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Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them soon;
END OF PARADISE LOST.
I, who erewhile the happy garden sung,
* “Paradise Regained,” observes Jortin, “has not met with the approbation that it deserves. . It has not the harmony of numbers, the sublimity of thought, and the beauties of diction, which are in ‘Paradise Lost.’ It is composed in a lower and less striking style, a style suited to the subject. Artful sophistry, false reasoning, set off in the most specious manner, and refuted by the Son of God with strong unaffected eloquence, is the peculiar excellence of this poem. Satan there defends a bad cause with great skill and subtlety, as one thoroughly versed in that craft.”
2 The same as our “hermit.”
* So in Paradise Lost, vii. 421:-"They summed their pens.” The term is properly applied to a hawk in full feather.
Repentance, and Heaven's kingdom nigh at hand,
1. i. e. to such as were baptized, since by John's baptism they were prepared for the reception of the Gospel.
* Milton probably uses this term with a sly reference to the meet ing of the Pope and his Cardinals, under the same name. Cf. Eph. ii. 2; vi. 12 * Awaiting.
Must bide the stroke of that long-threatened wound,
1 Our author favours the opinion of Ignatius and others, who believed that the devil, though he might know Jesus to be some extraordinary person, yet knew him not to be the Messiah, the Son of God; and the words of the devil, “if thou be the Son of God,” seem to express his uncertainty concerning that matter-Newton.
Ere in the head of nations he appear, Their king, their leader, and supreme on earth. I, when no other durst, sole undertook The dismal expedition to find out And ruin Adam, and the exploit performed Successfully; a calmer voyage now Will waft me; and the way found prosperous once, Induces best to hope of like success.” He ended; and his words impression left Of much amazement to the infernal crew, Distracted and surprised with deep dismay At these sad tidings; but no time was then For long indulgence to their fears or grief: Unanimous they all commit the care And management of this main enterprise To him their great dictator, whose attempt At first against mankind so well had thrived In Adam's overthrow, and led their march Erom Hell's deep-vaulted den to dwell in light, Regents, and potentates, and kings, yea gods, Of many a pleasant realm and province wide So to the coast of Jordan he directs His easy steps, girded with snaky wiles,' Where he might likeliest find this new-declared, This man of men, attested Son of God, Temptation and all guile on him to try; So to subvert whom he suspected raised To end his reign on earth, so long enjoyed; But, contrary, unweeting he fulfilled The purposed counsel pre ordained and fixed Of the Most High, who, in full frequence bright Of angels, thus to Gabriel smiling spake: “Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold, Thou and all angels conversant on earth With man or men's affairs, how I begin To verify that solemn message, late On which I sent thee to the virgin pure In Galilee, that she should bear a Son Great in renown, and called the Son of God; Then told'st her, doubting how these things could be To her a virgin, that on her should come 1 Alluding to the habit of sorcerers and necromancers, who are
preresented in some prints as girded about the middle with the skins of snakes and serpents.