The ruling passion of an author may be "strongly marked in his writings"

— Mickle, William Julius [formerly William Meikle] (1734-1788)

The ruling passion of an author may be "strongly marked in his writings"
Metaphor in Context
It has been observed by some critics, that Milton on every occasion is fond of expressing his admiration of music, particularly of the song of the Nightingale, and the full woodland choir. If in the same manner we are to judge of the favourite taste of Homer, we shall find it of a less delicate kind. He is continually describing the feast, the huge chine, the savoury viands on the glowing coals, and the foaming bowl. The ruling passion of Camoens is also strongly marked in his writings. One may venture to affirm, that there is no poem of equal length that abounds with so many impassioned encomiums on the fair sex as the Lusiad. The genius of Camoens seems never so pleased as when he is painting the variety of female charms, he feels all the magic of their allurements, and riots in his descriptions of the happiness and miseries attendant on the passion of love. As he wrote from his feelings, these parts of his works have been particularly honoured with the attention of the world. Tasso and Spenser have copied from his Island of Bliss, and three tragedies have been formed from this Episode of the unhappy Inez. One in English, by Mr. Mallet--but of this we need say nothing: it is one of the many neglected unsufferable loads of unanimated dulness, which, though honoured with the approbation of Mr. Garrick, have disgraced the English theatre, and rendered Modern Tragedy a name of contempt. The other two are by M. de la Motte, and Luis Velez de Guevara, a Spaniard. How these different writers have handled the same subject is not unworthy of the attention of the critic. The tragedy of M. de la Motte, from which Mallet's Elvira is copied, is highly characteristic of the French drama. In the Lusiad the beautiful victim expresses the strong emotions of genuine nature. She feels for what her lover will feel for her; the mother rises in her breast. she implores pity for her children; she feels the horrors of death, and would be glad to wander an exile with her babes, where her only solace would be the remembrance of her faithful passion. This however, it appears, would not suit the taste of a Paris audience. On the French stage the stern Roman heroes must be politePetit-Maitres , and the tender Inez a blustering amazon. Lee's Alexander cannot talk in a higher rant. She not only wishes to die herself, but desires that her children and her husband Don Pedro may also be put to death.

Hé bien, seigneur, suivez vos barbares maximes,
On vous amene encor de nouvelles victimes,
Immclez sans remords, et pour nous punir mieux,
Ces gages d'un Hymen si coupable à vos yieux.
Ils ignorent le sang, dont le ciel les a fit naitre,
Par l'arrêt de leur mort faites les reconnaitre,
Consommez votre ouvrage, et que les mêmes coups
Rejoignent les enfans, et la femme, et l'epoux.

The Spaniard however has followed nature and Camoens, and in point of poetical merit his play is infinitely superior to that of the Frenchman. Don Pedro talks in the absence of his mistress with the beautiful simplicity of an Arcadian lover, and Inez implores the tyrant with the genuine tenderness of female affection and delicacy. The reader, who is acquainted with the Spanish tongue will thank me for the following extract.

A mis hijos me quitais?
Rey Don Alonso, senor,
Porque me quereis quitar
La vida de tantas vezes?
Advertid, senor mirad,
Que el coraçon a pedaços
Dividido me arancais

Llevaldos, Alvar Gonçalez.

Hijos mios, donde vais?
Donde vais sin vuestra madre?
Falta en los hombres piedad?
Adonde vais luzes mais?
Como, que assi me dexais
En el mayor desconsuelo
En manos de la crueldad.

Nino Alson.
Consuelate madre mia,
Y a Dios te puedas quedar,
Que vamos con nuestro abuelo,
Y no querrá hazernas mal.

Possible es, senor, Rey mio,
Padre, que ansi me cerreis
La puerta para el perdon?
. . . Aora, senor, aora,
Aora es tiempo de monstrar
El mucho poder que tiene
Vuestra real Magestad.
. . . Como, senor? vos os vais
Y a Alvar Gonçalez, y a Coello
Inhumanos me entregais?
Hijos, hijos de mi vida,
Dexad me los abraçar;
Alonso, mi vida hijo,
Dionis, a mores, tornad,
Tornad a ver vuestra madre:
Pedro mio, donde estas
Que ansi te olvidas de mi?
Possible es que en tanto mal
Me falta tu vista, esposo?
Quien te pudiera avisar
Del peligro en que afligida
Dona Ines tu esposa esta.

The drama, from which these extracts are taken, is entitled, Reynar despues de morir.

Searching "mind" and "blank" in HDIS (Poetry)
At least 6 entries in ECCO and ESTC (1770, 1776, 1777, 1794, 1798).

Text from The Lusiad; or, the Discovery of India. An Epic Poem. Translated from The Original Portuguese of Luís de Camões (Oxford: Printed by Jackson and Lister, and sold by Cadell, 1776). <Link to LION>

See also The First Book of the Lusiad, Published As a Specimen of a Translation of That Celebrated Epic Poem. By William Julius Mickle, Author of the Concubine, &c. (Oxford: printed by W. Jackson; and sold by Mess. Fletcher, Prince, and Bliss; T. and J. Merril in Cambridge; Cadell, Pearch, &c. London; and by Kincaid and Bell in Edinburgh, [1770?]).
Ruling Passion
Date of Entry

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