Page images
PDF
EPUB

in his Retreat to TAURIS, (y) or CASBIN: (z) So thefe, the Host lately banish'd from Heaven, left the outermoft Parts of Hell deserted many a dark League, being reduc'd in careful Watch round their Metropolis, and now in hourly Expectation of their great Adventurer, from the Search of foreign Worlds. He pass'd through the Midst of them unmark'd, appearing only as an inferior Angel of War of the lowest Order; and from the Door of the PANDÆMONIUM

invisibly afcended his high Throne, which was plac'd · in Regal Lustre at the upper End, under a Canopy of

State most richly woven. He sat down a-while, and look'd round about him, he himself keeping unseen: At last, as from a Cloud appear'd his shining Head and Shape, bright like a Star: (or brighter; being clad with that permissive Glory or false Glitter, that was left him since his Fall.) The Throng of Infernal

Spirits,

the Turks, from Aladules, the lait King of it, whom Selymus I. flew, A. D. 1516. and subject. ed it to their Empire ever since. It was called Turcomania, in the Year 844. When a great Flood of bloody Tartars or Turks palsed over the Caspian Mountains and settled there.

(y) Tauris, and Tebris ; Pers. Some call it Ecbatana : because it was founded out of the Ruins of that antient City (as old as Babylon, and called Alhmetha, Esd. 6. 2. founded by Arphaxad, A. D. 786) Tebris belonged to the Turks till Shah Abas King of Perfia recook it. A. D. 1603. It is one of the richest Cities of Persia, and of the greatest'Trade in Apa. There is a Medressa or Academy in it ; a vast Nun. ber of Armenian Christians, and their Patriarcb's Seat.

(z) Casoin, Cafwin, or Kar. win : A large and beautiful City of Perfia, and formerly of Parthia; situate in a delightful Plain, 6 Miles in Circumference; in the Province of Ayrach, between the Caspian Sea and Ispahan. Some take Cajoin for Taxris the Ecbatana of Media, but it is 65 German Miles from Tau. ris. Here the Persiax Monarchs resided after the Loss of Tauris, till Shah Abbas removed to ILpahan ; since then it has declined, but there they are all inau. gurated still. The Inhabitants are Muhammedans, except some Chriftians and Jews, that are considerable Merchants. There is allo a Madresha or Academy for Persian' Learning.

Spirits, all amaz'd at such a sudden Blaze, turn'd' their Eyes that Way, beholding him they were wishing to fee; and their Acclamations were loud and many. The great Peers that were sitting in Council, rush'd out from their dark Divan, (a) and with like congratulating Joy approach'd him; who, making a Motion with his Hand, made Silence, and with these Words gain'd Attention:

THRONES, DOMINATIONS, PRINCEDOMS, VIRTUES, and Powers! for such I declare ye now and call ye, not only in Right, but in actual Poflession; seeing I am return'd successful beyond Hope, to lead ye forth out of this infernal, abominable Pit, accurs'd Place, the House of Woe, the Dungeon of our great Tyrant! Now ye shall possess as Lords a spacious World, little inferior to our native Heaven, atchiev'd by me with Hardship and great Peril. It would be long to tell what I have done; what I have suffer'd; with what Pain I made my Voyage through the waft, unbounded, and deep Abyss of horrible Confusion; over which, now, a broad Way is pav'd by Sin and DEATH, to facilitate your glorious March: But I labour'd through my untrodden Path, plung'd in the Midt of Darkness and wild CHAOS, who fiercely oppos'd my strange Journey with clamorous Uproar, declaring that Fate was against me: Afterwards how I found the new created World, which Fame in Heaven had long foretold; a wonderful Fabrick! of absolute Perfection! and therein found Man, plac'd in a PARADISE, made happy by our Banishment. Him I have seduc'd by Fraud to disobey his CREATOR; and (what may increase your Wonder the more) only with an Apple. He, at that offended, ('tis a Subject well worth laughing at) hath given up both his belov'd MAN, and all his World, a Prey to Sin and

2

DEATH,

(a) Divan: The moft folemn Council among the Turks is call'd ro.

DEATH, and confequently to us, without our Hazard, Labour, or Contention; to range in, and to dwell in, and to rule over Man, just as he should have reign’d over all other Things. 'Tis true, he has judg'd me too, or rather not me, but the brute Serpent, in whole Shape I deceiv'd Man; that Part that belongs to me is Enmity, which he fays he'll put between me and MANKIND; I am to bruise his Heel, and his Seed (but he does not say when) shall bruise my Head. Who would not purchase a whole World with a Bruise or Pain much more grievous ? And now you have heard the Account of my Performance; what remains speak ye, who are all Gods, but that we mount up, and instantly enter into full Bliss ?

