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Brought to my mind a certain shepherd lad,
1 This is perhaps a compliment to the author's friend and schoolfellow, Charles Deodati, who had been bred up a physician.
2 Seward would omit" not,” and substitute" light esteemed.” But, as Newton observes, “ unknown and like esteemed" may be taken as equivalent to unknown and unesteemed. 3 So in 2 Henry VI. act 4, sc. 3. Cade says :
“We will not leave one lord, one gentleman;
Spare not, but such as go in clouted shoon." * Sec Pope's Homer's Odyssey, x. 361 sq. Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxiv. 4, speaks of it highly; but its nature and properties are unknown. Thyer thinks it was the herb called spleenwort.
And shed the luscious liquor on the ground,
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,
Fool! do not boast;
Why are you vexed, lady? why do you frown?
that Nepenthes,' which the wife of Thone
1 An improvement on Romeo and Juliet, act i. sc. 3.
2 Prov. xxiii. 31: “Look not thou to the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the
cup, when it moveth itself aright.” See Pope's Odyssey, iv. 301, sq., and the Faërie Queen, iv. 3, 43.
And to those dainty limbs which Nature lent
'Twill not, false traitor! '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, 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.
COMUS. 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? And set to work millions of spinning worms, 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-worshipped ore, and precious gems To store her children with: if all the world