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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: 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: 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: September 1, 1759.

"The incursions of troublesome thoughts are often violent and importunate; and it is not easy to a mind accustomed to their inroads to expel them immediately by putting better images into motion; but this enemy of quiet is above all others weakened by every defeat; the reflection which has been o...

— Johnson, Samuel (1709-1784)

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Date: 1782

"Were I poetically turned--what a glorious field for fancy flights--such as the blue-eyed Goddess with her flying carr--her doves and sparrows, &c. &c.--Alas! my imagination is as barren as the desert sands of Arabia."

— Sancho, Charles Ignatius (1729-1780)

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