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His wasted country freed from Punic rage;
The deed becomes unpraised, the man at least,
And loses, though but verbal, his reward.
Shall I seek glory then, as vain men seek,
Oft not deserved? I seek not mine, but his
Who sent me, and thereby witness whence I am."
To whom the Tempter murmuring thus replied.
"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 glorified, requires
Glory from men, from all men, good or bad,
Wise or unwise, no difference, no exemption;
Above all sacrifice, or hallowed gift,
Glory he requires, and glory he receives,
Promiscuous from all nations, Jew, or Greek,
Or barbarous, nor exception hath declared;
From us, his foes pronounced, glory he exacts."
To whom our Saviour fervently replied.
"And reason; since his word all things produced,
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 received,
Turned recreant to God, ingrate and false,
And so of all true good himself despoiled,
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, ordained
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 promised land,
Reduced a province under Roman yoke,
Obeys Tiberius; nor is always ruled
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
Retired unto the desert, but with arms;
And o'er a mighty king so oft prevailed,
That by strong hand his family obtained
Though priests, the crown, and David's throne
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 canst thou better do the while?"
To whom our Saviour answer thus returned.
"All things are best fulfilled 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 tried 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 obeyed; 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?
Knowest thou not that my rising is thy fall,
And my promotion will be thy destruction?"
To whom the Tempter inly racked, replied.
"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 condemned;
And will alike be punished, 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
Perhaps thou lingerest in deep thoughts detained
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 viewed the Galilean towns,
And once a year Jerusalem, a few days'
| And oft beyond: to south the Persian bay
And, inaccessible, the Arabian drought:
Here Nineveh, of length within her wail
Several days' journey, built by Ninus oid.
Of that first golden monarchy the seat,
And seat of Salmanassar, whose success
Israel in long captivity still mourns;
There Babylon, the wonder of all tongues,
As ancient, but rebuilt by him who twice
Judah and all thy father David's house
Led captive, and Jerusalem laid waste,
Till Cyrus set them free; Persepolis,
His city, there thou seest, and Bactra there;
Ecbatana her structure vast there shows,
And Hecatompylos her hundred gates;
There Susa by Choaspes, amber stream,
The drink of none but kings; of later fame,
Short sojourn; and what thence could'st thou ob- Built by Emathian or by Parthian hands,
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, unexperienced, will be ever
Timorous and loth, with novice modesty,
(As he who, seeking asses, found a kingdom,)
Irresolute, unhardy, unadventurous:
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,
And regal mysteries, that thou may'st know
How best their opposition to withstand."
The great Seleucia, Nisibis, and there
Artaxata, Teredon, Ctesiphon,
Turning with easy eye thou mayest behold.
All these the Parthian (now some ages past
By great Arsaces led, who founded first
That empire) under his dominion holds,
From the luxurious kings of Antioch won.
And just in time thou comest to have a view
Of his great power; for now the Parthian king
In Ctesiphon hath gathered all his host
Against the Scythian, whose incursions wild
Have wasted Sogdiana; to her aid
He marches now in haste; see, though from far,
His thousands, in what martial equipage
They issue forth, steel bows and shafts their arms,
Of equal dread in flight, or in pursuit ;
With that (such power was given him then) he All horsemen, in which fight they most excel:
The Son of God up to a mountain high.
It was a mountain at whose verdant feet
A spacious plain, outstretched in circuit wide,
Lay pleasant; from his side two rivers flowed,
The one winding, th' other straight, and left be-
Fair champaign with less rivers interveined,
Then meeting joined their tribute to the sea;
Fertile of corn the glebe, of oil, and wine;
With herds the pastures thronged, with flocks the
Huge cities and high towered, that well might seem
The seats of mightiest monarchs; and so large
The prospect was, that here and there was room
For barren desert, fountainless and dry.
To this high mountain top the Tempter brought
Our Saviour, and new train of words began.
"Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale,
Forest and field and flood, temples and towers,
But shorter many a league, here thou behold'st
Assyria, and her empire's ancient bounds,
Araxes and the Caspian lake; thence on
As far as Indus east, Euphrates west,
See how in warlike muster they appear,
In rhombs, and wedges, and half-moons, and
He looked, and saw what numbers numberless
The city gates outpoured, light armed troops,
In coats of mail and military pride;
In mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong,
Prancing their riders bore, the flower and choice
Of many provinces from bound to bound;
From Arachosia, from Candaor east,
And Margiana to the Hyrcanian cliffs
Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales;
From Atropatia and the neighbouring plains
Of Adiabene, Media, and the south
Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven.
