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For who can think submission ?! War then, War,
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
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
The work of sulphur. Thither, winged with speed, 675 A numerous brigad hastened :| as when bands
Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe armed,
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
In vision beatific :] by him first
Ransacked the center, and with impious hands
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
And hands innumerable scarce perform.
That underneath had veins of liquid fire
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
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
Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven :|
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
Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide 725 Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth
And level pavement :| from the arched roof,
With naphtha and asphaltus, yielded light 730 As from a sky. | The hasty multitude
Admiring entered ;s and the work some praise, |
Where sceptered Angels held their residence, 735 And sat as princes ;] whom the Supreme King
Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
In ancient Greece ;| and in Ausonian land 740 Men called him Mulciber ;| and) how he fell
From Heaven,) they fabled,) thrown by angry Jove
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,
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,
750 By all his engines, but was headlong sent
With his industrious crew to build in Hell.]
Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command
And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim 755 A solemn council, forthwith to be held
At Pandemonium, the high capital
By place or choice the worthiest : | they anon, 760 With hundreds and with thousands, trooping came,
Attended :| all access was thronged ;| the gates
Wont ride in armed, and at the Soldan's chair 765 Defied the best of Panim chivalry
To mortal combat, or career with lance,]
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.
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. Populous—derived 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,
New rubbed with balm, expatiate] and confer 775 Their state affairs.] So thick the aery crowd
Swarmed, and were straitened ;] till, the signal given,
Now less) than smallest dwarfs, | in narrow room 780 Throng numberless, like that Pigmean race
Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves)
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
Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
Though without number still amidst the hall
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,