HAVING faid this, he stood a-while, expecting that high Applause and an universal Shout would fill his Ear; when, on the contrary, he hears on all Sides, from Tongues without Number, a dismal and universal Hiss, the Sound of publick Contempt! He wonder'd at it, but he had not Leisure to do fo long, now wondering much more at himself: He felt his Vifage drawn sharp; his Arms clung to his Ribs; his Legs twining round each other, 'till no longer supported by them, he fell down with Reluctance, a monstrous Serpent prone upon his Belly; his Reluctance was vain, for now a greater Power ruld him, and punish'd him in the Shape he sinned, according to the Sentence that was pass’d on him. He would have spoke, but instead of that return'd Hiss for Hiss, with forked Tongue to forked Tongue; for now they were all alike transform’d to Serpents, as having been all accessary to the bold Evil which he had committed: The Din of hisling was very dreadful all through the Hall, that was now fwarming thick with compleat

Mon

Monsters, Head and Tail; Scorpion, and Asp, (6) CER ASTES (c) the horned Serpent, dumb ElLOPS, (d) and dreadful DIPSAS,(e) and all kinds of Serpents: Such prodigious Numbers as never were seen in OPHIUSA, (f) or other Place more infeitech with them: But still SATAN amidst them was the largest of all, being now grown a Dragon, larger than that the Sun was feign’d to have engender'd in the PYTHIAN Vale on Slime, and was call'd huge PyTHON; and he seem'd still to retain his Power above the rest. They all follow'd him rushing forth to the open Field, where the rest of that revolted Rout that were fallen from Heaven stood in their Station, drawn up in Array, exalted in their Expectation, when they Z 2

should

(6) Ap; Lat. from the Gr. (e) Dipsas ; Lat. Gr. i. e. Poison ; or not extending ; be. Thirft. And also Causan; Gr. cause they lay round commonly. i. e. Burning. A Serpent with A very venomous Serpent, whose a great Neck and black Back, Poison kills speedily. It is small less than a Viper, but more velike a Land-Snake, but of a nomous and quicker in killing. broader Back, having red and It is in Lybia, Syria, and other inflamed Eyes, hard and dry hot Regions: The Poison of it Scales. : Some are above a Foot is vastly hot, dries up the Blood, and half long; others three, four and infects every Creature which and fix Foot. The shortest kill it stings, with a most vehcment sooneft. They abound in Afric Heat and Thirst, unquenchable ca; kill instantly and without a- and incurable, whereof they ny Remedy. See Aits 28. 6. die quickly. And even in Britain their Bite f Ophiusa; Gr. and Coluis mortal, but not so speedy; braria, Lat. i. e. The Serpenbut in Egypt they are tame and tine Island ; because it is much abide in the Houses. ...... infested with Serpents, of which

(c) Cerafles ; Gr. i. e. Horn. there are three most remarkable, ed. q. The horned Serpent : For viz. Two in the Mediterranean . it hath four Pair of Horns, o Sea, and one in the Propontis, thers say only two.

near Confiantinople, which the id) Ellops ; Gr. i. e. With Inhabitants quitted for Fear of out a Voice. A dumb and silent these Vermin. Some say CySerpent, that gives no Notice of prus was one of the two. his Approach, as others do by Hissing, Rattles, &c. So no Creature can avoid it.

should see their glorious Chief come forth in Triumph. They saw (but 'twas a Sight quite different) a Crowd of ugly Serpents: Horror at once fell on them, and horrid Sympathy; for what they saw they felt themselvès now changing; down fell their Arms, Spear and Shield, and they as fast; and renew'd the dire Hiss, and catch'd the dire Form by Contagion; alike in Punishment, as in their Crime. Thus the Applause they meant was turn'd to an exploding Hiss, and their design'd Triumph to Shame, cast upon themselves from their own Mouths.

that for onco work them. Thirst and fierce

on they rower than thote: They Sheeh

HARD by there stood a Grove, which fprung up at the Time of their Transformation, (such was the Will of him who reigns in Heaven!) to aggravate their Patience, which was laden with Fruit like that which grew in PARADISE, and was the Bait the Tempter had us'd to catch Eve: On that strange Prospect they earnestly fix'd their Eyes, imagining, that for one forbidden Tree there was now risen a Multitude, to work them further Misery or Shame: Yet, parch'd with burning Thirst and fierce Hunger, could not abftain, though they were sent only to delude them; but on they rowl'd in Heaps, and climbing up the Trees, fat thicker than thofe, which are feign'u to dress the Heads of the Furies: They greedily pluck'd the Fruit, fair to the Sight, like that which grew near the Sea of SODOM; (8) though this more delusive, did not deceive the Touch but the Taste: They fondly thinking to allay their Appetite with a good Guft, instead of Fruit chew'd only bitter Alhes, which the offended Taste rejected with Dislike; often they tried, Hunger and Thirst constraining them, and were as often tormented with the hateful Disrelish, writhing their Jaws about that were fill'd with

Soot

!g) The Sea of Sodom. you Sephus says, the Apples of so dom were very fair and pleasant

to the Sight; but when touch'd they flew into Smoak and Alhes.

« PreviousContinue »