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1. 513. borrent ;-bristling. Cf. ' Horrentia pilis agmina' (Horace, Satires, ii. 1. 13).
1. 514. session ;-assembly (Lat. sessio). Cf. Nativity Ode 163.
1.517. alchemy ;-metal mixed by chemic skill. Fletcher (Purple Island, vii. 39) contrasts spurious metal, . alchemy,' with pure gold.
1. 518. berald ;—the word is spelt .harald ' in the eariy editions. (From Germ. baren, A. S. berian, to proclaim, cry.)
1. 526. entertain ;-as guests.
1. 528. These heroic games were doubtless suggested by Iliad, ii. 773; Aeneid, vi. 642.
1. 531. Horace, Odes, i. 1. 4.
1. 534. Cf. Virgil, Georgics, i. 473, and Julius Caesar, ii. 2 (Calpurnia's speech). * 1. 536. prick forth ;- spur forward. Spenser's knight .came pricking on the plain. (See Glossary to Faery Queene, I.)
1. 530. To couch (Fr. coucher) a spear, is to lay it in its rest, a portion of the breast armour strengthened for that purpose.
1. 538. burns ;-is in commotion. Cf. use of fervere,' Georgics, i. 455. For welkin see note on line 490.
1. 539. Typhoean ;-cf. i. 199.
(Macbeth, iv. I), and line 663.
1. 542. The envenoned robe was unwittingly sent to Hercules (called Alcides from his grandfather, Alcaeus), by his wife Deianira, as a means of retaining his affections. The poison caused him intense suffering, and he threw the bearer, Lichas, into the sea. Milton appears to have followed Ovid's account (Metamorphoses, ix. 136,217).
1. 550. Bentley observes that here is an allusion to the sentiment quoted by Brutus from Euripides, that Virtue was enthralled to Force, or (as some read) to Fortune. Milton has comprehended both readings.
1. 554. took ;-cf. note on Vacation Exercise 20. Compare the effects of the song of Orpheus, Georgics, iv. 481-484; Horace, Odes, ii. 13. 29.
1. 559. The inversion of the words illustrates wandering mazes. 1. 560. Milton here makes the devils the first philosophers.
1. 561. wandring ;-i. e. 'causing to wander,' like oblivious' (i. 266), • abortive' (ii. 441), and · shuddering' (ii. 616).
1. 568. obdur'd;-hardened : obdurate’ is the more usual word. 1. 569. triple steel ;-like Horace's 'aes triplex ' (Odes, i. 3. 9).
1. 570. squadron=Fr. escadron, Ital. squadra, which are derived from Lat. quadratus (allied to quatuor). Cf..squared regiment' (i. 758).
1. 577. Styx, Cocytus, &c. are named respectively from hate, sorrow, wailing, and fire. Lethe is far from the rest, as in Aeneid, vi. 705, and in Dante (Inferno, xiv. 136).
1. 581. torrent ;-either from torreo, and so 'burning,' or from torrens, • rolling rapidly.
1. 589. dire ;—(A.S. dirian, to hurt; Lat. dirus, from Greek Servós, according to Voss.) Horace has 'dire hail' (Odes, i. 2. I).
1. 592. Serbonis was a lake between the mountain Casius and the Egyptian city of Damiata, on one of the eastern mouths of the Nile. It was a thousand stadia in circuit, and was surrounded by hills of loose sar d, which were carried into the water by high winds, and made the lake undistinguishable from the land. (See Herodotus, ii. 6; Diodorus Siculus, i. 35.)
1. 595. frore ;—frozen, like gefroren, participle of frieren. Cf. 'adurat' in Georgics, i. 93. "Torreo' is applied in Latin to heat, parching of fever, or cold. The cold north wind is said (Eccles. xliii. 20, 21) to burn the wilderness.'
1. 596. harpy-footed ;-cf. Aeneid, iii. 217.
1. 600. starve ;— the old meaning was to die. (A.S. steorfan, Germ. sterben.) The modern meaning is as old as 1340. (Morris.) In Shakespeare and in Milton it is found in the sense of frozen; starved snake' (2 Henry VI. iii. 1), and in Bk. vi. 769.
1. 603. The idea of this alternation of punishment seems to have been taken from Rabbinical tradition, which affirmed Gehenna tortures to consist of fire, frost, and snow. Todd supposes it to have been suggested by the Vulgate rendering of Job xxiv. 19, Let him pass to excessive heat from waters of snow.' Cf. Aeneid, vi. 746–742; Dante, Inferno, iii. 87; and Claudio's speech in Measure for Measure, iii. 1.
1. 604. sound;strait, from High Dutch sund = fretum.' (Richardson.) Cf. Icelandic synda, to swim. Ben Jonson uses the word for a shallow sea or lake. 1. 610. Cf. • fata obstant' (Aeneid, iv. 440).
Gorgonian terror ;---cf. Odyssey, xi. 63.3 ; Aeneid, vi. 289. 1. 614. Tantalus ;—cf. Horace, Satires, i. 1. 68.
1. 616. agast ;– frightened. Cf. Glossary to Chaucer, and note on Psalm cxiv. 15.
