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Well hath obey'd ; just trial, cre I merit
My exaltation without change or end.
But what concerns it thee, when I begin
My everlasting kingdom P. Why art thou
Solicitous? What moves thy inquisition? 200
Know'st thou not that my rising is thy fall,
And my promotion will be thy destruction?”
To whom the tempter, inly rack'd, replied:
“Let that come when it comes; all hope is lost
Of my reception into grace: what worse? 205
For where no hope is left, is left no fear:
If there be worse, the expectation more
Of worse torments me than the feeling can.
I would be at the worst: worst is my port,
My harbour, and my ultimate repose; 210
The end I would attain, Iny final good. -
My crror was my crror, and my crime
My crime; whatever, for itself condemn'd;
And will alike be punish'd, whether thou
Reign, or reign not; though to"that gentle brow 215
Willingly could I fly, and hope thy reign,
From that placid aspéct and meek regard,
Rather than aggravate my evil state,
Would stand between me and thy Father's ire
(Whose ire I dread more than the fire of hell), 220
A shelter, and a kind of shading cool
Interposition, as a summer's cloud.
If I then to the worst that can be haste,
Why move thy feet so slow to what is best,
Happiest, both to thyself and all the world, 225
That thou, who worthiest art, shouldst be their king?
Perhaps thou linger'st, in deep thoughts detain'd
Of th' enterprise so hazardous and high!
No wonder; for though in thee be united -
What of perfection can in man be found, 230
Or human nature can receive, consider, :
Thy life hath yet been private, most part spent
At home, scarce view'd the Galilean towns,
And once a year Jerusalem, few days’ -
Short sojourn; and what thence couldst thou observe? 235
The world thou hast not seen, much less her glory,
Empires, and monarchs, and their radiant courts,
Best school of best experience, quickest insight
In all things that to greatest actions lead.
The wisest, unexperienc'd, will be ever 240
Timorous and loth, with novice modesty
(As he who, seeking asses, found a kingdom),
Irresolute, unhardy, unadvent’rous:
But I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit
Those rudiments, and see before thine eyes 245
The monarchics of th' earth, their pomp and state
Sufficient introduction to inform
Thee, of thyself so apt, in regal arts,
And regal mysteries; that thou mayst know
How best their opposition to withstand.” 250


With that (such pow'r was giv'n him then), he took The Son of God up to a mountain high. It was a mountain at whose verdant feet A spacious plain, outstretch'd in circuit wide, Lay pleasant; from his side two rivers flow’d, 255 Th’ one winding, th' other straight, and left between Fair champaign with less rivers intervein'd, Then meeting join'd their tribute to the sea: Fertile of corn the glebe, of oil, and wine; With herds the pastures throng'd, with flocks the

hills; 260

Huge cities and high towrd, that well might seem
The seats of mightiest monarchs; and so large
The prospect was, that here and there was room
For barren desert, fountainless and dry.
To this high mountain top the tempter brought 265
Our Saviour, and new train of words began:

“Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale,
Forest and field and flood, temples and towers,
Cut shorter many a league; here thou behold'st
Assyria, and her empire's ancient bounds, 270
Araxes and the Caspian lake; thence on
As far as Indus east, Euphrates west,
And oft beyond: to south the Persian bay,
And, inaccessible, th’ Arabian drought:
Here Nineveh, of length within her wall 275
Several days journey, built by Ninus old,
Of that first golden monarchy the seat,
And seat of Salmanassar, whose success
Israel in long captivity still mourns;
There Babylon, the wonder of all tongues, • * 280
As ancient, but rebuilt by him who twice
Judah and all thy father David's house
Led captive, and Jerusalem laid' waste,
Till Cyrus set them free; Persepolis,
His city, there thou seest, and Bactra there; 285
Ecbatana her structure vast there shows,
And Hecatompylos her hundred gates;
There Susa by Choaspes, amber stream,
The drink of none but kings; of later fame,
Built by Emathian or by Parthian hands, 290
The great Seleucia, Nisibis, and there
Artaxata, Teredon, Ctesiphon,
Turning with easy eye, thou mayst behold.
All these the Parthian (now some ages past,
By great Arsaces led, who founded first 295
That empire) under his dominion holds,
From the luxurious kings of Antioch won.
And just in time thou com'st to have a view
Of his great pow'r; for now the Parthian king
In Ctesiphon hath gather'd all his host 300
Against the Scythian, whose incursions wild
Have wasted Sogdiana; to her aid
He marches now in haste; see, though from far,
His thousands, in what martial equipage

They issue forth, steel bows and shafts their arms, 305
Of equal dread in flight or in pursuit;
All horsemen, in which fight they most excel;
See how in warlike muster they appear,
In rhombs, and wedges, and half-moons, and wings.”
He look'd, and saw what numbers numberless 310
The city-gates out-pour'd, light-armed troops,
In coats of mail and military pride;
In mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong,
Prancing their riders bore, the flow'r and choice
Of many provinces from bound to bound; 315
From Arachosia, from Candaor east,
And Margiana, to the Hyrcanian cliffs
Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales;
From Atropatia, and the neighbouring plains
Of Adiabene, Media, and the south 320
Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven.
He saw them in their forms of battle rang'd,
How quick they wheel'd, and flying behind them shot
Sharp sleet of arrowy show’rs against the face
Of their pursuers, and overcame by flight; 325
The field all iron cast a gleaming brown :
Nor wanted clouds of foot, nor on each horn
Cuirassiers all in steel for standing fight,
Chariots, or elephants indors'd with towers
Of archers; nor of lab’ring pioneers 330
A multitude, with spades and axes arm'd
To lay hills plane, fell woods, or valleys fill,
Or where plain was raise hill, or overlay
With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke;
Mules after these, camels and dromedaries, 335
And waggons, fraught with utensils of war.
Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,
When Agrican with all his northern powers
Besieg'd Albracca, as romances tell, Q
The city of Gallaphrone, from whence to win 340
The fairest of her sex Angelica,
His daugter, sought by many prowest knights,
Both Paynim, and the peers of Charlemain.
Such and so numerous was their chivalry : -
At sight whereof the fiend yet more presum’d, 345
And to our Saviour thus his words renew'd : .
“That thou mayst know I seek not to engage
Thy virtue, and not every way secure
On no slight grounds thy safety; hear, and mork,
To what end i have brought thee hither, and show n350
All this fair sight: thy kingdom though foretold
By prophet or by angel, unless thou -
Endeavour as thy father David did, . -
Thou never shalt obtain; prediction still
In all things, and all men, supposes means; 355
Without means us'd, what it predicts revokes.
But, say thou wert possess'd of David's throne,
By, free consent of all, none opposite,
Samaritan or Jew ; how couldst thou hope

