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A Collection of Emblemes

Ancient and Moderne: Quickened VVith Metricall Illvstrations, both Morall and Divine: And disposed into Lotteries, That Instruction, and Good Counsell, may bee furthered by an Honest and Pleasant Recreation. By George Wither

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Illvstr. XXXI.
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Illvstr. XXXI.

[These, are the great'st Afflictions, most men have]

Behold, you may, the Picture, here,
Of what, keepes Man, and Childe, in feare.

These, are the great'st Afflictions, most men have,
Ev'n from their Nursing-cradle, to their Grave:
Yet, both so needfull are, I cannot see,
How either of them, may well spared bee.
The Rod is that, which, most our Child-hood feares;
And, seemes the great'st Affliction that it beares:
That, which to Man-hood, is a plague, as common
(And, more unsufferable) is a Woman.
Yet, blush not Ladies; neither frowne, I pray,
That, thus of Women, I presume to say;
Nor, number mee, as yet, among your foes;
For, I am more your friend, then you suppose:
Nor smile ye Men, as if, from hence, ye had
An Argument, that Woman kinde were bad.
The Birch, is blamelesse (yea, by nature, sweet,
And gentle) till, with stubborne Boyes, it meet:
But, then, it smarts. So, Women, will be kinde,
Vntill, with froward Husbands, they are joyn'd:
And, then indeed (perhaps) like Birchen boughes,
(VVhich, else, had beene a trimming, to their House)
They, sometimes prove, sharpe whips, and Rods, to them,
That Wisdome, and, Instruction doe contemne.
A Woman, was not given for Correction;
But, rather for a furtherance to Perfection:
A precious Balme of love, to cure Mans griefe;
And, of his Pleasures, to become the chiefe.
If, therefore, she occasion any smart,
The blame, he merits, wholly, or in part:
For, like sweet Honey, she, good Stomackes, pleases;
But, paines the Body, subject to Diseases.