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There to converse with everlasting groarts,
Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd,
Ages of hopeles end? This would be worse,
War therefore, open or conceal’d, alike
My voice dissuades : for what can force or guile
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
Views all things at one view ? Ile from heaven's

All these our motions vain sees, and derides:
Not more almighty, to resist our might,
Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.
Shall we then live ihus vile, the race of heaven
Tbus trampled, thus expellid 10 suffer here
Chains and these torments? Better these than worse,
By my advice; since fate inevitable
Subdues us, avd omnipotent decree,
The Victor's will. To suffer, as to do,
Our strength is equal, nor the law unjust
That so ordains : this was at first resolved,
If we were wise, against so great a fue
Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold
And vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear,
What yet they know must follow, to endure
Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,
The sentence of their conqueror : this is now
Our doom ; which if we can sustain and bear,
Our supreme foe in time may much remit
His anger; and.perhaps thus far removed,
Not mind us not offending, satisfied
With what is punislı'd; whence these raging fires
Will slacken, if his breath stir vot their flames.
Our purer essence then will overcome
Their noxious vapour; or inured, not feel;
Or changed at length, and to the place conformid
In temper, and in nature, will receive
Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain ;
This horror will grow mild, this darkness light;
Besides wbat hope the never-ending flight
Of future days may bring, what chance, what change
Worth waiting; since our present lot appears

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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
Counsellid 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 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 su.

preme We overpower ? Suppose lie 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 Strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing Forced halleluj hs; while he lordly sits Our envied sovi ign, 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 To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue By force impossible, by leave obtain'd Unacceptable, though in heaven, our state Of splendid vassalage ; but rather seek Our own good from ourselves, and from our owo 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 adverse, 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 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 helt ! As he our darkness, cannot we bis 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 finish'd when such murmur fillid 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'erwatch'd, whose bark by chance Or pinpanee 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 Michael Wrought still within them, and no less desire To found this nether empire, which might rise By policy, and long process of time, In emulation opposite to heaven. Which when Beelzebub perceived, than whom, Satan except, nore higher sat, with grave Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd 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 rụin: sage he stood
With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look
Drew audience and attention still as night,
Or summer's noontide air, while thus he spake :

Thrones, and imperial powers, offspring of
Ethereal virtues! or these titles now (heaven,
Must we renounce, and changing style, be call'd
Princes of hell? .for so the popular vote
Inclines here to continue, and build up bere
A growing empire ? doubtless, while we dream,
And know not that the King of heaven hath doom'd"
This place our dungeon; not our safe retreat
Beyond»bis potent arm, to live exempt
From heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league
Banded against his throne, but to remain
In strictest bondage, though thus far removed
Under the inevitable curb, reserved
His captive multitude : for be, 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 hạth determined us, and foil'd with loss
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 punisbment
Inflicted ? and what peace can we return,
But to our power hostility and hate,
Untamed reluctance, and revenge, though slow,
Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
May reap

conquest, and


least rejoice In doing what we most ip suffering feel? Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need With dangerous expedition to invade Ileaven, whose bigh walls fear no assault or siege, Or ambush from ihe deep. What if we find Some easier enterprise? There is a place

(If ancient and prophetic fame in bearen
Err not), another world, the bappy seat
Of some new race, call'd Man, about this time
To be created like to us, though less
In power and excellence, but favour'd more
Of him who rules above: so was his will
Pronounced among the gods ;. and by an oath,
That shook heaven's whole circumference, confirm’d..
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould
Or substance, how endued, and wbat their power,
And where their weakness, how attempted best,
By force or sublety. Though heaven be shut,
And heaven's bigh Arbitrator sit secure
In his own strength, this place may 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 habitants, or, if not drive,
Seduce them to our party, that their God
May prove their foe, and with repenting hand
Abolish bis own works. This would surpass
Common revenge, and interrupt bis joy
In our confusion, and our joy npraise
In his disturbance; when bis darling sons,
Hurl'd headlong to partake with us, shall curse-
Their frail original, and faded bliss,
Faded so soon. Advise, if this be worth
Attempting, or to sit in darkness bere
Hatching vain empires." Thus Beelzebub
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 avgment. The bold design

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