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like this fair PARADISE, yet such as it is accept it; your Maker's Work; He gave it me, and I as freely give it : To entertain you two, Hell shall unfold her Gates the widest, and send forth all her Kings : There (not like these narrow Limits) will be Room to receive your numerous Offspring: If it is no better Place, thank him who puts me unwilling to take this Revenge on you who wrong me not, instead of him who wrongs me. And should I (as indeed I do) melt to Pity at your harmless Innocence ; yet publick Reason, just Honour, and Revenge, and Empire, by conquering this new World, compel me now to do, what elle (notwithstanding. I ain damned) I should abhor:
THv s spoke the Flend, and with the Tyrant's Plea, Necessity, excused his devilish Deeds. Then from his lofty Stand upon the Tree of Life, he lights down among the sporting Herd of those four-footed Beasts, turning himself into the Forin fometimes of one and sometimes of another, as their Shapes ferved his End best, to view his Prey nearer, and unobserved to mark what by Words or Actions he might learn further of their State : Now he stalks round about them like a Lion, with a fierce Glare ; then as a Ty. ger, who by Chance hath spied two gentle Fawns at Play in some Purlieu, strait couches down close, then rifing, changes his cunning Watch as one who was chusing his Ground, from whence rushing out, he might furest seize them both; griped in each Paw ; when ADAM; the first of all. Men, turning himself to Eves the first of Women, began this moving Speech, which turned SATAN all to Attention :
SOLE Partner, and dearest of all these Joys; dearer than all ! that Power that made us, and for our Use and Comfort all this great World, must needs be infinitely good, and of his Good be as liberal and
free as he is infinite ; that raised us from the Dust, and then placed us here in all this Happiness, who have merited nothing from him, nor are able to perform any thing of which he hath any Need; who requires no other Service from us, than to keep this one eafy Charge, that of all the Trees in PARADISE, which bear such various and delicious Fruit, we are only forbid to taste that Tree of Knowledge, which is planted by the Tree of Life, so near is Death placed to Life! whatever Death be; no doubt some very dreadful Thing; for thou knowest well God hath pronounced it Death to taste of that Tree: Among fo many Signs of Power and Rule he has conferred upon us, and Dominion which he hath given us over all other Creatures that live on Earth, in Sea, or in the Air, this is the only Sign left of our Obedience : Then do not let us think one eafy Probation hard, who enjoy lo large and free a Liberty in all Things else, and have an unlimited Choice of manifold Delights; but let us praise him for ever, and extol his Bounty, following our pleasurable Task to prune these growing Plants, and tend upon these Flowers; which if of itself were toilsome, yet with thee would seem fweet and pleafant.
To whom Eve replied thus : Oh thou! from whom and for whom I was formed, Flesh of my Flesh, and without whom my Being would be to no Purpofe, my Guide and Head! what thou hast faid is juft and right, for we indeed owe all Praises and daily Thanks to him; but I chiefly, who enjoy so much the happier Lot by enjoying thee, who art more noble and excellent by so much Odds; whilft thou canst find no where any Thing that is equal to thyself. I often remember that Day when I first waked from Sleep, and laid down under a Shade upon Flowers, wondering much where I was, and what I was, from whence, and how I was brought thither:Not
a great way from thence a Sound of murmuring Waters flowed forth from a Cave, and spread into a liquid Plain, which then stood unmoved and clear as the Sky: I went thither with unexperienced Thought, and laid me down upon the green Bank, to look into the fmooth and pure Lake, that seemed to me to be another Sky: As I bent myself down to look, just opposite appeared a Shape in the Water, bending to look upon me; I started back, and that started back also but I being pleased foon returned, and that as soon returned, and as pleased, with answering Looks of Sympathy and Love: There till now had I fixed my Eyes, and pined away with vain Desire, had not a Voice thus warned me: “ Fair Creature, what thou “ there seeft is nothing but thyself, it came with thee, “ and with thee it goes away ; but follow me, and “ I will bring thee where something more than a Sha“ dow waits forthy Coming, and for thy soft Embraces; “ it is he whole Image thou art, thou shall enjoy him inseparably, to him
shalt bear Multitudes of Creatures " like thyself, and thence shalt be called the Mother of " human Kind.” What could I do else bur immediately follow, being 'led thus invisibly, till I saw thee under a Platan (2)? Fair indeed and tall, and yet methought less fair, less winning and soft, and less amiably mild than that other smooth watery Image: I turned back, thou criedft aloud, following me, fair Eve return; from whence doft thou Ay? whom thou fieft from, of whom art thou made, his Flesh and Bone to give thee thy Being I lent subftantial Life,
(2) Platat in the Lat. Edit. well spread in Macedonia; the Plantan, which is wrong. Gr. Body of it is a clear green, smooth i.'e. Broad; because the Leaves as Glass, very streight, and about of it are very broad and spread. twenty Feet high; the Leaves ing wide, which make a cool, are eight or ten feet long, and refreshing, and welcome Shade four Feet broad ; and the Heart in hot Countries ; the Plane. of it is common Food in South Tree. It grows very large and America.
