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O, how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire
He soon discerns; and welt'ring by his side
One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
Beelzebub. To whom th' arch-enemy,—

And thence in heav'n call'd Satan,—with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began:

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"If thou be'st he,—but 0, how fall'n! how chang'd
From him, who, in the happy realms of light,

"Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
"Myriads though bright!--if he, whom mutual league,
"United thoughts and counsels, equal hope

"And hazard in the glorious enterprise,




Join'd with me once,4 now misery hath join'd

In equal ruin; into what pit, thou seest,

"From what height fall'n! so much the stronger prov'd
"He with his thunder: 5 and till then who knew

"Tartarus ipse

Bis patet In praceps tantum, lenditque sub umbras,
Quantum ad ætnereum cœli suspectus Olympum."

Whereas Milton trebles it. Altogether bis conceptions of hell are immeasurably greater than theirs. The Ταρταρον ηερόεντα, the σιδερεαι τε πύλαι, και χαλκεον ουδος, and the "lugentes campi;" "horrisono stridentes cardine portæ," are insignificant, compared with his description.—(N.)

l Some say Beelzebub signifies "the god of flies." He was worshipped at Ecron, a city of the Philistines, (2 Kings i. 2,) and was believed to guard the people from the flies in thai hot district. Apollo, in the Iliad, is called Smintheus, or the god of mice, on similar grounds. Beelzebub is called, in Malt. xii. 24, "the prince of devils;" hence he is appropriately represented by Milton as the "nearest mate" of Satan. "Satan" means "enemy" in Hebrew,

s C|audian, Rapt. Proserp. ii. 328:—

"Insolill rumpunt tenebrosa silentla canlus.'

Stat, Theb. iv. 426: —

Vacuusque silenlia serrat horror."

> Isa. xiv. 12: "How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morn!" En. ii. 274:—

"Hei mihi! qualis crat! quantum mutatus ab illo 1

Qui reuiit spoliis indulus Acblllls."

The commentators say that, as "equal ruin" cannot answer to "glorious enterprise," which, in the construction, follows "hazard," (for Milton placed a comma after enterprise,) the reading should be "and (not in) equal ruin." The following passage is quoted as parallel, Ov. Metam. i. 351.—

"0 soror, 0 conjux, o fœmina sola superstcs,

Quam commune mihi genus, et patruelis origo,
Deinde torus junxit, nunc ipsa pericula jungunt."

I see no necessity for disturbing tbe text. It is much more likely that Milton meant to make "ruin" to answer to "enterprise," and both lo depend on "joined," by his using "in" in the latter clause; than that his punctuation was correct, but that his language was classically absurd. Nothing is more common in Milton, than to change the order of the words in the several clauses of a sentence, even though these clauses may refer lo one leading word. The question is, which is the more likely event—that, in his blindness, bad punctuation was introduced, or, that he wrote objectionable English?

The commentators think that Satan here exhibits his haired and scorn, by disdaining


"The force of those dire arms? i

Yet not for those,

"Nor what the potent victor in his rage

"Can else inflict, do I repent, or change,

"Though chang'd in outward lustre, that flx'd mind,.
"And high disdain, from sense of injur'd merit,
"That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend;
"And to the fierce contention brought along
"Innumerable force of spirits arm'd,

"That durst dislike his reign; and, me preferring,
"His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos'd
"In dubious battle on the plains of heav'p,

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"And shook his throne. What though the field be |pst?
All is not lost; th' unconquerable will,
"And study of revenge, immortal hate,
"And courage never to submit or yield,
"And what is else not to be overcome,2-
"That glory never shall his wrath, or might,
"Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
"With suppliant knee, and deify his power,

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Who, from the terror of this arm, so late
"Doubted his empire! 3 That were low indeed!
"That were an ignominy, and shame beneath
"This downfall! since, by Fate, the strength of gods
"And this empyreal substance, cannot fail;


"Since, through experience of this great event,—
"In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd,—
"We may, with more successful hope, resolve
"To wage by force or guile eternal war,

to use the name of (be Almighty, though he must acknowledge his superiority. I rather think the point of the line consists, not in omilling the name of God, but in pointing out the cause of his accidental superiority, bis thunder; so 258:—"Whom thunder hath made greater."

i The unbending and proud spirit of Prometheus may be recognised in this passage. Esch. Prom. Vinct. 891.

