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With wide Cerberian mouths full loud, and rung

A hideous peal. 5.

Far less abhor'd than these,
Vex'd Scylla, bathing in the sea, that parts
Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore;
Nor uglier follow the night hag, when, callid
In secret, riding through the air she comes,
Lured with the smell of infant blood, to dance
With Lapland witches, while the laboring moon

Eclipses at their charms. 6.

The other shape, If shape it might be call’d, that shape had none, Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb; Or substance might be called, that shadow seem'd, For each seem'd either; black it stood as night, Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell, And shook a dreadful dart; what seem'd his head,

The likeness of a kingly crown had on.
7. Satan was now at hand, and from his seat

The monster moving onward, came as fast
With horrid strides; hell trembled as he strode.
The undaunted fiend what this might be, admired;
Admired, not feared.; God and his Son except,
Created thing nought valued he, nor shunn'd;
And with disdainful look, thus first began :

8. “Whence and what art thou, execrable shape !

That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance
Thy miscreated front athwart my way
To yonder gates? though-them I mean to pass,
That be assured, without leave ask'd of thee;
Retire or taste thy folly; and learn by proof,

Hell-born! not to contend with spirits of heaven." 9. To whom the goblin, full of wrath, replied:

“ Art thou the traitor-angel, art thou he
Who first broke peace in heaven, and faith, till then
Unbroken; and in proud rebellious arms
Drew after him, the third part of heaven's sons,
Conjured against the Highest; for which both thou,

And they, out-cast from God, are here condemn'd

To waste eternal days in woe and pain ?
10. And reckon'st thou thyself with spirits of heaven,

Hell-doom'd! and breath'st defiance here and scorn,
Where I reign king; and to enrage thee more,
Thy king and lord ? Back to thy punishment,
False fugitive! and to thy speed add wings;
Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue
Thy lingering, or with one stroke of this dart,

Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before." 11. So spake the grisly terror, and in shape

So speaking and so threatening, grew ten-fold
More dreadful and deform. On the other side,
Incensed with indignation, Satan stood
Unterrified; and like a comet burn'd,
That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge
In the arctic sky, and from his horrid hair

Shakes pestilence and war. 12.

Each at the head
Leveld his deadly aim; their fatal hands
No second stroke intend; and such a frown
Each cast at th other, as when two black clouds,
With heaven's artillery fraught, come rattling on
Over the Caspian; then stand front to front,
Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow

To join their dark encounter, in mid air :
13. So frowned the mighty combatants, that hell

Grew darker at their frown; so match'd they stood;
For never but once more was either like
To meet so great a foe. And now great deeds
Had been achieved, whereof all hell had rung,
Had not the snaky sorceress that sat
Fast by hell-gate, and kept the fatal key,
Risen, and with hideous outcry, rush'd between.

In this extract from "Paradise Lost,” Milton imagines Satan, Sin, and Death, each of which he personifies, to have met at the gate of hell. It is written with great power, and is well suited to the cultivation of what elocutionists call the top of the voice. In reading or reciting it, an individual should raise his voice to the highest note in his power, especially from the line, "Whence and what art thou,” to the one, the language of which, is, “Strange horrors seize thee,” &c. The rate of utterance should be rather rapid, and yet not so much so, as to prevent the reader or declaimer from articulating every word correctly, and with distinctness and freedom.


1. These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who sit'st above these heavens,
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.

2. Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,

Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in heaven,
On earth, join, all ye creatures, to extol
Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without end.
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praise Him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou sun! of this great world both eye and soul,
Acknowledge him thy greater ; sound his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,

And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou fallist. 3. Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fliest

With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wandering fires, that move
In mystic dance, not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix

And nourish all things ; let your ceaseless change,

Vary to our great Maker still new praise. 4. Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise

From hill or streaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honor to the world's great Author, rise,
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolor'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers;

Rising or falling, still advance His praise.
5. His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,

Breathe soft or loud and wave your tops, ye pines,
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living souls. Ye birds,
That singing up to heaven's gate ascend,
Bear on your wings, and in your notes, His praise.

6. Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk

The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creepi Witness if I be silent, morn or even, To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh shade, Made vocal by my song, and taught His praise. Hail universal Lord! be bounteous still, To give us only good; and if the night Have gathered aught of evil, or conceald, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark. This hymn which the great poet attributes to Adam and Eve, and in which he personifies various inanimate objects, and calls upon them to join voices” in praise of the Supreme Being, is most admirably written. Whoever reads this sublime piece of poetry, cannot otherwise than have strongly impressed upon his attention, the beauty and grandeur, both in thought and composition, with which it abounds. Its elocution requires a middle key, slow time, and long quantity.



1. Well, honor is the subject of my story.

I cannot tell what you, and other men,
Think of this life, but for my single self,
I had as lief not be, as live to be
In awe of such a thing, as I myself.

2. I was born as free as Cæsar; so were you;

We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he;
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
Cæsar said to me: Darst thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point? Upon my word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow; so, indeed, he did.

3. The torrent roared; and we did buffet it

With lusty sinews; throwing it aside,
And stemming it with hearts of controversy,
But ere we could arrive at the point proposed,
Cæsar cried, Help me, Cassius, or I sink.

4. I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,

Did, from the flames of Troy, upon his shoulder,
The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber,
Did I the tired Cæsar; and this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,

If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
5. He had a fever when he was in Spain,

And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake:
His coward lips did from their color fly;
And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lose its lustre: I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans

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