A Celebration of Women Writers

An Essay To Revive the Antient Education of Gentlewomen,
in Religion, Manners, Arts & Tongues.
With An Answer to the Objections against this Way of Education.

by Bathsua Makin, 1600-ca. 1675.
London: Printed by J. D. to be sold by Tho. Parkhurst,
at the Bible and Crown at the lower end of Cheapside, 1673.

[Title Page]

To Revive the
Antient Education
Religion, Manners, Arts & Tongues.

An Answer to the Objections
against this Way of Education.

Printed by J. D. to be sold by Tho. Parkhurst, at
the Bible and Crown at the lower end of
Cheapside. 1673.

To all Ingenious and Vertuous Ladies, more especially to her Highness the Lady MARY, Eldest Daughter to his Royal Highness the Duke of YORK.

CUstom, when it is inveterate, hath a mighty influence: it hath the force of Nature it self. The Barbarous custom to breed Women low, is grown general amongst us, and hath prevailed so far, that it is verily believed (especially amongst a sort of debauched Sots) that Women are not endued with such Reason, as Men; nor capable of improvement by Education, as they are. It is lookt upon as a monstrous thing; to pretend the contrary. A Learned Woman is thought to be a Comet, that bodes Mischief, when ever it appears. To offer to the World the liberal Education of Women is to deface the Image of God in Man, it will make Women so high, and men so low, like Fire in the House-top, it will set the whole world in a Flame.

These things and worse then these, are commonly talked of, and verily believed by many, who think themselves wise Men: to contradict these is a bold attempt; where the Attempter must expect to meet with much opposition. Therefore, Ladyes, I beg the candid Opinion of your Sex, whose Interest I assert. More especially I implore the Favour of your Royal Highness, a Person most Eminent amongst them, whose Patronage alone will be a sufficient Protection. What I have written is not out of humour to shew how much may be said of a trivial thing to little purpose. I verily think, Women were formerly Educated in the knowledge of Arts and Tongues, and by their Education, many did rise to a great height in Learning. Were Women thus Educated now, I am confident the advantage would be very great: The Women would have Honour and Pleasure, their Relations Profit, and the whole Nation Advantage. I am very sensible it is an ill time to set on foot this Design: wherein not only Learning but Vertue it self is scorn'd and neglected, as pedantick things, fit only for the Vulgar. I know no better way to reform these Exorbitancies, than to perswade Women to scorn those Toyes and Trifles, they now spend their time about, and to attempt higher things, here offered: This will either reclaim the Men; or make them ashamed to claim the Sovereignty over such as are more Wise and Vertuous than themselves.

Were a competent number of Schools erected to Educate Ladyes ingenuously, methinks I see how asham'd Men would be of their Ignorance, and how industrious the next Generation would be to wipe off their Reproach.

I expect to meet with many Scoffes and Taunts from inconsiderate and illiterate Men, that prize their own Lusts and Pleasure more than your Profit and Content. I shall be the less concern'd at these, so long as I am in your favour; and this discourse may be a Weapon in your hands to defend your selves, whilst you endeavour to polish your Souls, that you may glorify God, and answer the end of your Creation, to be meet helps to your Husbands. Let not your Ladiships be offended, that I do not (as some have wittily done) plead for Female Preeminence. To ask too much is the way to be denied all. God hath made the Man the Head, if you be educated and instructed, as I propose, I am sure you will acknowledge it, and be satisfied that you are helps, that your Husbands do consult and advise with you (which if you be wise they will be glad of) and that your Husbands have the casting-Voice, in whose determinations you will acquiesce. That this may be the effect of this Education in all Ladyes that shall attempt it, is the desire of

Your Servant.

To the Reader.

I Hope I shall not need to beg the patience of Ladyes to peruse this Pamphlet: I have bespoken, and do expect your Patronage; because it is your Cause I plead against an ill custom, prejudicial to you, which Men will not willingly suffer to be broken. I would desire Men not to prejudge and cast aside this Book upon the sight of the Title. If I have solidly prov'd, what I do pretend to, and fairly answered the Objections brought against my Assertions, and if I have proposed something that may be profitable to Man-kind, let it not be rejected. If this way of Educating Ladies should (as its like, it never will) be generally practised, the greatest hurt, that I fore-see, can ensue, is, to put your Sons upon greater diligence to advance themselves in Arts and Languages; that they may be Superior to Women in Parts as well as in Place. This is the great thing I designe. I am a Man my self, that would not suggest a thing prejudicial to our Sex. To propose Women rivals with us to Learning, will make us court Minerva more heartily, lest they should be more in Her Favour. I do verily think this to be the best way to dispell the Clouds of Ignorance, and to stop the Flouds of Debauchery, that the next Generation may be more wise and vertuous than any of their Predecessours. It is an easie matter to quibble and droll upon a subject of this nature, to scoff at Women kept ignorant, on purpose to be made slaves. This savours not at all of a Manly Spirit, to trample upon those that are down. I forbid Scoffing and Scolding. Let any think themselves agrieved, and come forth fairly into the Field against this feeble Sex, with solid Arguments to refute what I have asserted, I think I may promise to be their Champion.

These for my much Honoured and worthy Friend, &c.


I Have heard you discourse of the Education of Gentlewomen in Arts and Tongues. I wonder any should think of so vain a thing.

Women do not much desire Knowledge; they are of low parts, soft fickle natures, they have other things to do they will not mind if they be once Bookish; The end of Learning is to fit one for publick Employment, which Women are not capable of. Women must not speak in the Church, its against custom. Solomon's good House-wife is not commended for Arts and Tongues, but for looking after her Servants; And that which is worst of all, they are of such ill natures, they will abuse their Education, and be so intolerably Proud, there will be no living with them: If all these things could be answered, they would not have leisure.

We send our Sons to School seven years, and yet not above one in five get so much of the Tongues only, so as to keep them, and nothing of Arts.

Girls cannot have more than half the time allotted them. If they were capable, and had time, I cannot imagine what good it would do them. If it would do them good, where should they be Instructed. Their converse with Boyes would do them more hurt than all their Learning would do them good.

I have no prejudice against the Sex, but would gladly have a fair answer to these things, or else shall breed up my Daughters as our fore-fathers did.

Sir your Condescension herein will very much oblige,

Your affectionate Friend.

May 29. 1673.


IT should be the earnest Endeavour of all men, to imploy their Lives to those noble, and excellent Ends, for which the Omnipotent and all-wise Creatour made them, which are, the Glory of God, the Eternal Happiness of their immortal Souls, and to be useful in their Places. One generation passeth away, and an other cometh: But the Earth, the Theatre on which we act, abideth forever. All the Works of the Children of Men do remain, not only in respect of the present and future Emolument or Detriment, caused by them; But also in Reference to the Influence they have as examples on succeeding Ages. The harvest of Bliss or Woe, will be according to the Seed-time of this Life. This Life proceeds ordinarily, as it begins,

Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit Odorem
   Testa diu —

So great is the Force of the first Tincture any thing takes, whether good, or bad. As Plants in Gardens excel those, that grow wild; or as Brutes, by due Management (Witness the Philosophers Dogs) are much altered: So Men, by liberal Education, are much better'd, as to intellectuals and morals. All conclude great Care ought to be taken of the Males: But your doubt in your Letter is concerning the Females. I think the greater Care ought to be taken of Them: Because Evil seems to be begun here, as in Eve, and to be propagated by her Daughters. When the Sons of God took unto themselves the Daughters of Men, Wickedness multiplied apace. It was the cursed Counsel of Balaam to debauch Israel by Balack's Idolatrous Women. Wretched Jezebel excites Ahab to greater Wickedness, than he could ever have thought of. God gave strict Command to the Israelites, not to marry with heathenish Women. When Solomon himself (the wisest of Men) did this, they soon drew his Heart from God. Bad Women, weak to make Resistance, are strong to tempt to evil: Therefore without all Doubt great Care ought to be taken, timely to season them with Piety and Virtue.

your great Question is, Whether to breed up Women in Arts and Tongues, is not a mere new Device, never before practised in the World. This you doubt the more Because Women are of low Parts, and not capable of Improvement by this Education. If they could be improved, you doubt, whether it would benefit them? If it would benefit them, you enquire where such Education may be had? or, whether they must go to School with Boys? to be made twice more impudent than learned. At last you muster up a Legion of Objections.

I shall speak distinctly to your Questions, and then answer your Objections.

Women have formerly been educated in Arts and Tongues.

Little is recorded concerning the manner, how Women were educated formerly: You can expect my Proof to be only topical and by Circumstances.

It doth appear out of Sacred Writ, that Women were imployed in most of the great Transactions that happened in the World, even in reference to Religion. Miriam seems to be next to Moses and Aaron, she was a great Poet, and Philosopher: For both Learning, and Religion were generally in former times wrapt up in Verse.

The Women met David, singing triumphant Songs, composed (it's like by themselves) a great Specimen of liberal Education.

Deborah, the Deliverer of Israel, was without all doubt a learned Woman, that understood the Law. Huldah the Prophetess, dwelt in a Colledge, (we may suppose) where Women were trained up in good Literature. We may be sure she was a very wise Woman: For King Josiah sends Hilkiah the Priest, and the Nobles of his Court, in a Case of Difficulty and Danger, to consult with her. 2 Chro. 34.20.21 &c.

In the New Testament we find Anna a Prophetess.

Paul, Rom. 16.1. Commends unto them Phebe, who was not only a Servant of Christ: But a Servant of the Church at Cencrea. Ver. 12. He tells us Triphena, Triphosa and Persis laboured much in the Lord. Priscilla instructed Apollos.

