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Of his weak arguing, and fallacious drift;
At length, collecting all his serpent wiles,
5 With soothing words renew'd, him thus accosts :
“I see thou know'st what is of use to know,
What best to say canst say, to do canst do :
Thy actions to thy words accord; thy words
To thy large heart give utterance due; thy heart
Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.
Should kings and nations from thy mouth consult,
Thy counsel would be as the oracle
Urim and Thummim, those oraculous gems
On Aaron's breast; or tongue of seers old,
15 Infallible: or wert thou sought to deeds That might require th' array of war, thy skill Of conduct would be such, that all the world Could not sustain thy prowess, or subsist In battle, though against thy few in arms.
20 These godlike virtues wherefore dost thou hide, Affecting private life, or more obscure In savage wilderness? Wherefore deprive All Earth her wonder at thy acts, thyself The fame and glory?-glory, the reward
25 That sole excites to high attempts, the flame Of most erected spirits, most temper'd pure Ethereal, who all pleasures else despise, All treasures and all gain esteem as dross, And dignities and powers all but the highest !
30 Thy years are ripe, and over-ripe: the son Of Macedonian Philip had ere these Won Asia, and the throne of Cyrus held At his dispose; young Scipio had brought down The Carthaginian pride; young Pompey, quell’d
35 The Pontic king and in triumph had rode. Yet years, and to ripe years judgment mature, Quench not the thirst of glory, but augment. Great Julius, whom now all the world admires, The more he grew in years, the more inflam'd
40 With glory, wept that he had liv'd so long, Inglorious :--but thou yet art not too late.”
To whom our Saviour calmly thus repli'd : “ Thou neither dost persuade me to seek wealth For empire's sake, nor empire to affect
45 For glory's sake, by all thy argument. For what is glory but the blaze of fame, The people's praise--if always praise unmixt ? And what the people but a herd confus’d, A miscellaneous rabble, who extol
50 Things vulgar, and, well weigh’d, scarce worth the praise ? They praise, and they admire, they know not what,
And know not whom, but as one leads the other;
And what delight to be by such extoll’d,
To live upon their tongues, and be their talk,
to be disprais'd were no small praise ?—
His lot who dares be singularly good!
Th' intelligent among them, and the wise,
Are few, and glory scarce of few is rais’d.
This is true glory and renown,—when God,
Looking on the Earth, with approbation marks
The just man, and divulges him through Heaven
To all his angels, who, with true applause,
Recount his praises : thus he did to Job,
When, to extend his fame through Heaven and Earth,
As thou to thy reproach may'st well remember,
He ask'd thee, ' Hast thou seen my servant Job ?'
Famous he was in Heaven, on Earth less known;
Where glory is false glory,-attributed
To things not glorious, men not worthy of fame.
They err who count it glorious to subdue
By conquest far and wide, to overrun
Large countries, and in field great battles win,
Great cities by assault: what do these worthies,
But rob and spoil, burn, slaughter, and enslave
Peaceable nations, neighbouring or remote, -
Made captive, yet deserving freedom more
Than those their conquerors, who leave behind
Nothing but ruin whereso'er they rove,
And all the flourishing works of peace destroy ;
Then swell with pride, and must be titled Gods,
Great Benefactors of mankind, Deliverers,
Worshipt with temple, priest, and sacrifice ?
One is the son of Jove, of Mars the other;
Till conqueror Death discover them scarce men,
Rolling in brutish vices, and deform’d, -
Violent or shameful death their due reward.
But if there be in glory aught of good,
It may by means far different be attain'd,
Without ambition, war, or violence ;
By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminent,
By patience, temperance :-I mention still
Him whom thy wrongs, with saintly patience borne,
Made famous in a land and times obscure:
Who names not now with honour patient Job?
Poor Socrates, (who next more memorable ?)
By what he taught, and suffer'd for so doing,--
For truth's sake suffering death unjust,---lives now
Equal in fame to proudest conquerors.
Yet if for fame and glory aught be done,
Aught suffer'd ; if young African for fame
His wasted country freed from Punic rage;
The deed becomes unprais’d,—the man at least,
And loses, though but verbal, his reward.
Shall I seek glory then, as vain men seek,
Oft not deserv'd ?-I seek not mine, but His
Who sent me; and thereby witness whence I am.”
To whom the Tempter murmuring thus repli'd :
“ Think not so slight of glory; therein least
Resembling thy great Father: he seeks glory,
And for his glory all things made, all things
Orders and governs; nor content in Heaven
By all his angels glorifi’d, requires
Glory from men, from all men, good or bad,
Wise or unwise,--no difference, no exemption :
Above all sacrifice or hallow'd gift,
Glory he requires, and glory he receives,
Promiscuous from all nations, Jew or Greek,
Or barbarous, nor exception hath declar'd:
From us, his foes pronounc't, glory he exacts.”
