With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night so
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded though immortal: but his doom
Reserv’d him to more wrath; for now the thought

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Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
Mix’d with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
At once, as far as angels ken, he views

The dismal situation waste and wild ;

A dungeon horrible on all sides round
As one great furnace flam’d, yet from those flames

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No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,

Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace

And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsum’d:

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For those rebellious, here their pris’on ordain’d In utter darkness, and their portion set

63. —darkness visible] Seneca has a like expression, speaking of the Grotta of Pausilipo, Epist. lvii. Nihilillo carcere longius, nihil illis faucibus obscurius, quae nobis praestant, non ut per tenebras videamus, sedut insas. And, as Mons. Voltaire observes, Antonio de Solis, in his excellent history of Mexico, hath ventured on the same thought, when speaking of the place wherein Montezuma was wont ... to consult his deities; “'Twas a “large dark subterraneous vault, “says he, where some dismal “ tapers afforded just light e“nough to see the obscurity.” See his Essay on Epic Poetry, p. 44. Euripides too expresses himself in the same poetical manner. Bac. 510.

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perhaps take the hint from himself in his Il Penseroso,

Where glowing embers through the room Teach light to counterfeit a gloom.

72. In utter darkness.] Dr. Bentley reads outer here and in many other places of this poem, because it is in Scripture rowzoro; to targoy: but my dictionaries tell me that utter and outer are both the same word, differently spelt and pronounced. Milton, in the argument of this book, says, in a place of utter darkness, and no where throughout the poem does the poet use outer. Pearce. Spenser justifies the present reading, by frequently using the word utter for outer; as in Faery Queen, b. ii. cant. ii. st. 34. And inly grieve, as doth an hidden moth The inner garment fret, not th’ utter touch. And again, b. iv. cant. 10. St. 11.

Till to the bridge's utter gate I canne.


As far remov’d from God and light of heav'n,
As from the centre thrice to th’ utmost pole.

O how unlike the place from whence they fell !

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There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns, and welt’ring by his side
One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime,

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Beélzebub. To whom th’ arch-enemy,
And thence in heav'n call’d Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence thus began.

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If thou beest he, but O how fall’n how chang'd From him, who in the happy realms of light Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst outshine Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league,

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United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

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84. If thou beest he, &c.] The thoughts in the first speech and description of Satan, who is one of the principal actors in this poem, are wonderfully proper to give us a full idea of him. His pride, envy, and revenge, obstinacy, despair, and impenitence, are all of them very artfully interwoven. In short, his first speech is a complication of all those passions, which discover themselves separately in several other of his speeches in the poem. Addison.

The change and confusion of these enemies of God is most artfully expressed in the abruptness of the beginning of this speech : If thou art he, that Beélzebub—He stops, and falls into a bitter reflection on their present condition, compared with that in which they lately were. He attempts again to open his mind; cannot proceed on what he intends to say, but returns to those sad thoughts; still doubting whether it is really his associate in the revolt, as now in misery and ruin; by that time he had expatiated on this (his heart was oppressed with it) he is assured to whom he speaks, and goes on to declare his

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proud unrelenting inind. RichardSO?t. 84. but O how fall'n 1 how chang'd From him, He imitates Isaiah and Virgil at the same time. Isaiah xiv. 12. How art thou fallen, &c. and Virgil's AEn. ii. 274. Hei mihi qualiserat 1 quantum mutatus abillo 1 86. Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst outshine Myriads though bright !] Imitated from Homer, Odyss. vi. 110. where Diana excels all her nymphs in beauty, though all of them be beautiful. 'Puz o' aeywarn wixiral, saxa, is ri orazarazu. Bentley. 91. In equal ruin :] So it is in all the editions. And equal ruin is, Dr. Bentley's emendation, which Dr. Pearce allows (and I believe every body must allow) to be just and proper; it being very easy to mistake one of these words for the other; and other instances perhaps may occur in the course of this work. Equal ruin hath joined now, as equal hope joined before; somewhat like that in Ovid's Metamorphosis, i. 351. C

From what height fall’n, so much the stronger prov’d
He with his thunder: and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms ? yet not for those,
Nor what the potent victor in his rage 95
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
Though chang'd in outward lustre, that fix’d mind,
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit, -
That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along 100
Innumerable force of Spirits arm’d,
That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos'd
In dubious battle on the plains of heaven,

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