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Wrought still within them; and no less de

sire To found this nether empire, which might

rise, By policy, and long process of time, In emulation opposite to Heaven. Which when Beelzebub perceived, than

whom, Satan except, none higher sat, with grave

300 Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed A pillar of state; deep on his front engraven Deliberation sat and public care; And princely counsel in his face yet shone. Majestic, though in ruin. Sage he stood, With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear The weight of mightiest monarchies; his

look Drew audience and attention still as night Or summer's noontide air, while thus he

spake : "Thrones and Imperial Powers, Offspring

of Heaven, Ethereal Virtues ! or these titles now Must we renounce, and changing style, be

called Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote Inclines—here to continue, and build up

here A growing empire; doubtless! while we

dream, And know not that the King of Heaven

hath doomed This place our dungeon--not our safe re

treat Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new

league Banded against his throne, but to remain 320 In strictest bondage, though thus far re

moved, Under the inevitable curb, reserved His captive multitude. For he, be sure, In highth or depth, still first and last will

reign Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part By our revolt, but over Hell extend His empire, and with iron scepter rule Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven. What sit we then projecting peace and war? War hath determined us, and foiled with

loss Irreparable; terms of peace yet none Vouchsafed or sought; for what peace will

be given To us enslaved, but custody severe, And stripes, and arbitrary punishment Inflicted? and what peace can we return,

But, to our power, hostility, and hate, Untamed reluctance, and revenge, though

slow, Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least May reap his conquest, and may least re

joice In doing what we most in suffering feel ? 340 Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need With dangerous expedition to invade Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or

siege, Or ambush from the Deep. What if we

find Some easier enterprise? There is a place (If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven Err not), another World, the happy seat Of some new race called Man, about this

time To be created like to us, though less In power and excellence, but favored Of him who rules above; so was his will Pronounced among the gods, and by an oath That shook Heaven's whole circumference,

confirmed. Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to

learn What creatures there inhabit, of what mold Or substance, how endued, and what their

power, And where their weakness: how attempted

best, By force or subtlety. Though Heaven be

shut, And Heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure In his own strength, this place may lie ex

posed, The utmost border of his kingdom, left To their defence who hold it; here, perhaps, Some advantageous act may be achieved By sudden onset: either with Hell-fire To waste his whole creation, or possess All as our own, and drive, as we were

driven, The puny habitants; or if not drive, Seduce them to our party, that their God May prove their foe, and with repenting

hand Abolish his own works. This would sur

pass Common revenge, and interrupt his joy In our confusion, and our joy upraise In his disturbance; when his darling sons, Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall




Their frail original, and faded blissFaded so soon! Advise if this be worth


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To second, or oppose, or undertake
The perilous attempt; but all sat mute,
Pondering the danger with deep thoughts;

and each In other's countenance read his own dismay, Astonished. None among the choice and

prime Of those Heaven-warring champions could

be found So hardy as to proffer or accept, Alone, the dreadful voyage; till at last Satan, whom now transcendent glory raised Above his fellows, with monarchal pride Conscious of highest worth, unmoved thus

spake: “O ogeny of Heaven! Emp

Empyreal Thrones!

431 With reason hath deep silence and demur Seized us, though undismayed. Long is the

way And hard, that out of Hell leads up to

Light; Our prison strong, this huge convex of fire, Outrageous to devour, immures us round Ninefold; and gates of burning adamant, Barred over us, prohibit all egress. These passed, if any pass, the void pro

found Of unessential Night receives him next, Wide-gaping, and with utter loss of be

ing Threatens him, plunged in that abortive

gulf. If thence he scape, into whatever world, Or unknown region, what remains him less Than unknown dangers and as hard escape? But I should ill become this throne, 0 Peers, And this imperial sovranty, adorned With splendor, armed with power, if aught

proposed And judged of public moment, in the shape Of difficulty or danger, could deter Me from attempting. Wherefore do I as

