"This Fancy having once taken Root, grew apace, and branch'd it self forth into a thousand vain Conceits."

— Barker, Jane (1675-1743)

Place of Publication
Printed for E. Curll
1713, 1719
"This Fancy having once taken Root, grew apace, and branch'd it self forth into a thousand vain Conceits."
Metaphor in Context
Looking behind me, I saw a very smooth-bark'd Ash, under which I sate, and in the midst of melancholy Whimsies, I writ these Lines on the Body of the Tree, having commonly a little Pen and Ink in my Pocket. This Fancy, joyn'd with what I had lately read in a little Book of my Lord Bacon's, that a wise Man ought to have two Designs on Foot at a Time, or, according to the Proverb, two Strings to his Bow; so I, finding my self abandon'd by Bosvil, and thinking it impossible ever to love any Mortal more, resolv'd to espouse a Book, and spend my Days in Study. This Fancy having once taken Root, grew apace, and branch'd it self forth into a thousand vain Conceits. I imagin'd my self the Orinda or Sapho of my Time, and amongst my little Reading, the Character of the faithful Shepherdess in the Play pleas'd me extreamly. I resolv'd to imitate her, not only in perpetual Chastity, but in learning the Use of Simples, for the Good of my Country-Neighbours. Thus I thought to becomeApollo's darling Daughter, and Maid of Honour to the Muses. In Order to this, I got my Brother, who was not yet return'd to Oxford, to set me in the Way to learn my Grammar, which he readily did, thinking it only a Vapour of Fancy, to be blown away with the first Puff of Vanity, or new Mode; or a Freak without Foundation, to be overthrown by the first Difficulty I shou'd meet with in the Syntax, knowing it to be less easy to make Substantive and Adjective agree, than to place a Patch, Curl, or any other additional Agreement, on a young Face, so as to render it (if not more charming) more gallant. He, not knowing the Foundation of my Enterprize, laugh'd at my Project, tho' he humour'd me out of Complaisance; for I had not let him know any thing of this Amour, supposing an Affront of this Kind might produce some fatal Accident; besides, my Pride would not permit me to let this Contempt of my Youth and Beauty be known to any. These Considerations made me keep this a Secret even from my Brother, tho' otherwise he was the Confident of all my poor Heart was able to conceive; for he was dear to me, not only as a Brother, but a Friend; fraternal Love and Friendship were united in him, and those Bonds drawn streight by Choice and Inclination, and all united by Reason; for never was Man fitter for an Election of this Kind, where Reason might have the casting Voice, which indeed ought to be in all our Actions. But to return where I digress'd
(pp. 13-4)
Searching in HDIS (Prose)
At least 4 entries in the ESTC (1713, 1719, 1736, 1743) [Final three dates for The Entertaining Novels].

Text from The Entertaining Novels of Mrs. Jane Barker, 2nd edition, 2 vols. (London: Printed for A. Bettesworth, in Pater-Noster-Row, and E. Curll, in Fleet-Street, 1719). [Titled "The Amours of Bosvil and Galesia."] <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO>

See also Love Intrigues: or, the History of the Amours of Bosvil and Galesia As Related to Lucasia, in St. Germains Garden. A Novel. Written by a Young Lady. (London: Printed for E. Curll, at the Dial and Bible against St. Dunstan’s Church in Fleetstreet; and C. Crownfield, at Cambridge, 1713). <Link to ESTC>
Date of Entry

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