John Milton – “Paradise Lost” Book 5 (ctd.)

Adam, noticing Raphael approaching, calls to Eve to prepare a meal for their guest from the contents of their pantry. Eve points out that since the garden gives them all the possible fruit all year long, there is no need for them to store any fruit, except for those which get better after being plucked, but she is going to go now and gather all the freshest fruit. She does so and Adam goes to meet their guest. As he walks there, he looks grander than princes accompanies by their “grooms besmeared with gold” (I sense a jab against the Restoration court here). Adam invites Raphael to a meal, saying modestly that maybe it won’t be up to his heavenly standards. Raphael politely answers that of course his place is good enough for the Spirits of Heaven and they go to their bower where Eve awaits them, not covered with any veil because she is innocent and thus not ashamed yet. Raphael greets Eve with the words “Hail, mother of mankind…”, which foreshadow the words with which Gabriel was going to greet Mary. They talk for a while, because there is danger their fruitarian meal will get cold, and then Adam invites Raphael to try some of the food.

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