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by the wind; but the image is utterly absurd on the other fancy that the “ported spears ” of the Angels were their spears thrust straight out at Satan.
996, 997: “his golden scales," &c. Literally here the constellation Libra, whose place in the Celestial sphere is defined.
1003. “ The sequel each of parting and of fight”: i.e. one weight represented the consequence of not fighting, the other of fighting. The balance turning decidedly to the former, Satan drew the inference, and acted accordingly (1013– 1015).
But know that in the soul are many lesser faculties,” &c. This passage is interesting as a little summary of Milton's psychology.
166, 167. “ Fairest of Stars,” &c. : i.e. the planet Venus ; which is sometimes Phosphorus or the Morning Star, and sometimes Hesperus or the Evening Star.
176. “ fixed in their orb that flies”: i.e. in the eighth of the Ptolemaic orbs or spheres.
177. “ five other wandering Fires.” As Venus, the Sun, and the Moon, have already been invoked, there remain properly to be invoked only four of the seven wandering Fires or Planets of the old system- Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Milton had made a slip, or he means to reintroduce Venus.
178. not without song”: the Music of the Spheres. 181. in quaternion”: in fourfold combination, as Earth, Water, Air, Fire.
202–204. “ Witness if I be silent,” &c. In the Greek choruses, though many are singing, the singular pronoun is often used.
220-223. Raphael, the sociable Spirit, that deigned to travel with Tobias" &c. See note, IV. 168–171. Raphael in Hebrew means “God's Health."
261, 262. “ the glass of Galileo.” The second mention of Galile oin the poem (see I. 288), and the third of the telescope (I. 288 and III. 590).
264–266. “Or pilot from amidst the Cyclades Delos or Samos first appearing kens," &c. The construction may either VOL. I.
be or pilot kens Delos or Samos first appearing from amidst the Cyclades,” or it may be “or pilot, coming from amidst the Cyclades, kens Delos or Samos first appearing.” In either case, as Mr. Keightley has pointed out, the geography is not strictly accurate. Samos is not one of the Cyclades, which vitiates the first construction ; Delos is one of the Cyclades—which vitiates the second. Milton probably intended the first construction, with an extended meaning of the term Cyclades.
272—274.“ A phænix,” &c. The phonix, the fabulous Arabian bird of the ancients, of which only one was alive at a time, was said to go from Arabia, every 500 years, to deposit the ashes of the preceding phenix, its father (or, according to another legend, its own ashes), in the Temple of the Sun at Heliopolis in Lower Egypt. Milton substitutes Thebes in Upper Egypt.
277—285. Six wings he wore,” &c. See Isaiah vi. 2.
285. “Sky-tinctured grain”: i.e. of a cærulean or violet purple, as if dipped in the colours of the sky. Grain, now generally meaning “ texture,” fibre,” “structure” (e.g. wood of a hard or close “grain ”), more frequently in the old poets
colour”——nay, one variety of colour. Granum, in Latin "seed” (as in a “grain” of corn, or “grain ”collectively for corn), had come to be a special designation for the red dye coccum, consisting of the granular or seed-like dried bodies of certain insects collected from trees in Spain and other Mediterranean countries. It was also called kermes, from a Persian word meaning
or “insect”; whence our words carmine and crimson. From distinct “red” or “crimson,” however, the word grain seems to have been extended to include all fast or durable colours of a red or purple order, if not other colours. Compare Il Pens. 33 and P. L. XI. 240-244; and see a detailed and interesting inquiry on the subject in Marsh's Lectures on the English Language : First Series. Grain, however, though used in our older English writers for “colour,” or for “purple or red colour," was certainly also used by them sometimes in our present sense of “.
texture”; which is natural enough, inasmuch as “granum" had the sense of “small round particle" primitively and generally. 285.
“ Like Maia's son he stood”: i.e. like the god Mercury. Compare a passage in Hamlet, iii. 4.
339–341. for middle shore in Pontus or the Punic shore, or where Alcinous reigned”: i.e. “or any of the Mediterranean regions, whether those of western Asia (represented by Pontus in Asia Minor,) or those of northern Africa (represented by the Punic or Carthaginian coast),or those of southern Europe (represented by Phæacia, afterwards Corcyra or Corfu, where Alcinous had his gardens.”. Odyss. vii.)
382. “three that in Mount Ida,” &c. Aphrodite or Venus, Here or Juno, and Athene or Minerva, when Paris had to decide which was the most beautiful.
