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THE

SECOND BOOK

OF

PARADISE LOST.

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THE ARGUMENT.

The confultation begun, Satan debates whether another battel be to be hazarded for the recovery of Heaven: Some advile it, others

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propofal is preferr'd, mention'd before th Satan, to fearch the truth of that prophecy or tradition in Heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature equal or not much inferior to themfelves, about this time to be created: Their doubt, who fhall be fent on this difficult fearch: Satan their chief undertakes alone the voyage, is honor'd and applauded. The council thus ended, the reft betake them feveral ways, and to feveral einployments, as their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He paffes on his journey to Hell gates, finds them fhut, and who fate there to guard them, by whom at length they are open'd, and dif cover to him the great gulf between Hell and Heaven; with what difficulty he paffes through, directed by Chaos, the Power of that place, to the fight of this new world, which he fought.

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39

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PARADISE LOST.

H'

wd BOOK IL

IGH on a throne of royal ftate, which far

Outfhone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, Or where the gorgeous eaft with richest hand Show'rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold, Satan exalted fat, by merit rais'd To that bad eminence; and from defpair Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires Beyond thus high, infatiate to purfue Vain war with Heav'n, and by fuccefs untaught His proud imaginations thus display'd.

Pow'rs and Dominions, Deities of Heaven,
For fince no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigor, though opprefs'd and fall'n,

I give not Heav'n for loft. From this defcent
Celestial virtues rifing, will appear

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15 More glorious and more dread than from no fall, And trust themselves to fear no fecond fate. Me though just right, and the fix'd laws of Heaven Did first create your leader, next free choice, With what befides, in counfel or in fight, Hath been achiev'd of merit, yet this lofs Thus far at leaft recover'd, hath much more Eftablish'd in a fafe unenvied throne, Yielded with full confent. The happier ftate In Heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw 25 Envy from each inferior; but who here

Will envy whom the highest place expofes

Foremost to stand against the Thund'rer's aim

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Your bulwark, and condemns to greateft fhare
Of endless pain? where there is then no good 30
For which to ftrive, no flrife can grow up there
From faction; for none fure will clame in Hell
Precedence, none, whofe portion is fo fmall
Of prefent pain, that with ambitious mind
Will covet more.. With this advantage then
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in Heav'n, we now return
To clame our juft inheritance of old,

Surer to profper than profperity

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45

Could have affur'd us; and by what beft way, 40
Whether of open war or covert guile, d
We now debate; who can advife, may fpeak.
He ceas'd, and next him Moloch, feepter'd king,
Stood up, the ftrongest and the fiercest Spirit
That fought in Heav'n, now fiercer by defpair:
His truft was with th' Eternal to be deem'd
Equal in ftrength, and rather than be lefs
Car'd not to be at all; with that care loft
Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worfe
He reck'd not, and thefe words thereafter fpake. 50
My fentence is for open war: of wiles,

More unexpert, I boaft not: them let thofe
Contrive who need, or when they need, not now.
For while they fit contriving, fhall the rett,
Millions that ftand in arms, and longing wait
The fignal to afcend, fit ling ring here
Heav'n's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of fhame,
The prifon of his tyranny, who reigns
By our delay? no, let us rather choose,
Arm'd with Hell flames and fury, all at once

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O'er Heav'n's high tow'rs to, force refiftless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the torturer; when to meet the noise
Of his almigty engin he fhall hear
Infernal thunder, and for lightning fee
Black fire and horror fhot with equal rage
Among his Angels, and his throne itself
Mix'd with Tartarean fulphur, and ftrange fire,
His own invented torments. But perhaps
The way feems difficult and fteep to scale
With upright wing againft a higher foe.
Let fuch bethink them, if the fleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benamm not fill,
That in our proper motion we afcended 75
Up to our native feat: defcent and fall

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To us is adverfe. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Infulting, and purfued us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We funk thus low? Th' afcent is eafy then; on
Th' event is fear'd; fhould we again provoke
Our stronger, fome worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction; if there be in Hell

Fear to be worfe deftroy'd: what can be worfe 85
Than to dwell here, driv'n out from blifs, comdemn'd
In this abhorred deep to utter woe;

Where pain of unextinguishable fire

Muft exercife us without hope of end

The vaffals of his anger, when the fcourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour,
Calls us to penance? More destroy'd than thus
We fhould be quite abolish'd and expire.
What fear we then? what doubt we to incenfe

C 5.

до

His

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