doubtfully. OED2: In a doubtful, uncertain, or ambiguous manner; hesitatingly, ambiguously, indistinctly.

So Charming. The charming effect Raphael's voice has in Adam's ears may echo the arguments that Socrates hears ringing in his ears and obeys at the close of Plato's Crito. In the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, Milton tries to redefine marriage as principally a relationship based on a man's "rational" desire for conversation rather than passionate desire for sex or for procreation, though, of course, sex remains a secondary aspect of marriage. Adam's responses to conversation with Raphael indicate Adam's erotic pleasure in discourse with an angel. Does he get more conversational pleasure from the angel than from Eve? See below line 210.

gratefully repli'd. The original (1667) book 7 continued well past line 640 and continued right up to what is now the last line of book 8. In the 1674 (second) edition, Milton ended book 7 at line 640 and began book 8 with three new lines, adapting the fourth line from the original line 641 of book 7 which read, "To whom thus Adam gratefully replied."

this goodly Frame. Creation, the universe. See 5.154. Adam's speech, lines 15-27, resembles that of Hamlet in Hamlet 2.2.306-15. For a discussion of the significance of this allusion see Judith Scherer Herz's article "Paradise Lost 8: Adam, Hamlet and the Anxiety of Narrative."

thirst. Although a common enough metaphor for intellectual desire even in Milton's day, it also reminds us of Raphael's earlier warnings about intellectual temperance and the analogy between bodily desires (sex,food, and drink) and intellectual desire (7.126-130 ). This analogy is explicitly denied any argumentative force by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics 1117b.

Earth a spot. Though Adam does not share the deprecating tone of the Attendant Spirit in A Mask 5-6, their expressions are similar.

numberd. Intended to mean "numerous," but note the resemblance to Psalm 147:4: "He telleth the number of stars: He calleth them by their names." The entire speech also displays the influence of Psalm 8.

officiate. Supply.

opacous. Opaque, shadowy, dark.

punctual. Point-like. Copernican astronomers often stressed the tininess of earth compared to the universe. Ptolemy had declared the earth a dot in comparison with the heavens. To Dante as he saw earth from the heaven of fixed stars, earth seemed like a "little threshing floor" (Paradiso 22.150).

admire. Wonder, question.

sedentarie Earth. Motionless Earth. Adam assumes that the earth stands still and the whole universe whirls around it. Compare Adam's questions about cosmology (addressed to Raphael) to Eve's (addressed to Adam) in book 4.

sumless. Immeasurable.

incorporeal. Unbodied, as heavenly spirits may be when they wish; this matches "spiritual" in line 110 below.

she sat retir'd. Eve, we are invited to imagine, has sat close by ("in sight"), but a little ways away ("retir'd") from Adam and Raphael throughout this conversation which began in book 5. Only now, does she move out of sight and hearing altogether.

that won who saw. This phrase complicates interpretation of the entire book. If Eve's grace is such that whoever saw her rise from her seat would naturally wish her to stay, then we are tempted to conclude that neither Adam nor Raphael sees her rise and depart, for neither of them expresses any wish to have her stay. The only way around this conclusion is to think that Adam sees her rise and wishes her to stay, but says nothing, never expresses his desire in word or gesture. Lines 62-63 repeat this observation about the power of Eve's "Winning Graces." Again, the likely interpretation is that Adam does not see Eve leave, or he would have expressed his desire for her to stay. See William Blake's illustration of the relevant lines of sight during the dinner scene.

conjugal Caresses. That is to say, Eve prefers to hear of these things directly from Adam rather than from the angel because, unlike the angel, Adam will intermix with his rhetoric "conjugal caresses" and kisses, and so settle difficult concepts with the power of sensual touch. Does this mean that Eve prefers discourse that includes sensual elements over purely rational discourse? Is her desire the "rational desire" Milton describes as the prime reason for marriage (see Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce)?

pomp. Procession. See 7.564.

wish her still in sight. See note above.

doubt propos'd. Question raised. See line 13 above.

facil. Takes its Latin meaning of "easy of access," "gracious."

