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Date: 1709, 1810

"Nothing can describe the soul: / 'Tis a region half unknown, / That has treasures of its own. / More remote from public view / Than the bowels of Peru; / Broader 'tis, and brighter far, / Than the golden Indies are; / Ships that trace the wat'ry stage / Cannot coast it in an age; / Harts, or hor...

— Watts, Isaac (1674-1748)

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Date: 1709, 1810

"Yet the silly wand'ring mind, / Loth to be too much confin'd, / Roves and takes her daily tours, / Coasting round the narrow shores, / Narrow shores of flesh and sense, / Picking shells and pebbles thence: / Or she sits at fancy's door, / Calling shapes and shadows to her, / Foreign visits still...

— Watts, Isaac (1674-1748)

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Date: 1711

"And reflecting on what is transacted within us, it seems to me a very diverting Scene to think when we strive to recollect something that does not then occur; how nimbly those volatil Messengers of ours will beat through all the Paths, and hunt every Enclosure of the Organ set aside for thinking...

— Mandeville, Bernard (bap. 1670, d. 1733)

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Date: 1711

"The scorcht and pathless Desarts of the Brain, / Want proper Caves and Cells to entertain / A Crowd of airy Forms and long Ideal Train."

— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)

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Date: 1712

"Which by her secret uncontested Nod / Her Messengers the Spirits sends abroad, / Thro' ev'ry nervous Pass, and ev'ry vital Road. / To fetch from ev'ry distant Part a Train, / Of outward Objects to enrich the Brain."

— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)

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Date: 1712

"How Spirits, which for Sense and Motion serve, / Unguided find the perforated Nerve. / Thro' ev'ry dark Recess pursue their Flight, / Unconscious of the Road and void of Sight, / Yet certain of the End still guide their Motions right."

— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)

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Date: January 16, 1717

"Madam, excuse this Absence of Mind; my animal Spirits had deserted the Avenues of my Senses, and retired to the Recesses of the Brain, to contemplate a beautiful Idea. I could not force the vagrant Creatures back again into their Posts, to move those Parts of the Body that express Civility."

— Gay, John (1685-1732); Pope, Alexander (1688-1744); Arbuthnot, John (bap. 1677, d. 1735)

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Date: 1724

"For Nature by fix'd Laws has wisely join'd / The bright Ideas of the conscious Mind / To Motions of the liquid spirit'ous Train, / Thro' previous Traces of the humid Brain; / These, when the Soul by drowsy Sleep oppress'd / Into her private Cell retires to Rest, / Thro' beaten Paths their wand'r...

— Needler, Henry (1690-1718); Duncombe, William (1690-1769)

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Date: 1732

"Thoughts crowd on Thoughts, as Alps on Alps arise, / And Worlds of Wonder open to my Eyes."

— Mitchell, Joseph (c. 1684-1738)

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Date: 1741

"Their Understandings are hereby cooped up in narrow Bounds, so that they never look abroad into other Provinces of the intellectual World, which are more beautiful perhaps and more fruitful than their own."

— Watts, Isaac (1674-1748)

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