From: Stoppard, T. (1993). Arcadia. London, Faber and Faber.
THOMASINA COVERLY, aged thirteen
SEPTIMUS HODGE, her tutor, aged twenty-two
RICHARD NOAKES, a landscape architect, middle-aged
VALENTINE COVERLY, aged twenty five to thirty (a scientist)
HANNAH JARVIS, an author, late thirties
THOMASINA: When you stir your rice pudding, Septimus, the spoonful of jam spreads itself round making red trails like the picture of a meteor in my astronomical atlas. But if you stir backward, the jam will not come together again. Indeed, the pudding does not notice and continues to turn pink just as before. Do you think this is odd?
THOMASINA: Well, I do. You cannot stir things apart.
VALENTINE: Listen you know your teas getting cold.
HANNAH: I like it cold.
VALENTINE: (Ignoring that) Im telling you something. Your tea gets cold by itself, it doesnt get hot by itself. Do you think thats odd?
VALENTINE: Well, it is odd. Heat goes to cold. Its a one-way street. Your tea will end up at room temperature. Whats happening to your tea is happening to everything everywhere. The sun and the starts. Itll take a whle but were all going to end up at room temperature .
THOMASINA: Mr Noaks bad news from Paris!
NOAKES: Is it the Emperor Napoleon?
THOMASINA: No (She tears the page off her drawing block, with her diagram on it.) It concerns your heat engine. Improve it as you will, you can never get out of it what you put in. It repays eleven pence in the shilling at most.
.(SEPTIMUS retrieves his book from THOMASINA. He turns the pages, and also continues to study Thomasinas diagram)
SEPTIMUS: Why does it mean Mr. Noakess engine pays eleven pence in the shilling? Where does he say it?
THOMASINA: Nowhere. I noticed it by the way. I cannot remember now.
THOMASINA: Oh yes. Newtons equations go forwards and backwards, the do not care which way. But the heat equation cares very much, it goes only one way. That is the reason Mr Noakes s engine cannot give the power to drive Mr. Noakess engine.
SEPTIMUS: Everybody knows that.
THOMASINA: Yes, Septimus, they know it about engines!
(VALENTINE studies the diagram)
VALENTINE: Its heat.
VALENTINE: Like a steam engine, you see She didnt have the maths, not remotely. She saw what this meant, way ahead, like seeing a picture.
VALENTINE: Like a film.
HANNAH: What did she see?
VALENTINE: That you cant run the film backwards. Heat was the fist think which didnt work that way. Not like Newton. A film of a pendulum, or a ball falling through the air backwards, it looks the same.
HANNAH: The ball would be going the wrong way.
VALENTINE: Youd hav e to know that. But with heat friction a ball breaking a window
VALENTINE: It wont work backwards.
HANNAH: Who thought it did?
VALENTINE: She saw why. You can put back the bits of glass but you cant collect up the heat of the smash. Its gone.
VALENTINE: The heat goes into the mix. (He gestures to indicate the air in the room, in the universe.)
VALENTINE: And everything is mixing the same way, all the time, irreversibly .
VALENTINE: till theres no time left. Thats what time means.