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PARADISE LOST.

BOOK IV.

THE 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 evil, 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 the 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 sunbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escaped the deep, and past at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good angel down to Paradise, discovered afterwards 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 bands of nightwatch 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.

O FOR that warning voice, which he who saw
Th' Apocalypse, heard cry in heaven aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be reveng❜d on men,
Woe to the 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 wreak 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, nigh the birth
Now rolling, boils in his tumultuous breast,
And like a devilish engine back recoils

17 devilish]Those devilish engines fierie fierce.' Russell's Battles of Leipsic, 1634, 4to.

For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petar.'

Spenser's F. Qu. 1. 7. xiii. 'As when that devilish iron engine, wrought in deepest hell.'

17 recoils] see Hamlet, act iii. scene iv.

And Ausonii Epigram, lxxii.

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'Auctorem ut feriant tela retorta suum.' and Beaumont's Fair Maid of the Inn, act ii.

'Twas he
Gave heat unto the injury, which returned
Like a petard ill lighted, into the bosom
Of him gave fire to't.'

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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.
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixes sad;
Sometimes towards heaven and the full-blazing sun,
Which now sat high in his meridian tower:
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began.

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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'd 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, 40 Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless

King.

Ah, wherefore! he deserv'd no such return

21 nor from hell] v. Fairfax's Tasso, c. xii. st. 77. 'Swift from myself I run, myself I fear, Yet still my hell within myself I bear.' 80 tower] Virg. Culex, ver. 41. 'Igneus æthereas jam sol penetrârat in arces. VOL. I. 8

Todd.

Richardson

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From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,
How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I sdein'd subjection, and thought one step higher so
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burthensome, still paying, still to owe;
Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd,
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharg'd; what burden then?
O had his powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel, I had stood

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Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd
Ambition! Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspir'd, and me though mean
Drawn to his part; but other powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?
Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,

50 sdein'd] Drayton's Moses' Birth, B. I.

'Which though it sdaind the pleasdnesse to confesse.'

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v. Benlowe's Theophila, p. 29.

65

ana Fairfax's Tasso, ver. xx. 128. 'He sdeignful eies.' Todd.

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58 still paying] Still paying, ne'er discharged.'

But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accurs'd, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe:

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Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide;
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ay me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan;
While they adore me on the throne of Hell,
With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery; such joy ambition finds.
But
say I could repent, and could obtain
By act of grace my former state; how soon
Would highth recal high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign'd submission swore: ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void;

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