WWP The Project Newsletter Archive Volume 2, Number 2 From the Textbase

From the Textbase

The Countesse of Lincolnes Nurserie (excerpt)

Elizabeth Clinton,The Countess of Lincoln, 1622

"Oh consider, how comes our milke? is it not by the direct providence of God? Why provides he it, but for the child? The mothers then that refuse to nurse their owne children, doe they not despise Gods providence? Doe they not deny Gods will? Doe they not as it were say, I see, O God, by the meanes thou hast put into me, that thou wouldst have me nurse the child thou hast given me, but I will not doe so much for thee. Oh impious, and impudent unthankfulnesse; yea monstrous unnaturalnesse, both to their own natural fruit borne so neare their breasts, and fed in their owne wombes, and yet may not be suffered to sucke their owne milke.

And this unthankfulnesse, and unnaturalnesse is oftner the sinne of the Higher, and the richer sort, then of the meaner, and poorer, except some nice and prowd idle dames, who will imitate their betters, till they make their poore husbands beggars. And this is one hurt which the better ranke doe by their ill example; egge, and imbolden the lower ones to follow them to their losse: were it not better for Us greater persons to keepe Gods ordinance, & to shew the meaner their dutie in our good example? I am sure wee have more helpes to performe it, and have fewer probable reasons to alleage against it, then women that live by hard labour, & painfull toile. If such mothers as refuse this office of love, & of nature to their children, should hereafter be refused, despised, and neglected of those their children, were they not justly requited according to their owne unkind dealing? I might say more in handling this first point of my promise; but I leave the larger, and learneder discourse hereof unto men of art, and learning: only I speake of so much as I reade, and know in my owne experience, which if any of my sexe, and condition do receave good by, I am glad: if they scorne it, they shall have the reward of scorners. I write in modestie, and can reape no disgrace by their immodest folly."

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