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Date: 360 B.C.

"For it does not admit of exposition like other branches of knowledge; but after much converse about the matter itself and a life lived together, suddenly a light, as it were, is kindled in one soul by a flame that leaps to it from another, and thereafter sustains itself."

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: March 24, 1659

"[Oliver Cromwell's] temper exceeding fiery, as I have known, but the flame of it kept down, for the most part, or soon allayed with those moral endowments he had."

— Maidston, John

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Date: 1708, 1714

"For otherwise, the Pannick may have been caught; the Evidence of the Senses lost, as in a Dream; and the Imagination so inflam'd, as in a moment to have burnt up every Particle of Judgment and Reason. The combustible Matters lie prepar'd within, and ready to take fire at a Spark; but chiefly in ...

— Cooper, Anthony Ashley, third earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713)

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Date: November 10, 1750

"Is it that a long commerce with the world does indeed corrupt the heart; and extinguish by degrees those sparks of light, those inclinations to good, which were implanted in our minds?"

— Mulso [later Chapone], Hester (1727-1801)

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Date: 1773

"May you be enabled, by reading them frequently, to transfuse into your own breast that holy flame which inspired the writer!"

— Mulso [later Chapone], Hester (1727-1801)

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Date: 1774

"I expect the incomparable fair one of Hamburg, that prodigy of beauty, and paragon of good sense, who has enslaved your mind, and inflamed your heart."

— Stanhope, Philip Dormer, fourth earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773)

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Date: 1774

"As you found your brain considerably affected by the cold, you were very prudent not to turn it to poetry in that situation; and not less judicious in declining the borrowed aid of a stove, whose fumigation, instead of inspiration, would at best have produced what Mr. Pope calls a souterkin<...

— Stanhope, Philip Dormer, fourth earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773)

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Date: 1782

"I read it carefully a second time--pondered--weighed--and submitted--whenever a spark of vanity seems to be glowing at my heart--I will read your letter--and what then?"

— Sancho, Charles Ignatius (1729?–1780)

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Date: 1782

"Earth re-possesses part of what she gave--and the freed spirit mounts on wings of fire;--her disorder was a stoppage--she fell ill the evening of the Friday that I last saw her continued in her full senses to the last."

— Sancho, Charles Ignatius (1729?–1780)

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Date: January 19, 1791

"It is that new invented virtue, which your masters canonize, that led their moral hero constantly to exhaust the stores of his powerful rhetoric in the expression of universal benevolence; whilst his heart was incapable of harbouring one spark of common parental affection."

— Burke, Edmund (1729-1797)

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