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Him after long debate, irresolute
Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chosc
Fit veffel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom
To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
From Tharpest sight : for in the wily snake,
Whatever fleights none would suspicious mark,
As from his wit and native subtlety
Proceeding, which in other beasts observ'd
Doubt might beget of diabolic power

95
Active within beyond the sense of brute.
Thus he resolv'd, but first from inward grief
His bursting passion into plaints thus pour’d.
O Earth, how like to Heav'n, if not preferr'd

More the ocean barr'd is in allusion to Job picion of a diabolical power acting XXXVIII. 10, and set bars to the within them beyond their natural sea. Thence to the land where flows sense. Ganges and Indus, thence to the 89, - fitteft imp of fraud,] Fittest East Indies: thus the orb be roam'd. stock to graft his devilish fraud upon. 86. The serpent subtleft beast of all Imp of the Saxon impan, to put into,

the field.) So Moses says Gen. to graft upon. Thus children are III. 1. Now the serpent was more called little imps, from their imitating fubtle than any beast of the field; all they see and hear. Hume. The subtlety of the serpent is com 99.

if not preferr'd mended likewise by Aristotle and More juftly, &c.] I reckon this other Naturalists : And therefore he panegyric upon the Earth among was the fitter instrument for Satan, the less perfect parts of the poem, because (as Milton says agreeably The beginning is extravagant, and with the doctrin of the best Divines) what follows is not consistent with any fleights in him might be thought what the author had said before in to proceed from his native wit and his description of Satan's passage subtlety, but observ'd in other crea- among the stars and planets, which tures might the easier beget a fuf- are said then to appear to him as

ather

14

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More justly, seat worthier of Gods, as built

10 With second thoughts, reforming what was old! For what God after better worse would build? Terrestrial Heav'n, danc'd round by other Heavens That shine, yet bear their bright officious lamps, Light above light, for thee alone, as seems,

105 In thee concentring all their precious beams Of sacred influence! As God in Heaven Is center, yet extends to all, so thou Centring receiv'st from all those orbs; in thee, Not in themselves, all their known virtue'

appears Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth III

Of other worlds inhabited. See III. the gardens furrounding the temple 566. The imagination that all the of Venus he says, heavenly bodies were created for the

That if the happy fouls which do fake of the Earth was natural to

possess human ignorance, and human va

Th' Elysian fields, and live in lastnity might find its account in it :

ing bliss, but neither of these could influence Satan. Heylin.

Should happen this with living eye

to see,

They foon would loath their leffar As it is common with people to undervalue what they have forfeited

happiness.

Fairy Queen, B. 5. C. 10. St. 23. and loi by their folly and wickedness, and to overvalue any good But Satan concludes that Earth must that they hope to attain ; so Satan be best, because it was created last; is here made to question whether

For what God after better worse Earth be not preferable to Heaven:

would build? but this is spoken of Earth in its primitive and original beauty before A sophistical argument worthy of the fall

. As Mr. Thyer observes, Satan, and for the same reason Man Spenter has the very fame thought would be better than Angels

. But upon a like occasion, for describing Satan was willing to infinuate in

perfection

Of creatures animate with gradual life
Of growth, sense, reason, all summ'd up in Man.
With what delight could I have walk'd thee round,
If I could joy in ought, sweet interchange 115
Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods and plains,
Now land, now sea, and shores with forest crown'd,
Rocks, dens, and caves ! but I in none of these
Find place or refuge; and the more I see
Pleasures about me, so much more I feel 120
Torment within me', as from the hateful fiege
Of contraries; all good to me becomes
Bane, and in Heav'n much worse would be

But

my state.

Heaven

122

perfection in God, as if he had Find peace or refuge: but it may be mended his hand by creation, and understood thus, but I in none of these as if all the works of God were find place to dwell in or refuge from not perfect in their kinds, and in divine vengeance. And this sense their" degreos, and for the ends for seems to be confirm'd by what fol. which they were intended.

lows. 113. Of growth, sense, reason, all But neither here seek I, no nor in

summ'd up in Man.] The three kinds of life rising as it were

To dwell. by steps, the vegetable, animal, and rational; of all which Man partakes,

all good to me becomes

Bane,-] When the pause is made and he only; he grows as plants, upon the first fyllable of the verse, minerals, and all things inanimate; it is commonly upon a verb to mark he lives as all other animated crea, the action more strongly. I think tures, but is over and above indued it is always so in Homer. But Milton with reason.

Richardson. makes the pause as well upon a 119. Find place or refuge ;] Dr. substantive, as here, and in VI. 837. Bentley believes that the author gave

such as in their souls infix'd it Find place of refuge: Another learned gentleman proposes to read Plagues ;

and

But neither here seek I, no nor in Heaven
Todwell, unless by mast'ring Heav'n's Supreme; 125
Nor hope to be myself less miserable
By what I seek, but others to make such
As I, though thereby worse to me rędound:
For only in destroying I find ease
To
my

relentless thoughts; and him destroy'd, 130
Or won to what may work his utter loss,
For whom all this was made, all this will soon
Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe,
In woe then; that destruction wide may range:
To me shall be the glory sole among

135 Th’infernal Pow'rs, in one day to have marr’d What he Almighty ftild, fix nights and days Continued making, and who knows how long Before had been contriving, though perhaps Not longer than since I in one night freed 140 From fervitude inglorious well nigh half Th’angelic name, and thinner left the throng

Of

and in the preceding book we have remarks) that the syntax requires to it upon an adjective, VIII. 472. make such as me : But may not the That what seem'd fair in all the

verb substantive am be understood, world, seem'd now

to make others such as I am ? and is Mean.

such an abbreviation uncommon? 127. but others to make such 146.

if they at leaft As 1,] It is true (as Dr. Bentley Are bis created,] He questions whe

ther

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Of his adorers: hę to be aveng’d,
And to repair his numbers thus impair’d,
Whether such virtue spent of old now fail'd
More Angels to create, if they at least
Are his created, or to spite us more,
Determin'd to advance into our room
A creature form’d of earth, and him endow,
Exalted from so base original,

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With heav'nly spoils, our spoils : What he decreed
He' effected; Man he made, and for him built
Magnificent this world, and earth his seat,
Him lord pronounc'd, and, O indignity!
Subjected to his service Angel wings,

155 And flaming ministers to watch and tend Their earthly charge; Of these the vigilance I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist Of midnight vapor glide obscure, and pry In every bush and brake, where hap may find 160 The serpent sleeping, in whose mazy folds

To ther the Angels were created by God; By our own quick’ning pow'r. he had before asserted, that they were not, to the Angels themselves, He maketh his Angels spirits, and

156. And flaming ministers] For We know no time when we were

his ministers a flaming fire. Psal.

in whose mazy folds] Know none before us, self-begot, Dr. Bentley reads, in his mazy folds. self-raisid

164: - am

V.859.

CIV. 4.

not as now;

161.

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