Timothy's Grandmother called Lois, and his Mother Eunice were not only Gracious Women, but learned Women; for from a Child they instructed him in the holy Scriptures. 2 Tim. 1. 5. compared with Chap. 3. 15. The Children of the Elect Lady, found walking in the Truth, were instructed by her. Philips four Daughters were Prophetesses, Acts 21. Though Women may not speak in the Church; yet those extraordinarily inabled, to whom Paul speaks, 1 Cor. 11. 5. might: For Paul directs them they should not pray nor prophesie with their Heads uncovered, which supposes they might do the things. I shall not dispute these Texts what this praying and prophesying was; it serves my Turn, that Women extraordinarily inabled, were publickly imployed.

We may infer from the Stories of the Muses, that this way of Education was very ancient. All conclude the Heroes were men famous in their Generation, therefore canonized after their Deaths. We may with like Reason conclude, Minerva and the nine Muses were Women famous for Learning whilst they lived, and therefore thus adored when dead.

There is no Question the Greeks and Romans, when most flourishing, did thus educate their Daughters: in Regard so many amongst them were famous for Learning. As Sempronia, Cornelia, Lelia, Mutia, Cleobulina, Cassandra, Terentia, Hortensia, Sulpitia, Portia, Helvigia, Euonia, Paula, Albina, Pella, Zenobia, Valeria, Proba, Eudocia, Claudia, and many others.

The Sybills could never have invented the Heroick, nor Sappho the Sapphick Verses, had they been illiterate. Do you think Corinna could ever have thrice out done Pindar, upon a solemn Contest so excellent in his Lyrick Verses, that none else durst imitate him, had she not been instructed in Arts?

There was a Contest between twenty Grecian and twenty Roman Ladies, which were most excellent in Learning. The Romane Dames were the best Oratours: But the Grecian Ladies the best Philosophers. This plainly shews they both were instructed in all kind of good Literature.

Women Educated in Arts and Tongues, have been eminent in them.

I should be too tedious, if I should commemorate all upon Record, that have been Smatterers in Learning. I shall only mention some few Ladies that have been equal to most Men.

It is reported of Zenobia Queen of Palmeria, that she was not only excellent her self in Arts and Arms: But Learning in her (like light in the Sun) influenced her whole People, only famous in her Daies.

Olympia Fulvia Maurata, Tutress to the Empress of Germany, understood French, Latin, Dutch; she was so good a Grecian, that she read publick Lectures in that Language. She was also reputed to be well skilled in Divinity.

The Lady Jane Grey excelled Maurata in this, she understood the Hebrew also. There is a large Discourse of her Learning (in which she took great delight) and Piety, in the Book of Martyrs.

The present Dutchess of New-Castle, by her own Genius, rather than any timely Instruction, over-tops many grave Gown-Men.

I am forbidden to mention the Countess Dowager of Huntington (instructed sometimes by Mrs. Makin) how well she understands Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and Spanish; or what a proficient she is in Arts, subservient to Divinity, in which (if I durst I would tell you) she excels.

The Princess Elizabeth, daughter to King Charles the first, to whom Mrs. Makin was Tutress, at nine Years old could write, read, and in some measure understand, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and Italian. Had she lived, what a Miracle would She have been of her Sex!

The Princess Elizabeth, eldest Daughter to the Queen of Bohemia, yet living, is versed in all sorts of choice Literature.

Mrs. Thorold, Daughter of the Lady Car in Lincolnshire, was excellent in Philosophy, and all sorts of Learning.

I cannot without Injury forget the Lady Mildmay, and Dr. Loves Daughters; Their Worth and Excellency in Learning is yet fresh in the Memory of many Men.

Cornelia read publick Philosophy-Lectures at Rome, she brought up her Sons, the Gracchi, so, that they were the only Men famous in their Dayes. She was admired by Cicero for diverse of her Works.

The Papal Chair could not defend it self, but was invaded by a Woman, for her Excellency in Learning above the men of her Times; As Volateran, Sigebertus, Platina and others, that have writ the Lives of the Roman Bishops, do declare. She is remembred likewise to this purpose by Boccasius in his Book de Claris Mulieribus.

Rosuida, a Saxon by Nation, She lived under Lotharius the first; She was Eloquent in the Greek and Roman Tongues, and practised in all good Arts. She composed many Works, not without great commendation from the Readers. One to exhort to Chastity, Virtue, and Divine Worship. She published six Comedies; besides a noble Poem in Hexameter verse, of the Heroick Acts done by the Otho Cesars; with divers others.

Elizabetha of Schonaugia zealously imitated the Study and Practice of this Rosuida. She writ many things in the Latin Tongue; namely, a Book intituled, A Path to direct us the way to God; as also a Volumn of Learned Epistles; with many other Books.

I cannot omit Constantia the Wife of Alexander Sforza; She was so Learned, that upon the suddain and without any premeditation She was able sufficently to discourse upon any Argument, either Theological, or Philosophical: Besides, She was very frequent in the works of St. Hierome, Ambrose, Gregory, Cicero, and Lactantius. She was much admired for her Extempory vaine in Verse. Her Daughter Baptista was equal to Her in Fame and Merit, and was reckoned among the best Learned, and most illustrious Women.

Christina late Queen of Sweden understood several Languages, and was well versed in Politicks, and acquainted with most Arts and Sciences.

I thought of Queen Elizabeth first, but purposely mention Her last, as the Crown of all. How learned She was, the World can testifie. It was usual for her to discourse with Forraign Agents in their own Languages. Mr. Ascam, her Tutor, used to say, She read more Greek in a day then many of the Doctors of her time did Latin in a week. You see some Women have been good Proficients in most kinds of Learning. I shall now shew you how they have been excellent in some particular parts of it, as the Tongues, Oratory, Philosophy, Divinity, and lastly Poetry.

Women have been good Linguists.

It is objected against Women, as a reproach, that they have too much Tongue: but it's no crime they have many Tongues; if it be, many Men would be glad to be guilty of that fault. The Tongue is the only Weapon Women have to defend themselves with, and they had need to use it dextrously. Many say one tongue is enough for a Woman: it is but a quibble upon the word. Several Languages, understood by a Woman, will do our Gentlemen little hurt, who have little more than their Mother-Wit, and understand only their Mother-Tongue: these most usually make this Objection, to hide their own Ignorance. Tongues are learnt in order to Things. As things were, and yet are in the World, its requisite we learn Tongues to understand Arts: It's therefore a Commendation to these Women after mentioned, that they were Mistresses of Tongues.

There is an ancient Copy of the Septuagent, sent from the Patriarch of Alexandria to King James, written by a Woman called Tecla, so accurate and excellent, that the Authors of the Polyglot-Bible chose it before all other Copies written or printed, to make use of in that Impression.

Anna Maria Schurman of Utrecht, (called by Spanhemius, ultimum Natura in hoc sexu conatum, et decimam Musam, Natures Master-piece amongst Women, excelling the very Muses) hath printed divers Works in Latin, Greek, French and the Persian Tongue; she understood the Arabick also. Besides, she was an excellent Poet.

Amalasuntha Queen of the Ostrogothes, the Daughter of Theodericus, was a great Mistress of the Latin and Greek Tongues, she spake distinctly all the barbarous Languages that were used in the Eastern Empires.

For Excellency in Tongues most of those Persons before mentioned are eminent Instances, Maurata, the Lady Jane Grey, and the three Elizabeths, &c.

Women have not been meer Talkers: (as some frivolous Men would make them) but they have known how to use Languages, when they have had them. Many Women have been excellent Oratours.

Women have been good Oratours.

Valerius Maximus tell us of Amesia a modest Roman Lady, when she was accused of a great Crime, and ready to incur the Sentence of the Pretor, she in a great Confluence stept up amongst the People, and without any Advocate pleaded her own Cause so effectually, that by the publique Suffrage she was acquitted from all Aspersion whatsoever, and from that Time she was called Androgine.

Hortensia was equal to her, the Daughter of Quintus Hortensius. When a greivous Fine was imposed upon the Roman Matrons by the Tribunes, when all Lawyers and Oratours were afraid to take upon them the Patronage of their Cause, this discreet Lady pleaded before the Triumvirate in the behalf of the Women, so happily and boldly, that the greatest Part of the Mulct imposed upon them, was remitted.

Some have commended Caia Affricana's Eloquence: I cannot approve of the Use she put it to, but pass her over.

Tullia (by the Instruction of her Mother Terentia) was counted equal to her Father Cicero in Eloquence.

Divers of those Persons before mentioned were very eloquent, particularly Maurata, Cornelia, and Queen Elizabeth. We may suppose Schurman, and the rest that wrote so elegantly, could also speak eloquently upon a just occasion.

It is objected against poor Women, they may learn Tongues and speak freely, being naturally disposed to be talkative: But for any solid Judgment or depth of Reason, it is seldom found in their giddy Crowns. I proceed therefore to shew they have been good Logicians, Philosophers, Mathematicians, Divines, and Poets.

Women have understood Logick.

Logick is the Key, those that have this in their Heads may unlock other Sciences; some Women have had it at their Girdles, and been very dextrous in Disputation.

Hipparchia with one Sophism put to Silence Theodorus. It was thus: That which Theodorus doing, he is not said to do unjustly; if Hipparchia do, she is not said to do unjustly. This he granted. She proceeds, But, Theodorus beating himself, is not said to do unjustly; therefore if Hipparchia beat Theodorus, she is not said to do unjustly. Theodorus makes no Reply, but, just like our lazy Gentlemen, goes out of the Room and saith, Let Women mind their Spinning.

Margarita Sorocchia, a Gentlewoman of Rome, is lookt upon as so great a Sopister, that she is ordinarily a Moderatix in the Academy at the Disputation amongst learned Wits, in the most Polite Parts of Learning and Philosophy, yea and Divinity too.

Those who read Schurman's Decertations, will conclude she understood the Principles and Practice of Logick very well.

Cæcelia did strange things by her great Skill in Logick, particularly by solid Argument, she diswaded Tiburtius Valerianus his Brother, from heathenish Idolatry to the Christian Faith.

