Raphael. The archangel Rapahel serves as a messenger between Heaven and Earth. In Hebrew, Raphael means "God has healed." He appears in the Apocryphal Book of Tobit where Raphael assumes the form of a man and helps Tobias ward off the demon Asmodeus. The other chief archangels are Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel; each was assigned one quarter of the world in each of the cardinal directions.

rosie steps. Milton echoes Homer's "rosy-fingered dawn" (Odyssey 2.1). Does this invite us to compare Homer's Odysseus with Milton's Adam? See other instances at 11.175 and 6.3.

Orient Pearle. This may invoke either the pearl-like quality of eastern (oriental) morning light, or the dew that appears with the dawn.

Aurora. Aurora personifies the dawn and her "fan" stirring the leaves, along with morning birdsong, wakes Adam.

Matin Song. Morning song, with some suggestion of the liturgical sense of morning prayer.

peculiar. In other words, graces belonging exclusively to Eve's beauty. The image of Eve's beauty "shooting" forth graces is repeated in book 8.62-63, when we are asked to imagine that her graces "shot Darts of desire." The significance of Eve's beauty and its relations to Adam's inward beauty are the topic of Eve's discourse in book 4.489-491, and of Adam's and Raphael's chat in book 8.546-575.

Zephyrus. The westwind personified; and Eve personified as Flora, his wife, as in Ovid's Fasti 5.5.195.

prime. The very beginning of the day; sunrise.

blows. Blooms.

balmie reed. A balm-producing reed, probably balsam. The balsam tree also makes myrrh, another aromatic resin.

My Glorie, my Perfection. Eve addresses Adam as one who completes (perfects) her, implying she is not complete in herself, though she sometimes seems so to Adam (8.548). Perhaps this is because Adam felt himself incomplete before Eve's creation (8.355-366), but Eve must be taught to think herself incomplete (4.489-491).

dream'd. See William Blake's watercolor illustration of Eve sleeping with Satan close by.

now is the pleasant time. Comus also prefers the night (A Mask 93-144).

night-warbling Bird. The nightingale. Mention of the nightingale cannot help but evoke memory of Ovid's story of the rape of Philomela in Metamorphoses 6.440.

in vain. The tempting voice contradicts Adam's bedtime response to Eve the night before ( 4.668-680). Adam had said that the stars shine not in vain even though he and Eve may sleep. Others enjoy the sights. Why, then, does Eve think the voice is Adam's? The tempter's first tactic is to encourage Eve to be unsatisfied with Adam's wisdom.

Whom to behold but thee. The tempting voice suggests, contrary to the voice she heard on her first waking day (4.467-472), that her beauty is admired and desired by all creation.

Ambrosia. In classical legend, ambrosia is not only the food of the gods, but also the healing oil with which they anoint themselves and specially chosen mortals.

reserve. Restriction.

Thy self a Goddess. These words foreshadow the temptation in book 9 (9.705-708).

Ascend to Heav'n. The tempter here promises precisely what Raphael later says will inevitably be theirs one day, if they remain obedient; see below, lines 497-503.

My Guide was gon. Presumably the tempter is broken off in mid-temptation at that moment when Ithuriel and Zephon touch Satan, "squat like a Toad" and return him to his proper (fallen) shape (4.810-814).

Image of myself. Adam refers to Eve as his best image (4.471-72), much as the Son is spoken of as the Father's image in 3.139-142. But the symmetry does not hold when we consider that the Son is not only the best image of the Father, but also the executor of all his power (see below, lines 603-612). Eve may be Adam's "best image," but she is never appointed Adam's exclusive executive.

uncouth. Unfamiliar, as yet unknown.

