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Date: 1590?, 1623

"Gentle girl, assist me, / And e'en in kind love I do conjure thee, / Who art the table wherein all my thoughts / Are visibly charactered and engraved / To lesson me, and tell me some good mean / How with my honour I may undertake / A journey to my loving Proteus."

— Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

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Date: 1594

"The soul of man being therefore at the first as a book, wherein nothing is and yet all things may be imprinted; we are to search by what steps and degrees it riseth unto perfection of knowledge."

— Hooker, Richard (1554-1600)

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Date: 1596

"In this respect [conscience] may fitly be compared to a notarie, or a register that hath alwaies the penne in his hand, to note and record whatsoeuer is saide or done: who also because he keepes the rolles and records of the court, can tell what hath bin said and done many hundred yeares past."

— Perkins, William (1558-1602)

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Date: 1597

"I took him for the plainest harmless creature / That breathed upon the earth, a Christian, / Made him my book wherein my soul recorded / The history of all her secret thoughts."

— Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

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Date: 1598

"Therefore even as an index to a book, / So to his mind was young Leander's look."

— Marlowe, Christopher (bap. 1564, d. 1593)

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Date: 1599

"This Scripture [Proverbs 18:14] is not only worthie to be graven in steele with the pen of an Adamant, and to be written in letters of gold: but also to bee laid up and registred by the finger of Gods spirit in the tables of our hearts."

— Greenham, Richard (e. 1540s-1594)

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Date: 1599

"have wee not a great advantage, that have within our selves while wee live here, a Count-booke and Inventorie of all the crimes that wee shall be accused of, either at the houre of our death, or at the Great day of Judgement"

— King James I (1566-1625)

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Date: 1603

"Yea, from the table of my memory / I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, / All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, / That youth and observation copied there, / And thy commandment all alone shall live / Within the book and volume of my brain / Unmixed with baser matter."

— Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

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Date: c. 1603

"On waxen tablets you cannot write anything new until you rub out the old. With the mind it is not so; there you cannot rub out the old till you have written in the new."

— Bacon, Sir Francis, Lord Verulam (1561-1626)

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Date: 1604

"[W]e know not how soone our Lord and master will call us to a reckoninge and therefore it behoveth us to have our accompts alwayes perfect and the bookes of our consciences made up in readinesse."

— Downham, John (1571-1652)

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