Arcadian Glossary

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Gardening Terms


( ) Numbers in parentheses refer to page numbers in the Samuel French Edition.

Act I, Scene 1

Arcadia. A region of ancient Greece in the central Peloponnesus. Used in the play, Arcadia, as a reference to any region of simplicity; paradise.

Derbyshire (1). A county in central England

English park (1). English landscaping begun during the rise of romanticism in the late 18th century that imitated nature; characterized by gently sloping hills, sweeping lawns, curving paths, and rivers and ponds with randomly planted trees and shrubbery, they often included fake medieval ruins, Roman temples, and Chinese pavilions and bridges.

primer (1). A textbook giving first principles of any subject.

quarto (1). The page size resulting from folding a whole sheet into four leaves or a book made up of pages of this size.

theodolite (1). A surveying instrument used to measure horizontal and vertical angles; contains telescopic lens.

mutton (1). The meat from fully grown sheep.

caro, carnis (1). Latin for flesh or meat.

QED (2). Abbreviation of Latin phrase Quod erat demonstrandum. Used to mean: of course; undeniably; without doubt; as demonstrated.

Gallic Wars (2). The campaigns which Julius Caesar led in Gaul (mostly France) from 58-51 B.C. Caesar's commentaries on the wars were a common Latin textbook.

"The Britons live on milk and meat" (2). ("lacte et carne vivunt") from Caesar's commentaries on the Gallic Wars, De bello.

Onan (2). The son of Judah in the Bible (Genesis 38:9). Onan commmited the sin of spilling his seed upon the floor. He is often associated with Coitus interruptus.

Fermat (2). (1601 to 1665) Pierre de Fermat, a French mathematician. He was a founder of modern number and probability theories.

Fermat's Last Theorem (2). This was a conjecture stating that the equation xn + yn = zn, where x, y, and z are nonzero integers, has no solutions for n when n is an integer greater than 2.

Eros (2). Latin, from the Greek word eros meaning sexual love. In psychiatry, it refers to the sexual drive. Eros was the son of Aphrodite and the Greek god of love.

gazebo (2). A turret, windowed balcony, or summerhouse from which one can gaze upon the surrounding scenery.

landskip gardener (2). Landscape gardener.

groom (2). A man or boy employed to take care of horses.

the picturesque (4). The late 18th century movement driving British landscape architecture.

Newton, Sir Isaac (5). The English mathematician and scientist (1642-1727) who invented differential calculus. He also formulated the theories of universal gravitation, terrestrial mechanics, and color.

Newtonian (5). Refers to Mechanics, the branch of physics concerned with the motion of objects and their response to forces. For normal phenomena Newton's laws of motion remain the cornerstone of mechanics. However, Newton's laws have been superseded by quantum mechanics and Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

Etonian (5). A reference to England's Eton School, founded by Henry VI in 1440. It is the largest and most famous of England's private schools.

Newton's law of motion (5). Isaac Newton developed three laws of motion: (1) a body at rest tends to remain at rest, or a body in motion tends to remain in motion at a constant speed in a straight line, unless acted on by an outside force; (2) the acceleration of a mass by a force is directly proportional to the force and inversely proportional to the mass; (3) for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

lecher (6). Lewd or grossly sensual man.

satisfaction (6). Refers to either the fulfillment or gratification of desire; the opportunity to avenge a wrong through a duel.

epitome (7). A representative example of a class.

Milton, John (7). (1608-1674) The English poet who is best known for the epic poem Paradise Lost, perhaps the greatest epic poem in English.

Southey, Robert (7). British writer (1774-1843) known for his romantic poetry, criticism, and biographical works.

coterie (7). A close circle of friends who hold a common interest or background; clique

Jeffrey, Francis or Lord Jeffrey (7). Scottish literary critic and jurist (1773-1850) who cofounded and edited the Edinburgh Review and was known as a harsh critic of romanticism.

Piccadilly Recreation (8). Used in Arcadia as a fictional review of literature.

canard (9). A false and often deliberately misleading story.

Walter Scott, Sir (9). Scottish novelist and poet (1771-1832) who wrote romances of Scottish life. He is best remembered for Ivanhoe (1820).

Humphry Repton's 'Red Books' (10). English landscape architect Humphry Repton (1752-1818) merged formal flower beds with naturalistic backgrounds. Through his use of books which contained before and after pictures, he was able to express his ideas in a new format.

Corsican brigands (10). Corsica is a Mediterranean island south east of France. A brigand is a robber or bandit.

hyperbolize (10). To use a hyperbole, a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect.

