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Who might have lived, and joy'd immortal bliss, 1165
Thus they in mutual accusation spent
Man's transgression known, the guardian Angels forsake Paradise, and
return up to Heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved; God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be hy them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors; who descends and gives sentence accordingly; then in pity, clothes them both, and reascends. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of Hell, hy wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin hy Man there comunitted, resolve to sit no longer confined in Hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of Man: To make the way easier from Hell to this world, to and fro, they pave a broad high way or bridge over Chaos, according to tne tract that Satan first made; then, preparing for Earth, they neet him, proud of his success, returning to Bell; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at pandemonium, in full assembly relates with boasting his success against Man; instead of applause, is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed with himself also suddenly into ser. pents, according to his doom given in Paradise; then, deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springing up hefore them, they, greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death: God foretels the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but, for the present, commands his Angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and elements. Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily hewails, rejects the condolement of Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him: then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not; but, conceiving hetter hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the Serpent; and exhorts her with him to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.
MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
Assembled Angels, and ye Powers return'd From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd, 35 Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth, Which your sincerest care could not prevent; Foretold so lately what would come to pass, When first this Tempter cross'd the gulf from Hell. I told ye then he should prevail, and speed On his bad errand; Man should be seduced, And flatter'd out of all, believing lies Against his Maker; no decree of mine Concurring to necessitate his fall, Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
45 His free will, to her own inclining left
In even scale. But fallen he is; and now
So spake the Father; and, unfolding bright
65 Resplendent all his Father manifest Express’d, and thus divinely answer'd mild:
Father Eternal, thine is to decree; Mine, both in Heaven and Earth, to do thy will Supreme; that thou in me, thy Son beloved, 70 Mayst ever rest well pleased. I go to judge On earth these thy transgressors; but thou know'st, Whoever judged, the worst on me must light, When time shall be; for so I undertook Before thee; and, not repenting, this obtain 75 Of right, that I may mitigate their doom On me derived; yet I shall temper so Justice with mercy as may illustrate most Them fully satisfied, and thee appease. Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none 80 Are to behold the judgment, but the judged, Those two; the third best absent is condemn’d,
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law:
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose 85
100 The thickest trees, both man and wife; till God, Approaching, thus to Adam call'd aloud:
Where art thou, Adam wont with joy to meet My coming seen far off? I miss thee here, Not pleased, thus entertain’d with solitude, 105 Where obvious duty ere while appear'd unsought: Or come I less conspicuous, or what change Absents thee, or what chance detains?—Come forth!
He came; and with him Eve, more loath, though first To offend; discountenanced both, and discomposed; 110 Love was not in their looks, either to God, Or to each other; but apparent guilt, And shame, and perturbation, and despair, Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile. Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answer'd brief: 115
I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice Afraid, being naked, hid myself. To whom The gracious Judge without revile replied: