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Instruct me, for Thou knowest. Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread, 20
Dove-like, sat’st brooding on the vast abyss,
And madest it pregnant. What in me is dark
Illumine ; what is low, raise and support;
That to the highth of this great argument
I may assert eternal providence,

And justify the ways of God to men. temple of God ?" 1 Cor. iii. 16. – 19. Instruct me, etc. See note on 1. 17. For thou knowest. So in Theocritus, Idyl, xxii. 116, eitè Deá, gdp olola. Wast present. So in Homer's Iliad, II. 484, 485, “Tell me now, ye Muses having Olympian homes; for ye are goddesses, and ye are present (with all things) and know all.” Similar is also Virgil's Æneid, VII, 641, 645; so Hesiod's Theogony, 1. 116. — 21. Dovelike. Why dovelike'? Masson remarks, “The comparison 'dovelike,' to illustrate the meaning of 'brooding' in the passage, occurs in the Talmudists or Jewish commentators on the Bible. There may be a recollection also of Luke iii. 22.” Brooding. The language of the Bible (Gen. i. 2) is, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters ” ; but ' brooded' or 'hovered' is said to be the strict trans. lation of the Hebrew word rendered “inoved.' In Hesiod's Theog., 1. 176, we have, “Then came vast Heaven and brooded around Earth." Abyss. This word usually means in Par. Lost the gulf of Chaos, in which, and from a part of which, our universe was formed. See II. 910, and the remainder of that book. - 24. Highth. So Milton spelled the word, and as the sound is a little different from height, we retain the old. Argument, subject. In Par. Lost, IX. 13–19, Milton compares his argument' with those of Homer and Virgil. So Spenser in his prefatory lines speaks of the argument' of his

afflicted stile.' See Hamlet, III. ii. 149, “ Have you heard the argument of the play ?" 1 Henry IV., II. iv. 310, “The argument shall be thy running away." — 25, 26. Milton, then, had a great moral purpose in this poem. In all that he wrote in verse, he never forgot, to use his own language, what religious, what glorious, what magnificent use may be made of poetry.' “ As to the Paradise Lost,” says De Quincey, “it happens that there is — whether there ought to be or not — a pure golden moral, distinctly announced, separately contemplated, and the very weightiest ever uttered by man or realized by fable. It is a moral rather for the drama of a world than for a human poem. And this moral is made the more prominent and memorable by the grandeur of its annunciation. The jewel is not more splendid in itself than in its setting. Excepting the well-known passage on Athenian oratory in the Paradise Regained, there is none even in Milton where the metrical pomp is made so effectually to aid the pomp of the sentiment. Hearken to the way in which a roll of dactyls is made to settle, like the swell of the advancing tide, into the long thunder of billows breaking for leagues against the shore !

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Say first — for heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of hell — say first, what cause
Moved our grand parents in that happy state,
Favored of heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress his will
For one restraint, lords of the world besides ?
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt ?
The infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile,
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived

"That to the height of this great argument

I may assert eternal providence.' Hear what a motion, what a tumult, is given by the dactylic close to each of the introductory lines ! And how massily is the whole locked up into the peace of heaven, as the aerial arch of a viaduct is locked up into tranquil stability by its key-stone, through the deep spondaic close,

And justify the ways of God to men.' That is the moral of the Miltonic epos ; and as much grander than any other moral formally illustrated by poets as heaven is higher than earth.” (De Quincey in Note-book of an English Opium-Eater.) — 27. Say first. See quotation from the Iliad in note to line 19, and the other passages there referred to. Heaven hides, etc. Ps. cxxxix. 8, “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there ; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there !” See in Prov. xv. 11, “ Hell and destruction are before the Lord." - 28. What cause. So in Virgil (Æneid, I. 8), Musa, mihi causas memora, O Muse, relate to me the causes. – 29. Grand (Lat. grandis, large), great. So we have 'grand thief,' Par. Lost, IV. 192; 'grand foe, Satan,' X. 1033. Compare 'grandfather,' 'great uncle,' etc. — 30. Note the alliteration and repetition of the sound of f. — 32. For one restraint. Keightley puts an interrogation mark after will, and makes 'for' = but for, as if modifying 'lords.' Others interpret 'for' as equivalent to on account of, modifying

transgress.' Which is preferable? What is the restraint'? Force of “besides '? - 33, 34. Who first seduced them, etc. So Iliad, 1. 8,

