[Milton-L] Re prelaps seasons: when is a question a good one?

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 7 22:46:00 EST 2010

Jim, I had thought of adding Professor Skulsky's point, for Thomas Luxon also states this in his note to that passage. Thanks for the reminder of 5.321-325, too. I'd also collected that one on my blog but neglected to mention it here. It's especially interesting in its reference to "All seasons" -- indeed, my daughter and I had just read those lines a couple of weeks ago, prompting my initial inquiry about seasons.

Jeffery Hodges

From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Fri, January 8, 2010 12:35:31 PM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re prelaps seasons: when is a question a good one?

That could be it, Jeffery, thank you.  I think we should do more with Harold Skulsky's reference to the Hours.  I noticed those references while going through the text but didn't have time to think them through.  The Hours also represent the seasons in Greek lit -- Spring, Summer, Autumn.  Winter must be divided between Autumn and Spring (living in Ohio, right now I'm thinking, "must be nice").   So the presence of the Hours is the presence of the seasons.  I think if Spring and Autumn dance hand in hand, what you have are two seasons -- Spring and Autumn, no winter, no summer, but continual harvest.  

I was thinking too of these lines in bk 5:

<<To whom thus Eve. Adam, earths hallowd mould,
Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store,
All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk;
Save what by frugal storing firmness gains
To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes:[ 325 ]>>

Jim R

On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 6:38 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote:

Judith, I think that Jim might be conflating two passages:
>The Birds thir quire apply; aires, vernal aires,
>Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
>The trembling leaves, while Universal Pan
>Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance
>Led on th' Eternal Spring. (PL 4.264-268)
>. . . Rais'd of grassie terf
>Thir Table was, and mossie seats had round,
>And on her ample Square from side to side
>All Autumn pil'd, though Spring and Autumn here
>Danc'd hand in hand. (PL 5.391-395)
>[Thomas H. Luxon, ed. The Milton Reading Room, January 2009]
>The implication is that "There is continuall Spring, and haruest there / Continuall, both meeting at one tyme," but I wouldn't say that "there an explicit reference in PL just to that very thing -- continual Spring and harvest," though the dancing in both passages suggests that Milton was linking the two.
>Jeffery Hodges
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