Some think I have hardly spoke to the Purpose yet; Logick disposes to wrangle, a thing Women are inclined to naturally: I proceed therefore to shew that Women have been great Proficients in the most solid Parts of Learning, which require most serious Thoughts and greatest Judgment; they have been good Philosophers, good Arithmeticians, good Divines, and good Poets.

Women have been profound Philosophers.

That they have been good Philosophers, appears from those numerous examples before mentioned. I should but tautologize to repeat them again. Take only their names; Rosuida, Elizabeth of Schonaugia, Constantia, her Daughter Baptista, Anna Maria Schurman, Margarita Socratacchia, &c. All those hereafter mentioned as eminent in Divinity, must needs have some competent skill in Philosophy; as Tibiola, Marcella, Eustochium, &c.

Aganolda was so desirous of knowledge, that she put her self into mans Apparel, attained so great a perfection in Natural Philosophy, and in the practice of Physick, that she was envied by all those of her faculty, and slandered for incontinency; to vindicate her self, she discovered she was a Woman.

Miriam was a great Philosopher, and so was the Queen of Sheba, or else she would never have ventured to try the Wisdom of Solomon in dark Problems, and by hard Questions.

Nicostrata (by some called Carmentis) helped to make up the Greek Alphabet, and made some addition to the Roman Letters.

Aspasia, a Milisian Damsel, was so learned, that she instructed Pericles, and of a great Souldier, made him an excellent Philosopher, and one of the best Orators in Greece, and after was married to him.

Socrates acknowledges he imitated Aspasia in his Facultas Politica, and doth not blush to call Diotima his Tutress. These two Women were so learned, as to teach this great Philosopher.

Arete attained to that perfection in Philosophy, that she instructed her son Aristippus, who was therefore called Ϻετροδίδαϰτς, Mother-taught. After her Fathers death, she erected a School of Philosophy, where she commonly read to a full and frequent Auditory.

Leontium, a Grecian Damsel, was so well seen in Philosophical Contemplation, that she feared not to write a Book against the worthy Theophrastus.

Dama, the Daughter of Pythagoras, and her Mother, were excellent Philosophers.

Pythagoras professes he often advised with, and received help from Themistoclea.

I should be too troublesom to you, if I should speak particularly of the Learning of Adesia, the Wisdom of Hermodica, the Improvement of Themiste in Pythagorean Philosophy, of the Works of Genebria, or how eloquent the two Daughters of L. Crassus were.

I had almost forgotten Christina Queen of Sweden in Philology and Philosophy, superior to most of the great Scholars in Europe.

Portia, Cato's Daughter, was the best Philosopher in her Time.

Some Women have understood the Mathematicks.

The Mathematicks require as much seriousness as any Art or Science, yet some Women have attained an extraordinary knowledge in these also.

Hyppatia of Alexandria, Daughter of Theon, writ of Astronomy; she was Professor in the School in Alexandria, where she was frequented by many worthy Scholars. Afterwards by such as envied her Fame for Learning, she was pitifully slain and massacred.

A Lady of late, I have forgot her name, is so well skilled in the Mathematicks, that she hath printed divers Tables.


If any think all this Learning is but meerly humane, I acknowledge the great end of Arts and Tongues is the better to enable us to know God in Jesus Christ, and our own selves, that we may glorifie and enjoy him for ever.

Si Christum discis, nil est si cætera nescis.
Si Christum nescis, nil est si cætera discis.

Many Women have improved their humane Knowledge, so as by Gods Blessing hath been a means of their obtaining Spiritual Knowledge.

Fabiola, a Roman Matron, had attained so great Perfection in the Knowledge of the Scriptures, that she had a reverent Respect from the Learned in her Time. St. Jerome vouchsafed to dedicate a Book to her intituled de Vesta Sacerdotali.

Marcella, a Roman, was so eminent in the Knowledge of Divinity, that St. Jerome salutes her by Name in many of his Epistles. He writ diverse Books to her. One de Mundi contemptu; another of the ten Names God is called by amongst the Hebrews; a Third of Faith; a Fourth of Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, And diverse others.

Eustochium, the Daughter of Paula, a Roman Matron, was so excellent a Divine, and so well practised in the Scriptures, and in the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew Dialects, that she was called the new Prodogy of the World.

We may reflect upon diverse of those before mentioned to supply the Defect of Examples in this Place. Queen Elizabeth and the Lady Jane Grey were eminent for their Knowledge in Religion.

Rosuida, Elizabeth of Shonaugia, Constantia the Wife of Alexander Sforza, and her Daughter Baptista, were excellent in Divinity as well as Philosophy.

The Works of Anna Maria Schurman, that are extant, declare how good a Divine she was.

I shall conclude with Isola Navarula, who writ many eloquent Epistles. She was a great proficient in Philosophy and Theology, as appears by that Book she wrote by way of Dialogue, between Adam and Eve, which sinned first and most; and by divers other Books.

There is one thing yet remaining, in which Women have excelled, that is, Poetry. Their excellency in this, tends as much to their vindication as any thing yet spoken to. To be a Poetaster, is no great matter; but to be a Poet-laureat, requires great natural endowments, such as man cannot lend, if God doth not give; Poeta nascitur, non fit. If a man's natural parts be low, Industry, Education, Time, and Practice, may raise to some competent height in Oratory; therefore we say, Orator fit: But all the Instruction and Education in the World, all the pains, time, and patience imaginable, can never infuse that sublime Fancy, that strong Memory, and excellent Judgment required in one that shall wear the Bayes. If Women have been good Poets, Men injure them exceedingly, to account them giddy-headed Gossips, fit only to discourse of their Hens, Ducks, and Geese, and not by any means to be suffered to meddle with Arts and Tongues, lest by intollerable pride they should run mad.

If I do make this appear, that Women have been good Poets, it will confirm all I have said before: for, besides natural Endowments, there is required a general and universal improvement in all kinds of Learning. A good Poet, must know things Divine, things Natural, things Moral, things Historical, and things Artificial; together with the several terms belonging to all Faculties, to which they must allude. Good Poets must be universal Scholars, able to use a pleasing Phrase, and to express themselves with moving Eloquence.

Women have been good Poets.

Because so much depends upon this, I beg the Mens patience, if I be a little tedious on this Point. I question not the Women will be contented to hear their Sex vindicated.

I begin with Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom; she was for no other reason reckoned amongst the Goddesses, but for her excellency and cunning in Poetry and other good Arts, of which she is said to be the first Inventress.

There were three Corinna's, famous for Poetry. One lived in the time of Augustus, and was very dear to Ovid. A second was called Corinna Thespia, she is celebrated in the Books of the Antient Poets, especially Statius. The third, and most eminent, was Corinna Thebana; she was Daughter of Archelodorus and Procratia, and Scholar to Myrtis. In five set Contests she bore away the Palm from Pindar, Prince of the Lyrick Poets. She published five Books of Excellent Epigrams.

Erinna, Sir-named Teia, or (as some will have it) Telia, from the Island Telos, not far distant from Gnidon; she flourished in the time of Dion of Syracusa, and published an excellent Poem in the Dorick Tongue, besides divers Epigrams. Her Stile was said to come near the Majesty of Homer's. She died when she was but nineteen years of Age.

Sappho, the Daughter of Scamandaurus, lived in the time of Tarquinius Priscus; she first devised the Sapphick Verse, and found out the use of the Harp with a Quill. There was also another Sappho called Mitelena, who lived long after. She published many rare and famous Poems amongst the Greeks; and therefore had the honour to be called the tenth Muse.

Proba Valeria Falcona, a Roman Matron, lived in the time of Honorius and Theodosius junior. She composed a Divine Poem of the Life, Works, and Miracles of Christ. She also Paraphrased upon the Verses of Homer, and called the Work Homeroucheutra. Her Husband being dead, she inscribed upon his Tomb an Epitaph, Englished thus:

To God, to Prince, Wife, Kindred, Friends, the Poor;
   Religious, Loyal, True, Kind, Stedfast, Dear,
In Zeal, Faith, Love, Help, Amity, and Store;
   He, that so liv'd, and so deceas'd, lies here.

I had almost forgot the Sybils: The Name signifies such as have thoughts of God. As a Man that prophesieth is called a Prophet, so a Woman predicting, was called a Sybil. There were twelve of these, all of them Poets. Sybilla Lybica invented the Heroick Verse. Sybilla Delphica was so famous a Poet, that Homer did take many of her Verses to himself, and made them his own. All of them delivered their Oracles in Verse: If their Verses were not so smooth as Homers and Hesiods, an abatement must be made for the matter and manner of their speaking, which was usually in an extasie. They all prophesied of Christ. I shall insert only one or two of their Predictions, thus Englished.

A King, a Priest, a Prophet, all these three
Shall meet in one; Sacred Divinity
Shall be to Flesh espous'd. O, who can scan
This Mystery, uniting God with Man!
   When this rare Birth into the World shall come,
   He the great God of Oracles strikes dumb.

Sybilla Delphica speaks to this purpose.

An Angel shall descend, and say,
  Thou blessed
Mary hail;
Thou shalt conceive, bring forth, yet be
  A Virgin without fail.

Three Gifts the
Chald'ans to thy Son
  Shall tender with much pietie,
Myrrhe to a Man, Gold to a King,
  And Incense to a Deitie.

I shall mention only one more, which is that of

Sybilla Europa.

When the great King of all the World shall have
  No place on Earth by which he may be known;
When he that comes, all mortal men to save,
  Shall find his own Life by the World o'rethrown.
When the most Just, injustice shall deprave,
  And the great Judge be judged by his own.

Death when to Death, a Death by Death hath given,
Then shall be op't the long-shut Gates of Heaven.

I do not produce these as Foundations of our Faith; We have a more sure word of Prophesie which we ought to look unto, as a Light that shineth in a dark place. This is more sure than that which we see with our Eyes, hear with our Ears, or handle with our Hands.