He saw them in their forms of battle ranged,
How quick they wheeled, and, flying, behind them
Sharp sleet of arrowy showers against the face
Of their pursuers, and overcame by flight;
The field all iron cast a gleaming brown;
Nor wanted clouds of foot, nor on each horn
Cuirassiers all in steel for standing fight,
Chariots, or elephants indorsed with towers
Of archers; nor of labouring pioneers
A multitude, with spades and axes armed
To lay hills plain, fell woods, or valleys fill,
Or where plain was raise hill, or overlay
With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke;
Mules after these, camels and dromedaries,
And wagons, fraught with utensils of war.
Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,
When Agrican with all his northern powers
Besieged Albracca, as romances tell,
The city of Gallaphrone, from whence to win
The fairest of her sex Angelica,
His daughter, sought by many prowest knights,
Both Paynim and the peers of Charlemagne.
Such and so numerous was their chivalry:
At sight whereof the fiend yet more presumed,
And to our Saviour thus his words renewed.
"That thou may'st know I seek not to engage
Thy virtue, and not every way secure
On no slight grounds thy safety; hear, and mark
To what end I have brought thee hither, and shown
All this fair sight: thy kingdom, though foretold
By prophet or by angel, unless thou
Endeavour, as thy father David did,
Thou never shalt obtain; prediction still
In all things, and all men, supposes means;
Without means used, what it predicts revokes.
But say thou wert possessed of David's throne,
By free consent of all, none opposite,
Samaritan or Jew; how couldst thou hope
Long to enjoy it quiet and secure,
Between two such enclosing enemies,
Roman and Parthian? therefore one of these
Thou must make sure thy own; the Parthian first
By my advice, as nearer, and of late
Found able by invasion to annoy
Thy country, and captive lead away her kings,
Antigonus and old Hyrcanus, bound,
Maugre the Roman: it shall be my task
To render thee the Parthian at dispose,
Choose which thou wilt, by conquest or by league:
By him thou shalt regain, without him not,
That which alone can truly reinstal thee
In David's royal seat, his true successor,
Deliverance of thy brethren, those ten tribes,
Whose offspring in his territory yet serve,
In Habor, and among the Medes dispersed:
Ten sons of Jacob, two of Joseph, lost
Thus long from Israel, serving, as of old
Their fathers in the land of Egypt served,
This offer sets before thee to deliver.
These if from servitude thou shalt restore
To their inheritance, then, nor till then,
Thou on the throne of David in full glory,
From Egypt to Euphrates and beyond,
Shalt reign, and Rome or Cæsar need not fear."
To whom our Saviour answered thus, unmoved:
"Much ostentation, vain of fleshy arm
And fragile arms, much instrument of war,
Long in preparing, soon to nothing brought,
Before mine eyes thou hast set; and in my ear
Vented much policy, and projects deep
Of enemies, of aids, battles and leagues,
Plausible to the world, to me worth nought.
Means I must use, thou say'st; prediction else
Will unpredict, and fail me of the throne:
My time, I told thee, (and that time for thee
Were better farthest off') is not yet come:
When that comes, think not thou to find me slack
On my part aught endeavouring, or to need
Thy polite maxims, or that cumbersome
Luggage of war there shown me, argument
Of human weakness rather than of strength.
My brethren, as thou call'st them, those ten tribes
I must deliver if I mean to reign
David's true heir, and his full sceptre sway
To just extent over all Israel's sons.
But whence to thee this zeal? Where was it then
For Israel, or for David, or his throne,
When thou stood'st up his tempter to the pride
Of numbering Israel, which cost the lives
Of threescore and ten thousand Israelites
By three days' pestilence? such was thy zeal
To Israel then; the same that now to me!
As for those captive tribes, themselves were they
Who wrought their own captivity, fell off
From God to worship calves, the deities
Of Egypt, Baal next and Ashtaroth,
And all the idolatries of heathen round,
Besides their other worse than heathenish crimes;
Nor in the land of their captivity
Humbled themselves, or penitent besought
The God of their forefathers; but so died
Impenitent, and left a race behind
Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce
From Gentiles, but by circumcision vain,
And God with idols in their worship joined.
Should I of these the liberty regard,
Who, freed, as to their ancient patrimony,
Unhumbled, unrepentant, unreformed,
Headlong would follow; and to their Gods perhaps
Of Bethel and of Dan; no; let them serve
Their enemies, who serve idols with God.
Yet he at length, (time to himself best known,)
Remembering Abraham, by some wondrous call
May bring them back, repentant and sincere,
And at their passing cleave the Assyrian flood,
While to their native land with joy they haste;
As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,
When to the promised land their fathers passed;
To his due time and providence I leave them."
So spake Israel's true king, and to the fiend
Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles.
So fares it when with truth falsehood contends.
