"Bear Witness, Heaven! Thou Mind-inspecting Eye! / My Breast is pure."

— Thomson, James (1700-1748)

Place of Publication
Printed for A. Millar
"Bear Witness, Heaven! Thou Mind-inspecting Eye! / My Breast is pure."
Metaphor in Context
SIFFREDI, alone.
The Prospect lowrs around. I found the King,
Tho' calm'd a little, with subsiding Tempest,
As suits his generous Nature, yet in Love
Abated nought, most ardent in his Purpose;
Inexorably fix'd, whate'er the Risque,
To claim my Daughter, and dissolve this Marriage--
I have embark'd, upon a perillous Sea,
A mighty Treasure. Here, the rapid Youth
Th' impetuous Passions of a Lover-King
Check my bold Course; and there, the jealous Pride
Th'impatient Honour of a haughty Lord,
Of the first Rank, in Interest and Dependants
Near equal to the King, forbid Retreat.
My Honour too, the same unchang'd Conviction,
That these my Measures were, and still remain
Of absolute Necessity, to save
The Land from Civil Fury, urge me on.
But how proceed?--I only faster rush
Upon the desperate Evils I would shun.
Whate'er the Motive be, Deceit, I fear,
And harsh unnatural Force are not the Means
Of Publick Welfare or of Private Bliss--
Bear Witness, Heaven! Thou Mind-inspecting Eye!
My Breast is pure
. I have preferr'd my Duty,
The Good and Safety of my Fellow-Subjects,
To all those Views that fire the selfish Race
Of Men, and mix them in eternal Broils.
(V.i, 1-27)
C-H Lion
At least 29 entries in ESTC (1745, 1748, 1749, 1752, 1755, 1758, 1759, 1761, 1764, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1770, 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1779, 1784, 1787, 1790, 1792). [Robert Hume lists among the "few considerable new plays mounted" between 1737 and 1760.]

See Tancred and Sigismunda. A Tragedy. As it is Acted at the Theatre-Royal In Drury-Lane, By His Majesty's Servants. By James Thomson (London: Printed for A. Millar, 1745). <Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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