Cleobulina was Daughter of Cleobulus Lindus, one of the seven Wise Men of Greece. She imitated, and some think did equalize her Father. She was eminent for Enigma's and Riddles. Take this one rendred thus:

One Father hath twelve Children great and small,
And they beget twice fifteen, Daughters all;
Half of them White, half Black, immortal made;
And yet we see how every hour they fade.

I cannot leave out Helpis, the Wife of the Famous Philosopher and Poet Boethius Severinus; because many Hymns to the Apostles are yet extant, which Gyraldus and the best Writers constantly affirm to be hers. She writ her Epitaph with her own hand, translated thus;

Helpis my Name, me Sicily first bred;
  A Husband's love drew me from hence to
Where I long liv'd in joy, but now lie dead,
  My Soul submitting to th' Almighties doom.
    And I believe this flesh again shall rise,
    And I behold my Saviour with these eyes.

I may put Philenia and Astenissa together; they were both good Poets, and imitated one another.

Hildegardis Moguntina was eminent for Learning and Piety as well as Poetry: Her Works were approved in the Council held at Tryers, where Dr. Bernard was present.

Aristophanes speaks much of Clitagora Lacedemonia: and Strabo in his Homerica speaks more of Hestia Alexandria.

Antipater Thessalus, gives the first place amongst the nine Lyric Poets, to Paxilla Syconia. She lived in the thirty second Olympiad.

I should be too tedious, if I should give you a particular account what Seneca speaks of Michaele; what Aristophanes of Charixena; what Celius speaks of Musea; or, what Textor remembers of Meroe.

Cornisicina, Luccia Mima, Cassandra, Magalostrate, were good Poets. Polla Argentaria, Wife to the famous Poet Lucan, was reputed of that excellent Learning, that she assisted her Husband in the three first Books, entituled Pharsalia.

I can but name those Poets Anyle, Nosiis, Myro Byzantia, Damophila; because I hasten to those nearer our own time; Only take notice, these numerous Examples of Learned Women, do plainly prove, they were heretofore liberally educated.

Lorentia Stoza is now famous in Italy for divers Hymns she composed in divers kinds of Verse, especially in excellent Sapphicks.

How excellent a Poet Mrs. Broadstreet is, (now in America) her Works do testifie.

We need no other Encomium of Mrs. Philips, than what Mr. Cowley gives, he plucks the Lawrel from his own Brow, to crown hers, as best deserving it. Besides, her Works in print speak for her.

Sir John Harington in his Allegory upon the 37 Books of Ariosto, commends unto us the four Daughters of Sir Anthony Cook; also the Lady Russel, the Lady Bacon, the Lady Killegrew, giving to each of them, for Poetry, a worthy Character; whither I refer the Reader.

In the same place the Author commends to us, a great Italian Lady, Vittoria, who writ largely and learnedly in the praise of her dead Husband. With whom I may rank (if in the comparison I do not underprize) the beautiful and learned Lady Mary, Countess of Pembrook, the worthy Sister to that incomparable Person Sir Philip Sidney.

The Lady Jane Gray, and the Lady Arabella, had a great faculty in Poetry.

The two Orations delivered at the Universities by Queen Elizabeth's own Mouth, gives ample testimony of her Oratory. Those ingenious Fancies, and pleasant Poems, bearing her Name, shews she was a good Poet.

The Lord Burghlies three Daughters were eminent for Learning, and competent Poets; as appears by these Verses made upon this occasion. Silesia was in Cornwal, her Husband was designed to be sent Embassador; Mildreda her Sister was at Court, who had interest there to hinder this intended Embassie of her Brother; Silesia writes to her Sister Mildreda:

Si mihi, quem cupio Dominum, Mildreda, remittas,
Tu bona, tu melior, tu mihi sola Soror.
Sin malè cunctando retines, vel trans Mare mittas,
Tu mala, tu pejor, tu mihi nulla Soror.
At si Cornubiam, tibi pax fit, & omnia lata,
Sin Mare, Silesia nuntio bella. Vale.

Mildred, my Husband dear, if you now back do send,
Better than good you are, and Sister to the end.
But if you him stay there, or send him o're the Sea,
Much worse than nought you are, no Sister you shall be.
Cornwal he does see, I'le pray, and all good tell;
But if he cross the Sea, I am your foe. Farewel.


It may now be demanded, by those studious of Antiquity, why the Vertues, the Disciplines, the Nine Muses, the Devisers, and Patrons of all good Arts, the Three Graces, should rather be represented under the Feminine Sex, and their Pictures be drawn to the Portraictures of Damosels, and not have Masculine Denominations, and the Effigies of Men? Yea, why Christians themselves, in all their Books and Writings which they commit to Posterity, still continue the same practice? Why Wisdom is said to be the Daughter of the Highest, and not the Son? Why Faith, Hope, and Charity, her Daughters, are represented as Women? Why should the seven Liberal Arts be expressed in Womens Shapes? Doubtless this is one reason; Women were the Inventors of many of these Arts, and the promoters of them, and since have studyed them, and attained to an excellency in them: And being thus adorned and beautified with these Arts, as a testimony of our gratitude for their Invention, and as a token of honour for their Proficiency; we make Women the emblems of these things, having no fitter Hieroglyphick to express them by. I shall add this one thing, worthy observation, to the great honour and commendation of the Feminine Sex.

The parts of the World have their denomination from Women, Asia is so called from the Nymph Asia, the Mother of Japethus and Prometheus. Europe, from Europa the Daughter of Agenor. Lybia (which is Africa) from Libia the Daughter of Epaphus. America (lately discovered) bears the same Female Figure.

It is usual for men to pride and boast themselves in the Wisdom, Valour, and Riches of their Ancestors; what wise Men their Fore-fathers have been, what great things they have done, and what large possessions they have had, when they themselves are degenerated and become Ignorant, Cowardly, beggarly, debauched Sots.

I hope Women will make another use of what I have said; instead of claiming honour from what Women have formerly been, they will labour to imitate them in learning those Arts their Sex hath invented, in studying those Tongues they have understood, and in practising those Virtues shadowed under their Shapes; the knowledge of Arts and Tongues, the exercise of Virtue and Piety, will certainly (let men say what they will) make them honourable.

Care ought to be taken by us to Educate Women in Learning.

THat I may be more distinct in what I intend, I shall distinguish of Women,
Women are of two sorts, {
} {
Of good natural Parts.
Of low Parts.

I do not mean, that it is necessary to the esse, to the subsistence, or to the Salvation of Women, to be thus educated. Those that are mean in the World, have not an opportunity for this Education: Those that are of low Parts, though they have opportunity, cannot reach this; Ex quovis ligno non fit Minerva: My meaning is, Persons that God hath blessed with the things of this World, that have competent natural Parts, ought to be educated in Knowledge; That is, it is much better they should spend the time of their Youth, to be competently instructed in those things usually taught to Gentlewoman at Schools, and the overplus of their time to be spent in gaining Arts, and Tongues, and useful Knowledge, rather than to trifle away so many precious minutes meerly to polish their Hands and Feet, to curl their Locks, to dress and trim their Bodies; and in the mean time to neglect their Souls, and not at all, or very little to endeavour to know God, Jesus Christ, Themselves, and the things of Nature, Arts and Tongues, subservient to these. I do not deny but Women ought to be brought up to a comely and decent carriage, to their Needle, to Neatness, to understand all those things that do particularly belong to their Sex. But when these things are competently cared for, and where there are Endowments of Nature and leasure, then higher things ought to be endeavoured after. Meerly to teach Gentlewomen to Frisk and Dance, to paint their Faces, to curl their Hair, to put on a Whisk, to wear gay Clothes, is not truly to adorn, but to adulterate their Bodies; yea, (what is worse) to defile their Souls. This (like Circes Cup) turns them to Beasts; whilst their Belly is their Godd, they become Swine; whilst Lust, they become Goats; and whilst Pride is their God, they become very Devils. Doubtless this under-breeding of Women began amongst Heathen and Barbarous People; it continues with the Indians, where they make their Women meer slaves, and wear them out in drudgery. It is practised amongst degenerate and Apostate Christians, upon the same score, and now is a part of their Religion; it would therefore be a piece of Reformation to correct it; and it would notably countermine them who fight against us, as Satan against Adam, by seducing our Women, who then easily seduce their Husbands.

Had God intended Women onely as a finer sort of Cattle, he would not have made them reasonable. Bruits, a few degrees higher than Drils or Monkies, (which the Indians use to do many Offices) might have better fitted some mens Lust, Pride, and Pleasure; especially those that desire to keep them ignorant to be tyrannized over.

God intended Woman as a help-meet to Man, in his constant conversation, and in the concerns of his Family and Estate, when he should most need, in sickness, weakness, absence, death, &c. Whilst we neglect to fit them for these things, we renounce God's Blessing, he hath appointed Women for, are ungrateful to him, cruel to them, and injurious selves.

I remember a discourse in Erasmus, between an Abbot and a Learned Woman. She gives many good Reasons why Women should be learned, that they might know God, their Saviour, understand his Sacred Word, and admire him in his wonderful Works; that they might also better administer their Houshold Affairs amongst a multitude of Servants, who would have more reverence towards them, because they were above them in understanding. Further, she found a great content in reading good Authors at spare times. He gives her one Answer to all this, That Women would never be kept in subjection if they were learned; as he found by experience amongst his Monks, of all things in the World, he hated nothing so much as a learned Monk, who would alwayes be contradicting his Superior, from the Decretals out of Peter and Paul. He cared not if all his Monks were turned into Swine, so long as they would be obedient, and not disturb him in his Pleasures. Doubtless if that generation of Sots (who deny more Polite Learning to Women) would speak out, they would tell you, If Women should be permitted Arts, they would be wiser than themselves (a thing not to be endured) then they would never be such tame fools and very slaves as now they make them; therefore it is a wicked mischievous thing to revive the Ancient Custom of Educating them.