450 These royalties, and not refuse to reign, Refusing to accept as great a share Of hazard as of honor, due alike To him who reigns, and so much to him

due Of hazard more, as he above the rest High honored sits ? Go therefore, mighty

Powers, Terror of Heaven, though fallen; intend at

home While here shall be our home, what best may


"Well have ye judged, well ended long

debate, Synod of gods! and, like to what ye are, Great things resolved; which from the low

est deep Will once more lift us up, in spite of fate, Nearer our ancient seat-perhaps in view Of those bright confines, whence, with neigh

boring arms And opportune excursion, we may chance Re-enter Heaven; or else in some mild zone Dwell not unvisited of Heaven's fair light, Secure, and at the brightening orient beam Purge off this gloom; the soft delicious

air, To heal the scar of these corrosive fires, Shall breathe her balm. But first, whom

shall we send In search of this new world? whom shall

we find Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandering

feet The dark, unbottomed, infinite Abyss, And through the palpable obscure find out His uncouth way, or spread his aery flight, Upborne with indefatigable wings Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive The happy isle? What strength, 'what art,

can then Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe Through the strict senteries and stations

thick Of Angels watching round? Here he had

need All circumspection, and we now no less Choice in our suffrage; for on whom we

send, The weight of all, and our last hope, relies.”

This said, he sat; and expectation held His look suspense, awaiting who appeared





The present misery, and render Hell





More tolerable; if there be cure or charm 460 The birds their notes renew, and bleating To respite, or deceive, or slack the pain

herds Of this ill mansion; intermit no watch Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings. Against a wakeful foe, while I abroad O shame to men! Devil with devil damned Through all the coasts of dark destruction Firm concord holds; men only disagree seek

Of creatures rational, though under hope Deliverance for us all: this enterprise Of heavenly grace; and, God proclaiming None shall partake with me.” Thus saying, peace,

Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife The Monarch, and prevented all reply; Among themselves, and levy cruel wars, Prudent, lest, from his resolution raised, Wasting the Earth, each other to destroy: Others among the chief might offer now As if (which might induce us to accord) (Certain to be refused) what erst they Man had not hellish foes enow besides, feared,

That day and night for his destruction wait! And, so refused, might in opinion stand The Stygian council thus dissolved; and His rivals, winning cheap the high repute forth Which he through hazard huge must earn. In order came the grand, Infernal Peers; But they

Midst came their mighty Paramount, and Dreaded not more the adventure than his seemed voice

Alone the antagonist of Heaven, nor less Forbidding; and at once with him they rose.

Than Hell's dread Emperor, with pomp suTheir rising all at once was as the sound preme, Of thunder heard remote. Towards him And god-like imitated state; him round they bend

A globe of fiery Seraphim enclosed With awful reverence prone; and as a god With bright emblazonry, and horrent arms, Extol him equal to the Highest in Heaven. Then of their session ended they bid cry Nor failed they to express how much they With trumpet's regal sound the great repraised


sult: That for the general safety he despised Toward the four winds four speedy CheruHis own; for neither do the Spirits damned bim Lose all their virtue,-lest bad men should Put to their mouths the sounding alchymy, boast

By herald's voice explained; the hollow Their specious deeds on Earth, which glory Abyss excites,

Heard far and wide, and all the host of Hell Or close ambition varnished o'er with zeal. With deafening shout returned them loud Thus they their doubtful consultations acclaim. dark

Thence more at ease their minds, and someEnded, rejoicing in their matchless Chief; what raised As when from mountain-tops the dusky By false presumptuous hope, the ranged clouds

powers Ascending, while the North-wind sleeps, Disband; and, wandering, each his several o'er-spread

way Heaven's cheerful face, the louring ele- | Pursues, as inclination or sad choice ment

Leads him perplexed, where he may likeliScowls o'er the darkened landskip snow or est find shower;

Truce to his restless thoughts, and enterIf chance the radiant sun with farewell tain sweet

The irksome hours, till his great Chief reExtend his evening beam, the fields revive, turn.




