It may be said to me, as one said to a Lady, Work Lady Work, let writing Books alone,2 For surely Wiser Women ne'r writ one; But your Lordship never bid me to Work, nor leave Writing, except when you would perswade me to spare so much time from my Study as to take to the Air for my Health; the truth is, My Lord, I cannot Work, I mean such Works as Ladies use to pass their Time withall, and if I could, the Materials of such Works would cost more than the Work would be worth, besides all the Time and Pains bestow'd upon it. You may ask me, what Works I mean; I answer, Needle-works, Spinningworks, Preserving-works, as also Baking, and Cooking-works, as making Cakes, Pyes, Puddings, and the like, all which I am Ignorant of; and as I am Ignorant in these Imployments, so I am Ignorant in Gaming, Dancing, and Revelling; But yet, I must ask you leave to say, that I am not a Dunce in all Imployments, for I Understand the Keeping of Sheep, and Ordering of a grange, indifferently well, although I do not Busie my self much with it, by reason my Scribling takes away the most part of my Time. Perchance some may say, that if my Understanding be most of Sheep and a Grange, it is a Beastly Understanding; My answer is, I wish Men were as Harmless as most Beasts are, then surely the World would be more Quiet and Happy than it is, for then there would not be such Pride, Vanity, Ambition, Covetousness, Faction, Treachery, and Treason, as is now; Indeed one might very well say in his Prayers to God, O Lord God, I do beseech thee of thy infinite Mercy, to make Man so, and order his Mind, Thoughts, Passions, and Appetites, like Beasts, that they may be Temperate, Sociable, Laborious, Patient, Prudent, Provident,
2An allusion to Lord Denny's poem on Lady Mary Wroth. See Josephine Roberts' edition of The Poems of Lady Mary Wroth for a transcription of Denny's poem (pp. 33 and 34).