"Because a woman's heart may be at one time adamant, at another wax."

— Richardson, Samuel (bap. 1689, d. 1761)

Place of Publication
Printed for S. Richardson
"Because a woman's heart may be at one time adamant, at another wax."
Metaphor in Context
The situation she is at present in, it must be confessed, is a disadvantageous one to her: But if she overcome, that will redound to her honour.

Shun not, therefore, my dear soul, further trials, nor hate me for making them. --For what woman can be said to be virtuous till she has been tried?

Nor is one effort, one trial, to be sufficient. Why? Because a woman's heart may be at one time adamant, at another wax. --As I have often experienced. And so, no doubt, hast thou.

A fine time on't, methinks, thou sayest, would the women have, if they were all to be tried!

But, Jack, I am not, for that, neither. Tho' I am a rake, I am not a rake's friend; except thine and company's.

And be this one of the morals of my tedious discussion--'Let the little rogues who would not be put to the question, as I may call it, choose accordingly--Let them prefer to their favour, good honest sober fellows, who have not been used to play dogs tricks: Who will be willing to take them as they offer; and who, being tolerable themselves, are not suspicious of others.'

But what, methinks thou askest, is to become of the lady, if she fail?

What? --Why will she not, if once subdued, bealways subdued ? Another of our libertine maxims-- And what an immense pleasure to a marriage-hater, what rapture to thought, to be able to prevail upon such a lady as Miss Clarissa Harlowe to live with him, without real change of name!

But if she resist--If nobly she stand her trial--

Why then I will marry her, to be sure; and bless my stars for such an angel of a wife.

But will she not hate thee? --Will she not refuse--

No, no, Jack! --Circumstanced and situated as we are, I am not afraid of that. --And hate me! --Why should she hate the man who loves her upon proof?--
(pp. 110-1)
Searching "mind" and wax" in HDIS (Prose)
Published December 1747 (vols. 1-2), April 1748 (vols. 3-4), December 1748 (vols. 5-7). Over 28 entries in ESTC (1748, 1749, 1751, 1751, 1759, 1764, 1765, 1768, 1772, 1774, 1780, 1784, 1785, 1788, 1790, 1791, 1792, 1794, 1795, 1798, 1800). Passages "restored" in 3rd edition of 1751. An abridgment in 1756.

See Samuel Richardson, Clarissa. Or, the History of a Young Lady: Comprehending the Most Important Concerns of Private Life, 7 vols. (London: Printed for S. Richardson, 1748). <Link to ECCO>

Some text drawn from ECCO-TCP <Link to vol. I in ECCO-TCP><Link to vol. II><Link to vol. III><Link to vol. IV><Link to vol. V><Link to vol. VI><Link to vol. VII>

Reading Samuel Richardson, Clarissa; or, the History of a Young Lady, ed. Angus Ross (London: Penguin Books, 1985). <Link to LION>
Date of Entry

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