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" Or changed at length, and to the place conformed
“ In temper and in nature, will receive
“ Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain;
** This horror will grow mild, this darkness, light;
“ Besides what hope the never-ending flight
“ Of future days may bring, what chance, what change
“ Worth waiting; since our present lot appears
“For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,
“If we procure not to ourselves more woe.

Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason’s garb,
Counselled ignoble ease, and peaceful sloth-
Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake:

“Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven “ We war, if war be best, or to regain

230 “ Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then

May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield “ To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife: “ The former, vain to hope, argues as vain “ The latter: for what place can be for us “ Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's Lord supreme “ We overpower? Suppose he should relent, And publish grace to all, on promise made “Of new subjection ; with what eyes could we “ Stand in his presence humble, and receive

240 “ Strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne " With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing

· Forced halleluiahs; while he lordly sits “ Our envied Sovereign, and his altar breathes " Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers, “Our servile offerings? This must be our task “In Heaven,—this our delight! how wearisome “ Eternity so spent in worship paid 66 To whom we hate! Let us then not pursue, By force impossible, by leave obtained

250 “ Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state “ Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek “Our own good from ourselves, and from our own “ Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess, “ Free, and to none accountable; preferring “ Hard liberty before the easy yoke



“ Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear
“ Then most conspicuous, when great things of small,
“ Useful of hurtful, prosperous of advérse,
" We can create; and in what place soe'er
“ Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain,

Through labour and endurance. This deep world
os Of darkness do we dread ? How oft amidst
“ Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven's all-ruling Sire
“ Choose to reside, his glory unobscured,
“ And with the majesty of darkness round
“ Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders roar

Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Hell ? “ As he our darkness, cannot we his light “ Imitate when we please? This desert soil “ Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold; Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise

Magnificence: and what can Heaven show more? “ Our torments also may, in length of time, “ Become our elements; these piercing fires, “ As soft as now severe; our temper changed “ Into their temper; which must needs remove " The sensible of pain. All things invite To peaceful counsels, and the settled state “ Of order, how in safety best we may

Compose our present evils, with regard
“ Of what we are, and where, dismissing quite
“ All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise.”

He scarce had finished, when such murmur filled
The assembly, as when hollow rocks retain
The sound of blustering winds, which all night long
Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
Sea-faring men o'erwatched, whose bark, by chance,
Or pinnace anchors in a craggy bay
After the tempest: such applause was heard
As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased,
Advising peace ; for such another field
They dreaded worse than Hell : so much the fear
Of thunder and the sword of Michaël
Wrought still within them; and no less desire
To found this nether empire, which might rise



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By policy and long process of time,
In emulation opposite to Heaven.
Which when Beëlzebub perceived, than whom,
Satan except, none higher sat, with grave

Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed
A pillar of state: deep on his front engraven
Deliberation sat, and public care;
And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestic, though in ruin : sage he stood,
With Atlantéan shoulders fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies : his look
Drew audience and attention still as night,
Or summer's noon-tide air, while thus he spake:

“Thrones and Imperial Powers, Offspring of Heaven, 310 “ Ethereal Virtues ! or these titles now “Must we renounce, and, changing style, be called “ Princes of Hell ? for so the popular vote “ Inclines, here to continue, and build up here “A growing empire. Doubtless ! while we dream, “ And know not that the King of Heaven hath doomed “ This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat

· Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt “ From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league “ Banded against his throne, but to remain

320 “ In strictest bondage, though thus far removed “ Under the inevitable curb, reserved “ His captive multitude : for he, be sure, In height or depth, still first and last will reign “ Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part

By our revolt; but over Hell extend “ His empire, and with iron sceptre rule “ Us here, as, with his golden, those in Heaven. “ What! sit we then projecting peace and war? " War hath determined us, and foiled with loss

330 Irreparable; terms of peace yet none “ Vouchsafed or sought; for what peace will be given “ To us enslaved, but custody severe, “And stripes, and arbitrary punishment “ Inflicted ? and 'what peace can we return,

But, to our power, hostility and hate,


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“ Untamed reluctance, and revenge,—though slow, Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least

· May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice “In doing what we most in suffering feel?

340 “Nor will occasion want; nor shall we need “With dangerous expedition to invade “ Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault, or siege, “ Or ambush from the deep. What if we find “Some easier enterprise? There is a place, “ (If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven “ Err not,) another world, the happy seat Of some new race called Man, about this time “ To be created like to us, though less power and excellence, but favoured more

350 © Of Him who rules above; so was his will “ Pronounced among the gods, and by an oath, “ That shook Heaven's whole circumference, confirmed. “ Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn “ What creatures there inhabit; of what mould, “ Or substance; how endued, and what their power, “ And where their weakness; how attempted best,

By force or subtlety. Though Heaven be shut, “ And Heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure “ In his own strength, this place my lie exposed, “ The utmost border of his kingdom, left “ To their defence who hold it : here perhaps “ Some advantageous act may be achieved,

By sudden onset; either with Hell fire “ To waste his whole creation, or possess All as our own, and drive, as we were driven, The puny inhabitants; or if not drive, “ Seduce them to our party, that their God “May prove their foe, and with repenting hand “ Abolish his own work. This would surpass

370 “ Common revenge, and interrupt his joy “ In our confusion; and our joy upraise " In his disturbance; when his darling sons, “Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall curse “ Their frail original, and faded bliss, Faded so soon! Advise, if this be worth

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“ Attempting; or to sit in darkness here,
Hatching vain empires.”

Thus Beëlzebub
Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devised
By Satan, and in part proposed : for whence,
But from the author of all ill, could spring
So deep a malice, to confound the race
Of mankind in one root, and earth with Hell
To mingle and involve, done all to spite
The great Creator? But their spite still serves
His glory to augment. The bold design
Pleased highly those infernal states, and joy
Sparkled in all their eyes : with full assent
They vote : whereat his speech he thus renews :

“Well have ye judged, well ended long debate, 390 “ Synod of gods! and, like to what ye are, “Great things resolved, which from the lowest deep “ Will once more lift us up, in spite of fate, “ Nearer our ancient seat; perhaps in view “Of those bright confines, whence, with neighbouring arms, “ And opportune excursion, we may chance “ Re-enter Heaven ; or else, in some mild zone “ Dwell, not unvisited of Heaven's fair light,

Secure; and at the brightening orient beam “ Purge off this gloom : the soft delicious air,

400 To heal the scar of these corrosive fires, “ Shall breathe her balm. But, first, whom shall we send " In search of this new world ? whom shall we find “ Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandering feet “ The dark, unbottomed, infinite abyss, “ And through the palpable obscure find out " His uncouth way? or spread his airy flight, “ Upborne with indefatigable wings, Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive “ The happy isle? What strength, what art, can then 410 “ Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe “Through the strict senteries, and stations thick “Of angels watching round? Here he had need “ All circumspection; and we now no less “ Choice in our suffrage; for, on whom we send,

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