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Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool,
Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell ?"
Thus answered :- "Leader of those armies bright,
He scarce had ceased when the superior Fiend
274. Pledge, that which has assured them of hope.
281. Astounded, stunned. Amazed, stupefied as by a blow.
282. Pernicious, harmful.
seen on his Italian journey.
289. Fesole, a village on a hill near Florence.
266. Oblivious pool. It was not, of course, the pool which forgot, but those lying upon it. Milton is thinking of Lethe, the river of forgetfulness in Hades, as afterward ii. 583-586.
268. Mansion, abiding place, as in John xiv. 2: "In my Father's house are many mansions."
283. Superior. Satan was and had always been the chief.
288. Optic glass, the telescope.
The Tuscan artist, Galileo, the astronomer, whom Milton had
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
From the safe shore their floating carcases
290. Valdarno, the valley of the Arno, in which Florence is situated.
294. Ammiral. An obsolete form of "admiral"; an obsolete use also, meaning the ship and not the commander.
301. Entranced, a little different in meaning from our present use; in a stupor.
302-4. These lines are well known. Vallombrosa, "the shady vale," is not far from Florence. Etruria was the ancient name for
a great part of northern Italy. 305. Orion. The constellation was held to bring stormy weather. 307. Busiris, the Pharaoh of the Bible. Memphian, for Egyptian, Memphis having been a great city of Egypt.
308. Perfidious, because he had given the Israelities leave to go. Exod. xii. 31; cf. xiv. 5.
309. Sojourners of Goshen. The children of Israel had sojourned in the land of Goshen four hundred and thirty years according to Gen. xlvii. 27 and Exod. xii. 40.
And broken chariot wheels so thick bestrewn,
Eternal spirits! Or have ye chosen this place
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
They heard and were abashed, and up they sprung
312. Abject, hurled down.
317. Lost, if such astonishment
can seize Eternal spirits;
i. e., all chance of regaining heaven is gone if you are as you seem. 337. To. We say obedience to anything, to the law of God, for instance, as in xii. 397, but obey usually takes an object without a preposition. 339. Amram's son.
340. The plague of locusts is described in Ex. x.
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones;
355. The Vandals passed through Spain into Africa.
359. Excelling, surpassing.
345. Cope. The word originally meant hood, mantle, and so covering, as of Heaven, whence transferred to Hell.
348. Sultan. Strictly speaking, an Oriental monarch, but Milton uses the word in a general sense. In 1. 378 we have Emperor.
351-355. Refers to the invasions of the Roman Empire by the Teutonic tribes beyond the Rhine and the Danube, which rivers formed the Roman boundary.
thrones. See note on 1. 128.
364-373. It was a legend that the fallen angels had, in process of time, become deities of the heathen nations. Milton in 11. 380-521 makes excellent use of it.
Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man,
Glory of Him that made them to transform
Then were they known to men by various names
Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last,
The chief were those, who, from the pit of Hell
376. Say, Muse. Cf. "Musa mihi causas memora," En. i. 6, and other such passages, also P. L., i. 27, and vii. 40, in Appendix A.
380. Promiscuous, mixed, and so common; ordinary.
381. The most constant temptation before the children of Israel was to imitate the idolatry of the neighbouring nations. Over and over again did they offend, taking sometimes the gods of one tribe, sometimes of another: the Old Testament from Exodus to Malachi is the record of constant stumbling. Milton follows a sort of traditional idea that the gods of the heathen were none other than the fallen angels, who had been cast out of heaven, and, as will appear in Book ii., he was able to work the idea into the structure of his poem. To illustrate the passages following, the student should read in Appendix C, p. 108, the extracts from Kings and Chronicles, and from Isaiah and Jeremiah. But no one can really enjoy Paradise Lost without constant reference to the Bible, and one should really read much See also the extract from The Hymn to the Nativity, p. 89.