Monday, October 01, 2007

"Only dead fish swim with the stream"

When we were at the Alnwick Garden last week, we noticed a new book available about the making of the Garden. Karen balked at the £25 cover price but I noticed it was only £17.50 on Amazon. (I've read it now and posted a four star review).

Not only does it have a photo of the Pump room, but it reveals a cheeky secret.

At the start of the bamboo maze is the phrase at the top of the blogpost, representing the Duchess' struggle with unhelpful conservatism that seriously got in the way of making the garden what it is today.

When you complete the maze, there is a Latin inscription in the centre. It reads:

Omnia, hospites, vidistis.
Vobis gratias agimus.
Nunc, fortuito mingite.

The real translation is NOT what is officially on their website podcast. This schools teacher guide PDF is closer...

I anticipate one of the highly educated Blogpower people with a classical education may be able to get close. (Or Colin Campbell will find an English <-> Latin translator online).

Postscript: The translators I have tried are Cak at it.


Ian Appleby said...

"Guests, you have seen everything. We express our thanks to you. Now, with any luck, you'll leave."

Which, if my translation is anything like, is ever so slightly double edged, and is a very clever thing to say in the middle of the maze.

Not being a lawyer, I am open to corrections by those having the Latin.

Shades said...

Very good!

Close... but no cigar yet. According to the book,the first two lines are:

Visitors, you have seen everything.
We thank you.

I'll let it run for a bit longer then put up what the book says for the last line.

Ian Appleby said...

Hmm, is it a long and challenging maze? Is there a tea room just near the entrance? I'm simply bursting to, er, know.

Shades said...

No, yes, if you are bursting it is appropriate.

Ian Appleby said...

Well, I'll take a stab in the dark and re-render the final line as "Now, are you by any chance having a piss?"

Ian Appleby said...

I'm guessing the loos are a long walk from the tea room.

Shades said...

How could you think that a Duchess could be so uncouth?

Very very warm though.