The fancy may outstrip one's footsteps and be busy picturing and rehearsing

— Brown, Charles Brockden (1771-1810)

Place of Publication
New York
George Folliet Hopkins
The fancy may outstrip one's footsteps and be busy picturing and rehearsing
Metaphor in Context
Hitherto I had strolled along the path at a lingering pace. Time enough, methought, to reach your threshold between sun-rise and moonlight, if my way had been three times longer than it was. Yon were the pleasing phantoms that hovered before me, and beckoned me forward. What a total revolution had occurred in the course of a few seconds, for thus long did my reasonings with regard to Clemenza and the Villars require to pass through my understanding, and escape, in half muttered soliloquy, from my lips. My muscles trembled with eagerness, and I bounded forward with impetuousity. I saw nothing but a visto of catalpas, leafless, loaded with icicles, and terminating in four chimneys and a painted roof. My fancy outstripped my footsteps, and was busy in picturing faces and rehearsing dialogues. Presently I reached this new object of my pursuit, darted through the avenue, noticed that some windows of the house were unclosed, drew thence an hasty inference that the house was not without inhabitants, and knocked, quickly and loudly, for admission.
(Part II, chapter 11, p. 514)
2 entries in ESTC (1799, 1800).

First part published in 1799; second in 1800. Reading and transcribing text from Charles Brockden Brown, Three Gothic Novels. New York: Library of America,1998.

See Arthur Mervyn; or, Memoirs of the Year 1793. Second Part. By the author of Wieland, Ormond, Huntley [sic], &c. (New-York: Printed and sold by George F. Hopkins, at Washington’s Head, 136, Pearl-Street, 1800). <Link to ESTC>
Date of Entry

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