Ριπτέσθω μεν αιθαλουσα φλόξ,

Λευκοπτέρω δε νιφάδι και βροντήμασι
Γνάμψει γαρ ουδεν των δε με. (Th.)

21. e. whatever else there is, besides steadfast hale, unyielding and unconquered will, which cannot be overcome. These, he says, are not overcome, and cannot be. These are bis glory, and that glory can never be extorted from him. "Si quid aliud quod vinci nequit." In the first editions this line was printed interrogatively.—(P.N.)

I So Escb. Prom. Vinct. 1002.

Εισελθετώ σε μηποθ', ως εγω Διός
Γνωμην φοβηθεις θηλύνους γενήσομαι,
Και λιπαρήσω τον μέγα στυγουμενον
Γυναικομιμοις υπτιασματι χερών,

Λυσαι με δέσμων των δε του παντός δέω.

Drawn from the Empyreum, the seat of pure lire. Psalm civ. 4: "He maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire."


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"Who now triumphs, and in the excess of joy
"Sole reigning holds the tyranny ' of Heaven."
So spake th' apostate angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair :
And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer :

"0 Prince! 0 chief of many throned Powers!
"That led the embattled seraphim to war
"Under thy conduct; and, in dreadful deeds
"Fearless, endanger'd heav'n's perpetual King, 3
"And put to proof his high supremacy,



"Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate;
"Too well I see, and rue the dire event,
"That with sad overthrow and foul defeat
"Hath lost us heaven; and all this mighty host


In horrible destruction laid thus low,

"As far as gods and heav'nly essences

"Can perish; for the mind and spirit remains
"Invincible, and vigour soon returns,

"Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
"Here swallow'd up in endless misery.

"But what if He our Conqueror (whom I now

"Of force believe almighty, since no less

"Than such could have o'erpower'd such force as ours)

1 Tupavvis, generally the act of tyrannizing, here means absolute power. Milton, when speaking in his own person, 42, called it the monarchy of God; but Satan characteristically uses a harsher name.—(Th.)

Callender, an excellent critic, while quoting the following parallel passages, pronounces (I think correctly) Milton's verse superior, in the brevity and energy of expression, and justness of thought, arising from the nature of the foregoing speech, and Satan's present misery. Mn. i. 212:—

Talia voce refert, curisque Ingentibus æger

Spem vultu gimulat,—premit altum corde dolorem."

Theocril. Idyl. i. 95:

& Κύπρις γελαρισα

Λαθρα μεν γελαρισα, βαρυν δ' ανά θυμον έχουσα,

Homer has applied a similar description to Juno:

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He does not call him eternal king, for, if he were so, his throne could not be endangered; but perpetual king, i. e. one reigning only from time immemorial, without interruption. (See v. 637.) Ovid. Met. i. 4:


——“ prlmaquc ab orlgine mundt

Ad mea perpeluum deducile tempora carmen."—(N.)

Like a bright light. So, metaphorically, Æn. iv. 322 :—

--"To propter eundem

Extinctus pudor, et, qua sola sldera adiham,
Fama prior."—(T.)

"Extinct" here is, be extinct; so, after, "swallowed" means, be swallowed up. I.e. by force, or from necessity. So ßi« is used in Greek.




"Have left us this our spirit and strength entire,
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
"That we may so suffice his vengeful ire;
"Or do him mightier service, as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be
"Here in the heart of hell to work in fire,
"Or do his errands in the gloomy deep?l
"What can it then avail, though yet we feel
"Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being,
"To undergo eternal punishment?



Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend replied:
Fall'n Cherub! 3 to be weak is miserable,


Doing, or suff'ring; but of this be sure,
"To do aught good never will be our task,
"But ever to do ill our sole delight,
"As being the contrary to His high will,
"Whom we resist. If then his providence
"Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
"Our labour must be to pervert that end,
"And out of good still to find means of evil;
"Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps
"Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
"His inmost counsels from their destin'd aim.
"But seel the angry Victor hath recall'd

"His ministers of vengeance and pursuit


"Back to the gates of heav'n: the sulph'rous hail,
"Shot after us in storm, o'erblown hath laid
"The fiery surge,6 that from the precipice

"Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling; and the thunder,

1 Prom. Vinct. 219: Ταρταρου μελαμβαθης κευθμών.

So, txex Tt/mejTv, Homer. There is a peculiar propriety in the words here, as (he last words of Beelzebub startled Salan.—(N.)

