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Why should you be so cruel to yourself,
For gentle usage and soft delicacy?
With that which you received on other terms,
Refreshment after toil, ease after pain,
And timely rest have wanted. But, fair virgin,
'Twill not, false traitori 'Twill 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, 695 These ugly-headed monsters? Mercy guard me! Hence with thy brewed enchantments, foul de
And would'st thou seek again to trap me here 700 With liquorish baits, fit to ensnare a brute?
Were it a draught for Juno when she banquets,
And that which is not good is not delicious 705 To a well-governed and wise appetite.
Comus. 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 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? And set to work millions of spinning worms, 716 That in their green shops weave the smooth-haired
silk, To deck her sons; and, that no corner might Be vacant of her plenty, in her own loins She hutched the all-worshiped ore and precious
gems, To store her children with. If all the world 720 Should, in a pet of temperance, feed on pulse, Drink the clear stream, and nothing wear but
frieze, The All-giver would be unthanked, would be un
praised, Not half his riches known, and yet despised; And we should serve him as a grudging master, 7 As a penurious niggard of his wealth, And live like Nature's bastards, not her sons, Who would be quite surcharged with her own
And strangled with her waste fertility: 730 The earth cumbered, and the winged air darked
with plumes, The herds would over-multitude their lords; The sea o’erfraught would swell, and the unsought
diamonds Would so emblaze the forehead of the deep,
And so bestud with stars, that they below
To gaze upon the sun with shameless brows.
Beauty is Nature's coin; must not be hoarded, 740 But must be current, and the good thereof
Consists in mutual and partaken bliss,
It withers on the stalk with languished head. 745 Beauty is Nature's brag, and must be shown
in courts, at feasts, and high solemnities,
They had their name thence: coarse complexions 750 And cheeks of sorry grain will serve to ply
The sampler, and to tease the huswife's wool.
There was another meaning in these gifts; 755 Think what, and be advised; you are but young yet
Lady. I had not thought to have unlocked my
lips In this unhallowed air, but that this juggler Would think to charm my judgment, as mine eyes, Obtruding false rules pranked in reason's garb. I hate when vice can bolt her arguments, 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, 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-pampered Luxury Now heaps upon some few with vast excess, Nature's full blessings would be well dispensed In unsuperfluous even proportion, And she no whit encumbered with her store; And then the Giver would be better thanked, 775 His praise due paid: for swinish gluttony Ne'er looks to Heaven 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 780 Arm his profane tongue with contemptuous words Against the sun-clad power of chastity Fain would I something say;—yet to what end?
Thou hast not ear, nor soul, to apprehend | 785 The sublime notion and high mystery
That must be uttered to unfold the sage
More happiness than this thy present lot. 790 Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric,
That hath so well been taught her dazzling fence;
Of this pure cause would kindle my rapt spirits 795 To such a flame of sacred vehemence,
That dumb things would be moved to sympathize,
Were shattered into heaps o'er thy false head. 800 Comus. She fables not. I feel that I do fear
Her words set off by some superior power;
Speaks thunder and the chains of Erebus
And try her yet more strongly.—Come, no more!
I must not suffer this, yet ’tis but the lees 810 And settlings of a melancholy blood.
But this will cure all straight; one sip of this