415-426. “of Elements the grosser feeds the purer,”' &c. In these few lines there is a sketch of Milton's Physics or Physiology.
469—490. “O Adam,” &c. Here we have a sketch, from the Archangel's mouth, of Milton's Metaphysical or rather Physico-Metaphysical system. Some have found in it a sort of Materialism, inasmuch as it makes “ ' body up to spirit work,” or represents the inorganic as ascending by gradations, “improved by tract of time, but by strict self-discipline as well, into the vegetable, the animal, the intellectual or human, and finally the Angelic. If this is to be called Materialism, however, the materialistic principle is confined by Milton within the bounds of what may be called “creation,' and for this "creation " there is asserted an absolute cause and origin in Eternal Deity. Moreover, even in this limited sense, -i.e. as only maintaining the all-sufficiency of uninterrupted evolution within a material creation once originated somehow,-canany known form of Materialism be predicated of one who throughout the whole poem holds up to us two Creations or Worlds, the one Angelic and pre-human and the other Human, as going on parallel to each other and with interconnexions, and who makes it his business in part of the poem to tell us how the later Creation sprang into being at the fiat of Deity modifying a portion of Chaos all but instantaneously ? This apart from what we know otherwise of the incessant Theism of Milton's mode of thought, the fervour of his belief in Divine and Diabolic interference in everything from moment to moment. In short, the present passage is somewhat crude and mystic, though still very Miltonic.
488. “Discursive or Intuitive": an old distinction with psychologists. Discursive Reason, or Understanding, they say, is that which arrives at knowledge gradually by searching,
comparing, distinguishing, &c.; Intuitive Reason is immediate insight, or perception of what must be true necessarily. But there is a great debate as to the validity of the distinction.
546-548. “than when Cherubic songs,” &c. See note, IV. 680—688, with references there.
563—576. “High matter thou enjoin'st me,” &c. See Introd. p. 46.
577. As yet this World was not,” &c. At this point we have the true chronological beginning of the whole poem ; and from this point to the end of Book VIII. is mainly a retrospective history, in colloquy between Raphael and Adam, of events prior to the action of the poem itself as related hitherto. See Introd. pp. 27-32.
625—627.“ And in their motions harmony divine,” &c. The Pythagorean notion of “the music of the spheres," or an actual music produced by, or regulating, the motions of the heavenly orbs, was a favourite one with Milton, and often recurs in his writings.
671. “his next subordinate": i.e. Beelzebub. 689.
“ the quarters of the North.” The poetico-theological tradition that the north parts of Heaven were the seat of the Angelic Rebellion seems to have been founded on Isaiah xiv. 12, 13.
710. “the third part of Heaven's host.” Rev. xii. 3, 4. 766. “ The Mountain of the Congregation called. Isaiah
805. “Abdiel.” The name means
Servant of God."
BOOK VI. 44, 45. “Go, Michael,” &c. Rev. xii. 7, 8.
62. " in mighty quadrate" : in cubic mass. See note, II. 512. 365–372.
“ Adramelech" (“Splendid King”) is from 2 Kings xvii. 31. “ Asmadai” is the evil spirit Asmodeus : see note, IV. 168–171. "Ariel” (“Lion of God”) is suggested by Ezra viii. 16, and Isaiah xxix. I; “ Arioch" (“Lion-like") by Dan. ii. 14, where it is the name of a man. • Ramiel” does not occur in Scripture.
399. "in cubic phalanx”: see above, line 62. 447. "Nisroch” (perhaps “ Great Eagle") is from 2 Kings
520. “pernicious”: i.e. destructively sensitive.
535. “ Zophiel” (“Spy of God”) is perhaps a name of
552. “in hollow cube." See above, lines 62 and 399.
558-567. Vanguard,” &c. Observe the irony of the
621–627. “ Leader,” &c. Belial's puns in this speech
685. as we compute the days of Heaven.” See note, IV.
750—759. “ The chariot of Paternal Deity,” &c. The
769, 770. And twenty thousand (I their number heard)
863. Strook.” See note, II. 165.
871. “ Nine days they fell”: so the Titans from Heaven
893. Thus, measuring things in Heaven by things on
17–20. as once Bellerophon,” &c. Bellerophon, falling
32–38. “But drive far off,” &c. The reference is to the
131–135 “Lucifer,” &c. Lucifer, meaning “Light-
“ between two brazen mountains lodged.” Zech. vi. 1.