"I was in hopes his mean Attempt on my Virtue, had banish'd every tender Thought of him from my Breast"

— Miller, James (1704-1744)

Place of Publication
J. Watts
"I was in hopes his mean Attempt on my Virtue, had banish'd every tender Thought of him from my Breast"
Metaphor in Context


Well, Clarinda, I see you are true to the Maxim of your Sex, of two Evils, to chuse the worst; tho' I should think my self very fortunate, as the World goes now, to have such an honourable Lover as the Colonel--but, alas! I am wretched, in having plac'd my first Affections on a Man that so little deserves them--I was in hopes his mean Attempt on my Virtue, had banish'd every tender Thought of him from my Breast: But I find his Image is too strongly stamp'd, to be so soon effac'd; and whilst I am thinking to forget him--I fear I'm only thinking of him--Ha! here again!--and I alone --I was certainly bewitch'd!--Bless me! what can I do?--Where shall I run?--O, here's an Arbour, I'll hide my self in that.

[Goes into the Arbour.

Enter GAINLOVE, musing.


How powerful are the Charms of Modesty!
That, like the Sun-beams ripening Gems in Rocks,
Can kindle Virtues in the roughest Breast.

What a happy Turn of Mind, and generous Sentiments, has the inflexible Innocence of that lovely Creature inspir'd me with--And I now feel a more exquisite Pleasure from a Repulse--than I e'er knew in all my vicious Conquests o'er the Sex.



Pray Heaven he speak the Truth.


How falsely have I hitherto judg'd of Happiness! placing my Heaven in Luxury and Lewdness, where still the very Means prevent the End; for Vicious Pleasures are destroyed like Powder, by the same Match they are kindl'd; and could but Women search our Breasts, they would easily perceive that the only way to preserve our Love and Admiration, is to gain our Esteem, by preserving their own Virtue--for we no longer regard a beauteous Face, than 'tis the Index of a beauteous Mind.


Well, I am strangely pleased with this--I may venture to let him see me now--

[Walks across the Stage, as not observing him.


Ha! is not that she?--it is--and I'll embrace this lucky Moment to sue for Pardon,

[Going towards her, stops short.]

and yet, methinks I'm now asham'd to see her; for sure she must scorn and hate me for my senseless Insult--No--I injure her by such unjust Suspicions--real Innocence, and unaffected Virtue, never insult a Person for Mistakes they are sensible of and acknowledge--

[Goes up to her, and takes her by the Hand


[Starting, as seeming surpized.]

What, Sir's, your Meaning --to affront me in the manner you have done already?
Researching Soliloquy in HDIS (Poetry); Found again "stamp" and "thought"
First performed on January 9, 1730. 4 entries in ESTC (1730).

The Humours of Oxford. A Comedy. As it is Acted at the Theatre-Royal, By His Majesty's Servants. By a Gentleman of Wadham-College (London: J. Watts, 1730).
Date of Entry

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