"From out the Cavern of the Breast proceeds [...] Hell-born Envy shews her hellish kind, / And Vulture-like upon the Actions feed."

— Scot, Walter (b. 1613, d. in or after 1688)

Place of Publication
Printed by the Heir of Andrew Anderson [etc.]
"From out the Cavern of the Breast proceeds [...] Hell-born Envy shews her hellish kind, / And Vulture-like upon the Actions feed."
Metaphor in Context
The lives and deaths of Knights, Lords and Earls,
This little Book unto your Honour tells,
Protection and acceptance if you give,
It shall, as shall your self, for ever live.
Of all the VVonders this vile VVorld includes,
I muse how Flatt'ry such high Favour gains,
How Adulation cunningly deludes
Both high and low from Scepter to the Swain,
But if thou by Flattery could'st obtain,
More than the most that is possess'd by men,
Thou coul'dst not tune thy tongue to falshood strain,
Yet with the best can use both tongue and pen,
Thy secret Learning can both scan and ken,
The hidden things of Nature and of Art,
It's thou hast rais'd me from Oblivions Den,
And made my Muse from obscure Sleep to start;
And to your Honours censure I commit,
The first-born Issue of my worthless Wit,
Fresh-water Souldiers sails in shallow Streams,
And Leith-wynd Captains venture not their lives,
A Brain disturb'd brings furth idle Dreams,
And guilded Sheaths have seldom golden Knives,
And painted Faces none but Fools bewitch,
My Muse is plain, but witty fair and rich:
VVhen thou didst first to Agnanipa float,
VVithout thy knowledge as I surely think,
VVhere Grace and Nature filling up thy Fountain,
My Muse came flowing from Parnassus Mountain,
So long may she flow as it to thee is fit,
The boundless Ocean of a Christian wit:
For VVit, Reason, Grace, Religion, Nature, Zeal,
VVrought altogether in thy working Brain,
And to thy VVork did set this certain Seal,
Pure is the Colour that will take no stain:
My Lord, although I do transgress,
You know that I did never yet profess,
Until this time in print to be a Poet,
And now to exercise my VVit I show it;
View but the Intrals of this little Book,
And you will say that I some pains have took,
Pains mix'd with Pleasure, Pleasure joyn'd with Pain,
Produc'd this Issue of my labouring Brain.
My dear Lord, to you I owe a countless Debt,
VVhich though I ever pay, will ne're be payed.
'Tis not base Coyn, subject to Cankers fret,
If so in time my Debt might be defray'd,
But this my Debt I would have all Men know,
Is Love, the more I pay the more I owe;
VVit, Learning, Honesty, and all good parts,
Hath so possess'd thy Body and thy Mind,
That covetously thou steals away mens Hearts,
Yet 'gainst thy Shaft there's never one repay'd:
My Heart that is my greatest worldlie Pelf,
Shall ever be for thee as for my self;
Thou that in idle adulating words,
Canst never please the humors of these days,
That greatest VVorks with smallest Speech afford,
VVhose wit the Rules of VVisdoms love obeys,
In few words then, I wish that thou may'st be,
As well belov'd of all men as of me.
To Vertue and to Honour once in Rome,
Two stately Temples there erected was,
Where none might into Honours Temple come,
But first through Vertues Temple they must pass;
Which was an Emblem and an Document,
That Men by Vertue must true Honour win;
And how that Honour shall be permanent,
Which only did from Vertue first begin.
Could Envy die if Honour were deceas'd,
She could not live for Honours Envys food,
She lives by sucking of the noble blood,
And scales the lofty top of Fames high Crest,
Base thoughts compacted in the Objects breast,
The meager Monster doth neither harm nor good,
But like the wain, or wax, or ebb, or flood,
She shuns as what her age doth most detaste,
Where Heaven-bred Honour in the noble Mind,
From out the Cavern of the Breast proceeds,
There Hell-born Envy shews her hellish kind,
And Vulture-like upon the Actions feed
But here's the odds, that Honours-Tree shall grow,
When Envy's rotten Stump shall burn in low.
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Date of Entry

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