"Till we grow to some ripeness of years, the soul of man doth only store itself with conceits of things of inferior and more open quality, which afterwards do serve as instruments unto that which is greater; in the meanwhile above the reach of meaner creatures it ascendeth not."

— Hooker, Richard (1554-1600)


Place of Publication
London
Publisher
John Windet
Date
1594
Metaphor
"Till we grow to some ripeness of years, the soul of man doth only store itself with conceits of things of inferior and more open quality, which afterwards do serve as instruments unto that which is greater; in the meanwhile above the reach of meaner creatures it ascendeth not."
Metaphor in Context
The soul of man therefore being capable of a more divine perfection, hath (besides the faculties of growing unto sensible knowledge which is common unto us with beasts) a further ability, whereof in them there is no show at all, the ability of reaching higher than unto sensible things. Till we grow to some ripeness of years, the soul of man doth only store itself with conceits of things of inferior and more open quality, which afterwards do serve as instruments unto that which is greater; in the meanwhile above the reach of meaner creatures it ascendeth not. When once it comprehendeth any thing above this, as the differences of time, affirmations, negations, and contradictions in speech, we then count it to have some use of natural reason. Whereunto if afterwards there might be added the right helps of true art and learning (which helps, I must plainly confess, this age of the world, carrying the name of a learned age, doth neither much know nor greatly regard), there would undoubtedly be almost as great difference in maturity of judgment between men therewith inured, and that which now men are, as between men that are now and innocents. Which speech if any condemn, as being over hyperbolical, let them consider but this one thing. No art is at the first finding out so perfect as industry may after make it. Yet the very first man that to any purpose knew the way we speak of and followed it, hath alone thereby performed more very near in all parts of natural knowledge, than sithence in any one part thereof the whole world besides hath done.
(I.vi.3)
Categories
Provenance
Reading
Citation
Many variant titles; searching ESTC for editions: (1593, 1597, 1604, 1611, 1617, 1622, 1632, 1636, 1639, 1648, 1676).

See Of the Lavves of Ecclesiasticall Politie. Eyght Bookes. By Richard Hooker. (Printed at London: By Iohn Windet, dwelling at the signe of the Crosse keyes neere Powles Wharffe, and are there to be soulde, 1593). <Link to ESTC>

See also Of the Lavves of Ecclesiasticall Politie, Eight Bookes. By Richard Hooker, 2nd edition (Printed at London: By Iohn Windet, dwelling at the signe of the Crosse-keyes neare Paules wharffe, and are there to be solde, 1604). <Link to EEBO> [Full text available]

Originally searching text from Richard Hooker, The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine Mr. Richard Hooker, 7th edition revised by the Very Rev. R.W. Church and the Rev. F. Paget (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888), vol. 1 of 3. <Link to OLL>

Reading in Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Vol. 1 of The Works of Richard Hooker, ed. Georges Edelen, Folger Library edition (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1977).
Date of Entry
05/16/2012

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