A booke called the Foundacion of Rhetorike - Part 19

Part 19

The women of Scithia, abhorryng the G.o.dly conuersa- cion of mariage, with their housbandes, lefte theim, who in tyme ware so mightie, that thei repelled theim by force: thei called mariage not Matrimonie, but bondage. For, the chro- nicles doe testifie, thei became conquerours ouer many kyn- ges, all Asia obaied them: thei did builde many a great citee, and for theire successe, thei might compare with many prin- [Sidenote: The life of the Amazo- nes.]

ces. These women were called Amazones afterwarde, the order of their life was this, ones in the yere thei would en- ioye the compainie of a man: if it so were that thei had a man childe, the father to haue it, if a daughter, then thei possessed her, and foorthwith burned her right pappe: for thei were all Archers, and wonderfully excelled therein, but in the ende, [Sidenote: Thalestris.]

thei came all to ruine. One of them, Thalestris their Quene in the tyme of Alexander the Greate, came to Alexander, thinkyng that he had been, some monstrous man of stature: [Fol. lvj.v]

[Sidenote: The offer of a woman to Alexander.]

whom, when she did beholde (for Alexander was of no migh- tie stature) did contemne hym, and offered him hand to hande [Sidenote: The answer of Alexander to the offer.]

to fight with hym. But Alexander like a wise Prince, saied to his men, if I should ouercome her, that were no victorie, nor manhoode againste a woman: and being ouercome, that were greater shame, then commendacion in all my victories and conquestes, but afterwarde, there was a greate familia- ritee betwene them. The adulterer and the adulteris, neuer prospereth, for many mischiues are reserued, to that wicked and beastly loue. Sincere loue is not rooted, frendship colou- red: the sober and demure countenaunce, is moche to be com- mended in a chaste woman, whose breaste pondereth a chaste [Sidenote: The facte of the matrones of Rome.]

life. The facte of the matrones of Rome, semeth straunge to be tolde, of Papirius a Senators soonne, beyng taken to the Senate house, of his father: the childe beyng indued with a singuler wit, harde many causes in the a.s.semble, talked and consulted vpo[n], at his retourne home, his mother was inqui- sitiue of their consultacion, to heare somewhat. The childe was commaunded by his father, to vtter no secrete that he heard, wherevpon of a long tyme, he refused his mothers de- maunde: but at the laste subtelie, he satisfied his mothers re- [Sidenote: Papirius.]

quest. Truth it is, my father willed me, to vtter no secret, you keping my counsaill, I will shewe you, it is concluded by the Senate house, that euery man shall haue twoo wiues, that is a straunge matter, saieth the mother: foorthwith she had communicacion with all the matrones of Roome, that could doe somewhat in this matter, thei also full w.i.l.l.yngly a.s.sem- bled themselues, to let this purpose, to the Senate house, thei went to vtter, their swollen griues. The Senators were a- mased at their commyng, but in this matter bolde thei were, [Sidenote: The Oracio[n]

of a matrone, to the Sena- tours.]

to enterprise that, whiche thei wer greued at. A Dame more eloquente then all the reste, and of stomacke more hardie, be- gan in these woordes. Otherwise then right, we are iniuri- ously handled, and that in this a.s.semble, that now we should be caste of and neclected: that whereas it is concluded in this [Fol. lvij.r]

counsaile, that euery manne should haue twoo wiues, more meter it were, that one woman should haue twoo housban- des. Straunge it was in the Senators eares soche a request, whereupon a proofe made how that rumour rose, Papirius was found the aucthor, who tolde before the Senate, his mo- ther alwaies inquisitiue to knowe that, whiche he should not tell, and thereupon he faigned that, whiche he might better tell. It is to be supposed the Senators mused thereat, and the matrones of Rome went home ashamed: but their secrete co- gitacion of minde was manifest, what willingly in hart thei wished. What greater felicitee can there bee, then in a vnitee of life, the housebande to liue with his wife. The beastes in their kinde, doe condemne mannes brutishe affections here- in: there is no facte that sheweth a man or woman, more like to beastes, then wh.o.r.edome.

-- The obieccion.

But you will saie, many calamitees happeneth in mariage?

-- The solucion.

Fortunne herein is to bee blamed, and not mariage, if a- ny misfortune happeneth to manne therein, the felicitee and [Sidenote: Eleccion in Mariage.]

quiet state that any man enioieth thereby. The discrete elec- cion is therein approued, in the state it self, nothyng can bee founde worthie reprehension, if a man will impute the bit- ter stormes of life to mariage: whatseouer happeneth, our owne reason maie iudge contrary. Place before thy iyes all the affaires, and occupacions of this life, bee all tymes plea- saunte to the housebande man, many a colde storme perceth his bodie, and many a mightie tempeste, dooeth molest hym and greue hym. Sommer is not the tyme, to caste his seede in the grounde, or implowyng to occupie hymself: shall he ther- fore leaue his housebandrie, or doeth he rather neclecte it, his diligence therein is the more, and labour more industrious.

