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Be then his love accursed, since love or hate,
To me alike it deals eternal woe.
Nay, cursed be thou ; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable ! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath and infinite despair ?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell ;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven.
O, then, at last relent! Is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the Spirits beneath, whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan.
While they adore me on the throne of Hell,
With diadem and sceptre high advanced,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery; such joy ambition finds !

I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former state ; how soon
Would highth recal high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feigned submission swore ! Ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void
(For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep);
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall."

But say

This grand soliloquy, (of which we have given only an extract), which Satan utters as he strolls, magnificent, towards the garden of Eden, discloses far more of the ruined Archangel than of the future Devil. It is a retrospect tinged with the deepest remorse. The devilish object of his journey seems, for the moment, to be forgotten, or eclipsed under weightier thoughts. There is a gleam of his infinite obligation for an infinite favour; a passing sense that his rebellion is an ignoble act; a momentary flash of his weakness of will compared with that of those who had kept their high estate; and finally, a thought, as quickly abandoned as expressed, of the bare possibility of penance and pardon. But the Archangel had taken an irretrievable step ;—the first step in an infinite descent;—and so, in spite of his noble reasonings, in spite of his sublime conceptions and compunctions of conscience, despair resumes its throne in his mind and he exclaims:

· farewell hope, and with hope, farewell fear,
Farewell remorse! All good to me is lost ;
Evil, be thou my Good: by thee at least
Divided empire with Heaven's King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As Man, ere long, and this new World, shall know."
Thus while he spake, each passion dimmed his face.

Thrice changed with pale-ire, envy, and despair.
Subsequently, after he has entered the Garden

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and sees the Man and the Woman in their primeval home,

Satan, still in gaze as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length failed speech recovered sad :-

“O Hell ! what do mine eyes with grief behold ?
Into our room of bliss thus high advanced
Creatures of other mould-Earth-born, perhaps,
Not Spirits, yet to Heavenly Spirits bright
Little inferior-whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love ; so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace
The hand that formed them on their shape hath poured."

Yet here again, Satan's bad actions are preceded by noble thoughts, for he is forced to acknowledge,

“Melt, as I do, yet public reason just-
Honour and empire, with revenge enlarged
By conquering this new World-compels me now
To do what else, though damned, I should abhor.”

One of the deepest, truest touches, in this connection, in Milton's epic, is where Ithuriel and Zephon discover Satan, “squat like a toad," and trying to hypnotise Eve during sleep. Compelled, by the point of Ithuriel's spear, to assume his true person. ality and listen to their withering rebuke,

Abashed the Devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
Virtue in her shape how lovely-saw, and pined
His loss.

Even at this point, Satan had not sunk so low but that he could discern the supreme charm of goodness and virtue, and see down into the depths of his own loss.

But one step further, and the Archangel becomes the Devil. As he approaches Eve, on the day of the great Temptation, he sees,

Her heavenly form
Angelic, but more soft and feminine,
Her graceful innocence, her every air
Of gesture or least action, overawed
His malice, and with rapine sweet bereaved
His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought.
That space the Evil One abstracted stood
From his own evil, and for the time remained
Stupidly good, of enmity disarmed,
Of guile, of hate, of envy, of revenge.
It is but for a moment that he hesitates,

the hot hell that always in him burns,
Though in mid Heaven, soon ended his delight,
And tortures him now more, the more he sees
Of pleasure not for him ordained. Then soon
Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts
Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites :-

“ Thoughts, whither have ye led me? with what sweet Compulsion thus transported to forget What hither brought us? hate, not love, nor hope Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy, Save what is in destroying ; other joy To me is lost."

Satan is now a Devil, -irretrievably and irrevocably.

In the future history of the world, he may sink to the level of the Hebrew Satan in the Book of Fob, or of the Mephistopheles in Faust, or of the mediæval Devil of legend, or of the Arch-Fool of Luther; but the Archangel of the Epic of the Fall of Man is an essentially grand creation, of whose after career we know nothing. He had accomplished his part as the hero of an Epic, and the dazzling glamour which had distinguished him, as the prince of Archangels in the Empyrean, still surrounds him in his fall, although lurid clouds may partially obscure him, whether as the Angel of Presumption of Cædmon or as the Satan of Paradise Lost.

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