[From Areopagitica, 1644]

THE VIRTUE OF BOOKS I deny not but that it is of greatest concernment in the church and commonwealth

to have a vigilant eye how books demean themselves, as well as men; and thereafter to confine, imprison, and do sharpest justice on them as malefactors; for books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a progeny of life in them to be as active better, he is the true warfaring Christian. as that souł was whose progeny they are; I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virnay, they do preserve as in a vial the tue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never purest efficacy and extraction of that living sallies out and seeks her adversary, but intellect that bred them. I know they are slinks out of the race where that immortal as lively, and as vigorously productive, as garland is to be run for, not without dust those fabulous dragon's teeth: and being and heat. Assuredly we bring not innosown up and down, may chance to spring cence into the world, we bring impurity up armed men. And yet, on the other hand, much rather; that which purifies us is trial, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill and trial is by what is contrary. That vira man as kill a good book. Who kills a tue therefore which is but a youngling in man kills a reasonable creature, God's im- the contemplation of evil, and knows not age; but he who destroys a good book, kills the utmost that vice promises to her followreason itself, kills the image of God, as it ers and rejects it, is but a blank virtue, not were, in the eye. Many a man lives a bur- a pure; her whiteness is but an excremental den to the earth; but a good book is the whiteness; which was the reason why our precious life-blood of a master-spirit, em- sage and serious poet Spenser, (whom I balmed and treasured up on purpose to a dare be known to think a better teacher life beyond life. It is true, no age can than Scotus or Aquinas,) describing true restore a life, whereof, perhaps, there is no temperance under the person of Guyon, great loss; and revolutions of ages do not brings him in with his palmer through the oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, cave of Mammon, and the bower of earthly for the want of which whole nations fare bliss, that he might see and know, and yet the worse. We should be wary, therefore, abstain, what persecution we raise against the liv- Since therefore the knowledge and suring labors of public men, how we spill vey of vice is in this world so necessary to that seasoned life of man, preserved and the constituting of human virtue, and the stored up in books; since we see a kind of scanning of error to the confirmation of homicide may be thus committed, some- truth, how can we more safely, and with times a martyrdom; and if it extend to the less danger, scout into the regions of sin whole impression, a kind of massacre, where- and falsity, than by reading all manner of of the execution ends not in the slaying of tractates, and hearing all manner of reaan elemental life, but strikes at the ethereal son? And this is the benefit which may be and fifth essence, the breath of reason had of books promiscuously read. itself; slays an immortality rather than a life.

OF RESTRAINTS Good and evil we know in the field of this world grow up together almost inseparably; For if they fell upon one kind of strictand the knowledge of good is so involved ness, unless their care were equal to regulate and interwoven with the knowledge of evil, all other things of like aptness to corrupt and in so many cunning resemblances hard- the mind, that single endeavor they knew ly to be discerned, that those confused seeds would be but a fond labor; to shut and which were imposed upon Psyche as an in- fortify one gate against corruption, and be cessant labor to cull out, and sort asunder, necessitated to leave others round about were not more intermixed. It was from out wide open. If we think to regulate printthe rind of one apple tasted, that the knowl- ing, thereby to rectify manners, we must edge of good and evil, as two twins cleav- regulate all recreations and pastimes, all ing together, leaped forth into the world. that is delightful to man. No music must And perhaps this is that doom which Adam be heard, no song be set or sung, but what fell into of knowing good and evil: that is grave and Doric. There must be licensis to say, of knowing good by evil.

