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Torment with ease, and soonest recompense
Dole with delight; which in this place I sought:
To thee no reason, who know'st only good,
But evil hast not tried: and wilt object
His will who bounds us? Let him surer bar
His iron gates, if he intends our stay
In that dark durance: thus much what was ask'd.
The rest is true, they found me where they say;
But that implies not violence or harm.

Thus he in scorn. The warlike angel moved,
Disdainfully half-smiling, thus replied :-
O loss of one in heaven to judge of wise,
Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew;
And now returns him from his prison 'scaped,
Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise
Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither
Unlicensed from his bounds in hell prescribed :
So wise he judges it to fly from pain
However, and to 'scape his punishment.
So judge thou still, presumptuous; till the wrath,
Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight
Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to hell,
Which taught thee yet no better, That no pain
Can equal anger intinite provoked.
But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee
Came not all hell broke loose? is pain to them
Less pain, less to be fled; or thou than they
Less hardy to endure? Courageous chief!
The first in flight from pain! hadst thou alleged
To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.

To which the fiend thus answer’d, frowning stern:-
Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,
Insulting angel! well thou know'st I stood
Thy fiercest; when in battel to thy aid
The blasting vollied thunder made all speed,
And seconded thy else not dreaded spear.
But still thy words at random, as before,
Argue thy inexperience what behoves
From hard assays and ill successes past
A faithful leader; not to hazard all
Through ways of danger by himself untried:
I therefore, I alone first undertook
To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
This new-created world, whereof in hell
Fame is not silent; here in hope to find
Better abode, and my afflicted powers
To settle here on earth, or in mid air;

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896. And will thou ohject.

fiercest enemy.

Milton often thus iseg 904. To judge of what is wise.

judjectives as substantives. “The sensi977. Thy fiercest, that is, thy tiercest ble of pain.” “ The slony from their attack, or power; or it may mean, thy hearts."

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Though for possession put to try once more
What thou and thy gay legions dare against;
Whose easier business were to serve their Lord
High up in heaven, with songs to hymn his throne,
And practised distances to cringe, not fight.

To whom the warriour angel soon replied:
To say and straight unsay, pretending first
Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy,
Argues no leader, but a liar traced,
Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name,
O sacred name of faithfulness profaned!
Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
Army of fiends, fit body to fit head.
Was this your discipline and faith engaged,
Your military obedience, to dissolve
Allegiance to the acknowledged Power supreme?
And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem
Patron of liberty, who more than thou
Once fawn'd, and cringed, and servilely adored
Heaven's awful Monarch? wherefore but in hope
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?
But mark what I arreed thee now; Avaunt;
Fly thither whence thou fledst: if from this hour
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chain'd,
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn
The facile gates of hell too slightly barr’d.

So threaten'd he: but Satan to no threats
Gave heed, but waxing more in rage replied:-

Then, when I am thy captive, talk of chains,
Proud limitary cherub; but ere then
Far heavier load thyself expect to feel
- From my prevailing arm; though heaven's King
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers,
Used to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels
In progress through the road of heaven star-paved.

While thus he spake, the angelic squadron bright
Turn'd fiery red, sharpening in mooned horns
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres, ripe for harvest, waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind
Sways them; the careful plowman doubting stands
Lest on the threshing floor his hopeful sheaves
Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarm’d,
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremoved:
His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
Sat horrour plumed; nor wanted in his grasp

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071. Proud limitary. That is, set to 980. Portal. A military term, borne pointguard the bounds or limits.—974. Rude oned towards him. thy wings. Ezek. I. 6 to 10; and xi. 22.

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What seem'd both spear and shield. Now dreadful deeds 990
Might have ensued; nor only Paradise
In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of heaven perhaps, or all the elements
At least had gone to wrack, disturb’d and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon
The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in heaven his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh’d,
The pendulous round earth with balanced air
In counterpoise; now ponders all events,
Battels, and realms: in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight:
The latter quick uphew and kick'd the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend:

Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine;
Neither our own, but given: what folly then
To boast what arms can do, since thine no more
Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire! for proof look up,
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign;
Where thou art weigh’d, and shown how light, how weak,
If thou resist. The fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

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REMARKS ON BOOK V.

This book consists of elements of the same character and of sirailar combinations as the fourth. Eve's dream, and the manner of relating it, are in a very high degree poetical: here the invention is perfect, both in imagery, sentiment, and language.

The approach of the angel Raphael, as viewed at a distance by Adam, is designed with all those brilliant circumstances, and those undefinable touches, which give the force of embodied reality to a vision. Milton never relates with the artifices, and attempts to excite attention, of a tecbnical poet : what he creates stands before him as life: he does not struggle to embellish or exaggerate, but simply relates what he believes that he beholds or hears: but none could have beheld or heard these high things, except one inspired.

The hints of a great part of the incidents are taken from the Scriptures; but the invention is not on that account the less. To bring the dim general idea into broad light in all its lineaments is the difficulty, and requires the power.

The conversation between Raphael and Adam is admirably contrived on both sides. These argumentative portions of the poem are almost always grand: and poetical, because they are grand. Now and then, indeed, the bard indulges in the display of too much abstruse learning er metaphysical subtleties.

As to this portion of the work, which occupies a large space, it is less gasy to reconcile it to the general taste : but we must take it as a part of the two essential divisions of an epic poem-character and sentiments. Taken by itself, separated from the story, much of it would not be poetical: as part of the story, it is primary essence. Without it, mere imagery would lose almost all its dignity, as well as its instructiveness, because it would lose its intellectual and spiritual charın.

In relating the cause of Satan's rebellion, Raphael sustains all the almost unutterable sublimity of his subject. The hero is drawn wicked and daring beyond prior conception; but mighty and awful as he is wicked. Language to express these high thoughts would have sunk before any other genius but Milton's: and as he had to convey the movements of heavenly spirits by earthly comparisons, the difficulty increased at every step.

To cite detached passages from other poets, as containing a supposed similitude to Milton, is very fallacious. These are patches :-Milton's is a uniform, close-wove, massy web of gold. Numerous particles of the ingredients may be traced in other authors: it is the combination, and the design by which that combination is conducted, that makes the merit.

SIR EGERTON BRYDGES.

108

BOOK V.

THE ARGUMENT.

MORNING approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dresm;

he likes it not, yet comforts her: they come forth to their day-labours: their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise; his appearance described; his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower; be goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains bim with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, begin. ning from his first revolt in heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

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Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime
Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam waked, so custom’d; for his sleep
Was aery-light, from pure digestion bred,
And temperate vapours bland, which the only sound
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song
Of birds on every bough: so much the more
His wonder was to find unwaken’d Eve
With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek,
As through unquiet rest: he, on his side
Leaning half-raised, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: Awake,
My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
Heaven's last, best gift, my ever new delight!
Awake; the morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove,

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5. Which refers to sleep, which was morning. Aurora's fan, the cause for dispersed only by the sound of leaves and the effect-the faming winds of tho fuming rills--called fuming from the morning among the leaves. steam that rises from the water in the

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