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Sit unpolluted, and the ethereal mold,
Incapable of stain, would soon expel 140
Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope
Is flat despair: we must exasperate
The Almighty Victor to spend all his rage,
And that must end us; that must be our
cure,

145

To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose,

Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Those thoughts that wander through eternity,

To perish rather, swallowed up and lost

In the wide womb of uncreated night, 150 Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows,

Let this be good, whether our angry foe
Can give it, or will ever? how he can,
Is doubtful; that he never will, is sure.
Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire 155
Belike through impotence, or unaware,
To give his enemies their wish, and end
Them in his anger whom his anger saves
To punish endless? "Wherefore cease we

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Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst

Thick clouds and dark doth heaven's allruling Sire

Choose to reside, his glory unobscured, 265 And with the majesty of darkness round Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders roar,

Mustering their rage, and heaven resembles hell!

As he our darkness, cannot we his light 269 Imitate when we please? This desert soil Wants not her hidden luster, gems and gold;

Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise

Magnificence; and what can heaven show more?

Our torments also may in length of time Become our elements; these piercing fires As soft as now severe, our temper changed Into their temper; which must needs re

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Which when Beelzebub perceived, than In doing what we most in suffering feel?

299

whom, Satan except, none higher sat, with grave Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed A pillar of state; deep on his front engraven

Deliberation sat, and public care;

And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestic, though in ruin; sage he stood. 305
With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his
look

Drew audience and attention still as night Or summer's noontide air, while thus he spake:

'Thrones and imperial powers, offspring of heaven,

310

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Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need With dangerous expedition to invade Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault

or siege,

Or ambush from the deep. What if we find

Some easier enterprise? There is a place
(If ancient and prophetic fame in heaven 346
Err not), another world, the happy seat
Of some new race, called Man, about this
time

To be created like to us, though less
In power and excellence, but favored more
Of him who rules above; so was his will 351
Pronounced among the gods; and by an
oath

That shook heaven's whole circumference confirmed.

Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn

What creatures there inhabit, of what mold Or substance, how endued, and what their 356 And where their weakness, how attempted best,

power,

By force or subtlety. Though heaven be shut,

And heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure
In his own strength, this place may lie ex-
posed,
360
The utmost border of his kingdom, left
To their defense who hold it; here per-
haps

Some advantageous act may be achieved
By sudden onset; either with hell-fire
To waste his whole creation, or possess 365
All as our own, and drive, as we were
driven,

The puny habitants; or, if not drive,
Seduce them to our party, that their God
May prove their foe, and with repenting
hand

Abolish his own works. This would sur

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And, so refused, might in opinion stand
His rivals; winning cheap the high repute
Which he through hazard huge must earn.
But they

Dreaded not more the adventure than his voice

Forbidding; and at once with him they rose.
Their rising all at once was as the sound
Of thunder heard remote. Towards him
they bend

477

With awful reverence prone; and as a god Extol him equal to the Highest in heaven. Nor failed they to express how much they 480 praised

That for the general safety he despised His own for neither do the spirits damned Lose all their virtue; lest bad men should boast

Their specious deeds on earth, which glory excites 484

Or close ambition varnished o'er with zeal. Thus they their doubtful consultations dark

Ended, rejoicing in their matchless chief. As when from mountain-tops the dusky clouds

Ascending, while the north wind sleeps, o'erspread

Heaven's cheerful face, the louring element Scowls o'er the darkened landscape snow or shower;

491

If chance the radiant sun, with farewell sweet,

Extend his evening beam, the fields revive, The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds

494

Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings.
O shame to men! devil with devil damned
Firm concord holds, men only disagree
Of creatures rational, though under hope
Of heavenly grace; and, God proclaiming
peace,

500

Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife Among themselves, and levy cruel wars, Wasting the earth, each other to destroy: As if (which might induce us to accord) Man had not hellish foes enough besides, That day and night for his destruction wait.

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and whereof ye are the governors: a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, subtle and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar to. Therefore the studies of learning in her deepest sciences have been so ancient and so eminent among us, that writers of good antiquity and ablest judgment have been persuaded that even the school of Pythagoras and the Persian wisdom took beginning from the old philosophy of this island. And that wise and civil Roman, Julius Agricola, who governed once here for Cæsar, preferred the natural wits of Britain, before the labored studies of the French. Nor is it for nothing that the grave and frugal Transylvanian sends out yearly from as far as the mountainous borders of Russia, and beyond the Hercynian wilderness, not their youth, but their staid men, to learn our language, and our theologic arts. Yet that which is above all this, the favor and the love of Heaven we have great argument to think in a peculiar manner propitious and propending towards us. Why else was this nation chosen before any other, that out of her as out of Sion should be proclaimed and sounded forth the first tidings and trumpet of Reformation to all Europe? And had it not been the obstinate perverseness of our prelates against the divine and admirable spirit of Wyclif, to suppress him as a schismatic and innovator, perhaps neither the Bohemian Huss and Jerome, no, nor the name of Luther, or of Calvin had been ever known: the glory of reforming all our neighbors. had been completely ours. But now, as our obdurate clergy have with violence demeaned the matter, we are become hitherto the latest and the backwardest scholars, of whom God offered to have made us the teachers. Now once again by all concurrence of signs, and by the general instinct of holy and devout men, as they daily and solemnly express their thoughts, God is decreeing to begin some new and great period in his church, even to the reforming of Reformation itself: what does he then but reveal himself to his servants, and as his manner is, first to his Englishmen; I say as his manner is, first to us, though we mark not the method of his counsels, and are un

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