Книга Paradise Regained. Содержание - THE THIRD BOOK

And for thy reason why they should be sought-

To gain a sceptre, oftest better missed."


SO spake the Son of God; and Satan stood

A while as mute, confounded what to say,

What to reply, confuted and convinced

Of his weak arguing and fallacious drift;

At length, collecting all his serpent wiles,

With soothing words renewed, him thus accosts:-

"I see thou know'st what is of use to know,

What best to say canst say, to do canst do;

Thy actions to thy words accord; thy words

To thy large heart give utterance due; thy heart

Contains of good, wise, just, the perfet shape.

Should kings and nations from thy mouth consult,

Thy counsel would be as the oracle

Urim and Thummim, those oraculous gems

On Aaron's breast, or tongue of Seers old

Infallible; or, wert thou sought to deeds

That might require the array of war, thy skill

Of conduct would be such that all the world

Could not sustain thy prowess, or subsist

In battle, though against thy few in arms.

These godlike virtues wherefore dost thou hide?

Affecting private life, or more obscure

In savage wilderness, wherefore deprive

All Earth her wonder at thy acts, thyself

The fame and glory-glory, the reward

That sole excites to high attempts the flame

Of most erected spirits, most tempered pure

AEthereal, who all pleasures else despise,

All treasures and all gain esteem as dross,

And dignities and powers, all but the highest?

Thy years are ripe, and over-ripe. The son

Of Macedonian Philip had ere these

Won Asia, and the throne of Cyrus held

At his dispose; young Scipio had brought down

The Carthaginian pride; young Pompey quelled

The Pontic king, and in triumph had rode.

Yet years, and to ripe years judgment mature,

Quench not the thirst of glory, but augment.

Great Julius, whom now all the world admires,

The more he grew in years, the more inflamed

With glory, wept that he had lived so long

Ingloroious. But thou yet art not too late."

To whom our Saviour calmly thus replied:-

"Thou neither dost persuade me to seek wealth

For empire's sake, nor empire to affect

For glory's sake, by all thy argument.

For what is glory but the blaze of fame,

The people's praise, if always praise unmixed?

And what the people but a herd confused,

A miscellaneous rabble, who extol

Things vulgar, and, well weighed, scarce worth the praise?

They praise and they admire they know not what,

And know not whom, but as one leads the other;

And what delight to be by such extolled,

To live upon their tongues, and be their talk?

Of whom to be dispraised were no small praise-

His lot who dares be singularly good.

The intelligent among them and the wise

Are few, and glory scarce of few is raised.

This is true glory and renown-when God,

Looking on the Earth, with approbation marks

The just man, and divulges him through Heaven

To all his Angels, who with true applause

Recount his praises. Thus he did to Job,

When, to extend his fame through Heaven and Earth,

As thou to thy reproach may'st well remember,

He asked thee, 'Hast thou seen my servant Job?'

Famous he was in Heaven; on Earth less known,

Where glory is false glory, attributed

To things not glorious, men not worthy of fame.

They err who count it glorious to subdue

By conquest far and wide, to overrun

Large countries, and in field great battles win,

Great cities by assault. What do these worthies

But rob and spoil, burn, slaughter, and enslave

Peaceable nations, neighbouring or remote,

Made captive, yet deserving freedom more

Than those their conquerors, who leave behind

Nothing but ruin wheresoe'er they rove,

And all the flourishing works of peace destroy;

Then swell with pride, and must be titled Gods,

Great benefactors of mankind, Deliverers,

Worshipped with temple, priest, and sacrifice?

One is the son of Jove, of Mars the other;

Till conqueror Death discover them scarce men,

Rowling in brutish vices, and deformed,

Violent or shameful death their due reward.

But, if there be in glory aught of good;

It may be means far different be attained,

Without ambition, war, or violence-

By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminent,

By patience, temperance. I mention still

Him whom thy wrongs, with saintly patience borne,

Made famous in a land and times obscure;

Who names not now with honour patient Job?

Poor Socrates, (who next more memorable?)

By what he taught and suffered for so doing,

For truth's sake suffering death unjust, lives now

Equal in fame to proudest conquerors.

Yet, if for fame and glory aught be done,

Aught suffered-if young African for fame

His wasted country freed from Punic rage-

The deed becomes unpraised, the man at least,

And loses, though but verbal, his reward.

Shall I seek glory, then, as vain men seek,

Oft not deserved? I seek not mine, but His

Who sent me, and thereby witness whence I am."

To whom the Tempter, murmuring, thus replied:-

"Think not so slight of glory, therein least

Resembling thy great Father. He seeks glory,

And for his glory all things made, all things

Orders and governs; nor content in Heaven,

By all his Angels glorified, requires

Glory from men, from all men, good or bad,

Wise or unwise, no difference, no exemption.

Above all sacrifice, or hallowed gift,

Glory he requires, and glory he receives,

Promiscuous from all nations, Jew, or Greek,

Or Barbarous, nor exception hath declared;

From us, his foes pronounced, glory he exacts."

To whom our Saviour fervently replied:

"And reason; since his Word all things produced,

Though chiefly not for glory as prime end,

But to shew forth his goodness, and impart

His good communicable to every soul

Freely; of whom what could He less expect

Than glory and benediction-that is, thanks-

The slightest, easiest, readiest recompense

From them who could return him nothing else,

And, not returning that, would likeliest render

Contempt instead, dishonour, obloquy?

Hard recompense, unsuitable return

For so much good, so much beneficience!

But why should man seek glory, who of his own

Hath nothing, and to whom nothing belongs

But condemnation, ignominy, and shame-

Who, for so many benefits received,

Turned recreant to God, ingrate and false,

And so of all true good himself despoiled;

Yet, sacrilegious, to himself would take

That which to God alone of right belongs?

Yet so much bounty is in God, such grace,

That who advances his glory, not their own,

Them he himself to glory will advance."

So spake the Son of God; and here again

Satan had not to answer, but stood struck

With guilt of his own sin-for he himself,

Insatiable of glory, had lost all;

Yet of another plea bethought him soon:-

"Of glory, as thou wilt," said he, "so deem;

Worth or not worth the seeking, let it pass.

But to a Kingdom thou art born-ordained

To sit upon thy father David's throne,

By mother's side thy father, though thy right

Be now in powerful hands, that will not part

Easily from possession won with arms.

Judaea now and all the Promised Land,

Reduced a province under Roman yoke,

Obeys Tiberius, nor is always ruled

With temperate sway: oft have they violated

© 2012-2016 Электронная библиотека booklot.ru