Fancy. In 8.461, Milton refers to fancy as "internal sight." It can be taken as another word for "imagination" or the power to see things that are not in the physical world.

deeds long past. It is well worth comparing Adam's theory of dreams to Freud's in "On Dreams" part 1: "During the epoch which may be described as pre-scientific, men had no difficulty in finding an explanationof dreams. When they remembered a dream after waking up, they regarded it as either a favourable or a hostile manifestation of higher powers, daemonic and divine. When modes of thought belonging to natural science began to flourish, all this ingenious mythology was transformed into psychology, and to-day only a small minority of educated people doubt that dreams are a product of the dreamer's own mind." Adam's theory is clearly the pre-scientific one Freud describes, but still it is hard for us not to think Eve's unconscious somehow had a part in producing the dream, especially when Adam recognizes "resemblances" from their bedtime discourse.

our last Eevnings talk. Adam refers to their talk in 4.657-688.

so unapprov'd. Adam invokes much the same principle to defend himself against Raphael's implicit accusation, in book 8. 608-11, that Adam has succumbed in passion to Eve's beauty. Even more to the point, Adam's explanation of how evil thoughts and temptations can come into one's mind and leave no trace of sin resembles quite closely Augustine's meditations on sexy dreams and noctornal emissions in his Confessions 30.41.

bosom'd. Hidden.

with her haire. Wiping tears with hair is bound to evoke the image of Mary Magdalene in Luke 7:38.

sweet remorse. But, we might well ask, remorse for what? fear for what offense? Adam has pronounced Eve offenseless, spotless and blameless (119), or has he only hoped that she is? Augustine describes his feeling of remorse following his wet dreams in much the same way: "And it is by this difference between sleeping and waking that we discover that it was not we who did it, while we still feel sorry that in some way it was done in us" (Confessions 30.41)

arborous roof. The "arborous roof" Milton refers to is first mentioned as "their blissful bower" in 4.690.

Lantskip. Landscape.

Orisons. Morning prayers.

various style. Adam and Eve do not pray according to set forms, of course. They pray spontaneously and ardently, though their prayers may at times resemble what later became set forms (see the Matins from the 1559 Book of Common Prayer, especially those drawn from scripture.

numerous Verse. Milton equates harmonic or rythmical verse with verse having a numerical structure, suggesting that mathematical considerations played a part in constructing the epic as a whole. He refers to "Harmonious numbers" in 3.38.

invisible. This concept of creation as the visible expression of God's invisible goodness and power is a Christian commonplace. See for example Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion 1.5.

Sons of Light. The Sons of Light also figure in "Nativity Ode" 119.

Fairest of Starrs. The morning star called Lucifer (light-bringer) by day and Hesperus by night. It is the brightest star in Homer's Iliad 22. 315.

when thou fallst. Adam, it appears, certainly assumes a Ptolemaic, geocentric, cosmology.

five other wandring Fires. Here the term "fires" refers to planets. The five planets that they refer to are Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

Perpetual Circle. Plato's Timaeus (49c) proposes the notion that the four elements could reversibly transform into one another. This idea comes up again in this book when Raphael describes the organization of the universe (415-426). Einstein's theory that all matter originally derived from energy, is partly (and oddly) consistent with Raphael's account below.

my Song. The first couple's morning prayers echo, in form, David's psalms of praise, especially Psalm 148. This is also the form of the "Benedicite omnia opera domini domino", a popular part of matins and included in the 1559 Book of Common Prayer for Morning Prayers. (Search for "opera.")

wed her Elm. The classical image of the vine wedded to the elm is found in Horace's Odes 2.15.4-5 and Virgil's Georgics 2.367. Here it also is meant to resemble the relationship between Eve (vine) and Adam (elm) as in 4.307.

secure. With excessive confidence that all is safe.

Celestial Ardors. Other angels.

self-opend. Compare this description of the gate to Heaven with Milton's description of the gates of Hell, "on their hinges grate/ Harsh thunder" 2.881-2.

Glass/ Of Galileo. Galileo was the first to study the moon carefully through a telescope. See also 1.288-289 and the note on Galileo.

Cyclades. The Cyclades are a group of islands in the Aegean with the island of Delos at its center. The island of Samos lies northeast of the Cyclades.

Fann. Wing.

