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Cuirassiers all in steel for standing fight,
Chariots, or elephants indors'd with towers
Of archers; nor of labouring pioneers
A multitude, with spades and axes arm'd
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 Útensils of war.
Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,
When Agrican with all his northern powers
Besieg'd 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 paymim, and the peers of Charlemain.
Such and so numerous was their chivalry: -
At sight whereof the fiend yet more presum’d,
And to our Saviour thus his words renew’d : -
‘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 us'd, what it predicts revokes.
But, say thou wert possess'd 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 aud 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 re-instal 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 dispers'd: ---
Ten sons of Jacob, two of Joseph, lost - - - -
Thus long from Israel, serving, as of old
Their fathers in the land of Egypt serv’d. -
This offer sets before thee to deliver. - -
These if from servitude thou shalt restore . --
To their inheritance, then, nor till then, on 4
Thou on the throne of David in full glory, . . . .”
From Egypt to Euphrates, and beyond, .
Shalt reign, and Rome or Caesar not need fear.’
To whom our Saviour answer'd thus, unmov’d.
“Much ostentation vain of fleshly 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 thrones . . . . .
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 politic 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 join'd.
Should I of these the liberty regard,
Who, freed, as to their ancient patrimony.
Unhumbled, unrepentant, unreform’d,
Headlong would follow; and to their gods perhaps
Of Bethel and of Dan 2 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 Promis'd Land their fathers pass'd:
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 splendor, as a power which he probably would prefer before that of the Parthians ; and tells him that he might with the greatest ease expel Tiberius, 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 worldly power, notices the luxury, vanity, and profligacy of the Romans; declaring how little they merited to be restored to that liberty, which they had lost by their misconduct; and briefly refers to the greatness of his own future kingdom. Satan, now desperate, to enhance the value of his proffered gifts, professes that the only terms, on which he will bestow them, are our Saviour's falling down and worshipping him. Our Lord 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 oftemptation, and, proposing to Jesus the intellectual gratifications of wisdom and knowledge, points out to him the celebrated seat of ancient