"Mad with despair, I have sought all means of obtaining, what I imagined the only cure for my distempered mind."

— Scott [née Robinson], Sarah (1720-1795)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Newbery
"Mad with despair, I have sought all means of obtaining, what I imagined the only cure for my distempered mind."
Metaphor in Context
The pleasure Sir Edward received at the account of Louisa's good fortune, and the still greater joy he felt at so evident a proof of her regard for him, made him for a time forget his pains, and flattered the good old steward with hopes, that his case was not so desperate as the surgeons represented it; but Sir Edward told him, 'he knew all hope was vain.' 'I must accuse myself, said he, of losing that lovely generous woman; what a treasure would have gladdened my future days, had I not rashly, I fear criminally shortened them, not by my own hand indeed, but how little different! Mad with despair, I have sought all means of obtaining, what I imagined the only cure for my distempered mind. Weary of life, since I could not possess her, in whom all my joys, all the wishes of my soul were centered, I seized every occasion of exposing myself to the enemy's sword. Contrary to my hopes, I escaped many times, when death seemed unavoidable; but grown more desperate by disappointment, I this morning went on an attack, where instead of attempting to conquer, all my endeavour was to be killed, and at last I succeeded, how fatally!' 'Oh! my Louisa,' continued he, 'and do I then lose thee by my own impatience! Had I, like thee, submitted to the disposition of providence, had I waited, from its mighty power, that relief which it alone can give, I might now be expecting with rapture the hour that should have united us for ever, instead of preparing for that which shall summon me to the grave, where even thou shalt be forgotten, and the last traces of thy lovely image effaced from my too faithful remembrance. How just are the decrees of the Almighty! Thy patience, thy resignation, and uncommon virtues are rewarded as they ought; my petulance, my impatience, which, as it were, flew in the face of my Maker, and sought to lose a life which he had intrusted to my keeping, and required me to preserve, is deservedly punished. I am deprived of that existence, which I would now endure whole ages of pain to recal, were it to be done, but it is past, and I submit to thy justice, thou all wise disposer of my fate.'
Reading and using HDIS to doublecheck search
Five entries in ESTC (1762, 1763, 1764, 1767). Second edition, corrected in 1764; third edition in 1767.

Reading Sarah Scott, A Description of Millenium Hall, ed. Gary Kelly (Ontario: Broadview Literary Texts, 2001).

See also A Description of Millenium Hall, and the Country Adjacent: Together with the Characters of the Inhabitants, And such Historical Anecdotes and Reflections, as May excite in the Reader proper Sentiments of Humanity, and lead the Mind to the Love of Virtue. By A Gentleman on his Travels (London: Printed for J. Newbery, 1762). <Link to archive.org>
Date of Entry

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