As Joseph Swetnam illustrated in Arraignment of Lewd, idle, froward, and unconstant
women (1615),"[f]or women haue a thousand ways to intice thee, and ten thousand waies to deceiue thee.
Speght's A Mouzell for Melastomus (1617) offers a prose defense of women at least in part written in response to Joseph Swetnam's popular misogynist pamphlet titled The Araignment of Lewde, Idle, Froward and Unconstant
, variable, cruel, and lacking the spirit of counsel and regiment" (43).
When they provide biographical or historical information that is more extensive than the authors family and major works, it is of the type that is immediately relevant to comprehending the work at hand: that Speght's A Muzzle for Melastomus is a response to Joseph Swetnam's The Arraignment of Lewd, idle, froward, and unconstant
women; that Alice Sutcliffe was probably Catholic; that Lucy Hutchinson was Calvinist.
Joseph Swetnam in his The Arraignment of Lewd, Idle, Forward, and Unconstant
women (1615) writes that women are degraded because they 'paint .
Play fast and loose with faith, so jest with heaven, Make such unconstant
children of ourselves, As now again to snatch our palm from palm?
In the final scene William the Conqueror, who has been deceived by Mariana and Blanch, rejects all women as "disloyal, unconstant
, all unjust" and defines "a lover's state to be the base / And vilest slavery in the world" (1405, 1356-67) but then has his mind changed by the climax of the other plot wherein the title figure, a faithful woman, shows up the fickle Manville who ends up rejected by both Em and a second women he has pursued.
by a Yonge Gentilwoman: to her Unconstant
Lover (1567) Whitney engages in "the rhetoric of novelty" as she inserts a female voice into the debate about lovers and "caters to readers' tastes by experimenting with popular mid-Tudor genres," she also "presents readers with the less familiar viewpoint of a woman for saken economically" (19).
Regan replies: Such unconstant
starts are we like to have from him as this of Kent's banishment.
The which they hoped would be quickly, considering that they had to deale with a fiche and unconstant
multitude, easye to be caried, and that the Senate stoode for them: who notwithstanding made no enquiery of them that had torne poore Cinna the Poet in peeces.
23; Joseph Swetnam, TheAraignment of Lewde, Idle, Froward, and Unconstant
Women in Female Replies (London: [n.
37) Freedom under such a government "is to have a standing rule to live by, common to everyone in that society, and made by the legislative power elected in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, where that rule prescribes not; and not to be subject to the unconstant
, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary rule or will of another man.