תמונות בעמוד

Arm'd with hell Alames and fury, all at once
O’er heav'n's high tow'rs to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the torturer ; when, to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine, he shall hear
Infernal thunder; and, for lightning, fee
Black fire and horrour shot with equal rage
Among his Angels; and his throne itself

with Tartarean fulphur and strange fire,
His own invented torments. But perhaps
The way seems difficult and steep to scale
With upright wing against a higher foe.
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
That in our proper motion we ascend
Up to our native seat: descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Infulting, and pursu'd us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We funk thus low? Th’ascent is easy then.
Th’ event is fear’d. Should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction ; if there be in hell
Fear to be worse destroy'd. What can be worse
Than to dwell here, driv’n out from bliss, condemn'd
In this abhorred deep to utter wo;
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Muft exercise us without hope of end,
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorable and the torturing hour
Call us to penance ? More destroy'd than thus,
We should be quite abolih'd and expire.
What fear we then? what doube we to incense
His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag'd,
Will either quite consume us and reduce
To nothing this essential (happier far,
Than miserable to have eternal being),
Or if our fubstance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at wordt
On this fide nothing; and by proof we feel
Our pow'r sufficient to disturb his heaven,
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And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Though inacceslible, his fatal throne;
Which, if not victory,-is yet revenge.

XV. Speech of Belial, advising Peace.
I SHOULD be much for open war, o peers,

As not behind in hate ; if what was urg'd
Main reason to persuade immediate war,
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to caft
Ominous conjecture on the whole success;
When he who most excels in feats of arms,
In what he counsels, and in what excels,
Mistraltful, grounds his courage on despair
And utter dissolution, as the scope
Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
First, what revenge? The tow'rs of Heav'n are fill's
With armed watch, that render all access
Impregnable : oft on the bord’ring deep
Incamp their legions; or, with obscure wing,
Scout far and wide into the realm of night,
Scorning surprise. Or, could we break our way
By force, and at our heels all Hell should rife
With blackest insurrection, to confound
Heav'n's purest light-yet our great enemy,
All incorruptible, would on his

Sit unpolluted ; and th' ethereal mould,
Incapable of stain, would foon expel
Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope
Is flat despair. We must exasperate
Th' almighty vietor to spend all his rage,
And that must end us : that must be our curey
To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perifh rather, swallow'd up and loft
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion ? And who knows,
Let this be good, whether our angry

Can give it, or will ever? How he can,
Is doubtfulthat he never will, is fure.
Will he, fo wise, let loose at once his ire,

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Belike through impotence or unaware,
To give his enemies their wish, and end
Them in his anger whom his anger

To punish endless ? Wherefore cease we then ?
Say they who counsel war : we are decreed,
Resery'd, and deftin'd to eternal wo:
Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
What can we füffer worse? Is this then worst,
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
What, when we fled amain, pursu'd and struck
With heav'n's afflicting thunder, and befought
The deep to shelter us? this hell then seem'd
A refuge from those wounds: or when we lay
Chain'd on the burning lake ? that fure was worse.
What if the breath that kindled those grim fires,
Awak'd, should blow them into sev’nfold

rage, And plunge us in the flames ? or, from above, Should intermitted vengeance arm again His red right hand to plague us ? what if all Her stores were open'd, and this firmament Of hell inould spout her cataracts of fire, Impendent horrours, threat'ning hideous fall One day upon our heads; while we, perhaps Designing or exhorting glorious war, Caught in a fiery tempelt, shall be hurl'd, Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey Of wrecking whirlwinds : or for ever sunk Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains ; There to converse with everlasting groans, Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd, Ages of hopeless end ? this would be worse. War, therefore, open or conceal'd, alike My voice diffuades.




1. Belcour and Stockwell.. Stock.


FR Belcour, I am rejoiced to see you: you

are welcome to England. Bel. I thank you heartily, good Mr Stockwell. You and I have long conversed at a distance: now we are met: and the pleasure this meeting gives me, amply compensates for the perils I have run through in ac. complishing it.

Stock. What perils, Mr Belcour! I could not have thought you would have met with a bad paffage at this time o’year.

Bel. Nor did we. Courier-like, we came posting to your shores upon the pinions of the swiftest gales that ever blew. It is upon English ground all my difficulties have arisen: it is the passage from the river-side I complain of.

Stock. Indeed ! What obstructions can you have met between this and the river-side ?

Bel. Innumerable! Your town's as full of defiles as the island of Corsica ; and, I believe, they are as obsti. nately defended. So much liurry, bustle, and confufion, on your quays ; so many lugar-calks, porter-butts, and common council men, in your streets ; that, unless a man marched with artillery in his front, it-is more than the labour of a Hercules can effect to make any toierable way through your town.

Stock. I am sorry you have been so incommoded.

Bel. Why, truly, it was all my own fault. Accufomed to a land of slaves, and out of patience with the whole tribe of custom-house extortioners, boatmen, tidewaiters, and water-bailiffs, that beset me on all sides worse than a fwarm of musquetoes, I proceeded a little too roughly to brush them away with my ratan. The


sturdy rogues took this in dudgeon; and, beginning to rebel, the mob chose different sides, and a furious scuffle ensued; in the course of which, my person and apparel suffered fo much, that I was obliged to step into the first tavern to refit, before I could make my approaches in any decent trim.

Stock. Well, Mr Belcour, it is a rough sample you have had of my countrymen's spirit; but, I trust, you will not think the worse of them for it.

Bel. Not at all, not at all: I like them the better. Were I only a visitor, I might perhaps with them a little more tractable ; but, as a fellow-subject and a sharer in their freedom, I applauded their spirit--though I feel the effects of it in every bone in my tkin. Well, Mr Stockwell, for the first time in my life, here am I in England ; at the fountain-head of pleasure ; in the land of beauty, of arts, and elegancies. 'My happy Atars have given me a good estate, and tlie confpiring winds have blown me hither to spend it.

Stock. To use it, not to waste it, I hould hope ; to treat it, Mr Belcour, not as a vaffal over whom you have a wanton despotic power, but as a subject whom you are bound to govern with a temperate and restrained authority.

Bel. True, Sir, most truly said: mine's a commillion, not a right: I am the offspring of distress, and every child of sorrow is my brother. While I have hands to hold, therefore, I will hold them open to mankind. But, Sir, my passions are my masters ; they take me where they will; and, oftentimes, they leave to reafon and vir. tue nothing but my wifhes and my fighs.

Stock. Come, come, the man who can accuse, cortects himself.

Bel. Ah! that is an office I am weary of. I wish a friend would take it up: I would to Heaven you had leisure for the employ. But, did you drive a trade to the four corners of the world, you wonld not find the talk fo toilsome as to keep me free from faults.

Steck. Well, I am not discouraged. This candour tells me I should not have the fault of self-conceit to combat ; that, at least, is not amongst the minber.

Bel, No; if I knew that man on earth who thought


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