Book of God. "The Book of God" or the "Book of the Creation" (or "of the Creatures") served as a traditional metaphor among theologians. Calvin, in the early chapters of the Institutes of the Christian Religion, also employs this metaphor of creation as God's book and elaborates upon it by speaking of the Bible as the "spectacles" or eyeglasses required to read the book of nature correctly (Institutes 1.5-6).

Imports not. Doesn't matter; is of no importance.

wide. That is, wide of the truth.

To save appearances. "Or to 'save the phenomena'" were traditional terms for the attempts of astronomers to explain the movements of the heavenly bodies systematically. Their efforts seemed to John Donne only to have warped the globe of heaven and forced

Men to finde out so many Eccentrique parts,
Such divers downe-right lines, such overthwarts,
As disproportion that pure forme: It teares
The Firmament in eight and forty sheires . . .
(The First Anniversary 255-58)

Centric and Eccentric. Circular or eccentric orbits. Johannes Kepler proposed eccentric rather than circular orbits in order to explain how planets moved about the sky.

Epicycle. "A small circle, having its centre on the circumference of a greater circle. In the Ptolemaic system . . . each of the 'seven planets' was supposed to revolve in an epicycle, the centre of which moved along a greater circle called a deferent" (OED2). This device was used by Copernicus as well.

Officious. Serviceable. See "officiate" in line 22 above.

Line. In the book of Job, God asks this question concerning the earth: "Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?" (Job 38: 5).

What if. Milton's Raphael introduces a Copernican version of the universe strictly as a speculation, without any endorsement.

other Starrs. Read in conjunction with "their wandring course" (line 126), we must understand "Starrs" here as referring to planets. The word planet derives from the Greek word for "wanderer." In Doctor Faustus, Mephistophiles refers to the literal meaning of the word "planet" by calling Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter "erring starres."

attractive vertue. Power of attraction. See the sun's Magnetic beam in 3.583.

In six thou seest. That is, the six planets other than the sun, known in Milton's day. Seventeenth-century astronomical terminology differs significantly from our own usage. Any heavenly body was referred to as a "star," including the moon, stars and planets. The word, "planet," which means "wanderer," was reserved for those stars that appeared to move across the sky; the others were called fixed stars. From a Ptolemaic perspective, then, the sun was considered a planet, but the earth was not. Seven planets leant their names to the seven days of the week. (No Earth day then!) So the "six" to which Raphael refers are the moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. In this conversation, the Sun's status as a planet, a wandering star, is at issue, so Raphael concerns himself with the other "six."

Planet Earth. Modern readers will have some difficulty registering just how odd an idea it was in Milton's day to refer to Earth as a planet. In the Ptolemaic model of the cosmos, earth was the fixed center, the fixed stars formed the outer shells of the cosmos and the planets were those "stars" that wandered. Though Raphael refuses to settle the issue of Earth's status, by naming it Planet Earth, he sends to Milton's readers, though not to Adam, a strong signal endorsing Copernicus and Galileo.

Insensibly. Imperceptibly. The three motions are rotation, orbital revolution, and the very slow revolution of the earth's north pole around that of the ecliptic, causing the precession of the equinoxes or "Trepidation" of 3.483.

thwart obliquities. "The transverse movements of the spheres conceived as oblique to one another in the Ptolemaic system" (Hughes 366).

Nocturnal and Diurnal rhomb. In Ptolemaic cosmology, the outermost or tenth invisible sphere or primum mobile. A rhomb, in this sense, is a lozenge-shaped orbit or sphere of motion.

industrious. Active, that is, moving, not stationary.

transpicuous. Transparent.

terrestrial Moon. That is, Earth's moon; the orbit of Earth's moon was believed to mark the boundary between the celestial and the terrestrial regions.

Male and Femal Light. Raphael already has designated the first created light as feminine in book 7.243-48. Male and female here must refer to the two sources of the light, the sun is masculine and the moon feminine (as in 7.359-380), following the ancient practice of figuring the sun as a god (Apollo) and the moon as a goddess (Diana).

