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800-802 A thousand Demi-gods on golden seats, Frequent and full. After short silence then, And summons read, the great consult began. 798








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The consultation begun, Satun debates whether another battle be to be hazarded for the recovery of heaven ; some advise it, others dissuade. A third proposal is preferred, mentioned before by Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or tradition in heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature,equal, or not muchinferiour to themselves about this time to be created. Their doubt who shall be sent on this difficult search; Satan, their chief, undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments as their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan returns. He passes on his journey to hell gates, finds them shut, and who sat there to guard them ; by whom they are at length opened and discover to him the great gulph between hell and heaven; with what difficulty he passes through ; di. rected by Chaos,the Power of that place, to the sight of this new world which he sought.




High on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East, with richest hand
Showers on her kings barbarick pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd
To that bad eminence: and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high; insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heaven; and, by success untaught,
His proud imaginations thus display'd.

Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven!
For since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigour, though oppress’d and fall'n,
I give not Heaven for lost. From this descent
Celestial virtues rising, will appear


More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate.
Me though just right, and the fix'd laws of Heaven,
Did first create your leader; next, free choice,
With what besides, in council or in fight,
Hath been achiev'd of merit; yet this loss,
Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more
Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferiour; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim,
Your bulwark and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain? Where there is then no good
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction; for none sure will claim in Hell
Precedence, none, whose portion is so small
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
Will covet more. With this advantage then
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in Heaven, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity
Could have assur'd us; and, by what best way,
Whether by open war, or covert guile,
We now debate : who can advise, may speak.

He ceas'd; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king,

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