February 17th, 2007
Two diagrams from Homer Sprague‘s 1883 edition of Milton‘s Paradise Lost: the first, Milton’s cosmography; the second, Satan’s “probable course” from hell, through Chaos, to our own world, hanging fast to heaven.
“Such place eternal justice has prepared
For those rebellious; here their prison ordained
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far removed from God and light of heaven
As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole.
Oh, how unlike the place from whence they fell!” (p16/7).
“Farewell happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal world! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor! one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same…” (p30).
—“So Satan spake” (p31).
Click image to view larger, legible version.
“Long is the way
And hard, that out of hell leads up to light.
Our prison strong, this huge convex of fire,
Outrageous to devour, immures us round
Ninefold; and gates of burning adamant,
Barred over us, prohibit all egress.
These passed, if any pass, the void profound
Of unessential night receives him next,
Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being
Threatens him, plunged into that abortive gulf.
If thence he scape into whatever world
Or unknown region, what remains him less
Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape?” (p77/8).