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"Nothing in the poetry of the ancient world approaches the richness and beauty, still less the sublimity, of the most triumphant passages in 'Paradise Lost.' The First Book of that poem is probably the most splendid and perfect of human compositions the one, that is to say, which unites those two qualities in the highest degree; and the Fourth is as unsurpassed for grace and luxuriance as that is for magnificence of imagination.-CRAIK's Pictorial History of England.

"While yon sun shall hold his place assigned,
This ocean ebb and flow, and the round earth,
Obedient to the Almighty Mover, fill

Her silent revolutions, Milton's mind
Shall dwell with us, an influence and a power,
And this great monument, which he has built,
Endure, the lasting wonder of mankind."

SOUTHEY'S Oliver Newman.


Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against God and man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair; but at length confirms himself in evil; journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described; overleaps the bounds; sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden described; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse; thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by seducing them to transgress; then leaves them awhile to know further of their state by some other means. Meanwhile Uriel descend ing on a sunbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good angel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the Mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest; their bower described; their evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's bower, lest the evil spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers; prepares resistance; but, hindered by a sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise.



O, FOR that warning voice, which he, who saw
Th' Apocalypse, heard cry in Heaven aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be revenged on men,
"Woe to the inhabitants on earth!" that now,
While time was, our first parents had been warned
The coming of the secret foe, and 'scaped,
Haply so 'scaped his mortal snare: for now
Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down,
The tempter ere the accuser of mankind,
To wreak on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell:
Yet not rejoicing in his speed, though bold
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
Begins his dire attempt, which, nigh the birth,
Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast,

1. O, for that warning voice, &c.] "In order to raise the horror and attention of his reader, Milton introduces his relation of Satan's adventures upon earth, by wishing that the same warning voice had been uttered now at Satan's first coming, which St. John, who in a vision saw the Apocalypse or Revelation of the most remarkable events which were to befal the Christian Church to the end of the world, heard when the Dragon was put to second rout. Rev. xii. 12.: 'Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, and of the sea; for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath."". NEWTON.

5. Woe to the inhabitants of the




earth.] is a clause used objectively to the verb cry " in the second line. "The place of a noun, whether it be in the nominative, accusative, or any other case, may be supplied by any number of words which can be conceived to be united so as to denote a single real or imaginary being.". BOOTH's Principles of Eng. Comp.

6. While time was.] After the event, it was of no use to warn them: but before, it might have served them.

10. The tempter ere the accuser of mankind.]“Satan," as we already saw, means an opposer or accuser; and Milton here intimates that he was a "tempter" before he became the


And like a devilish engine back recoils
Upon himself; horror and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir
The Hell within him; for within him Hell

He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
One step, no more than from himself, can fly
By change of place: now conscience wakes despair,
That slumbered, wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be
Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his grieved look he fixes sad;
Sometimes towards Heaven and the full blazing sun,
Which now sat high in his meridian tower:
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began.

"O thou, that with surpassing glory crowned,
Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God
Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call,

17. And like a devilish engine back recoils.] Compare the following stanza from the Faerie Queene:

"As when that divelish yron engin. wrought In deepest hell, and framd by Furies skill, With windy nitre and quick sulphur fraught And ramd with bollet rownd ordaind to kill Conceiveth fyre; the heavens it doth fill With thundring noyse, and all the ayre doth choke

That none can breath, nor see, nor heare at will,

Through smouldry cloud of duskish stincking smoke ;

That th' only breath him daunts, who hath escapt the stroke."-SPENSER.

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20. For within him Hell he brings, fc.] We have here an instance of the figure of speech known as hyperbole. Hyperbole means literally an overcasting; in its common sense, a going beyond the truth in describing an object, not by the introduction of qualities which do not belong to it, but by the exaggeration of those which do. For example, it may be hyperbolical to say that the complexion of a fair woman is whiter than snow, but to say so of a brown woman is either irony or simple falsehood."-National Cyclopædia. In line 22. there is a grammatical error 66 no more ought to


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any more." 25. Of what was, what is, and

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what must be.] Memory may be pro-
perly spoken of, referring to
was," but not to "what is or what
must be." "Consciousness" relates to
"what is," and we have no distinct
name for the faculty or faculties that
enable us to apprehend the future. We
have here perhaps an instance of the
figure known by rhetoricians under the
name of zeugma.

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35. To thee I call, but with no friendly voice.] The phrase "with no friendly voice" means "with the most open and undisguised hostility." The figure is treated of by the ancient rhetoricians under the name of litotes. It expresses an affirmative by the negative of the contrary. It is therefore a species of irony, and more is meant by it than meets the ear. When St. Paul tells us that he was "a citizen of no mean city, he in effect says, that he was a citizen of an illustrious city." Livy's description of Polybius as auctor haudquaquam spernendus," is a



But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,

That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down
Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless King:
Ah! wherefore? he deserved no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.

celebrated instance of the figure. It was a very favourite mode of speaking with Milton, and is so with Carlyle at the present day. Toland, one of the earliest biographers of Milton, has made use of the same figure on an occasion not likely to be forgotten by those who venerate the memory of "the blind old schoolmaster." Milton's funeral was attended, he says, "by all the learned author's great friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the vulgar."

36. And add thy name.] i. e. that there may be no mistake about the matter.

37. How I hate thy beams.] "To hate is, properly, to be inflamed with passionate dislike, the word being connected with heat, hot; just as we speak, using the same figure, of persons being incensed with anger,' or of their anger 'kindling.'

TRENCH. 38. That bring to my remembrance.] Similarity and contrast are two of the most active of the principles of what Locke calls the association of ideas. In looking at the Sun, that still shone the image of its Maker, Satan cannot but reflect on the sad difference in his own fate. The Sun had kept the place assigned him, and so seemed to upbraid those who had swerved from the path of duty. In this address, which is universally allowed to be one of the finest passages in the whole range of English poetry, it is needless to say that the Sun is personified, and supposed to be endowed with the qualities of an intelligent and accountable being.

40. Till pride and worse ambition.]



This line has given considerable trouble to commentators. Dr. Bentley was so hard pressed with it, that he had recourse to a new reading-"till pride and cursed ambition;" but this is not a legitimate mode of getting out of the difficulty at all, nor is it in the slightest degree necessary. "Pride" is the inward feeling of which "ambition" is the outward manifestation, and "ambition" is worse than "pride" for two reasons: 1st, it involves others in the mischief that it does; and 2nd, it strengthens the "pride" from which it sprung, according to a well-known law of human nature-that every feeling acted on becomes stronger, and, if the feeling is a bad one, of course,


44. And with his good upbraided none.] "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not."-James, i. 5. Bloomfield, in his Greek Testament, shows that the word overdi(w includes the idea of censuring for not having a thing, and casting up, as our phrase goes, the want to the person after it is supplied. The text will be intelligible to any one after reading the following extract :

"But though we are not much accustomed to think of the duties of benefactors, the obliger too has moral obligations to fulfil, and obligations which, while they are as truly incumbent as the duties of the obliged, are far more difficult to be fulfilled, the duty of making his benefits press as lightly as benefits to the same amount can press, by unfailing attentions to

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