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For who can think submission ?! War then, War,
Open or understood, must be resolved.

He spake :/ and, to confirm his words, out-flew

Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs 665 Of mighty Cherubim ;| the sudden blaze

Far round illumined Hell : | highly they raged
Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms,
Clashed on their sounding shields the din of war,

Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heaven.] 670 There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top

Belched fire and rolling smoke ; | the rest entire
Shone with a glossy scurf ; undoubted sign
That in his womb was hid metallic ore,

The work of sulphur. Thither, winged with speed, 675 A numerous brigad hastened :| as when bands

Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe armed,
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,
Or cast a rampart. | Mammon led them on ;

Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell 680 From Heaven ; | for e’en in Heaven his looks and thoughts

Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of Heaven's pavement, trodden gold, |
Than aught, divine or holy, else enjoyed

In vision beatific :] by him first
685 Men also, and by his suggestion taught,

Ransacked the center, and with impious hands
Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth,
For treasures, better hid.] Soon had his crew

Opened into the hill a spacious wound, | 661. War open or understood.-Under. doors grate harsh thunder, and i. 723, the stood is not opposed to open, for what is pile stood her stately highth. It was the

Bentley in- custom of the Roman soldiers to strike tbeir geniously suggests to read open or under- shields with their swords when they ap

plauded an address of their general. 668. Clashed the din of war.-Intransit. 673. Womb is not uterus, strictly speakVerbs may govern as ()bjects Nouns which ing, or else it could not here be attributed to express the action of the verb. For instance, the masculine hill. It is used in its wider to sleep a sleep, to run a race, to tight a and original sense of stomach or belly, like battlo. "Thus to clash din, and ii. 881, the the German Wamme and Wampe.

understood is not concealed.


690 And digged out ribs of gold.] Let none admire] That riches grow in Hell ; | that soil may

best Deserve the precious bane. And here let those) Who boast in mortal things, I and wondering tell

Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,] 695 Learn) how their greatest monuments of fame,

And strength and art are easily out-done
By Spirits reprobate, / and in an hour]
What in an age they with incessant toil

And hands innumerable scarce perform.
700 Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared,)

That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude
With wondrous art, founded the massy ore,

Severing each kind,) and scummed the bullion dross :] 705 A third as soon had formed within the ground

A various mould, and from the boiling cells
By strange conveyance filled each hollow nook ;]
As in an organ, from one blast of wind,

To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes. 710 Anon, out of the earth, a fabric huge

Rose like an exhalation, with the sound
Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet,
Built like a temple, where pilasters round

Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
715 With golden architrave; nor did there want

Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven :|
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,

690. Admire, wonder, a Latinism.

696. And strength and art, are not in the Genit. governed by monuments, but the Nomin. Supply how before strength.

697. And in an hour, scil., is easily outdone.

699. Hands innumerable.-It is hardly wise to lay stress on the great numbers of the workmen of Babel and Memphis, after all that has been said of the countless kgions of devils (see 302, 338, 344, 351,

547, 571,) who, if numerable at all, must be numbered by millions, 664.

715. Architrave-An architectural term for the horizontal stone immediately above two pillars.

717. The works of Babel and Memphis have already been alluded to, 694. To name the same places again is not a proof of a rich imagination. Bentley, therefore, expunges the five lines.

But there is no doubt of their genuinenece

Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence

Equalled in all their glories, to enshrine 720 Belus or Sérapis their gods; or seat

Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile
Stood fixed her stately highth : 1 and straight the doors,

Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide 725 Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth

And level pavement :| from the arched roof,
Pendent by subtle magic, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed

With naphtha and asphaltus, yielded light 730 As from a sky. | The hasty multitude

Admiring entered ;s and the work some praise, |
And some the architect :] his hand was known
In Heaven by many a towered structure high, |

Where sceptered Angels held their residence, 735 And sat as princes ;] whom the Supreme King

Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the Orders bright.]
Nor was his name unheard or unadored

