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Unseemly to bear rule, which was thy part hadst thou known thyself aright.



So having said, he thus to Eve in few: Say, woman, what is this which thou hast done?



To whom sad Eve with shame nigh overwhelm'd, Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge Bold or loquacious, thus abash'd reply'd. The serpent me beguil'd, and I did eat.


Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To judgment he proceeded on th' accus'd Serpent though brute; unable to transfer The guilt on him who made him instrument Of mischief, and polluted from the end Of his creation; justly then accurs'd, As vitiated in nature: more to know Concern'd not man, (since he no further knew,) 170 Nor alter'd his offence: yet God at last To Satan first in sin his doom apply'd, Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best: And on the serpent thus his curse let fall.

Because thou hast done this, thou art accurs'd 175 Above all cattle, each beast of the field; Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go,

155 thy part] A pure Latinism, the personæ dramatis. So Cic. pro Mur. c. 2. Has partes lenitatis et misericordiæ, quas me Natura ipsa docuit, semper ago libenter: illam vero gravitatis, severitatis personam non appetivi.' Richardson.

157 in few] So K. Hen. IV. P. ii. act i. s. 1.

'In few; his death, whose spirit lent a fire.'

and Warner's Alb. Engl. 1608, p. 40.

'In few; the wars are full of woes.' Todd.

And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life.
Between thee and the woman I will put
Enmity, and between thine and her seed;


Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.

So spake this oracle, then verify'd

When Jesus, son of Mary, second Eve,

Saw Satan fall like lightning down from heaven,
Prince of the air; then rising from his grave
Spoil'd principalities and powers, triumph'd
In open'd show, and with ascension bright
Captivity led captive through the air,
The realm itself of Satan long usurp'd,
Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;
Ev'n he who now foretold his fatal bruise;
And to the woman thus his sentence turn'd.

Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply
By thy conception; children thou shalt bring
In sorrow forth, and to thy husband's will
Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule.




On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd. Because thou hast hearken'd to the voice of thy wife, And eaten of the tree concerning which

I charg'd thee, saying: Thou shalt not eat thereof,
Curs'd is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrow 201
Shalt eat thereof all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid, and thou shalt eat th' herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou


Out of the ground wast taken, know thy birth,
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.


So judg'd he man, both Judge and Saviour sent;
And th' instant stroke of death denounc'd that day
Remov'd far off; then pitying how they stood
Before him naked to the air, that now
Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin
Thenceforth the form of servant to assume;
As when he wash'd his servants' feet, so now
As father of his family he clad

Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain,
Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid;
And thought not much to clothe his enemies.
Nor he their outward only with the skins
Of beasts, but inward nakedness, much more
Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness,
Arraying, cover'd from his Father's sight.
To him with swift ascent he up return'd.
Into his blissful bosom reassum'd

In glory as of old; to him appeas'd

All, though all-knowing, what had past with man Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.




Meanwhile, ere thus was sinn'd and judg'd on earth,

Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death, 230 In counterview within the gates, that now

Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame

232 belching] Spens. F. Q. i. xi. 44.

'As burning Etna from his boyling stew

Doth belch out flames.'


Far into Chaos, since the fiend pass'd through,
Sin opening, who thus now to Death began.

O son, why sit we here, each other viewing
Idly, while Satan our great author thrives
In other worlds, and happier seat provides
For us his offspring dear? It cannot be
But that success attends him; if mishap,
Ere this he had return'd, with fury driv'n
By his avengers, since no place like this
Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
Wings growing, and dominion giv'n me large
Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on,
Or sympathy, or some connatural force,
Powerful at greatest distance to unite
With secret amity things of like kind
By secretest conveyance. Thou my shade
Inseparable must with me along;

For Death from Sin no power can separate.
But lest the difficulty of passing back
Stay his return perhaps over this gulf
Impassable, impervious, let us try

Advent'rous work, yet to thy power and mine
Not unagreeable, to found a path

Over this main from hell to that new world
Where Satan now prevails, a monument

Of merit high to all th' infernal host,

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249 shade] Shade' used in the same manner in class. authors. Hor.

Sat. ii. 8. 22.

'quos Mæcenas adduxerat umbras! Newton.

Easing their passage hence, for intercourse,
Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead.
Nor can I miss the way so strongly drawn
By this new felt attraction and instinct.

Whom thus the meagre shadow answer'd soon.
Go whither fate and inclination strong
Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err,
The way thou leading, such a scent I draw
Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste

The savour of death from all things there that live: Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest

Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.

So saying, with delight he snuff'd the smell
Of mortal change on earth. As when a flock
Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote,
Against the day of battle, to a field,

Where armies lie encamp'd, come flying, lur'd
With scent of living carcasses design'd

For death, the following day, in bloody fight:
So scented the grim Feature, and upturn'd
His nostril wide into the murky air,

266 err] Newton has thus pointed the text:

'I shall not lag behind, nor err

The way, thou leading.'






Well may he call it a remarkable expression; but it should thus be stopt:

'I shall not lag behind, nor err,

The way thou leading.'

This error is retained in Mr. Todd's edition. It is, however, proper to observe, that the punctuation of Milton's own editions agrees with Newton's.

268 innumerable] Exuberant.' Bentl. MS.

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