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Then thou before was something less than man. Has thy new post betray'd thee into pride? That treach'rous pride betrays thy dignity; That pride defames humanity, and calls 5 The being mean, which staffs or strings can raise. High worth is elevated place: 'Tis mòre; It makes the post stand candidate for thee; Makes more than monarchs, makes an honest màn; Though no exchequer it commands, 'tis wèalth; 10 And though it wears no ríbband, 'tis renòwn; Renown, that would not quit thee, though disgràc'd, Nor leave thee pendant on a master's smile. Other ambition nature interdicts;

Nature proclaims it most absurd in man, 15 By pointing at his origin, and end;

Milk, and a swathe, at first his whole demand;
His whole domain, at last, a turf, or stone;
To whom, between, a world may seem too small.


Ambition! pow'rful source of good and ill!
20 Thy strength in man, like length of wing in birds,
When disengag'd from earth, with greater ease
And swifter flight transports us to the skies;
By toys entangled, or in guilt bemir'd,

It turns a curse; it is our chàin, and scourge,
25 In this dark dungeon, where confin'd we lie,
Close grated by the sordid bars of sense;
All prospect of eternity shut out;
And, but for execution, ne'er set free.

In spite of all the truths the muse has sung, 30 Ne'er to be priz'd enough! enough revolv'd!

Are there who wrap the world so close about them,
They see no farther than the clouds? and dance
On heedless vanity's fantastic toe?

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Till, stumbling at a straw, in their career,

35 Headlong they plunge, where end both dance and song. Are there on earth,—(let me not call them men,)

Who lodge a soul immortal in their breasts;
Unconscious as the mountain of its ore;
Or rock, of its inestimable gem?

40 When rocks shall melt, and mountains vanish, these

Shall know their treasure; treasure, then, no more. Are there, (still more amazing!) who resist The rising thought? Who smother, in its birth, The glorious truth? Who struggle to be brutes? 5 Who through this bosom-barrier burst their way, And, with revers'd ambition, strive to sink? Who labour downwards, through th' opposing pow'r Of instinct, reason, and the world against them, To dismal hopes, and shelter in the shock 10 Of endless night? night darker than the grave's! Who fight the proofs of immortality? With horrid zeal, and execrable arts,

Work all their energies, level their black fires,
To blot from man this attribute divine,
15 (Than vital blood far dearer to the wise)
Blasphemers, and rank atheists to themselves?



He ceas'd; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king Stood up; the strongest and fiercest Spirit That fought in Heav'n, now fiercer by despair: 20 His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd Equal in strength, and rather than be less, Car'd not to be at all; with that care lost Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse, He reck'd not, and these words thereafter spake My sentence is for open war; of wiles, More unexpert, I boast not; them let those Contrive who need, or when they need, not now; For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest, Millions that stand in arms, and, longing wait 30 The signal to ascend, sit ling'ring here



Heav'n's fugitives, and for their dwelling place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame,
The prison of his tyranny who reigns.
By our delay? No, let us rather choose,
35 Arm'd with Hell-flames and fury, all at once,

O'er heav'n's high tow'rs to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms,
Against the Torturer; when, to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine, he shall hear

40 Infernal thunder, and for lightning, see

Black fire and horror, shot with equal rage
Among his Angels, and his throne itself,
Mix'd with Tartarean sulphur, and strange fire,
His own invented torments. (6) But perhaps
5 The way seems difficult and steep, to scale
With upright wing against a higher fóe.
Let them bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
That in our proper motion we ascend
10 Up to our native seat: descent and fall

To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear,
Insulting, and pursued us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
15 We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easy then.
Th' event is fear'd; should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction, if ere be in Hell

Fear to be worse destroy'd. What can be worse 20 Than to dwell hère, driv'n out from bliss condemn'd In this abhorred deep to utter woe: Where pain of unextinguishable fire Must exercise us without hope of end The vassals of his anger, when the scourge 25 Inexorable, and the torturing hour,

Calls us to penance? More destroy'd than thus,
We should be quite abolish'd, and expire.
What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag'd,
30 Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this essential, (happier far,
Than miserable, to have eternal being,)
Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
35 On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
Our pow'r sufficient to disturb his Heaven,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Though inaccessible, his fatal throne;
40 Which if not vìctory, is yet revenge.

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I should be much for open war, O peers!


As not behind in hate, if what was urg'd,
Main reason to persuade immediate war,
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast
Ominous conjecture on the whole success,-
5 When he, who most excels in fact of arms,
In what he counsels, and in what excels,
Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair,
And utter dissolution, as the scope
Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
10 First what revenge? The tow'rs of Heav'n are fill'd
With armed watch, that render all access
Impregnable; oft on the bord'ring deep

Encamp their legions, or, with obscure wing,
Scout far and wide into the realm of night,
15 Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way
By force, and at our heels all hell should rise,
With blackest insurrection, to confound
Heav'n's purest light, yet our great enemy,
All incorruptible, would on his throne
20 Sit unpolluted, and th' ethereal mould,
Incapable of stain, would soon expel
Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
Victorious. Thus repuls'd our final hope
Is flat despair: we must exasperate
25 Th' almighty Victor to spend all his rage,

And that must end us, that must be our cure,
To be no more: sad cure; for who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
30 To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost

In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion? and who knows,
Let this be good, whether our angry foe
Can give it, or will ever? how he càn
35 Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.



-Aside the Devil turn'd

For envy, yet with jealous leer malign Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plain'd. "Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two 40 Imparadis'd in one another's arms,

The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill

Of bliss on bliss; while I to Hèll am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
(Amongst our other torments not the least,)
Still unfulfilled, with pain of longing pines.
5 Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd

From their own mouths: all is not theirs it seems;
One fatal tree there stands of knowledge call'd,
Forbidden them to taste. Knowledge forbidden?
10 Suspicious, rèasonless! Why should their Lord
Envy them that? Can it be sín to know?
Can it be death? and do they only stand
By ignorance? is that their happy state,
The proof of their obedience and their faith?
15 O fair foundation laid whereon to build

Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds
With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with design
To keep them low, whom knowledge might exàlt
20 Equal with Gòds: aspiring to be such,

They taste and die; what likelier can ensue?
But first with narrow search I must walk round
This garden, and no corner leave unspy'd;
A chance, but chance, may lead where I may meet
25 Some wand'ring spi'rit of Heav'n, by fountain side,

Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw
What further would be learn'd. Live while ye may,
Yet happy pair; enjoy, till I return,

Short pleasures for LONG WOES.. are to succeed." 30 () So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd, But with sly circumspection, and began,

Through wood, through waste, o'er hill, o'er dale his



Page 27. bottom. Difference between the common and the intensive inflection.

I place this here, rather than under Inflections, because, intensive slide so often stands connected with emphasis. The difficulty to be avoided may be seen sufficiently in an example or two. There is a general tendency to make the slide of the voice as great in degree, when there is little stress, as when there is much; whereas, in the former case, the slide should be gentle, and sometimes hardly perceptible.

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