Only to shine. Or, just to twinkle.

this habitable. That is, this habitable planet, Earth.

obvious to dispute. Open to dispute. That is, whether or not the rest of the planets and moons have inhabitants of their own.

be lowly wise. Du Bartas advised:

Be sober wise; so, bound thy frail desire:
And, what thou canst not comprehend, admire.
(Divine Weeks 447)

Intelligence. Angelic being. Angels, Raphael has said, are pure intelligence, one step above Adam's more discursive nature (book 5.488-90).

Fancy. Adam defines "Fansie" in 5.100-113.

fume. Like vapor; unsubstantial, transient, imaginary (OED2.) See also Raphael's image of irrelevant knowledge as farts in book 7.126-130.

fond impertinence. Foolish irrelevance. See "fond" in line 209.

still to seek. Always seeking (never finding) solutions.

suttly to detaine thee. Is Adam being a little coy here, suggesting that the chief reason he offers to tell his story is to keep Raphael nearby and hear him speak again? Why is he so eager to extend Raphael's visit, but never seemed to notice when Eve rose to leave? Is conversation with Raphael more pleasurable than conversation with Eve? See also Philippians 3:20.

from labour. After labor.

satietie. For Adam, one distinction between eating and learning (explicitly compared in 7.126-130) is that desire for learning, and in this case conversation with Raphael, is never sated. Should we suppose that Adam's desire for conversation with Eve (lines 52-57 above) is similarly insatiable? See also 9. 248.

lips ungraceful. See Psalm 45:2. Apparently Raphael appreciates Adam's appearance as much as he does his eloquence.

his image fair. See the emphasis on man as God's image in 7.519 and 627.

uncouth. Unfamiliar.

Squar'd. See the military use of the term "squar'd" in 1.758.

For state. To preserve the dignity of God's state, for his honor.

enure. Discipline, train, inculcate.

rage. See the "rage" of the demons in 1.666-69.

no less then thou with mine. And Adam expressed the greatest pleasure listening to Raphael; see above lines 210-16.

I found me. It is well worth the effort to compare the details of Adam's story here with Eve's account of her first conscious moments in book 4. 449-491.

fed. See 5.415-416. Plato's Timaeus 49c teaches that the basic elements often transform into one another.

upright. See 7.505-11, for the significance of Adam's "upright" posture.

went. Walked.

Thou Sun. Adam addresses himself first to the sun and Earth and creatures as if he expected they could tell him "from what cause" he came. In a way, of course, as the Book of Creation, nature can inform him about God. So most people thought, including Jean Calvin (Institutes 1.5). Addressing created things, however, also makes one think of pagan animistic rites and religions.

move and live. See Acts 17:28.

dream. Compare this to Adam's discussion of dreams in 5.100-13.

Mansion. A dwelling-place; in this case the garden planted by God in the east of Eden (Genesis 2:8). See the word used in John 14:2.

call'd by thee. Though Adam addressed his speech to the sun, the earth, and other creatures, God responds as if Adam had called on him specifically.

seat. Estate; country establishment, with an overtone of political geography, as in a county seat or capital.

Mountain. See the account of the mountain of Paradise in 4.133-49.

lively shadowd. Made appear like the living reality. The quality of Adam's dreams stands in contrast to Eve's in book 5.30-93. Adam wakes to find everything just as the dream shadowed it; Eve awakes glad to find her nightmare but a dream.

submiss. "Submiss" has its Latin force as a participle meaning "cast down."

Knowledge. See Genesis 2: 15-17.

purpose. Speech. See 4.337.

Possess. See Adam's rule of the beasts in 7.520-43.

two and two. See Genesis 2:19-20 for the story of naming the animals, but note that the phrase "two by two" recalls the story of Noah and his ark in Genesis 7.