3 In the spirit of what he himself said, lie, he replies to what Beelzebub said, 146, etc. He says it is an advantage to have our strength entire; for whether we are to act or suffer, it is a miserable thing to be weak. So ii. 199: "To suffer, as to do, our strength is equal." "Doing or suffering," is here the absolute case.—(P.)

The account by Chaos, ii. 996, corresponds with this. But Bentley shows that these are contradicted by Raphael's account, vi. 860, when it is said that Messiah pursued them only to the bounds of heaven, and then returned; and 882, that the saints stood witnesses. Newton well replies, that from the confusion of Satan, after he woke from his trance, when he lay "confounded," 54, and of Chaos, who was equally "confounded," vi. 871, they spoke from their own disturbed and frightened imagination. And as, vi. 830, the sound of Messiah's chariot is compared to the sound of "a numerous host," they may well fancy that a host was engaged in the pursuit. Besides, as the rebellion was raised on account of the preference shown to Messiah, Satan's pride might have induced him to ascribe his defeat rather to the whole host of heaven than to him alone.—(N.P.T.) 5 The meaning of this passage is plain. The surge bad been laid in consequence of the blowing over, or cessation, of the hail. But I think the construction is very unusual in English. When the hail blew over, or ceased, it did not exist, and therefore could not, strictly speaking, be said to have laid in the surge. However, there are examples of such a mode of expression in the classics. So En. r.:—"Placidi straverunt æquora venti."

"Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage,
"Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
"To bellow through the vast and boundless deep :
"Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn,
"Or satiate fury, yield it from our foe.

"Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,
"The seat of desolation, void of light,

"Save what the glimm'ring of these livid flames
"Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
"From off the tossing of these fiery waves;

"There rest, if any rest can harbour there;


And, reassembling our afflicted pow'rs,

"Consult how we may henceforth most offend "Our enemy—our own loss how repair— "How overcome this djre calamity— "What re-enforcement we may gain from hope "If not —what resolution from despair." Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, With head uplift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blaz'd: his other parts besides, Prone on the flood,7 extended long and large, Lay floating many a rood; in bulk as huge As whom the fables name of monstrous size, 198 Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove,

i "His" and "bellow" show a peculiar beauty, as they exhibit the personification of the thunder as a terrible monster.

» Satiated. So after, 193, "uplift," for uplifted.

3 So Shakspeare, Rich. II. act v. sc. l.:—

"Here let us rest, if this rebellions earth
Have any resting."—(Bo.)

4"Afflicted" is generally used by Milton in the sense of afllictus, routed, dashed down, broken.—(R.)

5 Bentley says "if not" makes the construction ungrammalical, and proposes "if none." But it is a common classical mode of phrase, like tin minut, si de un, and is quite admissible here. The sentiment here is similarly expressed in Seneca, Med. 163, "Qui nihil potest sperare, nihil desperet."

6 Milton seems to have had the following passages in view the description of the old dragon, Fairy Queen, I. xi. 14.

"His blazing eyes, like two bright shining shields,
Did burn with wraih, and sparkled living lire."

So Virgil, speaking of the serpents, Æn. ii. 206 :—

"Pectora quorum inter fluctus arrecta, jnbæque

Sanguineæ exsuperant undas; pars cætera pontum
Pone legil."-(T. «.)

1 The number of monosyllables, and the slow and encumbered motion of the feet in this line, as in lines 202, 209, must strike the reader as beautifully expressive of the subject—a vast, prostrate body. So Spenser, Fairy Queen, I. ii. 8. describes the old dragon, "that with his largeness mcasurelh much land." Virgil, En. vi. 596, describes the giant as extending over nine acres, "Per tola novcm cui jugera corpus porrigilur." But the indefinite description which Milton gives is far better, in my opinion, than the precise specification of dimensions in Virgil, as the reader's imagination is not confined to any particular measure.

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