Τίς τ' άρ σφωε θεών έριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι;

Λητούς και Διός υιός, and which, then, of the gods committed the twain to contend in angry strife ? The son of Latona and of Jove. Serpent. Gen. iii. ; Rev. xii. 9; xx. 2. Professor Hinies (Study of Paradise Lost) points out the striking resemblance between the son of Latona, Apollo, when malignant, and Milton's Satan. — 35. Envy. Satan at his first view of Adam and Eve i Par. Lost, IV. 358) exclaims, "O hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold !” In IV. 502, 503, “ Aside the devil turned for envy” of the happy pair. Revenge. In

The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from heaven, with all his host
Of rebel angels; by whose aid, aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,

Shory along the posts lich.
He trusted to have equalled the Most High,
If he opposed ; and, with ambitious aim,


Par. Lost, IV. 389, 390, Satan assigns his grounds for destroying our first parents,

public reason just, Honor and empire, with revenge enlarged.' 'Revenge' for what ? - 36. Mother of mankind. Eve means life, or living; as is implied in Gen. iii. 20, “And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” What time. Lat. quo tempore, at the time in which. So in Lycidas, “What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn.' — 37. Cast out. Rev. xii. 9, “ And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan . ... and his angels were cast out with him." — 38. Aspiring. Landor makes this line the first 'hendecasyllabic' line in the poeni. It is indeed the first line with a redundant syllable at the end ; but lines 1, 11, 13, 17, and 34 are intended to have eleven syllables ? Lines with one extra syllable at the end are very frequent in Shakespeare. Masson reckons nine lines with a supernumerary final syllable in the first book of Par. Lost. Which are they? The Clar. Press ed. remarks upon such lines that they are very efficient in dramatic poetry, but hardly ever in Milton.' — 39. To set himself in glory above his peers. In Par. Lost, V. 812, we read the language of Abdiel to Satan, “In place thyself so high above thy peers.' Bentley therefore objects to this verse, because Satan's crime arose from anıbition to be above the Messiah. But Bishop Pearce well insists that the words in glory' are all-important. The next line shows the kind of glory. Peers (Lat. pares, equals ; fit companions for a sovereign ?). — 40. He trusted to have equalled the Most High. In Isa. xiv. 14, the wicked King of Babylon, styled Lucifer, says, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds ; I will be like the Most High.” See its context. To have equalled. Abbott, Shakespearian Gram., sec. 360, citing this line, explains this use of the perfect instead of the present infinitive thus : “The same idiom is found in Latin poetry (Madvig, 407, Ohs. 2) after verbs of wishing and intending. The reason of the idiom seems to be a desire to express that the object wished or intended is a completed fact that has happened contrary to the wish, and cannot now be altered.” Storr says, “ The past infinitive” is so used “ to express that the thing wished is now passed and impossible.” — 41. If he opposed. If who opposed ? It appears that the fallen angels were ignorant and doubtful in regard to the strength of the Almighty and the likelihood of his actively exerting that strength ? In lines 93, 94, of this book, Satan asks, “ And, till then, who knew the force of

Against the throne and monarchy of God
Raised impious war in heaven and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition : there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.

those dire arms?” Beelzebub, too, lines 143, 144, says he now believes the conqueror to be almighty. In line 641, Satan expressly says the Almighty • concealed' his strength till the war in heaven arose. For similar allusions, and for the origin of the war in heaven, see Book V. -- 43. Battle. May this mean ariny, or “imbodied force, as in Shakespeare? Proud, presumptuous, audacious. — 45. Hurled, etc. Note the tremendous energy of the line, and how much force the appropriate reading of the first three words demands. The critics cite the fall of Satan in Luke x. 18, the hurling of Vulcan in Iliad, I. 591. See the Prometheus of Æschylus, 366-369. Ethereal (Gr. atow, to burn, to light up ; Lat. æther, upper air), consisting of the subtle fiery essence or fluid iniagined to fill the planetary spaces. — 40. Ruin (Lat. ruěre, to rush down ; ruina, precipitate fall), violent fall. Combustion (Lat. com, completely ; burère = urère, to burn), fierce burning In Par. Lost, VI. 864–366, this scene is described with like energy,