Long to enjoy it, quiet and secure, 360
Between two such enclosing enemies,
Roman and Parthian? Therefore one of these
Thou must make sure thy own; the Parthian first
By my advice, as nearer, and of late
Found able by invasion to annoy 365
Thy country, and captive lead away her kings,
Antigonus and old Hyrcanus, bound,
Maugre the Roman: it shall be my task
To render thee the Parthian at dispose,
Choose which thou wilt, by conquest or by league: 370
By him thou shalt regain, without him not,
That which alone can truly re-install thee w
In David's royal seat, his true successor,
Deliverance of thy brethren, those ten tribes
Whose offspring in his territory yet serve, 375
In Habor, and among the Medes dispers'd :
Ten sons of Jacob, two of Joseph, lost
Thus long from Israel, serving, as of old
Their fathers in the land of Egypt serv’d, t -
This offer sets before thee to deliver. 380
These if from servitude thou shalt restore
To their inheritance, then, nor till then, * *
Thou on the throne of David in full glory, -o-
From Egypt to Euphrates, and beyond, :
Shalt reign, and Rome or Caesar need not fear,’ 385
To whom our Saviour answer'd thus, unmov’d :
“Much ostentation vain of fleshly arm s
And fragile arms, much instrument of war,
Long in preparing, soon to nothing brought,
Before mine eyes thou hast set; and in my ear 390
Vented much policy, and projects deep
Of enemies, of aids, battles and leagues,
Plausible to the world, to me worth naught.
Means I must use, thou say'st, prediction else
Will unpredict, and fail me of the throne: 395
My time, I told thee (and that time for thee
Were better farthest off), is not yet come:
When that comes, think not thou to find me slack
On my part aught endeavouring, or to need
Thy politic maxims, or that cumbersome 400
Luggage of war there shown me, argument
Of human weakness rather than of strength.
My brethren, as thou call'st them, those ten tribes
I must deliver, if I mean to reign
David's true heir, and his full scepter sway 405
To just extent over all Israel's sons.
But whence to thee this zeal P Where was it then
For Israel, or for David, or his throne,
When thou stood'st up his tempter to the pride
Of numb'ring Israel, which cost the lives 410
Of threescore and ten thousand Israelites
By three days’ pestilence? Such was thy zeal
To Israel then; the same that now to me!
As for those captive tribes, themselves were they

Who wrought their own captivity, fell off 415
From God to worship calves, the deities
Of Egypt, Baal next and Ashtaroth,
And all th’ idolatries of heathen round,
Besides their other worse than heath'nish crimes;
Nor in the land of their captivity 420
Humbled themselves, or penitent besought
The God of their forefathers; but so died
Impenitent, and left a race behind
Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce
From Gentiles, but by circumcision vain; 425
And God with idols in their worship join'd.
Should I of these the liberty regard,
Who, freed, as to their ancient patrimony,
Unhumbled, unrepentant, unreform’d,
Headlong would follow; and to their gods perhaps 430
Of Bethel and of Dan P No.; let them serve
Their enemies, who serve idols with God.
Yet he at length (time to himself best known),
Rememb'ring Abraham, by some wondrous call
May bring them back repentant and sincere, 435
And at their passing cleave th’ Assyrian flood,
While to their native land with joy they haste;
As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,
When to the promis'd land their fathers pass'd :

To his due time and providence I leave them.” 440

So spake Israel's true King, and to the fiend Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles. So fares it, when with truth falsehood contends.

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Satan, persisting in the temptation of our Lord, shows him inso one in its greatest pomp and splendour, as a power which

e probably would prefer beforé that of the Parthians; and tells him that he might with the greatest ease earpel Tiberius, restore the Romans to their liberty, and make himself master not only of the Roman empire, but, by so doing, of the whole world, and inclusively of the throne of David. Our Lord, in reply, earpresses his contempt of grandeur and worldly power, notices the luxury, vanity, and proftigacy of the Romans , declaring hou, little they merited to be restored to that liberty which they had lost by their misconduct, and briefly refers to the greatness of his own future kingdom. §atan, now desperate, to enhance the value of his proffered gifts, professes that the only terms, on which he will bestow them, are our Saviour's falling down arid worshipping him. Our Lord expresses a firm but temperate indignation at such a proposition, and rebukes the tempter by the title of ‘Satan for ever, damn'd.” Satan, abashed, attempts to justify himself: he then assumes a new ground of temptation, and proposing to Jesus the intellectual gratifications of wisdom and ote; points out to him the celebrated seat of ancient learning, Athens, its schools, and other various resorts of learned teachers and their disciples:

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