the deth
Sonne and heyre of Ochezyam
Where Athalta than wylfully came
Entendynge to haue slayne without pytye
All the kynges progenye.

715 ¶What tyme the myghty Galadit Iudi .xi.
Iepte clepyd by name as I fynde
Agaynst the Amonytes shulde fyght
On god he called with mouth and mynde
And sayde good god my-selfe I bynde
720 Yf I preuayle to offre to the
The fyrste that I mete after vyctorye.

Saue one doughter no chylde he had
Whiche whan he came the batyil from
In token that she was of hym glad
725 Her father mette, and welcomed home
An instrument she playde vpon
His vowe remembred than syghed he
Sayenge doughter wo is me for the.

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Answere she made meke and demure
730 Be nothynge heuy father for me
That you haue promysed kepe it sure
And it to fulfyll I am redye
So had nat than the woman be
The man had chaunged parchaunce his entent
735 And falsed his promys, syth he dyd repent.

¶The deuoute mother of one Mychye
Of promyse iust a myrrour fyt Iudic .xvii.
Dothe shewe that women constant be
And from theyr behestes loth to flye
740 The money that she to god behyt
Sent by her sonne to the golde-smyth
Therof to make Sculptile quid.

Many and dyuers other there be
Of whom the man example may take
745 As of god Ruth and Neomy Ruth .i.
Of her that nother wolde god forsake
Nother ye[t] consent ydolatrye to make yet] ye 1542, 1557
But strenghtned her sonnes in nombre seuen
To dye for the lawes of god of heuen. ii. Machab .vii

750 Great is the prayse of the aunceent
Unto this daye had in memorye
For theyr hye vertues excellent iii Reg .xxii.
As fayth, wysdome, and mere pytye Luce .ii. iii. re .x.
With fortitude in aduersytye
755 To wytnes the profytes Solda and Anne
With Saba the quene, to Solomon that came.

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The testament newe allso telleth me
After that Chryst these wordes had sayde Marce .xvi.
Hely Hely lamazabacani
760 That fayth in man was clere deceyde Luc .ii.
In Mary his mother, bothe wyfe and mayde
It neuer fayled, for the femynyne Ioh .xx.
In Thomas it fayled for the masculyne.

Before also ye shall well fynde
765 The woman was euer prompt and redye
With hole herte and deuoute mynde
Of Chri[s]tes byrth to belyue the mysterye Christes] Chrites 1542Luce .i. Luce .i.
Where-as the [man], olde Zacharye man] woman 1542, 1557
Blamed of the Angell, lost his syght
770 Elysabeth him knowleged, euyn furth-ryght.

¶Great was the loue of the femynyne
Durynge the daungeour of his passyon Ioh .xx.
Recorde therin good Magdalyne
Whiche neuer backed, but folowed on
775 Where his disciples were fled and gone
Oft the sepulcre she dyd vysyt
And longe there wepynge wolde she syt.

She with his compers Maries two Marce .xvi.
Salomye and Iacobye with oyles pure
780 For synguler loue they bare him to
Sought hym layde in sepulture
Supposynge theyr oyntementes shulde him recure
For well the rekenynge by his sayenge playne
He wolde reuyue, shortely agayne.

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785 God hym-selfe prayse to her gaue
At table syttynge for the oyle she spende
And openly the men dyd depraue Luc .xxi
Sayde pore haue ye daylye, but I must wende
Her also except he, in mytes that dyd sende
790 In Gazaphilacum, before the ryche man
And Martha lykewyse, that called him goddes sonne.

Was nat she playnly full of grace Acte .ix.
Thabita the wydowe the pore that fed
Whom Peter by prayer reuyued hase
795 To lyue agayne were she was ded
And she also that nature ledde iii re .iii.
Rather her chylde quycke to for_go
Than Salomon shulde part hym in two

The wyfe of Pylate dyd pytye more
800 The turnement of our Sauyoure
Than all the men that than there were
The scrybes and the pharisys to there powre Luc .xxi
The workes of Chryst blasphemyd eche houre
The woman present sayde I make you ware
805 Blessed be the bely that the bare.

¶Whan he arose, this is clere Math .xxvii. xxviii.
[To] whom apered he, I praye you fyrst To] Tho 1542, 1557
Sure for ought that I can here
To women two, or any man wyst
810 To her that hym with her brest nurst
To Mary_Magdalyne, and bad her go Ioh .xx.
And his apostles tell it to.

