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Rules for Widows or Vidual Chastity.

For widows, the fontanel of whose desires hath been opened by the former permissions of the marriage-bed, they must remember,

1. That God hath now restrained the former license, bound up their eyes, and shut up their heart into a narrower compass, and hath given them sorrow to be a bridle to their desires. A widow must be a mourner; and she that is not cannot so well secure the chastity of her proper state.

2. It is against public honesty to marry another man so long as she is with child by her former husband: and of the same fame it is, in a lesser proportion, to marry within the year of mourning; but anciently it was infamous for her to marry till by common account the body was dissolved into its first principle of earth.

3. A widow must restrain her memory and her fancy, not recalling or recounting her former permissions and freer licenses with any present delight: for then she opens that slice which her husband’s death and her own sorrow have shut up.

4. A widow that desires her widowhood should be a state pleasing to God, must spend her time as devoted virgins should, in fastings and prayers and charity.

5. A widow must forbid herself to sue those temporal solaces, which in her former estate were innocent, but now are dangerous.

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