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lapses of kingdoms and states from justice | and God's true worship. Lastly, whatsoever in religion is holy and sublime, in virtue amiable or grave, whatsoever hath passion or admiration in all the changes of that which is called fortune from without, or the wily subtleties and refluxes of man's thoughts from within; all these things with a solid and treatable smoothness to paint out and describe. Teaching over the whole book of sanctity and virtue, through all the instances of example, with such delight to those especially of soft and delicious temper, who will not so much as look upon truth herself, unless they see her elegantly dressed; that whereas the paths of honesty and good life appear now rugged and difficult, though they be indeed easy and pleasant, they will then appear to all men both easy and pleasant, though they were rugged and difficult indeed. And what a benefit this would be to our youth and gentry, may be soon guessed by what we know of the corruption and bane which they suck in daily from the writings and interludes of libidinous and ignorant poetasters, who having scarce ever heard of that which is the main consistence of a true poem, the choice of such persons as they ought to introduce, and what is moral and decent to each one; do for the most part lay up vicious principles in sweet pills to be swallowed down, and make the taste of virtuous documents harsh and sour.

But because the spirit of man cannot demean itself lively in this body, without some recreating intermission of labor and serious things, it were happy for the commonwealth, if our magistrates, as in those famous governments of old, would take into their care, not only the deciding of our contentious lawcases and brawls, but the managing of our public sports and festival pastimes; that they might be, not such as were authorized a while since, the provocations of drunkenness and lust, but such as may inure and harden our bodies by martial exercises to all warlike skill and performance; and may civilize, adorn, and make discreet our minds by the learned and affable meeting of frequent academies, and the procurement of wise and artful recitations, sweetened with eloquent and graceful enticements to the love and practice of justice, temperance, and fortitude, instructing and bettering the nation at all opportunities, that the call of wisdom and virtue may be heard everywhere, as Solomon saith: "She

crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets, in the top of high places, in the chief concourse, and in the opening of the gates." Whether this may not be, not only in pulpits, but after another persuasive method, at set and solemn paneguries, in theaters, porches, or what other place or way may win most upon the people to receive at once both recreation and instruction, let them in authority consult.

The thing which I had to say, and those intentions which have lived within me ever since I could conceive myself anything worth to my country, I return to crave excuse that urgent reason hath plucked from me, by an abortive and foredated discovery. And the accomplishment of them lies not but in a power above man's to promise; but that none hath by more studious ways endeavored, and with more unwearied spirit that none shall, that I dare almost aver of myself, as far as life and free leisure will extend; and that the land had once en franchised herself from this impertinent yoke of prelaty, under whose inquisitorious and tyrannical duncery no free and splendid wit can flourish. Neither do I think it shame to covenant with any knowing reader, that for some few years yet I may go on trust with him toward the payment of what I am now indebted, as being a work not to be raised from the heat of youth, or the vapors of wine; like that which flows at waste from the pen of some vulgar amorist, or the trencher fury of a rhyming parasite; nor to be obtained by the invocation of Dame Memory and her siren daughters, but by devout prayer to that eternal Spirit, who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his seraphim, with the hallowed fire of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases: to this must be added industrious and select reading, steady observation, insight into all seemly and generous arts and affairs; till which in some measure be compassed, at mine own peril and cost, I refuse not to sustain this expectation from as many as are not loth to hazard so much credulity upon the best pledges that I can give them. Although it nothing content me to have disclosed thus much beforehand, but that I trust hereby to make it manifest with what small willingness I endure to interrupt the pursuit of no less hopes than these, and leave a calm and pleasant solitariness, fed with cheerful and confident thoughts, to embark in a troubled sea of

noises and hoarse disputes, put from beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies, to come into the dim reflection of hollow antiquities sold by the seeming bulk, and there be fain to club quotations with men whose learning and belief lies in marginal stuffings, who, when they have, like good sumpters, laid ye down their horseloads of citations and fathers at your door, with a rhapsody of who and who were bishops here or there, ye may take off their packsaddles, their day's work is done.

FALLEN ON EVIL DAYS

[From Paradise Lost, VII, 1-39] Descend from Heaven, Urania, by that

name

If rightly thou art called, whose voice divine

Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing!
The meaning, not the name, I call; for thou
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell'st; but, heavenly-
born,

Before the hills appeared or fountain. flowed,

Thou with Eternal Wisdom didst converse, Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased

With thy celestial song. Up led by thee, Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presumed,

An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air, Thy tempering. With like safety guided down,

Return me to my native element;

Lest, from this flying steed unreined (as

once

Bellerophon, though from a lower clime) Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall, Erroneous there to wander and forlorn. Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound

Within the visible Diurnal Sphere.

Standing on Earth, not rapt above the pole, More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchanged

To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days,

On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues, In darkness, and with dangers compassed round,

And solitude; yet not alone, while thou

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They creep, yet see; I, dark in light, exposed To daily fraud, contempt, abuse, and wrong,

Within doors, or without, still as a fool,
In power of others, never in my own-
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than
half.

O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
Without all hope of day!

