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In woman, than to ftudy houthold good,
And good works in her husband to promote.
Yet not fo ftrictly hath our Lord impos'd
Labor, as to debar us when we need
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,
Food of the mind, or this fweet intercourfe

Of looks and fimiles, for fmiles from reafon flow,
To brute deny'd, and are of love the food,

Love not the lowest end of human life.

For not to irksome toil, but to delight

He made us, and delight to reafon join'd.

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Thefe paths and bow'rs doubt not but our joint hands
Will keep from wildernefs with eafe, as wide
As we need walk, till younger hands ere long
Affift us: but if much converfe perhaps

Thee fatiate, to short abfence I could yield:
For folitude fometimes is beft fociety,

And fhort retirement urges fweet return.
But other doubt poffeffes me, left harm
Befall thee fever'd from me; for thou know'ft
What hath been warn'd us, what malicious foe
Envying our happiness, and of his own
Defpairing, feeks to work us woe and fhame
By fly affault; and fomewhere nigh at hand
Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
His with and beft advantage, us afunder,
Hopeless to circumvent us join'd, where each
To other fpeedy aid might lend at need;
Whether his first defign be to withdraw
Our feälty from God, or to disturb

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Conjugal

Conjugal love, than which perhaps no bliss
Enjoy'd by us excites his envy more;

Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful fide

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That gave thee be'ing, still shades thee and protects.
The wife, where danger or dishonor lurks,
Safeft and feemlieft by her husband stays,

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Who guards her, or with her the worst indures.

To whom the virgin majefty of Eve,

As one who loves, and fome unkindness meets,
With feet auftere compofure thus reply'd.

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Offspring of Heav'n and Earth, and all Earth's Lord,

That fuch an enemy we have, who seeks
Our ruin, both by thee inform'd I learn,
And from the parting Angel over-heard,
As in a fhady nook I ftood behind,

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Just then return'd at fhut of evening flowers.

But that thou shouldst my firmness therefore doubt

To God or thee, because we have a foe

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May tempt it, I expected not to hear.

His violence thou fear'ft not, being fuch

As we, not capable of death or pain,

Can either not receive, or can repel.

His fraud is then thy fear, which plain infers

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Thy equal fear that my firm faith and love

Can by his fraud be fhaken or feduc'd;

Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy breast, Adam, mis-thought of her to thee fo dear?

To whom with healing words Adam reply'd.

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Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve,
For fuch thou art, from fin and blame entire:

Not

Not diffident of thee do I diffuade

Thy abfence from my fight, but to avoid

Th' attempt itself, intended by our foe.

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For he who tempts, though' in vain, at least afperfes
The tempted with dishonor foul, fuppos'd
Not incorruptible of faith, not proof

Against temptation: thou thyfelf with fcorn
And anger wouldft refent the offer'd wrong,
Though ineffectual found: mifdeem not then,
If fuch affront I labor to avert

From thee alone, which on us both at once
The enemy, though bold, will hardly dare,
Or daring, first on me th' affault shall light.
Nor thou his malice and falfe guile contemn;
Subtle he needs muft be, who could feduce
Angels, nor think fuperfluous others aid.
I from the influence of thy looks receive
Accefs in every virtue, in thy fight

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More wife, more watchful, ftronger, if need were

Of outward strength; while fhame, thou looking on, Shame to be overcome or over-reach'd

Would utmost vigor raife, and rais'd unite.

Why shouldft not thou like fenfe within thee feel 315

When I am prefent, and thy trial choose

With me, beft witnefs of thy virtue try'd?

So fpake domeftic Adam in his care

And matrimonial love; but Eve, who thought

Lefs attribúted to her faith fincere,

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Thus her reply with accent fweet renew'd.

If this be our condition, thus to dwell

In narrow circuit ftraiten'd by a foe,
Subtle or violent, we not indued
Single with like defense, wherever met,
How are we happy, ftill in fear of harm?
But harm precedes not fin: only our foe
Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem
Of our integrity: his foul efteem

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Sticks no difhonor on our front, but turns

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Foul on himself; then wherefore fhunn'd or fear'd

By us? who rather double honor gain

From his furmife prov'd falfe, find peace within,

Favor from Heav'n, our witnefs from th' event.

And what is faith, love, virtue unaffay'd

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Alone, without exterior help fuftain'd ?
Let us not then suspect our happy state
Left fo imperfect by the Maker wife,
As not fecure to fingle or combin'd.
Frail is our happiness, if this be fo,
And Eden were no Eden thus expos'd.

To whom thus Adam fervently reply'd.

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O Woman, beft are all things as the will
Of God ordain'd them; his creating hand
Nothing imperfect or deficient left

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Of all that he created, much lefs Man,

Or ought that might his happy ftate fecure,
Secure from outward force; within himself
The danger lies, yet lies within his power :
Against his will he can receive no harm.
But God left free the will, for what obeys
Reason, is free, and reafon he made right,

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But

But bid her well be ware, and still erect,
Left by fome fair appearing good furpris'd
She dictate falfe, and misinform the will

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To do what God exprefly hath forbid.

Not then mistrust, but tender love injoins,

That I fhould mind thee oft, and mind thou me.

Firm we fubfift, yet poffible to swerve,

Since reafon not impoffibly may meet

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Some fpecious object by the foe fuborn'd,

And fall into deception unaware,

Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warn'd.

Seek not temptation then, which to avoid

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Were better, and most likely if from me
Thou fever not: trial will come unfought.
Wouldst thou approve thy conftancy, approve
First thy obedience; th' other who can know,
Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?
But if thou think trial unfought may find

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Us both fecurer than thus warn'd thou feem'ft,

Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more;
Go in thy native innocence, rely

On what thou haft of virtue, fummon all,

For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine. So fpake the patriarch of mankind; but Eve Perfifted, yet fubmifs, though laft, reply'd.

With thy permiffion then, and thus forewarn'd Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words Touch'd only, that our trial, when leaft fought, 380 May find us both perhaps far less prepar'd,

The willinger I go, nor much expect

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A foe

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