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later days, where the Almighty had already formed the first of a new-born race of beings, akin in beauty of form to the Angels, but of inferior intelligence, with whom doubtless He intended to repeople the Northern palaces of Heaven left vacant by the fall of himself and his once princely retainers. To effect the ruin of this earth-born Man, by whatever means (so urges the Fiend), would foil the plans of the Deity and ensure substantial revenge.

Having thus disclosed his scheme, and having outlined his own ideal demon-course for the future life of his compeers, Satan suggests that they proceed to discuss the best plan for the successful issue of the proposed campaign.

As the inception of the idea of revenge, and the determination of the most vulnerable point of attack, are due to the arch-intelligence and brilliant brain of Satan, and to him alone, it is not surprising that in the peroration of his speech, when urging the importance of a well-defined plan of attack, he should give, (as he does), a hint as to his own fully matured views on the matter, and endeavour, in every possible way, to attain the object that he has in view. He accordingly appeals to the false fidelity and false loyalty of his followers in the past, and to his own lavish munificence; and declares that in no way can they repay his former regal generosity, now that he

is fetter-bound in Hell, than by efficient aid in carrying out his cherished scheme and effecting the eternal ruin of Man. Then, as though to inflame their drooping ambition, he holds forth the dazzling promise, sealed by his sovereign oath, that the daring one who should first proclaim the Fall of Man, seduced by devil-craft, should be rewarded with the gift of the second throne in Hell's dominion and be his (Satan's) sole Vicegerent.

At this point in the manuscript there are three leaves wanting, which doubtless contained the account of the deliberations of the Council in Hell. Still, although the original lines in this part of the poem are lost to us, yet we can easily and surely surmise, from the sequel, what the result of these deliberations, (according to Cædmon), must have been.

The continuation of the narrative shows that the scheme proposed by Satan met with the approval of the assembled fiends, and that one more crafty and more daring than his fellows was chosen to undertake the perilous adventure.

We next find the apostate Angel, warrior-armed for the desperate enterprise, with every clasp fast and secure. This done, he urges his way, by strength of wing and limb, upwards to Hell's Gates. Passing this barrier, he speeds, like a spiral column, onwards

and upwards through the dark desolations of Chaos, till at length he descries far off the faint, soft light of the Starry Universe of which he is in search ; and, entering at the zenith, or open point nearest the Empyrean, and passing downwards through the encircling Spheres, alights at length on the convex of Man's earthly Paradise.

With the opening of the fourth section of the poem, Satan's dark emissary, having reached the goal of his arduous journey, searches amid the luxuriant foliage of the Garden, for the newly Godcreated pair; and finally discovers them, reclining beneath the shade of two wide-spreading trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Death. With devil. craft he takes the body of a worm ; entwines himself around the Tree of Death; and with the luring fruit of the tree in hand, addresses his first sin-fraught word to Adam.

It is, at this point, that the clever subtlety or “devil-craft," as the poet calls it, of Hell's delegate first appears. He does not approach the Man as his Maker's foe, but as an angelic messenger from Heaven, charged with a commission from the Highest to bid Adam eat of the fruit of the Tree of Death ; and, this behest fulfilled, to return to the Empyrean bearing the prayers of God's favoured child for any boon, whatsoever, that he might desire.

In spite, however, of the apparent naturalness of the visit of an angel-ambassador, and the speciousness of his commission, Adam declines to recognise his pretentions; and with scant courtesy tells him to be gone. Thus foiled in his first attempt, the Fiend turns, in angry mood, towards Eve; but concealing his wrath under a cloak of official indignation and sympathy with humanity, expresses his fear lest Adam's disloyalty to his sovereign King may entail God's righteous wrath, and bring upon them both untold ills. With words of flattery, and specious promises of increased mind-power, the Fiend inflames the woman's weaker intellect, until at last, led on by his crafty lies, she partakes of the deadly fruit. No sooner has she yielded to the Fiend's subtle influence and specious arguments, than the pledge which he had given her of celestial light is apparently fulfilled.

A wondrous change comes over her.

Her sight is able now to pierce even through the starry Spheres, surrounding the Earth, and to see and hear the worship of Cherubim and Seraphim within the concave of the Empyrean.

While under the spell of this illusion, the Fiend urges her to persuade her lord and spouse to retract the graceless and disloyal words that he had uttered and do his Sovereign's bidding. Thus urged, and thinking only of their mutual weal, she approaches

Adam, bearing in her hand the luscious fruit, and implores him to taste. To add to the force of her words, she assures him, that now she is convinced that the Messenger is, in very deed, God's Angel, for he had fulfilled his pledge to her of greater Light and wider range of Vision, and that no longer did she doubt that the fruit was sent by God with His command that they should eat.

At length, overborne by the Woman's pleading, Adam yields,

and all his heart Went forth to do her will.

His errand accomplished, the Fiend indulges in merriment at the success of his mission and, with a stroke of sarcasm, which none but a demon could have conceived, promises to take the thanks of them both to his liege lord.

This section is brought to a close with a soliloquy, addressed by the Fiend to his lord and Master, Satan, and his return to Hell, to report the successful termination of his fiendish adventure.

In the next section the poet describes the events immediately subsequent to the Fall. No sooner has the Fiend left the Man and the Wife to their ruined lives, than the subtle spell, which his devilcraft had cast over the mind of the Woman, is

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