Contents Index

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 (1.3.6), and the Creature (Walton 15).

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.

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. 3. That burns like vitriol; corrosive. Obs. 4. Glowing or gleaming like fire; flaming, fierce. 5. fig. Glowing with passion, animated by keen desire; intensely eager, zealous, fervent, fervid:

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

b. of emotions and their expression.