The heart is a fortress on a rock

— Fielding, Henry (1707-1754)

Work Title
Place of Publication
Printed for A. Millar
The heart is a fortress on a rock
Metaphor in Context
'But if you can be so lost to all Sense of Fear, and of Shame, and of Goodness, as not to be debarred by the Evil which you are to bring on yourself, by the extreme Baseness of the Action, nor by the Ruin in which you are to involve others, let me still urge the Difficulty, I may say the Impossibility of the Success. You are attacking a Fortress on a Rock; a Chastity so strongly defended, as well, by a happy natural Disposition of Mind , as by the strongest Principles of Religion and Virtue, implanted by Education, and nourished and improved by Habit, that the Woman must be invincible even without that firm and constant Affection of her Husband, which would guard a much looser and worse disposed Heart. What therefore are you attempting but to introduce Distrust, and perhaps Disunion between an innocent and a happy Couple, in which too you cannot succeed without bringing, I am convinced, certain Destruction on your own Head?

'Desist, therefore, let me advise you, from this enormous Crime; retreat from the vain Attempt of climbing a Precipice which it is impossible you should ever ascend, where you must probably soon fall into utter Perdition, and can have no other Hope but of dragging down your best Friend into Perdition with you.
13 entries in ESTC (1752, 1762, 1771, 1775, 1777, 1780, 1790, 1793).

See Amelia. By Henry Fielding, 4 vols. (London: A. Millar, 1752). <Link to ECCO>

Reading Henry Fielding, Amelia, ed. David Blewett (London: Penguin Books, 1987).
Date of Entry

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