Act 1, Scene 1, Part 1
* In 1809, Thomasina Coverly and her tutor, Septimus, sit at a large table in a room overlooking the expansive gardens of Thomasina's family's estate.
* Septimus reads a poem, "The Couch of Eros," to himself while Thomasina is supposed to be studying mathematics.
* Thomasina tells Septimus that Mrs. Chater, the wife of the man who wrote the poem Septimus is reading, was seen in a carnal embrace with Mr. Noakes, the landscape gardener.
* Jellaby, the butler, arrives with a challenge for Septimus from Chater, the poet.
* Thomasina and Septimus discuss time, and how the creation of disorder, such as the breaking apart of jam in a rice pudding, can only go forward through time until a new order is created, only to be disordered again.
Act 1, Scene 1, Part 2
* Chater bursts in, intent upon speaking to Septimus.
* The confrontation between Septimus and Chater reveals that Septimus was the...
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