1. 617. Cf. Matt. xii. 43; Luke xi. 24.
I. 619. Hell is called the city of dole,' Citta dolente,' by Dante (Inferno i. 3. I).
1. 620. Alp ;--- used for ‘mountain,' particular for general; as ' Acheloia pocula' is used in Georgics, i. 9, for water.
1. 623. The Eumenides are said to exist for the sake of evil (Aeschylus, Eumenides, 71).
1. 625. prodigious ;—in the original sense of portentous.' It is so used in Julius Caesar, i. 3 ; Richard III. i. 2.
1. 628. Compare Virgil's monsters at the entrance of Hell (Aeneid, vi. 287). 1. 631. Puts on swift wings ;-cf. line 700. Iliad, xxiv. 340.
1. 634. shaves ; -Aeneid, v. 217. A similar expression occurs in Faery Queene, II. vi. 5.
1. 636. Milton seems to mean winds on the equator, for it could not be by what are called either equinoctial or trade winds, that this fleet is impelled.
1. 638. close sailing ;-so as to form one object to the eye, thus representing the size of Satan. (Keightley.)
1. 639. Ternate and Tidore; -Two of the Moluccas, whence the Dutch brought spices to Europe. The pole here meant is the South pole.
1.647. impals ;-enclosed, surrounded. “Hedged about with a terrible impalement of commands' (Milton, Reason of Church Government, i. 2). The word is thus used in Shakespeare (3 Henry VI. iii. 2; Troilus and Cressida, v. 7).
1. 648. Before the gates ;-cf. Aeneid, vi. 574.
1. 649. The following allegory of Sin and Death is grounded on James i. 15.
1. 630. Some parts of this description are taken from that of Error (Faery Queene, I. xiv.), and of Hamartia (Purple Island xii. 27), Hesiod's Aechidna (Theog. 298), and Horace's ' mulier formosa superne' (De Arte Poetica 4).
1. 653. mortal sting ;-cf. i Cor. xv. 56. 1. 654. cry ;-a pack of hounds; as in Coriolanus, iii. 3. 1. 655. Cerberean mouths is a phrase from Ovid (Metamorphoses, xiv. 65).
1. 656. list ;-listed, willed (A. S. listan, to desire, will). Cf. Faery Queene, I. i. 15.
1. 650. Ovid, Metamorphoses, xiv. ; Aeneid, iii. 431.
1. 661. Sicily is called Trinacria from its triangular shape. Cf. Virgil, Eclogues, vi. 75; Aeneid, iii. 429.
1.665. labouring ;—The eclipses of the moon are called her · labores ' by the Latin poets (Georgics, ii. 478). Jeremy Taylor (Apples of Sodom) says of sinful pleasure, it is such as the old women have in the Lapland dances; they dance the round, but there is a horror and a harshness in the music.' 1.616. eclipses ;-suffers eclipse (ékhelmet).
The otber shape ;-Spenser (Faery Queene, VII. vii. 46) had described Death as
* Death with most grim and grisly visage seen,
Yet is he nought but parting of the breath,
Unbodied, unsoul'd, unheard, unseen. Coleridge says of this passage of Milton: The grandest efforts of poetry are where the imagination is called forth to produce not a distinct form, but a strong working of the mind, still offering what is still repelled, and again creating what is again rejected ; the result being what the poet wishes to impress, viz. the substitution of a sublime feeling of the unimaginable for mere images. Painters illustrating this passage have described Death by the most defined thing that can be imagined, which, instead of keeping the mind in a state of activity, reduces it to the merest passivity.'
1. 670. as night; cf. Iliad, i. 47; Odyssey, xi. 606. 1. 673. kingly crown;-cf. Job xviii. 14; Rev. vi. 2.
1. 675. This passage in some respects recalls the meeting of Guyon with Disdain (Faery Queene, II. vii. 41).
1. 676. borrid strides ; cf. Iliad, vii. 213. 1. 677. admir'd ;-cf. i. 690.
1.678. except ;-being excepted: i.e. God and his Son being excepted, Satan cared not for any power remaining, that is, for any 'created thing' Of like construction (Keightley remarks) is Milton's sentence, “No place in Heaven or Earth, except Hell, where charity may not enter;' and so in Richard III. v. 3.
Richard except, those whom we fight against.'
1. 681. Iliad, xxi. 150.
1. 686. taste ;-experience. Psalm xxxiv. 8; Hebrews vi. 5.
1. 687. bell-born is a Spenserian phrase (Faery Queene, VI. xii. 32), as * miscreated' above (Faery Queene, I. ij. 3).
1. 688. goblin ;-cf. L'Allegro 105, note. 1. 692. Rev. xii. 3, 4. 1. 693. conjur'd ;-banded against, conjurati (Georgics, i. 280 ; ii. 497). 1. 697. Hell-doom'd;—the retort to Hell-born in line 687. 1.700. False;–because he had called himself a spirit of heaven.