nearest my Heart and out of my Side, to have thee by my side ; henceforth an individual and dear Comfort, I seek thee as Part of my Soul, and lay Claim to thee who art my other Half!-- With that thy gentle Hand took hold of mine ; I yielded; and from that Time fee how much Beauty is excelled by manly Grace and Wisdom, besides which nothing is truly fair.
So spake our first and general Mother, and with Eyes of Conjugal Attraction and meek Surrender, half embracing him, leaned upon ADAM; half her naked swelling Breast met his, hid under the flowing Tresses of her golden Hair : He, in Delight both of her Beauty and her submissive Charms, smiled with fuperior Love, as Poets feign Jupiter to smile on JUNO (a), when he makes the Clouds fruitful, that thed MayFlowers; and he pressed her matron Lip with frequent and pure
Killes : The Devil-turned aside for Envy; yet with a jealous and malicious Look cyed them, and thus complained to himself;
HATEFyl and tormenţing Sight! thus these two in the Paradise of one another's Arms, (the happiest Eden) shall enjoy their Fill of Bliss upon Bliss ; while I am thrust to Hell, where there's neither Joy nor Love, but what among others is not the least of our Tormentş, fierce Desire pines with Pain of Longing, never satisfied nor quenched. Yet do not let me forget what I have gained from their own Mouths: It seems all is not theirs; there ftands one fatal Tree, called the Tree of Knowledge, forbidden them to cafte: Knowledge forbidden? and why? that is suspi
(a) Juno; Lar. i. e. Help or among the antient Poets. By this Anfance. An Heathen Goddess, Fable they meant the Air and the Sister and Wife of Jupiter ; Earth, which came both out of The goes under various Names her Womb, the Chaos.
cious and without Reason: Why should their Lord envy them that? Can it be any Sin to gain know·ledge ? Can that deserve Death ? And do they stand perfect only by their Ignorance? Is that their happy State? their Faith, and the Proof of their Obedience? What a fair Foundation is here laid, whereon to build their Ruin ? For this Cause I will excite a greater Defire to know, and to reject envious Commands invented only with a Design to keep them low, whon this prohibited Knowledge might exalt and make equal with Gods: Perhaps aspiring to be such, they taste, and die, what can likelier be the Consequence! But first I must walk round this Garden with very narrow Search, and leave no Place undiscover'd ; a Wonder if Chance may not lead me, where I may meet some wandering Spirit of Heaven, retir'd in some thick Shade, or near fome Fountain, from whom I may learn what I want farther to know.---- Ye happy Pair! live whileye may, and till I returnenjoy short Pleasures, for the Woes are long which are to succeed. Having said this, he scornfully turn’d his proud Steps afide, and began to make his Search, though with Slyness and great Circumspection, through Woods and · Plains, and over the Hills and Vallies.
CH A P. III.
Uriel warns Gabriel, that some evil Spirit had
pasid by bis Sphere. Night comes on, Adam and Eve discourse going to their Rest : Their Bower describd and Evening Worship.
EAN while the setting Sun descended Now
ly, and levelled his Evening Rays directly
against the Eastern Gate of PARADISE : de was a Rock of Alabaster, piled up almost as high