[Milton-L] "due at their hour" PL 10.93

carl bellinger bcarlb at comcast.net
Wed Mar 14 14:46:51 EDT 2007


    Thanks much Matthew. Glad to think I may not be going too far in 
supposing a reference to a specific time of day at PL 10.93.

     It has crossed my mind on occasion, that since, as I presume, Milton 
meant PL to be audibly recited  --to be "solemnly pronounced with right 
accent and grace" (his phrase from '__Education')--  he may, just possibly 
(pure speculation)  have conceived of a reading event that both begins _and 
ends_ at a particular time on the clock. Surely too 'quick and dirty' a pace 
of reading [let's please finish this and get out of here] would contradict 
Milton's notion of what constitutes a solemn and graceful pronunciation. 
Well... [humor me] if Milton wants a twelve hour, rather than, say, a ten 
hour reading, then it would be a not in-elegant expedient to reference in 
the text, at two or three points, just that time of day which the folks in 
the salon were enjoying. I've done no calculations, but by the beginning of 
Book Ten even the most fit audience might be quite grateful for the cool 
breath of the day.

-Carl

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <ms493101 at ohio.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:09 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] "due at their hour" PL 10.93


> Dear Carl,
>
> Interestingly, the 1560 Geneva, 1558 Bishop's Bible, the 1540 Great Bible, 
> and
> the 1611 Authorized Version all refer to this as "the cool of the day" at
> Genesis 3:8. The 1610 Duoay-Rheims, while stopping short of naming the 
> exact
> hour, renders it as "the afternoon air." Literally, the Hebrew here 
> (ru'ach)
> could be translated as "spirit" or "wind" or "breath" of the day. Sounds
> refreshing enough.
>
> Contast this period of the day with Genesis 18:1 where Abraham's visitors 
> were
> said to come "in the very heat of the day."
>
> At any rate, I don't think you are going too far by suggesting that this 
> refers
> to a specific time of day.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Matthew Stallard
> Ohio University
> Department of English Language and Literature
>
>
> Quoting carl bellinger <bcarlb at comcast.net>:
>
>> Dear scholars,
>>
>> Looking at PL 9.93...  Was there by convention a specific "hour" of
>> the
>> clock when, the "gentle Aires [are] due ... to fan the Earth?" The
>> language
>> might seem to suggest a specific hour of the day, but perhaps I'm
>> reading
>> too closely:
>>
>> 92: Now was the Sun in Western cadence low
>> 93: From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour
>>
>> The ancient Christian service of vespers has "Now that we come to the
>>
>> setting of the sun and our eyes behold the vesper light," and
>> although I
>> doubt Milton here is making any kind of liturgical reference, the
>> passage
>> might represent [but that's my question] some at least psychological
>> if not
>> mystical convention.
>>
>> The whole ten line context is thick with terms and notions relating
>> to time;
>> please see below. Why such a concentration of chronological interest
>> at this
>> point in PL?
>>
>>  Thanks   -Carl
>>
>> * The word "now" appears three times.
>> * There is "sun" and "noon" and "eavning;"
>> * there is "low" [of th sun] and "western cadence" [whatever
>> "cadence" may
>> denote (?) it (also) suggests timing issues of a more or less precise
>>
>> nature];
>> * there is "due at thir hour," and "now wak'd."
>> * Finally, there is "Time" itself; and the _only_  reference in PL to
>>
>> "minutes."
>> * The collocation of "western cadence" and "gentle aires" is
>> revisited at
>> the close in "soft windes" and "day declin'd."
>>
>> PL Book 9:
>> 92: ____________________; the speed of Gods
>> 91: Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing'd.
>> 92: Now was the Sun in Western cadence low
>> 93: From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour
>> 94: To fan the Earth now wak'd, and usher in
>> 95: The Eevning coole when he from wrauth more coole
>> 96: Came the mild Judge and Intercessor both
>> 97: To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard
>> 98: Now walking in the Garden, by soft windes
>> 99: Brought to thir Ears, while day declin'd,
>>
>>
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