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The ARGUMENT of Book VIII.

ADAM inquires concerning celestial mutions; is doubtfully anfower'd, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge : Adam asents; and, fill defirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remember'd fince his own creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit fociety; his first meeting and nuptials with Eus this difcourse with the angel thereupon : who, after admonitions repeated, departs.

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BOOK VIII.

T

HE angel ended, and in Adam's ear

So charming left his voice, that he a while
Thought him ftill speaking, ftill stood fix'd

hear;

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Then as new wak'd thus gratefully reply'd :

What thanks fufficient, or what recompense
Equal, have I to render thee, divine
Historian! who thus largely haft allay'd
The thirft I had of knowledge, and vouchsaf 'd
This friendly condescension to relate
Things elfe by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high
Creator. Something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.

When I behold this goodly frame, this world,
Of heav'n and earth confifting, and compute
Their magnitudes, this earth a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compard,
And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible, (for fuch
Their distance

argues,

and their swift return
Diurnal), merely to officiate light
Round thi: opacous earth, this pun&ual spot,
One day and night, in all their vast furvey
Useless besides ; reasoning I oft admire,
How nature, wise and frugal, could commit
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Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So
many

nobler bodies to create,
Greater so manifold, to this one use,
For ought appears, and on their orbs impose
Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the fedentary earth,
That better might with far less compass move,
Serv'd by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without leaft motion, and receives,
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.

So spake our fire, and by his count'nance seemd
Int'ring on studious thoughts abftrufe ; which Eve
Perceiving, where she sat retir'd in fight,
With lowliness majestick from her feat,
And grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flow'rs,
To visit how they prosperid, bud and bloom,
Her nursery ; they at her coming sprung,
And touch'd by her fair tendance gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear
Of what was high: such pleasure fhe reserv'd,
Adam relating, fhe sole auditrefs ;
Her husband the relator she preferr'd
Before the angel, and of him to ask
Chofe rather ; he, she knew, would intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
With conjugal careffes ; from his lip
Not words alone pleas'd her. Owhen meet now
Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'd ?
With goddess-like demeanour forth she went ;
Not unattended; for on her, as queen,
A pomp of winning graces waited ftill,

, And from about her shot darts of desire

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