On emay be "absorp'd in Sorrow, and loaden with Afflictions," alleviated only by discreet Words which may calm my Passion and serve "as Balm to a Mind enflam'd with Sorrow"

— Barker, Jane (1675-1743)

Place of Publication
Printed for A. Bettesworth and E. Curll
1712, 1715, 1719
On emay be "absorp'd in Sorrow, and loaden with Afflictions," alleviated only by discreet Words which may calm my Passion and serve "as Balm to a Mind enflam'd with Sorrow"
Metaphor in Context
I cannot but own (continued Clarinthia) they treated me with as much Civility and Respect as I cou'd hope for, in these my hard Circumstances; only Valerius continually persecuted me with his Courtship and Presents; all which I refus'd with equal Aversion, as being inconsistent with Virtue, by Reason of our Consanguinity; otherwise his Addresses were honourable, and his Person agreeable. Nor wanted he Reasons to alledge, nor Examples to produce, that might justify the Legality of his Pretensions; as indeed, there are but too many Examples of that Kind amongst the Gods and Heroes. Even the present King and Queen of Egypt live in that State which our Laws call Incest. How the Men of the Robe disguise, alter, and transform, what they say is the Law of the Gods, I know not; but we often find they make Vice and Virtue to differ according to Time, Place, and Person; and make that a Crime in one Person, which is none in another; and that a Virtue in one Place, which is a Vice in another. These serve to distract the Ignorant, amuse the Curious and Speculative, and is an inexhaustible Source of everlasting Disputes. Wherefore I avoided these Casuistical By-ways, and kept to the open common Road of Virtue, taught me by my Mother, which oblig'd me to oppose the Love of Valerius as incestuous, and contrary to the present known Laws of our Country. But Valerius gave another Interpretation to this my Reluctance, and believed my Aversion proceeded from a pre-existing Passion for that Stranger I had left at the Hermitage; and once, upon occasion of some earnest Words which pass'd between us, he indiscreetly let fall some dubious Sayings, as if he thought the Stranger had possess'd my Person as well as my Affections. This gave me so great a Shock, and so irritated my Anger and Indignation against him, that after severe Words on that Subject, I begg'd him, for the Love he pretended to me as his Mistress, for the Friendship he ought to have for me as his Sister, for the Respect he ow'd me as the Daughter of Turpius, that he would leave me, and never see me more. This I utter'd with much Passion and Vehemency, together with so many Tears, that Valerius cou'd not refrain from weeping also, and without saying much, left me to my Chagrine. After this, Valerius fell into a Melancholy, which impair'd his Health, for which I was truly sorry, but knew no Remedy. The fraternal Love I bore him, made the Diminution of his Health an Augmentation to my Misfortunes; and the Weight of my Sufferings were made heavier by the Part I took in his. In fine, I was absorp'd in Sorrow, and loaden with Afflictions, without Prospect of Alleviation, except what I receiv'd from the poorCordiala, whose discreet Words often calm'd my Passion; they were as Balm to a Mind enflam'd with Sorrow, and when those salutary Remedies fail'd, she try'd to charm me with the Musick of her Voice or Instrument, for in both these she was perfect, even to Admiration. Divers Times Valerius let me know by her the Greatness of his Griefs, in being depriv'd of my Presence, alledging, that as this Deprivation lost him the Heaven of his Happiness, so the Regret he had for having been himself the Cause, was to him a Hell of Misery. He testify'd a real Sorrow for those his rash Words, and sued for Pardon with unfeigned Submission; all which serv'd but to encrease my Burthen, already too weighty for my weak Constitution; it being inconsistent with Virtue to make him happy, yet fraternal Love made me a Sharer in his Misfortunes. But beside these Considerations, I must own (with Blushes) that my tender Thoughts were too far engag'd with the noble Stranger, the generous Defender of my Honour, to think of any other Object of Affection; not but that I endeavour'd to stifle and suppress these foolish Fancies, as Rebels to my Reason, and Enemies to my Repose. I placed him in the Tribunal of my Judgment, as the Author of my Father's Death, which render'd him unfit ever to be my Husband, almost to an impossibility, if his Quality, Inclinations, and all other Circumstances were correspondent, of which I was wholly ignorant, except those few dubious Words of Gallantry at the Hermit's Cell, which ought to pass in Oblivion, as common Words of course; and wou'd have done so with me, if fantastick Folly had not kept them alive in my Memory. I was in perpetual Fear of his being taken and prosecuted by the Agents of Valerius, as my Father's Murtherer, and my Ravisher. Thus was my Person confin'd, but my Griefs enlarg'd; I had lost my Father, and was believ'd to be his Murtherer; I had follow'd Virtue on all Occasions, and was suppos'd to be a great Criminal; I was born an Heiress of a noble Family, and inherited nothing but a Prison. In these, and the like sorrowful Reflections, I pass'd my Days without Repose, and my Nights without Slumbers. Being one Night in these doleful Thoughts, I saw, by the Light of the Moon, a Person enter my Chamber, at whose Approach I knew to be Cordiala, who, after having apologized for coming at an Hour so unexpected, she told me the Occasion; which was to inform me of what had been projected against mine Innocence and Quiet, and was to be executed that coming Day. She had overheard her Lady and Valerius discoursing that Evening about me; Asbella blam'd her Son for suffering any Disquiet in his Mind for a Person he had in his Power. Your Softness (said she) makes me almost asham'd to own you for my Son; rouze up your Resolution, and act as becomes your Sex and Quality, and not languish under the Effects of I know not what Fears and Fancies of a rigorous Beauty. Shake off, I say, this unpardonable Cowardice, and be a happy Conqueror over this your fair Enemy. ButValerius seem'd to abominate any Thing of Force, and told his Mother, he was no less a Votary to my Virtue than my Beauty, both to him were sacred. I perceive, saidAsbella, that Love is not only blind, but void of all Manner of Sense, otherwise, you cou'd not speak of her as a Person of Virtue, who is a Criminal of so deep a Dye. One, not only disobedient to her Father, but his Murtherer; an ungrateful Sorceress, who bewitches you with her Beauty, and then abandons you to Despair by her Scorn and Ingratitude. She neither considers you as her Brother, Lover, nor Benefactor; the latter of which you have sufficiently prov'd your self to be, in undertaking her Protection, when her Crimes had reduced her to a perfect Exigence; but she, transported with an irregular Affection, is not capable to consider her own Interest, which is bound up in your Kindness, and Constancy. Now, since Passion has so far the Regency of her Intellect, that she is uncapable of judging what is good for her, you must be so much her Friend, as to make her happy against her Will, for there is no

