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and gaze on thee continually without thinking I can ever gaze enough; nor have I (thus singly) fear'd thy awful Brow, much more awful now retir’d. Fairest Resemblance of thy fair Maker! all Things living gaze on thee, being thine by Gift, and adore thy heavenly Beauty, which they behold with Transport! best to be bebeld where it might be universally admir'd; but here among these Beasts, in this wild Inclosure, (who are but rude Beholders, and incapable of discerning Half what is fair in thee) except one MAN, who sees thee? And what is one, for thee, who should'st be seen a Goddess among Gods, and be ador'd and serv'd by numberless Angels, and have them in thy daily Train.

So flatter'd the Tempter, and introduc'd himself: His Words made some Impression upon the Heart of EVE, though she marvelld much at the Voice; at Length, not without Amazeinent, she replied:

late Soufebate within in Looks and field, but did

WHAT can be the Meaning of this? Do I hear the Language of Man and human Sense, express'd by the Tongue of a Brute? Language, at least I thought, had been denied to Beasts, whom God, on the Day of their Creation, created mute to all articulate Sound: That they may indeed have Understanding I debate within myself, for much Reason often appears both in their Looks and Actions. I knew thee to be the subtleft Beast of the Field, but did not know that Serpents were endued with human Voice. Do this Miracle once more, and say how thou becamest capable of Speech; and why thou art grown fo friendly to me above the rest of the Beasts that are daily in Sight? This tell me! for the Relation of such a Wonder will demand due Attention.

To whom the deceitful Tempter replied thus: Resplendent Eve! Empress of this fair World! it is

easy

easy to me to tell all thou hast commanded me, and right it is that thou should'st be obey'd in every Thing. At first I was like the other Beasts that feed upon the trodden Grass; my Thoughts were abject, and as low as my Food, nor did I discern any Thing but that, or Difference of Sex, nor had I an Apprehension of any Thing great or high: 'Till one Day as I was roving in the Field, I chanc'd to behold, at a great Distance, a large Tree full of Fruit, of the fairest Colours, streak'd with red and Gold: I drew nearer to view it, when a favoury Odour was blown from the Boughs, grateful to the Appetite, and which pleas'd my Sense more than the Smell of sweetest Fennel, or the Teats of a Goat or Ewe, dropping with Milk at Evening, and yet unluck'd by their Kids or Lambs: I resolv'd not to defer satisfying the sharp Desire I had of tasting those fair Apples; Hunger and Thirst (two powerful Perswaders) quicken'd at the Scent of that alluring Fruit, both at once urg'd me so keenly: I soon wound myself about the mofly Trunk of the Tree; (for the Branches are so high from the Ground, that they would require thy utmost Reach, or ADAM's) about the Tree all other Beasts stood longing and envying with like Desire, but could not reach the Fruit. And now being got up into the Middle of the Tree, where such great Plenty hung so nigh, tempting to gather, and eat my Fill, I did not Ipare; for I never 'till that Hour in eating or drinking had such Pleasure. But at Length being satisfied, it was not long before I perceiv'd a strange Alteration in me, and my inward Powers changing to a Degree of Reason; and though I retain'd my prefent Form, yet it was not long before I had the Gift of Speech. From thence forward I turn'd my Thoughts to high or deep Speculations, and with capacious Mind consider'd every Thing visible in Earth or between; every Thing that was fair and good; but in the Rays of thy heavenly Beauty, and in thy di

298 PARADISE LOST. Book IX. vine Form, I behold every Thing that is fair and good united: There is nothing fair that can be brought equal or in Comparison with thee! which was the Cause that I came, (though too importunate perhaps) to gaze, and worship thee; who art rightly declar'd universal Mistress, and Sovereign of all Creatures.

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So talk'd the cunning Serpent; and Ev E, more amaz'd than before, replied unwarily: Serpent! thy over-praising me leaves the Virtue of that Fruit in Doubt, which thou hast first tasted. But tell me, where does this Tree grow? And how far is it from hence? For the Trees of GOD, that grow in ParaDISE, are a great many, and various of them, which are yet unknown to us; and our Choice lies in such an Abundance, that we leave the greatest Part of the Fruits untouch'd, and still hanging without Decay, 'till more MEN grow up to be provided for, and help to consume the Gifts of Nature.

