"How difficult a Task will it be, to make an Impression on that unpractis'd Heart?"

— Aulnoy, Madame d' (Marie-Catherine) (1650/51-1705)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Peele
1692, 1724
"How difficult a Task will it be, to make an Impression on that unpractis'd Heart?"
Metaphor in Context
The Prince of Carency continued ill some time; and during his Illness, receiv'd daily Instances of the Generosity of these Ladies, particularly Felicia's obliging Behaviour to him (on all occasions) made him desirous to express his Gratitude. He began to think his Preservation was chiefly owing to her tender Care, and by Degrees fell desperately in Love, which threw into the following Reflections: How difficult a Task will it be, to make an Impression on that unpractis'd Heart? Her modest Looks, and the Blushes which cover her Cheeks, every time I cast my Eyes on her, evince how little she his acquainted with Love; and dare I flatter my self with succeeding in such an Attempt? No, I must not hope for so great a Favour from Fortune. I was belov'd at Nicopolis by a Person I never knew; I no sooner became Captive to the Charms of a Lady at Genoa, but Death snatch'd the dear Object from me; and lately as I arriv'd at Villa-Real with a Resolution to marry Leonida, I was inform'd of her Flight and Aversion to me. Alas! my unkind Stars were not satisfy'd to afflict me with all these Misfortunes. They have sent me a greater one; Leonora's Passion for me! Her desperate Rage caus'd me to be treated in this barbarous manner; and her Cruelty wou'd still threaten my Days with the greatest Dangers, were she inform'd that I had escap'd, and was now in this Place; but Oh! how can I resolve to leave Felicia, who is already more dear to me, than the Life I wou'd endeavour to preserve? All I can do in this distressed State, is to change my Name: I am inclin'd to believe, that as I was taken for the Count of La Vagne at Genoa, I may pass for the same here, where I am not known. If it be my good Fortune to render my Sentiments agreeable to this lovely Charmer, I shall never wish for a greater Blessing. I do not doubt but she has an Affection for her Sister, therefore I must address my self to her, and obtain Favour, if possible by her means. The Prince us'd often to entertain himself after this manner, betwixt Hope and Fear.
(pp. 105-6)
3 entries in ESTC (1723, 1724, 1739).

The History of John of Bourbon, Prince of Carency. Containing a Variety of Entertaining Novels, Viz. 1. The Surprize, or the Generous Unknown. 2. The Mutual Mistake, or the Unhappy Discovery. 3. The Secret Rival, or the Deceitful Friend. 4. The Perfidious Lady DisAppointed, or the Happy Reconciliation. 5. The Slighted Passion, or the Fatal Resentment. 6. The Unfortunate Lover. 7. The Female Captives. 8. The Distressed Lovers. 9. The Revengeful Rival. 10. The Happy Meeting, or Constant Love Reward. (London: Printed for J. Peele, 1724). <Link to ECCO-TCP>
Date of Entry

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