"Every Change in Figure and Impulse, must alter the Idea, and wear off the former Impression. So that by these Principles, Friendship will depend on the Seasons, and we must look in the Weather Glass for our Inclinations."

— Collier, Jeremy (1650–1726)


Place of Publication
London
Publisher
Printed for S. Keble, R. Sare, and H. Hindmarsh
Date
1698
Metaphor
"Every Change in Figure and Impulse, must alter the Idea, and wear off the former Impression. So that by these Principles, Friendship will depend on the Seasons, and we must look in the Weather Glass for our Inclinations."
Metaphor in Context
[...] Here is no exception upon the Repetition of the Fault, or the Quality of the Provocation. Mr. Dryden to do him right, do's not dispute the Precept. He confesses this is the way to be a Christian: But for all that he should hardly trust him for a Friend. And why so? Because the Italian Proverb says, He that forgives the second time is a Fool. This Lewd Proverb comes in for Authority, and is a piece of very pertinent Blasphemy! Thus in some Peoples Logick one proof from Atheisin, is worth Ten from the New Testament. But here the Poet argues no better than he Believes. For most certainly, a Christian of all others is best qualifyed for Friendship. For He that loves his Neighbour as himself, and carries Benevolence and Good Nature beyond the Heights of Philosophy: He that is not govern'd by Vanity, or Design; He that prefers his Conscience to his Life, and has Courage to Maintain his Reason; He that is thus qualified must be a good Friend; And he that falls short, is no good Christian. And since the Poet is pleas'd to find fault with Christianity, let us examine his own Scheme. Our Minds (says he) are perpetually wrought on by the Temperament of our Bodies, which makes me suspect they are nearer Allyed than either our Philosophers, or School Divines will allow them to be. The meaning is, he suspects our Souls are nothing but Organiz'd Matter. Or in plain English, our Souls are nothing but our Bodies. And then when the Body dies you may guess what becomes of them! Thus the Authorities of Religion are weaken'd, and the prospect of the other World almost shut up. And is this a likely Supposition for Sincerity and good Nature? Do's Honour use to rise upon the Ruines of Conscience? And are People the best Friends where they have the least Reason to be so? But not only the Inclinations to Friendship must Languish upon this Scheme, but the very Powers of it are as it were destroy'd. By this Systeme no Man can say his Soul is his own. He can't be assured the same Colours of Reason and Desire will last. Any little Accident from without may metamorphose his Fancy, and push him upon a new set of Thoughts. Matter and Motion are the most Humorsom Capricious Things in Nature; and withall, the most Arbitrary and uncontroll'd. And can Constancy proceed from Chance, Choice from Fate, and Virtue from Necessity? In short a Man at this rate must be a Friend or an Enemy in spite of his Teeth, and just as long as the Atoms please and no longer. Every Change in Figure and Impulse, must alter the Idea, and wear off the former Impression. So that by these Principles, Friendship will depend on the Seasons, and we must look in the Weather Glass for our Inclinations. But this 'tis to Refine upon Revelation, and grow wiser than Wisdom! [...]
(pp. 67-9)
Provenance
EEBO-TCP
Citation
9 entries in ESTC (1698, 1699, 1728, 1730, 1738).

See A Short View of the Immorality, and Profaneness of the English Stage Together With the Sense of Antiquity Upon This Argument (London: Printed for S. Keble, R. Sare, and H. Hindmarsh, 1698). <Link to EEBO-TCP>
Date of Entry
10/01/2013

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