To whom our Saviour fervently repli’d:
since his word all things produc'd,
Though chiefly not for glory as prime end,
But to show forth his goodness, and impart
His good communicable to every soul
Freely: of whom what could he less expect
Than glory and benediction, that is thanks;-
The slightest, easiest, readiest recompense
From them who could return him nothing else;
And, not returning that, would likeliest render
Contempt instead, dishonour, obloquy ?-
Hard recompense, unsuitable return
For so much good, so much beneficence.
But why should Man seek glory, who of his own
Hath nothing, and to whom nothing belongs
But condemnation, ignominy, and shame ?-
Who, for so many benefits receiv’d,
Turn'd recreant to God, ingrate and false,
And so of all true good himself despoild;
Yet, sacrilegious, to himself would take
That which to God alone of right belongs :
Yet so much bounty is in God, such grace,
That who advance his glory, not their own,
Them he himself to glory will advance.”
So spake the Son of God: and here again
Satan had not to answer, but stood struck
With guilt of his own sin; for he himself,
Insatiable of glory, had lost all:
Yet of another plea bethought him soon.
“Of glory, as thou wilt," said he, so deem;
Worth or not worth the seeking, let it pass.
But to a kingdom thou art born,-ordain'd
To sit upon thy father David's throne,
By mother's side thy father; though thy right
Be now in powerful hands, that will not part
Easily from possession won with arms :
Judea now, and all the Promis'd Land,
Reduc't a province under Roman yoke,
Obeys Tiberius; nor is always ruļd
With temperate sway: oft have they violated
The Temple, oft the Law, with foul affronts,--
Abominations rather,-as did once
Antiochus: and think'st thou to regain
Thy right by sitting still, or thus retiring ?
So did not Maccabeus : he indeed
Retir'd into the desert, but with arms;
And o'er a mighty king so oft prevail'd,
That by strong hand his family obtain'd,
Though priests, the crown, and David's throne usurp’d,
With Modin and her suburbs once content.
If kingdom move thee not, let move thee zeal
And duty; zeal and duty are not slow,
But on Occasion's forelock watchful wait:
They themselves rather are occasion best ;-
Zeal of thy Father's house, duty to free
Thy country from her heathen servitude.
So shalt thou best fulfil, best verify
The prophets old, who sung thy endless reign ;
The happier reign the sooner it begins :
Reign then; what can’st thou better do the while ?"
To whom our Saviour answer thus return'd:
“ All things are best fulfill'd in their due time;
And time there is for all things, Truth hath said.
If of my reign prophetic writ hath told
That it shall never end, so when begin,
The Father in his purpose hath decreed,
He in whose hand all times and seasons roll.
What if he hath decreed that I shall first
Be tri'd in humble state, and things adverse,
By tribulations, injuries, insults,
Contempts, and scorns, and snares, and violence,
Suffering, abstaining, quietly expecting,
Without distrust or doubt, that he may know
What I can suffer, how obey? Who best
Can suffer, best can do; best reign, who first
Well hath obey'd ;—just trial, ere I merit
My exaltation without change or end,
But what concerns it thee when I begin
My everlasting kingdom? Why art thou
Solicitous ? What moves thy inquisition ?
Know'st thou not that my rising is thy fall,
And my promotion will be thy destruction ?”
To whom the Tempter, inly rackt, repli’d:
“ Let that come when it comes; all hope is lost
Of my reception into grace: what worse ?
For where no hope is left, is left no fear:
If there be worse, the expectation more,
Of worse, torments me than the feeling can.
I would be at the worst: worst is my port,
My harbour, and my ultimate repose, —
The end I would attain,—my final good!
My error was my error, and my crime
My crime; whatever, for itself condemn’d,
And will alike be punish’d, whether thou
Reign or reign not; though to that gentle brow
Willingly could I fly, and hope thy reign, -
From that placid aspect and meek regard, -
Rather than aggravate my evil state,
Would stand between me and thy Father's ire,
(Whose ire I dread more than the fire of Hell,)
A shelter, and a kind of shading, cool
Interposition, as a summer's cloud.
If I then to the worst that can be haste,
Why move thy feet so slow to what is best,
Happiest, both to thyself and all the world,
That thou, who worthiest art, should'st be their king ?
Perhaps thou linger'st in deep thoughts detaiu'd
Of the enterprise so hazardous and high !
No wonder; for, though in thee be united
What of perfection can in man be found,
Or human nature can receive, consider,
Thy life hath yet been private, most part spent
At home,-scarce view'd the Galilean towns,-
And once a-year Jerusalem, few days'
Short sojourn; and what thence could'st thou observe ?
The world thou hast not seen, much less her glory,
Empires, and monarchs, and their radiant courts,
Best school of best experience, quickest insight
In all things that to greatest actions lead.
The wisest, unexperienc't, will be ever
Timorous and loath, with novice modesty,
(As he who, seeking asses, found a kingdom,)
Irresolute, unhardy, unadventrous :
But I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit
Those rudiments, and see before thine eyes
The monarchies of the Earth, their pomp
and state ;-
Sufficient introduction to inform
Thee, of thyself so apt, in regal arts