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And at their passing cleave the Assyrian flood,
While to their native land with joy they haste,
As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,
When to the Promised Land their fathers pass'd;
To his due time and providence I leave them.

So spake Israel's true King, and to the fiend
Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles.
So fares it when with truth falsehood contends.

BOOK IV.

Perplex'd and troubled at his bad success,

The tempter stood, nor had what to reply,

Discover d in his fraud, thrown from his hope

So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric

That sleek'd his tongue, and won so much on Eve,

So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve,

This far his overmatch, who, self-deceived

And rash, beforehand had no better weigh'd

The strength he was to cope with, or his own;

But as a man, who had been matchless held

In cunning, over-reach'd where least he thought,

To salve his credit, and for very spite,

Still will be tempting him who foils him still,

And never cease, though to his shame the more;

Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time,

About the wine-press where sweet must is pour'd,

Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;

Or surging waves against a solid rock,

Though all to shivers dash'd, the assault renew,

Vain battery, and in froth or bubbles end;

So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse

Met ever, and to shameful silence brought,

Yet gives not o'er, though desperate of success,

And his vain importunity pursues.

He brought our Saviour to the western side

Of that high mountain, whence he might behold

Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide,

Wash'd by the southern sea, and on the north

To equal length back'd with a ridge of hills,

That screen'd the fruits of the earth, and seats of men,

From cold septentrion blasts ; thence in the midst

Divided by a river, of whose banks

On each side an imperial city stood,

With towers and temples proudly elevate

On seven small hills, with palaces adorn'd,

Porches, and theatres, baths, aqueducts,

Statues, and trophies, and triumphal arcs,

Gardens, and groves presented to his eyes,

Above the height of mountains interposed:
By what strange parallax or optic skill
Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass
Of telescope, were curious to inquire;
And now the tempter thus his silence broke:

The city which thou seest no other deem
Than great and glorious Rome, queen of the earth,
So far renown'd, and with the spoils enrich'd
Of nations; there the capitol thou seest
Above the rest lifting his stately head
On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel
Impregnable, and there Mount Palatine,
The imperial palace, compass huge, and high
The structure, skill of noblest architects,
With gilded battlements conspicuous far,
Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires.
Many a fair edifice besides, more like
Houses of gods, so well I have disposed
My aery microscope, thou mayest behold
Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs,
Carved work, the hand of famed artificers
In cedar, marble, ivory, or gold.
Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see
What conflux issuing forth, or entering in,
Prators, proconsuls to their provinces
Hasting, or on return, in robes of state;
Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power,
Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wings;
Or embassies from regions far remote,
In various habits, on the Appian road,
Or on the Emilian, some from farthest south,
Syene, and where the shadow both way falls,
Meroe, Nilotic isle, and more to west,
The realm of Bocchus to the Blackmoor sea;
From the Asian kings, and Parthian, among these,
From India, and the Golden Chersonese,
And utmost Indian isle Taprobane,
Dusk faces with white silken turbans wreath'd;
From Gallia, Gades, and the British west,
Germans, and Scythians, and Sarmatians, north
Beyond Danubius to the Tauric pool.
All nations now to Rome obedience pay,
To Rome's great emperor, whose wide domain,
In ample territory, wealth, and power,
Civility of manner-;, arts, and arms,
And long renown, thou justly mayest prefer
Before the Parthian; these two thrones except.
The rest are barbarous, and scarce worth the sight,
Shared among petty kings too far removed.
These having shown thee, I have shown thee all
The kingdoms of the world, and all their glory.
This emperor hath no son, and now is old,

Old and lascivious, and from Rome retired

To Capreae, an island small Jjut strong

On the Campanian shore, with purpose there

His horrid lusts in private to enjoy,

Committing to a wicked favporite

All public cares and yet of him suspicious,

Hated of all, and bating. With what ease,

Endued with regal virtues as thou art,

Appearing and beginning noble deeds,

Mightst thou expel this monster from his throne,

Now made a sty, and, in his place ascending,

A victor people free from servile yoke?

And with my help thou mayest; to me the power

Is given, and by that right I give it thee.

Aim therefore at no less than all the world,

Aim at the highest, without the highest attained

Will be for thee no sitting, or not long,

On David's throne, be prophesied what will.

