Paradise Lost "By Merit Raised To That Bad Eminence"

John Milton

"By Merit Raised To That Bad Eminence"

Context: The rebel angels, having built their splendid capital in Hell, name it Pandemonium–the place of all demons. The satanic heralds call the leaders of the host to a high council in the hall, which is a marvel of gold and other treasure. A thousand leaders sit on golden seats, while the lesser spirits, shrunken in size so the hall will admit them, stand about to hear the words of their leader, Satan, and his lieutenants. Above the rest, ready to lead the discussion, is placed Satan, the former archangel. His throne outshines the fabled wealth of Ormiss, a city on the Persian Gulf famous for its precious stones, and India, a name implying untold wealth in the Renaissance:

High on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised
To that bad eminence.