In ancient Greece ;| and in Ausonian land 740 Men called him Mulciber ;| and) how he fell

From Heaven,) they fabled,) thrown by angry Jove
Sheer o'er the crystal battlements :) from morn
To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,

A summer's day ;/ and with the setting sun 745 Dropt from the zenith like a falling star,

On Lemnos the Æ'gean isle : | thus they relate,
Erring ;| for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before ;| nor aught availed him now
To have built in Heaven high towers ;| nor did he 'scape

723. See 668, note.

723. Her-Milton very often makes neuter nouns Mascul. or Fem. See Craik, The English of Shakspere, section 54, especially

728. Cressets, originally beacon lights, but often used in a wider sense. See Shakspere, 1 Henry iv., iii. 1.

740. Mulciber, or Vulcan, the Hephorslos of the Greeks,

page 95.

750 By all his engines, but was headlong sent

With his industrious crew to build in Hell.]

Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command
Of sovran power, with awful ceremony

And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim 755 A solemn council, forthwith to be held

At Pandemonium, the high capital
Of Satan and his peers : | their summons called
From every band and squarèd regiment,

By place or choice the worthiest : | they anon, 760 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 ride in armed, and at the Soldan's chair 765 Defied the best of Panim 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, 770 Pour forth their populous youth about the hive

750. Engines-devices, contrivances. The word in this signification points to its derivation from ingenium.

751. To build.-See 259, note.

752. Winged heralds.-In Greek mythology, Hermes, the herald of the gods, has wings; but the other gods have none. Here all the devils are winged (see i. 345, 768). It is therefore no distinction for the heralds to be winged, and the adjective is idle.

756. Pandemonium-Formed upon the model of Panionium, the place of meeting for all the Ionians.

759. By place or choice the worthiest.The worthiest by his rank, or by the choice of whomprobably not of the heralds, but of Satan. And those whom Satan thought the worthiest, one would fancy, were chosen by him as leaders,

763 The same allusion as in 582, ff. See note to 717.

764 Wont, from the obsolete word to wone, to be accustomed, of which the current Adj. wont is the Participle, and wonted another Participle, formed upon the belief that the verb is wont and not wone. See v. 123.

765. Panim,Pagan.

767. The air brushed with the hiss of rustling wings, i.e., brushed with hissing, rustling wings. The substitution of abstract nouns for concrete nouns or adjectives, is very common in poetry. See Note on Cowper, Task, i. 15.

770. Populousderived from populus, people-is a strange term to be applied to animals. It would hardly be suitable to call a rookery populous, or to speak of populous flocks of sheep.

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] and confer 775 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, 1

Now less) than smallest dwarfs, | in narrow room 780 Throng numberless, like that Pigmean race

Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves)
Whose midnight revels, by a forest side
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, |

Or dreams] he sees,] while over-head the moon 785 Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth

Wheels her pale course ;] they on their mirth and dance
Intent, with jocund music charm his ear ;]
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds./

Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
790 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 795 In close recess and secret conclave sat ;

774. To expatiate, in its original Latin sense, is to roam about irregularly. So Cowper uses it, Task, iv. 107,— “He travels and expatiates, as the bee

froin flower to flower."

775. So thick, &c.--The beautiful image of the bees, borrowed from Homer (Iliad, ii. 87), is not intended to convey an idea of the great number, but of the crowding of the devils. The idea of multitude has been sufficiently dwelt upon by comparison with autumnal leaves (302), scattered sedge (304), a cloud of locusts (340), and the

multitude of the populous north, which was like a deluge (351).

795. In close recess and secret conclave sat.-Dr. Newton observes, “ It is not impossible that the poet might here allude to what is strictly and properly called the conclave; for it is certain that he had not a much better opinion of the one than of the other of these assemblies." In another note he observes, that Satan is often called the Sultan, and his council the Divan; the Devil, the Turk, and the Pope being commonly thought to be nearly related." Without disputing this triple alliance,

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