Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
From Areopagitica

John Milton (1608–1674)
 
GOOD 1 and evill we know in the field of this World grow up together almost inseparably; and the knowledge of good is so involv’d and interwoven with the knowledge of evill, and in so many cunning resemblances hardly to be discern’d, that those confused seeds which were impos’d on Psyche as an incessant labour to cull out and sort asunder were not more intermixt. It was from out the rinde of one apple tasted, that the knowledge of good and evill as two twins cleaving together leapt forth into the World. And perhaps this is that doom which Adam fell into of knowing good and evill, that is to say of knowing good by evill. As therefore the state of man now is, what wisdom can there be to choose, what continence to forbear, without the knowledge of evill? He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true warfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloister’d virtue, unexercis’d and unbreath’d, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.  1
 
Note 1. Milton. From ‘Areopagitica’. [back]
 
 
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