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But might as ill have happen'd thou being by,
To whom then first incens'd, Adam reply'd.
And am I now upbraided, as the cause
Of thy transgressing, not enough severe,
It seems, in thy restraint? what could I more? 1170 I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold
The danger, and the lurking enemy
1165 Immutable] Inimitable. Bentl. MS.
1170 thy] So in the early editions; in Tonson's, 1711, it is in my restraint,' which Tickell, Fenton, and Bentley have improperly followed.
That lay in wait: beyond this had been force,
That error now, which is become my crime,
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 by 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, by wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by man there committed, 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 highway, or bridge, over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made; then, preparing for earth, they meet him, proud of his success, returning to hell: 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 serpents, according to his doom given in paradise; then, deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death; GOD foretells 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 bewails, 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 better 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 despightful act
He in the serpent had perverted Eve,
Was known in heaven; for what can scape the eye
The high injunction not to taste that fruit,
Up into heaven from paradise in haste
With pity, violated not their bliss.
Th' ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befell: they towards the throne supreme
Assembled angels, and ye powers return'd From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd, Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth, Which 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 seduc'd 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 His free will, to her own inclining left In even scale. But fallen he is; and now What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass On his transgression, death denounc'd that day? Which he presumes already vain and void, Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd, By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find Forbearance no acquittance ere day end. Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd. But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee 55 Vicegerent Son; to thee I have transferr'd