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Till an unusual stop of sudden silence
Gave respite to the drowfie frighted steeds
That draw the litter of close-curtain’d sleep,
At last a soft and solemn breathing sound
Rose like a steam of rich diftilld perfumes,
And fto!e upon the Air, that even Silence
Was took ere she was ware, and wisht she might
Deny her Nature, and be never more
Still to be so displac’d. I was all ear,
Aná took in strains that might create a Soul
Under the ribs of Death ; but o ere long
Too well I did perceive it was the voice
Of my moft honour'd Lady, your dear Sister.
Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear,
And, O poor hapless Nightingale, thought I,
How sweet thou fing'st, how near the deadly snare!
Then down the Lawns I ran with headlong haste,
Through paths and turnings often trod by day,
Till guided by mine ear I found the place
Where that damn'd wisard, hid in fly disguise,
(For so by certain signs I knew) had met
Already, ere my best speed could prevent,
The aidless innocent Lady his wisht prey ;
Who gently ask'd if he had seen such two,
Suppofing him some neighbour villager:
Longer I durft not stay, but soon I guess'd
Ye were the two she meant, with that I sprung
Into swift flight, till I had found you

But farther know I not. ¥. Bro. O night and !hades,
How are ye join’d with Hell in triple knot,
Against th' unarmed weakness of one Virgin
Alone, and helpless! Is this the confidence
You gave me, Brother? Eld. Bro. Yes, and keep it still,
Lean on it safely; not a period
Shall be unsaid for me : against the threats
Of malice or of forcery, or that power,
Which erring men call Chance, this I hold firm,
Virtue may be affaild, but never hurt,



Surpriz'd by unjust force, but not inthrallid;
Yea even that, which mischief meant moft harm,
Shall in the happy trial prove most glory.
But evil on itself shall back recoil,
And mix no more with goodness, when at last
Gather'd like scum, and settl'd to itself,
It shall be in eternal restless change
Self-fed, and self-consumed ; if this fail,
The pillar'd firmament is rottenness,
And earth's base built on stubble. But come, let's on:
Against th' opposing will and arm of Heav'n,
May never this just Sword be lifted up;
But for that damn’d Magician, let him be girt
With all the griefly legions that troop
Under the footy flag of Acheron,
Harpyes and Hydras, or all the monstrous forms
''Twixt Africa and Inde, I'll find him out,

And force him to restore his purchase back,
Or drag him by the curls to a foul death,
Curs'd as his life.

Spir. Alas! good vent'rous Youth,
I love thy courage yet, and bold Emprise,
But here thy Sword can do thee little Itead ;
Far other arms, and other weapons must
Be those, that quell the might of hellish Charms :
He with his bare wand can unthread thy joynts,
And crumble all thy sinews.

Eld. Bro. Why prethee, Shepherd,
How durft thou then thy self approach so near,
As to make this Relation ?

Spir. Care and utmost fhifts
How to secure the Lady from furprisal,
Brought to my mind a certain Shepherd Lad,
Of small regard to see to, yet well skill'd
în every virtuous Plant and healing Herb,
That spreads her verdant leaf to th' morning ray ;
He lov'd me well, and oft would beg me fing,
Which when I did, he on the tender grass


Would fit, and hearken ev'n to extafie,
And in requital ope his leathern scrip,
And shew me simples of a thousand names,
Telling their strange and vigorous faculties.
Amongst the reft a small unsightly root,
But of divine effect, he culld me out ;
The leaf was darkish, and had prickles on it, .
But in another Country, as he faid,
Borę a bright golden Flower, but not in this foil :
Unknown, and like esteem'd, and the dull Swain
Treads on it daily with his clouted shoon,
And yet more med’cinal is it than that Moly
That Hermes once to wise Ulles gave ;
He call'd it Hemony, and gave it me,
And bad me keep it as of Sov'raign use
"Gainst all inchantments, mildew, blaft or dainp,
Or gastly furies apparition.
I purs'd'it up, but little reckoning made,
Till now that this extremity compellid,
But now I find it true ; for by this means
I knew the foul Inchanter, tho' disguis'd,
Enter'd the very lime-twigs of his spells,
And yet came off : if you have this about you,
(As I will give you when we go) you may
Boldly affault the Necromancer's Hall;
Where if he be, with dauntless hardihood,
And brandisht blade rush on him, break his glass,
And shed the luscious liquor on the ground ;
But seize his wand, though he and his curit crew
Fierce sign of Battle make, and menace high,
Or like the Sons of Vikan vomit smoak ;
Yet will they soon retire, if he but shrink.

