"It has nothing that can keep the mind erect under the gusts of adversity."

— Burke, Edmund (1729-1797)

Place of Publication
"It has nothing that can keep the mind erect under the gusts of adversity."
Metaphor in Context
In that great war carried on against Louis the Fourteenth, for near eighteen years, Government spared no pains to satisfy the nation that, though they were to be animated by a desire of glory, glory was not their ultimate object; but that every thing dear to them, in religion, in law, in liberty—every thing which as freemen, as Englishmen, and as citizens of the great commonwealth of Christendom, they had at heart, was then at stake. This was to know the true art of gaining the affections and confidence of an high-minded people; this was to understand human nature. A danger to avert a danger; a present inconvenience and suffering to prevent a foreseen future, and a worse calamity; these are the motives that belong to an animal, who, in his constitution, is at once adventurous and provident; circumspect and daring; whom his Creator has made, as the Poet says, "of large discourse, looking before and after." But never can a vehement and sustained spirit of fortitude be kindled in a people by a war of calculation. It has nothing that can keep the mind erect under the gusts of adversity. Even where men are willing, as sometimes they are, to barter their blood for lucre, to hazard their safety for the gratification of their avarice, the passion which animates them to that sort of conflict, like all the short-sighted passions, must see it's objects distinct and near at hand. The passions of the lower order are hungry and impatient. Speculative plunder; contingent spoil; future, long adjourned, uncertain booty; pillage which must enrich a late posterity, and which possibly may not reach to posterity at all; these, for any length of time, will never support a mercenary war. The people are in the right. The calculation of profit in all such wars is false. On balancing the account of such wars, ten thousand hogsheads of sugar are purchased at ten thousand times their price. The blood of man should never be shed but to redeem the blood of man. It is well shed for our family, for our friends, for our God, for our country, for our kind. The rest is vanity; the rest is crime.
Searching "mind" at OLL
At least 14 entries in ECCO and ESTC (1796, 1797).

Text from Select Works of Edmund Burke. A New Imprint of the Payne Edition, Foreword and Biographical Note by Francis Canavan (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999). Vol. 3. <Link to OLL>

See also Two Letters Addressed to a Member of the Present Parliament on the Proposals for Peace with the Regicide Directory of France (London: Printed for F. and C. Rivington, 1796). <Link to Google Books>
Date of Entry

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