"His blood they transfuse into their minds and into their manners."

— Burke, Edmund (1729-1797)

Place of Publication
Paris and London
Re-printed for J. Dodsley
January 19, 1791
"His blood they transfuse into their minds and into their manners."
Metaphor in Context
The National Assembly proceeds on maxims the very reverse of these. The Assembly commends to its youth a study of the bold experimenters in morality. Everybody knows that there is a great dispute amongst their leaders, which of them is the best resemblance of Rousseau. In truth, they all resemble him. His blood they transfuse into their minds and into their manners. Him they study; him they meditate; him they turn over in all the time they can spare from the laborious mischief of the day, or the debauches of the night. Rousseau is their canon of holy writ; in his life he is their canon of Polycletus; he is their standard figure of perfection. To this man and this writer, as a pattern to authors and to Frenchmen, the foundries of Paris are now running for statues, with the kettles of their poor and the bells of their churches. If an author had written like a great genius on geometry, though his practical and speculative morals were vicious in the extreme, it might appear, that in voting the statue, they honoured only the geometrician. But Rousseau is a moralist, or he is nothing. It is impossible, therefore, putting the circumstances together, to mistake their design in choosing the author with whom they have begun to recommend a course of studies.
(pp. 31-2)
Text copied online and cursorily corrected against Edmund Burke, A Letter from Mr. Burke to a Member of the National Assembly; In Answer to Some Objections to his Book on French Affairs, 3rd edition (Paris, Printed, and London, Re-printed for J. Dodsley, 1791). <Link to Google Books>
Date of Entry

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