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What scem'd in thee so perfect, that I thought
No evil durst attempt thee, but I rue
That error now, which is become my crime,
And thou th' accuser. Thus it shall befall
Him who to worth in woman overtrusting
Lets her will rule; restraint she will not brook,
And left to’ herself, if evil thence ensue,
She first his weak indulgence will accuse.

Thus they in mutual accusation spent
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning,
And of their vain contest appear'd no end.

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THE END OF THE NINTH BOOK.

[graphic]

BOOK THE TENTH.

THE ARGUMENT.

Man's transgression known, the guardian Angels forsake Paradise, and return

up to Heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved, God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors, who descends, and gives sentence accordingly; then in pity clothes them both, and re-ascends. Sin and Death sitting till then at the gates of Hell, by wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by Man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in Hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of Man : To make the way easier from Hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad highway, or bridge, over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made; then preparing for Earth, they meet him proud of his success returning to Hell; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium, in full assembly relates with boasting his success against Man ; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed with himself also suddenly into serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise ; then deluded with a show of the forbidden trec springing up before them, they greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings

Sin and Death; God foretels the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but for the present commands his Angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and elements. Adam more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily bewails, rejects the condolement cf Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him : then to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not, but conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the Serpent, and exhorts her with him to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication

MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act
Of Satan done in Paradise, and how
He in the serpent, had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in Heav'n; for what can ’scape the eyes
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart

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Omniscient? who in all things wise and just,
Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind
Of Man, with strength entire, and free-will arm',
Complete to have discover'd and repulsid
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still remember
The high injunction not to taste that fruit,
Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,
Incurr’d (what could they less ?) the penalty,
And manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall.
Up into Heav'n from Paradise in haste
Th’angelic guards ascended, mute and sad
For Man, for of his state by this they knew,
Much wond'ring how the subtle Fiend had stola
Entrance unseen. Soon as th’unwelcome news
From Earth arriv'd at Heaven gate, displeas'd
All were who heard; dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet mix'd
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes
Th'ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befel : they tow’ards the throne supreme
Accountable made haste to make appear
With righteous plea their utmost vigilance, 30
And easily approv'd; when the most high
Eternal Father from his secret cloud,
Amidst in thunder utter'd thus his voice.

ASSEMBLED Angels, and ye Pow'rs return'd From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd, 3 Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth,

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Which

your

sincerest care could not prevent,
Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
When first this tempter cross'd the gulf from Hell.
I told ye then he should prevail and speed

40
On his bad errand, Man should be seduc'd
And flatter'd out of all, believing lies
Against his Maker; no decree of mine
Concurring to necessitate his fall,
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse

45 His free-will, to her own inclining left In even scale. But fall'n he is, and now What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass On his transgression, death denounc'd that day? Which he presumes already vain and void, Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd, By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find Forbearance no acquittance ere day end. Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd. But whom send I to judge them? Whom but thee 55 Vicegerent Son ? to thee I have transferr'd All judgment, whether in Heav'n, or Earth, or Hell. Easy it may be seen that I intend Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee Man's friend, his mediator, his design'd

60 Both ransom and redeemer voluntary, And destin'd Man himself to judge Man fall'n.

So spake the Father, and unfolding bright Tow’ard the right hand his glory, on the Son Blaz'd forth unclouded deity; he full

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