Abashed the devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
Virtue in her shape how lovely, saw, and pined
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book IV, 846-849
Goodness? You seek to enthral me with ‘goodness’?
I have seen goodness, an excuse to simper,
To smile and say you wish me well, your morals
An excuse to turn away from my pain
When a less good man would end it; It is awful
Watching good men smiling, meaning every word
When they preach abstention from all deeds
For fear of being evil – I look upon you
And know how awful goodness is.
Of course, the quote is in relation to Satan – a character who increasingly becomes my favourite. When captured, he looks upon the angels and thinks that they are good, and that this is awful (Though he pines the loss of his own virtue).
The Hapless Neo-Romantic