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THE ARGUMENT.

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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 reascends. 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 high-way 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 shew of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of 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 of 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.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK X.

MEAN while the hainosis 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 eye

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Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
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’d,
Complete to have discover'd and repuls'd
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still remember'd
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, desery'd to fall.

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12. For still they knew,] Man Milton's communion, reckon up collectively (ver. 9.) is antece- several sins as included in this dent to the plural relative they, one act of eating the forbidden as Gen. i. 26. God said, Let us fruit, namely, pride, uxoriousmake Man in our image, and let ness, wicked curiosity, infidelity, them have dominion &c. Heylin. disobedience, &c. so that for such

16. And manifold in sin, de- complicated guilt he deserved to serv'd to fall.] Every sin is com- fall from his happy state in Paraplicated in some degree: and dise. the divines, especially those of

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 stol'n
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

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17. Up into heav'n &c.] The That time celestial visages, yjet tenth book of Paradise Lost has

mix'll a greater variety of persons in it With pity, violated not their than any other in the whole

bliss.] poem. The author upon the What a just and noble idea does winding up of his action intro our author here give us of the duces all those who had any blessedness of a benevolent temconcern in it, and shows with per, and how proper at the same great beauty the influence which time to obviate the objection that it had upon each of them. It is might be made of sadness dwelllike the last act of a well written ing in heavenly spirits ! Thyer. tragedy, in which all who had a Here pity is made to prevent part in it are generally drawn up their sadness from violating their before the audience, and repre- bliss: but the latter passion is so sented under those circumstances far from alleviating the former, in which the determination of that it adds weight to it. If the action places them. I shall you read (mixed with pity) in a therefore consider this book un- parenthesis, this cross reasoning der four heads, in relation to will be avoided. Warburton. the celestial, the infernal, the It is plain that Milton conhuman, and the imaginary per- ceived sadness mixed with pity to sons, who have their respective be more consistent with heavenly parts allotted in it. To begin bliss than sadness without that with the celestial persons. The compassionate temper. There guardian angels of Paradise are is something pleasing, something described as returning to heaven divine even in the melancholy upon the fall of man, in order of a merciful mind. And this to approve their vigilance; their (adds Mr. Thyer) might be arrival, their manner of recep- farther confirmed by the delight tion, with the sorrow which ap

we take in tragical representapeared in themselves, and in tions upon the stage, where the those spirits who are said to re- pleasure arises from sympathizjoice at the conversion of a sin- ing with the distresses of our ner, are very finely laid together fellow creatures, and indulging in the following lines. Addison. a pitiful commiserating temper.

23. -dim sadness did not spare

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SO

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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,
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,
Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth,
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
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
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

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40. I told ye ihen &c.] See envy &c. book iii. 86–96.

45. —with lightest moment of 42. — believing lies

impulse] The same metaphor Against his Maker ;)

that he had used before in vi." Such as Satan had suggested, 239. and we justified and exthat all things did not proceed plained it by Terence's paulo from God, that God kept the momento impellitur. forbidden fruit from them out of YOL. II.

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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 destip'd Man himself to judge Man fall’n.

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

65 Resplendent all his Father manifest Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd mild.

Father eternal, thine is to decree,

53. Forbearance no acquitlance] According to that of the PsalmThese proverbial expressions are ist, Mercy and truth are met logevery improper any where in an ther, righteousness and peace have epic poem, but much more when kissed each other. Ps. lxxxv. 10. they are made to proceed from 62. And destin'd Man himself. the mouth of God himself. to judge Man fall'n.) And hath

56. -to thee I have transferi'd given him authority to execute All judgment,]

judgment also, because he is the For the Father judgeth no man, son of man, John v. 27. Dr. but hath committed all judgment Bentley reads thyself, but himself unto the Son. John v. 22.

is full as well or better." 58. Easy it may be seen] We

-thine is to decree, have printed it thus after the Mineto do thy will] first edition. In the second edi- I came down from heaven, not to. tion and others it is Ensy it might do mine own will, but the will of be seen, which is not so well. him that sent me. John vi, 38. E. 59. Mercy colleague with

justice,]

68.

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