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Seldome I fynde that Chryste dyd blame Luc .viii
Any one woman properly
815 Or that any woman so fare past shame
So lytle to set our sauyour by
As Peter did Chryst to denye Luc .vii.
Chryst blamed Peter, nowe and than
For lacke of fayth, and called hym Sathan.

820 And where Scribes malycyouslye
Brought vnto him adulteram
The woman he saued, gratiouslye
Wrote in the dust, to the mennes shame
Do no more women, sayde he the same Iohan .viii.
825 Nowe tell me playne yf ye so can
Dyd he euer lyke myracle for any man.

¶The woman also of Cananye
Whose doughter possest was of a deuyll
Seased nat on Chryst to crye
830 Her doughter to hele of that sore yuyll Math .xv.
Chryst herde her well, and helde him styll
To the ende all men, myght notyfye
What fayth was in the femynye.

The man he blamed of Ipocrysye Iohan .xiii.
835 And also vpon the Saboth day
Helyd the woman gracyouslye
Eyghtene yeres longe that sore syke laye
And mekely dyd the Samaritane praye
Water to drawe hym out of the stone Iohan .iiii.
840 Where-of the man he asked none.

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And also at the womans request
Bycause they lacked necessarye Iohan .ii.
Turned water to wyne at the feast
Kept in Cana_Galylye
845 At the instaunce of Martha or Mary
He raysed Lazar hole and sounde
Foure dayes buryed vnder-grounde.

¶Where-as he wepte full tenderly Ioh .xi.
To the woman that hym ofte fed
850 Martha the one the other Mary
Wepe and bywayle theyr brother deed
As far forth yet as euer I rede
I can nat fynde that he dyd make
Any lyke sorowe for the mannes sake.

855 And ouer that the treuth dothe proue
The sayenge of Luke who-so well wayth Luce .viii.
It was a very sclender loue
And a lesse token of any fayth
In the man the Euangelyst sayth
860 In Iudas by name his mayster that solde
With a false kysse and thyrty pens golde.

¶Thus may ye see by holy wryt
That women be no cast-awayes
Neyther they that lyue as yet
865 Nor those that were in the auncyent dayes
Proued I haue who-so denayes
For more wytnes I shal reporte
Of later tyme and so be shorte.

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The churche mylytant dothe ones yerely
870 A_leuen thousande vyrgins halowe in one
So many of men I can nat espye
Sythe tyme the worlde fyrst begon
All-be-it they were nat women echone
Yet for the woman was pryncypall
875 Lyke name is gyuen vnto them all.

I rede of seuen slepynge men
And also of .iiii. coronate
Nowe two and thre, of thousandes ten
Of one alone with his associate
880 Of forte knyghtes martyryzate
But of a .xi. thousande neuer
Coulde I fynde as yet togyther.

¶All-be-it there be of the infant state
Of innocentes I meane many one
885 Yet haue these vyrgyns immaculate
If any comparyson may be therto
More mede of god, I suppose so
These vyrgi[n]s for god dyed wyllyngly
The infantes by force and knewe nat why

890 Moche other thynges aledged myght be
Auctorysed by holy wryt
Besydes muche more in poyetrye
In sondry metyrs craftely knyt
Which onely I pur[po]se to omyt purpose] purse 1542, purpose 1557
895 Oneles it be of two or of thre
To wrytte them all it wyll nat be

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¶As fyrst of Lucres the noble wyfe Ouid. in fast. li. primi. August. de ci. li.
A myrrour to all other of goostly fame
Whiche wylfully with a small knyfe
900 Slewe her-selfe in auoydynge shame
And therby saued her olde good name
What tyme Tarquyne newe made kynge
Had her forlayne, she nat wyllynge.

Where Rome besyeged was about
905 By Coriolane then exulate Valar. li. primo
So that no man durst ons pere out
For fere of lesynge of his pate
Ueturia badde open the gate
Her armes cast crosse, her heer to_rent
910 Most wofully forth thus she went.

Large were the teres that from her eyes ran
Her brestes before hym when she dysplayde
Beholde she sayde thou vnkynde man
Thy natural mother thus wretche[d]ly arayde wretchedly] wretchely 1542, 1557
915 Nature shulde moue the, though wyll denayde
To warre with other than thy natyfe countre
Peace sayde he mother so shall it be.

