Page images
PDF
EPUB

like a Comet, that fires the Length of OphiucUS ( in the ARTIC (c) Sky, and from his horrid Hair is believ'd to shake War and Pestilence. Each at the others Head leveli'd his mortal Aim, their fatal Hands intending no fecond Stroke; and they cast such a Frown at one another, as when two black Clouds full of Thunder, come rattling on over the Caspian (d) Sea, then stand Front to Front, hovering for a Space, 'till the Winds blow a Signal for them to join their dark Encounter in the Midst of the Air; so these mighty Combatants frown'd, insomuch that Hell grew darker; so match'd they stood: For. never but once more was either of them ever like to meet so great a Foe. And now great Deeds had been performed, of which all Hell would have rung, had not the other Snaky Form, that sat close by Hell Gate, and who kept the fatal Key, rifen up, and rush'd between with hideous Outcry.

dark Encoumbatants from they stood:

She cry'd, Oh Father! what does thy Hand design against thy onely Son? Oh Son! what Fury pol

sesses

(6) Ophiucus; Lat. from the Gr. i. é. A Serpent-Bearer. An Aftron. T. A Northern Constellation, called also the Serpent, representing a Man holding a Serpent in his, Hand; and confifts of 29 Stars, according to Ptolomy. The Fable is taken from Hereules, who squeezed two Serpents to Death in his Cradle.

(a) Artic ; Lat. Gr. An A. Aron. T. The Northern Circle, where there are two Stars that go by this Name, near the North Pole'; the Great Bear and the Little Bear. The opposite Pole is called Antartic, or the Soue thern Pole.

(6) Caspian ; Scyth, from she

Caspii, an antient People, who dwelt upon the South Side of it. the Caspian Sea is not a Sea properly so called, nor a Bay of the Northern Ocean, as the Antients thought; but a Lake ; and the greatest in the World. It lies between Perfia, Tartary, Geor. gia, and Muscovy: about 3000 Miles in Compass; for tho the Volga (which alone discharges more Water in a Year, than all the other Rivers in Europe) and 100 Rivers besides, run into its yet it hath no visible Outlet, Therefore some think it riseth up in the Persian Gulf, after running under Ground above 2000 Miles.

felles thee, to bend that mortal Dart against the Head of thy Father? And knowest for whom too; for him who sits above, and only laughs at thee, who art ordain'd his Drudge, to execute whatever his Wrath commands, which he calls Justice; his Wrath, which sometime or other will destroy ye both. .

Thus she spoke, and at her Bidding the hellish Phantom forbore, and SATAN inade Answer to her.

Thy Outcry, and thy Words, which thou haft interpos’d, are so strange, that my Hand has been prevented by them, from letting thee know by Deeds what I intend; 'till I know first of thee what thou art, thus double form’d, and why on first meeting me on this infernal Vale thou haft called me Father, and that horrid Shape my Son: I know thee not, nor ever 'till now saw a Sight more detestable than thee and him.

To whom the Portress of the Gate of Hell made Answer,

Hast thou forgot me then ? And do I seem so very foul in thine Eye now, who was once efteem'd so fair in Heaven, when at the Affembly, and in Sight of all the Seraphim, who combin'd with thee in bold Conspiracy against the great King of Heaven, all on a sudden a milerable Pain feiz'd on thee, thy Eyes grew dim, and swam in Darkness, while thy Head threw forth Flames thick and fast, 'till it open'd on the Left Side; from whence I sprung, a Goddess arın’d, most like to thyself in Shape and Brightness of Countenance, then shining heavenly fair: All the Host of Heaven were seiz'd with Amazement; they started back, being at first afraid, and called me Sin, and held me for an unlucky Omen; but grown more familiar, I pleas’d, and with attracting Graces, won. those who before were most averse, and thee chief of