Towring. The "tower" of an eagle is the circular flight it takes upward. At this point in his descent, Raphael has reached the highest altitude of any bird's flight.

sole Bird. There existed one phoenix only. It immolated itself approximately every 500 years at the city of the sun, Heliopolis. Like most people of his day, Milton identified Heliopolis with the Egyptian city, Thebes.

Seraph. In addition to cherubim and thrones, seraphim constituted the loftiest triad of the nine orders of angels. Seraphim are described in Isaiah 6:2.

Zone. Belt. The most famous starry belt is Orion's.

Maia's son. In classical mythology the heavenly messenger was Hermes or Mercury. Maia, daughter of Atlas, bore Hermes to Zeus (see Pseudo-Apollodorus' Library 3.10.2). Milton echoes here the visit Hermes makes to Odysseus in Odyssey 10.275 to warn him about, and give him herbal protection against, Circe's charms. Virgil's Aeneid 4.318-340 tells of Mercury's mission to Aeneas in Carthage to encourage him to abandon Dido and Carthage and resume his destiny as an empire founder. Compare these to Raphael's warnings about Eve's beauty in 8.560-594.

state. Rank.

Cassia. A plant with a fragrance like cinnamon.

Nard. Spikenard, a plant from which fragrant ointment was made.

Wantond. Flourished innocently, but the word still sounds ominous.

more warmth then Adam needs. In other words, it got uncomfortably hot at noon in Eden. This, of course, is no imperfection, for Adam was meant to retire to his "coole bowre" each noontide for repast and rest.

Our Heav'nly stranger. Milton's story of entertaining a heavenly guest is modeled partly on the story of Abraham and Sarah entertaining "the Lord" in Genesis 18.

kindliest. Most in harmony with nature.

India East or West. India or the West Indies.

middle shoare. The lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Pontus, the shore of the Black Sea, is to the north, and Punic, the African coast, is to the south.

Alcinous. He is the king of Phaiakia in Homer's Odyssey 7.115-34. Odysseus visits his paradisal garden of perpetual harvest.

inoffensive moust. Unfermented (and therefore alcohol-free) grape juice.

unfum'd. Not burned. That is, there is no incense here.

Pomona's. Pamona, the Roman goddess of fruit.

Undeckt. Naked. Milton emphasizes Eve's nakedness here quite a bit. Adam, of course, was naked too, but Milton feels no need to comment frequently on this.

three that in Mount Ida naked strove. When the Trojan prince Paris was selected to judge the beauty contest, held on Mount Ida, in which Juno, Minerva, and Venus competed, he selected Venus. Her prize was a golden apple; his reward was the most beautiful mortal woman, Helen, whom he abducted from her husband, Menelaus, and thus began the Trojan war (Ovid, Heroides 5, 16, 17).

Haile. The angel of the annunciation greets Mary with the word "hail" in Luke 1: 28.

with thy Sons. The blessings of female fertility are assumed to be sons, not daughters, and Raphael blesses Eve's fruitful womb without saying anything about Adam's loins.

Spring and Autumn. In Eden, crops which we think of as seasonal were harvested continuously.

lest Dinner coole. Though she prepared food, nowhere does Milton indicate that Eve cooked food, therefore it need not cool.

Authour. Progenitor, Adam.

perfet good unmeasur'd out, descends. These lines echo James 1: 17.

ingrateful. Displeasing.

Intelligential substances. Angels, according to Milton's metaphysics, are purely intelligential beings; humans are rational beings with some mixture of animal substance; see also below lines 469-490.

concoct, digest, assimilate. These are the three stages of digestion. The first stage is literally the digestion of food in the stomach, the second is the transfer to the blood, and the third is the incorporation into the body (Orgel & Goldberg 886).

sups. Milton refers to the classical notion that the sun feeds on the ocean. His cosmology specifies that the Moon feeds on Earth's exhalations, and the Sun on the exhalations of all the other planets, in a grand cosmic pecking order.

nice. Fasitidious.

transubstantiate. Milton refers to the turning of one substance into another, most often to a finer one, but the technical term evokes the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation which holds that bread, at the moment of sacerdotal consecration, literally becomes the body of Christ (see the Catholic Encyclopedia). Milton appears to propose a different, and to his way of thinking less superstitious, notion of transubstantiation.

transpires. Having argued that angels may eat earthly food with real hunger and real digestion, Milton feels bound to account for the waste products of digestion — "what redounds." Apparently these are gotten rid of with ease.

