"I knew not how I should effect it, though a Multitude of Inventions crowded that Moment at once into my Head, and flatter'd me with some little Hopes."

— Haywood [née Fowler], Eliza (1693?-1756)

Place of Publication
Printed for D. Browne Junr. and W. Chetwood
1723, 1725
"I knew not how I should effect it, though a Multitude of Inventions crowded that Moment at once into my Head, and flatter'd me with some little Hopes."
Metaphor in Context
You may remember, Madam! (said he, sighing,) doubtless with an Infinity of Indignation remember, that the last Time I ever had the Blessing of seeing you at Vicenza, I receiv'd not the Honour you then vouchsafed me, of assuring me you would not refuse to be mine, when ever I should claim you by Ways you should approve, and as became a Man worthy of the adorable Idalia's Affection: But, oh! had you been sensible what I endur'd in the severe [Page 125] Necessity of appearing so ungrateful, so stupid, so blind to the inestimable Happiness that Condescension offer'd me, you would rather Pity than condemn me:----I had, when I was very young, been contracted by my Parents to Donna Antonia dell Miramont, she who is now my Wife; and who, being bred here at Rome, I had never seen: But a former Intimacy between our Families was the Occasion of this, which I must now call unhappy Union. For my part, as I had a Heart entirely unprepossessed, I agreed to it without any manner of Reluctance, but had not Complaisance enough to take a Journey to visit her: The Count her Uncle, perhaps, imagining the Sight of her might engage me to hasten the Consummation of the Contract, sent her toVenice with an Equipage and Train proportion'd to the Fondness he had for her. At her Arrival I thought her very agreeable to what I then wish'd for in a Wife, and indeed lik'd her better than any Lady I had seen; nay, I really loved her enough to be impatient for the Celebration of the Nuptials, and accordingly ordered every Thing to be prepared for it. The Day was appointed; and it was that in which my unhappy Brother and Don Ferdinand fell Rival Victims to Love and your Almighty Charms. Decency forbad the Hymeneal Torch should mingle with the Funeral Taper, and the Wedding by Consent of both Parties was deferr'd. A fatal Curiosity inclining me to see those Eyes, those lovely Orbs of shining Ruin, I no longer thought Antonia worth my Care; but I need not tell you how much I lov'd, how much I ador'd an Excellence so far beyond all that ever was called Mortal, a thousand, thousand Times you have read it in my Eyes! ----These glowing burning Balls, which never gaz'd upon you without starting, and almost breaking the Strings which held them with Extasy unspeakable!----with Pleasure wound up to such a Height of racking Rapture, that it even became a Pain, and stagger'd Sense! ----O what would I not then have given to have had it in [Page 126] my Power to offer you a Passion worthy of your Acceptance! ----How did I curse my Engagement with Antonia? ----How many Stratagems did I invent to break with her? But she, better acquainted with the Secret of my Soul than at that Time I imagined, artfully evaded my Excuses, and circumvented me in all, either because she then had really an Affection for me, or, as 'tis most probable by her Conduct since, thought it would be a Reflection on the Power of her Beauty to have it said, she had come so far to marry a Man who on any Terms could be brought to forsake her. ---- In fine, let me do what I would, say what I would, she seem'd not to resent it; and render'd it an Impossibility for me to quit her, without making myself appear the most ungrateful and perfidious of Mankind. ----I was in this perplexing Dilemma, when you made Tryal of my Faith, by proposing what I would have given my Soul to have had it in my Power to accept. ----I am sure you cannot forget the Confusion which was too visible in my Countenance not to be observed, which perhaps you might impute to another Score, but was really occasioned only by the inward working of my tumultuous Desires, which long'd with an Ardency inexpressible to satisfy you in a Demand which would have been so glorious for me; yet I knew not how I should effect it, though a Multitude of Inventions crowded that Moment at once into my Head, and flatter'd me with some little Hopes. ----I went, you know, immediately away; which haste proceeded from my Impatience to return with Tydings more suitable to my Passion to bring, than any I had yet been able to tell you. ---- Alas! I little thought 'twould be so long before we met again, nor of the Treachery which was then in Agitation to separate us for ever:----But of that hereafter.----
Searching "head" and "crowd" in HDIS (Prose)
5 entries in ESTC (1723, 1725, 1732, 1742).

See Idalia: or, The Unfortunate Mistress. A Novel. Written by Mrs. Eliza Haywood. (London: Printed for D. Browne junr. at the Black Swan, without Temple Bar ; W. Chetwood, in Russel-Street, Covent-Garden ; and S. Chapman, at the Angel in Pall-Mall, 1723). <Link to ESTC>

Text from Vol. 3 of Secret Histories, Novels and Poems. 4 vols, 2nd ed. (London Printed for Dan. Browne, Jun. and S. Chapman, 1725). <Link to ESTC><Link to LION>
Date of Entry

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