Behavior is the optic glass that makes visible what passes in the mind

— Fielding, Henry (1707-1754)

Work Title
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Printed for A. Millar
Behavior is the optic glass that makes visible what passes in the mind
Metaphor in Context
To give Colonel James his due Commendation, he had shewn a great Command of himself, and great Presence of Mind on this Occasion: For to speak the plain Truth, the Visit was intended to Amelia alone; nor did he expect, or, perhaps, desire, any thing less than to find the Captain at Home. The great Joy which he suddenly conveyed into his Countenance at the unexpected Sight of his Friend, is to be attributed to that noble Art which is taught in those excellent Schools called the several Courts of Europe . By this Men are enabled to dress out their Countenances as much at their own Pleasure, as they do their Bodies; and to put on Friendship with as much Ease as they can a laced Coat.

When the Colonel and Doctor were gone, Booth acquainted Amelia with the Invitation he had received. She was so struck with the News, and betrayed such visible Marks of Confusion and Uneasiness, that they could not have escaped Booth's Observation, had Suspicion given him the least Hint to remark: But this, indeed, is the great Optic Glass helping us to discern plainly almost all that passes in the Minds of others, without some Use of which nothing is more purblind than human Nature. (III.ix.2)
13 entries in ESTC (1752, 1762, 1771, 1775, 1777, 1780, 1790, 1793).

See Amelia. By Henry Fielding, 4 vols. (London: A. Millar, 1752). <Link to ECCO>

Reading Henry Fielding, Amelia, ed. David Blewett (London: Penguin Books, 1987).
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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.