"Our Passions gone, and Reason in her Throne, / Amaz'd we see the Mischiefs we have done!" [citing Waller]

— Haywood [née Fowler], Eliza (1693?-1756)

Place of Publication
1722, 1725
"Our Passions gone, and Reason in her Throne, / Amaz'd we see the Mischiefs we have done!" [citing Waller]
Metaphor in Context
I kept my Word, indeed; for as soon as I had seal'd this up, I drank the Ingredients I had brought home with me:---I drank it without the least Alarm, or any of those Apprehensions, which so terrify the Minds of most People at the Approach of Death, so much had Despair hardened my Heart, and stupified my Reason. In above an Hour, either the Draught it self, or the Force of my Imagination that it must be so, operated so strongly through my Veins, that I grew exceeding sick; and fearing the Effects wou'd come before I had settled those Affairs I had in my Head, I call'd hastily for the good old Nurse. It was almost Midnight, and she was in Bed; and believing I had been so too, was not a little frighted when she came into my Chamber, and found me dress'd as I had been all Day, and with something in my Countenance, as she said, of a Horror impossible to be express'd. I sent for you (said I) to take my everlasting Leave,---to thank you for the faithful Services I have received from you, and to make what Recompence my lessen'd Circumstances have left me Power to do. The poor Creature star'd in my Face all the Time I was speaking; but the Astonishment she was in made her either incapable of understanding me, or took away the Power of answering. Be not surpris'd, (resum'd I,) I tell you this Night,---I know not but this Hour is the last of my Life:---Therefore, while I have Voice to utter the Meanings of my Soul, I charge you be attentive, and perform my last Requests. She certainly thought my Griefs had turn'd my Brain; and hastily interrupting me, as I spoke these Words, For Heaven's sake, Madam, (said she,) give not way to the Suggestions of your Melancholy: You are now, God be prais'd, pretty well recover'd from an Illness in which we had just Reason to despair of you:---You are now, as it were, risen from the Grave, and the signal Deliverance shews that you are destin'd for happier Days than those you yet have seen. ---Ah! do not then (continued she, with Tears in her Eyes) endeavour to disappoint the Designs of your all-wise Preserver, by indulging Grief to prey upon your Senses for the Loss of an unworthy Person, whom, at your Return of Reason you must scorn. I could not suffer her to proceed in this Manner, but cutting her off from what she was going to say, No more, (cried I,) if by an ill-tim'd and unmannerly Zeal you would not forfeit all that good Opinion your Fidelity and Obedience has hitherto inspir'd:---Once more I tell you, that I cannot,---will not live:---Death is already busy at my Heart; and, if I make not haste, may rob me of the only Wish I now can form, and you of the Glory of serving to the last a Mistress, who, if she had the Power, would more express her Gratitude. ---Therefore, in few Words, by all that Truth and Honesty which I believe you possess'd of, I conjure you to deliver a Letter you will find on the Table into Lysander's Hands, the Moment I expire,--- to tell him that his Inconstancy was my Death, and to relate the Manner of it in the most moving Terms you can invent. This is all I have to ask, or to command. ---As to my Funeral, order it as you please; but let me not be laid too near my Parents, lest my guilty Ashes shou'd disturb the sacred Repose of theirs. ---All that remains of my broken Fortune, after I am laid in the Earth, is yours. Though I spoke this with all the Solemnity imaginable, it was to little Purpose; she still took it for the Effects of my Melancholy, and began to resume her Disswasions from letting such sad Thoughts get the better of my Reason; and I was forc'd to tell her what I had done, before I could make her believe I was in Danger of Death. But never did Amazement and real Grief appear more lively than in the Face of this poor Wretch, at what I told her. At first she was entirely mute, and when she had Power to speak, her Words were nothing but Exclamations. Then, on a sudden, thinking they were fruitless, was running for a Physician, for a Divine, and raising the whole Town for my Preservation; nor cou'd any Thing I should have said, have prevented her, if my Strength had not prevail'd to force her into a Chair, and holding her there, oblig'd her to hear me tell her, That the Poison I had taken was not of a Nature to be expell'd, or if it were, had now