all,

and Balileburthen: Mean whilmy Womb con

ry; toud) to our aght, where War arose onceiv'da

all, who viewing in me a perfect Image of thyself, becamest enamour'd of me, and such Joy didst often take with me in Secret, that my Womb conceiv'd a growing Burthen: Mean while War arose in Heaven, and Battles were fought, whereon remain'd (for what else could) to our ALMIGHTY Foe a complear Victory; to our Part Loss and Defeat through all Heaven; down they fell, driven headlong from the Skies, into this Deep, and in the general Fall I fell also; at which Time this powerful Key was given into my Hand, with Charge to keep the Gates shut for ever, which none can pass without my opening. Here I sat, pensive and alone; but not long, before my Womb, made pregnant by thee and now grown excessively, felt prodigious Motion, and Pains of Child-birth; at last this odious Offspring, whom thou seeft here, thine own Begotten, violently breaking his Way, tore through my Entrails, so that distorted with Fear and Pain, my nether Parts grew thus transform’d: But he, my inbred Enemy, iffu'd forth, terribly saking his fatal Dart made to destroy: I fled away, and cry'd out, DEATH! ar that hideous Name Hell trembled, and figh'd from all her Caves, and resounded back, DEATH! I fed, but he pursu'd, (though more infiamed, it seems, with Luft, than with Kage) and being far swifter, overtook me his Mother, quite overcome with Fear; and in forcible Embraces, and foul engendering with me in that Rape, begot these yelling Monsters, that as thou lawest surround me with ceaseless Cry; with infinite Sorrow to me hourly conceiv'd, and hourly born; for when they list they return into the Womb that bred them, and howl and gnaw all my Bowels for their Food; then bursting forth, put me to fresh and terrible Pain, so that I neia ther find Rest or Intermiflion. Directly opposite and before my Eyes sits grim DEATH, my Son and Foe, who sets them on; and full soon would even devour me, his Parent, but that he well knows that his End

gnaw all ni me to fresh and on. Directly op!

[ocr errors]

is involv'd with mine; he knows that I should prove a bitter Morsel and his Bane, whenever that shall happen; so was it pronounc'd by Fate. But I forewarn thee, my Father! do thou shun his deadly Arrow ; neither vainly have Hope to be invulnerable in those bright Arms of thine, tho' they were made in Heaven, for that mortal Stroke there's none can resist, excepting He who reigns above.

She finish'd here, and the subtle Fiend soon learn'd what was best for him to do; so that now grown milder, he answer'd thus smoothly:

DEAR Daughter! since thou claimest me to be thy Father, and shewest me my fair Son here, (the dear Pledge of Dalliance which I had with thee in Heaven, Joys then sweet, now sad to mention, thro’ the fatal Change that has befallen us, quite unthought of and unforeseen) I come not here as an Enemy, but to set free from out this dismal and dark House of Pain, both him and thee, and all the Host of heavenly Spirits, that arm'd in our just Pretences fell with us from on high ; I now go from them alone, so has it been my Choice, on this uncouth Errand, and expose myself, one for all, to tread with lonely Steps the fathomless Deep, and thro’ Immensity search with wandering Enquiry a Place, which was foretold should be created ; and if we may judge by concurring Signs it is now created ; a large Globe, a Place of Bliss, on the Borders of Heaven, and already therein is plac'd a Race of upstart Creatures, to supply, it may be, our vacant Room, tho’ remov'd farther off, left Heaven being over-stock'd with too powerful a Multitude, new Broils might happen: Whether this be, or any Thing more secret now design'd, I am haftening to know ; and this once known, I shall soon return, and conduct ye to the Place, where thou and DEATH fhall dwell at Ease, and filently and unseen pass to

and

and fro; there shall ye both be fed, and fill'd immeafurably, for all Things shall be your Prey.

He ceas'd here, for they both seem'd highly pleas’d, and DEATH grinn'd horrible a ghastly Smile, at hearing that his Hunger should be satisfy'd, and bleft his Maw, that was destin'd to so good an Hour; his bad Mother did not rejoice lefs, who thus fpake to her Father SATAN:

By the Command of Heaven's all-powerful King, and by due Right, I keep the Key of this infernal Pit; forbidden by him to unlock these Adamantine Gates; Death stands ready to interpose his Dart a-gainst all Force, not fearing to be over-match'd by any Thing created : But what do I owe to his Commands above, who hates me, and hath thrust me down hither into this Gloom of profound Hell, to sit here employ'd in this hateful Office, once an Inhabitant of Heaven and heavenly-born, yet has doom'd me to remain here in perpetual Agony and Pain, encompass'd round with the Terrors and Clamours of my own Brood, that feed themselves with my Bowels? Thou art my Father, my Author, thou gavest me Being; whom should I obey and follow but thee? Thou wilt soon lead me to that new World of Light and Happiness, where among the Gods who live at Ease, I shall reign voluptuously at thy Right-Hand, Time without End.

As she said this, she took from her Side the fatal Key, the sad Instrument of all our Woe, and rolling her fnaky Train towards the Gate, forthwith drew up the great Portcullice; which, excepting herself, noe all the combin'd Powers of Hell could once have mov'd; then turns the intricate Wards in the Keyhole, and with Ease unfastens every Bolt and Bar, tho' of mally Iron, or of solid Rock: Upon a sud

den

« PreviousContinue »