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Variously representing; yet still free,
Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
To whom the angel, with a smile that glow'd
Be strong, live happy, and love, but, first of all,
And all the blest: stand fast; to stand or fall,
Free, in thine own arbitrement it lies.
So saying, he arose: whom Adam thus
END OF BOOK VIIL
Satan, having compassed the earth, with meditated guile returns, as a mist, by night into Paradise, and enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart. Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone. Eve, loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength: Adam at last yields. The serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the serpent speak, ask show he attained to human speech and such understanding, not till now: the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both. Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden. The serpent, now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; she pleased with the taste, deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not; at last brings him of the fruit; relates what persuaded her to eat thereof. Adam, at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her; and, extenuating the trespass, eats also of the fruit. The effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then full to variance and accusation of one another.
No more of talk, where God or angel guest With man, as with his friend, familiar used To sit indulgent, and with him partake Rural repast; permitting him the while Venial discourse, unblamed. I now must change Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach Disloyal on the part of man, revolt And disobedience; on the part of Heaven, Now alienated, distance and distaste, Anger and just rebuke, and judgment given, That brought into this world a world of woe, Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery, Death's harbinger. Sad task! yet argument Not less, but more heroic, than the wrath Of stern Achilles on his foe pursued Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage Of Turnus for Lavinia dis-espoused; Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's son; If answerable style I can obtain Of my celestial patroness, who deigns