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    #1

    In the first of the evening

    Hi,

    Can anybody tell me what in the first of the evening means? And should not the sentence "an hour had been as capacious as the blue bowl of the sky, and of as refreshing a milk" be probably "an hour had been as capacious as the blue bowl of the sky, and as refreshing as a milk?" (a typo?)

    And memories—surely they would come arrowing home in the first of the evening to haunts serene and unmolested, if only the weather and mood and season and housing we could offer were decently propitious. We had frittered away, squandered so many days, weeks, years—and had saved so little. Spendthrifts of the unborrowable, we had been living on our capital—a capital bringing in how meagre an 'interest'—and we were continually growing poorer. Once, when we were children, and in our own world, an hour had been as capacious as the blue bowl of the sky, and of as refreshing a milk. Now its successors haggardly snatched their way past our sluggard senses like thieves pursued.

    The Vats, Walter de la Mare, 1923

    Thank you very much.
    Not a Teacher

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: In the first of the evening

    I take it to mean the very first part of the evening.
    And yes, I'd write that way too, but (thank you for posting the source) as you can see, the author wrote in 1923 and has a very flowery, long-flowing style of writing. While you may read this for pleasure, I do not recommend you use this as a model for writing in the 2016.

    EDIT: Oh - I didn't notice the "a" - while "a milk" could be "a glass of milk" I agree with Goes that it should be "as milk."
    Last edited by Barb_D; 25-Feb-2016 at 19:15.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: In the first of the evening

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnyxxx View Post
    Hi,

    Can anybody tell me what in the first of the evening means? And should not the sentence "an hour had been as capacious as the blue bowl of the sky, and of as refreshing a milk" be probably "an hour had been as capacious as the blue bowl of the sky, and as refreshing as a milk?" (a typo?)
    The first of the evening means, I guess, the first moments of the evening.

    As refreshing as a milk wouldn't work because milk isn't a countable noun. (There's one exception that doesn't apply here: you can order a milk at a restaurant.) When de la Mare writes ...and of as refreshing a milk, he means "and made of a milk just as refreshing as the milk I just mentioned."

    Given that he hasn't mentioned milk of any kind, he must be referring metaphorically to the stuff the sky is made of: air.
    I am not a teacher.

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