"Could my thoughts and her words have been legible on paper, I fancy they would make a comical figure"

— Fielding, Sarah (1710-1768) and Jane Collier (bap. 1715, d. 1755)

Place of Publication
Printed for R. and J. Dodsley in Pall Mall
"Could my thoughts and her words have been legible on paper, I fancy they would make a comical figure"
Metaphor in Context
We left Eugenio in London in order for his returning to the university; and to a most delightful rural situation indeed didArtemisia carry me. I pass'd my time there very tolerably; for she busied herself all the morning in looking over papers, and setting accounts with her steward, whilst I enjoyed my books, and was either roving about in the fields and garden (which latter was very extensive) or was sitting undisturbed by myself in my own apartment, as it best suited my fancy. My afternoons were entirely devoted to the friendlyArtemisia, which when the days were long and the weather fine, we generally spent in pleasant excursions to view some pleasant prospect, to see some fine seat, or to pay a short visit to her distant acquaintance. When we were confined at home, Artemisia used generally to entertain me with long stories of law suits, and how she wherretted the lawyers in such and such causes; to which, as she was not in the least captious, I payed her only the civility of attention; sometimes answering yes, and sometimes no, just as I caught the sense of the story, enough not to give her any cause for offence by a supposed neglect, and employed my own thoughts on Lucretius, Virgil, or any of my favourite authors. Could my thoughts and her words have been legible on paper, I fancy they would make a comical figure: for whilst she was exclaiming against the dilatoriness of lawyers, and telling the history of her rising early in the morning to be at one person's chambers before he was up, in order to be sure to speak with him; of her watching another home to his dinner time for the same purpose; and affirming that no business was to be done without industry: I was thinking on the uncertain lights which are left us by philosophers to form any fix'd system; my thoughts were travelling through Lucretius's succession of atoms in their forming, disolving, and again renewing this universe; or I was amusing my fancy with the noble poetic flights of Homer, or the harmonious Virgilian numbers; determining at the same time that no entertainment from outward objects was half equal to the imagined company of these ancient poets and philosophers.
Searching "paper" and thought" in HDIS (Prose); Found again searching "fancy" and "paper"; found again
2 entries in ESTC (1754).

See Fielding, Sarah and Jane Collier, The Cry: A New Dramatic Fable, 3 vols. (London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley in Pall Mall, 1754). <Link to ESTC>
Date of Entry

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