"From birth, from talents, and those matchless arts / That stamp one man the ruler of men's hearts."

— Craven, Keppel (1779-1851); Schiller (1759-1805)

Place of Publication
Printed for W. Wigstead and M. Hooper
"From birth, from talents, and those matchless arts / That stamp one man the ruler of men's hearts."
Metaphor in Context
FIVE hundred years ago, thus robbers were
Nobler than any modern robbers are:
Well, tho' I smile, I swear I'm not in jest;
I come to ask you all which you like best?
A just comparison 'twixt both I'll draw,
Ask your decision, and make that a law.--
Five hundred years ago, a desperate band
Of men of desp'rate fortunes, hand in hand,
With one accord, would willingly obey
One noble Captain; who took boundless sway,
From birth, from talents, and those matchless arts,
That stamp
one man the ruler of men's hearts.
Led by this Chief, they boldly own'd their aims;
By turns defending Vice and Virtue's claims:
The rich they plunder'd, gave the needy bread,
And oft' sent tyrants sleepless to their bed:
For tyrants liv'd five hundred years ago;
But now, O fie! there's no such thing--Oh, no!
In these collected and collecting times,
Can Robbers boast of courage in their crimes?
Pens for their daggers, paper for their shield:
Such are the fashionable arms they wield.
Some men, like Francis, leave mankind alone,
To rob themselves, are by themselves undone.
Pluck, by rude acts, from honest virtuous minds,
Their own fair fame, and give it to the winds.
Folks rich in fame are basely robb'd by those,
Who, 'stead of bludgeon, use newspaper prose;
With which they oft despoil a spotless name,
Then, whisp'ring, ask your money or your Fame:
Robbers there are, that steal all common sense
From Englishmen; and those are hired for pence,
A num'rous skulking band, call'd Pamphleteers,
They thundered out Invasion in our ears;
Now call out fire and murder every day,
Yet say we're safe, if we will fight or pay.
A host of pretty footpads day and night
Assail the world, are never out of sight,
Displaying vacancy in all their features,
They lisp, they amble, and nickname God's creatures;
These are your modern Beaux and Belles, whose crime
Is robbing us of Heaven's best gift, our time:
A treasure which, employ'd with wisdom's art,
Would fill with sweet delight the human heart,
And teach mankind on earth a Godlike part.
Urg'd by this thought, ye fair, will ye excuse,
If from yourselves a band select I chuse
Of irresistless Thieves? Each in your turn
Can fire from your eyes, destroy, and burn;
Your looks, your very smiles, oft' rob the breast
Of comfort, joy, of liberty and rest.
Oh, chuse me Captain of this dangerous crew!
For, like yourselves, I must plead guilty too;
A prouder thief than me was never born,
For whatsoe'er I steal I ne'er return.
Under my banners, you will learn with ease
To pilfer hearts, just when and where you please:
My art shall be confin'd alone to you,
The art, when hearts are gain'd, to keep them true;
Justice herself will take the guilty's part,
Who seize, instead of handkerchief, a heart;
My Robbers there, [1] if they have your applause,
Will join support and make our own their cause:
With those, and these,[2] I make whole worlds obey;
For universal Love is boundless sway.
Searching "heart" and "stamp" in HDIS (Drama)
A translation and abridgment. First performed in 1797? Only 1 entry in ESTC (1799).

See The Robbers; A Tragedy: In Five Acts. Translated and Altered from the German. As it was Performed at Brandenburgh-House Theatre. With a Preface, Prologue and Epilogue, written by Her Serene Highness The Margravine of Anspach (London: Printed for W. Wigstead and M. Hooper, 1799). <Link to ESTC>
Date of Entry

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