lain too long in me to be depriv'd of its Operation: Nay, (said I,) put the Case that what I had done, shou'd by any Means that I shou'd be compell'd to use be render'd fruitless,----not all the World shou'd force me to live another Day:----If I cannot die the Way I chuse, still I will some Way;----If not by Poison, there are Knives, or Cords:----My Garters may be my Executioners:----Or if deny'd these Instruments, you cannot hinder me from strangling myself with my own Hands, or dashing out my Brains against the Wall:----To those resolv'd, Death always is at Call. I spoke these Words with a real Design to do as I said; and if she had got Liberty to have brought any Persons in to restrain me, I had certainly that Moment taken some unfailing Method to prevent any Thing they cou'd have done to save me. But with these, and the like Speeches, at last I perswaded her to content herself with lamenting my Desparation, without endeavouring to do any Thing to remove it. And having convinc'd her of my Obstinacy to die, to spare the Infamy of Self-Murder, she promis'd me to keep the Deed conceal'd, and give out I died of an Apoplexy. But I thought I shou'd never have prevail'd on her to carry the Letter to Lysander: Her Abhorrence to him, as the Author of all my Misfortunes, and now of my Death, was so great, that she assur'd me the Task of dying with me wou'd be far less severe than the beholding such a Monster: But my Tears and repeated Entreaties at last overcame all her Scruples, and I engag'd an Oath from her, (for I wou'd not in that Case trust her Promise,) that she wou'd in the Morning see him, and say all that I requir'd. In a very little Time after I had brought her into the Disposition I desir'd, I found a prodigious Heaviness, like that, indeed, of Death, seize on my Spirits; and making no doubt but that the fatal Moment was at hand, with my Nurse's Assistance, (though, poor Soul, she was in too great an Agony to be able to afford me much,) I got my self undress'd, and put to Bed, where I had not lain long before I lost all Sense of every Thing:----Lysander's Charms,----his Cruelty,---- my Ruin and Despair, were now no more remember'd! ----Oh! if one were sure to enjoy that Tranquility in a real Death, that I did in my imaginary one, none wou'd survive their Happiness! At my return to Thought, that is, when I was loos'd from the Bands of Sleep, for it was no more which had bound down my Senses, I was in a Consternation impossible to be express'd:----I look'd on myself, then round the Room, and I believe 'twou'd have been pleasant enough, if any body had been Witness of it, to have observ'd the Oddness of my Behaviour at my first waking: I remember'd very well what had pass'd before I went to Bed, and cou'd not reconcile so seeming a Contradiction, as that I shou'd be still in a World I believ'd I had taken such effectual Measures to be freed from. As I was in this Dilemma, my Nurse came into the Chamber, not with her Eyes o'erflow'd with Tears, and wringing her Hands, as she had done the Night before, but with all the Marks of a most perfect Satisfaction, and kneeling down by the Bedside, testify'd her Joy in most fervent Thanksgivings to that Divine Power which had so graciously been pleas'd to disappoint the unnatural Purpose of my Heart. I cou'd not forbear interrupting her Ejaculations by some wild sort of Enquiries, how I came to be still living; which she presently satisfy'd me in these Words: When I had left you, (said she,) in all Appearance dead, I began to consider of the Promise you had oblig'd me to make; and it being near Morning, got myself ready to go with your Letter, resolving to take no Notice of your Death to my Family till my Return. After I had discharg'd that unwelcome Errand, I found a Man waiting at home to speak with me; and he told me, the chief of it was to enquire if a Lady who lodg'd here was well; and then nam'd you: I was too much confounded at the Question to be able to answer him without trembling and faultering in my Speech, though, as well as I cou'd, I said I hop'd you were well;----that I left you so last Night. I wish (resum'd he, taking me aside) she may continue so. Then, Madam, he told me he was the Apothecary from whom you had demanded Poison; but suspecting you design'd it for some other Use than what you pretended, and fearing if he shou'd deny, you might procure it from some other, he had deceiv'd you with an Opiate, which cou'd be no way prejudicial to the Health of the Person that took it, though it wou'd hold the Senses in a much deeper and longer Sleep than what was