"This must certainly be a most charming Exercise to the Mind that is rightly turned for it."

— Steele, Sir Richard (1672-1729)

Work Title
Monday, April 28, 1712
"This must certainly be a most charming Exercise to the Mind that is rightly turned for it."
Metaphor in Context
Another End of travelling which deserves to be considerd, is the Improving our Taste of the best Authors of Antiquity, by seeing the Places where they lived, and of which they wrote; to compare the natural Face of the Country with the Descriptions they have given us, and observe how well the Picture agrees with the Original. This must certainly be a most charming Exercise to the Mind that is rightly turned for it; besides that it may in a good measure be made subservient to Morality, if the Person is capable of drawing just Conclusions concerning the Uncertainty of human things, from the ruinous Alterations Time and Barbarity have brought upon so many Palaces, Cities and whole Countries, which make the most illustrious Figures in History. And this Hint may be not a little improved by examining every Spot of Ground that we find celebrated as the Scene of some famous Action, or retaining any Footsteps of a Cato, Cicero or Brutus, or some such great virtuous Man. A nearer View of any such Particular, tho really little and trifling in it self, may serve the more powerfully to warm a generous Mind to an Emulation of their Virtues, and a greater Ardency of Ambition to imitate their bright Examples, if it comes duly temper'd and prepar'd for the Impression. But this I believe you'll hardly think those to be, who are so far from ent'ring into the Sense and Spirit of the Ancients, that they don't yet understand their Language with any Exactness.
(Cf. III, p. 369 in Bond ed.)
Searching in Project Gutenberg (PGDP) e-text. Confirmed in Bond.
At least 80 entries in ESTC (1711, 1712, 1713, 1714, 1715, 1716, 1717, 1718, 1720, 1721, 1723, 1724, 1726, 1729, 1733, 1734, 1735, 1737, 1738, 1744, 1745, 1747, 1748, 1749, 1750, 1753, 1754, 1755, 1756, 1756, 1757, 1761, 1763, 1765, 1766, 1767, 1769, 1771, 1776, 1778, 1785, 1788, 1789, 1781, 1793, 1797, 1799, 1800).

By Steele, Addison, Budgell and others, The Spectator (London: Printed for Sam. Buckley, at the Dolphin in Little Britain; and sold by A[nn]. Baldwin in Warwick-Lane, 1711-1714). <Link to ESTC> -- No. 1 (Thursday, March 1. 1711) through No. 555 (Saturday, December 6. 1712); 2nd series, No. 556 (Friday, June 18. 1714), ceased with No. 635 (20 Dec. 1714).

Some text from The Spectator, 3 vols. Ed. Henry Morley (London: George Routledge, 1891). <Link to PGDP edition>

Reading in Donald Bond's edition: The Spectator, 5 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965).
Date of Entry

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