O first-created beam, and thou great Word, "Let there be light, and light was over all,"

Why am I thus bereaved thy prime decree?
The Sun to me is dark

And silent as the Moon,
When she deserts the night,

Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
Since light so necessary is to life,
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the soul,

She all in every part, why was the sight
To such a tender ball as the eye confined,
So obvious and so easy to be quenched,
And not, as feeling, through all parts dif-
fused,

"SERVANT OF GOD, WELL DONE!"

That she might look at will through every pore?

Then had I not been thus exiled from light,
As in the land of darkness, yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And buried; but, O yet more miserable!
Myself my sepulcher, a moving grave;
Buried, yet not exempt,

By privilege of death and burial,
From worst of other evils, pains, and
wrongs;

But made hereby obnoxious more
To all the miseries of life,

Life in captivity

Among inhuman foes.

[From Paradise Lost, VI, 29-37]

"Servant of God, well done! Well hast thou fought

The better fight, who single hast maintained Against revolted multitudes the cause

Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms,

And for the testimony of truth hast borne
Universal reproach, far worse to bear
Than violence; for this was all thy care-
To stand approved in sight of God, though
worlds

Judged thee perverse."

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10

In the beginning how the Heavens and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that
flowed

Fast by the oracle of God, I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly Thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and
pure,

Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first

Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,

20

Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast Abyss,
And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.

Say first-for Heaven hides nothing from
Thy view,

Nor the deep tract of Hell-say first what

cause

Moved our grand parents, in that happy

state,

30

Favored of Heaven so highly, to fall off From their Creator, and transgress his will For one restraint, lords of the world besides. Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? The infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile,

Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived The mother of mankind, what time his pride Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host

40

Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equaled the Most High,
If he opposed; and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God
Raised impious war in Heaven, and battle
proud,

With vain attempt. Him the Almighty
Power

Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,

With hideous ruin and combustion, down.
To bottomless perdition; there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day
and night

50

To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal. But his doom
Reserved him to more wrath; for now the

thought

Both of lost happiness and lasting pain Torments him; round he throws his baleful

eyes,

That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,

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As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames

No light; but rather darkness visible
Served only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where
peace

And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed.
Such place Eternal Justice had prepared 70
For those rebellious; here their prison
ordained

In utter darkness, and their portion set,
As far removed from God and light of
Heaven

As from the center thrice to the utmost pole. Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell!

There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelmed

With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,

He soon discerns; and, weltering by his side,

One next himself in power, and next in crime,

Long after known in Palestine, and named 80
Beelzebub. To whom the Arch-Enemy,
And thence in Heaven called Satan, with
bold words

Breaking the horrid silence, thus began:"If thou beest he-but Oh how fallen! how changed

From him, who in the happy realms of light, Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine

Myriads, though bright!-if he whom mutual league,

United thoughts and counsels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprise, Joined with me once, now misery hath joined In equal ruin-into what pit thou seest From what highth fallen: so much the stronger proved

91

He with his thunder: and till then who knew The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those,

Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent, or change,
Though changed in outward luster, that fixed
mind,

And high disdain from sense of injured merit,

That with the Mightiest raised me to contend,

And to the fierce contention brought along 100 Innumerable force of Spirits armed,

That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,

His utmost power with adverse power opposed

In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven, And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?

All is not lost: the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome.
That glory never shall his wrath or might 110
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Who, from the terror of this arm, so late
Doubted his empire-that were low indeed;
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since by fate the strength of
gods

And this empyreal substance cannot fail;
Since, through experience of this great event,
In arms not worse, in foresight much ad-
vanced,

We may with more successful hope resolve 120 To wage by force or guile eternal war, Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,

Who now triumphs, and in the excess of joy Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven." So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain,

Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair;

And him thus answered soon his bold com

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Though all our glory extinct, and happy

state

Here swallowed up in endless misery.
But what if he our Conqueror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have o'erpowered such force
as ours)

Have left us this our spirit and strength entire,

Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be, 150
Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy Deep?
What can it then avail, though yet we feel
Strength undiminished, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment?"

Whereto with speedy words the Arch-
Fiend replied:-

160

"Fallen Cherub, to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure-
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labor must be to pervert that end.
And out of good still to find means of evil;
Which ofttimes may succeed so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destined aim.
But see! the angry Victor hath recalled
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates of Heaven; the sulphurous
hail,

170

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Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, With head uplift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides,

Prone on the flood, extended long and large, Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge As whom the fables name of monstrous size, Titanian, or Earth-born, that warred on Jove,

Briareos or Typhon, whom the den

By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast 200
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean-stream.
Him, haply slumbering on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-foundered
skiff

Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind,
Moors by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wishèd morn delays.
So stretched out huge in length the Arch-
Fiend lay,

203

Chained on the burning lake; nor ever thence

Had risen or heaved his head, but that the

will

And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
Left him at large to his own dark designs,
That with reiterated crimes he might
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
Evil to others, and enraged might see
How all his malice served but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shewn
On Man by him seduced; but on himself 219
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance
poured.

Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool

His mighty stature; on each hand the flames Driven backward slope their pointing spires,

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