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PARADISE REGAINED.

BOOK IV.

THE ARGUMENT.

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Satan, persisting in the temptation of our Lord, shows him imperia

Rome in its greatest pomp and splendour, as a power which be 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, dow 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 irm but temperate indignation at such a proposition, and rebuke, che 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 Greciao 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 ridieule of his expected kingdom, foretold the sufferings that our Lord was to under. go, 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 frightful dreams, and terrific threaten. ing spectres; which however have no effect upon him. A calm, bright, beautiful morning succeeds to the borrors 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, be 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. Accordingly he conveys him to the Temple at Jerusalem, and, placing him on a pointed eminence, requires him to prove his Divinity either by standing there, or casting himself down with safety. Our Lord reproves the Tempter, and at the same time manifests his own Divinity by standing on this dangerous point. Satan, amazed and terrified, instantly falls ; and repairs to his Infernal Compeers, to relate the bad success of his enterprise. Angels in the mean time convey our blessed Lord to a beautiful valley, and, while they minister to him a repast of celestial food, celebrate his victory in a triumphant hymn.

PARADISE REGAINED.

BOOK Il'.

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Perplex'd and troubled at his bad success
The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope
So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric
That sleek'd his tongue, & won so much on Eve,
So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve ;
This far his over-match, who, self-deceiv'd
And rash, before-hand had no better weigh'd
The strength he was to cope with, or his own :
But as a man, who had been matchless held
In cunning, over-reach'd 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,
About the wine-press where sweet must is pour’d,
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound
Or surging waves against a solid rock,
Though all to shivers dash'd, the assault renew,
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,
Wash'd by the southern sea, and, on the north,
To equal length back'd with a ridge of hills
That screen’d the fruits of the earth, & seats of men,
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 adorn'd,
Porches, and theatres, batlis, aqueducts,
Statues, and trophies, and triumphal arcs

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Gardens, & groves, presented to his eyes,
Above the highth of mountains interpos'd :
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 & glorious Rome, queen of the earth,
So far renown'd, & with the spoils enrich'd
Of nations; there the Capitol thou seest,
Above the rest lifting his stately head
On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel
Impregnable; and there mount Palatine,
The imperial palace, compass huge, & high
The structure, skill of noblest architects,
With gilded battlements conspicuous far,
Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires :
Many a fair edifice besides, more like
Houses of Gods, so well I have dispos'd
My aery microscope, thou may'st behold,
Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs,
Carv'd work, the hand of fam'd artificers,
In cedar, marble, ivory, or gold,
Thence to the gates-cast round thine

& see
What conflux issuing forth, or entering in ;
Prætors, pro-consuls to their provinces
Hasting, or on return, in robes of state,
Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power,
Legions & cohorts, turms of horse & 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, & Parthian among these.
From India and the golden Chersonese,
And utmost Indian isle Taprobane,
Dusk faces with white silken turbans wreath'd ;
From Gallia, Gades, and the British west :
Germans, & Scythians, & 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 may'st prefer

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Before tne Parthian. These two thrones except,
The rest are barbarous, & scarce worth the sight,
Shar'd among petty kings too far remov'd;
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 retir’d
To Capræ, 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
Endued 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 with my help thou may’st; to me the power
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 attain'd,
Will be for thee no sitting, or not long,
On David's throne, be prophesied what will.

To whom the Son of God, unmov’d, replied.
Nor doth this grandeur and majestic show
Of luxury, though callid magnificence,
More than of arms before, allure mine eye,
Much less my mind; though thou should'st add to tell
Their sumptuous gluttonies, & gorgeous feasts
On citron tables or Atlantic stone,
For I have also heard, perhaps have read,
Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne,
Chios & Crete, and how they quaff in gold,
Crystal, & myrrhine cups, emboss'd with gems
And studs of pearl; to me should'st tell, who thirst
And hunger still. Then embassies thou show'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 say'st, 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

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