I wanted still. See Genesis 2: 20.

presum'd. Dared speak.

play before thee. See Proverbs 8:30 for a sense of God's notion of entertainment. See also how Milton uses the passage in Tetrachordon.

offend thee. Abraham also feared trying God's patience in Genesis 18:30.

societie. Adam's language echoes that of Milton in The Doctrine of Discipline and Divorce. Adam's emphasis on what is "mutual" and his need for "fellowship" and "rational delight" are in accordance with what Milton believes to be the proper ends of marriage.

sort. Be appropriate or satisfying.

rational delight. In Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce 1.4, Milton interprets Paul's injunction to marry rather than "to burn" (1 Corninthians 7:9) as referring to "rational burning" or desire for conversation, not for sensual satisfaction. The anonymous (but in all likelihood, Presbyterian) answerer to Milton's Doctrine and Discipline, directly challenges his interpretation of Paul's phrase,"it is better to marry than to burn" in An Answer to a book intituled, The doctrine and discipline of divorce, page 31 (from Early English Books Online). See also Paul's statement in Greek from the Blue Letter Bible's Concordance, and Raphael's advice to Adam at 8.587 below.

converse. "Consort, keep company" (OED2); the original senses include "dwell" and "have sexual intercourse." Milton, however, spends a lot of effort in Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce trying to distinguish between carnal and rational conversation. The anonymous answerer in An Answer to a book intituled, The doctrine and discipline of divorce, page 32 (from Early English Books Online) taunts Milton by saying, "we desire the next time you write, to tell us the meaning of this fit conversing soule."

nice. Refined, particular, fussy.

in pleasure. Literally, "Eden" means "pleasure" or "delight." The speaker in Andrew Marvell's poem, "The Garden," understands manly happiness in a manner quite opposite to Milton's Adam: "Two Paradises 'twere in one/ To live in Paradise alone."

His single imperfection. His incompleteness in being single, and his single aspect of incompleteness. Rachel Trubowitz brilliantly draws out the nuances of this phrase and its (probably deliberate) echoes of Shakespeare in "'The Single State of Man': Androgyny in Macbeth and Paradise Lost".

beget. This word cannot help but remind us of the Father "begetting" the Son (3.80 and John 3:16), but this, apparently, Milton does not consider propagation.

for Man to be alone. See Genesis 2:18 and Milton's elaborate interpretation of it in Tetrachordon.

fit help, thy other self. Alongside the biblical term for wife, ("help-meet," fit help) Milton puts the classical term for an ideal friend — "another self" (see Aristotle on friendship in Nicomachean Ethics 1166a). In Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce 1.2.707, interpreting "God's intention" in creating Eve, he wrote: "A meet and happy conversation is the chiefest and the noblest end of marriage." Laurie Shannon's Sovereign Amity explains just how crucial classical discourses of friendship were to the politics, poetry and dram of Reformation England. For an old but useful collection showing Renaissance authors' keen interest in Aristotelian and Ciceronian theories of friendship, see Charles G. Smith, Spenser's Theory of Friendship.

My earthly. That is, his earthly shape as opposed to heavenly shape. See much the same expression in 9.1083. Adam is exhausted by the stress of conversation with God, the strain of being raised up to the height required for conversation with God (lines 430-431).

Fancy. Adam explains the role of "Fansie" in dreams in 5. 102-109.

Abstract. Abstracted, drawn into a trance.

From thence a rib. As Mary Nyquist points out ("The Genesis of Gendered Subjectivity in the Divorce Tracts and in Paradise Lost") the poem weaves together two accounts of the creation of human beings: Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:7-22. See also Tetrachordon.

wide was the wound. Does Milton intend to evoke an image of birthing or of caesarian birth? In book 4, Adam addresses Eve as "Daughter of God and Man" (4.660) and again in 9.291.

a Creature grew. See William Blake's 1808 watercolor illustration of these lines.

what seemd fair. Fair, or beautiful, is a tricky term in this poem. See Eve's lesson in what is "truly fair" in 4.489-91 See also John Guillory's brilliant article on this, "Milton, Narcissism, Gender: On the Genealogy of Male Self-Esteem."

guided by his voice. Eve admits that when she first heard God's voice, she didn't know whose it was (4.467-476). Adam indicates that he recognized Eve was led by God, since he has already seen a vision of God.

marriage Rites. On the "Rites mysterious" of marriage, see 4.741-49.

