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O spake the Son of God, and Satan stood
A while as mute confounded what to say,
What to reply, confuted and convinc'd
Of his weak arguing, and fallacious drift;
At length collecting all his serpent wiles,
With soothing words renew'd, him thus accosts.
I see thou know'st what is of use to know,
What best to say canst say, to do canst do;
Thy actions to thy words accord, thy words
To thy large heart give utterance due, thy heart 10
Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.
Should kings and nations from thy mouth consult,
Thy counsel would be as the oracle
Urim and Thummim, those oraculous gems
On Aaron's breast; or tongue of seers old 15
Infallible: or wert thou sought to deeds
That might require th' array of war, thy skill
Of conduct would be such, that all the world
Could not sustain thy prowess, or subsist
In battel, though against thy few in arms.
These God-like virtues wherefore dost thou hide,
Affecting private life, or more obscure
In favage wilderness? wherefore deprive
All earth her wonder at thy acts, thyself
The fame and glory, glory the reward
That sole excites to high attempts, the flame
Of most erected spi'rits, most temper’d pure
Ethereal, who all pleasures else despise,
All treasures and all gain esteem as dross,
And dignities and pow’rs all but the highest?
Thy years are ripe, and over-ripe; the son
Of Macedonian Philip had ere these
Won Asia, and the throne of Cyrus held
At his dispose; young Scipio had brought down
The Carthaginian pride; young Pompey quell'd 35
The Pontic king, and in triumph had rode.
Yet years, and to ripe years judgment mature,
Quench not the thirst of glory, but augment.
Great Julius, whom now all the world admires,
The more he grew in years, the more infiam'd 40
With glory, wept that he had liv'd so long
Inglorious: but thou yet art not too late.
To whom our Saviour calmly thus reply'd.
Thou neither dost persuade me to seek wealth
For empire's sake, nor empire to affect
For glory's sake by all thy argument.
For what is glory but the blaze of fame,
The peoples praise, if always praise unmix'd?
And what the people but a herd confus'd,
A miscellaneous rabble, who extol (praise?
Things vulgar, and well weigh’d, scarce worth the
They praise, and they admire they know not what,
And know not whom, but as one leads the other;
And what delight to be by such extollid,
To live upon their tongues and be their talk,
55 Of whom to be disprais'd were no small praise? His lot who dares be singularly good. Th' intelligent among them and the wise Are few, and glory scarce of few is rais'd. . This is true glory and renown, when God 60 Looking on th' earth, with approbation marks The just man, and divulges him through Heaven To all his Angels, who with true applause Recount his praises: thus he did to Job, When to extend his fame through Heav'n and Earth, As thou to thy reproach may'st well remember, 66 He ask'd thee, Hast thou seen my servant Job? Famous he was in Heav'n, on Earth less known; Where glory is false glory, attributed To things not glorious, men not worthy' of fame. 70 They err who count it glorious to subdue By conquest far and wide, to over-run Large countries, and in field great battels win, Great cities by assault: what do these worthies,
But rob and spoil, burn, slaughter, and inslave
75 Peaceable nations, neighb'ring, or remote, Made captive, yet deserving freedom more Than those their conquerors, who leave behind Nothing but ruin wherefoe'er they rove, And all the flourishing works of peace destroy, 80 Then swell with pride, and must be titled Gods, Great Benefactors of mankind, Deliverers, Worshipt with temple, priest and sacrifice; One is the son of Jove, of Mars the other; Till conqu’ror Death discover them scarce men, 85 Rolling in brutish vices, and deform’d, Violent or shameful death their due reward. But if there be in glory ought of good, It
may by means far different be attain'd Without ambition, war, or violence; By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminent, By patience, temperance: I mention still Him whom thy wrongs with saintly patience borne Made famous in a land and times obfcure; Who names not now with honor patient Job?
95 Poor Socrates (who next more memorable?) By what he taught and suffer'd for so doing, For truth’s fake suffering death unjust, lives now Equal in fame to proudest conquerors. Yet if for fame and glory ought be done, Ought suffer’d; if young African for fame His wasted country freed from Punic rage,
The deed becomes unprais'd, the man at least,
And loses, though but verbal, his reward.
Shall I seek glory then, as vain men seek, 105
Oft not desery’d? I seek not mine, but his
Who sent me', and thereby witness whence I am.
To whom the Tempter murm'ring thus reply'd.
Think not so flight of glory; therein least
Resembling thy great Father: he seeks glory,
And for his glory all things made, all things
Orders and governs; nor content in Heaven
By all his Angels glorify'd, requires
Glory from men, from all men good or bad,
Wise or unwise, no difference, no exemption; 115
Above all sacrifice, or hallow'd gift
Glory' he requires, and glory he receives
Promiscuous from all nations, Jew, or Greek,
Or barbarous, nor exception hath declar'd;
From us his foes pronounc'd glory' he exacts.
To whom our Saviour fervently reply'd.
And reason; since his word all things produc'd,
Though chiefly not for glory as prime end,
But to show forth his goodness, and impart
His good communicable to every soul
Freely; of whom what could he less expect
Than glory' and benediction, that is thanks,
The slightest, easiest, readiest recompense
From them who could return him nothing else,
And not returning that would likeliest render 130