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PARADISE REGAINED.

BOOK IV.

Satan, shows our Lord imperial Rome in its greatest pomp

and splendour, and tells him that he might with the greatest ease expel Tiberius, restore the Romans to their liberty, and make himself master not only of the Roman empire, but by so doing, of the whole world, and inclusively oj the throne of David. Our Lord, in reply, expresses his contempt of grandeur and worldly power, and briefly refers to the greatness of his own future kingdom. Satan, now desperate, to enhance the value of his proffered gifts, professes that the only terms on which he will bestow them, are our Saviour's falling down and worshipping him. Our Lord expresses a firm but temperate indignation at such a proposition, and rebukes the tempter by the title of " Satan for ever damned.” Satan, abashed, attempts to justify himself: he then assumes a new ground

of temptation, and points out to Jesus the celebrated seat of ancient learning, Athens, its schools, and other various resorts of learned teachers and their disciples; accompanying the view with a highly-finished panegyric on the Grecian musicians, poets, orators, and philosophers of the different sects. Jesus replies, by showing the vanity and insufficiency of the boasted Heathen philosophy; and prefers to the music, poetry, eloquence, and didactic policy of the Greeks, those of the inspired Hebrew writers, Satan upbraids the indiscretion of our Saviour in rejecting his offers; and having foretold the sufferings that our Lord was to undergo, carries him back into the wilderness, and leaves him there. Night comes on: Satan raises a tremendous storm, and attempts further to alarm Jesus with frightful dreams, and terrific threatening spectres. A calm, bright, beautiful morning succeeds to the horrors of the night. Satan again presents himself to our blessed Lord, and takes occasion once more to insult him with an account of the sufferings schich he was certainly to undergo. This only draws from our Lord a brief rebuke. Satan now at the height of his desperation, confesses that he had frequently watched Jesus from his birth, and, collecting from what passed at the river Jordan that he most probably was the true Messiah, he had from that time more assiduously followed him, in hopes of gaining some advantage over him. In this he acknowledges that he has hitherto completely failed; but still determines to make one more trial of him. Accordingly he conveys him to the temple at Jerusalem, and, placing him on a pointed eminence, requires him to prove his Divinity either by standing there, or casting himself down with safety. Our Lord reproves the tempter, and at the same time manifests his own Divinity by standing on this dangerous point. Satan, amazed and terrified, instantly falls, and repairs to his infernal compeers, to relate the bad success of his enterprise. Angels in the mean time convey our blessed Lord to a beautiful valley, and, while they minister to him a repast of celestial food, celebrate his victory in a triumphant hymn.

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 rhetoric That sleek'd his tongue, and won so much on Eve, So little here, nay, lost: but Eve was Eve; This far his over-match, who, self-deceiv'd And rash, beforehand 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-reached 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; 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 over, 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 [men,
That screen'd the fruits of the earth, and seats of
From cold Septentrion blasts; thence in the midst
Divided by a river, of whose banks
On each 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 height of mountains interpos'd:
(By what strange parallax, or optic 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,

see

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 airy telescope,) thou may'st behold,
Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs,
Carv'd work, the hand of fam'd artificers,
In cedar, marble, ivory, or gold.
Thence to the gates cast round thine eye,

and
What conflux issuing forth, or entering in;
Prætors, pro-consuls 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 babits, on the Appian road,
Or on the Emilian: some from farthest south,
Syene, and where the shadow both way falls,
Meroe, Nilotic 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 Gallia, Gades, and the British west;
Germans, and Scythians, and Sarmatians, north
Beyond Danubius to the Tauric pool.
All nations now to Rome obedience pay;
To Rome's great emperor, whose wide domain,
In ample territory, wealth, and power,
Civility of manners, arts, and arms,

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