Salvator Rosa (11). Italian Baroque painter and poet (1615-1673) known for his romantic depictions of wild landscapes, and his marine and battle scenes.

elucidate (11). To clarify.

fortuitous (11). Happening by chance or a fortunate accident.

crag (12). A steeply projecting mass of rock which forms part of a rugged cliff.

cricket pitch (12). The rectangular area between the wickets in cricket, an outdoor game played in Britain with bats and a ball by two teams of 11 players each. The field is 22 yards by 10 feet.

hyacinth dell (12). Hyacinths are fragrant bulbous plants with long, sword-shaped leaves. The color of the flowers range from white through yellow, red, blue, and purple. A dell is a small, secluded, wooded valley.

Kew (12). A district of western Greater London on the River Thames where the famed Royal Botanic Gardens are located. The gardens contain thousands of plant species and includes museums, laboratories and hothouses.

obelisk (12). A tall, four-sided stone shaft, usually tapered and monolithic, that terminates in a point.

rill (12). A small brook or rivulet.

Et in Arcadia ego (12). (Latin) not "Here am I in Arcadia, " but "Even in Arcadia, there am I" (the "I" refers to death). The quote was inscribed on the tomb painted by Guercino in 1623. Nicholas Poussin painted a piece called "Shepherds in Arcadia" where the quote appears on a a shepard's tomb.

Radcliffe, Ann Ward (13). (1764-1823) A British writer of Gothic novels such as The Mysteries of Udolpho.

Horace Walpole (13). The 4th earl of Oxford, 1717-97, English. He is noted for his Gothic romance, The Castle of Oranto (1765). Strawberry Hill, Walpole's Gothicized cottage, is credited with starting the Gothic/picturesque craze in English landscape design.

partridge, snipe, woodcock, teal (13). A variety of plump-bodied game birds related to the pheasants and grouse.

hermit (13).A person who lives alone in a secluded spot; recluse. Dwelling refered to as a hermitage.

Baptist in the wilderness (14). Refers to John the Baptist (8 or 4 BC to about ad 27 AD) He was a Nazarite and prepared for his mission by years of self-discipline in the desert.

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Act I, Scene 2

capacious (16). Able to contain or hold a significant amount; spacious.

chemical 'Ladies' (16). Portable toilet.

marquee (16). A large tent with open sides used for outdoor entertainment.

sod (17). A British explicative.

commode (17). Can refer either to a toilet or a decorated low cabinet or chest of drawers. Used in Arcadia to provide material for farce.

game books (18). Journal of daily hunts listing statatistics and details.

Sussex (19). A former British county located in southeastern England, on the English Channel.

D. H. Lawrence (19). British writer (1885-1930). His fiction dealt with the struggle for human fulfillment in the dehumanizing industrialized society of the early twentieth century.

Just William books (19). A British children's book series.

Brighton and Hove Argus (19). A British regional newspaper (probably fictional).

ha-ha (20). A wall used in landscaping. From one side of the wall (the "pasture" side), it appears to be a wall. On the other side, the dirt is graded up to the top of the wall allowing an unobstructed view of lawn.

Lady Caroline Lamb (20). (1785-1828) Byron's mistress who wrote Glenarron, Graham Hamilton and Ada Reis. She was infatuated with Lord Byron and was notorious for her nine-months devotion to him in 1812. After seeing Byron's funeral procession she lost her mind.

don (21). A head, tutor, or fellow at a college of Oxford or Cambridge; the equivalent of a college or university professor.

Lord Byron (21). Byron, George Gordon Sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale (1788-1824). The great British romantic poet who was one of the leading figures of the romantic movement. His heroes were lonely, rebellious, and brooding. The handsome Byron was infamous for his unconventional lifestyle and his many love affairs. One of his famous loves was Lady Caroline Lamb, the wife of Viscount Melbourne.

Twickenham, Middlesex (21). Town on the Thames not far from London.

DNB (21). Dictionary of National Biography.

dwarf dahlia (22). A variety of plant native to the mountains of Central America, and Colombia.

Martinique (22). A French island located in the Windward Islands of the West Indies. It was discovered by Columbus in 1502, it colonized by the French in 1635.

folio (22). A large sheet of paper folded once in the middle, making two leaves or four pages of a book or manuscript. Roughly fifteen inches in height

Observer (22). England's oldest Sunday newspaper.

Oxford (22). One of the most prestigious universities in the world located at Oxford, England.

Brideshead Regurgitated (23). A reference to the 1945 novel Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh;

Italian garden (23). Italian gardens of the 17th were complex in the dramatic baroque style using serpentine lines, spouting fountains, sculptured allegorical figures, and waterfalls.

