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And timely rest have wanted; but fair Virgin,
This will restore all soon.
Lady. 'Twill not, false traitor,
'Twill not restore the truth and honesty
That thou hast banish'd from thy tongue with lies.
Was this the cottage, and the safe abode
Thou tolds me of? What grim aspects are these,
These ugly-headed monsters ? Mercy guard me! 705
Hence with thy brew'd inchantments, foul deceiver;
Hast thou betray'd my credulous innocence
With visor'd falfhood, and base forgery?
And would'At thou seek again to trap me here
With liquorish baits fit to insnare a brute? 710
Were it a draft 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 wise appetite. 715
Com. 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 Abstinence. Wherefore did Nature pour her bounties forth, 720 With such a full and unwithdrawing hand, Covering the earth with odors, fruits, and flocks, Thronging the feas with spawn innumerable, But all to please, and sate the curious taste? And set to work millions of spinning worms, 725
H h 2
That in their green shops weave the smooth-hair'd
To deck her sons, and that no corner might (filk
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 730
Should in a pet of temp'rance feed on pulse,
Drink the clear stream, and nothing wear but frieze,
Th’all-giverwould beunthank’d,would beunprais’d,
Not half his riches known, and yet despis’d,
And we should serve him as a grudging master, 753
As a penurious niggard of his wealth,
And live like Nature's bastards, not her sons,
Whowould be quite surcharg’dwith herown weight,
And strangled with her waste fertility, (plumes,
Th' earth cumber'd, and the wing’d air darkt with
The herds would over-multitude their lords, 740
The sea o'er-fraught would swell, and th’unsought di-
Would so imblaze the forehead of the deep, (amonds
And so bestud with stars, that they below
Would grow inur’d to light, and come at last 745
To gaze upon the sun with shameless brows.
List Lady, be not coy, and be not cosen'd
With that same vaunted name Virginity.
Beauty is Nature's coin, must not be horded,
But must be current, and the good thereof 750
Consists in mutual and partaken bliss,
Unsavory in th' enjoyment of itself;
If you let slip time, like a neglected rose
It withers on the stalk with languish'd head.
Beauty is Nature's brag, and must be shown 755
In courts, in feasts, and high solemnities,
Where most may wonder at the workmanship;
It is for homely features to keep home,
They had their name thence; coarse complexions.
And cheeks of sorry grain will ferve to ply 760
The sampler, and to tease the huswife's wooll.
What need a vermeil-tinctur'd lip for that,
Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the morn?.
There was another meaning in these gifts, 764
Think what, and be advis’d, you are but young yet.
Lady. I had not thought to have unlockt my lips
In this unhallow'd air, but that this jugler .
Would think to charm my judgment, as mine eyes,
Obtruding false rules prankt in reason’s garb.
I hate when vice can bolt her arguments, 770
And virtue has no tongue to check her pride.
Impostor, do not charge most innocent Nature,
As if she would her children should be riotous
With her abundance; she good cateress
Means her provision only to the good, 775
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 lewdly-pamper'd luxury - 780
Now heaps upon some few with vast excess,
Nature's full blessings would be well dispens'd
In unsuperfluous even proportion,
And she no whit incumber'd with her store,
And then the giver would be better thank’d, 785
His praise due paid; for swinish gluttony
Ne'er looks to Heav'n amidst his gorgeous feast,
But with besotted base ingratitude
Crams, and blasphemes his feeder. Shall I go on?
Or have I said enough? To him that dares 790
Arm his profane tongue with contemptuous words
Against the sun-clad pow'r of Chastity,
Fain would I something say, yet to what end ?
Thou hast nor ear, nor soul to apprehend
The sublime notion, and high mystery, 795
That must be utter'd to unfold the sage
And serious doctrin of Virginity,
And thou art worthy that thou should'ft not know
More happiness than this thy present lot.
Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric, 800'
That hath so well been taught her dazling fence,
Thou art not fit to hear thyself convinc'd;
Yet should I try, the uncontrolled worth
Of this pure cause would kindle my rapt spirits
To such a flame of sacred vehemence, 805
That dumb things would be mov'd to sympathize,
And the brute earth would lend her nerves, and shake,
Till all thy magic structures rear’d so high, .
Were shatter'd into heaps o'er thy false head.
Com. She fables not, I feel that I do fear 810 Her words set off by some superior power; And though not mortal, yet a cold shudd'ring dew Dips me all o'er, as when the wrath of Jove Speaks thunder, and the chains of Erebus To some of Saturn's crew. I must dissemble, 815 And try her yet more strongly. Come, no more, This is mere moral babble, and direct Against the canon laws of our foundation ; I must not suffer this, yet 'tis but the lees And settlings of a melancholy blood : 820 But this will cure all strait, one sip of this Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight Beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise, and taste.--
The Brothers rush in with swords drawn, wrest his glass
out of his hand, and break it against the ground; his rout make sign of resistance, but are all driven in; The attendent Spirit comes in.
Spir. What, have you let the false inchanter scape? O ye mistook, ye should have snatcht his wand 825 And bound him faft; without his rod revers’d, And backward mutters of dislevering power, We cannot free the Lady that fits here In stony fetters fix'd, and motionless : Yet stay, be not disturb’d; now I bethink me, 830 Some other means I have which may be us’d, Which once of Melibæus old I learnt,