“Headlong themselves they threw Down from the verge of heaven ; eternal wrath

Burnt after then to the bottomless pit.” See II. 80, 165, 166. As to ruin and combustion,' Masson says, “Mr. Dyce found this phrase in a document of the Long Parliament in 1642. Mr. Keightley, accordingly, suggests that the phrase may have been a popular one about that time.” Mr. Keightley has a rather slender foundation for his conjecture ; a single instance, and that twenty or twenty-five years before ! especially as Milton is in the habit of avoiding common phrases. Down. Notice the cæsura in this verse ; as if the tumultuous scene were passing before the poet's eye, and the pause indicated the momentary brandishing of a thunderbolt which comes smiting at the word “down' ? 47. Bottomless perdition. “As bottomless is the translation of ăßvoros [abyssus), the meaning of these words is probably perdition, i. e. loss (sc. of former state of glory) in the abyss." Keightley. But is it necessary to look so far for the meaning ? See Rev. ix. 1, 2; xx. 1, 3, for the phrase "bottomless pit.' — 48. Adamantine (a negative or privative ; daudw, to conquer; ådduas, the unconquered or unconquerable. It is used of the hardest metal. Hesiod speaks of 'hearts of adamant.' So Zechariah vii. 12, “They made their hearts as

Nine times the space that measures day and night 50
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal: but his doom
Reserved him to more wrath ; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain

Torments him. Round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay

an adamant stone." See Jude 6; Ezekiel iji. 9. See Trench's comments on the word adamant in English, Past and Present. Our word diamond [Ger. demant] is a form of the Greek), not to be broken. Spenser has'adamantine chains'; Æschylus, 'Adamavtívwv deouwv, adamuntinōn desmon, of bonds never to be broken.— 49. Durst. Any difference between this and dared? Antecedent of who? — 50. Nine times. The Clar. Press ed. remarks on this line, “Hesiod's description of the fall of the giants is here imitated.” To this statement it may be objected,(1) that this line of Milton's does not describe any fall; (2) that Hesiod does not describe the fall of the giants; (3) that there is no trace of imitation in the line. Says Dr. L. Schmitz, “Neither Homer nor Hesiod knows anything about the contest of the gods with the Gigantes.” Hesiod merely says it would take an anvil nine days and nights to fall from heaven to earth, and nine days and nights to fall from earth to Tartarus. The space that measures day and night. In this region the sun never shone, and there was nothing to mark the divisions of time. A portion of the period during which Milton imagines these fallen angels to have lain here, is the precise time of the creation of our visible universe. See Par. Lost, VII. The nine days are subsequent to the nine days (Book VI. 871) of the fall of the rebel angels from heaven to hell. “Nine, as Mr. Hume” (Patrick Hume, a Scotch schoolmaster, who published in 1695 the first annotated edition of Par. Lost) “ pointed out, was a mystical number, often used by the ancient poets, by way of a certain for an uncertain time.”—51. Crew (Lat. crescere, to increase; Fr. croître, to grow, crû, grown), company; gang. Spenser has 'a crew of lords and ladies.' 53. Confounded (Lat. con, together, completely; funděre, to pour; confundere, to blend in confusion), utterly bewildered. The student should notice in all these lines the great variety of places in which the cæsuras fall, and the effect on the harmony. -56. Torments. Milton always accents this word on the last syllable when a verb (as in Book X. 781; XI. 769), but the noun would appear to be usually accented on the first syllable as now. Baleful (A. S. bealo, Old Eng. bale, torment, calamity, wickedness, trouble; Welsh, ball, a plague; Icel. bola, a blister, a boil, or böl, a misery), boding evil (or causing distress). Ordinarily it means sorrowful ? What of the old superstition about the injurious magic or fascination of an evil eye'?-57. Witnessed, testified to, bore witness of. The Clar. Press ed. says, “The word is

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