Seeing Nature produces Women of such excellent Parts, that they do often equalize, some-times excel men, in what ever they attempt; what reason can be given why they should not be improved?

Nothing is more excellent than Man; his excellency doth not consist in his smooth Skin, or erect Countenance, but in his Reasonable Soul; and the excellency of Reason is, when it is improved by Art.

Learning perfects and adorns the Soul, which all Creatures aim at. Nay more, a principal part of God's Image in Man's first Creation, consisted in Knowledge. Sin hath clouded this: why should we not by instruction endeavour to repair that which shall be perfected in Heaven?

None deny the understanding of the highest things belong to Women; as, The knowledge of God, Meditation of his Word, Contemplation of his Works; and they have been all along eminently employed in the great Transactions of the Church: In the Old-Testament, Miriam, Debora, Jael, Judith, Esther. In the New-Testament, the Blessed Virgin, Anna, Phebe, Priscilla, Lois, Eunice, the Elect Lady, &c. were all useful and serviceable to the Church. Who then will forbid them the studying of Arts, Tongues, History, Philosophy, &c. subservient to these? None can reverence the Majesty of God, nor admire his wonderful Works, unless they in some measure know him and them.

This Nation was delivered from the Danes, by the Valour, Secresie, and Fidelity of the Women; and from worse, than Danish slavery by the means of a Woman.

If any desire distinctly to know what they should be instructed in?

I Answer, I cannot tell where to begin to admit Women, nor from what part of Learning to exclude them, in regard of their Capacities. The whole Encyclopedeia of Learning may be useful some way or other to them. Respect indeed is to be had to the Nature and Dignity of each Art and Science, as they are more or less subservient to Religion, and may be useful to them in their station. I would not deny them the knowledge of Grammar and Rhetorick, because they dispose to speak handsomely. Logick must be allowed, because it is the Key to all Sciences. Physick, especially Visibles, as Herbs, Plants, Shrubs, Drugs, &c. must be studyed, because this will exceedingly please themselves, and fit them to be helpful to others. The Tongues ought to be studyed, especially the Greek and Hebrew, these will enable to the better understanding of the Scriptures.

The Mathematicks, more especially Geography, will be useful; this puts life into History. Musik, Painting, Poetry, &c. are a great ornament and pleasure. Some things that are more practical, are not so material, because publick Employments in the Field and Courts, are usually denyed to Women: Yet some have not been inferior to many men even in these things also. Witness Semiramis amongst the Babylonians; The Queen of Sheba in Arabia; Miriam and Debora among the Israelites; Katherine de Medices in France; Queen Elisabeth in England.

Valerius Maximus tells us of divers Women that have, with good success and great applause, pleaded their own Causes, as Amesia Sentnia; and Hortensia the Daughter of Q. Hortensius.

Amalesuentha, Queen of the Gothick Empire in Italy, contemporary with Justinian, was exceedingly valued by him; as appears by his Epistles recorded by Cassiadorus.

Zenobia made the Countrey famous by her Learning and Prudence.

In these late Times there are several instances of Women, when their Husbands were serving their King and Countrey, defended their Houses, and did all things, as Souldiers, with Prudence and Valour, like Men.

They appeared before Committees, and pleaded their own Causes with good success.

This kind of Education will be very useful to Women.

1. The profit will be to themselves. In the general they will be able to understand, read, write, and speak their Mother-Tongue, which they cannot well do without this. They will have something to exercise their thoughts about, which are busie and active. Their quality ties them at home; if Learning be their Companion, Delight and Pleasure will be their Attendants: for there is no pleasure greater, nor more sutable to an ingenious mind, than what is founded in Knowledge; it is the first Fruits of Heaven, and a glymps of that Glory we afterwards expect. There is in all an innate desire of knowing, and the satisfying this is the greatest pleasure. Men are very cruel that give them leave to look at a distance, only to know they do not know; to make any thus to tantalize, is a great torment.

This will be a Hedge against Heresies. Men are furnished with Arts and Tongues for this purpose, that they may stop the mouths of their Adversaries. And Women ought to be Learned, that they may stop their ears against Seducers. It cannot be imagined so many Persons of Quality would be so easily carried aside with every wind of Doctrine, had they been furnished with these defensive Arms; I mean, had they been instructed in the plain rules of artificial reasoning, so as to distinguish a true and forcible Argument, from a vain and captious Fallacy. Had they been furnished with Examples of the most frequent illusions of erronious Seducers. Heresiarks creep into Houses, and lead silly Women captive, then they lead their Husbands, both their Children; as the Devil did Eve, she her Husband, they their Posterity.

It is none of the least considerations, that a Woman thus educated, who modestly uses her Learning, is, in despight of envy, honoured by most, especially wise and good men; such a one is admired and even adored by the vulgar and illiterate.

More particularly, persons of higher quality, for want of this Education, have nothing to imploy themselves in, but are forced to Cards, Dice, Playes, and frothy Romances, meerly to drive away the time; whereas knowledge in Arts and Tongues would pleasantly imploy them, and upon occasion benefit others.

Seneca endeavouring to comfort his Mother Helvigia in her Affliction, when he was under Banishment, suggests to her, that she had been liberally brought up, and might now have an opportunity to be farther improved, and might comfort her self in the study of Philosophy.

We cannot be so stupid as to imagine, that God gives Ladies great Estates, meerly that they may Eat, Drink, Sleep, and rise up to Play. Doubtless they ought not to live thus. God, that will take an account for every idle thought, will certainly reckon with those Persons that shall spend their whole lives in idle play and chat. Poor Women will make but a lame excuse at the last day for their vain lives; it will be something to say, that they were educated no better. But what Answer Men will make, that do industriously deny them better improvement, lest they should be wiser than themselves, I cannot imagine.

More particularly, Women are {Unmarried.

As for Unmarried Persons, who are able to subsist without a dependance, they have a fairer opportunity than Men, if they continue long in that estate, to improve the Principles they have sucked in, and to ripen the Seeds of Learning which have been sown in their minds in their tender years. Besides, this will be an honest and profitable diversion to possess their minds, to keep out worse thoughts. Maids that cannot subsist without depending, as Servants, may chuse their places, to attend upon honourable Persons, or to be imployed in Nurseries; by their Conversation, to teach Tongues to Children, whilst carried in Arms; who perhaps, when they find their own feet, will not abide the tedium of a School.

The famous Lord Mountagn was thus improved, to the amazement of all, which made him ever after hate all Pedantick Education.

Julius Cesar also received such a tincture, whilst he was in the Nursery, that he was the reviver of the purity of the Latin Tongue in his dayes.

Married Persons, by vertue of this Education, may be very useful to their Husbands in their Trades, as the Women are in Holland; and to their Children, by timely instructing them, before they are fit to be sent to School; as was the case of Cesar and the Lord Mountagn.

I need not shew how any Persons, thus brought up, if they happen to be Widows, will be able to understand and manage their own Affairs.

2. Women thus educated, will be beneficial to their Relations. It is a great blessing of God to a Family, to provide a good Wife for the Head, if it be eminent; and a presage of ruine, when he sends a ranting Jezebel to a soft Ahab.

One Athaliah, married to Joram, plucks ruine upon the House of Jehosaphat. How many Families have been ruined by this one thing, the bad education of Women? Because the Men find no satisfactory converse or entertainment at home, out of meer weariness they seek abroad; hence they neglect their Business, spend their Estates, destroy their Bodies, and oftentimes damn their Souls.

The Italians slight their Wives, because all necessary knowledge, that may make them serviceable (attainable by institution) is denyed them: but they court, adore, and glory in their Curtezans, though common Whores; because they are polished with more generous breeding.

Many learned Men, having married Wives of excellent Parts, have themselves instructed them in all kinds of Learning, the more to fit them for their Converse, and to indear them and their society to them, and to make them admired by others. The Woman is the glory of the Man; we joy in our children when eminent, and in our Wives when excellent, either in Body or Mind.

I have said before how they may improve their Children in Learning, especially the Tongues; I mention it again, because it is a reason of so great weight, that it is sufficient (if there was nothing else) to turn the Scale. Tullia had never been so eloquent, had not she had so learned a Mother as Hortensia.

The Gracchi, Baptista, Damar, Aristippus, Eustochium (before mentioned) had never been so famous in Arts and Tongues, had they not been timely taught by their Mothers, Cornelia, Constantia, Arete, and Paula.

King Lemuel's Wisdom was extraordinary, yet he acknowledges the Seeds were sown by the timely instruction of his Mother, Prov. 31. Therefore Solomon charges Children to mind the Instruction of their Mothers; having found so much good by it himself.

Besides, none have so great an advantage of making most deep impression on their Children, as Mothers. What a prudent and virtuous Mother commends by Precept and Example, sticks long; witness Lemuel and his Proverbs, many of which he suckt in with his Mothers Milk.

Timothy was taught the Holy Scriptures from a Child, by his Grandmother Lois, and by his Mother Eunice.

We may presume the Children of the Elect Lady, were found walking in the Truth from their Mothers Instructions. For they seldom speake the Language of Canaan, whose Mothers are of Ashdod.

3. Women thus instructed will be beneficial to the Nation. Look into all History, those Nations ever were, now are, and alwayes shall be, the worst of Nations, where Women are most undervalued; as in Russia, Ethiopia, and all the Barbarous Nations of the World. One great Reason why our Neighbours the Dutch have thriven to admiration, is the great care they take in the Education of their Women, from whence they are to be accounted more vertuous, and to be sure more useful than any Women in the World. We cannot expect otherwise to prevail against the Ignorance, Atheism, Prophaneness, Superstition, Idolatry, Lust, that reigns in the Nation, than by a Prudent, Sober, Pious, Vertuous Education of our Daughters. Their Learning would stir up our Sons, whom God and Nature hath made superior, to a just emulation.