[Page 46]

medium for her, between becoming your Wife, and falling into Shame, Punishment, and Misery of all Kinds; therefore, out of Compassion to her, (the Thing you so much dote upon) you must espouse her, without considering whether she be willing or unwilling, pleas'd or displeas'd; for your Life and her Honour both depend upon this Enterprize. Fear not, for I will find a Priest shall be subservient to my Request; therefore resolve to make to Morrow a happy Day to your self and this your cruel Fair, by espousing her lawfully, according as her Father design'd. Valerius, though a little Opposite at first, yet, upon his Mother's pressing, and repeating how far my Happiness was the Object, if not the whole End of the Undertaking, he at last consented, and this my forced Marriage was resolv'd on that coming Day. Thus wasValerius perswaded to this real Wickedness, under the Pretext of an imaginary Good; and thus, indeed, it fares too often with the most Part of Mankind; for when Interest and Inclination stand Candidates for Preference, we then trick with Virtue, and put the Cheat upon Honour; we impose upon our Understandings, and force our Judg ments; nay more, we depose even Reason itself, and give Passions the Regency; and when our Minds are thus untun'd, our Actions soon joyn in the same Discord; post-pone the Laws of the Gods, and make those of our Country ineffectual, of all which Valerius now became an Example; for he was not wicked in his Nature, but misled by the Ignis-fatuus of his Passion and Interest. But to return, Cordiala having inform'd me of this their Design, I thank'd, and hasten'd her away to prevent Suspicion. She being gone, I arose, and walk'd about my Chamber quite distracted with the Apprehension of what was to succeed; sometimes I threw myself on the Bed, sometimes on the Floor; being tir'd of all Postures; at last I went out on the Balcony which appertain'd to my Lodging, and jetted, as it were, over the Sea. Here I walk'd many Turns in the greatest Perplexity a Soul cou'd suffer. I fancy I resembled Queen Dido (as History describes her) at the Departure of her Æneas, and was as much embarras'd and distracted how to avoid my amorous Persecutor, as she cou'd be how to follow or overtake her beloved Fugitive. Thus, different Causes often produce the same Effect, as Glass, which is equally made by the Extremities of Heat and Cold. How happy did I esteem those Nymphs of Old, who, by the Pity of the Gods, were transform'd into Plants or Animals, by which they avoided the Embraces of their hated Lovers. And, indeed, Valerius was now become such to me, this Contrivance having raz'd out all those Characters of Friendship and fraternal Love, which his virtuous and generous Behaviour had engraven in my Heart before; and I now detested and abhorr'd him as the worst of Criminals. Sometimes I resolv'd to cast my self into the Deep, and so become a Sacrifice to Neptune, rather than a Victim to his incestuous Love; sometimes to force my self upon those iron Spikes on the Banisters, with a Thousand other extravagant Thoughts, which Reason, or want of Courage, render'd abortive; till, befriended by Cynthia's bright Beams, I saw in a Cleft of the Wall an old rusty Key, with which (as Fortune, or my good Genius would have it) I open'd the Iron-Gate, thro' which one descends by Steps to the Sea. At the Bottom of these Stairs there was an old Boat slightly fasten'd, into which I enter'd, and committed my self to the Mercy of that rude Element.
(pp. 40-48)
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At least 5 entries in ESTC (1712, 1715, 1719, 1736, 1743). [Final three dates for The Entertaining Novels].

See Exilius: or, the Banish'd Roman. A New Romance. In Two Parts: Written After the Manner of Telemachus, for the Instruction of some Young Ladies of Quality. By Mrs. Jane Barker (London: [1712?]). Copy at Princeton University.

Text from The Entertaining Novels of Mrs. Jane Barker, 2nd edition, 2 vols. (London: Printed for A. Bettesworth and E. Curll, 1719). <Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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