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147. my Sect." In this phrase, and throughout the passage, Milton has a secondary reference to his own position in England at the time when the poem was written.
170. "both their deeds": an unusual construction, for the deeds of both of them (i.e. of "servility" or the loyal angels, and "freedom or the rebel Angels).
222. "These elements," i.e. the elements of the terrestrial world amid which Raphael was speaking to Adam.
239. moment," i.e. impelling force, momentum.
332. nectarous humour," i.e. the ichor of the Gods, as in Homer, Iliad, v. 340, which Milton must have had in mind. 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.
441, 442. "Or equal. . . in nature none. The meaning is "Or equal that, whatever it was, which made the odds between us, an odds not existing so far as our constitution is concerned.'
447. "Nisroch" (perhaps "Great Eagle") is from 2 Kings xix. 37.
470-491. "Not uninvented," etc. In this passage, ascribing the invention of gunpowder and artillery to Satan, Milton but follows Ariosto, Spenser, and preceding poets.
496. "cheer": aspect, countenance: from old Fr. chière, Ital. cera, face or countenance.
520. "pernicious," i.e. destructively sensitive.
532. "In motion or in halt." I have not seen it noticed that in the original text the word is not "halt” but “ alt," and that this spelling "alt" remains in the Second and Third Editions.
535. "Zophiel" ("Spy of God") is perhaps a name of Milton's invention.
552. "in hollow cube." See above, lines 62 and 399. Observe the irony of the
558-567. Vanguard," etc.
speech and the string of puns in it.
572-578. "A triple-mounted row," etc. It has been suggested that this must mean that there were three rows of cannon, one behind the other. But the poet seems clearly
to imagine the rows one over another vertically, as they might be in a ship's side, and such an arrangement of the cannon is consistent with the notion of the rebel host as forming a hollow cube.
578. "Portending hollow truce." Even Raphael puns. 595-599. "Unarmed, they might," etc. Here we seem to have an afterthought of Milton, correcting his prevalent notion of the dilatability or contractibility of the spirits at will (see notes, I. 419 and 789). Remembering this notion, and yet resolved to keep his representation of the effect of the cannon on the Angelic host, he resorts to the imagination that the arms of the Angels, not being of the Angelic substance, but of more ordinary matter, hung about them and impeded the exercise of their elasticity. This is one of the shifts to which Milton is driven by the nature of his subject, and is perhaps hardly consistent with other passages in the poem.
Irony and punning con
609-619. "O friends," etc. tinued.
Belial's puns in this speech
621-627. "Leader," etc. outdo Satan's.
656–661. “Their armour helped their harm,” etc. note to lines 595-599. There is an advance in this passage on the supposition made in the other. In the case of the rebel Angels not only does the armour impede the exercise of the spiritual elasticity, but, crushed in upon the bodies of the Spirits, it causes pain. This difference of the rebel from the loyal Ángels is accounted for by the deterioration of the being of the former caused by their sin.-Observe the jingle armour and harm.
664-667. So hills infernal noise." The meaning is "Hills encountered hills amid the air so (to such an extent) that the Angels were actually fighting underground, in a darkness that was dismal and a noise that might properly be called infernal, as being roofed over by the flying masses of earth." 673. Consulting on the sum of things." See Naturam non pati Senium, lines 33, 34.
681, 682. "in whose face invisible is beheld visibly, what by Deity I am," i.e. "in whose face a thing in its own nature invisible- -to wit, what by my Deity I am—is beheld visibly." 685. as we compute the days of Heaven." See note, IV, 449, 450.
698. "the main," i.e. the total Universe, of which Heaven is the half.
723-745. “O Father, O Supreme,” etc. Among the texts involved in this speech are John xvii. 4, 5; Matthew xvii. 5; 1 Cor. xv. 28; John xvii. 21; Psalm cxxxix. 21; 2 Peter ii. 4; Isaiah lxvi. 24; Mark ix. 44.
750-759. "The chariot of Paternal Deity," etc. The description is from the first chapter of Ezekiel.
761. "radiant Urim." Exod. xxviii. 15-30. Urim means "lights" or "flashing jewels.”
769, 770. "And twenty thousand (I their number heard) chariots of God." Psalm lxviii. 17.
862-866. "The monstrous sight. . . bottomless pit." The rebel Angels, it is to be noted, do not fall from Heaven in our sense of "fell." They were not subject to gravitation, and there was no proper element towards which they could gravitate. The passage recollects this, and makes the Angels "urged" or driven from Heaven.
863. "Strook." See note, Od. Nat. 95.
871. "Nine days they fell”: so the Titans from Heaven in the Greek legends. See note, I. 50-53.