ing dancers, that no gesture, motion, or deAs therefore the state of man now is, portment be taught our youth, but what what wisdom can there be to choose, what by their allowance shall be thought honest ; continence to forbear, without the knowl- for such Plato was provided of. It will ask edge of evil? He that can apprehend and more than the work of twenty licensers to consider vice with all her baits and seeming examine all the lutes, the violins, and the pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distin- guitars in every house; they must not be guish, and yet prefer that which is truly suffered to prattle as they do, but must be

licensed what they may say. And who shall silence all the airs and madrigals that whisper softness in chambers? The windows also, and the balconies, must be thought on; these are shrewd books, with dangerous frontispieces, set to sale: who shall prohibit them, shall twenty licensers? The villages also must have their visitors to inquire what lectures the bagpipe and the rebec reads, even to the ballatry and the gamut of every municipal fiddler; for these are the countryman's Arcadias, and his Montemayors.

Next, what more national corruption, for which England hears ill abroad, than household gluttony? Who shall be the rectors of our daily rioting? And what shall be done to inhibit the multitudes that frequent those houses where drunkenness is sold and harbored? Our garments also should be referred to the licensing of some more sober workmasters, to see them cut into a less wanton garb. Who shall regulate all the mixed conversation of our youth, male and female together, as is the fashion of this country? Who shall still appoint what shall be discoursed, what presumed, and no further? Lastly, who shall forbid and separate all idle resort, all evil company? These things will be, and must be; but how they shall be least hurtful, how least enticing, herein consists the grave and governing wisdom of a state.

To sequester out of the world into Atlantic and Utopian politics, which never can be drawn into use, will not mend our condition; but to ordain wisely as in this world of evil, in the midst whereof God hath placed us unavoidably. Nor is it Plato's licensing of books will do this, which necessarily pulls along with it so many other kinds of licensing, as will make us all both ridiculous and weary, and yet frustrate; but those unwritten, or at least unconstraining laws of virtuous education, religious and civil nurture, which Plato there mentions, as the bonds and ligaments of the commonwealth, the pillars and the sustainers of every written statute; these they be, which will bear chief sway in such matters as these, when all licensing will be easily eluded. Impunity and remissness for certain are the bane of a commonwealth; but here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work. If every action which is good or evil in man at ripe years were to be under pit

tance, prescription, and compulsion, what were virtue but a name, what praise could be then due to well doing, what gramerey to be sober, just, or continent?

Many there be that complain of divine Providence for suffering Adam to transgress. Foolish tongues! when God gave him reason, he gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing; he had been else a mere artificial Adam, such an Adam as he is in the motions. We ourselves esteem not of that obedience, or love, or gift, which is of force; God therefore left him free, set before him a provoking object ever almost in his eyes; herein consisted his merit, herein the right of his reward, the praise of his abstinence. Wherefore did he create passions within us, but that these rightly tempered are the very ingredients of virtue! They are not skilful considerers of human things who imagine to remove sin by remoring the matter of sin; for, besides that it is a huge heap increasing under the very act of diminishing, though some part of it may for a time be withdrawn from some persons, it cannot from all, in such a universal thing as books are; and when this is done, yet the sin remains entire. Though ye take from a covetous man all his treasure, he has yet one jewel left, ye cannot bereave him of his covetousness. Banish all objects of lust, shut up all youth into the severest discipline that can be exercised in any hermitage, ye cannot make them chaste that came not thither so: such great care and wisdom is required to the right managing of this point.

Suppose we could expel sin by this means; look how much ye thus expel of sin, so much we expel of virtue: for the matter of them both is the same: remove that, and ye remove them both alike. This justifies the high providence of God, who, though he commands us temperance, justice, continence, yet pours out before us even to a profuseness all desirable things, and gives us minds that can wander beyond all limit and satiety. Why should we then affect a rigor contrary to the manner of God and of nature, by abridging or scanting those means, which books freely permitted are. both to the trial of virtue and the exercise of truth?

LIBERTY OF THOUGHT I lastly proceed from the no good it! can do, to the manifest hurt it causes, in be

1 i. e., requiring a license for the publication of


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