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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 several 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 this new world which he sought.
High on a throne of royal state, which far
1 High] Compare with this the opening of the second book of Ovid's Metam.
• Regia solis erat,' &c. 2 Ormus] See View of Ormus, in Buckingham's Travels in Assyria, p. 428, 4to.
Showers on her kings Barbaric pearl and gold,
Powers and Dominions, Deities of heaven,
4 Barbaric] Lucret. lib. ii. 500. Barbaricæ vestes.' Euripid. Iph. Aul. 73. de Paride:
χρυσώ τε λάμπρος, βαρβάρω χλιδήματι. and Virg. Æn. ii. 504.
Of endless pain ? Where there is then no good 20
present pain, that with ambitious mind
He ceas’d; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king, Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit That fought in heaven, now fiercer by despair: 45 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
88 our just inheritance) See Crashaw's Steps to the Temple, p. 64. (1646.)
And for the never ng fields of light,
My fair inheritance, he confines me here:' and Beaumont's Psyche, c. i. st. 24. • Was't not enough against the righteous law Of primogeniture to throw us down, From that bright home which all the world does know Was by confest inheritance our own.'
40 best way] Compare Spenser's F. Queen, vii. vi. 21. and ii. xi. 7. Toda.
Went all his fear: of God, or hell, or worse,
My sentence is for open war: of wiles,
54 sit contriving] See Milton's Prose Works, vol. ii. 380, iii. 24. But to sit contriving.' 67 Black fire) See Æschyli Prometheus, ver. 930.
"Ος δή κεραυνού κρέισσον ευρήσει φλόγα
Βροντής θ' υπερβάλλοντα καρτερον κτύπον. and see Statii Theb. iv. 133. “furiarum lampade nigra.' Silv. i. iv. 64. "fulminis atri.' Lucan Ph. ii. 301. 'ignes atros.'
'I talk of flames, and yet I call hell dark;
Flames I confess they are, but black.' See M. Stevenson's Poems (1654), p. 113, (A Guesse at Hell.)
Mixt with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire,
his wrath may
find To our destruction, if there be in hell Fear to be worse destroy’d: What can be worse 85 Than to dwell here, driven 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 Inexorable, and the torturing hour Call us to penance ? more destroy'd than thus
69 strange fire) See Nonni Dionysiaca, lib. xliv. ver. 153.
Ει δέ κε πειρήσαιτο και ημετέροιο κεραυνού,
θερμοτέρους σπινθήρας εμού λαχές αντίτυπον πυρ. 89 exercise] Vex, trouble: v. Virg. Georg. iv. 453.
Non te nullius exercent numinis iræ.' Newton.