¶Whose acte to be had in memorye
A lawe forthwith the Romyanes let make
920 From that daye forwarde to the femynyne
Eche man shulde bowe for Ueturys sake
Graunted also that the woman myght take
To her attyre broche, owche, or rynge
Ueluet purple or any other thynge.

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925 Where-as before through quene Uasthye Hester .i
All honour was take the woman fro
By reason of her obstynacye
In dysobeyinge kynge Assuero
Nowe was restored with moche more to
930 Many men saued that myght haue ben slay[n]e
And the cytie set franke fre agayne.

Whan Portia harde that Brute was deed Mart. li. i. epigre
Lenger to lyue no houre thought she
Ete brennynge coles as fast as breed
935 Bycause she coulde no knyfe come by
In moche lyke case Penelope Ouid. eplar. li. primo.
To put of weddynge tyll Ulyxes came home
Untwyned at nyght that in the daye she spone.

¶And as it cometh vnto my mynde
940 Of one hystorye catholycall
Whiche almost clene was lefte behynde
As nothynge worthy memoryall Daniel .xiii.
That one remembred conclude I shall
The hystory I meane of good Susan
945 Falsly accused by the man.

Attempt she was of rybaldes two
With them to haue dealed, she nolde consent
They her accused, and sayde she had ado
With a yonge man, and shulde be brent
950 God knowe the woman innocent
And caused the infant Danyell
To speke to the people and the treuth tell.

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A babe to speke was a straunge maruell
The people assembled on euery syde
955 The tales bothe varyed that they dyd tell
Wherby it was knowen the rybaldes lyde
The woman saued and the treuth tryde
Her false accusars by comen assent
To dye forthwith had iust iudgement.

960 ¶Whiche thynges remembred with other mo
That myght parchaunce enlarge this boke
Estates comenly where I go
Trust theyr wyues to ouer_loke
Baker, brewer, butler, and coke
965 With other all, man medleth no whytte
Bycause the woman hathe quycker wytte.

My lady must receyue and paye
And euery man in his offyce controll
And to eche cause gyue ye and nay
970 Bargayne and bye and set all sole
By indenture other by court roll
My lady must ordre thus all-thynge
Or small shal be the mannes wynnynge

A further profe herein as yet
975 By comune reporte we here eche day
The chylde is praysed for his mother wytte
For the fathers condycions depraued alway
And ouer that your-selfe wyll saye
Surgeons aduauntage, by women small
980 Bycause they be no fyghters at all.

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¶An ende therfore herof to make
Me-thynkes these men do nothynge well
So wylfully to bragge and crake
And agaynst all women so to geuell
985 And yet who-so that lengest dothe reuell
And this boke redeth I knowe playnly
Shall saye: or be shamed, tonge I lye.


The authour.

GO forthe lytell boke god be thy spede
O[r]dre thy-selfe accordyngly Ordre] Oodre 1542, Ordre 1557
Set nought by hym that dothe the rede
In case he warble the to denye
5 Nat one so good but he hath an enemye
Hyde nat thy face for a proude crake
Let hym be knowen that dyd the make

¶Go forthe queckely with pase demure
Of one prerogatyue sure thou arte
10 Set for to be in hye honour
In myddes of the hole femynyne herte
Nexte god they wyll all take thy parte
Hyll the with sylke and lymme the with golde
Nowe passe on thy way thou mayst be bolde.

15 Glory be thy garment so worthy thou arte
Of syluer thy claspes, and of fyne golde
So true is thy processe in euery parte
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In the hye Ierarchye thou may be enrolde
None other lyke the that euer was solde
20 Hyghest of all other in trueth is thy dytye
Lygth where thou shalte nowe farewell from me.

Yf question be moued who is thyne authour
Be nat addrad to vtter his name
Say Edwarde_Gosynhyll toke the labour
25 For womanhede the for to frame
Call hym thyne authour, do nat asshame
Thankes lokes he none for, yet wold he be glad
A staffe to stande by that all women had.
Thus endeth this frutfull treatese of the prease of women called Mulierum Pean. Imprynted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of the George by me Wyllyam_Myddylton.
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