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To whom the wily Serpent chearfully answer'd: Empress! the Way is easy and not long; beyond a Row of Myrtle-Trees upon a Plain, juft by a Fountain, first passing one small Thicket of flowing Myrrh and Balm; if thou pleaseft to accept of me for a Guide, I can foon conduct thee thither. Lead on then, said Eve. He going before, rowl'd along swiftly, and made intricate seem strait; being swift to do Mischief: Hope and Joy elevated him, and brighten'd his Crest: As when an Ignus fatuus, (*) (which it is said some evil Spirit often attends) hovering and blazing with a deluding Light, misleads the Night Wanderer through Mires, or Pools; fo the Serpent glitter'd, and led our credulous Mother Eve into

Fraud;

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() Ignis Fatuus, i. e. A filly *me; and we call Jack in the

horn, and will with the .: Because it resembles

those things. It is a compounded close united Body of oily and fulphurious Matter, and fired Vapours, exhaled from the Eatrh.

Fraud ; to the Tree which was prohibited by God, and was the Occasion of all our Misery: Which when she saw, she spoke thus to her Guide:

SERPENT! we might have spar'd ourselves the Trouble of coming hither; this Fruit is not for me, though there be fuch an Abundance: Let the Credit of its Virtue remain still with thee; wonderful indeed, if it be the Cause of such Effects! but we neither may taste of this Tree, nor touch it: God commanded it so, and left that Command the only one of Obedience: As for the rest, we are a Law to ourselves; our own Reason is our Law.

To whom the Tempter artfully replied: Indeed! hath God declar'd ye Lords of all Things in Earth or Air, and yet said, that ye shall not eat of the Fruit of all the Trees in this Garden? To whom Eve (yet without Sin) replied:

We may eat of the Fruit of every Tree in the Garden; but of this fair Tree in the Midst of it, God, hath said, we shall not eat thereof, neither shall ye touch it left ye die. She had scarce said this, though but in few Words, when the Tempter, now grown bold, (though with Show of Zeal and Love to MAN, and Indignation at the Wrong he fuffer'd) begins to put on a new Part; and fluctuates about difturb’d, as one mov'd to Passion; yet with Decency, and as about to begin to speak of some great Matter: As when of old some renown'd Orator in ATHENS, (z) or free ROME, where Eloquence once flourish’d, stood collected in himself, and before he spoke, with various Motions and Gestures won upon the Audi

ence ;

(2) Athens; Heb. i.e. Wif Goddess of Wisdom and Invendom, Gr.i. e. Oil; from Atben, trels of Oil ; which bestowed her another Name of Minerva, the Name upon this City ; or from

ence; sometimes beginning with a high Voice, and coming immediately to the Substance of the Argument, as through Zeal too hafty to introduce it gradually: So the Tempter moving, standing or rearing up, thus passionately exclaim'd: .

O WISE, Wisdom-giving, and sacred Plant, Mother of Science! now I clearly feel thy Power within me; not only to discern Things in their first Causes, but to trace the Ways of the highest Agents, let them be thought never so wise. Queen of this Univerfe! don't believe those cruel Threats of Death; ye shall not die: How should ye die? By the Fruit? No; that gives ye Life to Knowledge: Shall ye die by him who threatens? Look on me, me! who have touch'd and tasted it, and not only live, but by venturing higher than my Lot, have attain'd to a Life and State more perfect than Fate meant me. Shall that be denied to Man, which is free to Brutes ? Or will God blow up his Anger for such a petty Trespass, and not rather praise your dauntlefs Virtue? Whom the Pain of threaten'd Death (whatever strange Thing Death may be), did not deter from archieving what led to happier Life, and the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Of Good how just is the Knowledge! and Evil, (if there be any such Thing as real Evil) why should not

: : that

Athis the Daughter of Cranus, it, who lived in the Days of the second King of it, according Mofes, about A. M. 2448. Beto Juftin. Lib. 2.6. Athens was fore Jesus Christ 1556 Years, the famous City and Univerfity 780 before the firft Olympiad, of Greece, on the Coast of At. 375 before the Siege of Troy : tica, the River of Cephisus upon then it was called Cecropia, Gr. the Egean Sea, and once the i.e. The City of Cecrops : and Universal School of Mankind; now Setines and Athina, corwhere Arts and Sciences had ruptly by the Turks ; as they do their first Advancement among almost all antient Names of the Greeks, under Socrates, Pla- Men, Cities, Countries, &c. to, and many other learned Ma- "But now Learning is quite loft fters. It was built by Cecrops, there. The Venetians took it the Egyptian, the first King of from the Turks, A. D. 1687.

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