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Attended : all access was throng'd; the gates And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall (Though like a cover'd field, where champions bold Wont ride in arm’d, and at the Soldan's chair, Defied the best of Panim chivalry To mortal combat, or career with lance) Thick swarm’d, both on the ground, and in the air Brush'd with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides, Pour forth the pop’lous youth about the hive In clusters; they among fresh dews and flow'rs Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank, The suburb of their straw-built citadel New rubb'd with balm, expatiate and confer Their state affairs. So thick the airy crowd Swarm'd and were straiten'd; till, the signal given, Behold a wonder! They but now who seem'd In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons, Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room Throng numberless; like that pygmean race Beyond the Indian mount; or fairy elves, Whose midnight revels, by a forest side Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, Or dreams he sees, while over-head the moon Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth Wheels her pale course; they, on their mirth and dance Intent, with jocund music charm his ear; At once with joy and fear, his heart rebounds. Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large, Though without number still, amidst the hall Of that infernal court. But far within, And in their own dimensions, like themselves, The.great seraphic lords and cherubim In close recess and secret conclave sat; A thousand demi-gods on golden seats, Frequent and full. After short silence then, And summons. read, the great consult began.


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The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be

to be hazarded for the recovery of Heaven: Some advise it, others dissuade: A third proposal is preferred, mentioned before by Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or tradition in Heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature, equal, or not much inferior to themselves, about this time to be created : Their doubt who shall be sent on this difficult search ; Satan, their chief, undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them seve eral ways, and to several employments, as their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He passes on his journey to Hell gates, finds them shut, and who sat there to guard them, by whom at length they are opened, and discover to him the great gulf between Hell and Heaven ; with what difficulty he passes through, directed by Chaos, the Power of that place, to the sight of the new world which he sought.



High on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus, and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous east with richest hand
Show'rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd
To that bad eminence; and from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with heav'n, and by success untaught,
His proud imaginations thus display d.

Pow'rs and Dominions, Deities of heav'n,
For since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigour, though oppress'd and fallen,
I give not heav'n for lost. From this descent
Celestial virtues rising, will appear
More glorious and more dread than from no fall;
And trust themselves to fear no second fate.
Me, though just right, and the fix'd laws of heav'n,
Did first create your leader, next free choice,
With what besides, in council or in fight,
Hath been achiev'd of merit, yet this loss
Thus far at least recover'd hath much more
Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior; but who here

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