Satan persisting in the temptation of our Lord, shows him imperial Rome in its greatest pomp and splendour, as a power which he probably would prefer before that of the Parthians; rius, restore the Romans to their liberty, and make himself master not only of the Roman empire, but by so doing of the whole world, and inclusively of the throne of David. Our Lord, in reply, expresses his contempt of grandeur and world. ly power, notices the luxury, vanity, and profligacy of the Romans, declaring how little they merited to be restored to
and tells him that he might with the greatest ease expel Tibe
|Discovered in his fraud, thrown from his hope So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric
That sleeked his tongue, and won so much on Eve, So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve; This far his overmatch, who, self-deceived And rash, beforehand had no better weighed The strength he was to cope with, or his own But as a man, who had been matchless held In cunning, overreached where least he thought, To salve his credit, and for very spite, Still will be tempting him who foils him still, And never cease, though to his shame the more; Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time, that liberty, which they had lost by their misconduct, and About the wine press where sweet must is poured, briefly refers to the greatness of his own future kingdom. Sa-Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound; tan, now desperate, to enhance the value of his preffered gifts, Or surging waves against a solid rock, professes that the only terms, on which he will bestow them, Though all to shivers dashed, the assault renew, are our Saviour's falling down and worshipping him. Our (Vain battery!) and in froth or bubbles end; So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse Met ever, and to shameful silence brought, Yet gives not o'er, though desperate of success, And his vain importunity pursues. He brought our Saviour to the western side Of that high mountain, whence he might behold Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide, Washed by the southern sea, and, on the north, To equal length backed with a ridge of hills, That screened the fruits of the earth, and seats of men,
expresses a firm but temperate indignation at such a proposition, and rebukes the Tempter by the title of "Satan for ever damned." Satan, abashed, attempts to justify himself; he then assumes a new ground of temptation, and, proposing to Jesus the intellectual gratifications of wisdom and knowledge, points out to him the celebrated seat of ancient learning, Athens, its schools, and other various resorts of learned teachers and their disciples; accompanying the view with a highly-finished panegyric on the Grecian musicians, poets, orators, and philosophers of the different sects. Jesus replies, by showing the vanity and insufficiency of the boasted Heathen philosophy; and prefers to the music, poetry, eloquence, and didactic policy of the Greeks, those of the inspired Hebrew writers. Satan, irritated at the failure of all his attempts, upbraids the indiscretion of our Saviour in rejecting his offers; and having, in ridicule of his expected kingdom, foretold the sufferings that our Lord was to undergo, carries him back into the wilderness, and leaves him there. Night comes on: Satan raises a tremendous storm, and attempts further to alarm Jesus
with frightfui dreams, and terrific threatening spectres; which however have no effect upon him. A calm, bright, beautiful morning succeeds to the horrors of the night. Satan again presents himself to our blessed Lord, and, from noticing the storm of the preceding night as pointed chiefly at him, takes occasion once more to insult him with an account of the sufferings which he was certainly to undergo. This only draws from our Lord a brief rebuke. Satan, now at the height of his desperation, confesses that he had frequently watched Jesus from his birth, purposely to discover if he was the true Messiah; and, collecting from what passed at the river Jordan that he most probably was so, he had from that time more assiduously followed him, in hopes of gaining some advantage over him, which would most effectually prove that he was not really that Divine Person destined to be his "fatal Enemy." In this he acknowledges that he has hitherto completely failed;
but still determines to make one more trial of him. Accord
From cold septentrion blasts; thence in the midst
Divided by a river, of whose banks
On each side an imperial city stood,
With towers and temples proudly elevate
On seven small hills, with palaces adorned,
Porches, and theatres, baths, aqueducts;
Statues, and trophies, and triumphal arcs,
Gardens and groves presented to his eyes,
Above the height of mountains interposed:
(By what strange parallax, or optic skill
Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass
Of telescope, were curious to inquire:)
And now the Tempter thus his silence broke.
"The city which thou seest no other deem
Than great and glorious Rome, queen of the earth,
So far renowned, and with the spoils enriched
Of nations; there the capitol thou seest;
Above the rest lifting his stately head
ingly he conveys him to the Temple at Jerusalem, and, placing On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel
him on a pointed eminence, requires him to prove his Divini-Impregnable; and there mount Palatine,
ty either by standing there, or casting himself down with safety. The imperial palace, compass huge, and high
Our Lord reproves the Tempter, and at the same time mani- The constructure, skill of noblest architects,
fests his own Divinity by standing on this dangerous point. With gilded battlements conspicuous far,
Satan, amazed and terrified, instantly falls; and repairs to his
infernal compeers, to relate the bad success of his enterprise. Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires :
Angels in the mean time convey our blessed Lord to a beauti. Many a fair edifice besides, more like
ful valley, and, while they minister to him a repast of celestial Houses of gods, (so well I have disposed
food, celebrate his victory in a triumphant hymn.
