"This young Lady, amongst many other good Ingredients, had three very predominant Passions, to wit, Vanity, Wantonness, and Avarice."

— Fielding, Henry (1707-1754)

Place of Publication
Printed for the Author
"This young Lady, amongst many other good Ingredients, had three very predominant Passions, to wit, Vanity, Wantonness, and Avarice."
Metaphor in Context
Wild immediately asked for his Beloved, and was informed, that she was not at Home. He then enquired, where she was to be found, and declared, he would not depart till he had seen her; nay, not till he had married her; for, indeed, his Passion for her was truly honourable, in other Words, he had so ungovernable a Desire for her Person, that he would go any Lengths to satisfy it. He then pulled out the Casket, which he swore was full of the finest Jewels, and that he would give them all to her, with other Promises; which so prevailed on Miss Doshy, who had not the common Failure of Sisters in envying, and often endeavouring to disappoint each other's Happiness; that she desired Mr. Wild to sit down a few Minutes, whilst she endeavoured to find her Sister, and to bring her to him. The Lover thanked her, and promised to stay till her Return; and Miss Doshy, leaving Mr. Wild to his Meditations, fastened him in the Kitchen by barring the Door (for most of the Doors in this Mansion were made to be bolted on the outside) and then slapping to the Door of the House with great Violence, without going out at it, she stole softly up Stairs, where Miss Lætitia was engaged in close Conference with Mr. Bagshot. Miss Letty, being informed by her Sister in a Whisper of what Mr. Wild had said, and what he had produced, told Mr. Bagshot, that a young Lady was below to visit her, whom she would dispatch with all imaginable Haste, and return to him. She desired him therefore to stay with Patience for her in the mean Time, and that she would leave the Door unlocked, tho' her Papa would never forgive her if he should discover it. Bagshotpromised on his Honour, not to step without his Chamber; and the two young Ladies went softly down Stairs; when pretending first to make their Entry into the House, they repaired to the Kitchen, where not even the Presence of the chaste Lætitia could restore that Harmony to the Countenance of her Lover, which Miss Theodosia had left him possessed of; for during her Absence he had discovered the Absence of that Purse which had been taken from Mr.Heartfree, and which, indeed, Miss Straddle had in the Warmth of his amorous Caresses, unperceived, drawn from him. However, as he had that perfect Mastery of his Temper, or rather of his Muscles, which is as necessary to form a GREAT Character as to personate it on the Stage, he soon conveyed a Smile into his Countenance, and concealing as well his Misfortune as his Chagrin at it, began to pay honourable Addresses to Miss Letty. This young Lady, amongst many other good Ingredients, had three very predominant Passion s, to wit, Vanity, Wantonness, and Avarice. To satisfy the first of these, she applied Mr.Smith and Comp. to the second, Mr. Bagshot and Comp. and our Hero had the Honour and Happiness of solely engrossing the third. Now, these three Sorts of Lovers she had very different Ways of entertaining. With the first, she was all gay and coquette; with the second, all fond and rampant; and with the last, all cold and reserved. She, therefore, told Mr. Wild, with a most composed Aspect, that she was glad he had repented of his Manner of treating her at their last Interview, where his Behaviour was so monstrous, that she had resolved never to see him any more; that she was afraid her own Sex would hardly pardon her the Weakness she was guilty of in receding from that Resolution, which she was persuaded she never should have prevailed with herself to do, had not her Sister, who was there to confirm what she said, (as she did with many Oaths) betrayed her into his Company, by pretending it was another Person to visit her: But however, as he now thought proper to give her more convincing Proofs of his Affection (for he had now the Casket in his Hand) and since she perceived his Designs were no longer against her Virtue, but were such as a Woman of Honour might listen to, she must own--and then she feign'd an Hesitation, when Theodosia began. "Nay, Sister, I am resolved you shall counterfeit no longer. I assure you, Mr. Wild, she hath the most violent Passion for you in the World; and if you offer to go back, since I plainly see Mr. Wild's Designs are honourable, I will betray all you have ever said. --How, Sister, (answeredLætitia ) I protest you will drive me out of the Room: I did not expect this Usage from you." Wild then fell on his Knees, and taking hold of her Hand, repeated a Speech which, as the Reader may easily suggest it to himself, I shall not here minutely set down. He then offered her the Casket, but she gently rejected it; and on a second Offer, with a modest Countenance and Voice, desired to know what it contained. Wild then open'd it, and took forth, (with Sorrow I write it, and with Sorrow will it be read) one of those beautiful Necklaces, with which at the Fair of Bartholomew, they deck the well whitened Neck of Thalestris Queen of theAmazons, Anna Bullen, Queen Elizabeth, or some other High Princess in Drollic Story. It was indeed composed of that Paste, which Derdæus Magnus, an ingenious Toyman, doth at a very moderate Price dispose of to the second Rate Beaus of the Metropolis. For, to open a Truth, which we ask our Reader's Pardon for having concealed from him so long; the sagacious Count, wisely fearing, lest some Accident might prevent Mr. Wild's Return at the appointed Time, had carefully conveyed the Jewels which Mr. Heartfree had brought with him, into his own Pocket; and in their Stead had placed in the Casket these artificial Stones, which, tho' of equal Value to a Philosopher, and perhaps of a much greater to a true Admirer of the Compositions of Art, had not however the same Charms in the Eyes of Miss Letty; who had indeed some Knowledge of Jewels: For Mr. Snap, with great Reason considering how valuable a Part of a young Lady's Education it would be to have his Daughter instructed in these Things, in an Age when young Ladies learn little more than how to dress themselves, had in her youth, placed Miss Letty as the Handmaid (or House-maid, as the Vulgar call it) of an eminent Pawn-broker. The lightning, therefore, which should have flashed from the Jewels, flashed from her Eyes, and thunder immediately followed from her Voice. She be-knaved, be-rascalled, be-rogued the unhappy Hero, who stood silent, confounded with Astonishment, but more with Shame and Indignation, at being thus out-witted and over-reached. At length, he recovered his Spirits, and throwing down the Casket in a Rage, he snatched the Key from the Table; and without making any Answer to the Ladies, who both very plentifully open'd upon him, or taking any leave of them, he flew out at the Door, and repaired with the utmost Expedition to the Count's Habitation.
(II.iii, pp. 116-22)
Searching HDIS for "predominant passion"
At least 13 entries in ESTC (1743, 1754, 1758, 1763, 1774, 1775, 1782, 1785, 1793, 1795).

Text from Miscellanies, by Henry Fielding, 3 vols. (London: Printed for the Author, 1743). [Jonathan Wild in Vol. 3] <Link to LION>
Ruling Passion
Date of Entry

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