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SATAN having encompassed the earth, with meditated guile returns, as
a mist, by night into Paradise; enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone: Eve, loth to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength: Adam at last yields; the serpent finds her alone: his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking; with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech, and such understanding, not till now: the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden; the serpent, now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; she, pleased with the taste, deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not; at last brings him of the fruit; relates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam, at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her; and, extenuating the trespass, eats also of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.
No more of talk where God or angel guest
1. Where God, &c. The sense is, where! 12. Misery bere means sickness, dis God, or rather the angel sent by him,ease, and all sorts of mortal pains. and acting as his proxy, used to sit familiarly with man as with his friend.
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long
The sun was sunk, and after him the star
26. Long choosing. Milton early de-horseback: from the French bas; d bas, signed to write an epic poem on the “upon the ground." subject of King Arthur; but it was laid 37. The marshal placed the guests aside, though it was not till after the according to their rank, and saw that Restoration that he set about the pre they were properly served; the sewer sent work in earnest; so that he was (from the French asseoir, to sit down.) long choosing and beginning late.
marrhed in before the meats, and ar35. Impresses qunnt: emblems and ranged them on the table; the seneshal devices on the shield, allu ling to the was the household steward.-TODD. name or the fortune of the wearer.
41. Of these, for in these, Latinè. 36. Buses: the mantle which hung 45. Or years. Milton was nearly sixty down from the middle to about the years old when this poem was published knees or lower, worn by knights on
From compassing the earth; cautious of day,
O earth, how like to heaven, if not preferr'd
59. Compassing the earth. Job i. 7. 1 77. As we before had an astronomical,
63. Satan was three days compassing so here we have a geographical account the earth from east to west, and four of Satan's peregrinations.--NEWTON. days from north to south, but still kept 78. Oh, the Oby; Orontes, a river of always in the shade of night; and on Syria that empties into the gulf of Issun; the eighth day returned by stealth into Darien, the isthmus that seems to set Paradise --NEWTOX.
a bar to the Atlantic, preventing its 66. Each colure. The colures are two mingling with the waters of the Pacific great circles, intersecting each other at 86. Gen. iii. 1. right angles in the poles of the world, 89. Fillest imp: Fittest stock to graft and encompassing the earth from north his devilish fraud upon.--HUME. to soutb.
With second thoughts, reforming what was old !
Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains,
Rocks, dens, and caves! But I in none of these
:13. Of groueth, &c. The three kinds | places used the objective absolute instead of life, vegetable, animal, and rational, I of the nominative. of all of which man partakes.
1 146. If they at least, &c.; thus doubt 119. Place: Abiding-place.
| ing whether the angels were crented by 130. Him. Milton has in two or three God.
Determined to advance into our room
So saying, through each thicket dank or dry,
Now, when as sacred light began to dawn
156 and 157. See Ps. civ. 4 and xci. starts of recollection upon the meanness 11, and Heb. i. 14.
and folly of what he was going to under 173. No speech in the whole work is, take, as plainly show the remains of the in my opinion, worked up with greater archangel and the ruins of a superior judgment, or better suited to the charac-nature.-THYER. ter of the speaker, than this of Satan's. 192. Sacred light. This is the morning There is all tbe horror and malignity of the ninth day, as far as we can reckon of a fiend-like spirit expressed; and yet the time in this poem ;-the last of man's this is so artfully tempered with Satan's | innocence and happiness.-NEWTON.