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Farre other arms, and other weapons must
Be those that quell the might of hellish charms,
He with his bare wand can unthred thy joynts
And crumble all thy sinewes.
ELD. BRO. Why prethee shepheard
How durst thou then thy selfe approach so néere
As to make this relation?
SPIRIT. Care and utmost shifts
How to secure the Ladie from surprisall
Brought to my mind a certaine shepheard lad
Of small regard to see to, yet well skill'd
In every vertuous plant, and healing herbe
That spreds her verdant leafe to th’ morning ray,
He lov'd me well, and oft would beg me sing,
Which when I did, he on the tender grasse
Would sit, and hearken even to extasie,
And in requitall ope his leather'n scrip,
And shew me simples of a thousand names
Telling their strange, and vigorous faculties,
Amongst the rest a small unsightly root,
But of divine effect, he cull'd me out;
The leafe was darkish, and had prickles on it,
But in another Countrie, as he said,
Bore a bright golden flowre, but not in this soyle:
Unknowne, and like esteem’d, and the dull swayne
Treads on it dayly with his clouted shoone,
And yet more med'cinall is it then that Moly
That Hermes once to wise Ulysses gave,
He call'd it Haemony, and gave it me
And bad me keepe it as of soveraine use
'Gainst all inchantments, mildew blast, or damp
Or gastly furies apparition;
I purs’t it up, but little reck'ning made
Till now that this extremity compell'd,
But now I find it true, for by this means
I knew the foule inchanter though 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 wee goe) you may COMUS
Boldly assault the necromancers hall, - A Maske
Where if he be, with dauntlesse hardihood
And brandish't blade rush on him, breake his glasse,
And shed the lushious liquor on the ground
But sease his wand, though he and his curst crew
Feirce signe of battaile make, and menace high,
Or like the sons of Vulcan vomit smoake,
Yet will they soone retire, if he but shrinke.
ELD. BRO. Thyrsis lead on apace Ile follow thee,
And some good angell beare a sheild before us.
The Scene Changes to a stately palace set out with all manner of deliciousnesse, soft musicke, tables spred with all dainties. Comus appeares with his rabble, and the Ladie set in an inchanted chaire to whom he offers his glasse, which she puts by, and goes about to rise.
COMUS. Nay Ladie sit; if I but wave this wand,
Your nerves are all chain'd up in alabaster,
And you a statue; or as Daphne was
Root bound that fled Apollo.
LADIE. Foole doe not boast,
Thou canst not touch the freedome of my mind
With all thy charms, although this corporall rind
Thou hast immanacl'd, while heav'n sees good.
COMUS. Why are you vext Ladie, why doe you frowne?
Here dwell no frowns, nor anger, from these gates
Sorrow flies farre: see here be all the pleasurs
That fancie can beget on youthfull 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 flames, and dances in his crystall bounds
With spirits of balme, and fragrant syrops mixt.
Not that Nepenthes which the wife of Thone
In AEgypt gave to Jove borne Helena
Is of such power to stirre up joy as this,
To life so friendly, or so coole to thirst.
Why should you be so cruell to your selfe,
And to those daintie limms which nature lent
For gentle usage, and soft delicacie?
But you invert the cov'nants of her trust,
And harshly deale like an ill borrower
With that which you receiv'd on other termes,
Scorning the unexempt condition,
By which all mortall frailty must subsist,
Refreshment after toile, ease after paine,
That have been tir'd all day without repast,
And timely rest have wanted, but faire virgin
This will restore all soone.
LADIE. T' will not false traitor,
T' will not restore the truth and honestie
That thou hast banish't from thy tongue with lies,
Was this the cottage, and the safe abode
Thou told'st me of? what grim aspects are these,
These ougly-headed monsters? Mercie guard me!
Hence with thy brewd inchantments foule deceiver,
Hast thou betray'd my credulous innocence
With visor'd falshood, and base forgerie,
And wouldst thou seek againe to trap me here
With lickerish baits fit to ensnare a brute?
Were it a draft for Juno when she banquets
I would not tast 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 wel-govern'd and wise appetite.
COMUS, O foolishnesse of men! that lend their eares
To those budge doctors of the Stoick furre,
And fetch their praecepts from the Cynick tub,
Praising the leane, and sallow Abstinence.
Wherefore did Nature powre her bounties forth
With such a full and unwithdrawing hand,
Covering the earth with odours, fruits, and flocks
Thronging the seas with spawne innumerable
But all to please, and sate the curious tast?
And set to work millions of spinning worms,
That in their green shops weave the smooth-hair'd silk COMUS
To deck her Sons, and that no corner might A Maske
Be vacant of her plentie in her owne loyns
She hutch't 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 streame, and nothing weare but Freize,
Th'all-giver would be unthank’t, would be unprais'd,
Not halfe his riches known, and yet despis'd,
And we should serve him as a grudging master,
As a penurious niggard of his wealth,
And live like Natures bastards, not her sons,
Who would be quite surcharg'd with her own weight,
And strangl'd with her wast fertilitie;
Th’earth cumber'd, and the wing'd aire dark't with plumes,
The heards would over-multitude their Lords,
The seaore-fraught would swell, and th’unsought diamonds
Would so emblaze the forehead of the Deep,
And so bestudde with stars that they below
Would grow inur'd to light, and come at last
To gaze upon the Sun with shameless brows.
List Ladie be not coy, and be not cosen'd
With that same vaunted name Virginitie,
Beautie is natures coine, must not be hoorded,
But must be currant, and the good thereof
Consists in mutuall and parktaken blisse,
Unsavourie in th’injoyment of it selfe
If you let slip time, like a neglected rose
It withers on the stalke with languish't head.
Beautie is nature's brag, and must be showne
In courts, at feasts, and high solemnities
Where most may wonder at the workmanship;
It is for homely features to keepe home,
They had their name thence; course complexions
And cheeks of sorry graine will serve to ply
The sampler, and to teize the huswifes wooll.
What need a vermeil-tinctur'd lip for that
Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the Morne
There was another meaning in these gifts?
Thinke what, and be adviz'd, you are but yong yet.
LADIE. I had not thought to have unlockt my lips
In this unhallow'd aire, but that this Jugler
Would thinke to charme my judgement, as mine eyes
Obtruding false rules pranckt in reasons garbe.
I hate when vice can bolt her arguments
And vertue has no tongue to check her pride:
Impostor doe not charge most innocent nature
As if she would her children should be riotous
With her abundance, she good cateresse
Means her provision only to the good
That live according to her sober laws
And holy dictate of spare Temperance,
If every just man that now pines with want
Had but a moderate, and beseeming share
Of that which lewdy-pamper'd Luxurie
Now heaps upon some few with vast excesse,
Natures full blessings would be well dispenc't
In unsuperfluous even proportion,
And she no whit encomber'd with her store,
And then the giver would be better thank’t,
His praise due paid, for swinish gluttony
Ne're looks to heav'n amidst his gorgeous feast,
But with besotted base ingratitude
Cramms, and blasphemes his feeder. Shall I goe on?
Or have I said enough? to him that dares
Arme his profane tongue with reproachfull words
Against the Sun-clad power of Chastitie
Faine would I something say, yet to what end?
Thou hast nor Eare, nor Soule to apprehend
The sublime notion and high mysterie
That must be utter'd to unfold the sage
And serious doctrine of Virginitie,
And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know
More happinesse then this thy praesent lot.
Enjoy your deere Wit, and gay Rhetorick
That hath so well beene taught her dazling fence,