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THE ARGUMENT.

Satan having compafs'd the Earth, with meditated guile returns as a mift by night into Paradife, enters into the Serpent fleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labors, which Eve propofes to divide in feveral places, each laboring apart: Adam confents not, alledging the danger, left that enemy, of whom they were forewarn'd, fhould attempt her found alone: Eve, loath to be thought not circumfpect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather defirous to make trial of her ftrength; Adam at laft yields: The Serpent finds her alone; his fubtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the Serpent speak, afks how he attain'd to human speech and fuch understanding not till now; the Serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attain'd both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden: The Serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; fhe pleas'd with the tafte deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings him of the fruit, relates what perfuaded her to eat thereof: Adam at first amaz'd, but perceiving her loft, refolves through vehemence of love to perish with her; and extenuating the trefpass eats alfo of the fruit: The effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.

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