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E. Bro. Forbear, nor offer us the poison'd sweets That thus have render'd thee thy sex's shame, All sense of honour banish'd from thy breast.

« SONG.

Fame's an echo, pratiling double,
An empty, airy, glitering bubble ;
A breath can swell, a breath can sink it,
The wise not worth their keeping think it.

Why then, why such toil and pain
Fame's uncertain smiles to gain ?
" Like her sister fortune blind,
To the best she's oft unkind,
« And the worst her favour find.

E. Bro. By her own sentence Virtue stands ab.

solv'd, “ Nor asks an echo from the tongues of men “ To tell what hourly to herself she proves. " Who wants his own no other praise enjoys; “ His ear receives it as a fulsome tale “ To which his heart in secret gives the lie :

Nay, slander'd innocence must feel a peace, Aninward peace, which flatter'd guilt ne'er knew." F. Wom. Oh! how unseemly shews in blooming

youth
Such grey severity ! -But come with us,
We to the bow'r of bliss will guide your steps ;
There you shall taste the joys that Nature sheds

On the gay spring of life, youth's flow'ry prime, From morn to noon, from noon to dewy eve, 270 Each rising hour by rising pleasures mark'd.

SONG. By a Woman in a pastoral babit.

Would you taste the noon tide air,
To yon' fragrant bow'r repair,
Where woven with the poplar bough
The mantling vine will shelter you.

Down each side a fountain flows,
Tinkling, murm'ring, as it goes,
Lightly o'er the mossy ground,
Sultry Phæbus scorching round.

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Round the languid herds and sheep
Stretch'd o'er sunny hillocks sleep,
While on the hyacintb and rose
The fair does all alonè repose.

All alone

-and in her arms
Your breast may beat to love's alarms
Till bless'd and blessing you shall own,
The joys of love are joys alone.

E. Bro. “ How low sinks beauty when by vice de.

bas'd! " How fair that form if virtue dwelt within ! “ But from this shameless advocate of shame

290 “ To me the warbled song harsh discord grates,

Y.Bro.“Short is the course of ev'ry lawless pleasure; “ Grief like a shade on all its footsteps waits, “ Scarce visible in joy's meridian height, " But downward as its blaze declining speeds “ The dwarfish shadow to a giant spreads." F. Wom. No more; these formal maxiins misbe

come you ; They only suit suspicious shrivell d Age.

SONG. By a Man and two Women.

300

Live and love, enjoy the fair,
Banish sorrov, banish care; ,
Mind not what old dotards say;
Age has had his share of play,
But youth's sport begins to-day.

From the fruits of sweet delighi
Let not scare-crow Virtue fright:
Here in Pleasure's vine-yard we
Rove like birds from tree to tree,
Careless, airy, gay, and free.

E. Bro. How can your impious tongues profune the

name

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Of sacred Virtue, and yet promise pleasure
In lying songs of vanity and vice ?
From virtue sever'd pleasure phrenzy grows,
“ The gay delirium of the fev'rish mind,
" And always flies at reason's cool return.

F. Wom. Perhaps it may; perhaps the sweetest

joys “Of love itself from passion's folly spring ; But say, does wisdom greater bliss bestow ? E. Bro. “ Alike from love's and pleasure's path

you stray, “ In sensual folly blindly seeking both, “Your pleasure riot, lust your boasted love. 320 “ Capricious, wanton, bold, and brutal lust “ Is meanly selfish, when resisted cruel, “ And like the blast of pestilental winds “ Taints the sweet bloom of Nature's fairest forms : “ But love, like od'rous Zephyr's grateful breath, “ Repays the flow'r that sweetness which it borrows; “Uninjuring, uninjur'd, lovers move “ In their own sphere of happiness content By mutual truth avoiding mutual blame." But we forget: who hears the voice of Truth

330 In noisy riot and intemp’rance drown'd ? Thyrsis, be then our guide; we'll follow thee, And some good angel bear a shield before us !

[Exeunt Brothers and Spirit. F. Wom. Come, come, my friends, and partners

of my joys, Leave to these pedant youth their bookish dreams; Poor blinded boys, by their blind guides misled ! " A beardless Cynick is the shame of nature,” Beyond the cure of this inspiring cup; “ And my contempt, at best my pity, moves." Away, nor waste a moment more about 'em

340

CHORUS.
Away, away, away,
To Comus court repair ;
Tbere night outsbines the day,

There yields the melting fair.[ Exeunt singing.
E. Bro. “ She's gone! may scorn pursue her wan-

ton arts, " And all the painted charms that vice can wear. “ Yet oft' o'er credulous youth such Sirens triumph, “ And lead their captive sense in chains as strong “ As links of adamant. Let us be free, And to secure our freedom, virtuous. 350

7. Bro.“ But should our helpless sister meet the rage Of this insulting troop, what could she do ? “ What hope, what comfort, what support, were left?

Spi. “She meets not them; but yet, if right I guess, " A harder trial on her virtue waits. E. Bro. “ Protect her Heav'n! But whence this sad

conjecture? Spi. “ Thisev’ning late, by then the chewing flocks “ Had ta’en their supper on the sav'ry herb “Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold, “ I sat me down to watch upon a bank “With ivy canopy'd, and intervove “With Aaunting honeysuckle, and began, " Wrapp'd in a pleasing fit of melancholy, “ To meditate my rural minstrelsy, !! Till fancy had her fill; but ere a close,

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The first Act en is here as now performed,

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