Gandalf tells Thorin that he had been scouting ahead when he heard in Rivendell that trolls were in the area and he knew he was wanted back. He warns Thorin to take care. Bilbo begins this important journey without the sense of purpose that the dwarves have. He awakens late and the fact that the dwarves have already left allows him to second guess the commitment he made the night before and revert to his comfort-loving hobbit ways. Bilbo's worry that he has forgotten his handkerchief is a last remnant of his hobbit life; after he begins his journey with the dwarves, such concerns seem irrelevant.
It is significant that the dwarves agree to give Bilbo a share of the treasure they will reclaim, because greed is a dwarvish trait and they have difficulty sharing. Gandalf continues as a tutelary figure in this chapter. His role is to impart wisdom, directing Bilbo to realize his potential on this journey. He drives Bilbo into honoring his agreement with the dwarves despite his misgivings. Gandalf shows up unexpectedly at Bilbo's house and disappears later in the chapter.
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He continues throughout the journey to appear and disappear almost without warning, an indication of his powers. You begin to get some sense of the geography of the journey to the Lonely Mountain as the group passes through hobbit-lands and Lone-lands. As they travel east and approach the Lonely Mountain, the way becomes increasingly difficult and the landscape becomes bleaker and less familiar.
The group begins, in this chapter, to experience the discomforts that will grow into real perils and trials by which they are tested. Rain, cold, and hunger are typical of these discomforts. Bilbo is sent into the group of trolls to investigate, foreshadowing the many times he will investigate — and be pushed beyond his customary limits — on the journey, and his attempt to steal from William's pocket is an effort to justify his role of burglar. Likewise, the trolls' capture of the dwarves foreshadows several instances of the dwarves victimization at the hands of their enemies; in future instances, Bilbo or Gandalf continue to rescue them.
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Gandalf's trickery of the trolls is typical of his dealing with enemies: Gandalf does not use violence nearly as often as he outwits his opponents. The trolls are another group of fantastical creatures, like the hobbits or dwarves, but far more threatening. The fact that they turn into stone in the daylight adds to the fantasy quality of the story. Bilbo and the dwarves' discovery of food, clothing, weapons, and gold in their cave is fortuitous, and the weapons soon assume greater meaning.
Previous Chapter 1. Next Chapter 3.
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Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title. Here at least We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: [ ] Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n. But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, Th' associates and copartners of our loss [ ] Lye thus astonisht on th' oblivious Pool , And call them not to share with us their part In this unhappy Mansion, or once more With rallied Arms to try what may be yet Regaind in Heav'n , or what more lost in Hell?
So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub Thus answer'd. Leader of those Armies bright, Which but th' Onmipotent none could have foyld , If once they hear that voyce , thir liveliest pledge Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft [ ] In worst extreams , and on the perilous edge Of battel when it rag'd , in all assaults Thir surest signal, they will soon resume New courage and revive, though now they lye Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire, [ ] As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd , No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.
He scarce had ceas't when the superiour Fiend Was moving toward the shoar ; his ponderous shield Ethereal temper , massy, large and round, [ ] Behind him cast; the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views At Ev'ning from the top of Fesole , Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands, [ ] Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe.
His Spear, to equal which the tallest Pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the Mast Of some great Ammiral , were but a wand, He walkt with to support uneasie steps [ ] Over the burning Marle , not like those steps On Heavens Azure, and the torrid Clime Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with Fire; Nathless he so endur'd , till on the Beach Of that inflamed Sea, he stood and call'd [ ] His Legions, Angel Forms, who lay intrans't Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades High overarch't imbowr ; or scatterd sedge Afloat, when with fierce Winds Orion arm'd [ ] Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast, whose waves orethrew Busiris and his Memphian Chivalry, While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd The Sojourners of Goshen, who beheld From the safe shore thir floating Carkases [ ] And broken Chariot Wheels, so thick bestrown Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood, Under amazement of thir hideous change.
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow Deep Of Hell resounded. Princes, Potentates, [ ] Warriers , the Flowr of Heav'n , once yours, now lost, If such astonishment as this can sieze Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place After the toyl of Battel to repose Your wearied vertue , for the ease you find [ ] To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn To adore the Conquerour? Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n. They heard, and were abasht , and up they sprung Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. Nor did they not perceave the evil plight [ ] In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Yet to thir Generals Voyce they soon obeyd Innumerable. As when the potent Rod Of Amrams Son in Egypts evill day Wav'd round the Coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud [ ] Of Locusts, warping on the Eastern Wind, That ore the Realm of impious Pharaoh hung Like Night, and darken'd all the Land of Nile : So numberless were those bad Angels seen Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell [ ] 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding Fires; Till, as a signal giv'n , th' uplifted Spear Of thir great Sultan waving to direct Thir course, in even ballance down they light On the firm brimstone, and fill all the Plain; [ ] A multitude, like which the populous North Pour'd never from her frozen loyns , to pass Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous Sons Came like a Deluge on the South, and spread Beneath Gibralter to the Lybian sands.
Nor had they yet among the Sons of Eve Got them new Names , till wandring ore the Earth, [ ] Through Gods high sufferance for the tryal of man, By falsities and lyes the greatest part Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake God thir Creator, and th' invisible Glory of him that made them, to transform [ ] Oft to the Image of a Brute, a dorn'd With gay Religions full of Pomp and Gold, And Devils to adore for Deities : Then were they known to men by various Names, And various Idols through the Heathen World.
