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This downfall; since by fated 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,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe,
Who now triumphs, and in the excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven."

So spake the apostate angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair :
And him thus answered soon his bold compeer.

O prince, O chief of many thronéd powers,
That led the embattled seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endangered Heaven's perpetual King,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate ,
Too well I see and rue the dire event,
That with sad overthrow and foul defeat
Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host
In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As far as gods and heavenly essences
Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallowed up in endless misery.
But what if he our Conqueror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have o'erpowered such force as ours)
Have left us this our spirit and strength entire
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be,
Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,

1 Satan supposes the angels to subsist by fate and necessity, and he represents them of an empyreal, that is a fiery substance, as the Scripture itself doth: "He maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers & flame of fire,” Psalm civ. 4, Heb. i. 7. Satan disdains to submit, since the angels (as he says) are necessarily immortal, and cannot be de. stroyed, and since, too, they are now improved in experience, and mas hope to carry on the war more successfully, notwithstanding the present triumph of their adversary in Heaven.-Newton.

Or do his errands in the gloomy deep;
What can it then avail, though yet we feel
Strength undiminished, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment ?”
Whereto with speedy words the arch fiend replied.

“Fall'n cherub, to be weak is miserable
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure,
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil ;
Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destined aim.
But see! the angry Victor hath recalled
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates of heaven : the sulphurous hail

1 Dr. Bentley has really made a very material objection to this and some other passages of the poem, wherein the good angels are repre. sented as pursuing the rebel host with fire and thunderbolts down through Chaos even to the gates of Hell; as being contrary to the account which the angel Raphael gives to Adam in the Sixth Book. And it is certain that there the good angels are ordered to “stand still only and behold,” and the Messiah alone expels them out of Heaven; and after he has expelled them, and Hell has closed upon them, vi. 880

“ Sole victor from the expulsion of his foes,

Messiah his triumphal chariot turned :
To meet him all his saints, who silent stood
Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts,

With jubilee advanced.” These accounts are plainly contrary the one to the other; but the author does not therefore contradict himself, nor is one part of his scheme inconsistent with another. For it should be considered, who are the persons that give these different accounts. In Book vi., the angel Raphael is the speaker, and therefore his account may be depended upon as the genuine and exact truth of the matter. But in the other passages Satan himself or some of his angels are the speakers; and they were too proud and obstinate ever to acknowledge the Messiah for their conqueror; as their rebellion was raised on his account, they would never own his superiority; they would rather ascribe their defeat to the whole host of Heaven than to him ulone; or if they did indeed imagine their pursuers to be so many

Shot after us in storm, o'erblown hath laid
The fiery surge, that from the precipice
Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder,
Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps has spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn
Or satiate fury yield it from our foe.
Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,
The seat of desolation, void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
From off the tossing of these fiery waves,
There rest, if any rest can harbour there,
And re-assembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy; our own loss how repair ;
How overcome this dire calamity;
What reinforcement we may gain from hope,
If not, what resolution from despair.”

Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,
With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed ; his other parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian, or earth-born, that warred on Jove,
Briareos, or Typhon, whom the den

in number, their fears multiplied them, and it serves admirably to express how much they were terrified and confounded.

In Book vi., 830, the noise of his chariot is compared to the "sound of a nume. rous host;” and perhaps they might think that a numerous host were really pursuing. In one place, indeed, we have Chaos speaking thus, ii. 996–

" and Heaven gates Poured out by millions her victorious bands

Pursuing."
But what a condition was Chaos in during the fall of the rebel angels ?
See vi. 871-

“Nine days they fell; confounded Chaos roared,
And felt tenfold confusion in their fall
Through his wild anarchy, so huge a rout

Incumbered him with ruin." We must suppose him therefore to speak according to his own frighted and disturbed imagination. Newton.

By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast Leviathan, which God of all his works Created hugest that swim the ocean stream: Him, haply slumbering on the Norway foam, The pilot of some small night-foundered 3 skiff Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell, With fixéd anchor in his scaly rind Moors by his side under the lee, while night Invests the sea, and wished morn delays: So stretched out huge in length the arch-fiend lay, Chained on the burning lake, nor ever thence Had risen or heaved his head, but that the will And high permission of all-ruling Heaven Left him at large to his own dark designs, That with reiterated crimes he might Heap on himself damnation, while he sought Evil to others, and enraged might see How all his malice served but to bring forth Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shown On man by him seduced ; but on himself Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance poured. Forthwith upright he rears, from off the pool, His mighty nature ; on each hand the flames, Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and rolled In billows, leave i’ the midst a horrid vale. Then with expanded wings he steers his flight Aloft, incumbent on the dusky airo * Typhon is the same with Typhoëus. That the den of Typhoëus was in Cilicia, of which Tarsus was a celebrated city, we are told by Pindar and Pomponius Mela.

2 Milton seems to regard the leviathan as identical with th whale. The various and conflicting opinions on the subject are well detailed by Barnes on Job, xli. 1. General conclusion seems in favour of the crocodile. As far as Milton is concerned, I think he had in mind the stories of the kraken, or some other gigantic species of cuttle-fish, which have been said to appear in the Norwegian seas. The reader will call to mind the similar story in "Sinbad the Sailor." See Lane's Arabian Nights.

3 i.e. overtaken by night, and thereby hindered from proceeding.

4 This conceit of the "air’s feeling unusual weight” is borrowed from Spenser, who, speaking of the old dragon, says, b. i.cant. ii. st. 18–

' Then with his waving wings displayed wide,
Himself up high he lifted from the ground,
And with strong flight did forcibly divide
The yielding air, which nigh too feeble found
Her flitting parts, and element unsound,
To bear so great a weight.”

Thyer.

That felt unusual weight, till on dry land
He lights, if it were land that ever burned
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire;
And such appeared in hue, as when the force
Of subterranean wind' transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, ? or the shattered side
Of thundering Etna, whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singéd bottom all involved
With stench and smoke : such resting found the sole
Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate,
Both glorying to have 'scaped the Stygian flood
As gods, and by their own recovered strength,
Not by the sufferance of supernal power.

“ Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost archangel, “ this the seat
That we must change for Heaven, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who now is Sovrano can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell happy fields
Where joy for ever dwells! Hail horrors, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new possessor; one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, 4 and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all buts less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence :
Here we may reign secure,

and in

my

choice To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:

1 Rather read “winds," with Pearce.

2 The Cape di Faro, a promontory of Sicily, about a mile and a half from Italy.--See Virg. Æn. iii. 6 and 7.

3 So Milton rightly spells it, according to its derivation from the Italian sovrano.

4 These are some of the Stoical extravagances, placed by Milton in the mouth of Satan, by way of ridicule.

5 Some read “ albeit."

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