December, May and

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December, May and

A marriage between a young and a much older individual. This disparity was called January and May by Chaucer, January standing for the hoary frosts of old age and May for the young breath of spring. In Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Tale the young girl, May, marries January, a baron aged sixty. This fourteenth-century idea was transformed into December and May by the early 1600s (although January and May survived as well). December, of course, is not only cold but also comes at the end of the calendar year and so may provide a better analogy for late in life. “You doe wrong to Time, enforcing May to embrace December,” wrote Thomas Dekker (The Seven Deadly Sinnes of London, 1606).
See also: and, may
References in classic literature ?
The accumulation of the clouds in the atmosphere prevented all observation on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th of December. Indeed it was thought that all observations would have to be put off to the 3d of January in the following year; for the moon entering its last quarter on the 11th, would then only present an ever-decreasing portion of her disc, insufficient to allow of their following the course of the projectile.
At length, to the general satisfaction, a heavy storm cleared the atmosphere on the night of the 11th and 12th of December, and the moon, with half-illuminated disc, was plainly to be seen upon the black sky.
Maston and Belfast to the gentlemen of the Cambridge Observatory, announcing that on the 11th of December at 8h.
First, errors of observation, concerning the distance of the projectile from the surface of the moon, for on the 11th of December it was impossible to see it; and what Joseph T.
It will meet the moon four days after its discharge, precisely at midnight on the 4th of December, at the moment of its transit across the zenith.
The members of the Gun Club ought, therefore, without delay, to commence the works necessary for such an experiment, and to be prepared to set to work at the moment determined upon; for, if they should suffer this 4th of December to go by, they will not find the moon again under the same conditions of perigee and of zenith until eighteen years and eleven days afterward.
The next day, December 13th, he beheld several Indians, with three horses, on the opposite side of the river, and after a time came to the two lodges which he had seen on going down.
Once more, then, on the 21st of December, they set out upon their wayfaring, with newly excited spirits.
At an early hour of the morning, December 23d, they began to cross the river.
During the daytime of the 11th of December I was busy reading in the large drawing-room.
Eleven days later, on the 3rd of December, the General Grant entered the bay of the Golden Gate, and reached San Francisco.
The lady not being at hand to speak for herself, her guardian had decided, in her absence, on the earliest day mentioned--the twenty-second of December, and had written to recall us to Limmeridge in consequence.
December 1st.--A sad, sad day--a day that I have no heart to describe at any length.
December 16th.--A whole fortnight has passed, and I have not once opened these pages.
Whatever future sorrows may be in store for me, I shall always look back on this twenty-first of December as the most comfortless and most miserable day of my life.