First Moloch, horrid King besmear'd with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents tears, Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud Thir childrens cries unheard , that past through fire [ ] To his grim Idol. Peor his other Name, when he entic'd Israel in Sittim on thir march from Nile To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. Yet thence his lustful Orgies he enlarg'd [ ] Even to that Hill of scandal , by the Grove Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate; Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
For Spirits when they please Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft And uncompounded is thir Essence pure , [ ] Not ti'd or manacl'd with joynt or limb, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose Dilated or condens't , bright or obscure, Can execute thir aerie purposes, [ ] And works of love or enmity fulfill.
For those the Race of Israel oft forsook Thir living strength , and unfrequented left His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down To bestial Gods; for which thir heads as low [ ] Bow'd down in Battel , sunk before the Spear Of despicable foes. Thammuz came next behind, Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate In amorous dittyes all a Summers day, While smooth Adonis from his native Rock [ ] Ran purple to the Sea, suppos'd with blood Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love-tale Infected Sions daughters with like heat, Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led [ ] His eye survay'd the dark Idolatries Of alienated Judah.
He also against the house of God was bold: [ ] A Leper once he lost and gain'd a King, Ahaz his sottish Conquerour, whom he drew Gods Altar to disparage and displace For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn His odious off'rings , and adore the Gods [ ] Whom he had vanquisht. Belial came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd [ ] Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood Or Altar smoak'd ; yet who more oft then hee In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest Turns Atheist, as did Ely's Sons , who fill'd [ ] With lust and violence the house of God.
Witness the Streets of Sodom, and that night In Gibeah, when the hospitable door Expos'd a Matron to avoid worse rape. All these and more came flocking; but with looks Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd Obscure some glimps of joy, to have found thir chief Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost [ ] In loss it self; which on his count'nance cast Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth, not substance , gently rais'd Thir fainting courage, and dispel'd thir fears.
All in a moment through the gloom were seen Ten thousand Banners rise into the Air [ ] With Orient Colours waving: with them rose A Forest huge of Spears: and thronging Helms Appear'd , and serried shields in thick array Of depth immeasurable: Anon they move In perfect Phalanx to the Dorian mood [ ] Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd To hight of noblest temper Hero's old Arming to Battel , and in stead of rage Deliberate valour breath'd , firm and unmov'd With dread of death to flight or foul retreat, [ ] Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage With solemn touches, troubl'd thoughts, and chase Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain From mortal or immortal minds.
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Thus they Breathing united force with fixed thought [ ] Mov'd on in silence to soft Pipes that charm'd Thir painful steps o're the burnt soyle ; and now Advanc't in view, they stand, a horrid Front Of dreadful length and dazling Arms, in guise Of Warriers old with order'd Spear and Shield, [ ] Awaiting what command thir mighty Chief Had to impose: He through the armed Files Darts his experienc't eye, and soon traverse The whole Battalion views, thir order due, Thir visages and stature as of Gods, [ ] Thir number last he summs.
Thus far these beyond Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd Thir dread commander: he above the rest In shape and gesture proudly eminent [ ] Stood like a Towr ; his form had yet not lost All her Original brightness, nor appear'd Less then Arch Angel ruind, and th' excess Of Glory obscur'd : As when the Sun new ris'n Looks through the Horizontal misty Air [ ] Shorn of his Beams, or from behind the Moon In dim Eclips disastrous twilight sheds On half the Nations, and with fear of change Perplexes Monarchs.
Dark'n'd so, yet shon Above them all th' Arch Angel: but his face [ ] Deep scars of Thunder had intrencht , and care Sat on his faded cheek, but under Browes Of dauntless courage, and considerate Pride Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast Signs of remorse and passion to behold [ ] The fellows of his crime, the followers rather Far other once beheld in bliss condemn'd For ever now to have thir lot in pain, Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc't Of Heav'n , and from Eternal Splendors flung [ ] For his revolt, yet faithfull how they stood, Thir Glory witherd.
He now prepar'd [ ] To speak; whereat thir doubl'd Ranks they bend From wing to wing, and half enclose him round With all his Peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he assayd , and thrice in spight of scorn, Tears such as Angels weep , burst forth: at last [ ] Words interwove with sighs found out thir way. O Myriads of immortal Spirits, O Powers Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire, As this place testifies, and this dire change [ ] Hateful to utter: but what power of mind Foreseeing or presaging, from the Depth Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd , How such united force of Gods, how such As stood like these, could ever know repulse?
For mee be witness all the Host of Heav'n , [ ] If counsels different, or danger shun'd By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns Monarch in Heav'n , till then as one secure Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute, Consent or custome , and his Regal State [ ] Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd , Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
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Henceforth his might we know, and know our own So as not either to provoke, or dread New warr , provok't ; our better part remains [ ] To work in close design, by fraud or guile What force effected not: that he no less At length from us may find, who overcomes By force, hath overcome but half his foe. But these thoughts Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despaird , [ ] For who can think Submission? Warr then, Warr Open or understood must be resolv'd.
He spake: and to confirm his words, out-flew Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs Of mighty Cherubim ; the sudden blaze [ ] Far round illumin'd hell: highly they rag'd Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms Clash'd on thir sounding Shields the din of war, Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heav'n. There stood a Hill not far whose griesly top [ ] Belch'd fire and rowling smoak ; the rest entire Shon with a glossie scurff , undoubted sign That in his womb was hid metallic Ore, The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed A numerous Brigad hasten'd.
Mammon led them on, Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell From heav'n , for ev'n in heav'n his looks and thoughts [ ] Were always downward bent , admiring more The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold, Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd In vision beatific : by him first Men also, and by his suggestion taught, [ ] Ransack'd the Center , and with impious hands Rifl'd the bowels of thir mother Earth For Treasures better hid.