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In this close dungeon of innumerous boughs.
First B. Peace, Brother; be not over-exquisite
1 'Cast the fashion :' i. e., predict.—5 'All-to:' old word for entirely.
May sit i' the center, and enjoy bright day:
Sec. B. 'Tis most true,
That musing Meditation most affects
First B. I do not, Brother,
Infer, as if I thought my Sister's state
My Sister is not so defenceless left
As you imagine; she has a hidden strength, Which you remember not.
Sec. B. What hidden strength,
Unless the strength of Heaven, if you mean that?
First B. I mean that too, but yet a hidden strength, Which, if Heaven gave it, may be term'd her own: 'Tis Chastity, my Brother, Chastity: She, that has that, is clad in complete steel; And, like a quiver'd Nymph with arrows keen, May trace huge forests, and unharbour'd 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 shagg'd with horrid shades, She may pass on with unblench'd majesty, 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 meager hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost That breaks his magic chains at Curfeu 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 To testify the arms of Chastity 1 Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow, Fair silver-shafted queen, for ever chaste, Wherewith she tamed the brinded lioness And spotted mountain pard, but set at nought The frivolous bolt of Cupid; gods and men Fear'd her stern frown, and she was queen o' the woods. What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield,
That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin,
Wherewith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone,
But rigid looks of chaste austerity,
And noble grace, that dash'd brute violence
With sudden adoration and blank awe?
So dear to Heaven is saintly Chastity,
That, when a soul is found sincerely so,
A thousand liveried angels lackey her,
Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt;
And, in clear dream and solemn vision
Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear;
Till oft converse with heavenly habitants
Begin to cast a beam on the outward shape,
The unpolluted temple of the mind,
And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence,
Till all be made immortal: But when Lust,
By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk,
But most by lewd and lavish act of sin,
Lets in defilement to the inward parts,
The soul grows clotted by contagion,
Imbodies, and imbrutes, till she quite lose
The divine property of her first being.
Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp,
Oft seen in charnel vaults and sepulchres
Lingering, and sitting by a new made grave,
As loth to leave the body that it lov'd,
And link'd itself by carnal sensuality
To a degenerate and degraded state.
Sec. B. How charming is divine Philosophy! Not harsh, and crabbed, as dull fools suppose; But musical as is Apollo's lute, And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets, Where no crude surfeit reigns.
First B. List, list; I hear
Some far-off halloo break the silent air.
Sec. B. Methought so too; what should it be?
First B. For certain
Either some one like us night-founder'd here,
Sec.B. Heaven keep my sister. Again, again, and near! Best draw, and stand upon our guard.
First B. I'll halloo:
If he be friendly, he comes well; if not,
Enter the Attendant Spirit, habited like a Shepherd.
That halloo I should know; what are you 1 speak;
Spi. What voice is that 1 my young lord 1 speak again.
Sec. B. 0 Brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure.
First B. Thyrsis 1 Whose artful strains have oft delay'd
Spi. 0 my lov'd master's heir, and his next joy,