Had we a sufficient number of Females thus instructed to furnish the Nurseries of Noble Families, their Children might be improved in the knowledge of the Learned Tongues before they were aware. I mention this a third time, because it is of such moment and concern.

The memory of Queen Elisabeth is yet fresh. By her Learning she was fitted for Government, and swayed the Scepter of this Nation with as great honour as any man before her.

Our very reformation of Religion, seems to be begun and carried on by Women.

Mris. Ann Askue, a Person famous for Learning and Piety, so seasoned the Queen, and Ladies at Court, by her Precepts and Examples, and after sealed her Profession with her Blood, that the Seed of Reformation seemed to be sowed by her hand.

Henry the Eighth made a beginning out of State Policy, his Feminine Relations acted out of true Piety; this stuck in the Birth till his Daughter Queen Elizabeth carried it to the height it is now at.

My design is not to say all that may be said in the praise of Women. How modest and chast many have been; how remarkable in their love to their Husbands, how constant in Religion, how dutiful to their Parents, or how beneficial to their Countrey.

The Scripture mentions the wise Woman at Abel, who ransomed the City from Joab's Sword with Sheba's Head, when all the men were in a maze and knew not what to do. Debora was more instrumental to deliver Israel than Barak. Nabal and his House had been destroyed, had not Abigail wisely pacified David. The whole People of the Jews had been cut off, had not Hester adventured her life at the feet of Abasuerus.

My intention is not to equalize Women to Men, much less to make them superior. They are the weaker Sex, yet capable of impressions of great things, something like to the best of Men.

Hercules and Theseus were very valiant; Manalippe and Hyppolite were little inferior to them. Zeuxes and Timanthes were brave Painters. So were Timarete, Irene, Lala, Martia, and many others.

For Poetry, Sappho may be compared with Anacreon; Corinna with Pindar. Tullia was eloquent like Cicero. Cato's Daughter little inferior to himself in the Theory and Practice of Philosophy. Semiramis was like Alexander in magnificence. The Tanaquils as politick as Servius Tullius. The Porcea's were as magnanimous as Brutus.

The inference I make from hence is, that Women are not such silly giddy creatures, as many proud ignorant men would make them; as if they were uncapable of all improvement by Learning, and unable to digest Arts, that require any solidity of Judgment. Many men will tell you, they are so unstable and unconstant, born down upon all occasions with such a torrent of Fear, Love, Hatred, Lust, Pride, and all manner of exorbitant Passions, that they are uncapable to practise any Vertues, that require greatness of Spirit, or firmness of Resolution. Let such but look into History, they will find Examples enow of illustrious Women to confute them.

Before I mention the Objections, I shall state the Propositions I have endeavoured to prove; That which I intend is this, That Persons of competent natural parts, indifferently inclin'd and disposed to Learning, whom God hath blessed with Estates, that they are not cumbred in the World, but have liberty and opportunity in their Childhood; and afterwards, being competently instructed in all things now useful that concern them as Women, may and ought to be improved in more Polite Learning, in Religion, Arts, and the knowledge of things, in Tongues also as subservient to these, rather then to spend the over-plus time of their youth, in making Points for Bravery, in dressing and trimming themselves like Bartholomew-Babies, in Painting and Dancing, in making Flowers of Coloured Straw, and building Houses of stained Paper, and such like vanities.

Object. No Body means Gentlewomen should be thus educated in matters of meer vanity; but in practising their Needle, in knowing and doing those things that concern good Housewifery, which is Womens particular qualification.

Answ. I know not what may be meant, but I see what is generally done. In most Schools for educating this Sex, little more is proposed by the Undertakers, or expected by the Parents. As far as I can observe, the less any thing of solidity is taught, the more such places are frequented. I do acknowledge, in the state of the Question, that Women should be accomplished in all those things that concern them as Women. My meaning is, The over-plus time may be imployed in polishing their minds with the knowledge of such things as may be honourable, pleasant and profitable to them, and their Relations afterwards.

Before I proceed further to Answer the remaining Objections, I desire this may be taken notice of, That what-ever is said against this manner of Educating Women, may commonly be urged against the Education of Men.

Object. If we bring up our Daughters to Learning, no Persons will adventure to Marry them.

Answ. 1. Many men, silly enough, (God knows) think themselves wise, and will not dare to marry a wise Woman, lest they should be over-topt.

2. As some Husbands, debauched themselves, desire their Wives should be chast, and their Children vertuous: So some men, sensible of their own want, (caused by their Parents neglect) will chuse a learned Woman, in whom they may glory, and by whose prudence their defect may be supplyed.

3. Learned men, to be sure, will chuse such the rather, because they are sutable. Some Men marrying Wives of good natural parts, have improved themselves in Arts and Tongues, the more to fit them for their converse.

4. Many Women formerly have been preferred for this very thing.

Athenais, Daughter to Leontius the Philosopher, left destitute by him, was entertained by his Sister Placida for her Learning, and was after married to the Emperor Theodosius, charmed by her worth, being fitted by her education for that high place; she is recorded for an excellent Empress. Upon her being baptized, she was called Eudocea.

Constantine married Helena the Daughter of Lois, more for her Learning, than any other accomplishments.

We may probably imagine Hortensia, Terentia, Tullia, and divers others, had never been married to such brave men, had not their Education preferred them.

If this way of educating Gentlewomen should now be set on foot, there will not be so great a number bred; but (as degenerate as times are) there would be found learned men enow, to whom they may be preferred for their very Education.

Object. It is against custom to Educate Gentlewomen thus.

Answ. Bad customs ought to be broken, or else many good things would never come into use. I have shewed this is a Heathenish Custom, or a worse, continued amongst us upon very bad grounds.

Object. Solomon's good Housewife is commended for rising early, imploying her Servants, making Garments, by which her Husband was known in the Gate. It seems she was of quality, she had so many Servants, and her Husband a Magistrate; their Courts of Judicature were at the Gate: no mention is made of Arts or Tongues.

Answ. It seems Persons of Quality were more industrious in those times than they are now. I do not intend to hinder good Housewifery, neither have I called any from their necessary Labour to their Book. My design is upon such Persons whose leasure is a burthen.

Further, if Solomon's good House-wife was accomplished with Arts and Tongues, she would have more reverence from her Servants, and by her knowledge in Economicks, know better how to manage so great a Family.

Solomon describes an industrious Woman. I am suggesting what persons ought to do that are about these things. Those that deny this, deserve no Answer, but are to be thought on with scorn, as that Duke that thought Women wise enough that knew their Husbands Doublet and Breeches asunder.

If there be any persons so vain, and are yet pleased with this Apish kind of Breeding now in use, that desire their Daughters should be outwardly dressed like Puppets, rather than inwardly adorned with Knowledge, let them enjoy their humour; but never wonder if such Marmosets married to Buffoons, bring forth and breed up a generation of Baboons, that have little more wit than Apes and Hobby-Horses. I cannot say enough against this Barbarous rudeness, to suffer one part, I had almost said the better part, of our selves to degenerate (as far as possible) into brutality.

Object. Women are of ill Natures, and will abuse their Education: They will be proud, and not obey their Husbands; they will be pragmatick, and boast of their Parts and Improvements. The ill Nature that is in them, will become more wicked, the more wit you furnish them with.

Answ. This is the killing Objection, and every thick-skull'd Fellow that babbles this out, thinks no Billingsgate Woman can Answer it. I shall take the Objection in pieces.

1. They will abuse Learning.] So do men; he is egregiously simple, that argues against the use of a necessary or very convenient thing from the abuse of it. By this Argument no men should be liberally brought up; strong Drinks should never be used any more in the World, and a hundred such like things.

2. They are of ill Natures.] This is an impudent calumny; as if the whole Sex of Women, or the greatest part of them, had that malice infused into their very Natures and Constitutions, that they are ordinarily made worse by that Education that makes Men generally better.

— Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes
    Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros.
The Heathen found, that Arts wrought upon Men, the rougher Sex. Surely it is want of fidelity in the Instructer, if it have not the like effect upon softer and finer Materials.

3. They will be proud, and not obey their Husbands.] To this I Answer; What is said of Philosophy, is true of Knowledge; a little Philosophy carries a Man from God, but a great deal brings him back again; a little knowledge, like windy Bladders, puffs up, but a good measure of true knowledge, like Ballast in a Ship, settles down, and makes a person move more even in his station; 'tis not knowing too much, but too little that causes the irregularity. This same Argument may be turned upon Men; what-ever they answer for themselves, will defend Woman.

Those that desire a farther Answer, let them peruse Erasmus his Dialogue, of the Ignorant Abbot and the Learned Woman. An ignorant Magistrate, or Minister, may as well plead against improvement of Knowledge in all below them, lest they should be wiser than themselves, and so deride them. Do not deny Women their due, which is to be as well instructed as they can; but let Men do their duty, to be wiser than they are. If this doth not please, let silly Men let wise Women alone; the rule is, All should be (as near as they can) equally yoked.

Object. The end of Learning is publick Business, which Women are not capable of. They must not speak in the Church; and it is more proper for men to Act in the Common-Wealth than they.

Answ. They may not speak in the Church, but they may inquire of their Husbands at home; it is private instruction I plead for, not publick Imployment. Yet there is no such contradiction in the terms: Miriam and Deborah were extraordinarily called forth by God, as well as Aaron and Barak. Sometimes Women may have occasions for publick Business, as Widows, and Wives when their Husbands are absent; but, especially persons born to Government. The Salique Law hath not prevailed all the World over, and good reason too; for Women upon Thrones have been as glorious in their governing, as many Men, as I have shewed before. But lay all this aside; there are other ends of Learning, besides pleading in the Hall, and appearing in the Pulpit. Private persons (as I have before shewed) may many ways please themselves, and benefit others. This Objection also will turn the Point upon all Men that are in a private capacity.

