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Directed, no mean recompense it brings
Thus Satan ; and him thus the Anarch old,
Answered: “I know thee, stranger, who thou art, 690
be your walk, you have not far; So much the nearer danger; go, and speed ! Havoc, and spoil, and ruin, are my gain.'
He ceased; and Satan stayed not to reply, But, glad that now his sea should find a shore, With fresh alacrity, and force renewed, Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire, Into the wild expanse; and, through the shock Of fighting elements, on all sides round Environed, wins his way; harder beset And more endangered, than when Argol passed Through Bosporus, betwixt the justling rocks: Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunned 1 The name of the vessel in which, first expedition was made to Colchis according to a Greek tradition, the to fetch away the golden fleece.
Charybdis', and by the other whirlpool steered.
But now at last the sacred influence
EXAMINATION ON BOOK II. 1. Describe the course of action of the poem in this book. 2. Give the names and characters of the speakers in the infernal council. 3. State the general drift of their respective speeches. 4. With what expressions do the critics find fault in this book? 5. What classical parallels may be quoted ? 6. Explain the terms “welkin,” and “puny." 7. Give the names of the four rivers of the infernal regions, and their
Scylla and Charybdis ; the Charybdis, who three times a-day names of two rocks between Italy swallowed the waters of the sea, and and Sicily. On the one nearest to threw them up again. Both were Italy, dwelt, according to Homer, formidable to ships. Scylla, a fearful monster, barking 2 See Horace, lib. i. od. 14. like a dog, with twelve feet and six
3 Laden. mouths. On the opposite rock dwelt
8. Who was Tantalus ? and what English word is derived from this name? 9. Quote one or two of the most beautiful passages in this book. 10. Who was Bellona ? 11. What was the Argonautic expedition; by whom undertaken, and for
what purpose ? 12. Explain the construction of the passage beginning“ Me, though just
right,” line 18. 13. What means the term cæsural pause ? 14. Scan the first ten lines of this book.
The poet's Invocation to Light. God the Father, sitting on his throne, sees
Satan flying towards this world, then newly created, and shows him to the Son, who sits at his right hand. Meanwhile, Satan alights upon the bare, convex of this world's outermost orb. Here, wandering, he finds a place since called the Limbo of Vanity. The place and its inhabitants described. Satan now comes to the gate of Heaven; and thence to the orb of the Sun. Here he finds Uriel, Regent of the Sun; but first changes himself into the appearance of a meaner angel, and pretending a desire to behold the New Creation, and Man, inquires of him the place of his habitation. He is directed by Uriel, and alights on Mount Niphates.
Hail, holy Light', offspring of Heaven first-born,
1 The first fifty-five lines, which when we remember that the poet was, introduce this book, contain the “ In- at the time they were written, atvocation to Light.” They are very ficted with blindness. beautiful, and particularly interesting
Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
1 A kind of blindness called "gutta ancient name of Lydia), he is someserena," arising from derangement or times called “ Mæonides." disease of the nerves of the eye.
4 A celebrated soothsayer of Thebes, 2 An ancient bard of Thrace, who blind from his seventh year. was deprived of his sight because he 5 A blind seer, who had received was so conceited as to think he could his prophetic powers from Apollo. surpass the Muses in singing.
6 The pupil's attention is here di3 As Homer was by some believed rected to the beautiful effect of the to have been a native of Mæonia (the repetition of the conjunction “or.”
So much the rather thou, celestial Light,
Now had the Almighty Father from above,
Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance filled
1 See book ii. line 389.
his grace on man, as he will fall by 2 God the Father here foretels the temptation of Satan. Satan's success in perverting man; 3 The Son of God praises the and yet declares that he will bestow Father for his divine mercy towards