"I still flatter'd myself, that I should be able to maintain the resolution I had taken, during my short disgrace, of conquering my coquettish inclinations: but an accidental sight of Dumont, (who bow'd to me as I pass'd, giving me, at the same time, a passionate look) immediately roused my sleeping vanity; and, by the lively sensation I felt, convinced me that the desire of pleasing was my predominant passion."

— Lennox, née Ramsay, (Barbara) Charlotte (1730/1?-1804)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Payne, and J. Bouquet
"I still flatter'd myself, that I should be able to maintain the resolution I had taken, during my short disgrace, of conquering my coquettish inclinations: but an accidental sight of Dumont, (who bow'd to me as I pass'd, giving me, at the same time, a passionate look) immediately roused my sleeping vanity; and, by the lively sensation I felt, convinced me that the desire of pleasing was my predominant passion."
Metaphor in Context
Proud of his success in obtaining my mother's consent, he took but little care to gain my inclinations; possibly he thought it was in vain to attempt it, and continued to pursue me rather thro' spite than affection. Dumont, who had been indispos'd, and had discontinued his visits for some days, came in one afternoon, just as my ill humour had discharg'd itself in some very injurious expression to Maynard: the paleness of his looks, and the profound melancholy that appear'd in his eyes, immediately drew every one's attention. My sister, who, as I have observ'd, was extreamly vain, and very often mistook a little unmeaning gallantry for love, while Dumont was receiving the condolance of the company upon the alteration in his looks, observed a profound silence, hardly daring to lift up her eyes, unless it was sometimes to exchange a transient glance with him. Immediately, as if conscious of the mutual intelligence of their looks, she hastily turned away her eyes, blushing at the same time, with such an appearance of confusion, as must have given great surprize to Dumont, if his attention had not been otherways engaged. Maynard, who was talking to me, was the only person in the room who seemed to attract his notice: He kept his eyes constantly fix'd upon him, not without betraying in his looks a very extraordinary emotion. That instant the ship giving a violent turn, almost threw me off my chair: I push'd away Maynard with great scorn, who endeavoured to support me, and a second shock made me fall into the arms of Dumont, who extended them to hold me up: this action however was not observed by any one in the cabin, who were busy in saving themselves: but as soon as we were resettled Maynard, casting a look full of rage upon Dumont, went to my mother, with whom he soon entered into a private conversation. This interval Dumont made use of to tell me, that he thought himself very unfortunate, in not being able to serve me better the first time I had favoured him with my commands. "Your chains, miss, continued he sighing, are not so easily broken; and I am not surprized that Maynard seems resolved to continue your slave, in spite of all your rigours: however, I have not fail'd to represent to him the cruelty and baseness of endeavouring, by your mother's authority, to force your inclinations; and tho' my arguments did not produce the effect I desir'd, yet they have made us irreconcilable enemies." My sister coming up to us, hinder'd me from replying: by this time she had pretty well recovered the confusion that Dumont's apparent melancholy had caused in her, and we were beginning to converse pretty freely, when my mother called to me in an angry tone, and bid me get into her cabin, for she wanted to speak with me there. I obey'd her immediately, and had scarce waited three minutes when my sister came in. I express'd some surprize at her leaving Dumont, who had reason to be offended with my mother's rude manner of calling me away." "The dull creature, said she, with an air of triumph, can't speakwithout sighing, I think he seem'd to be shock'd at my mother's behaviour, and went away immediately. But I came to ask you what he was saying to you, when I interrupted you, I thought I heard him mention my name;" "No, no, replied I, you are quite mistaken: but hush, here's my mother; how angry she looks! what can be the matter I wonder!" "So Miss, said she entring, I have discovered, at last, the reason of your aversion to Mr. Maynard. What, you are in love with Dumont, are you? My dear, upon my word, if you go on at this rate you'll make a shining figure in the records of gallantry: you have two or three intrigues upon your hands already: but pray, continued she, throwing herself into a chair and fixing her eyes stedfastly upon me, be pleased to inform me how long you have dared to encourage this papist?" "Dear mamma, replied I in the utmost surprise, how unjustly do you accuse me! Who has been so cruel to persuade you I am in love