"Nor was her mind ill suited to this 'Index of the soul.'"

— Mackenzie, Henry (1745-1831)

Place of Publication
Printed for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell
"Nor was her mind ill suited to this 'Index of the soul.'"
Metaphor in Context
Harriet Wilkins was the daughter of a neighbour of his father's, who had for some time given up business, and lived on the interest of 4000 l. which he had saved in the course of it. From this circumstance, his acquaintance, old Annesly, entertained no very high opinion of his understanding; and did not cultivate much friendship with a man whom he considered as a drone in the hive of society: but in this opinion, as in many others, his son had the misfortune to differ from him; he used frequently to steal into Wilkins's house of an evening, to enjoy the conversation of one who had passed through life with observation, and had known the labor of business without that contraction of soul which it often occasions. Harriet was commonly of the party, listening with Annesly to her father's discourse, and with Annesly offering her remarks on it. She was not handsome enough to attract notice; but her look was of that complacent sort which gains on the beholder, and pleases from the acknowledgment that it is beneath admiration.

Nor was her mind ill suited to this "Index of the soul." Without that brilliancy which excites the general applause, it possessed those inferior sweetnesses which acquire the general esteem; sincere, benevolent, inoffensive, and unassuming. Nobody talked of the sayings of Miss Wilkins; but every one heard her with pleasure, and her smile was the signal of universal complacency.
(I, pp. 19-21)
Searching in LION
At least 12 entries in ESTC (1773, 1783, 1787, 1792, 1795, 1799).

Text from The Man of the World. In Two Parts (London: Printed for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1773). <Link to LION>
Date of Entry

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