"I can now sit in my Bed with a calm Resignation, to which my conquered Mind has been long a Stranger."

— Fielding, Sarah (1710-1768)

Place of Publication
Printed for A. Millar
1744, 1753
"I can now sit in my Bed with a calm Resignation, to which my conquered Mind has been long a Stranger."
Metaphor in Context
"When I revolve in my Thoughts all my past Life, the Errors of my Mind strike me strongly. The same natural Desire for Happiness actuated me with the rest of Mankind: But there was something peculiar in my Frame; for the Seeds of Ambition or Avarice, if they were in me at all, were so small they were imperceptible. Friendship and Love were the only Images that struck my Imagination with Pleasure; there therefore I fixed my Pursuit, and in these I felt the Sharpness of every Disappointment --when first I found Daniel did not deserve my Love, I thought (Fool that I was) my Misery at the Height. And yet when I lay at that little Alehouse the first Night I left my Brother, as I was the only Sufferer, and was careless what became of me, my Mind was in a State of Happiness and Freedom, compared to the Thraldom I have since indured. When Miss Johnson discovered a mercenary Spirit, and would not longer suffer me to love her, I then thought my Misfortunes at the Height; and little did I imagine, that the greatest Misery, and sharpest Sting of my Life, was to arise from a Woman's permitting me to love and esteem her. Had any one then attempted to persuade me, how little could I have believed, that the attaining a faithful and tender Friend, that strong Pursuit of my Life, and which I thought the Height of Happiness, should lead to its very contrary, and by that Means shew me the Short sightedness of all human Wisdom: Yet I found, by Experience, that there are some Pleasures with which Friendship pays her Votaries, that nothing in this World can equal. But the same Experience has also convinced me, that when Fortune turns against us, she can point her Arrows with so much the sharpest Stings in her Quiver, that, when placed in the Ballance, more than weighs down all her highest Enjoyments. When I obtained my Camilla's Love, I exulted in the perfecting my own Scheme, and saw not what awaited me behind. My Camilla endeared herself daily more and more to my Heart--she brought me five fine Children, and joined with me in educating them my own Way. My Valentine, my Cynthia too, daily proved themselves more worthy of my Friendship. I thought myself at home in this World, and attached my Heart to the Enjoyment of it, as strongly, though in a different Way, as does the Miser or Ambitious--but I found, even in my Days of Happiness, that, in obtaining my Wishes, I had multiplied my Cares; for, in the Persons of my Friends, I felt, at once, several Head-achs, and every other Infirmity of Body, and Affliction of Mind, to which human Nature is incident: Yet, as I felt, too, all their Pleasures, whilst they were checquered, I was well pleased; but when Poverty broke in upon us, I found, that to bear the Poverty of many, was almost insupportable. --Then, indeed, my Mind began to be seized with Fear--I was no longer my former Self--Pictures of the Distress of my Family began to succeed each other in my Mind, and Terror and Timidity conquered my better Judgment. The Necessity I found for a Friend, made me admit, as such, Persons more properly called Persecutors; and my staggering Mind catched hold of every rotten Plank, in Hopes of a Support. Thus my fancied Friends became my Plagues, and my real ones, by their Sufferings, tore up my Heart by the Roots, and frightened me into the bearing the insolent Persecutions of the others--I found my Mind in such Chains as are much worse than any Slavery of the Body--Still, whilst my Camilla was spared to me, I struggled for Chearfulness; I hid my Sorrows within my own Breast, and she rewarded and deserved all my Care. But when, in the two last Months of her Life, I was a Witness of her Sufferings, I then experienced all the Horrors of Friendship-- my Eyes were forced wide open, to discover the Fallacy of fancying any real or lasting Happiness can arise from an Attachment to Objects subject to Infirmities, Diseases, and to certain Death; and I would not, for any Thing this World can give, lead over again the last Twelve-month of my Life--I fancied I had some Constancy of Mind, because I could bear my own Sufferings, but found, through the Sufferings of others, I could be weakened like a Child. --All the Books of Philosophy I ever read, afforded me no Relief--I cannot comfort myself by contemplating my own Wisdom, nor imploy my Thoughts how to set off my Behaviour to others, neither pretend that I could stedfastly look Death in the Face, could I have no Prospect beyond it. To be all Uncertainty, all Gloom and Doubt, and yet to fit with Firmness, and expect the Stroke, to me seems to favour more of the Want of Apprehension belonging to an Idiot, than of the well grounded Satisfaction belonging to a Man of Sense. --But, with a strong and lively Hope in the Revelation God has been pleased to send us, and with a Heart swelling with Gratitude for that Revelation, I can carry my Prospect beyond the Grave; and, painful as my Distemper is, I can now sit in my Bed with a calm Resignation, to which my conquered Mind has been long a Stranger. --That I have lost Camilla is my Pleasure,--that she has gained by that Loss, softens every Pain. -- God bless that benevolent Heart, who has given me the inexpressible Satisfaction to know, that I shall leave my innocent Daughter, and my faithful Friend, under safe and good Protection. --Cynthia, who has stood the Death of Valentine, will easily find Comfort from my Death, and will teach my young Camilla to consider it as my Deliverance; and 'tis with Joy I perceive my own Sorrows are near having an End."
(pp. 234-9)
Searching "conque" and "judgment" in HDIS (Prose)
At least 15 entries in ESTC (1740, 1744, 1753, 1758, 1761, 1772, 1775, 1782, 1788, 1792). [Note, Volume the Last published in 1753.]

The Adventures of David Simple: Containing an Account of his Travels through the Cities of London and Westminster, in the Search of a Real Friend. By a Lady, 2 vols. (London: A. Millar, 1744) <Link to ECCO>
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Date of Review

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