Empiric. Experimental.

Ministerd naked. See William Blake's 1808 watercolor illustration of these lines.

crown'd. Filled to the brim.

the Sons of God. The story of "The Sons of God" from Genesis 6 has occasioned a wide variety of interpretations. Some commentators, following the Book of Enoch (Chapter 7), took the "Sons of God" to be angels who had lusted after women, coupled with them and produced a race of giants. Milton alludes to this reading even as he denies it credence. See John Rumrich's interesting comments on this passage in Milton Unbound 110-117. Rumrich ignores the more obvious point that in Aristotelian (and Thomistic) ethics, the bodily pleasures of appetite — sex, food and drink — almost always are linked as a set of pleasures presenting special ethical problems because they are pleasures taken in "necessary" activities (Nicomachean Ethics 1147b).

Love unlibidinous. Critics often understand these lines (448-50) as referring to the hearts of Adam and Eve, but John Leonard corrects this error in Faithful Labourers volume 2, 685-86: they refer to the hearts of the "Sons of God" in line 447.

suffic'd/ Not burd'nd Nature. That is, they had eaten just enough to restore their energy and not so much as to make them sleepy or thick-headed. This is precisely the temperance in food and drink recommended by Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics 1147b.

one first matter all. This phrase is taken as the most explicit pronouncement of Milton's monism. The entire universe including man, beast, earth, and angels all originated from the "one first matter" of God himself. Milton describes a continuum with God, the most spiritous, at one end of the spectrum, and earth, the least spiritous, at the other.

If ye be found obedient. Adam and Eve, says Raphael, will naturally ascend to heaven as ever more spiritous beings as time goes on, provided only they remain obedient.

Whose progenie. This phrase is found in Paul's sermon to the Athenians in Acts 17.28.

perfet, not immutable. Adam is perfect in that he is complete and capable of obedience, but can choose to disobey.

thy will. Milton presents a discussion of predestination versus free will, a subject he touched on in The Christian Doctrine: "in assigning the gift of free will, God suffered both men and angels to stand or fall at their own uncontrolled choice." See also the Father's discourse on the topic in 3.97-134.

Cherubic. Cherubim are the highest order of angels, praising God continually.

to reveal?. Classical epics often included large sections of reported action. Here Raphael tells Adam of Satan's original rebellion; in subsequent books he will tell the stories of war in heaven (book 6) and creation (book 7). For classical examples of this mode consider Aeneas' relation to Dido the story of the fall of Troy in books 2 and 3 of the Aeneid. Also significant is the reported action in the middle books of Homer's Odyssey 9-12.

Each to other like. Raphael here describes the method by which he will relate to Adam matters that "surmount" the reach of human sense. He will speak in similitudes where necessary, a kind of obligatory allegory. But what if, he adds, things on earth are truly but shadows or allegories of things in heaven? This notion is a Christian version of Plato's idea in the Republic 514a, though unlike Plato's it stresses likenesses over differences, and Milton's monism repudiates the notion of an ontological divide between heavenly and earthly things.

great Year. The great year is time it takes the "fixed stars" to complete one revolution of the heavens. Plato's estimate (Timaeus 39c) has sometimes been reckoned to be 36,000 solar years.

Gonfalons. Banners that hang from a crosspiece, gonfalons often are used in liturgical and military processions.

circuit inexpressible. A circumference so large that is indescribable.

a flaming Mount. Milton's heavenly mount resembles Mt. Sinai, upon which Moses received the Law (Exodus 19: 16-20: 20).