1.708. Cf. Aeneid, x. 272. Ophiuchus, Anguitenens, or Serpentarius, is a constellation about forty degrees long, mentioned by Aratus. 1. 710. Comets are adjured in i Henry VI. i. 1, to
• Brandish their crystal tresses in the sky.' 1.713. Cf. Or as when clouds together crusht and bruis’d, Pour down a tempest on the Caspian plain.'
(Fairfax's translation of Tasso.) 1.714. This simile (of combatants to thunderclouds) occurs in Boiardo's poem, Orlando Innamorato.
1.715. fraught;—laden (Germ. fracht). Heaven's artillery is an expression of Crashaw, Habington, and Shakespeare (Taming of the Shrew, i. 2).
1.716. The Caspian is said (in Purchas, Pilgrims, iii. 241) to be remarkably tempestuous. Cf. Horace, Odes, ii. 9. 2. 1. 722. but once ;-cf. Heb. ii. 14.
and now great deeds, &c.;-cf. Iliad vii. 273. 1. 723. bad for 'would have;' not unfrequent in Latin, e. g. 'munierant' for ‘munivissent' (Horace, Odes, iii. 16. 3).
1. 724. So the Furies are called the snake-like maids' by Euripides (Orestes 256).
1. 735. Pest is applied by Ariosto to the Fury Megaera and the giantess Erifila.
1. 758. An adaptation of the classic myth of the birth of Minerva from 'the brain of Jupiter.
1. 768. fields ;-cf. i. 105. “Field' is used for battle' (Coriolanus, i. 6 and 7), and for .army’ (Julius Caesar, v. 5), by Shakespeare.
1. 786. brandi bing his fatal dart;-cf. Aeneid, xii. 919.
1.789. Cf. Aeneid, ii. 53. The repetition of the name may have been suggested by Eclogue vi. 43 ; Georgics, iv. 525-527.
1. 810. Odyssey, xii. 116-120.
1. 825. pretences ;-claims, whether put forward (praetenta) justly or not. This usage is found in Shakespeare (3 Henry VI. iv. 7; Coriolanus, i. 2).
1. 834. purlieu ;-the outskirt of a forest. The word is derived from Lat. purus and locus: either purus ab arboribus,' the more open part (Keightley), or as exempt from the forest laws. Blackstone speaks of the deer coming out of the forest into the purlieu. (Richardson.)
1. 842. buxom ; - yielding (Faery Queene, I. xi. 37). Cf. 'cedentem aera' (Horace, Satires, ii. 2. 13).
1. 846. Compare the smile of Ajax (Iliad vii. 212) and the grin of Minos in Dante (Inferno v. 4). Spenser's Grantorto is described as “grinning griesly' (Faery Queene, V. xii. 16) and Sylvester has 'grinning gastly.'
1.868. who live at ease ;—Homeric expression (Iliad vi. 138; Odyssey, iv. 805). In Tennyson's Lotos-Eaters, the crew of Ulysses propose
to live and lie reclin'd On the hills, like gods together, careless of mankind.' 1. 874. poricullis ;-- either from Lat. porta clausa, or the French port and coulisse, the groove in which it works.
1. 879. Contrast with the opening of the doors of Heaven (vii, 206).
In hateful darkness and in deep horrore
(Faery Queene, III. vi. 36.) 1. 911. Omniparens, eadem rerum commune sepulchrum.
(Lucretius, v. 260.) “The earth that's Nature's mother, is her tomb.'
(Romeo and Juliet, ii. 3.) 1. 919. frith or 'firth' (Icelandic fiord), a bay; here used for 'strait.'
1. 927. vans ; -- wings ; Lat. vannus is a winnowing fan. Tasso uses' vanni' for the wings of the archangel Michael. Cf. Aeneid, i. 300; Faery Queene, I. xi. 10.
1. 932. audacious means here simply daring,' as in Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2, the King is related to have said to the page
' Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously.' l. 936. rebuff ;-'buff'=blow, a Spenserian word (Faery Queene, II. ii. 23).
l. 939. Syrtis ;—The Syrtes were two gulfs on the north coast of Africa, dangerous on account of their quicksands‘Syrtes—in dubio pelagi terraeque reliquit.'
(Lucan, Pharsalia, ix. 304.) 1. 940. fares;—goes (A.S. faran, to go). 1. 941. Cf. Faery Queene, I. xi. 8.
1. 943. gryfon ;—a fabulous creature, part eagle, part lion, said to guard gold mines. The Arimaspians were a one-eyed Scythian people, who adorned their hair with gold, for which they had continual battle with the guardian gryphons. Herodotus (iii. 116), and Pliny (Nat. Hist. vii. 2), are the authorities for these marvels. Todd thinks that in Aeschylus (Prometheus Vinctus 803-807) is the original of this passage.
1. 948. Compare the effect with Iliad xxiii. 116, and Spenser, Faery Queene, I. xi. 28.
1. 951. hubbub; this word (derived by Keightley from the Irish aboo) is used by Shakespeare (Winter's Tale, iv. 3), Spenser (Faery Queene, IIT. X. 43), and again by Milton in Paradise Lost, xii. 60.
1. 954. ply (from A. S. plegan)='incumbere ramis,' to keep working. Cf. line 642.