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his story: the account of the rebellion and wars in Heaven, of the defeat and expulsion of the rebel Angels, of the creation of the New Universe, etc. The colloquy is protracted till evening, when (VIII. 652, 653) Raphael departs.
Interval of Six Days.-During the six days following the departure of Raphael we are left to suppose Adam and Eve still in their happiness, and going about their duties in Paradise. We are left to suppose this; for we have no account of those days, save that we learn afterwards (IX. 53–69) that Satan had not quitted the Earth, but was all the while circling it, and meditating his re-approach to the innocent pair. He had filed at night on the first day; and it was not till the eighth night from that, inclusively, that he thought it prudent to return. During those seven days he had not ceased going round and round the globe: adjusting his circuits, however, so as always to be in Night, or within the Earth's shadow, lest Uriel, the Angel of the Sun, whom he had deceived once, and who was now on the alert, should be aware of his movements.
Ninth Day.—This is the day of the Temptation and the Fall. On the previous night,-i.e, on the night of what, in our present reckoning, is the eighth day, -Satan, having returned from compassing the Earth, has re-entered Paradise (IX. 67-75), and hidden himself in the Serpent (IX. 179-191), waiting for the morning. When the morning comes, Adam and Eve come forth to begin the new day (IX. 192—199). Adam at length yielding to her request that they should betake themselves separately to their tasks in the Garden, the Serpent has the opportunity of tempting Eve alone. It is about noon (IX. 739) when he succeeds in making her eat of the forbidden fruit (IX. 780, 781). Adam’s participation in the sin (IX. 995– 998), and the mutual upbraidings and shame which follow the act, and conclude Book IX., are to be supposed as filling up the afternoon. But the incidents of the same fatal day extend into Book X. It is still but the evening of the same day when the Son comes down from Heaven into Paradise (X. 90--102) to pronounce judgment on the trembling pair. From the terms of the judgment Adam learns that it was not to be as might have been feared from the original threatening, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"; but that, though on that very day the liability to death had been incurred, the actual stroke was deferred (X. 209-211). Left again to themselves, the unhappy pair spend
the night in sad discourses. This we learn only incidentally, by being told that Satan, who had slunk away into a wood immediately after the temptation of Eve, and had thence seen the events of the afternoon, but had fled terrified in the evening on beholding the descent of the Son of God, had returned in the night, and had then gathered from the sad talk of Adam and Eve the nature of his own doom (X. 332-344).
Tenth Day.—There is a difficulty about this day. Addison and other critics omit it altogether, and suppose the whole of Book X. to be but a continuation of the Ninth Day, or the day of the Fall and the subsequent evening and night. Examination, however, will prove that the poem assumes at least one complete day and night as having been spent by Adam and Eve in Paradise after the day of their fall and the immediately following night of their first sad discourse on the consequences. Thus, Sin and Death, whom Satan had left at Hell-gates, eager to follow him if his enterprise should succeed (II. 865-870), and who had followed him, and not only followed him, but built in their track through Chaos that wondrous bridge or causey which was thenceforth permanently to connect Hell with the new Universe (II. 1024—1033, and X. 229– 311),—these two horrible visitants from Hell had just completed their strange labour of engineering, and fastened the end of their bridge on the outside shell of the new Universe near the opening under Heaven's gate, when they behold Satan emerging in radiant triumph out of the starry involutions of the new Universe on his way back to Hell to report his victory (X. 312–331). Now, although the transit of Sin and Death from Hell-gate to the new Universe is an extramundane event, and need not have the mundane measure of time applied to it, yet Satan's appearance to them, being within the extreme mundane limits, has a time assigned to it. What is that time? It is at what would be sunrise on the Earth (X. 329),-i.e. the morning immediately following the night after the Fall. Satan is then returning in exultation to Hell, to carry thither the news of his success. The rest of his journey thither, and what occurred in Hell on his arrival (X. 410—584), are extra-mundane, and may or may not be referred to the same day. To this day, however, must be referred the descent of Sin and Death, after their parting from Satan, into the Mundane Universe, their arrival in Paradise and their dialogue there (X. 585-613); and to the same day, necessarily, also those modi
fications for the worse of the physical arrangements of the Mundane Universe which were decreed by the Almighty in consequence of its moral ruin (X. 6134706). It is in the night of the same day that we have Adam's long soliloquy of lamentation (X. 714—862, especially lines 845, 846), followed by that discourse with Eve which, beginning with new upbraidings on his part, ends in their reconciliation and joint prayers to Heaven (X. 863—1104). It is precisely, however, with respect to this soliloquy of Adam, “through the still night," and the subsequent dialogue with Eve till morning, that the difficulty has been felt by commentators. There are phrases in both the soliloquy and the dialogue which, at first sight, seem to imply that this sleepless night of misery was the night immediately after the Fall. See lines 773, 811, and 962. But this would not be consistent with the fact that the soliloquy and dialogue are plainly announced (X. 714-716) to have taken place after Sin and Death had arrived on the Earth and begun to work their destructive effects on vegetation and animal life there, and