"He well knew a Plebeian Mind was never Proof against the Persuasive Power of Tempting Gold; a Metal which insensibly diffuses itself into every Sense we have, and by Art Magick forces a liking, though Death and Ruin be its Attendants."

— Davys, Mary (1674-1732)

Place of Publication
Printed and sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster
"He well knew a Plebeian Mind was never Proof against the Persuasive Power of Tempting Gold; a Metal which insensibly diffuses itself into every Sense we have, and by Art Magick forces a liking, though Death and Ruin be its Attendants."
Metaphor in Context
Say no more my Dear Kitty [replied MissFriendly ] I will hear no more of it till I see Sir John, and hear what he says for himself: But come [continued she] will you go with me, and let us go to Bed for an Hour or two, for fear we should fall asleep at the Play anon, where I am resolved to go at Night, because it will be the last I shall see while I stay in Town, for To-morrow you have engaged me, and on Monday I must set forward towards the West. They changed their Clothes, and went together, got their Breakfasts, and went to Bed. In the Afternoon Sir John came to see how they did after their last Night's Diversion. O Lud! Sir John! [cried MissFriendly ] I am glad to see you Alive, I expected To-morrow's Journal would have given some Dismal Account of your Proceedings with the little Gentleman, I hear he followed [Page 74] you for Satisfaction; but as I see your Arm is not confined to a Scarf, I hope you came off with Honour. Yes Madam [replied Sir John] pretty well; we had indeed a little Skirmish, but it was soon over, and we parted good Friends at last. But the Adventure of theBagnio, Sir John [said Miss Wary] methinks I would feign be let into the Secret of that Scheme, which seems to have a sort of an unaccountable Odness in it that will not be presently answered for. L d! Madam [replied Sir John] I am surprised that you that know the Town should take Notice of a few Blundering Chairmen; they heard the Gentleman, I suppose, that dog'd me, give Orders to theBagnio, and thought they were to go there too. Miss Wary told him that would never hold, because it was plain he had given Orders to the Chairmen, before the Gentleman came out whose Design was to dog him; beside, if it was a Mistake, why did not Miss Friendly's Chair go with the rest? Well, well, Sir John [interrupted Miss Friendly] suppose we leap over all those Difficulties, how will you excuse yourself, when you are charged with taking a Couple of Ladies to the Masquerade, and wanted both Good-Manners and Gallantry to see them safe home again? Nay, Ladies [said Sir John] if ye both fall foul upon me at once, I must strike my Flag and surrender; but be pleased to remember you denied me the Pleasure of waiting on you there, which will a little excuse my Behaviour afterwards, tho' [Page 75] I would not have lost the Honour of seeing you back, had not that little Trifler with his foolish Punctilio's prevented me: And yet methinks it pleases me, when I remember how I revenged myself. But I now ask Ten Thousand Pardons for all the Faults you can charge me with, that so we may part Friends, for my Errand now is to take my leave of you, having engaged myself to accompany a Friend who is going to take a Trip to France: This Afternoon we go on Ship-board, so Ladies, if ye have any Commands to that Nation, I am at your Service to convey them. O Lud! [cried Miss Friendly] here's Manners; Why, did you not make us promise to go with you to the Play to-Night? And now he is going to France. Pray go and tell the Creature you have a Pre-engagement upon your Hands, and you can't go till the next fair Wind. Sir John made some scurvy Apology for his Non-compliance, and took his leave. He was now resolved to try another Expedient to accomplish his Design upon Miss Friendly, and to lay it on so sure a Foundation, that even Fate itself should hardly have Power to baffle it. He went directly to his Lodgings, and sent for his Apothecary, telling him he had now a very urgent Occasion for his Assistance, tho' of a different Nature from any thing he had ever served him in yet; told him in very plain Terms, he had a Mind to a certain young Lady, of whom he did not despair, though he should use no clandestine Means, but he had [Page 76] a Reason for working with the Mole under-Ground, and had rather have her unknown to herself than with her own Consent, in order to which, he desired him to make a private Conveyance of some Opiate into a few Mackroons [which was what the Lady greatly loved] to cause a Lethargy for some Hours; and desired it might operate as soon as possible. This was no sooner proposed than complied with, because Sir John was an excellent Customer, and his Bribe pretty large. The prepared Mackroons were speedily brought, and in three Hours after eating they were to begin their Work. He no sooner saw himself Master of the soporiferous Dose than he resolved to try the Effects of it, which he did that Night on a Maid-servant in the House where he lodged; he found it answered his Expectations, and in the Morning he called for his Groom, order'd him to saddle his Horse, which he mounted, and unattended left London, and went to the Inn where he knew the Innocent Sacrifice must lye the first Night upon the Road, and thought it fit to be there two or three Days before his Victim, that he might have Time to corrupt one of the Servants, to assist him in his Base Design against Poor Innocent Miss Friendly. He well knew a Plebeian Mind was never Proof against the Persuasive Power of Tempting Gold; a Metal which insensibly diffuses itself into every Sense we have, and by Art Magick forces a liking, though Death and Ruin be its Attendants. Sir John, the Base, Ungenerous [Page 77] Sir John, is now got to the Inn, where he soon singled out one of the Wenches for his Tool. He saw she thought her self handsome, and knew the only Way to get into her Favour was to make her believe he thought so too: In order to which, he praised her Beauty, and told her of much more than she ever had, which with a Kiss now and then, and Half a Crown sometimes, made him the Finest Gentleman that ever came that Road before: He soon saw he gained Ground, and at Night, after having sate up pretty late with a silly Landlord, whom he made very drunk, he ordered Sarah his chosen Accomplice to bring a Pint of Wine into his Chamber, and come up with it herself, which she readily did, SirJohn had no Occasion to make use of his Opiate, the Wench was very complying, and he to strengthen his Interest in her gave her leave to take share of his Bed that Night. In the Morning he began to think of letting her into the Secret that brought him there. Sarah [said he] I am now going to trust you with a very Grand Concern; and after what has passed betwixt us I hope I may confide in you: This Night I expect a young Lady to come to this House, with whom I had once an Intrigue; but a little Misunderstanding happened betwixt us, and I would feign make my Peace with her again: Now Sarah, what I have to beg of you is to convey me privately into some Part of her Chamber, where I may lurk till she is in Bed; and when you have done me this [Page 78]Piece of Service you shall have a very suitable Reward. Sarah who was too profuse of her own Chastity to endeavour the Preservation of that of another, not only complied with what was already proposed, but promised her farther Assistance, if any more was necessary. Sir John upon this Promise produced the Mackroons, and asked her, if she could by some clean Contrivance give one half to the Lady, and the other to her Maid? At which the Wench looked a little startled, and told SirJohn, she hoped there was no Poison in them, for she did not much care to be hanged neither. No [replied the Knight] to cure your Suspicion, see here I eat one of them myself, which he did.
(pp. 73-8)
Searching "mind" and "gold" in HDIS (Prose)
At least 3 entries in ESTC (1727, 1756).

Mary Davys, The Accomplish'd Rake: or Modern Fine Gentleman. Being An Exact Description of the Conduct and Behaviour of A Person of Distinction. (London: printed and sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster, 1727). <Link to ECCO> <Link to Google Books>
Date of Entry

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