"Who would so much Unman himself, as by accepting of them, to desert his Soul, and become a perpetual Slave to his Senses?"

— L'Estrange, Sir Roger (1616-1704)

Place of Publication
Printed by Thomas Newcomb for Joseph Hindmarsh
"Who would so much Unman himself, as by accepting of them, to desert his Soul, and become a perpetual Slave to his Senses?"
Metaphor in Context
To begin now with the Pleasures of the Palate; (which deal with us like Ægyptian Thieves, that strangle those they embrace,) What shall we say of the Luxury of Nomentanus and Apicius, that entertained their very Souls in the Kitchin; they have the Choicest Musick for their Ears; the most diverting Spectacles for their Eyes; the Choicest variety of Meats, and Drinks for their Palates. What is all this, I say, but a Merry Madness? 'Tis true they have their Delights, but not without Heavy and Anxious Thoughts, even in their very Enjoyments; beside that they are followed with Repentance, and their Frolicks are little more than the Laughter of so many People out of their Wits. Their Felicities are full of Disquiet, and neither Sincere, nor Well-grounded: But they have need of one Pleasure to support another: and of new Prayers to forgive the Errors of their Former. Their Life must needs be wretched, that get with great Pains, what they keep with greater. One Diversion overtakes another: Hope excites Hope; Ambition begets Ambition; so that they only change the Matter of their Miseries, without seeking any End of them; and shall never be without either prosperous, or unhappy Causes of Disquiet. What if a Body might have all the Pleasures in the World for the Asking? Who would so much Unman himself, as by accepting of them, to desert his Soul, and become a perpetual Slave to his Senses? Those False and Miserable Palates, that Judge of Meats by the Price, and Difficulty, not by the Healthfulness, or Taste: They Vomit, that they may Eat; and they Eat that they may fetch it up again. They cross the Seas for Rarities, and when they have swallowed them, they will not so much as give them time to digest. Wheresoever Nature has plac'd Men, she has provided them Aliment: But we rather chuse to irritate Hunger by Expence, than to allay it at an Easier rate. What is it that we plow the Seas for; or Arm our selves against Men, and Beasts? To what end do we Toyl, and Labour, and pile Bags upon Bags? We may enlarge our Fortunes, but we cannot our Bodies; so that it does but spill, and run over, whatsoever we take more than we can hold. Our Forefathers (by the force of whose Virtues we are now supported in our Vices) liv'd every jot as well as we, when they provided, and dress'd their own Meat with their own Hands; lodg'd upon the Ground, and were not as yet come to the vanity of Gold and Gemms: When they swore by their Earthen Gods, and kept their Oath, though they dy'd for't. Did not our Consuls live more Happily, when they Cook'd their own Meat with those Victorious Hands that had conquer'd so many Enemies, and won so many Laurels? Did they not live more happily, I say, than our (that Corrupter of Youth, and Plague of the Age he liv'd in) who after he had spent a Prodigious Fortune upon his Belly, Poison'd himself for fear of Starving, when he had yet 250000 Crowns in his Coffers: which may serve to shew us, that it is the Mind, and not the Sum, that makes any Man Rich: When Apicius with all this Treasure counted himself in a state of Beggery; and took Poison to avoid that Condition, which another would have pray'd for. But, why do we call it Poison, which was the wholsomest Draught of his Life? His daily Gluttony was Poison rather, both to himself, and others. His Ostentation of it was intolerable and so was the Infinite Pains he took to mis-lead others by his Example, who went even fast enough of themselves without driving.
(pp. 175-7)
Searching "mind" in Google Books
Text from Seneca's Morals by Way of Abstract. To which is added A Discourse under the Title of An After-Thought. By Sir Roger L'Estrange, Knt. 11th edition (London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1718). <Link to Google Books><Compare 1718 edition printed by Nicholson in ECCO>

See Seneca's Morals by Way of Abstract by R. L'Estrange (London: Printed by Thomas Newcomb for Joseph Hindmarsh, 1682). <Link to EEBO>

Printed in 1678 (part I only?), 1682 (3 parts), 1685 (3rd part), 1688 (4th edition), 1693 (5th edition), 1696, 1699 [all in EEBO], 1702 (8th edition), 1705 (9th edition), 1711 (10th edition), 1718 (11th edition). Into 16th edition by 1755. 26 entries in ECCO.
Date of Entry

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