"For let will be ever so free, humour and fancy, we see, govern it."

— Cooper, Anthony Ashley, third earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713)

Place of Publication
John Morphew
1710, 1714
"For let will be ever so free, humour and fancy, we see, govern it."
Metaphor in Context
Thus it may appear how far a lover by his own natural strength may reach the chief principle of philosophy and understand our doctrine of two persons in one individual self. Not that our courtier, we suppose, was able of himself to form this distinction justly and according to art. For could he have effected this, he would have been able to cure himself without the assistance of his prince. However, he was wise enough to see in the issue that his independency and freedom were mere glosses and resolution, a nose of wax. For let will be ever so free, humour and fancy, we see, govern it. And these, as free as we suppose them, are often changed we know not how, without asking our consent or giving us any account. If opinion be that which governs and makes the change, it is itself as liable to be governed and varied in its turn. And by what I can observe of the world, fancy and opinion stand pretty much upon the same bottom. So that, if there be no certain inspector or auditor established within us to take account of these opinions and fancies in due form and minutely to animadvert upon their several growths and habits, we are as little like to continue a day in the same will as a tree, during the summer, in the same shape, without the gardener's assistance and the vigorous application of the shears and pruning knife.
(p. 83)
A complicated publication history. At least 10 entries in ESTC (1710, 1711, 1714, 1733, 1744, 1751, 1757, 1758, 1773, 1790).

See Soliloquy, or Advice to an Author (London: John Morphew, 1710). <Link to ESTC><Link to Google Books>

See also "Soliloquy, or Advice to an Author" in Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times. In Three Volumes. (London: John Darby, 1711). <Link to ESTC>

Some text drawn from ECCO and Google Books; also from Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury. Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, ed. Lawrence E. Klein (Cambridge: CUP, 2001). Klein's text is based on the British Library's copy of the second edition of 1714. [Texts to be collated.]
Date of Entry

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