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our evils, and of easier choice. If care of our descent perplex us most, Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd By death at last; and miserable it is To be to others cause of misery Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring Into this cursed world a woful race, That after wretched life, must be, at last, Food for so foul a monster ; in thy power It lies, yet ere conception, to prevent The race unblest, to being yet unbegot. Childless thou art, childless remain : so death Shall be deceived his glut, and with us two Be forced to satisfy his ravenous maw. But if thou judge it hard and difficult, Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain From love's due rites, nuptial embraces sweet, And with desire to languish, without hope, Before the present object, languishing With like desire, which would be misery And torment, less than none of what we dread • Then, both ourselves and seed at once to free From what we fear for both, let us make short, Let us seek death, or, he not found, supply, With our own hands, his office on ourselves. Why stand we longer shivering under fears, That show no end but death, & have the power Of many ways to die, the shortest choosing, Destruction with destruction to destroy ?"

She ended here, or vehement despair Broke off the rest; so much of death her thoughts Had entertain'd, as dy'd her cheeks with pale. But Adam, with such counsel nothing sway'd To better hopes his more attentive mind, Labouring, had raised ; and thus to Eve replied.

“Eve, thy contempt of life, & pleasure, seems To argue in thee something more sublime, And excellent, than what thy mind contemns ; But self-destruction, therefore sought, refutes That excellence, thought in thee, and implies, Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret, For loss of life and pleasure, overloved. Or if thou covet death, as utmost end Of misery, so thinking to evade The penalty pronounced, doubt not but God Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful

than so To be forestall’d; much more I fear lest death,

So snatch'd, will not exempt us from the pain
We are by doom to pay; rather, such acts
Of contumacy will provoke the Highest
To make death in us live. Then let us seek
Some safer resolution; which, methinks,
I have in view, calling to mind with heed
Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruise
The Serpent's head; piteous amends, unless
Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe,
Satan, who, in the Serpent, hath contrived
Against us this deceit : to crush his head
Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost,
By death brought on ourselves, or childless days,
Resolved as thou proposest : so our foe
Shall 'scape his punishment ordain'd, and we,
Instead, shall double ours upon our heads.
No more be mention'd then of violence
Against ourselves, and wilful barrenness,
That cuts us off from hope, and savours only
Rancour and pride, impatience, and despite,
Reluctance against God, and his just yoke
Laid on our necks. Remember, with what mild
And gracious temper he both heard and judged,
Without wrath or reviling: we expected
Immediate dissolution, which we thought
Was meant by death that day; when, lo, to thee
Pains only in child-bearing were foretold,
And bringing forth, soon recompensed with joy
Fruit of thy womb: on me, the curse aslope
Glanced on the ground; with labour I must earn
My bread: what harm? Idleness had been worse;
My labour will sustain me: and, lest cold
Or heat should injure us, his timely care
Hath unbesought, provided ; and his hands
Clothed us unworthy, pitying while he judged.
How much more, if we pray him, will his ear
Be open, and his heart to pity incline,
And teach us farther, by what means to shun
The inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow?
Which now the sky, with various face, begins
To show us in this mountain, while the winds
Blow moist & keen, shattering the graceful locks
Of these fair spreading trees; which bids us seek
Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish
Our limbs benumb’d, ere this diurnal star
Leave cold the night; how we, his gather'd beams,
Reflected, may with matter sere foment,

Or by collision of two bodies, grind
The air attrite to fire; as late the clouds
Justling, or push'd with winds rude, in their shock
Tine the slant lightning, whose thwart flame, driven
Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine, [down
And sends a comfortable heat from far,
Which might supply the sun : such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or cure
To evils, which our own misdeeds have wrought,
He will instruct us, praying, and of grace
Beseeching him ; so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustained
By him with many comforts, till we end
In dust, our final rest, and native home.
What better can we do, than to the place
Repairing where he judged us, prostrate fall
Before him reverent? and there confess
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.
Undoubtedly he will relent and turn
From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
When angry most he seem'd, and most severe,
What else but favour, grace, and mercy shone?”

So spake our father penitent, nor Eve Felt less remorse. They forthwith, to the place Repairing where he judged them, prostrate fell Before him, reverent, and both confess'd Humbly their faults, & pardon begg'd, with tears Watering the ground, & with their sighs the air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.





The Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of our first

parents, now repenting, and intercedes for them. God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise : sends Michael with a band of Cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things. Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michael's approach, goes out to meet him ; the Angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits. The Angel leads him up to a high hill, sets before him in vision what shall happen till the food.

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