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Does arbitrate the event, my nature is

That I incline to hope rather than fear,

And gladly banish squint suspicion. My sister is not so defenceless left, As you imagine; she has a hidden strength

Which you remember not. 2 Br. - What hidden strength, Unless the strength of Heaven, if you mean that?

1 Br.-I mean that too, but yet a hidden strength

Which, if Heaven gave it, may be termed her own;

'Tis chastity, my brother, chastity. She that has that is clad in complete steel,

And like a quivered Nymph with arrows keen

May trace huge forests, and unharbored heaths, Infamous hills, and sandy perilous wilds,

Where through the sacred rays of chastity, No savage fierce, bandite, or mountaineer

Will dare to soil her virgin purity: Yea there, where very desolation dwells,

By grots, and caverns shagged with horrid shades,

She may pass on with unblenched


Be it not done in pride, or in presumption. Some say no evil thing that walks by night,

In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorish fen,

Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost,

That breaks his magic chains at curfew time,

No goblin, or swart faery of the

mine, Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity. Do ye believe me yet, or shall I call Antiquity from the old schools of Greece

Wherewith she tamed the brinded lioness

And spotted mountain pard, but set at nought

To testify the arms of chastity? Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow,

Fair silver-shafted queen, forever chaste,

The frivolous bolt of Cupid; gods and men

Feared her stern frown, and she was queen o' the woods.

What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield,

That wise Minerva wore, unconquered virgin,

Wherewith she freezed her foes to congealed stone,

But rigid looks of chaste austerity, And noble grace that dashed brute violence

With sudden adoration and blank awe?

So dear to heaven is saintly chastity, That when a soul is found sincerely

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But evil on itself shall back recoil, And mix no more with goodness, when at last

Gathered like scum, and settled to itself,

It shall be in eternal restless change Self-fed, and self-consumed: if this fail.

The pillared firmament is rottenness,
And earth's base built on stubble.
But come, let's on.
Against the opposing will and arm
of heaven

May never this just sword be lifted
But for that damned magician, let
him be girt

With all the grisly legions that troop Under the sooty flag of Acheron, Harpies and Hydras, or all the monstrous forms

"Twixt Africa and Ind, I'll find him out,

And force him to return his purchase back,

Or drag him by the curls to a foul death,

Cursed as his life.
Spir. - Alas!



I love thy courage yet, and bold emprise;


But here thy sword can do thee little stead;

Far other arms and other weapons must

Be those that quell the might of hellish charms:

He with his bare wand can unthread thy joints,

And crumble all thy sinews.

1 Br.-Why prithee, Shepherd, How durst thou then thyself approach so near, As to make this relation?

Spir.-Care and utmost shifts How to secure the Lady from surprisal,

Brought to my mind a certain shepherd lad,

Of small regard to see to, yet well skilled In every virtuous plant and healing herb,

That spreads her verdant leaf to the morning ray:

He loved me well, and oft would beg me sing,

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Or like the sons of Vulcan vomit smoke,

Yet will they soon retire, if he but shrink.

1 Br.-Thyrsis, lead on apace, I'll follow thee,

And some good Angel bear a shield before us.

The Scene changes to a stately palace, set out with all manner of deliciousness; soft music, tables spread with all duinties. COMUS appears with his rabble, and the LADY set in an enchanted chair, to whom he offers his glass, which she puts by, and goes about to rise.

Com. Nay, Lady, sit; if I but wave this wand,

Your nerves are all chained up in alabaster,

And you a statue, or as Daphne was Root-bound, that fled Apollo.

Lady. Fool, do not boast.

Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind

With all thy charms, although this corporal rind

Thou hast immanacled, while heaven sees good.

Com. Why are you vext, Lady? why do you frown?

Here dwell no frowns, nor anger; from these gates

Sorrow flies 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


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And first behold this cordial julep here,

That flames, and dances in his crystal bounds,

With spirits of balin, and fragrant syrups mixed.

Not that Nepenthes, 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


And to those dainty limbs which nature lent

For gentle usage, and soft delicacy? But you invert the covenants of her trust,

And harshly deal, like an ill borrower, With that which you received on other terms;

Scorning the unexempt condition By which all mortal frailty must subsist, Refreshment after toil, ease after pain,

That have been tired all day without repast,

And timely rest have wanted; but, fair Virgin,

This will restore all soon.

Why should you be so cruel to your


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Was this the cottage, and the safe abode

Thou told'st me of? What grim aspects are these,

These ugly-headed monsters? Mercy guard me!

Hence with thy brewed enchantments, foul deceiver;

Hast thou betrayed my credulous innocence

With visored falsehood and base forgery?

And wouldst thou seek again to trap me here

With liquorish 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-governed and wise appetite. 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 Absti


Wherefore did Nature pour her bounties forth

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