"Madam, of what use is our Reason, if we chain it up when we most want it?"

— Davys, Mary (1674-1732)

Place of Publication
Printed by H. Woodfall
"Madam, of what use is our Reason, if we chain it up when we most want it?"
Metaphor in Context
Amoranda, on the other hand, found she had vex'dFormator, which she began to be sorry for, because she knew it wou'd highly disoblige one of the best Uncles in the World, and therefore begg'd my Lord to leave her for that time. He told her he wou'd do ten thousand Things to oblige her, and desired but one in return of all. When I understand you, my Lord, said she, I shall know what Answer to make; in the mean time, I repeat the Request I have already made you, to leave me now. My Lord, with a little too much freedom, snatch'd her to his arms, took a Kiss, and vanish'd. As soon as he was gone, she went down to Formator, and found him in the Parlor, in a very thoughtful, melancholy Posture; Formator, said she, I am come to tell you, I am under some Concern for what has happen'd to-day: I have, to oblige you, sent my Lord away, and do here faithfully promise you, I will never come into his Company more, without your Approbation. I own I have the greatest Inclination in the world to please you, and as I believe you sincerely to be my Friend, as such I will always use you, and let this little early Quarrel rivet our future Amity. Formator was so transported at her good-natur'd Condescension, that he cou'd hardly forbear throwing himself at her Feet; but he consider'd, Raptures were unsuitable to his Age, so contented himself with saying, Madam, of what use is our Reason, if we chain it up when we most want it? had your's had its liberty, it wou'd have shown you the villainous Designs of your Noble Lover, it wou'd have told you how much he desires your Ruin, that all the Love he has for you, is to satisfy his own beastial Desires, rob you of your Innocence and Honour, then leave you to the World, to finish the Misery he begun, by being pity'd and despis'd as long as you live: 'Tis true, Madam, continu'd he, you have a Fortune that sets you above the World; but when I was a young Fellow, we used to value a Lady for Virtue, Modesty, and innate Love to Honour. I confess, Madam, said he, those are unfashionable Qualities, but they are still the chief Ornaments of your Sex, and ours never think a Woman compleat without 'em.
(pp. 37-8)
Searching "reason" and "chain" in HDIS (Prose)
At least 9 entries in ESTC (1724, 1725, 1735, 1736, 1744, 1752, 1760, 1763).

Mary Davys, The Reform'd Coquet; a Novel. by Mrs. Davys, Author of the Humours of York. (London: London: Printed by H. Woodfall, for the Author; and sold by J.Stephens, 1724). <Link to ECCO><Link to Google Books>

Text from The Works of Mrs. Davys: Consisting of, Plays, Novels, Poems, and Familiar Letters. Several of which never before Publish'd. 2 vols. (London: printed by H. Woodfall, for the author and sold by J. Stevens, 1725). <Link to Google Books>

Reading in Popular Fiction by Women, 1660-1730, eds. Paula Backscheider and John Richetti (Oxford UP, 1996).
Date of Entry

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