"Fancy steps in, and stamps that real, / Which, ipso facto, is ideal."

— Churchill, Charles (1731-1764)

Work Title
Place of Publication
Books I-II and III, 1762; Book IV, 1763
"Fancy steps in, and stamps that real, / Which, ipso facto, is ideal."
Metaphor in Context
When (to the spirit-stirring sound
Of trumpets, breathing courage round,
And fifes, well-mingled to restrain
And bring that courage down again;
Or to the melancholy knell
Of the dull, deep, and doleful bell,
Such as of late the good Saint Bride
Muffled, to mortify the pride
Of those, who, England quite forgot,
Paid their vile homage to the Scot,
Where Asgill held the foremost place,
Whilst my Lord figured at a race)
Processions ('tis not worth debate
Whether they are of stage or state)
Move on, so very, very slow,
'Tis doubtful if they move or no;
When the performers all the while
Mechanically frown or smile,
Or, with a dull and stupid stare,
A vacancy of sense declare,
Or, with down-bending eye, seem wrought
Into a labyrinth of thought,
Where Reason wanders still in doubt,
And, once got in, cannot get out,
What cause sufficient can we find,
To satisfy a thinking mind
Why, duped by such vain farces, man
Descends to act on such a plan?
Why they, who hold themselves divine,
Can in such wretched follies join,
Strutting like peacocks, or like crows,
Themselves and Nature to expose?
What cause, but that (you'll understand
We have our remedy at hand,
That if perchance we start a doubt,
Ere it is fix'd, we wipe it out;
As surgeons, when they lop a limb,
Whether for profit, fame, or whim,
Or mere experiment to try,
Must always have a styptic by)
Fancy steps in, and stamps that real,
Which, ipso facto, is ideal.
Searching "stamp" and "fancy" in HDIS (Poetry)
In four books, first published separately. 11 entries in ESTC (1762, 1763, 1765, 1766, 1769).

See Charles Churchill, The Ghost (London: Printed for the author, and sold by William Flexney, 1762). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO><Link to ECCO-TCP>

See also The Ghost. By C. Churchill. Book III. The second edition, with additions. (London: Printed for the author; and sold by W. Flexney, near Gray’s-Inn Gate, Holborn, 1763).<Link to ECCO-TCP>

And also The Ghost: Book IV. By C. Churchill. (London: Printed for J. Coote; W. Flexney; G. Kearsly; T. Henderson; J. Gardner; and J. Almon, 1763). <Link to ECCO-TCP>

Reading Charles Churchill: Selected Poetry, ed. Adam Rounce (Nottingham: Trent Editions, 2003).
Date of Entry

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