unbreathed


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I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.
Milton wrote: "I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.
When one recalls that the initial biblical mention of the "belly" would have been the curse of unsatisfied hunger upon the serpent "belly-god" Satan--"upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life" (Genesis 3:14)--the reader finds in Lamb's fused allusions (4) both an assertion of the fallen state all eaters share and an endorsement of a Miltonic "knowing good by evil," that refusal in "Areopagitica" to "praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue unexercised and unbreathed.