"[U]nless my image had been engraven on her heart, it would have been impossible to know me for the person who had worn her aunt's livery"

— Smollett, Tobias (1721-1777)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Osborn
"[U]nless my image had been engraven on her heart, it would have been impossible to know me for the person who had worn her aunt's livery"
Metaphor in Context
I was mightily pleased to find this unfortunate woman under such a decent appearance, professed my joy at seeing her well, and desired to know where I should have the pleasure of her conversation. She was as heartily rejoiced at the apparent easiness of my fortune, and gave me to know that she, as yet, had no habitation that she could properly call her own; but would wait on me at any place I would please to appoint--Understanding that she was disengaged for the present, I shewed her the way to my own lodgings, where, after a very affectionate salutation, she informed me of her being very happy in the service of a young lady, to whom she was recommended by a former mistress deceased, into whose family she had introduced herself by the honest deceit she had concerted, while she lived with me in the garret at London--She then expressed a vehement desire to be acquainted with the vicissitudes of my life since we parted, and ascribed her curiosity to the concern she had for my interest--I forthwith gratified her request, and when I described my situation in Sussex, perceived her to attend to my story with particular eagerness. She interrupted me when I had finished that period, with "good God! is it possible,"--and then begged I would be so good as to continue my relation; which I did as briefly as I could, burning with impatience to know the cause of her surprize, about which I had already formed a very interesting conjecture-- Having therefore brought my adventures down to the present day, she seemed very much affected with the different circumstances of my fortune; and saying with a smile, she believed my distresses were now at a period, proceeded to inform me, that the lady whom she served was no other than the charming Narcissa, who had honoured her with her confidence for some time,--that in consequence of that trust, she had often repeated the story of John Brown, with great admiration and regard; that she loved to dwell upon the particulars of his character, and did not scruple to own a tender approbation of his flame--I became delirious with this piece of intelligence, strained Miss Williams in my embrace, called her the angel of my happiness, and acted such extravagancies, that she would have been convinced of my sincerity, had not my honour been clear enough to her before--As soon as I was in a condition to yield attention, she described the present situation of her mistress, who had no sooner come home the night before, than she closeted her, and in a rapture of joy, gave her to know that she had seen me at the ball, where I appeared in the character which she always thought my due, with such advantage of transformation, that unless my image had been engraven on her heart, it would have been impossible to know me for the person who had worn her aunt's livery;--that by the language of my eyes, she was assured of the continuance of my passion for her, and consequently of my being unengaged to any other; and that though she did not doubt, I would speedily fall upon some method of being introduced, she was so impatient to hear of me, that she (Miss Williams) had been sent abroad this very morning, on purpose to learn tidings of the name and character I at present bore. --My bosom
had been hitherto a stranger to such a flood of joy as now rushed upon it: My faculties were overborn by the tide: It was some time, before I could open my mouth; and much longer 'ere I could utter a coherent sentence--At length, I fervently requested her to lead me immediately to the object of my adoration: but she resisted my importunity, and explained the danger of such premature conduct--"How favourable soever (said she) my lady's inclination towards you may be, this you may depend upon, that she will not commit the smallest trespass on decorum, either in disclosing her own, or in receiving a declaration of your passion: and altho' the great veneration I have for you, has prompted me to reveal what she communicated to me in confidence, I know so well the severity of her sentiments with respect to the punctilios of her sex, that, if she should learn the least surmise of it, she would not only dismiss me as a wretch unworthy of her benevolence, but also for ever shun the efforts of your love"--I assented to the justness of her remonstrance, and desired she would assist me with her advice and direction: upon which, it was concerted between us, that for the present, I should be contented with her telling Narcissa that in the course of her inquiries, she could only learn my name: and that if in a day or two, I could fall upon no other method of being made acquainted, she would deliver a letter from me, on pretence of consulting her happiness; and say that I met her in the streets, and bribed her to that piece of service. --Matters being thus adjusted, I kept my old acquaintance to breakfast, and learned from her conversation, that my rival Sir Timothy had drunk himself into an apoplexy, of which he died five months ago, that the savage was still unmarried, and that his aunt had been seized with a whim which he little expected, and chosen the school-master of the parish for her lord and husband: but matrimony not agreeing with her constitution, she had been hectick and dropsical a good while, and was now at Bath in order to drink the waters for the recovery of her health; that her niece had accompanied her thither at her request, and attended her with the same affection as before, notwithstanding the faux pas she had committed: and that her nephew who had been exasperated at the loss of her fortune, did not give his attendance out of good will, but purely to have an eye on his sister, lest she should likewise throw herself away, without his consent or approbation. --Having enjoyed ourselves in this manner, and made an assignation to meet next day at a certain place, Miss Williams took her leave; and Strap's looks being very inquisitive about the nature of the communication subsisting between us, I made him acquainted with the whole affair, to his great astonishment and satisfaction.
(pp 209-12)
Searching "conque" and "heart" in HDIS (Prose Fiction)
Over 45 entries in ESTC (1748, 1749, 1750, 1755, 1760, 1762, 1763, 1766, 1768, 1770, 1772, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1783, 1784, 1786, 1787, 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1797, 1799, 1800).

Smollett, Tobias. The Adventures of Roderick Random. In Two Volumes. (London: printed for J. Osborn, 1748). <Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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