natural. ----He said also, That he had caus'd you to be watch'd home, to the End that he might relate the Truth to those about you, if any Thing of what he imagin'd shou'd happen. I was so impatient to know what Lysander had said, since I found she had been with him, that I cou'd not give myself much Time to reflect on what she told me concerning the Apothecary; but I found her willing to evade the repeating the Manner of his Behaviour, and guess'd by that he was inhuman to the last. ----What, (said I) was he not shock'd to hear I died for him? ----If I cou'd believe, that after so fatal a Proof of Love he cou'd persist in his Barbarity, I shou'd rejoice my Purpose was defeated, and would live to scorn him. ----If you are in earnest, (interrupted she,) and can, indeed, continue in a Resolution so truly noble, I will inform you of all. Which after my assuring her I wou'd do, she went on in this Manner: I gave your Letter to him, (said she,) and after looking it carelesly over,----Your Mistress sure is mad, (cry'd he, with an Air of Contempt,) I long have thought her so; and the romantick Stuff she has writ me here, confirms it. Indeed, Madam, (continued the good Creature,) I had scarce Power to refrain flying in his Face; but though my Hands forbore any Indignities, I gave my Tongue free Scope; and when I had told him,----nay, swore, (as well I might, for firmly I believ'd it,) that you were really dead, I call'd him every Name I cou'd invent, of base, perfidious, and deceitful; but he seemed as little to regard the Fury I was in, as the News I brought him, and only saying,---If she be dead the Letter requires no Answer, therefore be gone, and cease your Clamour; but not finding I was very hasty to do as he bid me, for methought it was some little Satisfaction to upbraid this Monster, he call'd one of his Servants to turn me out of Doors, and walk'd from me as unconcerned as though I had brought him an Account of the most indifferent Affair that cou'd have happen'd. I was too well satisfied in the Integrity of this good old Woman, to doubt the Truth of what she said; and it was now that I began to feel that Resentment, which by a thousand Barbarities he had long before deserved. And, after some little Struggles between departing Tenderness and growing Hate;---'Tis done, (said I,) Reason, at last, has gain'd a Conquest over all that Softness which has hitherto betray'd me to Contempt. ---Now I will live, and Love alone shall die. ---Nurse brought so many and well-grounded Arguments to strengthen me in this Resolution, and express'd her Meaning in a Manner so much beyond what could be expected from her, that I have often thought she was that Moment inspir'd by Heaven to assist my Weakness. In short, I gave the Thoughts of Death entirely over. I cou'd not endure, however, to appear publickly in the World again; and as Lysander believ'd me dead, I was willing every Body else shou'd do so too: I order'd a Will to be drawn according to Law, in which I made Nurse my Heir and sole Executrix; and she has perform'd every Thing I desir'd with such Exactness and Fidelity, that not a Relation or Acquaintance has the least Notion of my being living. It was she who heard of the Convenience of this House for boarding in; but I wou'd not let her come to make any Agreement for me, because she might chance to be known, and consequently the Person she recommended guess'd at. Since the Time of my being here, she manages my little Fortune, receives the Income of it when due, and gives me an Account of it every Quarter; which is all the Business I have to do in this uneasy World. Thus, Madam, have I given you a faithful Account of the Causes which induc'd me to this Retirement; and I believe, you will own that they are such as merit no less than my whole Life's Contrition. For, as Mr. Waller very elegantly expresses it,

Our Passions gone, and Reason in her Throne,
Amaz'd we see the Mischiefs we have done!

(pp. 67-74)
Searching "reason" and "throne" in HDIS (Prose)
At least 6 entries in the ESTC (1722, 1722, 1724, 1725, 1732, 1742).

Eliza Haywood, The British Recluse; or, The Secret History of Cleomira, Suppos'd Dead (London: Printed for D. Brown, Junior; W. Chetwood; J. Woodman; and S. Chapman, 1722). <Link to ECCO

Text from Secret Histories, Novels and Poems. In Four Volumes. Written by Mrs. Eliza Haywood. (London: Printed [partly by Samuel Aris] for Dan. Browne, jun. at the Black Swan without Temple-Bar ; and S. Chapman, at the Angel in Pall-Mall, 1725). <Link to ESTC>
Date of Entry

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