PERPLEXED and troubled at his bad success
The tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
My airy microscope,) thou mayest behold,
Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs,
Carved work, the hand of famed artificers,
In cedar, marble, ivory, or gold.
Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see | Crystal, and myrrhine cups, embossed with gems
What conflux issuing forth, or entering in;
Prætors, proconsuls to their provinces
Hasting, or on return, in robes of state;
Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power,
Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wings:
Or embassies from regions far remote;
In various habits, on the Appian road,
Or on the Emilian; some from farthest south,
Syene, and where the shadow both way falls,
Meroe, Nilotic isle, and, more to west,
The realm of Bocchus to the Black-moor sea,
From the Asian kings, and Parthian among these;
From India and the golden Chersonese,
And utmost Indian isle Taprobane,
Dusk faces with white silken turbans wreathed;
From Gallia, Gades, and the British west;
Germans, and Sythians, and Sarmatians, north
Beyond Danubius to the Tauric pool.
All nations now to Rome obedience pay;
To Rome's great emperor, whose wide domain,
In ample territory, wealth, and power,
Civility of manners, arts, and arms,
And long renown, thou justly mayest prefer
Before the Parthians. These two thrones except,
The rest are barbarous, and scarce worth the sight,
Shared among petty kings too far removed;
These having shown thee, I have shown thee all
The kingdoms of the world, and all their glory.
This emperor hath no son, and now is old,
Old and lascivious, and from Rome retired
To Capreæ, an island small, but strong,
On the Campanian shore, with purpose there
His horrid lusts in private to enjoy,
Committing to a wicked favourite
All public cares, and yet of him suspicious;
Hated of all, and hating. With what ease,
Indued with regal virtues as thou art,
Appearing, and beginning noble deeds,
Might'st thou expel this monster from his throne,
Now made a sty; and, in his place ascending,
A victor people free from servile yoke!
And studs of pearl; to me should'st tell, who thirst
And hunger still. Then embassies thou showe st
From nations far and nigh: what honour that,
But tedious waste of time, to sit and hear
So many hollow compliments and lies,
Outlandish flatteries? Then proceed'st to talk
Of the emperor, how easily subdued,
How gloriously: I shall, thou sayest, expel
A brutish monster; what if I withal
Expel a devil who first made him such?
Let his tormentor conscience find him out;
For him I was not sent; nor yet to free
That people, victor once, now vile and base;
Deservedly made vassal, who, once just,
Frugal, and mild, and temperate, conquered well,
But govern ill the nations under yoke,
Peeling their provinces, exhausted all
By lust and rapine; first ambitious grown
Of triumph, that insulting vanity;
Then cruel, by their sports to blood inured
Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts exposed;
Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still,
And from the daily scene effeminate.
What wise and valiant man would seek to free
These, thus degenerate, by themselves enslaved?
Or could of inward slaves make outward free?
Know therefore, when my season comes to sit
On David's throne, it shall be like a tree
Spreading and overshadowing all the earth;
Or as a stone, that shall to pieces dash
All monarchies besides throughout the world,
And of my kingdom there shall be no end;
Means there shall be to this; but what the means,
Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell."
To whom the Tempter, impudent, replied.
"I see all offers made by me how slight
Thou valuest, because offered, and rejectest:
Nothing will please the difficult and nice,
Or nothing more than still to contradict:
On the other side know also thou, that I
On what I offer set as high esteem,
And with my help thou mayest; to me the power Nor what I part with mean to give for nought;
Is given, and by that right I give it thee.
Aim therefore at no less than all the world;
Aim at the highest; without the highest attained,
Will be for thee no sitting, or not long,
On David's throne, be prophesied what will."
To whom the Son of God, unmoved, replied.
"Nor doth this grandeur and majestic show
Of luxury, though called magnificence,
More than of arms before, allure mine eye,
Much less my mind; though thou shouldst add to "I never liked thy talk, thy offers less;
All these, which in a moment thou behold'st,
The kingdoms of the world, to thee I give,
(For, given to me, I give to whom I please,)
No trifle; yet with this reserve, not else,
On this condition, if thou wilt fall down,
And worship me as thy superior lord,
(Easily done,) and hold them all of me;
For what can less so great a gift deserve?”
Whom thus our Saviour answered with disdain.
Now both abhor, since thou hast dared to utter
Their sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous feasts The abominable terms, impious condition:
On citron tables or Atlantic stone,
(For I have also heard, perhaps have read,)
Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne,
Chios, and Crete, and how they quaff in gold,
But I endure the time, till which expired
Thou hast permission on me. It is written,
The first of all commandments, Thou shalt worship
The Lord thy God, and only him shalt serve;