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And sits as safe as in a senate-house;
For who would rob a hermit of his weeds,
His few books, or his beads, or maple dish,
Or do his gray hairs any violence?
But Beauty, like the fair Hesperian tree
Laden with blooming gold, had need the guard
Of dragon-watch with unenchanted eye,
To save her blossoms, and defend her fruit,
From the rash hand of bold Incontinence.
You may as well spread out the unsunn'd heaps
Of miser's treasure by an outlaw's den,
And tell me it is safe, as bid me hope
Danger will wink on Opportunity,
And let a single helpless maiden pass
Uninjur'd in this wild surrounding waste.
Of night, or loneliness, it recks me not;
1 fear the dread events that dog them both,
Lest some ill-greeting touch attempt the person
Of our unowned Sister.

Elder Brotlier. I do not, Brother,

Infer, as if I thought my Sister's state
Secure, without all doubt or controversy,
Yet, where an equal poise of hope and fear
Does arbitrate the event, my nature is
That I incline to hope, rather than fear,
And gladly banish squint suspicion.
My Sister is not so defenceless left
As you imagine; she has a hidden strength,

Which you remember not.

Second Brother. What hidden strength,

Unless the strength of Heaven, if you mean that?

Elder Brother. I mean that too, but yet a hidden strength, Which, if Heaven gave it, may be term'd her own JTis Chastity, my 'Brother, Chastity: She, that has that, is clad in complete steel; And, like a quiverM 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, bandke, or mountaineer, Will dare to spoil 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 magick 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? Hence had the huntress Dian her dread brow, .

Fair silver-shafted 'Queen, for ever chaste.
Wherewith *be tam'd the brinded lioness
And spotted mountain-pard, hut set at nought
The frivolous bolt of .Cupid; gods and men
Fear'd her stetn Jrowro, and she was queen o' the

What was the 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 Bq,

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 tio gross ear can hear;

Till oft converse wi»h heavenly habitant

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,

1111 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.

Second Brother. 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.

Elder Brother. List, list; I hear

Some far off holloo break the silent air.

Second Brother. Methought so too; what should it be?

Elder Brother. For certain ^

Either some one like us night-founder'd here,
Or else some neighbour woodman, or, at worst,
Some roving robber calling to his fellows.

Second Brother. Heaven keep my Sister. Again, and near! Best draw, and stand upon our guard.

Elder Brother.. I'll halloo:

If he be friendly, he comes well; if not,
Defence is a good cause, and Heaven be for us.

[Enter the Attendant Spirit, habited like a Shepherd.]

That halloo I should know; what arc you? speak; Come not too near, you fall on iron stakes else. Spirit. What voice is that? my young Lord? speak again.

Second Brother. O Brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure,

Elder Brother. Thyrsis? Whose artful strains have oft delay'd The huddling brook to hear his madrigal, And sweeten'd every muskrose of the dale? How cam'st thou here, good swain? hath any ram Slipt from the fold, or young kid lost his dam, Or straggling wether the pent flock forsook? How could'st thou find this dark sequcster'd nook?

Spirit. O my lov'd master's heir, and his next joy, I came not here on such a trivial toy As a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth Of pilfering wolf; not all the fleecy wealth, That doth enrich these downs, is worth a thought To this my errand, and the care jt brought. But, O my virgin Lady, where is she? How chance she is not in your company?

Elder Brother. To tell thee sadly, Shepherd, without blame, Or our neglect, we lost her as we came.

Spirit Ay me unhappy! then my fears are true.

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