To whom the Son of God unmoved replied: Nor doth this grandeur and majestic show Of luxury, though call'd magnificence, More than of arms before, allure mine eye, Much less my mind ; though thou shouldst add to tell Their sumptuous gluttonies and gorgeous feasts On citron tables or Atlantic stone, For I have also heard, perhaps have read, Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne, Chios, and Crete, and how they quaff in gold, Crystal and myrrhine cups emboss'd with gems And studs of pearl, to me shouldst tell who thirst And hunger still. Then embassies thou show'st From nations far and nigh. What honour that, But tedious waste of time to sit and hear So many hollow compliments and lies, Outlandish flatteries!" then proceed'st to talk Of the emperor, how easily subdued, How gloriously; I shall, thou sayest, expel A brutish monster ; what if I withal Expel a devil who first made him such? Let his tormentor conscience find him out; For him I was not sent, nor yet to free That people, victor once, now vile and base, Deservedly made vassal, who, once just, Frugal, and mild, and temperate, conqucr'd well, But govern ill the nations under yoke, Peeling their provinces, exhausted all But lust and rapine; first ambitious grown Of triumph, that insulting vanity; Then cruel, by their sports to blood inured Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts exposed Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still, And from the daily scene effeminate.

What wise and valiant man would seek to free
These thus degenerate, -by themselves enslaved?
Or could of inward slaves make outward free?
Know, therefore, when my season comes to sit
On David's throne, it shall be like a tree
Spreading and overshadowing all the earth;
Or as a stone that shall to pieces dash
All monarchies besides throughout the world,
And of my kingdom there shall be no end.
Means there shall be to this, but what the means
Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell.

To whom the tempter impudent replied:
I see all offers made by me how slight
Thou valuest, because offer'd, and rejectest;
Nothing will please the difficult and nice,
Or nothing more than still to contradict.
On the other side know also thou, that I
On what I offer set as high esteem,
Nor what I part with mean to give for nought
All these which in a moment thou beholdst,
The kingdoms of the world to thee I give;
For, given to me, I give to whom I please,
No trifle; yet with this reserve, not else,
On this condition, if thou wilt fall down,
And worship me as thy superior lord,
Easily done, and hold them all of me;
For what can less so great a gift deserve?

Whom thus our Saviour answer'd with disdain:
I never liked thy talk, thy offers less,
Now both abhor, since thou hast dared to utter
The abominable terms, impious condition;
But I endure the time, till which expired,
Thou hast permission on me. It is written,
The first of all commandments, Thou shalt worship
The Lord thy God, and only him shalt serve;
And darest thou to the Son of God propound
To worship thee accursed, now more accursed
For this attempt, bolder than that on Eve,
And more blasphemous? which expect to rue.
The kingdoms of the world to thee were given,
Permitted rather, and by thee usurp'd,
Other donation none thou canst produce.
If given, by whom but by the King of kings,
God over all Supreme? If given to thee,
By thee how fairly is the Giver now
Repaid? But gratitude in thee is lost
Long since. Wert thou so void of fear or shame,
As offer them to me, the Son of God,
To me my own, on such abhorred pact,
That I fall down and worship thee as God?
Get thee behind me; plain thou now appearest
That evil one, Satan for ever damn'd.

To whom the fiend, with fear abash'd, replied: Be not so sore offended, Son of God, Though sons of God both angels are and men, If I, to try whether in higher sort Than these thou bear'st that title, have proposed What both from men and angels I receive, Tetrarchs of fire, air, flood, and on the earth Nations besides from all the quarter'd winds, God of this world invoked, and world beneath; Who then thou art, whose coming is foretold To me so fatal, me it most concerns. The trial hath indamaged thee no way, Rather more honour left and more esteem; Me nought advantaged, missing what I aim'd Therefore let pass, as they are transitory, The kingdoms of this world; I shall no more Advise thee; gain them as thou canst, or not And thou thyself seem'st otherwise inclined Than to a worldly crown, addicted more To contemplation and profound dispute, As by that early action may be judged, When, slipping from thy mother's eye, thou went'st Alone into the temple, there wast found Amongst the gravest rabbis disputant On points and questions fitting Moses' chair, Teaching, not taught; the childhood shows the man, As morning shows the day. Be famous then By wisdom; as thy empire must extend, So let extend thy mind o'er all the world In knowledge, all things in it comprehend: All knowledge is not couch'd in Moses' law, The Pentateuch, or what the prophets wrote; The Gentiles also know, and write, and teach To admiration, led by nature's light; And with the Gentiles much thou must converse, Ruling them by persuasion, as thou mean'st; Without their learning how wilt thou with them, Or they with thee, hold conversation meet? How wilt thou reason with them? how refute Their idolisms, traditions, paradoxes? Error by his own arms is best evinced. Look once more, ere we leave this specular mount, Westward, much nearer by south-west, behold, Where on the jEgean shore a city stands, Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil; Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts And eloquence, native to famous wits, Or hospitable, in her sweet recess, City or suburban, studious walks and shades; See there the olive grove of Academe, Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long;

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