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What seem'd in thee so perfect, that I thought
And thou th' accuser.
Thus it shall befall
Him who to worth in woman overtrusting
Lets her will rule; restraint she will not brook,
She first his weak indulgence will accuse.
THUS they in mutual accusation spent
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning,
THE END OF THE NINTH BOOK.
BOOK THE TENTH.
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 re-ascends. 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 foretels 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
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in Heav'n; for what can 'scape the eye 5
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
Omniscient? who in all things wise and just,
Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind
Of Man, with strength entire, and free-will arm'd,
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still remember'd
Incurr'd (what could they less?) the penalty,
Th' angelic guards ascended, mute and sad
All were who heard; dim sadness did not spare
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes
Th' ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befel : they tow'ards the throne supreme
From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd,
Which your sincerest care could not prevent,
When first this tempter cross'd the gulf from Hell.
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
His free-will, to her own inclining left
In even scale. But fall'n he is, and now
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
On his transgression, death denounc'd that day?
Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd,
By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find
Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd.
But whom send I to judge them? Whom but thee 55 Vicegerent Son? to thee I have transferr'd
All judgment, whether in Heav'n, or Earth, or Hell.
Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee