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I pursed it up, but little reckoning made,

Till now that this extremity compelled :

But now I find it true; for by this means

I knew the foul enchanter, though disguised,
Entered 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 assault the necromancer's hall;

Where if he be, with dauntless hardihood,

And brandished blade, rush on him; break his glass,
And shed the luscious liquor on the ground,

But seize his wand; though he and his cursed crew

Fierce sign of battle make, and menace high,

Or like the sons of Vulcan vomit smoke,

Yet will they soon retire, if he but shrink.


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 dainties. 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.]


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.


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.


Why are you vexed, 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,32
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 crystal bounds,33

With spirits of balm and fragrant syrups mixed. Not that Nepenthes,34 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 so cruel to yourself,

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.


'T will not, false traitor!

'T will not restore the truth and honesty

That thou hast banished from thy tongue with lies.

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 ensnare 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.


Oh, 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
With such a full and unwithdrawing hand,
Covering the earth with odours, fruits, and flocks,
Thronging the seas with spawn innumerable,
But all to please and sate the curious taste?

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