"I need not sign this Letter, otherwise than with that Impression of my Heart which I hope it bears"

— Fielding, Henry (1707-1754)

Work Title
Place of Publication
Printed for A. Millar
"I need not sign this Letter, otherwise than with that Impression of my Heart which I hope it bears"
Metaphor in Context

The quick Dispatch which I have given to your first Commands will, I hope, assure you of the Diligence with which I shall always obey every Command that you are pleased to honour me with. I have indeed in this trifling Affair, acted as if my Life itself had been at Stake, nay, I know not but it may be so: for this insignificant Matter you was pleased to tell me would oblige the charming Person in whose Power is not only my Happiness; but as I am well persuaded my Life too. Let me reap therefore some little Advantage in your Eyes as you have in mine from this trifling Occasion: for if any Thing could add to the Charms of which you are Mistress; it would be perhaps that amiable Zeal with which you maintain the Cause of your Friend. I hope indeed she will be my Friend and Advocate with the most lovely of her Sex, as I think she hath Reason, and as you was pleased to insinuate she had been: Let me beseech you, Madam, let not that dear Heart whose Tenderness is so inclin'd to compassionate the Miseries of others, be harden'd only against the Sufferings which itself occasions. Let not that Man alone have Reason to think you cruel, who of all others would do the most to procure your Kindness. How often have I lived over in my Reflections, in my Dreams those two short Minutes we were together? but alas! how faint are these Mimickries of the Imagination! What would I not give to purchase the Reality of such another Blessing! This, Madam, is in your Power to bestow on the Man who hath no Wish, no Will, no Fortune, no Heart, no Life, but what are at your Disposal. Grant me only the Favour to be at Lady ---'s Assembly. --You can have nothing to fear from indulging me with a Moment's Sight, a Moment's Conversation. I will ask no more. I know your Delicacy, and had rather die than offend it. Could I have seen you sometimes, I believe the Fear of offending you would have kept my Love for ever buried in my own Bosom; but to be totally excluded even from the Sight of what my Soul doats on is what I cannot bear. It is that alone which hath extorted the fatal Secret from me. Let that obtain your Forgiveness for me. I need not sign this Letter, otherwise than with that Impression of my Heart which I hope it bears; and to conclude it in any Form, no Language hath Words of Devotion strong enough to tell you with what Truth, what Anguish, what Zeal, what Adoration I love you.'
(pp. 84-6)
Searching "letter" and "heart" in HDIS (Prose)
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.