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PARADISE REGAINED,

BOOK IV.

PERPLEX'D and troubled at his bad success
The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope
So oft, and the persuasive rhetorick
That sleek'd his tongue, and won so much on Eve,
So little here, nay lost : bút Eve was Eve;
This far his over-match, who, self-deceiv'd
And rash, before-hand had no better weigh'd
The strength he was to cope with, or his own:
But as a man, who had been matchless held
In cunning, over-reach'd where least he thought,
To salve his credit, and for very spite,
Still will be tempting him who foils him still,
And never cease, though to his shame the more;

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Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time, About the wine-press where sweet must is pour'd Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound; Or surging waves against a solid rock, Though all to shivers dash'd, the assault renew, (Vain battery !) and in froth or bubbles end; So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse Met ever, and to shameful silence brought, Yet gives not o'er, though desperate of success, And his vain importunity pursues. He brought our Saviour to the western side Of that high mountain, whence he might behold Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide, Wash'd by the southern sea, and on the north, To equal length back'd with a ridge of hills That screen’d the fruits of the earth, and seats of men, From cold Septentrion blasts; thence in the midst Divided by a river, of whose banks Ongeach side an imperial city stood, With towers and temples proudly elevate On seven small hills, with palaces adorn'd Porches, and theatres, baths, aqueducts, Statues, and trophies, and triumphal arcs, Gardens, and groves, presented to his eyes, Above the highth of mountains interpos'd : (By what strange parallax, or optick skill Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass Of telescope, were curious to inquire :)

And now the Tempter thus his silence broke.

The city, which thou seest, no other deem Than great and glorious Rome, queen of the earth, So far renown'd, and with the spoils enrich'd Of nations; there the Capitol thou seest, Above the rest lifting his stately head On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel ;) Impregnable; and there mount Palatine, The imperial palace, compass huge, and high The structure, skill of noblest architects, With gilded battlements conspicuous far, Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires : Many a fair edifice besides, more like Houses of Gods, (so well I have dispos’d My aery microscope,) thou may'st behold, Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs, Carv'd work, the hand of fam'd artificers, In ceder, marble, ivory, or gold. Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see, What conflux issuing forth or entering in ; Prætors, proconsuls to their provinces Hasting, or on return, in robes of state, Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power, Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wings: Or embassies from regions far remote, In various habits, on the Appian roa Or on the Emilian; some from farthest south, Syene, and where the shadow both way falls,

Meroe, Nilotiek isle; and, more to west,
The realm of Bocchus to the Black-moor sea;
From the Asian kings, and Parthian among these;
From India and the golden Chersonese,
And utmost Indian isle Taprobane,
Dusk faces with white silken turbans wreath'd;
From Gillia, Gades, and the British west;
Germans, and Scythians, and Sarmatians, north
Beyond Danubius to the Taurick pool.
All nations now to Rorne obedience pay:
To Rome's great emperour, whose wide domain,
In ample territory, wealth, and power,
Civility of manners, arts and arms,
And long renown, thou justly mayst prefer
Before the Parthian, These two thrones except,
The rest are barbarous, and scarce worth the sight,
Shar'd among petty kings too far remov'd;
These having shown thee, I have shown thee all
The kingdoms of the world, and all their glory.
This emperour hath no son, and now is old,
Old and lascivious, and from Rome retird
To Capreæ, an island small, but strong,
On the Campanian shore, with purpose there
His horrid lusts in private to enjoy;
Committing to a wicked favourite
All publick cares, and yet of his suspicious;
Hated to all, and háting With what ease,
Endued with regal virtues, as thoù art,

Appearing, and beginning noble deeds,
Might'st thou expel this monster from his throne,
Now made a stye; and, in his place ascending,
A victor people free from servile yoke !
And with my help thou may'st; to me the power
Is given, and by that right I give it thee.
Aim therefore at no less than all the world;
Aim at the highest; without the highest attain'd,
Will be for thee no sitting, or not long,
On David's throne, be prophesied what will..

To whom the Son of God, unmov'd replied.
Nor doth this grandeur and majestiek show
Of luxury, though call'd magnificence,
More than of arms before, allure mine eye,
Much less my mind; though thou should'st add to tell
Their sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous feasts
On citron tables or Atlantiek stone,
(For I have also heard, perhaps have read,)
Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Palerne,
Chios, and Crete, and how they quaff in gold,
Crystal, and myrrhine cups, emboss'd with gems
And studs of pearl ; to me should'st tell, who thirst
And hunger still. Them embassies thou show'st
From nations far and nigh : what honour that,
But tedious waste of time, to sit and hear
So many hallow compliments and lies,
Outlandish flatteries? Then proceed'st to talk
of the emperour, how easily subdued,

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