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Irrefolute, unhardy, unadventrous:
But I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit
Those rudiments, and see before thine eyes 245
The monarchies of th' earth, their pomp and state,
Sufficient introduction to inform
Thee, of thyself so apt, in regal arts,
And regal mysteries, that thou may'st know
How best their opposition to withstand. 250

With that (such pow'r was giv’n him then) he took
The Son of God up to a mountain high.
It was a mountain at whose verdant feet
A spacious plain out-stretch'd in circuit wide
Lay pleasant; from his side two rivers flow'd, 255
Th’one winding, th' other strait, and left between
Fair champain with less rivers intervein'd,
Then meeting join'd their tribute to the sea:
Fertile of corn the glebe, of oil and wine; 259
With herds the pastures throng’d, with flocks thehills;
Huge cities and high towr’d, that well might seem
The seats of mightiest monarchs, and so large
The prospect was, that here and there was room
For barren desert fountainless and dry.
To this high mountaintop the Tempter brought 265 -
Our Saviour, and new train of words began.

Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale, Forest and field and food, temples and towers, Cut shorter many a league; here thou behold'st Assyria and her empire's ancient bounds,

Araxes and the Caspian lake, thence on
As far as Indus east, Euphrates west,
And oft beyond; to south the Persian bay,
And inaccessible th’ Arabian drouth:
Here Nineveh, of length within her wall 275
Several days journey, built by Ninus old,
Of that first golden monarchy the seat,
And seat of Salmanassar, whose success
Israel in long captivity still mourns;
There Babylon, the wonder of all tongues, 280
As ancient, but rebuilt by him who twice
Judah and all thy father David's house
Led captive, and Jerusalem laid waste,
Till Cyrus set them free; Persepolis
His city there thou seest, and Bactra there; 285
Ecbatana her structure vast there shows,
And Hecatompylos her hundred gates; .
There Susa by Choaspes, amber stream,
The drink of none but kings; of later fame
Built by Emathian, or by Parthian" hands, 290
The great Seleucia, Nisibis, and there
Artaxata, Teredon, Ctesiphon,
Turning with easy eye thou may'st behold.
All these the Parthian, now some ages past,
By great Arsaces led, who founded first
That empire, under his dominion holds,
From the luxurious kings of Antioch won.
And just in time thou com'st to have a view

H

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Of

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Of his great pow'r; for now the Parthian king
In Ctesiphon hath gather'd all his host
Against the Scythian, whose incursions wild
Have wasted Sogdiana; to her aid
He marches now in haste; see, though from far,
His thousands, in what martial equipage
They issue forth, steel bows, andshafts their arms 305
Of equal dread in flight, or in pursuit;
All horsemen, in which fight they most excel;
See how in warlike muster they appear,
In rhombs and wedges, and half-moons, and wings.

He look’d, and saw what numbers numberless 310
The city gates out-pour’d, light armed troops
In coats of mail and military pride;
In mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong,
Prauncing their riders bore, the flow'r and choice
Of many provinces from bound to bound; 315
From Arachosia, from Candaor east,
And Margiana to the Hyrcanian cliffs
Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales,
From Atropatia and the neighb'ring plains .
Of Adiabene, Media, and the south

320 Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven. He saw them in their forms of battel rang’d, How quick they wheel'd, and fly’ing behind them shot Sharp fleet of arrowy show'rs against the face Of their pursuers, and overcame by flight; 325 The field all iron cast a gleaming brown: ,

Nor

Nor wanted clouds of foot, nor on each horn
Cuirassiers all in' steel for standing fight,
Chariots or elephants indors'd with towers
Of archers, nor of lab’ring pioneers 330
A multitude with spades and axes arm’d
To lay hills plain, fell woods, or valleys fill,
Or where plain was raise hill, or overlay
With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke;
Mules after these, camels and dromedaries, 335
And waggons fraught with utensils of war.
Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,
When Agrican with all his northern powers
Besieg'd Albracca, as romances tell,
The City of Gallaphrone, from thence to win 340
The fairest of her sex Angelica
His daughter, sought by many prowest knights,
Both Paynim, and the peers of Charlemain.
Such and so numerous was their chivalry;
At sight whereof the Fiend yet more presum'd, 345
And to our Saviour thus his words renew’d.

That thou may'st know I seek not to engage
Thy virtue, and not every way secure
On no slight grounds thy safety; hear, and mark
To what end I have brought thee hither and shown
All this fair sight: thy kingdom though foretold 351
By Prophet or by Angel, unless thou
Endevor, as thy father David did,
Thou never shalt obtain; prediction still

360

In all things, and all men, supposes means, 355
Without means us’d, what it predicts revokes.
But say thou wert possess’d of David's throne
By free consent of all, none opposit,
Samaritan or Jew; how could'st thou hope
Long to enjoy it quiet and secure,
Between two such inclosing enemies
Roman and Parthian? therefore one of these
Thou must make sure thy own, the Parthian first
By my advice, as nearer, and of late
Found able by invasion to annoy

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Thy country', and captive lead away her kings
Antigonus, and old Hyrcanus bound,
Maugre the Roman: it shall be my talk
To render thee the Parthian at dispose;
Choose which thou wilt by conqueftorby league: 370
By him thou shalt regain, without him not,
That which alone can truly reinstall thee
In David's royal feat, his true successor,
Deliverance of thy brethren, those ten tribes
Whose ofspring in his territory yet serve, 375
In Haber, and among the Medes dispers’d;
Ten sons of Jacob, two of Joseph loft
Thus long from Israel, serving as of old
Their fathers in the land of Egypt serv’d,
This offer sets before thee to deliver. 380
These if from servitude thou shalt restore
To their inheritance, then, nor till then,

Thou

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