From whence commeth the tempeste, the stormes and bitter seasons? From his house, from his wife, from his art and oc- cupacion, all those thynges by violence are expelled from the [Fol. lvij.v]

aire. No state of life is able to giue riches, healthe, or securitee [Sidenote: Emperours.]

to his state. There hath been princes and Emperours, nedie, full of infirmitees and sickenes, in daungerous state, oppres- sed with many calamitees: was their dignitie and office, the cause of their calamitees? No, G.o.d tempreth the state of eue- ry one, how, and after what sorte to possesse thesame. Some [Sidenote: Mariage.]

are fulle fortunate in Mariage, if Mariage were of necessitee the cause, then all should be onely fortunate, or onely vnfor- tunate: then in mariage is not the cause, if in marige the ma- ners doe disagree, and loue is extinguished, blame thyn own [Sidenote: The Mari- ners.]

maners, thy choise, and thy eleccion. The Mariner that pas- seth the daungerous Seas, and by dreadfull tempestes, and huffyng waues is alwaies in perille, and many often tymes [Sidenote: The Mar- chauntes.]

drouned. The Marchaunt lesyng his marchaundise by ship- wrack, shall thei impute the daunger and losse, to their wife at home? Or doe the Mariners leaue for all these tempestes, their arte of Nauigacion? Or the owner breake his shippe?

Or the Marchaunt proue no aduentures, because of his losse, and many haue been of this sort drouned. No. But more ear- [Sidenote: Warre.]

nestlie thei dooe a.s.saie theim selues thereto. Because warre spoileth many a man of his life, doe Princes therefore, leaue to moue armour againste the enemie, but because, who so in the defence of his countree, dieth manfullie, is worthelie ad- uaunced, and in perpetuall memorie, no daunger is refused, because euill thynges happeneth in life, is the state of good thynges to be auoided and eschued. Were it not vnsemelie, if housebande men, for no storme or tempeste, doe leaue their state, their laborious and rough co[n]dicion of life, nor the ship- man his arte of Nauigacion, because he seeth many drouned venteryng thesame, and he hymself often tymes in daunger, nor the soldiour or capitain, their perilous condicion of life, doe leaue for daunger. Should Mariage bee lesse sette by, be- cause alwaies riches and quietnes happeneth not.

-- The obieccion.

The losse of a good wife and children, is a greate grefe to [Fol. lviij.r]

any man, and a cause to blame mariage.

-- The aunswere.

[Sidenote: The lawe of Nature.]

You your self are borne to dye, thei also by death obaye likewise Nature, this is the Lawe of Nature ones to dye, whiche you seeme to blame. Then the death of thy wife and childre[n], is not the blame in Mariage. What is the cause that you dye? Natures imbecillitee and weakenes, then in theim[.]

Mariage is not the cause: Nature in her firste molde hath so framed all, wherefore doe you ascribe that to mariage, that is founde faultee in Nature. Thei die that marie not, what infirmitie, daunger or peril happeneth to any in mariage, as sharpe and perilous, doe molest and torment the other. If any manne by death, leaseth a right honeste wife, clothed with all chast.i.tee, demurenesse, sobrietee, and also with all singulari- tee of vertue adorned: he hath loste a rare treasure, a iewell of [Sidenote: A chaste wo- man.]

price, not in all to bee founde. Did you loue your wife, that was so goodlie, so honeste and vertuous: there was greate cause saie you, for her vertuous sake, G.o.d hath chosen her fro[m]

a mortall creature, to immortalitee, with her it can not bee better. There is no cause why you should blame mariage, for the losse of her, or of thy children, or for the losse of thee, she to blame mariage. If for thy owne sake, this sorowe bee, _Est seipsum amantis non amici_, it is then of a self loue, to thy self, not for her cause: for I muste aunswere as Lelius did to Affrica.n.u.s, _c.u.m ea optime esseactu[m] quis neget, quid est quod no[n] a.s.secuta est immortalitatem_. Who can deny saieth he, but that with her it can not bee better? What is it that she hath not attained. Immortalitee. She was vertuous, chaiste, so- ber, descrete, of behauiour womanlie: for her vertues belo- ued. Well, now she hath immortalitee and blesse, are you so- rie thereat, that were enuious. Did you loue her liuyng, loue her also departed, her vertuous shewed vnto vs, her immor- talitee.

-- The obieccion.

There is a care for the wife and children, if the housband [Fol. lviij.v]

dye before theim.

-- The aunswere.

[Sidenote: A wretched executour.]

