"His Fancy too was most Luxurious, / And fertil of an Off-spring spurious"

— Anonymous

Place of Publication
Printed for John Newton [etc.]
"His Fancy too was most Luxurious, / And fertil of an Off-spring spurious"
Metaphor in Context
His Person's very tall and straight,
Exceeding much the common Height,
Could we but make him stand upright.
His Body, had it been exhibited
Naked, One might have told each Rib it had:
A Man so Lathy, long, and lean,
Is very rarely to be seen.
The Figure of his Face is Oval,
Not broad at bottom, like a Shovel;
Though on sinister part of Gullet
Appears a Poke, or fleshy Wallet,
A strongly radicated Tumour,
Caus'd by an old Malignant Humour,
Which he who skill'd in Physicks Trade is,
Doth term the Scrophula, or Chærades:
Yet if our Knight did ever shew
In Lombards Vale at Bergamo
His Visage, with this Modish Swelling,
No Man would there advise its Healing:
For 'tis in Fashion so, the same is
Esteem'd an Ornament, no Blemish;
And one would swear, he had so far gone
Being vers'd in their peculiar Jargon,
Which imitated very much is
By fam'd Buffoons and Scaramouches.
But not to suffer a Digression
To put us by our proper Lesson:
After the Colour of his Hair,
We term him of Complexion Fair;
His Eyes were of the lively Hazel,
And Eye-brows large became his Face well;
His Nose well-shap'd, on Top of which
Was fix'd the Ciceronian Fetch,
An Index of his Rhetorick,
That is of Eloquence and Trick.
His Visage wore an eager Air,
Keen as the Season of the Year;
His Forehead shone like Burnish'd Brass;
Bright and Case hardned was his Face,
Which nothing Foul could touch or take,
But worse it still reflected back:
Such was the Nature of the Mirrour,
To render no Idea's fairer.
But the best Part about the Man
Many will have to be his Brain,
Always a working, never idle,
Ev'n when he takes in hand the Fiddle.
In vain the Harmony's design'd
To quell the Discords of his Mind;
The Faculties whereof were strong,
Though constantly directed wrong.
His Fancy too was most Luxurious,
And fertil of an Off-spring spurious
His Memory had Mansions many,
And some as fair and large as any;
But still the fairest and the best
Were took up by th'foulest Guest.
For Slanders vile, and lying Stories
Lodg'd in its choice Repositories,
Whilst all their Doors were shut and barr'd
'Gainst Worth and Merit very hard.
His Reason which of Right should Reign
The lawfull Monarch of his Brain,
Was by his Will depos'd, whose Rule
Despotick was as Great Mogul,
Would not be bound in any Case
By any Reasonable Laws,
Nor other Magna Charta own,
Than what I please, That shall be done.
Thus Qualify'd (while we take Breath)
Let him write Dagger out of Sheath:
Under Pretence of pulling down
The Enemies to Church and Crown,
He proves the worker of the Fall
Of Scepter, Diadem and Ball:
While those Regalia he would pitch
So high above all Humane Reach,
They are but lodg'd the less secure,
And can't from Age to Age endure.
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Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.