Brocket Hall (24). Residence of Lady Caroline Lamb.

Cambridge (24). With Oxford, one of England's two most prestigious universities. Noted for the sciences, Cambridge was attended by Sir Isaac Newton.

Coleridge (25). Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834) was an English poet and literary figure and, with William Wordsworth, is considered to be a leader of the romantic movement. He believed that poetry should concern itself with the relationship between man and nature without being overly stylized.

Capability Brown (25). Launcelot Brown (1715-1783) was an English landscape architect. He is best-known for laying out the gardens at Blenheim and Kew.

Claude (25). Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) was a French landscape painter.

Virgil (25). The Roman poet (70-19 B.C.) who wrote the epic poem Aeneid recounting the wanderings of Aeneas following the sack of Troy and ending with the founding of Rome. Vergil had great influence on Dante and other poets.

Gothic novel (25). A popular form of novel written in England in the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century. These mysteries and horror tales generally involved the supernatural and were set among haunted castles and ruins .

Peacock, Thomas Love (26). A self-educated English novelist and poet (1785-1866) and close friend of Shelley. He was also a clerk for the East India Company.

anchorite (26). A person living apart from society for religious reasons.

Thackeray, William Makepeace (26). British novelist (1811-1863 whose best-known work is Vanity Fair featuring the unscrupulous Becky Sharp.

The Cornhill Magazine (26). A work edited by Thackeray after 1860. It concerned itself with the hypocrisy, pretensions and amoral lives of his Victorian characters.

East India Company (26). The British company chartered by the Crown for trade with Asia from 1600 to 1858.

Blackfriars (26). Area in London along the north bank of the River Thames south of St. Paul's Cathedral.

Epiphany (27). This usage refers to the comprehension of the meaning of something through a sudden intuitive realization.

Pottery gnome (27). A curious piece of British kitsch, this is a small figure of a gnome placed in gardens.

Enlightenment (27). This refers to the Age of Reason or the Age of Enlightenment

Romantic (27). Romanticism refers to the literary and artistic movements of the late 18th and 19th century which were a revolt against Classicism and philosophical.

'Childe Harold' (28). Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, a poem written in 1812 by Lord Byron narrating his European travels. Childe Harold, was the first stormy, young auto-biographical Byronic hero, shunning humanity and wandering through life guilty of mysterious past sins.

English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (28). When his early work, Hours of Idleness, was ridiculed by the Edinburgh Review, Lord Byron answered with a somewhat notorious satire entitled English Bards and Scotch Reviewers in 1809.

Pall Mall (30). A famous and fashionable street in London, England. This is the site of St. James's Palace as well as many private clubs.

Kent (30). A county in southeastern England located between the Strait of Dover on the south and southeast and the Thames estuary on the north.

Channel Tunnel (30). The train tunnel connecting England and France beneath the English Channel.

Harrow (32). The prestigious Harrow School which Byron attended.

Beau Brummel (33). George Bryan ("Beau") Brummell (1778-1840) was a British dandy who created new fashions for men.

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Act I, Scene 3

Plautus (35). (c.254-184 B.C.) Roman comic poet and playwright. Used as the name of the tortoise.

Queen Dido (36). In Roman mythology, she is the founder and queen of Carthage. In Vergil's Aeneid, she falls in love with Aeneas and then kills herself on a burning pyre when he abandons her.

sealing wax (37). Used to seal letter, it is a resinous mixture of shellac and turpentine. After dripping it over the flap of an envelope a metal seal is used to emboss a design.

churlish (37). Surly or having a bad disposition.

Cleopatra (38). ( 69 B.C.-30 B.C.) Queen of Egypt, daughter of Ptolemy XI and wife to Ptolemy XII. She became the mistress of Caesar and supposedly bore him a son who became Ptolemy XIV. When Caesar was murdered she fell in love with Marc Antony and married him. Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra in 31 B.C. and they killed themselves.

Queen Elizabeth (38). Elizabeth I (1533-1603) Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

Ptolemy (38). The dynasty which ruled Egypt from 323-30 B.C. They began with Ptolemy I who was a general in Alexander the Great's army. The last ruler of the dynasty was Ptolemy XV who reigned with his mother, Cleopatra.

Great library of Alexandria (38). Ptolemy I founded the famed library of Alexander, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was destroyed by fire in 391 A.D.

Athenians (38). Athens was the capital and the largest city of ancient Greece. It is located near the Saronic Gulf in the eastern part of the country.

