Obrázky na stránke

Fell long before; nor aught availed him now

To have built in Heaven high towers; nor did he scape
By all his engines, but was headlong sent
With his industrious crew to build in Hell.


[blocks in formation]

Of Satan and his peers: their summons called
From every band and squared regiment

By place or choice the worthiest; they anon,
With hundreds and with thousands, trooping came,
Attended: all access was thronged; the gates
And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall
(Though like a covered field where champions bold
Wont 2 ride in armed, and at the Soldan's chair
Defy the best of Panim3 chivalry
To mortal combat, or career with lance,)
Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the air
Brushed with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees
In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides,
Pour forth their populous youth about the hive
In clusters: they among fresh dews and flowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothèd plank,
The suburb of their straw-built citadel,




New rubbed with balm, expatiate 4, and confer

Their state affairs. So thick the aery crowd


Swarmed and were straitened; till, the signal given,
Behold a wonder! They but now who seemed
In bigness to surpass Earth's giant sons,
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow space


Throng numberless, like that Pygmæan race
Beyond the Indian mount5; or fairy elves,
Whose midnight revels, by a forest side
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees, while overhead the moon
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth


Wheels her pale course; they, on their mirth and dance

1 Pandemonium-the palace of all demons, as Pantheon - -the temple of all the gods.

2 Are accustomed to.

3 Pagan, infidel.

4 Walk, or crawl about.

5 See ante, line 430.

Intent, with jocund music charm his ear ;
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large,
Though without number still, amidst the hall
Of that infernal court. But far within,
And in their own dimensions, like themselves,
The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim
In close recess and secret conclave sat ;
A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full. After short silence then,
And summons read, the great consult began.




1. State the subject of the poem.

2. Quote some of the most beautiful passages in this book.

3. What is meant by the word "Beelzebub," and where was this deity worshipped?

4. What means the word "Mammon? "

5. What is the general character of the poetry in this book?

6. From what languages does Milton draw many of his forms of expres

sion ?

7. What mythological allusions are there in this book?

8. What form of metre is adopted in this poem?

9. Explain it.

10. State some of the geographical references in this book.

11. Quote some comparisons, and other figures.

12. Quote some cases of words used in a Latin sense in this book.

13. What may be generally remarked of Milton's versification?

14. With whom does Milton identify the leaders of the fallen angels?

15. Explain the terms "Ausonia," and "Mulciber."

16. From what language is the word "Pandemonium" derived; and what does it mean?

17. What difference is there between a simile and a comparison? Give examples of both from this book.

18. Give the meaning of the word "Satan."

19. Explain the original meaning of the terms "expatiate," "horrent," "erst," "anon," "virtue," " afflict," and "adamantine." 20. What were the Lydian, Phrygian, and Dorian "modes"?

1 Crowded together in great numbers.




The consultation begins. It is debated whether another battle shall be fought for the recovery of Heaven. The various speeches and opinions of the infernal Spirits on this point. Another proposal is made by Satan; to search for the truth of the prophecy in Heaven, concerning another world, and its inhabitant, Man. They doubt who shall undertake this search. Satan offers himself; he is applauded, and the council breaks up. While the rest employ themselves variously, Satan passes on his journey to Hell gates; with difficulty, he passes through the gulf between Hell and Heaven, to the sight of the New World.

HIGH on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus1 or of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised

To that bad eminence; and from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue

Vain war with Heaven; and, by success untaught,
His proud imaginations thus displayed:-


"Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven!-
For since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigour, though oppressed and fallen,
I give not Heaven for lost. From this descent,
Celestial virtues rising, will appear

More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate.

Me2 though just right, and the fixed laws of Heaven,
Did first create your leader; next, free choice,
With what besides, in counsel or in fight,
Hath been achieved of merit3; yet this loss,
Thus far at least recovered, hath much more
Established in a safe unenvied throne,

1 An island in the Persian Gulf.
2 "Me" is here the object to the
verb "create" in the next line.


[blocks in formation]

3 "Created me your leader " is here understood.

4 "Me" is understood after "established."

Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim,
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain? Where there is then no good
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction. With this advantage then
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in Heaven, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity

Could have assured us1; and by what best way,
Whether of open war, or covert guile,
We now debate: who can advise, may speak."

He ceased; and next him, Moloch, sceptered king,
Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest Spirit
That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair :
His trust was with the Eternal to be deemed
Equal in strength; and rather than be less,
Cared not to be at all; with that care lost
Went all his fear of God, or Hell, or worse,
He recked not, and these words thereafter spake :-


"Mý sentence is for open war :-of wiles,
More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
Contrive who need, or when they need, not now.
For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest,
Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait
The signal to ascend, sit lingering here
Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling place
Accept this dark opprobious den of shame,
The prison of his tyranny who reigns
By our delay? No, let us choose,

Armed with Hell flames and fury, all at once,
O'er Heaven's high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms

Against the Torturer; when, to meet the noise
Of his Almighty engine, he shall hear

[blocks in formation]

1 Addison condemns this passage and "assured;"" prosper" and "pros

for the play on the words "surer

perity." See Spectator.

Infernal thunder; and, for lightning, see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his Angels; and his throne itself
Mixed with Tartarean1 sulphur, and strange fire
His own invented torments. But, perhaps,
The way seems difficult and steep to scale
With upright wing against a higher foe.
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
That in our proper motion we ascend
Up to our native seat: descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,

When the fierce Foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursued us through the Deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We sunk thus low? The ascent is easy then;
The event is feared; should we again provoke
Our Stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction; if there be in Hell

Fear to be worse destroyed: what can be worse
Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned
In this abhorrèd deep to utter woe;

Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise2 us without hope of end,
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour,

[blocks in formation]

Calls us to penance? More destroyed than this
We should be quite abolished, and expire.


What fear we then?3 what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which, to the height enraged,
Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this essential; happier far
Than miserable to have eternal being:
Or if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
Our power sufficient to disturb his Heaven,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Though inaccessible, his fatal 4 throne:

1 From Tartarus; according to the poets, the place in the lower world where the spirits of the wicked are punished for their crimes.

2 Vex, trouble.



3 "What" is here used for "why;" i. e. why do we fear, why do we doubt, &c.

• Depending on fate.

« PredošláPokračovať »