also after those physical derangements of the Universe by Almighty decree which brought in tempests, and cold, and noxious planetary influences: both which sets of events are distinctly represented as subsequent to Satan's exit from the Universe on the morning after the day of the Fall. Either, then, the phrases in question are not to be interpreted literally (and, after all, they need not be so), or it must be assumed that Milton was oblivious in this particular instance, and forgot that he had already disposed of the night immediately following the Fall, and the day succeeding that night. It does not seem impossible to me that, in composing the poem, he did originally intend to refer Adam's long soliloquy and the dialogue with Eve to the night immediately following the Fall. This is the more probable because we are told that on that night immediately following the Fall the hapless pair did hold sad discourse together (X. 341-343), and because there is a coincidence between their actual discourse as we have it on the subsequent night and what we are told was their discourse then. Satan, we are told, had gathered the nature of his doom from their discourse on the first night; but there is a passage in their discourse on the second night exactly such as would have conveyed this information to him (X. 1030—1040). May not Milton, then, have originally intended this second night's discourse as it now stands to have been the sad discourse of the first night to which Satan listened,
and may not the interposition of the intervening events have been an afterthought? In any case we are now obliged, as the poem stands, to suppose a night, and then a whole day, and then another night, to have been passed by Adam and Eve in Paradise after their sin. One may even find, if one chooses to do so, a poetic fitness in the haziness with which, so far as Adam and Eve are concerned, the record of this time of their wretchedness is kept. One night passes over them woefully talking together; the next day, while the world is growing darker and less lovely around them, they are apart somewhere, as if separately stunned and in horror; and, on the second night, when, after Adam's long recovering lamentation by himself, Eve re-approaches him and they converse, it still seems as if it were but the one protracted night after the day of their guilt.
Eleventh Day.--This is the day of the expulsion from Paradise. We had already been informed (X. 1069–1070) that the previous night's converse of Adam and Eve had been protracted till daybreak, and this information is repeated (XI. 133-140). It is now, therefore, the morning of the Eleventh Day. Adam and Eve have just ended their orisons and found themselves comforted, but are again perplexed by strange omens of an alteration in nature, when the Archangel Michael, who has been sent down with an Angelic band to perform the expulsion, appears within the Garden (XI. 208 —250). He announces the errand on which he has come, and we have the lamentations of Adam and Eve at the prospect of having to leave their native ground (XI. 251–333). But Michael has it in charge to fortify Adam, first of all, with a vision of the future of the human race, and the hope of the ultimate restoration to be effected in the Incarnate Son. Accordingly, while Eve is left asleep below, the Archangel and Adam ascend the hill-top; whence, in a vision, which the Archangel interprets, Adam looks forward through the coming ages, seeing human history evolve itself, first to the Flood, and thence onward more rapidly, through the annals of the Jewish nation, to the advent of Christ. The account of this vision, and of Michael's interpretation of it to Adam, extends from XI. 366 to
The last experience of Adam within his Paradise Lost may be said, therefore, to be the hope thus revealed to him of Paradise Regained : of Satan, Sin, and Death revanquished, and the World renewed for ever by the “ one greater Man ” of promise, his own descendant in the flesh, and yet the Lord of all things. The
day, it may be supposed, is far spent when, after this long vision, the Archangel and Adam descend the hill, and find Eve awaiting them at the foot. The flaming ministers of terror having meanwhile taken possession of Paradise, Michael executes his final duty. Leading Adam and Eve direct to the eastern gate, and through it, and then down to the plain beneath, he there leaves them. Behind them all the eastern side of Paradise is ablaze, the burning brand waving over it to prevent return, and the gate thronged with dreadful faces and fiery arms. And so the poem closes with this last glimpse of the outcasts :
“Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon :
The world was all before them, where to choose
ON THE QUESTION OF Milton's INDEBTEDNESS IN “PARADISE
Lost" TO PARTICULAR MODERN AUTHORS.
Voltaire, in 1727, suggested that Milton had, while in Italy in 1638-9, seen performed there a Scriptural drama, entitled Adamo, written by a certain Giovanni Battista Andreini, and that, “piercing through the absurdity of the performance to the hidden majesty of the subject,” he “took from that ridiculous trifle the first hint of the noblest work which the human imagination has ever attempted.' The Andreini thus recalled to notice was the son of an Italian actress, and was known in Italy and also in France as a writer of comedies and religious poems, and also of some defences of the Drama. He was born in 1578, and, as he did not die till 1652,
1 Essay on Epic Poetry, originally written by Voltaire in English during his stay in London, afterwards translated into French, and now included, in an amended form, in Voltaire's Collected Works, with the title, “Essai sur la Poésie Épique.” One chapter of the essay is devoted to Milton. It is a slight thing, showing no real knowledge of Milton's life ; and the statement about Andreini, with which the chapter opens, is made in this off-hand manner : “Milton, voyageant en Italie dans sa jeunesse, vit représenter à Milan une comédie," etc. Where Voltaire had picked up the fact he does not tell us.
I fancy it was a sheer guess of his own put as a fact.