Eld. Bro. Thyrsis, lead on apace, I'll follow thee ;
And some good Angel bear a Thield before us.

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The Scene changes to a fately Palace, set out with all

manner of deliciousness : poft Mufick, Tables Spread with all dainties. Comus appears with his rabble, and the Lady set in an inchanted Chair, to whom he offers his Glass, which she puts by, and goes about to rije.

Comus. Nay, Lady, fit; if I but wave this Wand,
Your nerves are all chain’d up in Alabafler,
And you a Statue, or, as Daphne was,
Root bound, that fed Apollo.

La. Fool, do not boast ;
Thou canst not touch the freedom of


mind With all thy Charms, although this corporal rind Thou haft immanacled, while Heav'n fees good.

Co. Why are you vext, Lady? why do you frown? Here dwell no frowns, nor anger ; from these gates Sorrow fies far: See! here be all the pleasures That fancy can beget on youthful thoughts, When the fresh blood grows lively, and returns Brisk as the April buds in Primrose-season. And first behold this cordial Julep here, That fames and dances in his crystal bounds, With spirits of balm, and fragrant Syrups mixt. Not that Nepentes, which the Wife of Thone, In Egypt gave to Jove-born Helena, Is of such power to stir up joy as this, To life so friendly, or so cool to thirst. Why should you be fo cruel to yourself, And to those dainty limbs, which Nature lent For gentle usage, and soft delicacy? But you invert the Cov'nants of her truft, And barshly deal, like an ill borrower, With that which you receiv'd on other terms, Scorning the unexempt condition, By which all mortal frailty must subfift, Refreshment after toil, ease after pain,

That ?

That have been tir'd all day without repast,
And timely reft have wanted : but, fair Virgin,
This will restore all foon.

La. 'Twill not, false traitor,
'Twill not restore the truth and honesty,
That thou haft banisht from thy tongue with lyes:
Was this the cottage, and the safe abode
Thou told'ít me of? What grim aspects are these,
These owly-headed Monsters? Mercy guard me!
Hence with thy brew'd inchantments, foul deceiver,
Hast thou betray'd my credulous Innocence
With visor'd falshood, and base forgery,
And would'st thou seek again to trap me here
With lickerish baits, fit to insnare a brute ?-
Were it a draught for Juno, when she banquets,
I would not taste thy treasonous offer : none
But such as are good men can give good things,
And that, which is not good, is not delicious
To a well-govern'd and wife appetite.

Co. O foolishness of men that lend their ears
To those budge Doctors of the Stoic Fur ;
And fetch their precepts from the Cynic Tub,
Praising the lean and sallow Abftinence.
Wherefore did Nature pour her bounties forth
With such a full and unwithdrawing hand,
Covering the Earth with odours, fruits, and flocks,
Thronging the Seas with spawn innumerable,
But all to pleafe, and fate the curious taste ?
And set to work millions of spinning Worms,
That in their green shops weave the smooth-hair'd filk,
To deck her Sons ; and that no corner might
Be vacant of her plenty, in her own loins
She hutcht th' all-worshipt Ore, and precious Gems,
To store her children with? If all the world
Should in a pet of temperance feed on Pulse,
Drink the clear stream, and nothing wear but Frieze,
Th' All-giver would be unthank'd, would be unprais'd,
Not half his riches known, and yet despis'd,


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