with Dumont? --That such a little forward creature, interrupted my mother, should speak so confidently of love, I have no patience with her." "Since you have been pleas'd, madam, answer'd I, to speak to me of marriage, it is not at all surprising if I should accustom myself to think of love; and, in obedience to your commands, I wou'd have loved Mr. Maynard if I could." "So then you really confess you love Dumont, said my mother?" "No madam, I absolutely deny it, said I." "Indeed, madam, said my sister, smiling, it wou'd be very ridiculous if Harriot was in love with Dumont, for I am persuaded she has no reason to think he is in love with her." "You are mistaken, replied my mother; they have, no doubt, a very good intelligence with one another, or else Dumont would not have behaved in the manner he did to Mr. Maynard." "How, dear mother, interrupted my sister eagerly, how has he behaved to him?" "He has had the insolence, returned she, to forbid Mr. Maynard to continue his addresses to her, and threatens to call him to an account for it when they come on shore, if ever he persecutes her again." 'Tis impossible to express the effect these words had on my sister; she continued immoveable as a statue, with her eyes fix'd on the ground; and when she ventur'd to look up, spite, shame, and disappointment, were so visible in her face, that I could not chuse but pity her. But in order to divert my mother's attention, I confess'd that Dumont had heard me complain of Maynard's importunities; and that I believed he had friendship enough for me to endeavour to persuade him from persisting in a behaviour so disgustful to me: but I protested, with the utmost sincerity, that Dumont had never made me any declaration of love. "Well, said my mother, as a proof of the truth of what you say, from this moment, resolve to use Mr Maynard better; and when your father and I think proper to dispose of you, take care to obey us without murmuring." "Suffer me, madam, replied I, (bursting into tears) to expostulate with you upon your cruelty, in precipitating me so early into the married state: I cannot resolve to make myself miserable by marrying Maynard: I hate him with the utmost inveteracy, and I can never look upon him as any other than a base incendiary, who endeavours to deprive me of the small part I possess of your affection." "After this insolent declaration, said my mother, Can you ever hope I should afford you the smallest esteem? nothing shall persuade me, that you have not a correspondence with Dumont; but I'll take care to prevent your seeing him any more. You must look upon this cabin as your prison, continued she, and never stir out of it without first asking me leave: when I have acquainted your father with my reasons for treating you in this manner, I am persuaded he will approve of it." My sister offer'd a word in my favour, but my mother absolutely commanding her to be silent, obliged her to go out of the room with her, repeating her orders to me to stay there till she sent for me. This confinement but ill agreed with one of my sprightly disposition: my mother's back was scarce turned, when I threw myself on the bed, and with a shower of tears, deplor'd my unhappy situation. In these moments of reflection, I accused myself for having ever allow'd Dumont to speak to me in private, and thought, with infinite regret, upon the commission I had given him, with regard to Maynard. I blush'd, when I considered the motive of this imprudence, a silly desire of seeing what effect the certainty of a rival would produce in him: and when I had trac'd the full extent of my power in his heart, did I find in myself the least inclination to answer his passion? 'Twas impossible to resolve this behaviour into any thing but a fantastic desire of giving pain. Sure, thought I, I am justly punished by my mother's suspicions! These reflections were followed by a resolution of correcting a folly, productive of so many misfortunes. Alas! my repentance was far from being sincere, and I relaps'd into all my former indiscretions, the moment I had it in my power to indulge them. I remain'd alone, 'till the evening was pretty far advanced: Mrs. Blandon, at last, appear'd with my supper, followed by my dear Fanny, who would not allow me to eat alone. My governess inform'd me that my mother allowed me to take a walk upon the deck, if I desir'd it, for the benefit of the air; but she had orders not to leave me. I immediately made use of the privilege, and perceiving my father alone, leaning on the rails, I resolved to take that opportunity of clearing myself to him; for I did not doubt but he was greatly prejudiced against me. My father, observing the fear and confusion I was in as I approached him, took hold of my hand, and, with a smile full of sweetness, ask'd me for what fault my mother had confin'd me to my room that day? This question convinced me he was yet unacquainted with her view; and I therefore ingenuously