This day I have begot. Milton's words echo Psalm 2: 6-7. For Luther's interesting commentary on this passage ("But here, when the eternal Father, who is a Spirit, speaks this word about His own Son, it cannot be understood") and an analysis, see Thomas H. Luxon, Literal Figures 70-76. Another important Bible passage having to do with the Son's elevation and begottenness is Hebrews 1.

Vice-gerent. Ruler's representative.

shall confess him Lord. These lines echo Philippians 2: 9-11.

who disobeyes. These lines suggest that the Son's begetting, anointing, and installation as Lord of Heaven is the equivalent in heaven of the forbidden fruit on earth. Praising the Son is the heavenly pledge of obedience.

not all. Satan, of course, was not pleased, as Raphael soon reveals. The period, missing in 1674, I have restored as in 1667.

Eccentric. Moving in an orbit that circles a point other than the main center earth; this eccentric center itself moves around earth, its planet describing a complicated spiral pattern. Eccentrics were modifications of Ptolemiac cosmology introduced to account for apparent anomalies in celestial motion.

heard no more in Heav'n. The names of the apostate angels are no longer heard in Heaven after their fall. In book 1, Milton lists their "new names" — the names of pagan gods (1.361 and following).

anointed. The literal meaning of "Messiah."

impaird. Lowered in rank.

his next subordinate. Beezlebub. See 1.79.

Quarters of the North. The idea that Satan resides in the North is derived from Isaiah 14: 12, 13.

So spake. Readers may do well to try to imagine Raphael imitating the voice of Satan, the rebel angel, as he recites Satan's blasphemous words.

Morning Starr. Lucifer.

the third part. See book 2. 692.

Abstrusest. Most hidden.

smiling. The tone of the speech that follows requires special attention from readers. The Son hears a tone of justified "derision" (736) in the Father's speech, suggesting that the words of concern about losing their "high place" (731-32) by a surprise attack should probably be read sarcastically.

Illustrates. Glorifies; adds luster to.

thir triple Degrees. Milton alludes to Dionysus the Areopagite's conception of the heirarchy of angels from The Celestial Hierarchy.

Stretcht into Longitude. That is, flattened into a map, as in a Mercator projection.

Affecting. Pretending.

double. Tribute now to both the Father and the Son.

liberty. Satan says that although they constitute a heirarchy, they they are all equally free. However, he complains that the anointing of a king (the Son) impairs their liberty.

who without law/ Erre not. Satan questions why there is a need to impose laws on those who do right even in the absence of law; this is similar to some popular antinomian arguments of the 1640s and 50s.

Abdiel. The name Abdiel appears in 1 Chronicles 5: 15. He does not appear in the Bible as an angel, let alone a seraph, one of the two highest ranks of angels. The name most likely comes from the Hebrew word meaning, "Servant of God."

ingrate. Precisely the word the Father uses to describe a disobedient Adam (3.97).

unsucceeded. Eternal.

equal over equals. Adam similarly objects to Nimrod's arrogant usurpation of authority in 12.63 when Michael shows and then explains to him the tyrannies of the future.

by whom/ As by his Word. Abdiel cites the Son as the agent of God, his executive word, in creation of all things, including him.

strange point and new. This is precisely the doctrine taught by Raphael in book 7.

Ethereal Sons. Satan suggests that God did not create the angels, but rather the natural course of things which is marked by one revolution of the great year. "Fatal" is intended to mean inevitable.

Golden Scepter. God's benevolent rule. In Of Reformation 2, Milton writes: "let him advise how he can reject the pastorly rod and sheephook of Christ, and those cords of love, and not fear to fall under the iron sceptre of his anger, that will dash him to pieces like a potsherd."

I fly. Abdiel flees the scene not because he has been frightened by Satan's threats but because he does not want to be caught in God's wrath as it descends on the guilty. Abdiel's words echo those of Moses in Numbers 16: 26, when he urges the Israelites to run from the rebels Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, "Depart from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be involved in their sins."