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Nor the deep tract of Hell—say first, what cause
Nine times the space that measures day and night
32. For one restraint. Because of one restraint, following to fall off and transgress.
32. Besides, in all other respects.
34. “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field." Gen. iii. 1.
36. What time, at that time when. In the following lines Milton gives in a few words, what he subsequently relates in two books, v. 577-907, vi.
39. His peers, those who were rightfully his equals.
50. Nine times. “Nine days they fell,” vi. 871, and nine days more they lay confounded. Milton here takes up the action where he means to leave it later,
“ Hell at last Yawning, received them whole, and on them closed.” vi. 874, 875.
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
51. Horrid crew. This is a case where we must rid our minds of the present meanings of words and try to get at them more as they were in Milton's mind. For horrid, cf. i. 83, 392 ; i. 63, 676.
53. Doom, judgment; sentence.
63. Darkness visible. One of Milton's imaginative phrases which have become famous.
64. Discover, uncover, render visible.
68. Urges, presses on. The word was used intransitively in Milton's day.
70. Had prepared. Before Lucifer's transgression we may suppose that Hell had not existed. In Raphael's story (v. 577) it seems as though the universe consisted of Heaven and Chaos only.
72. Utter, probably used by Milton in the meaning absolute and outer, of which last utter is a doublet.
As far removed from God and light of Heaven,
“If thou heest he,-but 0, how fallen ! how changed From him, who, in the happy realms of light,
85 Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine Myriads though bright !-if he, whom mutual league, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprise, Joined with me once, now misery hath joined
90 In equal ruin ; into what pit, thou seest, From what highth fallen! so much the stronger proved He with his thunder : and till then who knew The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those, Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
95 Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
74. As from the center, etc. Usually taken to mean that the distance from Heaven to Hell was half as far again as across the uni
If this were in Milton's mind he must have had another idea when he wrote, ii. 1052.
78. Weltering, rolling about.
81. Beëlzebub. Called in Matt. xii. 24 " the prince of the devils.” The first part of the name is the same as Baal, cf. i. 422. 82. Satan. “So call him now ; his former name
Is heard no in heaven.” v. 659. In Hebrew the name means adversary or opposer; in which character Satan appears throughout the poem.
84. How changed. Satan was also changed. See i. 97 and Introd., pp. xxix.-xxxiii.
94. Dire, dreadful.
Though changed in outward lustre, that fixed mind,
106 And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield : And what is else not to be overcome ? That glory never shall his wrath or might
110 Extort from me.
To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee, and deify his power, Who, from the terror of this arm, so late Doubted his empire,—that were low indeed, That were an ignominy and shame beneath
115 This downfall; since, by Fate, the strength of gods And this Empyreal substance cannot fail, Since, through experience of this great event, In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,
102. That durst dislike his reign. Satan had rebelled against what he chose to consider the tyranny of God. He speaks here as though his companions had also rebelled of their own accord; but in Book v. Milton points out that he himself had aroused their discontent.
104. In dubious battle. These battles are described in Book vi. The battles of immortal beings have not the interest given by the chance of death, nor can strife against Omnipotence ever be doubtful. In spite of this, however, the rebellious angels had gained a temporary advantage by their invention of cannon and gunpowder. vi. 470-634.
109. The line is a little obscure. It seems to mean, what else is there in not being overcome, except will, revenge, hate, courage ?
111. Sue, beg.
We may, with more successful hope, resolve
So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain,
“O Prince ! O chief of many thronèd Powers !
121. To wage, etc. In ii. 1-506 Satan and the chiefs of the fallen angels consult how best to accomplish their end.
125. Apostate. An apostate is one who abandons his religious allegiance.
127. Compeer here means merely companion.
128. Thronèd powers. Thrones and Powers were titles in the Heavenly Hierarchy. See Introd., p. xxxiii.
129. Seraphim. The word is here used loosely to mean angels. The Seraphim were really the angels of the highest rank.
130. Conduct, guidance.
133. Whether upheld. An un-English construction which we owe to Milton's familiarity with Greek.
138. This is a difficulty which Milton finds it hard to surmount. Cf. note on 104 supra.