related all that had past, protesting my innocence, and imploring his protection against Maynard's persecutions, for whom I candidly own'd, I had an unalterable aversion. My father heard me with the utmost complaisance and attention; and, after a little pause, ask'd me several questions, with regard to Dumont's behaviour to me. I answer'd them all very sincerely. "Well, said he, (seeming pleased with my frankness) I am satisfied it was thro' a childish imprudence, you contributed to Dumont's indiscretion, and I am willing to pardon it, provided you promise me never to give that young gentleman any encouragement: for know, Harriot, (continued he in a tone that made me tremble) I would rather follow you to a grave than see you married to one of the religion he professes: nothing but misery can attend the union of two persons, whose principles are so different; and the fatal consequence of such a marriage already in my family, has confirm'd me in my abhorrence of it. As for Maynard, tho' I really think him an advantageous offer, yet I shall take care you suffer no more restraint upon his account; for as I expect my children will consult me in the disposal their affections, I am also determin'd never to force their inclinations." Finishing these words, he call'd Mrs. Blandon, and desir'd her to let my mother know he wanted to speak with her. Alas Sir! said I, my mother will imagine I have been complaining of her severity to you." "Fear not, said he, I'll make your peace, I warrant you." Notwithstanding this assurance, I cou'd not help trembling when I saw my mother approach. "Madam, said my dear father, (advancing, and holding me by the hand) you must not refuse to receive Harriot into favour again, at my request; I am persuaded she has no design to offend you, by entertaining any thoughts of Dumont: and I have engaged my word, she shall suffer no violence in favour of Mr. Maynard, to whom I find she has an invincible dislike." My mother, who seem'd to be greatly disconcerted, only replied, that she wish'd I might not give him occasion to repent his indulgence; and then ordering me to go down stairs, I obey'd, making a very low obeysance, and highly delighted to find myself at liberty; for four hours confinement had sat very uneasily upon me. I still flatter'd myself, that I should be able to maintain the resolution I had taken, during my short disgrace, of conquering my coquettish inclinations: but an accidental sight of Dumont, (who bow'd to me as I pass'd, giving me, at the same time, a passionate look) immediately roused my sleeping vanity; and, by the lively sensation I felt, convinced me that the desire of pleasing was my predominant passion. However, the exact deferrence I paid to my father's commands, made me avoid, with care, all occasions of conversing with Dumont, and preserved my heart from being too sensible of the tender and respectful passion he felt for me, which, notwithstanding his endeavours to conceal it, was but too visible in every look and action. I past my time agreeably enough, during the remainder of our voyage; my mother contenting herself with giving Maynard frequent opportunities of conversing with me, and, by gentle methods, endeavouring to persuade me to entertain some esteem for him. At last, after a tedious voyage of nine weeks, we came in sight of N---. That city making a delightful appearance from the water, I stood some moments contemplating it with great pleasure. When Dumont, observing no one near us, approach'd me, and beholding me with a languishing air, "how differently, Miss, (said he sighing) are we two affected with the sight of that place! you seem to feel nothing but pleasure at your nearer approach to it, while I suffer the most racking uneasiness." "That is very surprising indeed, interrupted I, and I think you are much to be blamed, for having so little affection for the place that gave you birth." "This dear vessel, replied he, contains what I most value in the world; and when I leave it, it is probable, I shall never more have the pleasure of beholding what I shall ever love with the most lasting passion. But may I presume, miss, continued he, to ask if your mother still persecutes you in favour of Maynard? I shall never entertain a moment's ease, till I am assured you are freed from his sollicitations." "I am much obliged to you, sir, said I, for so generously interesting yourself in my happiness: I believe I have nothing to fear from Maynard's importunities, as my father seems resolved never to force my inclinations." I gave him no leisure to reply to these words; for I got away as fast as possible, not without some apprehensions of having been seen talking to him.
(pp. 32-42)
Searching "predominant passion" in HDIS
2 entries in ESTC (1751).

The Life of Harriot Stuart. Written by Herself., 2 vols. (London: Printed for J. Payne, and J. Bouquet, 1751).
Ruling Passion
Date of Entry

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