When out of Hope. When I had given up hope.

could not forbear aloud. Could not resist crying aloud.

fairest this. Adam's designation of Eve as "fairest" stands in apparent contradiction to the lesson Eve says she learned from Adam at just this moment — "how beauty is excelld by manly grace/ And wisdom, which alone is truly fair" (4.490-91). May we suppose that Adam, since he "taught" Eve the lesson about the true fairness of manly grace and wisdom, has erred a bit in his esthetic judgment, led astray, perhaps, by the subsequent sensuality of his relationship with Eve (see below, lines 530-559).

nor enviest. Does not offer the gift grudgingly, as Greek gods were often known to do.

Bone of my bone. Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-8 both repeat Genesis 2: 23-24. See 4:440-43.

conscience. Awareness.

obvious. Bold, forward.

seeing me, she turn'd. Milton invites us to compare Adam's assessment of Eve's motivation for turning away after first sight of him to Eve's statement that she wanted to return to her own image in the lake because it seemed fairer (4.476-480). Has Adam forgotten Eve's statement, or are we to think Adam understands her motivations better than Eve herself, or is Adam adjusting the story a bit as he tells it to Raphael?

Honour. Refers perhaps to Hebrews 13:4: "Marriage is honorable unto all." See 7.529-31, and 4.741-47.

Shed thir selectest influence. See the dance of the stars, "shedding sweet influence," as an indication of the happiness of the universe at its creation in 7.375.

amorous Bird of Night. The nightingale. See 5.39-41. See also A Mask 234.

Eevning Starr. Venus. "Its appearance was the traditional signal for lighting nuptial torches from Catullus' Epithalamium (62) to Spenser's:

Long though it be, at last I see it gloome
And the bright evening-star with golden crest
Appeare out of the east.
(Epithalamion 285-87) (Hughes 374).

Superior and unmov'd. Adam feels he is "superior" to and "unmoved," or not overly disturbed in mind, by all other pleasures except the pleasure of encountering Eve's beauty by touch. Did he not, however, faint from the strain of an extended colloquy with God?

resembling less. See Tetrachordon and Samson Agonistes 1025-30.

absolute. Perfect, superior. Eve was made chiefly to remedy Adam's original solitude; she, therefore does not suffer the desire, originally part of Adam's nature, for companionship. She does not have that "single defect," so she must appear more "compleat" than Adam. What is Eve's constitutive desire?

vertuousest. Perhaps the ugliest word in all of Milton's poetry.

Occasionally. For an occasion, that is, to satisfy Adam's desire for a companion.

Lines 547-559. Milton appears to suggest that the Petrarchan tradition of hyperbolic praise for the female beloved has it roots in Adam's passion-driven errors about Eve's beauty.

Thy cherishing. The 1559 Book of Common Prayer rite for marriage says, in part: "I take thee to my wedded wife . . . to love and to cherish."

Not thy subjection. See God's rebuke to Adam in 10.145-56. Unlike Hermes' warning to Odysseus to beware of Circe's charms (Odyssey 10.275), and Mercury's mission to Aeneas to move him to abandon Dido (Aeneid 4.238-48), Raphael warns Adam to stay with Eve but avoid being subdued by her "out-side" charms; see Adam's fall in 9.999.

skill. Power or faculty, that is, of self-esteem. For a further discussion of the virtue and power of self esteem, see The Reason of Church Government 2.3.

Head. See 1 Corinthians 11:3.

to realities yield all her shows. Presumably this yielding to what is truly fair takes place in the episode Eve narrates at 4.489-91.

heav'nly Love. See Spenser's An Hymne of Heavenly Love. See also Diotima's teaching on love in Plato's Symposium.

genial. Procreative. See 4.712.

mysterious. See "mysterious" in 4.743, and 750.

decencies. Graces.

not therfore foil'd. Not subdued (by the objects of sense).

virtual. Virtual: "In essence or effect, though not formally or actually" (OED2). Immediate: without mediation; in this case without flesh and so without touching.

Cape and verdant Isles. The Cape Verde Islands, off the west coast of Africa.

blest. The "Blest" are the blessed angels.