Object. They will not mind their Houshold Affairs.

Answ. Men are judged to be more capable of Countrey business by liberal Education. Most ingenious Contrivances, even in Husbandry Trades, have been invented by Scholars. You may as well say, a Gentleman that hath Countrey Affairs to manage, ought not to be a Scholar, because he will be poring upon his Book, when he should be looking after his Plowmen.

Object. They have other things to do.

Answ. Those which have, may mind those things for ought I have said: The Question is of persons at leasure, Whether these had not better be imployed in some good Literature, than in pilling Straws, or doing nothing, which is the certain Seed of doing mischief?

Object. Women do not desire Learning.

Answ. Neither do many Boys, (as Schools are now ordered) yet I suppose you do not intend to lay Fallow all Children that will not bring forth Fruit of themselves, to forbear to instruct those which at present do not thank you for it.

But I have said, there is in all an innate desire of knowing, in Women as well as Men: if the wayes to the Temple of Pallas be so tedious, and intricate, that they confound or tire her Servants; or, if you dress up Learning in such an ugly and monstrous shape, that you afright Children; I have nothing to say to such, but that they should reform their Schools, or else all will think they have no desire any, either Male or Female, should be instructed.

Object. Women are of low Parts.

Answ. So are many Men; we plead only for those which have competent Parts. To be sure, some Women are as capable of Learning, and have attained to as great height in it as most Men; witness those Examples before produced.

If this be true, their Parts generally are lower than Mens, there is the more need they should by all convenient means be improved. Crutches are for infirm persons.

Object. Women are of softer Natures, more delicate and tender Constitutions, not so fixed and solid as Men.

Answ. If their Natures are soft, they are more capable of good Impressions; if they are weak, more shame for us to neglect them, and defraud them of the benefit of Education, by which they may be strengthened.

Object. It is against custom to educate Gentlewomen thus; those that do attempt it, will make themselves ridiculous.

Answ. This Argument might have been used to the Irish; not to use Traces at Plow and Cart, but to draw their Horses by their Tails, which was a general custom amongst them. Bad Customs (when it is evident they are so) ought to be broken, or else good Customs can never come into use. That this is a bad Custom, is evident, continued upon a bad ground. Let Women be Fools, and then you may easily make them Slaves.

Object. What need Women learn Tongues, there are Books enow in English for them to peruse?

Answ. The great Thing I design is, the Knowledge of things; as Religion, the Names and Natures of Herbs, Shrubs, Trees, Mineral- Juyces, Metals, and Precious Stones; as also the Principles of Arts and Sciences before mentioned. The learning of Tongues is only subservient to these. Was all Learning in English, as it is now in French, I think those dead Languages would be of little use, only in reference to the Scriptures. My opinion is, in the Educating of Gentlewomen, greater care ought to be had to know things, than to get words. If one must be neglected, it's better to neglect Tongues than Arts; though it is best where both may be had.

Object. Solomon's vertuous Woman, Prov. 31. is commended for good Housewifery, not for Arts and Tongues; yet her Husband was a Person of Quality, he sat amongst the Elders of the Land in the Gate.

Answ. It seems Persons of Quality were more industrious in those times than now they are. Our Ladies would count it a great disparagement to them to do as she did; to seek Wool and Flax, and to work willingly with their own hands, vers. 13. to lay their hands to the Spindle, and to take hold on the Distaff, vers. 19. to rise while it is Night, and to give Meat to her Houshold, and a Portion to her Maids, vers. 15. It's like the necessities of those times were greater, and the way of living far different from that which is now in use. The Duke of Florence is a great Merchant; Noblemen in England, and Gentlemen in France, think it disparagement to them to be so.

Answ. 2. I plead that our Ladies should have but the same Abilities this vertuous Woman had; not to labour as she did, but to understand as she did. I am sure to do all those things well that she peformed, so as to be reverenced of her Servants, that her Children should rise up before her, and call her Blessed, and that her Husband should praise her, requires knowledge in Arts and Sciences, which were hardly got in those dayes without the knowledge of Tongues; if they then were, or can be now, I am contented without them.

To buy Wooll and Flax, to die Scarlet and Purple, requires skill in Natural Philosophy. To consider a Field, the quantity and quality, requires knowledge in Geometry. To plant a Vineyard, requires understanding in Husbandry: She could not Merchandize, without knowledge in Arithmetick: She could not govern so great a Family well, without knowledge in Politicks and Oeconomicks: She could not look well to the wayes of her Houshold, except she understood Physick and Chirurgery: She could not open her Mouth with Wisdom, and have in her Tongue the Law of kindness, unless she understood Grammar, Rhetorick and Logick. This seems to be the description of an honest, well-bred, ingenious, industrious Dutch-woman. I desire our Women (whose condition calls them to business) should have no other breeding, but what will enable to do those things performed by this Woman.

As for those that are above these, I am sure the highest breeding imaginable will be useful to them. I believe the men of our times would say, it's pitty any Woman should have so much Authority as this Woman had, she would be so masterly there would be no living with her.

Object. Another Objection that seems unanswerable, is this; How shall time be found to teach Children these things here proposed? Boyes go to School ordinarily from seven till sixteen or seventeen, and not above one in four attain so much knowledge in the Tongues, as to be admitted into the University, where no great accuracy is required; and they learn nothing else usually, besides a little History. Gentlewomen will not ordinarily be sent out so soon, nor is it convenient they should continue so long. Further, half their time, it is supposed, must be spent in learning those things that concern them as Women. Twice as many things are proposed to be taught Girls in half the time, as Boyes do learn, which is impossible.

Answ. This Objection makes the whole Contrivance seem idle, unless a satisfactory Answer be given.

I say therefore, The learning of things will be no hinderance to the getting Words. Words are the marks of things, and they are learnt better together than asunder. As a man shall sooner remember Names, if he see the persons, so a Girl shall much easier fasten in her memory the names of Herbs, Shrubs, Mineral-Juyces, Metals, Precious Stones; as also the names of Birds, Beasts, Fishes; the parts of Man's Body; if she see the things themselves in specie; or the Pictures and Representations, where the things themselves cannot be had. This is a great Truth, (if there be any such thing as a concatenation of Notions, as doubtless there is) the thing being perceived, Words freely follow. Besides, to learn words thus, will be very pleasant and delightful, even to Children. As the eye is not satisfied with seeing, if it be an Object it can reach and distinguish: So the mind of a Child is not satisfied with understanding, if it be a thing he can apprehend. Let those that do believe this, try a Child of four years old in plain Pictures of Men, Beasts, Birds, or Fishes, they will see how inquisitive he will be; or, let them shew Herbs, Flowers, Stones, or any thing rare, and see whether it is any burthen to the Childs understanding or memory to learn the name when he sees the thing.

Let no Body be afrighted, because so many things are to be learnt, when the learning of them will be so pleasant; how profitable I need not tell you.

If any doubt how this may be done, or what Authors we shall use, that words and things may be learnt together;

I Answer, Comenius hath prepared Nomenclatures for this purpose. His Orbis Pictus, contains all the Primitive Latine words, and the representation of most things capable of being set out by Pictures; it may be learnt by beginners in three months, and is as a System of his Janua Linguarum.

This Janua Liguarum, a System of things, consists of a thousand Sentences; ten of which may be learnt in one day, fifty in a week, the thousand in twenty-six weeks; allowing one day in a week, and one week in a month for Repetition, that we may keep what we get. Thus nine months is spent, I mean by Gentlewoman, that spend but six hours in a day at their Books; the other three months may be imployed in gaining the French Tongue, which I thus demonstrate.

If the Latin Janua may be learnt in six months, where most of the words are new, then the French may be learnt in three, by one that understands English and Latin; because there is not above one word of ten in the French Tongue, that may not fairly, without force, be reduced to the Latin or English.

These two new Languages being learnt, one will help to keep the other. This I propose may be done to a Gentlewoman of nine or ten years old, that is of good Capacity; lower Parts require longer time.

If we should dance that wild-Goose-chase usually led, it would require longer time; ordinarily Boys learn a Leaf or two of the Pueriles, twenty Pages of Corderius, a part of Esop's Fables, a piece of Tullie, a little of Ovid, a remnant of Virgil, Terence, &c. and when all this is done, they have not much above half so many words as this little Euchiridion, the Janua, supplies them with.

It's true, this course instructs us only in the propriety of the words; therefore it is so much the better, it's the universal process of Nature to rise by degrees, to proceed from Seeds to Leaves, from Leaves to Flowers; from plain things to things ornamental. One would think those learned Men mad, that go quite contrary to this Process; that propose to season with Rhetorick, and a stile, by reading crabbed Classick Authors, as Terence, &c. before Children understand any thing of the plain signification of words.

But, methinks, I hear my Reader complain that I abuse him: I hear him confess this is but reason; But he thinks I shun the difficulty, and say nothing to Grammar, the ground-work of all; to begin at In Speech, to read the Accidence, and to get it without Book, is ordinarily the work of one whole year.

To Construe the Grammar, and to get it without-Book, is at least the task of two years more; and then, it may be, it is little understood, until a year or two more is spent in making plain Latin. My Reader, it may be, thinks I have forgot, or purposely omitted to allow time for these things, without which nothing can be done.

I do confess, to proceed in Lilly's Method, (as is before mentioned) to commit the very Accidence and Grammar to memory, requires three or four years, sometimes more, (as many can witness by woful experience) and when all is done, besides declining Nouns, and forming Verbs, and getting a few words, there is very little advantage to the Child. This being supposed, it's not likely Children of ordinary Parts should in so short a time be improved in any competent measure in the Latin Tongue.

The great reason of these Intricacies is, the whole Method swerves from the Rules of true Didacticks.