If thou leaue them riches, hope not that thy riches shalbe a staie to theim, though thei bee innumerable: a wretched, a miserable executour, wasteth and destroieth oftentymes, the fruictes of thy trauaile, who reioyseth more of thy death, then of thy life. Or thy childrens father in Lawe, shall spoile and spende with a merie harte, that whiche thou haste long tera- [Sidenote: G.o.ds pro- uidence.]

uailed for. Staie thy self and thyne vpon G.o.ds prouidence, for it hath been seen, many a riche widowe, with infinite treasure lefte, to her children also like porcions descendyng: afterwarde bothe wife and children, haue been brought to miserie and beggerlie state. Otherwise, poore children com- mitted to the prouidence of G.o.d, and vertuouslie brought vp, and the wife in like state, yet thei haue so pa.s.sed their daies, that thei haue rose to a goodlie state. See that thy richesse bee not iniuriouslie gotten by falshode, by liyng, by Usurie, if it so be, then _Male parta male dilabuntnr_. That is this, gooddes euill gotte, euill spente, soche riches neuer giue deepe roote to their ofspryng. That is an euill care, by a iniurious care, to purchase thynges and gooddes wickedlie.

Also mariage taketh awaie widowhed, and doeth repare with a newe freshe mariage, the lacke and priuacion of the [Sidenote: Death.


other. She that was by death left a widowe, mariage again hath coupled her to a newe housbande: and doeth restore that whiche death tooke awaie. That that death dissolueth and destroieth, mariage increaseth, augme[n]teth, and multiplieth.

Bee it so, but mariage is a painfull life, it forceth euery one to trauaile, to vpholde and maintaine his state, I commende not the idell life, neither a life occupied to no vertuous ende.

Nature moueth euery manne to loue hymself and his, so thy care and paine be to a G.o.dlie purpose. It is commendable. It is the duetie of euery man, as his power, witte, and industrie is able, to emploie thereto his cogitacion. To laboure for thy wife, whom thou loueste, and deare children, thy laboure is [Fol. lix.r]

pleasure, the ioye easeth thy labour. To behold thy self in thy children, thei beyng vertuouslie broughte vp, it is a goodlie [Sidenote: The mariage of a chaste woman.]

comfort, to liue with a chaste woman, sober and continente, her vertues be a continuall pleasure, a pa.s.syng ioye. In ma- riage ought to be greate deliberacion, whom thou chosest to thy continuall compainie or felowshippe, her life paste well knowen, her parentes and kindrede how honeste and vertu- ous, her maners, her fame, how commendable, her counti- [Sidenote: The choise of a wife.]

naunce sober, a constaunt iye, and with shamefastnes beau- tified, a mouthe vttering fewe woordes discretlie. She is not to be liked, who[m] no vertuous qualitees in her educacio[n], beu- tifieth and adorneth, the goodlie qualitees sheweth, the well framed and nurtured mynde. These thynges maie be suffi- ciente, to shewe what excellencie is in mariage and how ne- cessarie it is, to the procreacion and preseruacio[n] of mankind.

-- _Legislacio._

-- A Oracion either in the defence of a Lawe, or againste a Lawe.

MAny learned menne are in this opinion, that vpon a Lawe alledged, a Oracion maie bee made in the defence of it: or matter maie be suppeditated, to in- uaigh by force of argument againste it.

Although the lawe alleged be in maner the whole cause, bicause it doeth co[n]tain al the matter included in the oracion.

In this Oracion, the persone is induced to be spoken vp- pon, vnknowne, vncertaine: wherefore it is to be placed, ra- ther in the state and forme of consultacion, and to bee exami- ned with iudgement.

The induccion of a Lawe, is in twoo sortes.

A confirmacion of any olde Lawe, or a confutacion.

As for example.

The Ciuill Lawe doeth well commende, bondmen to be manumised, that is, to be made free.

The lawe is herein to be praised, that willeth the cou[n]sail of the parentes & frendes, to be knowne before the contracte.

[Fol. lix.v]

Upon a Lawe alledged, worthelie matter maie rise, waigh- yng the G.o.dlie ende, whereunto the Lawe was firste inuen- ted, decreed and stablished, what profite thereof ensueth and foloweth. What it is to vertue a mainteiner, otherwise if it be not profitable? What moued any one to frame and ordain soche a Lawe, as was to a common wealthe vnprofitable, to vertue no aider, if it were a profitable Lawe and G.o.dlie, it is as Demosthenes saieth, of G.o.d inuented, though by famous [Sidenote: Lawe.]

wise, and G.o.dlie menne, stablished and decreed. Good Lawes tempereth to all states equitee and iustice, without fauour or frendship, no more to the one then the other.

The order to make an Oracion by a lawe, is in this sort.

First, make a prohemiu[m] or beginning to enter your matter.

In the seconde place, adde a contrary to that, whiche you will entreate vpon.

Then shewe it lawful.