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Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large, 796
Though without number ftill amidft the hall
Of that infernal coart. But far within,
And in their own dimensions like themselves,
The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim
In close recess and secret conclave fat : 795
A thousand Demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full. After Thort filence then
And summons read, the great consult began.
Carmina yel cælo poffunt deducere bable that the poet might allude
lunam. Virg. Ecl. VIII. 69. here to what is strictly and proper-

ly call'd the conclave ; for it is cer790. Reduc'd their fhapes immenfe, tain that he had not a much better

and were at large, &c.] Tho' opinion of the one than of the numberless they had to contracted

ted other of these assemblies. their dimenfions, as to have room in

797. Frequent and full.] So we enough to be Au large (French) have in Latin frequens senatus, a A largo (Italian) and be yet in the full house. . And he makes use of ball. So XI. 626. :

the same expresfion in English prose, Ere long to swim at large.

“ The asembly was full and free

Richardson. 66 quent according to summons." See 795. In clofe recess and secret con- his History of England in the reiga

slave fat] It is not impro- of Edward the Confeffor.

The end of the First Book,

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S E C O N D Bo'o K

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THE ARĠU ME N T.

The consultation begun, Satan debates whether ano

ther battel be to be hazarded for the recovery of Heaven: some advise it, others dissuade: A third proposal is preferr'd, mention'd 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 honor'd 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 open'd, 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 fight of this new world which he fought.

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