<i>Chaos and old night</i>

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When we encounter an unfamiliar quotation, we typically ask where it comes from. However, identification of the source may only be a starting point, from which we can trace the quotation&#8217;s later life within the language. This paper will take the phrase chaos and old night, originally from Milton&#8217;s Paradise Lost, and trace the main branches of its life within the English language, a path which ultimately links Milton with a twenty-first century journalist. In the course of this exploration, the paper will also consider how the quotation in question is likely to have been handled by dictionaries of quotations.


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