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To that side Heaven from whence your legions fell.
be your walk, you have not far; So much the nearer danger. Go, and speed ! Havoc, and spoil, and ruin, are my gain."
He ceased ; and Satan stayed not to reply, 1010 But, glad that now his sea should find a shore, With fresh alacrity, and force renewed, Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire, Into the wild expanse; and, through the shock Of fighting elements, on all sides round
1015 Environed, wins his way : harder beset, And more endangered, than when Argo passed Through Bosporus, betwixt the justling rocks; Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunned Charybdis, and by the other whirlpool steered. 1020 So he with difficulty and labour hard Moved on: with difficulty and labour he ; But, he once past, soon after, when man fell, Strange alteration ! Sin and Death amain
1024 Following his track,-such was the will of Heaven,Paved after him a broad and beaten way Over the dark Abyss, whose boiling gulf Tamely endured a bridge of wondrous length, From Hell continued, reaching the utmost orb Of this frail world ; by which the spirits perverse 1030 With easy intercourse, pass to and fro
1017. Argo, the ship wherein Jason and the heroes sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece. The story was one of the famous and favourite tales of antiquity. Sailing from Larissa in Greece to Colchis at the eastern end of the Black Sea, they passed through the Bosphorus.
1019. The passage of Ulysses between Scylla and Charybdis (Odyssey, xii.) was imitated by Virgil in his account of the voyage of Æneas (Æneid, iii.). The other whirlpool was beneath the rock Scylla.
1024. Compare ii. 840, but especially x. 229–324, where is related in detail how the bridge or “ causey” was built.
1029. Utmost orb. See Introd., p. xxxviii.
To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
But now at last the sacred influence
1040 That Satan with less toil, and now with ease, Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light; And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn; Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
1045 Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold Far off the empyreal Heaven, extended wide In circuit, undetermined square or round, With opal towers and battlements adorned Of living sapphire, once his native seat ;
1050 And fast, by, hanging in a golden chain, This pendent world, in bigness as a star Of smallest magnitude close by the moon. Thither, full fraught with mischievous revenge, Accursed, and in a cursèd hour, he hies.
1055 1034. The sacred influence of light. The words are singularly apt after so much fiery gloom and dark turbulence.
1049. Opal towers. Perhaps a far-away recollection of the description of the New Jerusalem, Rev. xxi. 10-21.
1052. This pendent world. Not the Earth, but the whole universe as described in the Introd., p. xxxvii. In bigness as a star
close by the moon ; i. e., it looked very small in the immensity of Chaos.
ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR MORE
In studying a poem, or anything else for that matter, we want to appreciate it as a whole, and also to understand each separate part. Of these two necessities the first would probably be reckoned of the greater importance. But it happens with most poems that we cannot gain the first point without having passed the second : that is, the best appreciation of the poem as a whole comes from the understanding of each separate part ; so the second point is of the first importance. Really, the two things are so dependent on each other, that it is not wise to say that one is more important than the other. We could not well get along without either.
For the best appreciation of Paradise Lost, one must have much minute understanding of minor things. Not that this minute understanding is the best appreciation ; but it is a necessary factor in it.
These notes are for the purpose of directing such particular and minute study as will result in a better appreciation of the whole. They concern a number of small points; each one of them, by itself, may seem insignificant and uninteresting ; all together they will form a background of half-conscious recollection, that will be both interesting and significant.
It is a thing of importance to know the subject matter thoroughly. In reading a piece of narrative poetry that is not short and simple, it is useful to make a careful analysis, or to compare such an analysis with the poem. Without some such work, one is likely to slip from part to part, without a good idea of the relation of one thing to another, or sometimes without an appreciation of the real character of what one is at the moment reading. The danger of such work is that one may get the idea that
it is in itself a thing of importance. We must always remember that its only value is as a help to a good understanding and appreciation of the poem itself.
ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK.
I. Introductory lines. 1. Invocation. 1-16, 17-26, proposing the whole subject, the
Fall and Redemption of Man. 2. The prime cause of his fall touched, 27-49. II. The Narrative. With 50 “the poem hastens into the midst
Satan on the burning lake, 50–83.
Answer of Beëlzebub, 271–282. 2. He musters his powers.
Satan calls the Fallen Angels, 283–330.
Satan reviews his host, 567-621.
The prime cause, the first cause.
Not in the centre; i. e., of the earth, according to the common notion embodied in such phrases as “He descended into Hell.” The Hell of Paradise Lost was elsewhere. See the Introduction, p. xxxvii.
Not yet made. Elsewhere it would appear that it had been made though not accursed. Milton means by heaven and earth the universe. Now from the account of the Creation in Book vii. it would seem (see 11. 130-173) that the purpose of the Creation is announced as the Son returns from casting Lucifer out of Heaven. He proceeds at once to do the Father's will, and the Six Days of Creation follow. But the poem begins on the eighteenth day after Satan had been cast out, for he fell nine days, and lay nine days on the fiery lake. So when Satan (i. 651) and Beëlzebub (ii. 348) speak of the World, they speak of what had for some time been in existence.
Of their miserable fall. The words on and of, in the sense of concerning, were used well-nigh interchangeably.
To be created. As above, really created already.
1. Fruit. Only in one passage of Paradise Lost (x. 483) does Milton speak of the fruit as an apple, and then in the contemptuous account given by Satan on his return to Pandemonium. In Paradise Regained (ii. 349), however, he speaks of it himself, as “that crude apple that diverted Eve.” Many other writers from Cædmon down speak of the apple, and of course the popular tradition is very old. In older English, however, the word “apple” was often used with the general meaning “ fruit.”
3. Death into the world. Namely, by the introduction of sin. “Therefore, as through one man, sin entered into the world, and death through sin " (Rom. v. 12, and see also James i. 15). The idea is presented in the poem in two-fold wise ; first in allegory, and then; as we may say, actually. The allegorical or symbolical representation we have in ii. 648-883. Sin, born of Satan, representing unbridled desire, conceives and brings forth Death, and these two creatures follow Satan to the earth, making