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Thy condescension; and shall be honour'd ever,
With grateful memory: thou to mankind
Be good and friendly still, and oft return."

So parted they; the Angel up to Heaven,
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.





Satan, having compassed the earth, with meditated guile returns as a

mist, by night, into Paradise, and enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart. Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone. Eve, loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; Adam at last yields. The serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech and such understanding, not till now: the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both. Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden. The serpent, now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; she pleased with the taste, deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not; at last brings him of the fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof. Adam, at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love to perish with her, and, extenuating the trespass, eats also of the fruit. The effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.






No more of talk, where God, or Angel, guest
With Man, as with his friend, familiar used
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse, unblamed ; I now must change
These notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal, on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience; on the part of Heaven,
Now alienated, distance, and distaste,
Anger, and just rebuke, and judgment given,
That brought into this world a world of wo,
Sin, and her shadow Death, and Misery,
Death's harbinger. Sad task; yet argument
Not less, but more heroic, than the wrath
Of stern Achilles, on his foe pursued,
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus, for Lavinia dis-espoused;
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's son.
If answerable style I can obtain
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation, unimplored,
And dictates to me slumbering, or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse :
Since first this subject, for heroic song,
Pleased me, long choosing, and beginning late;
Not sedulous by nature to indite
Wars, hitherto, the only argument
Heroic deem'd ; chief mastery, to dissect,
With long and tedious havoc, fabled knights,
In battles feign'd; the better fortitude
Of patience, and heroic martyrdom,
Unsung; or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, emblazon'd shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons, and steeds,
Bases, and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights,
At joust and tournament; then marshall’d feast,





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