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SATAN, persisting in the temptation of our Lord, shows him Imperial Rome in its greatest splendour, as a power which he probably would prefer before that of the Parthians; and tells him that he might with ease expel 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, expresses his contempt of grandeur and worldly power: notices the luxury, vanity, and profligacy of the Romans, declaring how 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. Satan, 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 and 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 damned." Satan, abashed, attempts to justify himself: he then assumes a new ground of temptation: and, proposing to Jesus the intellectual gratifications of wisdom and knowledge, points out to him the celebrated seat of ancient learning, Athens, and her schools: accompanying the view with a highly finished panegyric on the Grecian musicians, poets, orators, and philosophers. Jesus replies, by showing the vanity of their boasted philosophy and prefers to the music, poetry, eloquence, and didactic policy of the Greeks, those of the inspired Hebrew writers. Satan, irritated at the failure of all his attempts, upbraids the indiscretion of our Saviour in rejecting his offers; and having, in ridicule of his expected kingdom, foretold our Lord's future sufferings, carries him back into the wilderness, and leaves him there. Night comes on: Satan raises a violent tempest, and attempts further, but in vain, to alarm Jesus with frightful dreams, and threatening spectres. A calm and beautiful morning succeeds to the horrors of the night. Satan again presents himself, and, noticing the storm of the preceding night as pointed chiefly at our Lord, once more insults him with an account of the sufferings which he was certainly to undergo. This only draws from our Lord a brief rebuke. Satan, now at the height of his desperation, confesses that he

had frequently watched Jesus from his birth, in order to discover if he was the true Messiah; and, collecting from what passed at the river Jordan that he most probably was so, he had from that time more assiduously followed him, in hopes of gaining some advantage over him, which would prove him to be not the Divine Person destined to be his "fatal enemy." In this he acknowledges that he has hitherto completely failed; but still determines to make one more trial of him. Accordingly, he conveys him to the temple at Jerusalem; and, placing him on a pointed eminence, requires him to prove his divinity either by standing there, or casting himself down with safety. Our Lord reproves the Tempter, and at the same time manifests his own divinity by standing on the dangerous point. Satan, amazed and terrified, instantly falls; and repairs to his infernal compeers to relate his bad success. Angels meanwhile convey our Lord to a beautiful valley, minister to him a repast of celestial food, and celebrate his victory in a triumphant hymn.

PERPLEXED and troubled at his bad success

The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,--
Discovered in his fraud, -thrown from his hope
So oft,—and the persuasive rhetoric

That sleeked his tongue, and won so much on Eve,
So little here,-nay, lost: but Eve was Eve;
This, far his over-match, who, self-deceived
And rash, beforehand had no better weighed
The strength he was to cope with, or his own:
But as a man, who had been matchless held
In cunning, overreached where least he thought,
To salve his credit, and for very spite,
Still will be tempting him who foils him still,
And never cease, though to his shame the more;
Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time,

About the wine-press where sweet must is poured,
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;
Or surging waves against a solid rock,
Though all to shivers dashed, the assault renew,-
Vain battery!--and in froth or bubbles end;-
So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse

Met ever, and to shameful silence brought,
Yet gives not o'er, though desperate of success,
And his vain importunity pursues.

He brought our Saviour to the western side
Of that high mountain, whence he might behold
Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide,



Washed by the southern sea; and, on the north,

To equal length backed with a ridge of hills,

That screened the fruits of the earth, and seats of men,


From cold Septentrion blasts; thence in the midst

Divided by a river, of whose banks

On each side an imperial city stood,
With towers and temples proudly elevate
On seven small hills, with palaces adorned,
Porches, and theatres, baths, aqueducts,
Statues, and trophies, and triumphal arcs,
Gardens, and groves,-presented to his eyes,
Above the height of mountains interposed :-
By what strange parallax, or optic skill
Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass
Of telescope, were curious to inquire.—
And now the Tempter thus his silence broke:

"The city, which thou seest, no other deem

"Than great and glorious Rome, queen of the Earth, "So far renowned, and with the spoils enriched

"Of nations: there the Capitol thou seest,

"Above the rest lifting his stately head
"On the Tarpeian rock,-her citadel
"Impregnable; and there Mount Palatine,
"The imperial palace, compass huge, and high
"The structure, skill of noblest architects,
"With gilded battlements conspicuous far,
"Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires:
Many a fair edifice besides, more like
"Houses of Gods, (so well I have disposed



My airy microscope,) thou mayst behold, "Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs, "Carved work, the hand of famed artificers,



"In cedar, marble, ivory, or gǝld.


"Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see

"What conflux issuing forth, or entering in;


Prætors, Proconsuls, to their provinces

"Hasting, or on return, in robes of state;

"Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power,


Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wings: "Or embassies from regions far remote,

"In various habits, on the Appian road,

"Or on the Emilian; some from farthest south,


Syene, and, where the shadow both way falls,
Meroë, Nilotic isle; and, more to west,


"The realm of Bocchus to the Black-moor sea;

"From the Asian kings, and Parthian among these ;"From India and the golden Chersonese,

"And utmost Indian isle Taprobane,

"Dusk faces with white silken turbans wreathed;"From Gallia, Gades, and the British west;

"Germans, and Scythians, and Sarmatians, north Beyond Danubius to the Tauric pool.


"All nations now to Rome obedience pay;

"To Rome's great emperor, whose wide domain,
"In ample territory, wealth, and power,
"Civility of manners, arts, and arms,

"And long renown, thou justly mayst prefer
"Before the Parthian; these two thrones except,


"The rest are barbarous, and scarce worth the sight,
"Shared among petty kings too far removed:
"These having shown thee, I have shown thee all
"The kingdoms of the world, and all their glory.
"This emperor hath no son, and now is old,—
"Old and lascivious, and from Rome retired
"To Capreæ, an island small, but strong,

"On the Campanian shore, with purpose there
"His horrid lusts in private to enjoy,


Committing to a wicked favourite

"All public cares, and yet of him suspicious,—
"Hated of all, and hating. With what ease,
"Endued with regal virtues as thou art,

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Mightst thou expel this monster from his throne,
"Now made a sty; and, in his place ascending,
"A victor people free from servile yoke!

"And with my help thou mayst; to me the power
"Is given, and by that right I give it thee.
"Aim therefore at no less than all the world;
"Aim at the highest: without the highest attained,
"Will be for thee no sitting, or not long,



"On David's throne,-be prophesied what will."
To whom the Son of God, unmoved, replied:
"Nor doth this grandeur and majestic show
"Of luxury, though called magnificence,
"More than of arms before, allure mine eye,

"Much less my mind; though thou shouldst add to tell
"Their sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous feasts

"On citron tables or Atlantic stone,

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(For I have also heard, perhaps have read);

"Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne,


Chios, and Crete, and how they quaff in gold, 66 Crystal, and myrrhine cups, embossed with gems "And studs of pearl;-to me shouldst tell, who thirst "And hunger still. Then embassies thou showst "From nations far and nigh: what honour that, "But tedious waste of time, to sit and hear

"So many hollow compliments and lies,


Outlandish flatteries? Then proceedst to talk "Of the emperor, how easily subdued,

"How gloriously! I shall, thou sayst, expel "A brutish monster:- what if I withal


Expel a devil who first made him such?

"Let his tormentor, Conscience, find him out; "For him I was not sent, nor yet to free

"That people, victor once, now vile and base;



Deservedly made vassal; who, once just,

Frugal, and mild, and temperate, conquered well, "But govern ill the nations under yoke,

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Peeling their provinces, exhausted all

By lust and rapine; first ambitious grown "Of triumph,-that insulting vanity;

"Then cruel, by their sports to blood inured
"Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts exposed;
"Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still,
"And from the daily scene effeminate.

"What wise and valiant man would seek to free

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These, thus degenerate, by themselves enslaved? "Or could of inward slaves make outward free? "Know, therefore, when my season comes to sit "On David's throne, it shall be like a tree

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