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Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake ;
Going into such danger, as thou saidst?
It seems, in thy restraint! What could I more?
I warned thee, I admonished thee, foretold
That lay in wait; beyond this had been force,
What seemed in thee so perfect that I thought
That error now, which is become my crime,
Him who, to worth in women overtrusting,
Lets her will rule: restraint she will not brook;
And, left to herself, if evil thence ensue,
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning;
THE END OF THE NINTH BOOK.
Man's transgression known, the guardian Angels forsake Paradise, and return up to Heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved; God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors; who descends, and gives sentence accordingly; then, in pity, clothes them both, and 'reascends. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of Hell, by wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new World, and the sin by Man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in Hell, but to follow Satan, their sire, up to the place of Man: to make the way easier from Hell to this World to and fro, they pave a broad highway or bridge over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made; then, preparing for Earth, they meet him, proud of his success, returning to Hell; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium; in full assembly relates, with boasting, his success against Man; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed, with himself also, suddenly into Serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise; then, deluded with a show of the Forbidden Tree springing up before them, they, greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death: God foretells the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but, for the present, commands his Angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and Elements. Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily bewails, rejects the condolement of Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him: then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways; which he approves not, but, conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the Serpent, and exhorts her, with him, to seek peace of the offended Deity by repentance and supplication.
MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act
Of Satan done in Paradise, and how
He, in the Serpent, had perverted Eve,
Was known in Heaven; for what can scape the eye
Omniscient? who, in all things wise and just,
Hindered not Satan to attempt the mind
Of Man, with strength entire and free will armed
For still they knew, and ought to have still remembered,
The high injunction not to taste that fruit,
The Ethereal people ran, to hear and know
I told ye then he should prevail, and speed
When first this Tempter crossed the gulf from Hell.
On his bad errand—Man should be seduced,
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
In even scale. But fallen he is; and now
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
On his transgression, Death denounced that day?
By some immediate stroke, but soon shall find
But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee,
All judgment, whether in Heaven, or Earth, or Hell.
Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee,
Man's friend, his Mediator, his designed
And destined Man himself to judge Man fallen."
Expressed, and thus divinely answered mild :—
Mine both in Heaven and Earth to do thy will
On Earth these thy transgressors; but thou know'st,
Whoever judged, the
worst on me must light,
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose
Down he descended straight; the speed of Gods
Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes winged.
From noon, and gentle airs due at their hour
The evening cool, when he, from wrath more cool,
To sentence Man. The voice of God they heard
Now walking in the Garden, by soft winds
Brought to their ears, while day declined; they heard,
"Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to meet
Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
Or to each other, but apparent guilt,
Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief:-
"My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not feared,
But still rejoiced; how is it now become
So dreadful to thee? That thou art naked who
Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?"
Whose failing, while her faith to me remains,
I should conceal, and not expose to blame
Devolved; though, should I hold my peace, yet thou
Wouldst easily detect what I conceal.
This Woman, whom thou mad'st to be my help,
And gav'st me as thy perfect gift, so good,
So fit, so acceptable, so divine,
That from her hand I could suspect no ill,
Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place
She was indeed, and lovely, to attract