I am too ardent

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I am too ardent

Overly passionate and enthusiastic, imprudent from the Latin ardere, "to burn." Ardency is an attribute, and a problem, shared by Walton, Victor (I:3:6), and the Creature (III:WC:28).

Johnson's Dictionary (1755) offers these English cognates from the root:

a. Ardency

  1. Ardour; eagerness; warmth of affection

b. Ardent

  1. Hot; burning; fiery
  2. Fierce; vehement
  3. Passionate; affectionate: used generally of desire

c. Ardour

  1. Heat
  2. Heat of affection, as love, desire, courage
  3. The person ardent or bright. This is used only by Milton

The associated definitions given by the Oxford English Dictionary are more complexly related, suggesting an ambiguous, even liminal, moral signification.

ardent ardent, a. Forms: 4-6 ardaunt, 5 hardaunt, ardant, 5- ardent. a. OFr. ardant :-L. ardentem, pr. pple. of ardere to burn, subseq. assimilated to L.: see -ant.

1. Burning, on fire, red-hot; fiery, hot, parching.

  • c. 1440 Morte Arth. 193 Sewes..Ownd of azure alle over and ardant pem semyde.
  • 1481 Caxton Myrr. ii. xviii. 107 Fyre so ouer moche ardaunt hote.
  • 1514 Barclay Cyt. & Uplandyshm; (1847) Introd. 36 Though thou shouldest perishe for very ardent thirst.
  • 1601 Holland Pliny II. 160 Ardent feuers.
  • 1794 Sullivan View Nat. II. 118 Receptacles of molten ore, and ardent liquids within the cavities of mountains.
  • 1882 Nature XXVI. 504 The sun was not very ardent.

2. Inflammable, combustible. Obs. exc. in the phr. ardent spirits, in which the meaning of ardent is now usually referred to their fiery taste: cf. L. ardentis Falerni pocula.

  • 1471 Ripley Comp. Alch. in Ashm. 1652, 190 Waters corrosyve and waters ardent [i.e. acids and spirits].
  • 1674 Petty Disc. bef. R. Soc. 93 The Spirituosity of Liquors, or in what proportions several Liquors contein more or less of inflameable or ardent parts.
  • 1684 T. Burnet Th. Earth II. 63 Inflammable salts, coal and other fossiles that are ardent.
  • 1833 Brewster Nat. Magic iv. 79 Spirits of wine, or any ardent spirit.

3. That burns like vitriol; corrosive. Obs.

  • 1799 G. Smith Laboratory II. 437 An Ardent Water to engrave Steel deeply. . .Take a sponge, dipt into ardent water.

4. Glowing or gleaming like fire; flaming, fierce.

  • 1603 Holland Plutarch (1657) 117 Fixing his eyes fast upon a fiery and ardent mirror.
  • 1718 Pope Iliad iii. 525 From rank to rank she darts her ardent eyes.
  • 1827 Hood Mids. Fairies 3 Fish, Quenching their ardent scales in watry gloom.

5. fig. Glowing with passion, animated by keen desire; intensely eager, zealous, fervent, fervid:

a. of persons and their faculties; transf. of ships.

  • c. 1374 Chaucer Boeth. iv. iii. 121 3if he [be] ardaunt in auarice.
  • 1483 Caxton Gold. Leg. 288/2 He was the more ardaunt to martirdome.
  • 1538 Starkey England 144 Yf we desyre wyth pure affecte and ardent mynd.
  • 1539 Tonstall Serm. Palm Sund. (1823) 51 He was of all the apostels moste ardent in fayth.
  • 1777 Watson Philip II (1793) II. xiv. 221 Ardent to behold him, after an absence of several years.
  • 1848 Mariotti Italy II. i. 20 Many an ardent patriot.
  • 1867 Smyth Sailor's Word-Bk. , Ardent , said of a vessel when she gripes or comes to the wind quickly.

b. of emotions and their expression.

  • c. 1374 Chaucer Boeth. iii. xii. 106 The most ardaunt loue of hys wiif.
  • 1485 Caxton Chas. Gt. 1 Their grete strength and ryght ardaunt courage.
  • 1651 Hobbes Leviath. iii. xxxii. 196 He finds an ardent desire to speak.
  • 1742 Young Nt. Th. viii. 721 Pray'r ardent opens Heav'n.
  • 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. 174 His zeal for Episcopacy..was now more ardent than ever.