Aeschylus (38). The first great Athenian tragic dramatist (525-456 B.C.). Although he wrote nearly ninety plays, only seven survive. Believed to be the inventor if tragedy, he was the first to include two actors in addition to the chorus.

Sophocles (38). The Greek tragic dramatist (c.496-406 B.C.). Both a general and a priest, he wrote over one hundred and twenty plays only seven of which survived. He is credited with a third actor and increasing the size of the chorus.

Euripides (38). (480 or 485 B.C.-406 B.C.). Along with Sophocles and Aeschylus, one of the greatest Greek tragedians. Of the more than ninety tragedies he wrote, only nineteen survive in complete form. His work is somewhat more realistic than that of his contemporaries.

Aristotle (38). (384-322 B.C.) An ancient Greek philosopher, his writings on metaphysics, logic, science, poetics, ethics, and politics profoundly influenced all Western thought and civilization.

Archimedes (38). (c.287-212 B.C.) An ancient Greek mathematician, inventor, and physicist. He is credited for many mathematical formulas and numbers such as pi, exponents, and formulas for area and volume. Also devised tools and objects such as the Archimedean screw and various war machines.

papyrus (39). A writing material, made from an aquatic plant, which the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used for many lifetimes.

"The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne . . ." (39). A quote from Act II, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopartra.

second (39). The assistant to the principal in a duel.

Rogers, Samuel (41). A British poet (1763-1855) whose works include The Pleasures of Memory.

Moore, Thomas (41). An Irish romantic poet (1779-1852) and friend and biographer of Lord Byron.

Wordsworth, William (41). The British poet (1770-1850) who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped establish romanticism in England.

Malta packet (41). Malta is country consisting of three islands in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily. A packet is a boat that plies a regular passenger route.

Lisbon (41). The capital and largest city of Portugal.

Lesbos (41). An island of eastern Greece in the Aegean Sea near Turkey; home to Aristotle.

portmanteau (41). An overly large case made of leather that is opened into two hinged compartments.

billets (41). Lodging for troops.

pianoforte (41). A piano (from the Italian for soft (piano) and loud (forte)).

Ovid (42). (43 B.C.-A.D. 17) A great Roman poet who is known for his erotic and mythological poems.

bathos (42). As used here, it suggests banality or triteness; also, an insincere or grossly sentimental pathos producing a ludicrous effect.

satyrs (42). In Greek mythology, a woodland creature with the pointed ears, legs, and short horns of a goat.

nymphs (42). In Greek and Roman mythology, minor female deities which inhabit and personify natural objects such as trees, waters, and mountains. Nymphs are generally young, beautiful, and amorous.

guinea (42). A gold coin in England from 1663 to 1813. It was worth one pound and one shilling (£1 and twelve pence).

penurious (42). Poverty-stricken or destitute.

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Act I, Scene 4

iterated algorithm (43). This is a recursive computational procedure in which a result is approached through a cycle of repeated operations, each of which more closely approximates the desired result.

feedback (44). The application of the output of a process or system to the input. butts and

beaters (46). Those who serve to drive wild game from under cover for a hunter.

Relativity (47). The Theory of Relativity was introduced by Albert Einstein in 1905. It challenges Newtonian Laws by discarding the concept of absolute motion. Instead, it uses as a frame of reference only relative motion between two systems. Space and time unite to form a four-dimensional continuum. The special theory states that the idea that the laws of nature remain constant in different moving systems also applies to the propagation of light. Therefore, the speed of light remains constant for all observers regardless of the of either the observers motion or of the source of light. Other aspects of the theory indicate that mass and energy ar equivalent and convertable and that objects and time transform with motion.

quantum (47). This refers to quantum theory or quantum mechanics, the theories which drive modern physics. In Newtonian physical theory physical properties are continuously variable and energy travels in the form of waves. Quantum theory is based on the supposition that energy and other physical properties exist in tiny, discrete particles. Max Planck, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr are considered to be the fathers of quantum mechanics.

theory of everything (48). Physicists and philosophers dream of a final theory to explain all phenomena.

superscription (49). Something written above or outside the main text of a document.

Galileo (51). Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist (1564-1642). He is best known as the first scientist to study the heavens using a telescope to study the stars and he supported Copernicus's theory that the earth revolves around the sun.

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Act II, Scene 5

Charles II (53). (1630-1685) King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from the Restoration in 1660 to 1685. His reign was marked by colonization and trade expansion as well as continued opposition to Catholicism.

clairvoyant (57). Having the ability to see objects or events in the future. Also, the ability to percieve things without the use of conventional senses.

Bollocks (59). Nonsense (literally refers to bull testicles).

historical revisionism (59). The rewriting of the accepted views concerning historical events and movements.

