"Then since it is impossible to make my Heart cease from sighing Love, and my Mind from thinking Love, my Eyes from languishing, it is vain to command my Tongue to cease from declaring what all my interiour Passions dictate"

— Barker, Jane (1675-1743)

Place of Publication
Printed for A. Bettesworth and E. Curll
1712, 1715, 1719
"Then since it is impossible to make my Heart cease from sighing Love, and my Mind from thinking Love, my Eyes from languishing, it is vain to command my Tongue to cease from declaring what all my interiour Passions dictate"
Metaphor in Context
O cruel Passion, said she to herself, that in Spite of all Endeavours subjects us to thy Tyranny; yet I am happy in this,Scipio knows not what Power he has over me, nor ever shall; I will dye rather than discover my Folly. O poor Cordiala, unhapy Maid! what wild Meanders of strange and hard Adventures has Fortune mark'd out for thy Virtue to trace; what strange Vicissitudes hast thou encounter'd in the short Space of thy Life; yet short as it is, it had been happy for thee if it had pleas'd the Gods to have abridg'd it, and taken me out of the World ere I had beheld this lovely Object of my pleasing Pain. Yesterday I thought him the Morning-Star of my Hopes, ushering in the bright Dawn of some Happiness: But when he became illustrated with the Glories of his House, and the poor Ismenus encircled with the Rays of a Scipio, his Brightness then extinguish'd all my Hopes, and cast me into the Abyss of deep Despair. And now that all Hopes are extinguish'd, my fond Desires ought to dye with them: But, alas! so firm a Possession has Love taken of my Heart, as is not in my Power to eject. O ye Gods! why did you permit me to see and love him in his low Condition? Had I never seen him, 'til refulgent with the bright Rays of his Family, his Glories had been too dazling for one in my low Sphere [Page 284] to have look'd upon, but at a vast Distance, amongst the admiring Crowd, have run to see him pass by, and there to have respected him as a Hero, equal to a Demi-God. What Madness is it then for me, a Thing so mean, to think on him, but as one of the Lords of Mankind, above the Reach of vulgar Thoughts! Yet so it is, I must not only think of him, but infinitely love him. He is the only Object of my Tenderness; my Eyes never taught my Heart to make Distinction 'til they beheld Ismenus. All the Gallants of Rome, and Youths of Sicily, were to me alike indifferent. I thought Misfortunes hard harden'd my Heart to such a Temper, as not to love beyond the Degree of Friendship; but, poor Girl! how suddenly didst thou become flexible! The first Onset of his Eyes subjected my Heart to Love's imperial Commands: Methinks I could live on the Remembrance of that dear Moment, when a gentle Look and a soft Sigh forc'd their Passage to my Soul; which I had almost return'd with the like tender Motions, but that I stifled in the Birth such untimely Fruits of my Folly, not suffering my Breast to deliver itself of the Burden of one Sigh: By which Means Scipio remains ignorant of my Weakness, for which Conduct I am thankful to Heaven; for had he known it, I could not have out out-liv'd the [Page 285] Shame of being deserted by him, which must necessarily have ensu'd this his elevated State; for whatsoever Inclination might have whisper'd to him on my Behalf, Duty and Honour would command, and are such imperious Mistresses as must and ought to be obey'd. Then, O ye Gods! be so kind to me as you were to the Nymphs of old, and turn me into a Tree in this Grove, where perhaps Scipio may admire me in that Form or Species, and carve some Love Verses on my Bark, sing and whisper gentle Airs, which the Wind, joining with my ruffling Leaves, will reverberate, and so make a happy Consort of our mutual Loves. And if my thick Shade shelter him from Sun or Rain, how pleas'd should I be in rendering him that Service. But, O ye Gods! if he should bring some fair She, Daughter of a mighty Lord, and underneath the Umbrage of my extended Branches court and languish at her Feet, then should I die, my Leaves wither, and my Trunk rot with Indignation. Then rather let me follow the Fate of that babling Nymph whom your Pity turn'd into a Voice, and I will always follow this my Narcissus; and when vast Armies and glorious Triumph shall with loud Applause shout forth the Name of Scipio, then is my Time to serve his Fame, by echoing, Scipio, [Page 286] Scipio, Scipio, 'til his Name pierce the Clouds, and make even the Gods jealous of his rising Glories. Thus did this vertuous Maid entertain her roving Thoughts in this her solitary Walk, 'til Scipio, who was full of Agitation of Mind, also came into those Walks, and there met her, the Object of his Tenderness, to whom he address'd himself, saying, That since the Gods had been propitious to him in the Advancement of his Condition, he hoped she would now cease her Rigour; for (said he) I protest by all that's good, the chief Satisfaction I take in this my Advancement, is the Hopes that it well render me the more worthy Object of your Consideration, and gives me Occasion to testify the Sencerity of my Affection; inasmuch as no Change of Fortune is capable to change my Sentiments towards my lovely Maid: Then testify the Acceptance of this my offer'd Love by one gentle Look or Smile; let me hope that I am not wholly indifferent to you. Alas! (reply'd Cordiala) those Reasons you inforce, to oblige me to correspond with your amorus Pretensions, ought to be employ'd to justify my Refusal. It is obvious to any Capacity, that the Inequality of our present Fortunes must needs be a greater Obstacle than was our mutual Poverty. Then cease to entertain me or your own Fancy on this Subject; for assure your [Page 287] self I will never hear, much less gratify you: I will not be the Author of your Misfortunes, nor the Scorns of your Family: I will not cause you to disoblige the best of Fathers, nor myself become the Odium of Mankind. Therefore cease, I say, to importune me on this Subject. Madam, (reply'd Scipio) your Commands to me are sacred, and must be obey'd to the utmost Degree of Possibility; but know this, that although I cease to importune you, I cannot cease to love you: Your Perfections are made to be belov'd, and chiefly by me. And though you should forbid me ten thousand Times, yet still I must love on. You took Possession of my Heart the Moment of our first Interview, and will hold it against all other Assailants, whether Riches, Honours, or any other Beauty. Then since it is impossible to make my Heart cease from sighing Love, and my Mind from thinking Love, my Eyes from languishing, it is vain to command my Tongue to cease from declaring what all my interiour Passions dictate. No, rather give me Leave to address my Friends, and obtain not only their Leave but their Assistance to persuade you on my Behalf. As he was about to proceed, they discover'd Asiaticus at the End of the Walk, and seeing him alone, Scipio took the Opportunity to go and discourse with him on the Subject [Page 288] of his Passion, begging him to intercede with his Father on his Behalf. This Discourse both surpriz'd and displeas'd Asiaticus; nevertheless he could not refuse his Importunity, and so promis'd to do what he could with his Father, tho' he fear'd it would prove ineffectual; and so left Scipio to go look for his Father, whilst he return'd to the Place where he left Cordiala, and there found with her Clarinthia, who, seating themselves, and discoursing of Things indifferent, they saw a Person at the End of the Walk coming towards them, who they soon perceiv'd to be Valerius. As he came near Clarinthia, he cast himself at her Feet, begging Pardon of her and Heaven for all the Trouble he had caus'd her; adding, That he was come on Purpose fromSicily, and going to Rome, to enquire afterTurpius, in Hopes he may have gotten thither. If seeking after Turpius be your Business, reply'd Clarinthia, you will soon find Success; for he is at my Lord Publius Scipio's House, whither I will conduct thee.
(pp. 282-8)
Searching "passion" and "interio" in HDIS (Prose)
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.