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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.
Comus. Nay, lady, sit; if I but wave this wand, Your nerves are all chain'd up in alabaster, 660 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.
Comus. Why are you vex'd, 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
invert the covenants of her trust,
Refreshment after toil, ease after pain,
virgin, This will restore all soon.
Lady. 'Twill not, false traitor !690 'Twill not restore the truth and honesty That thou hast banish'd from thy tongue
Was this the cottage, and the safe abode,
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 710 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, That in their green shops weave the smooth-hair'd silk, To deck her sons; and, that no corner might Be vacant of her plenty, in her own loins She hutch'd the all-worshipp'd 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 unthank'd, would be unpraised, Not half his riches known, and yet despised; And we should serve him as a grudging master, As a penurious niggard of his wealth ;
And live like nature’s bastards, not her sons,
grow inured to light, and come at last
the sun with shameless brows. List, lady; be not coy, and be not cozen'd With that same vaunted name, virginity. Beauty is nature's coin; must not be hoarded, But must be current; and the good thereof 740 Consists in mutual and partaken bliss, Unsavoury in the 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 In courts, at 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 serve to ply 750 The sampler, and to tease the housewife's wool. What need a vermeil-tinctured lip for that, Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the morn? There was another meaning in these gifts ; Think what, and be advised; you are but young yet.
Lady. I had not thought to have unlock'd my lips In this unhallow'd air, but that this juggler Would think to charm my judgment, as mine eyes, Obtruding false rules prank'd in reason's garb. I hate when vice can bolt her arguments,
And virtue has no tongue to check her pride.