Rationalist (60). A follower of the philosophical theory that reason is the prime source of knowledge and of spiritual truth.

calculus (60). The branch of mathematics that deals with the differentiation and integration of functions of one or more variables.

Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Baron von (61). (1646-1716) The German philosopher and mathematician who invented differential and integral calculus. He is also known for the optimistic metaphysical theory that we live in "the best of all possible worlds."

quarks (61). Elementary particles which combine into neutrons, protons, and certain other more exotic particles.

quasars (61). A class of objects which look like faint stars in a photograph, but which are actually billions of light years away. We can see them at this distance only because they are so intrinsically bright. We may actually be seeing material heated to extremely high temperatures in the gravitational field of a black hole.

big bang (61). A theory for the evolution of the universe based on Einstein's general theory of relativity. According to this model, the universe was once extraordinarily hot and dense and has since expanded.

black holes (61). In some cases, the collapse of a star results in an extremely small region of space-time which has a gravitational field so enormous that nothing can escape, not even light.

'She walks in beauty . . ." (61). A quote from Byron's Hebrew Melodies (1815) "She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellow'd to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies."

Royal Academy (62). The principal British fine arts organization was founded in 1768 by King George III.

Henry Fuseli (62). Swiss-born British painter (1741-1825). His work fused Gothic romanticism with classicism in a fantastic, grotesque and macabre style.

Chippendale, Thomas (63). The British cabinetmaker (1718-1779) who created a furniture style bearing his name.

sub rosa (64). (Latin) Under the rose, confidentially.

cv (64). Abbreviation of the Latin term curriculum vitae, a résumé or outline of one's life.

performance art (65). A theatre art form in which thematically related works in a variety of media are presented. Audiences may encounter these media simultaneously or successively.

Rhetoric (65). The art or study of the effective and persuasive use of language.

PT (65). Physical Training, the British equivalent of gym class.

hoary as Job (65). Refers to Job in the Old Testament. Job was a white-haired man who faith in God was never deminished despite repeated testsom above.

The Second law of thermodynamics (65). Thermodynamics is the branch of physics that deals with the relationships between heat and other forms of energy. The first law of thermodynamics deals with the conservation of energy. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy cannot decrease in a system for any spontaneous process. An example of this is that heat cannot pass from a colder body to a warmer body, but only from a warmer body to a colder body.

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Act II, Scene 6

infusion (68). The liquid product obtained by soaking tea herbs without boiling in order to prepare a drink.

Levant (69). The area consisting of those countries bordering on the eastern Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Egypt.

Pericles (71). Ancient statesman (c.495-429 B.C.) noted for advancing democracy in Athens. He became a great patron of the arts, encouraging music and drama and ordered the construction of the Parthenon.

spirit lamp (72). A lamp which burns with alcohol or another liquid fuel.

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Act II, Scene 7

Regency (73). The style prevalent in England during the regency of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV) from 1811 to 1830. The principle trend in furnishings and architecture was neoclassical.

deterministic universe (73). The belief that every act, decision, moral choice and event is the inevitable consequence of antecedents that are independent of and precludes human will.

"Your teas gets cold by itself, it doesn't get hot by itself." (78). A reference to the principle of entropy.

"I had a dream . . ." (79). A quote from Lord Byron's poem, Darkness.

'Culpability' Noakes (83). A play on Capability Brown (see above).

Hobbes . . . Leviathan (84). Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was an English political philosopher. In his book Leviathan (1651) he declares the pessimistic philosophy that humans are fundamentally brutish and selfish creatures.

Euclid (84). A Greek mathematician in the Third century B.C. He applied the deductive principles of logic to elementary plane geometry and used this method (now called Euclidean geometry) to derive statements from clearly defined axioms.

Newcomen steam pump (85). An atmospheric steam engineused to pump water invented in 1711 by Thomas Newcomen, an English inventor. This was a predecessor of James Watt's practical steam engine (1769).

curlew (86). A brown, long-legged shore bird with long, slender, downward-curving bills.

parterre (89). An ornamental flower garden with the beds and paths arranged in a pattern.

gloss (90). A brief note explaining or translating a difficult or technical expression sometimes inserted between lines of a text or in the margin of a manuscript.

Jane Austen (90). (1775-1817) English novelist noted for her comedies of middle-class manners and morality in the English counties. Her work is full of irony, morality, wit, style and penetrating characterization. Her themes often involve the quest for proper husbands for marriageable daughters.

mitre (91). The headdress of a Christian bishop. It is a tall pointed hat with peaks in front and back.

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