893. Thus, measuring things in Heaven by things on Earth." See v. 563-576.
"Urania," etc. Urania is the "Heavenly Muse " invoked in the beginning of the poem (1. 6); but, as it is the name of one of the Greek Muses, Milton guards himself.
17-20. as once Bellerophon," etc. Bellerophon, falling from his winged horse Pegasus in his attempt to reach Heaven, wandered all the rest of his life in the Aleian fields: viz. "the Fields of Error."
23. "the pole," i.e. that topmost point of the Astronomical Universe where, according to Milton's cosmology in the poem, it hangs from the eternal and unimaginable Heaven in which most of the history has as yet been laid.
32-38. But drive far off," etc. An evident allusion to the dissolute courtiers of Charles II., from whom he might expect a fate not unlike that of Orpheus, the son of the
muse Calliope. Orpheus was torn to pieces by the Baccha. nalians in Rhodope, a mountain of Thrace, where his song had charmed the woods and rocks.-Milton recollects here lines 549, 550 of his Comus.
39. 'thou art heavenly, she an empty dream." "Thou" is Urania, Milton's muse; "she" is Calliope.
104. "unapparent Deep," i.e. Chaos, surrounding the Natural Universe, but not visible from it.
131-135. "Lucifer," etc. Lucifer, meaning "Lightbringer" (in Greek "Phosphorus "), was the name of the morning star. The name is applied to the King of Babylon in Isaiah xiv. 12. The application of it to Satan is said to date from St. Jerome.
168, 169. "Boundless the Deep.. nor vacuous." The meaning is, "Chaos is boundless because I am boundless who fill infinitude; nor is Chaos empty of my presence, though I, in a manner, hold myself retired from it and inhabit more peculiarly Heaven."
192. "So sang." Observe the poet's preference, on musical grounds, here for the preterite form "sang," instead of "sung," which he generally uses, and has used immediately before, line 182.
201. "between two brazen mountains lodged." Zech. vi. I. 225-231. "the golden compasses," etc. Prov. viii. 27. 232. "Thus God," etc. From this point onwards Milton keeps closely in view the Mosaic account in Genesis.
239-242. "then founded, then conglobed . . centre hung." The space of the new Universe having been cleared of its cold and tartareous dregs, the poet meant to describe what was done with the rest-i.e. with all that remained within the vast sphere that had been cut out of Chaos and consecrated for the new purpose. Suppose, then, the construction to be this: "Downward purged the black, tartareous, cold, infernal dregs, adverse of life; then disparted the rest, -like things having been founded and conglobed to like, -to several place," etc. Compare with the whole passage the similar description Book III. 709-719.
242. "Earth, self-balanced, on her centre hung." "Hung” is here the active verb: "hung Earth, self-balanced, on her centre."
243, 244. "Light, ethereal, first of things," etc. 716, with note; also the first lines of Book III.
not so much created in this passage as invoked into the portion of Chaos which was to contain the creation.
245-249. "Sprung from the Deep," etc. One would have imagined rather the gushing down of Light from Heaven into the new Universe; but there are reasons why Milton rather makes Light come in, as it were, at one side of the new Universe, springing from the Deep at that side, and slowly traversing, like a radiant cloud, the space till now in gloom.
261-275. "Let there be firmament," etc. Gen. i. 6. The word "firmament" has been variously interpreted. Milton understands by it the whole expanse of ether or transparent space between the Earth and the Tenth Sphere or Primum Mobile; and he supposes the creative work of the second day to have been the establishing of this firmament so as to separate the previously diffused waters or watery particles of the chaotic stuff into two aggregations,—those clinging to the Earth and flowing round it, and those removed to near the circumference of the Universe and forming there the Ninth or Crystalline Sphere.
274. "Heaven he named the Firmament": i.e. the whole expanse of space visible from the Earth was named Heaven, after that greater eternal or empyrean Heaven which it was to typify to Man.
311, 312. "after her kind, whose seed is in herself." A distinct instance of "her" where we should say its; and Milton here deviates from the authorized text, which is (Gen. i. II) "the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself."
322. "add the humble shrub." I restore this reading from the First and Second Editions: the Third has "and the humble shrub," which reading has consequently slipped into all the later copies.
325. "gemmed," i.e. "put forth," from the Latin gemmare, to bud or put forth blossoms.
372, 373. "jocund to run his longitude," i.e. path from
east to west.
374, 375. "the Pleiades," etc.
Job xxxviii. 31.
'dividual," i.e. divided or shared (Lat. dividuus). See note, IV. 486.
388. Reptile": here used in the sense of creeping or moving things of the waters--i.e. fishes of all kinds. Psalm civ. 25.