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Monday, 7 January 2013

Scottish singing

Monday, January 7th., Comarques, Thorpe-le-Soken.

2,000 words of "The Pretty Lady" on Saturday. 2,000 word article for Daily News yesterday, and a bad night in between.

Sundry officers, including Saunders, Jacob and Cummings, dined on Saturday night, and the delight of these two last in singing more or less at sight good and bad songs from the "Scottish Students' Song Book", to my bad accompaniment, was most extraordinary.

The Scottish Students' Song Book Committee was set up in December 1889 with the aim of producing a collection of songs for use by students. The lack of such a collection had long been felt in Scotland. The Scottish Students' Song Book went on sale in March 1891 and was an immediate success, selling out in three weeks. Later editions appeared in 1892 and 1897. The great success of the book made it necessary to form a limited company in 1891 which produced several editions of the Song Book and its companion The British Students' Song Book (1912). Since 1891, some 400,000 copies had been sold. Published by Bayley & Ferguson - 1892 3rd edition 200+ songs set to tablature. Measures 10.75 inches x 8 inches. Hardback book with gilt and pictorial front board

Last night Richard was talking about being set to learn 40 lines of "L'Allegro" in 45 minutes prep, and to write essays in ten minutes. What a fool of a master.

I couldn't find my Milton, but on offering a reward of 6d., Richard found it. I re-read some of "Paradise Lost", and thought it very fine and interesting. The remarks of Adam and the Angel about the relations of man and wife have not yet been beaten for sense.

Adam explains to the angel Raphael that he is overcome with love and desire for Eve because of her physical beauty. He knows that Eve is less close to God than he, but he feels literally weakened by her attractiveness. Raphael takes issue with Adam, explaining that Eve has been created as his inferior. She is outwardly beautiful, but on the interior, spiritually, she is not Adam's equal. Raphael adds that Adam's love for Eve must rise above mere sexual desire. While once again admitting his physical attraction to Eve, Adam says that he loves her for more than the fulfillment of sexual passion. He says that his real love for Eve comes from their spiritual and intellectual companionship. Eve's attitude toward the conversation between Adam and Raphael is frequently misunderstood. She walks away as a discussion of planetary motion begins, and some readers have assumed that the subject is beyond her female understanding. However, Milton says directly that such is not the case. Rather, Eve prefers to hear the explanation privately and directly from Adam. This explanation is consistent with Milton's attitude toward Eve and women in general throughout the work. Women are intellectually inferior to men but not significantly. Eve is interested in the subject, but will both enjoy the explanation more and understand it better if Adam explains it to her. This attitude also establishes the role of Eve and women as helpmates to their husbands. The husband's role is in the world; the wife's at home. But, within the privacy of the home, the two may operate on equal footing as the anticipated conversation between Adam and Eve would prove.

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