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ARGUMENT.

Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where

he must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair ; but at length confirms himself in eyil, journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described, overleaps the bounds, sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden described; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears 'their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by seducing them to transgress; then leaves them a while, to know further of their state by some other means. Meanwhile Uriel, descending on a sun-beam, warns Gabriel, who had in cha the gate of Paradise, that some evil Spirit, had escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his sphere, in the shape of a good Angel, down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest; their bower described ; their 'evening worship. Gabriel, drawing forth his hands of might-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong Angels to Adam's bower, lest the evil Spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping: there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but, hindered by a sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise,

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O FOR that warning voice, which he who saw
Th’Apocalypse heard cry in Heav'n aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be reyeng'd on men,
“ Woe to th' inhabitants on earth!” that now,
While time was, our first parents had been warn'd
The coming of their secret foe, and scap'd,
Haply so scap'd his mortal snare : for now,
Satan, now first inflam'd with rage came down,
The tempter ere th' accuser of mankind,
To wreck on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell :
Yet not rejoicing in his speed, though bold
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast, .
Begins his dire attempt, which, nich the birth,
Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast
And like a devilish engine back recoils
Upon himself ; horror and doubt distract...
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir
The Hell within him; for within him Hell -
He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
One step no more than from himself can fly .
By change of place: now conscience wakes despair
That slumber'd wakes the bitter memory,
Of what he was, what is, and what must be .
Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue. s.
Sometimes towards Fden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixes sad;

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35

Sometimes tow'ards Heav'n and the full blazing sun,
Which now'sat high in the meridian tower? No 30
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began.

“O thou, that with surpassing glory crown'd
Look’st from thy sole dominion like the God
Of this new world ; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminish'a heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down?'' '*
Warring in Heav'n against Heav’n’s matchless King: i ii
Ah wherefore! he deserv'd no such return facetin 9 Lacn* *
From me, whom he created what I was consondilla?
In that bright eminence, and with his good , ist
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard. : petrochelas
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks,
How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
And wrought but malice ; lifted up so high
Į 'sdein'd subjection, and thought one step higher ! '50
Would set me high'est, and in a moment quit "
The debt immense of endless gratitude. "
So burdensome still paying, still to owe;',
Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd,
And understood not that a grateful mind ;'', Fun
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once ': ! ! !
Indebted and discharg'd: what burden then? ... ;".
O had his pow'rful destiny ordain’d ,'.
Me some inferior Angel, I had'stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais’d : 60
Ambition. Yet why not? some other Power''. .'
As great might have aspir’d, and me, though mean, ..
Drawn to his part; but other Pow'rs as great .10 1
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within'.... it
Or from without, to all temptations arm’d. " ; 65

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