1. This is an undenyable Principle; All Rules ought to be plain, that they may be easily understood, especially such as are to be learnt by Children, to the meanness of whose Capacities we ought to condescend.

The Rules in Lilly's Grammar are not so, because they are in Latin, a Tongue the Learner doth not understand; and which is worse, a great part of them is in verse, hardly intelligible to a Child if they are translated into Grammatical English.

2. Another undoubted Principle is; All knowledge is increased by Syncrisis, (comparing one thing with another) whoever would beget a new Idea in any ones understanding, reduces it (if possible) to something he knows already, that is like it. This is a Law of Nature, who-ever proceeds according to it, moves smoothly, as an oyled Clock when the Wheels are put into their right places. Who-ever goes not according to this Rule, forces Water upwards, which returns to its Channel, so soon as the vis impressa is spent; his motion is like to a Leg or an Arm out of joynt, very uneasie.

Much of the Method used in Lilly's Grammar, in the Etymologia, and the whole Syntax, that concerns Government, varies from this grand Principle.

Those that would rationally teach Latin to a Child bred amongst us, ought to accomodate his Instruction to the English Tongue, the Tongue she knows already, and by Syncrisis, proceed à noto ad ignotum. This would be easie and pleasant; but Lillies Grammar hath no more respect to the English, than to the Welsh or Irish. For instance; A Noun is the name of a thing which may be seen, felt, heard, or understood. A Man doth not understand this, when the Noun is a second Notion, or not obvious to sense. Besides, it may as well be applyed to Welsh, Irish, Dutch, French, Italian, or Spanish, as to an English Noun.

If you demand, How can a better Rule be given, which may be more useful?

I Answer; A Noun may have usually before it in the English, a, an, or the, as a Man, an Angel, the Book. This every Child understands at the first naming.

Lilly saith, A Substantive stands by it self, and requires not another word to shew its signification. An Adjective cannot stand by it self, but requires another word to shew its signification. This is better than the former, yet hard enough for a Child to understand. Take your indication from the English, and see how plain it is. A Substantive varies in the number, as Book, Books. An Adjective doth not vary in the number, as good Book, good Books. Good is used both in the singular and plural Number.

Pronouns, in our old Grammar, are said to be parts of Speech much like to Nouns, used in Shewing or Rehearsing. They are like to Nouns, that is, they are the names of things that may be understood, and so like to Nouns in this, that I cannot know them asunder. Then Lilly reckons them up in Latin, but dares not name them in English, lest you should know them too quickly. How easily is this dispatched, if we enumerate the Pronouns (let them be what they will) in two Classes, thus; I, thou, he, we, ye, they, are Substantives; my, thy, his, our, your, &c. are Adjectives.

It is better to tell a Child, Verbs have a sign of a Mood or Tense, than than to say, they signifie doing, suffering, or being.

Participles are wildly described to be Parts of Speech, that take part of a Noun, and part of a Verb, &c. No child is at all edified by the definition. I confess this part of Speech is most difficult to be known in the English Tongue; yet it may be done thus, All words ending in ing, d, t, or n, which have no sign at all, and may be resolved into Verbs, are Participles, as learning, which doth learn; learned, which is learned.

If we now look back, that great stumbling-block to distinguish the parts of Speech, (which costs years, before a Child distinctly knows them, whilst he looks upon them in their Latin dress) is got over in a few dayes, when we take our direction from our own Tongue. I will repeat it again, that I may be perfectly understood.

A Noun may have usually before it in the English Tongue, a, an, or the. Substantives have a different termination in the Number; Adjectives have not.

Pronouns are all enumerated about thirty; some are Substantives, others are Adjectives.

Verbs may have a sign of a Mood or Tense. All words ending in ing, d, t, or n, which have no sign, and may be resolved into Verbs, are Participles.

Prepositions are all enumerated, about thirty; what-ever integral word is not Noun, Pronoun, Verb, Participle, or Preposition, is either an Adverb, or a Conjunction, it matters not much which a beginner calls them.

Interjections are all virtual Sentences; a few dayes will master this, if we proceed gradually.

I do not know much more requisite to Gentlewomen, that intend not to be critical, besides declining ing, Nouns, and forming Verbs.

The special Rules for the genders of Nouns, are but five, and the exceptions are not many.

There are but three general Rules for that part of Grammar called the As in præsenti, the irregular Verbs, which most frequently occur in Authors, in number about five hundred, are learned as a Vocabulary.

As to the Syntax; the two first Concords only are of use; and the Rules for Government, (eight score in number in Lillies Grammar) are competently accomodated to the signs of the Cases thus;

Substantives have their Cases by the Signs, and they are governed of the word going before, on which they depend according to the signs of, to, for, with, from, by, then, in, at, on, a, the.

Four exceptions subjoyned to this Rule, may make the Syntax compleat enough for a Woman, that intends onely a superficial Knowledge in the Tongue; ten more exceptions (that concern onely particular words) will make them, as profound as most men are by Lillies Rules.

To Answer the Objection fully; to know the parts of Speech by these Rules; to decline a Noun, to form a Verb, to digest the five general Rules, and five special Rules for the genders of Nouns, to commit to memory the three grand Rules, containing the As in præsenti; to decline those five hundred irregular Verbs, to understand the two Concords, and that one general Rule for Government, with four Exceptions, will not require many months.

The Prefacer to Lillies Grammar (who I hope is very authentick) tells you, more than this may be done very accurately by those blundering Rules of Lillie in the space of three months, by Children of mean parts.

Those that do not understand these short hints, may peruse a Grammar and an Apology; to which is added Rules for Pointing and Reading Grammatically; Composed by M. Lewis, Sold by Thomas Parkhurst, at the Bible and three Crowns in Cheapside, in which these things are more largely discussed. Or they may speak with M. Lewis himself any Thursday in the Afternoon, between three and six of the Clock, at the Bolt and Tun in Fleetstreet.

I will not trouble you with his Discourse, how this Method is founded upon the general rule of Speaking, that goes through the World, and how the English Tongue is one of the most regular Languages spoken upon the face of the Earth. The Grammar of this being known, it may be a Standard to measure all other Languages by.

If you peruse his Apologie, you will see how the English is a foundation to the Latin, the Latin to the Greek, you may there see how he demonstrates, to learn to decline Greek Nouns, and form Greek Verbs, hath not a fourth part of the difficulty in it, as there is in the Latin.


Let not Persons rashly censure these Proposals, before they have examined the Hypothesis, and heard what the Author can say in defence of it.

Let no Person be discouraged, because Grammar, Words, and Things, are proposed to be learnt in so short a time; the plainness and shortness of the Grammar, the seeing the Things, and having the Words in so short a compass, will make the Work easie and very delightful.

If all I have said may conveniently be done, I expect many will deride this Design. I am contented, let them abound in their own sense, and have Wives as silly as themselves desire, over whom they may tyrannize.

I hope I shall by this Discourse perswade some Parents to be more careful for the future of the Breeding of their Daughters. You cark and care to get great Portions for them, which sometimes occasions their ruine. Here is a sure Portion, an easie way to make them excellent. How many born to good Fortunes, when their Wealth hath been wasted, have supported themselves and Families too by their Wisdom?

I hope some of these Considerations will at least move some of this abused Sex to set a right value upon themselves, according to the dignity of their Creation, that they might, with an honest pride and magnanimity, scorn to be bowed down and made to stoop to such Follies and Vanities, Trifles and Nothings, so far below them, and unproportionable to their noble Souls, nothing inferior to those of Men, and equally precious to God in Christ, in whom there is neither Male nor Female.

Let a generous resolution possess your minds, seeing Men in this Age have invaded Womens Vices, in a noble revenge, reassume those Vertues, which Men sometimes unjustly usurped to themselves, but ought to have left them in common to both Sexes.


IF any enquire where this Education may be performed, such may be informed, That a School is lately erected for Gentlewomen at Tottenham-high-Cross, within four miles of London, in the Road to Ware, where Mris. Makin is Governess, who was sometimes Tutoress to the Princess Elisabeth, Daughter to King Charles the First; Where, by the blessing of God, Gentlewomen may be instructed in the Principles of Religion; and in all manner of Sober and Vertuous Education: More particularly, in all things ordinarily taught in other Schools:

As, { Works of all Sorts,
Keeping Accompts,
} { Half the time to be spent in these Things.

The other half to be imployed in gaining the Latin and French Tongues; and those that please, may learn Greek and Hebrew, the Italian and Spanish: In all which this Gentlewoman hath a competent knowledge.

Gentlewomen of eight or nine years old, that can read well, may be instructed in a year or two (according to their Parts) in the Latin and French Tongues; by such plain and short Rules, accomodated to the Grammar of the English Tongue, that they may easily keep what they have learned, and recover what they shall lose; as those that learn Musick by Notes.

Those that will bestow longer time, may learn the other Languages, afore-mentioned, as they please.

Repositories also for Visibles shall be prepared; by which, from beholding the things, Gentlewomen may learn the Names, Natures, Values, and Use of Herbs, Shrubs, Trees, Mineral-Juices, Metals and Stones.

Those that please, may learn Limning, Preserving, Pastry and Cookery.

Those that will allow longer time, may attain some general Knowledge in Astronomy, Geography, but especially in Arithmetick and History.

Those that think one Language enough for a Woman, may forbear the Languages, and learn onely Experimental Philosophy; and more, or fewer of the other things aforementioned, as they incline.

The Rate certain shal be 20 l. per annum: But if a competent improvement be made in the Tongues, and the other things aforementioned, as shall be agreed upon, then something more will be expected. But the Parents shall judge what shall be deserved by the Undertaker.

Those that think these Things Improbable or Impracticable, may have further account every Tuesday at Mr. Masons Coffe-House in Cornhil, near the Royal Exchange; and Thursdayes at the Bolt and Tun in Fleetstreet, between the hours of three and six in the Afternoons, by some Person whom Mris. Makin shall appoint.


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom