LETTERS OF THE LATE Rev. Mr. LAURENCE STERNE, To his most intimate FRIENDS.

LYDIA STERNE DE MEDALLE.

Painted by B. [...] Engraved by J. Caldwall

[...] August [...] 177 [...]

LETTERS OF THE LATE Rev. Mr. LAURENCE STERNE, To his most intimate FRIENDS.

WITH A FRAGMENT in the Manner of Rabelais.

To which are prefix'd, Memoirs of his Life and Family. Written by HIMSELF. And Published by his Daughter, Mrs. MEDALLE.

In THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON: Printed for T. BECKET, the Corner of the Adelphi, in the Strand. 1775.

DEDICATION. To DAVID GARRICK, Esq.

WHEN I was ask'd to whom I should dedicate these volumes, I carelessly answered to no one—Why not? (replied the person who put the question to me.) Because most dedications [Page vi] look like begging a protection to the book. Perhaps a worse interpretation may be given to it. No, no! already so much obliged, I cannot, will not, put another tax upon the generosity of any friend of Mr. Sterne's, or mine. I went home to my lodgings, and gratitude warmed my heart to such a pitch, that I vow'd they should be dedicated to the man my father so much ad­mired—who, with an unpre­judiced eye, read, and approved [Page vii] his works, and moreover loved the man—'Tis to Mr. Garrick then, that I dedicate these Ge­nuine Letters.

Can I forget the sweet * Epi­taph which proved Mr. Garrick's friendship, and opinion of him? 'Twas a tribute to friendship—and as a tribute of my gra­titude I dedicate these volumes to a man of understanding and [Page viii] feelings—Receive this, as it is meant—May you, dear Sir, approve of these letters, as much as Mr. Sterne admired you—but Mr. Garrick, with all his ur­banity, can never carry the point half so far, for Mr. Sterne was an enthusiast, if it is possible to be one, in favour of Mr. Garrick.

This may appear a very sim­ple dedication, but Mr. Garrick will judge by his own sensi­bility, [Page ix] that I can feel more than I can express, and I believe he will give me credit for all my grateful acknowledgements.

I am, with every sentiment of gratitude, and esteem,

Dear Sir,
Your obliged humble servant, Lydia Sterne de Medalle.

EPITAPH.

SHALL Pride a heap of sculptur'd marble raise,
Some worthless, un-mourn'd titled fool to praise;
And shall we not by one poor grave-stone learn,
Where Genius, Wit, and Humour, sleep with Sterne?
D. G.

PREFACE.

IN publishing these Letters the Editor does but comply with her mother's request, which was, that if any letters were publish'd under Mr. Sterne's name, that those she had in her possession, (as well as those that her father's friends would be kind enough to send to her) should be likewise publish'd—She depends much [Page xiv] on the candour of the public for the favourable reception of these,—their being genuine (she thinks—and hopes) will render them not unacceptable—She has already experienced much bene­volence and generosity from her late father's friends—the re­memberance of it will ever warm her heart with gratitude!

In Memory of Mr. STERNE, author of THE SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY.

WITH wit, and genuine humour, to dispel,
From the desponding bosom, gloomy care,
And bid the gushing tear, at the sad tale
Of hapless love or filial grief, to flow
From the full sympathising heart, were thine,
These powers, Oh Sterne! but now thy fate demands
(No plumage nodding o'er the emblazon'd hearse
Proclaiming honor where no virtue shone)
But the sad tribute of a heart-felt sigh:
What tho' no taper cast its deadly ray,
Nor the full choir sing requiems o'er thy tomb,
[Page xvi]The humbler grief of friendship is not mute;
And poor Maria, with her faithful kid,
Her auburn tresses carelessly entwin'd
With olive foliage, at the close of day,
Shall chaunt her plaintive vespers at thy grave.
Thy shade too, gentle Monk, mid aweful night,
Shall pour libations from its friendly eye;
For 'erst his sweet benevolence bestow'd
Its generous pity, and bedew'd with tears
The sod, which rested on thy aged breast.

A Character, and Eulogium of STERNE, and his Writings; in a familiar Epistle from a Gentleman in Ireland to his Friend.—Written in the Year 1769.

WHAT trifle comes next?—Spare the censure, my friend,
This letter's no more from beginning to end:
Yet, when you consider (your laughter, pray, stifle)
The advantage, the importance, the use, of a trifle—
When you think too beside—and there's nothing more clear—
That pence compose millions, and moments the year,
You surely will grant me, nor think that I jest,
That life's but a series of trifles at best.
[Page xviii]How wildly digressive! yet could I, O STERNE*,
Digress with thy skill, with thy freedom return!
The vain wish I repress—Poor YORICK! no more
Shall thy mirth and thy jests "set the table on a roar;"
[Page xix]No more thy sad tale, with simplicity told,
O'er each feeling breast its strong influence hold,
From the wise and the brave call forth sympathy's sigh,
Or swell with sweet anguish humanity's eye:
Here and there in the page if a blemish appear,
(And what page, or what life, from a blemish is clear?)
TRIM and TOBY with soft intercession attend;
LE FEVRE intreats you to pardon his friend;
[Page xx]MARIA too pleads, for her favourite distress'd,
As you feel for her sorrows, O grant her request!
Should these advocates fail, I've another to call,
One tear of his MONK shall obliterate all.
Favour'd pupil of Nature and Fancy, of yore,
Whom from Humour's embrace sweet Philanthropy bore,
While the Graces and Loves scatter flow'rs on thy urn,
And Wit weeps the blossom too hastily torn;
This meed too, kind spirit, unoffended receive
From a youth next to SHAKESPEARE's who honours thy grave!

MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE AND FAMILY OF THE LATE Rev. Mr. LAURENCE STERNE.

ROGER STERNE, (grand­son to Archbishop Sterne) Lieutenant in Hand aside's regi­ment, was married to Agnes He­bert, widow of a captain of a good family: her family name was [Page 2] (I believe) Nuttle—though, upon recollection, that was the name of her father-in-law, who was a noted sutler in Flanders, in Queen Ann's wars, where my father married his wife's daugh­ter (N. B. he was in debt to him) which was in September 25, 1711, Old Stile.—This Nuttle had a son by my grand­mother—a fine person of a man but a graceless whelp—what be­came of him I know not.—The family (if any left), live now at Clomwel in the south of Ire­land, [Page 3] at which town I was born November 24th, 1713, a few days after my mother arrived from Dunkirk.—My birth-day was ominous to my poor father, who was, the day after our ar­rival, with many other brave officers broke, and sent adrift into the wide world with a wife and two children—the elder of which was Mary; she was born in Lisle in French Flanders, July the tenth, one thousand seven hundred and twelve, New Stile.—This child was most un­fortunate—she [Page 4] married one Wee­mans in Dublin—who used her most unmercifully—spent his substance, became a bankrupt, and left my poor sister to shift for herself,—which she was able to do but for a few months, for she went to a friend's house in the country, and died of a broken heart. She was a most beautiful woman—of a fine figure, and deserved a better fate.—The regiment, in which my father served, being broke, he left Ireland as soon as I was able to [Page 5] be carried, with the rest of his family, and came to the family seat at Elvington, near York, where his mother lived. She was daughter to Sir Roger Jaques, and an heiress. There we so­journed for about ten months, when the regiment was esta­blished, and our houshold de­camped with bag and baggage for Dublin—within a month of our arrival, my father left us, being ordered to Exeter, where, in a sad winter, my mother and her two children followed him, travelling from [Page 6] Liverpool by land to Plymouth. (Melancholy description of this journey not necessary to be trans­mitted here). In twelve months we were all sent back to Dublin.—My mother, with three of us, (for she laid in at Plymouth of a boy, Joram), took ship at Bristol, for Ireland, and had a narrow escape from being cast away by a leak springing up in the vessel.—At length, after many perils, and struggles, we got to Dublin.—There my father took a large house, furnished it, and in a [Page 7] year and a half's time spent a great deal of money.—In the year one thousand seven hundred and nineteen, all unhing'd again; the regiment was ordered, with many others, to the Isle of Wight, in order to embark for Spain in the Vigo expedition. We accompanied the regiment, and was driven into Milford Haven, but landed at Bristol, from thence by land to Ply­mouth again, and to the Isle of Wight—where I remember we stayed encamped some time be­fore [Page 8] the embarkation of the troops—(in this expedition from Bristol to Hampshire we lost poor Joram—a pretty boy, four years old, of the small-pox), my mother, sister, and myself, re­mained at the Isle of Wight dur­ing the Vigo Expedition, and until the regiment had got back to Wicklow in Ireland, from whence my father sent for us.—We had poor Joram's loss sup­plied during our stay in the Isle of Wight, by the birth of a girl, Anne, born September the [Page 9] twenty-third, one thousand se­ven hundred and nineteen.—This pretty blossom fell at the age of three years, in the Bar­racks of Dublin—she was, as I well remember, of a fine deli­cate frame, not made to last long, as were most of my father's babes.—We embarked for Dub­lin, and had all been cast away by a most violent storm; but through the intercessions of my mother, the captain was prevailed upon to turn back into Wales, where we stayed a month, and at length [Page 10] got into Dublin, and travelled by land to Wicklow, where my father had for some Weeks given us over for lost.—We lived in the barracks at Wicklow, one year, (one thousand seven hun­dred and twenty) when Devije­her (so called after Colonel De­vijeher,) was born; from thence we decamped to stay half a year with Mr. Fetherston, a clergy­man, about seven miles from Wicklow, who being a relation of my mother's, invited us to his parsonage at Animo.—It was [Page 11] in this parish, during our stay, that I had that wonderful escape in falling through a mill-race whilst the mill was going, and of being taken up unhurt—the story is incredible, but known for truth in all that part of Ire­land—where hundreds of the common people flocked to see me.—From hence we followed the regiment to Dublin, where we lay in the barracks a year.—In this year, one thousand seven hundred and twenty-one, I learned to write, &c.—The regiment, [Page 12] ordered in twenty-two, to Car­rickfergus in the north of Ire­land; we all decamped, but got no further than Drogheda, thence ordered to Mullengar, forty miles west, where by Providence we stumbled upon a kind rela­tion, a collateral descendant from Archbishop Sterne, who took us all to his castle and kindly en­treated us for a year—and sent us to the regiment at Car­rickfergus, loaded with kind­nesses, &c.—a most rueful and tedious journey had we all, in [Page 13] March, to Carrickfergus, where we arrived in six or seven days—little Devijeher here died, he was three years old—He had been left behind at nurse at a farm­house near Wicklow, but was fetch'd to us by my father the summer after—another child sent to fill his place, Susan; this babe too left us behind in this weary journey—The autumn of that year, or the spring afterwards, (I forget which) my father got leave of his colonel to fix me at school—which he did near Hali­fax, [Page 14] with an able master; with whom I staid some time, 'till by God's care of me my cousin Sterne, of Elvington, became a father to me, and sent me to the university, &c. &c. To pursue the thread of our story, my fa­ther's regiment was the year after ordered to Londonderry, where another sister was brought forth, Catherine, still living, but most un­happily estranged from me by my uncle's wickedness, and her own folly—from this station the regi­ment was sent to defend Gibraltar, [Page 15] at the seige, where my father was run through the body by Captain Phillips, in a duel, (the quarrel begun about a goose) with much difficulty he survived—tho' with an impaired constitution, which was not able to withstand the hardships it was put to—for he was sent to Jamaica, where he soon fell by the country fever, which took away his senses first, and made a child of him, and then, in a month or two, walking about continually without complaining, till the [Page 16] moment he sat down in an arm chair, and breathed his last—which was at Port Antonio, on the north of the island.—My father was a little smart man—active to the last degree, in all exercises—most patient of fatigue and disappointments, of which it pleased God to give him full measure—he was in his temper somewhat rapid, and hasty—but of a kindly, sweet disposition, void of all design; and so inno­cent in his own intentions, that he suspected no one; so that [Page 17] you might have cheated him ten times in a day, if nine had not been sufficient for your purpose—my poor father died in March 1731—I remained at Halifax 'till about the latter end of that year, and cannot omit mention­ing this anecdote of myself, and school-master—He had had the cieling of the school-room new white-washed—the ladder re­mained there—I one unlucky day mounted it, and wrote with a brush in large capital letters, LAU. STERNE, for which the [Page 18] usher severely whipped me. My master was very much hurt at this, and said, before me, that never should that name be ef­faced, for I was a boy of genius, and he was sure I should come to preferment—this expression made me forget the stripes I had received—In the year thirty-two my cousin sent me to the univer­sity, where I staid some time. 'Twas there that I commenced a friendship with Mr. H... which has been most lasting on both sides—I then came to York, [Page 19] and my uncle got me the living of Sutton—and at York I be­come acquainted with your mo­ther, and courted her for two years—she owned she liked me, but thought herself not rich enough, or me too poor, to be joined together—she went to her sister's in S—, and I wrote to her often—I believe then she was partly determined to have me, but would not say so—at her return she fell into a con­sumption—and one evening that I was sitting by her with an al­most [Page 20] broken heart to see her so ill, she said, ‘"my dear Lawrey, I can never be yours, for I verily believe I have not long to live—but I have left you every shilling of my fortune;"’—upon that she shewed me her will—this genero­sity overpowered me.—It pleased God that she recovered, and I married her in the year 1741. My uncle and myself were then upon very good terms, for he soon got me the Prebendary of York—but he quarrelled with me afterwards, because I would [Page 21] not write paragraphs in the news­papers—though he was a party­man, I was not, and detested such dirty work: thinking it beneath me—from that period, he be­came my bitterest enemy.—By my wife's means I got the living of Stillington—a friend of her's in the south had promised her, that if she married a clergyman in Yorkshire, when the living became vacant, he would make her a compliment of it. I re­mained near twenty years at Sut­ton, doing duty at both places— [Page 22] I had then very good health.—Books, painting, fiddling, and shooting were my amusements; as to the 'Squire of the parish, I cannot say we were upon a very friendly footing—but at Stilling­ton, the family of the C—s shewed us every kindness—'twas most truly agreeable to be within a mile and a half of an amiable family, who were ever cordial friends—In the year 1760, I took a house at York for your mother and yourself, and went up to London to publish my two first [Page 23] volumes of Shandy. In that year Lord F— presented me with the curacy of Coxwold—a sweet retirement in comparison of Sut­ton. In sixty-two I went to France before the peace was con­cluded, and you both followed me.—I left you both in France, and in two years after I went to Italy for the recovery of my health—and when I called upon you, I tried to engage your mo­ther to return to England, with me—she and yourself are at length come—and I have had the inex­pressible [Page 24] joy of seeing my girl every thing I wished her.

I have set down these particu­lars relating to my family, and self, for my Lydia, in case here­after she might have a curiosity, or a kinder motive to know them.

IN justice to Mr. Sterne's de­licate feelings, I must here pub­lish the following letters to Mrs. Sterne, before he married her, when she was in Staffordshire—A good heart breathes in every line of them.

LETTERS.

LETTER I. To Miss L—.

YES! I will steal from the world, and not a babbling tongue shall tell where I am—Echo shall not so much as whisper my hiding place—suffer thy imagination to paint it as a little sun-gilt cottage on the side of a ro­mantic hill—dost thou think I will [Page 28] leave love and friendship behind me? No! they shall be my companions in solitude, for they will sit down, and rise up with me in the amiable form of my L.—we will be as merry, and as innocent as our first parents in Paradise, before the arch fiend entered that undescribable scene.

The kindest affections will have room to shoot and expand in our re­tirement, and produce such fruit, as madness, and envy, and ambition have always killed in the bud.—Let the human tempest and hurricane rage at a distance, the desolation is beyond the horizon of peace.—My L. has [Page 29] seen a Polyanthus blow in December—some friendly wall has sheltered it from the biting wind.—No planetary influence shall reach us, but that which presides and cherishes the sweetest flowers.—God preserve us, how delightful this prospect in idea! We will build, and we will plant, in our own way—simplicity shall not be tortured by art—we will learn of nature how to live—she shall be our alchy­mist, to mingle all the good of life into one salubrious draught.—The gloomy family of care and distrust shall be banished from our dwelling, guarded by thy kind and tutelar deity—we will sing our choral songs of [Page 30] gratitude, and rejoice to the end of our pilgrimage.

Adieu, my L. Return to one who languishes for thy society.

L. STERNE.

LETTER II. To the same.

YOU bid me tell you, my dear L. how I bore your departure for S—, and whether the valley where D'Estella stands retains still its looks—or, if I think the roses or jessamines smell as sweet, as when you left it—Alas! every thing has now lost its relish, and look! The hour you left D'Estella I took to my bed.—I was worn out with fevers of all kinds, but most by that fever of the heart with which thou knowest well I have been wasting [Page 32] these two years—and shall continue wasting 'till you quit S—. The good Miss S—, from the forebodings of the best of hearts, thinking I was ill, insisted upon my going to her.—What can be the cause, my dear L. that I never have been able to see the face of this mutual friend, but I feel my­self rent to pieces? She made me stay an hour with her, and in that short space I burst into tears a dozen differ­ent times—and in such affectionate gusts of passion that she was con­strained to leave the room, and sym­pathize in her dressing room—I have been weeping for you both, said she, in a tone of the sweetest pity—for [Page 33] poor L's heart I have long known it—her anguish is as sharp as yours—her heart as tender—her constancy as great—her virtues as heroic—Heaven brought you not together to be tor­mented. I could only answer her with a kind look, and a heavy sigh—and return'd home to your lodgings (which I have hired 'till your return) to resign myself to misery—Fanny had prepared me a supper—she is all at­tention to me—but I sat over it with tears; a bitter sauce, my L. but I could eat it with no other—for the moment she began to spread my little table, my heart fainted within me.—One solitary plate, one knife, one [Page 34] fork, one glass!—I gave a thousand pensive, penetrating looks at the chair thou hadst so often graced, in those quiet, and sentimental repasts—then laid down my knife, and fork, and took out my handkerchief, and clapped it across my face, and wept like a child.—I do so this very moment, my L. for as I take up my pen my poor pulse quickens, my pale face glows, and tears are trickling down upon the paper, as I trace the word L—. O thou! blessed in thyself, and in thy virtues—blessed to all that know thee—to me most so, because more do I know of thee than all thy sex.—This is the philtre, my L. by which thou [Page 35] hast charmed me, and by which thou wilt hold me thine whilst virtue and faith hold this world together.—This, my friend, is the plain and simple magick by which I told Miss — I have won a place in that heart of thine, on which I depend so satisfied, that time, or distance, or change of every thing which might alarm the hearts of little men, create no uneasy suspence in mine—Wast thou to stay in S— these seven years, thy friend, though he would grieve, scorns to doubt, or to be doubted—'tis the only exception where security is not the parent of danger.—I told you poor Fanny was all attention to me since [Page 36] your departure—contrives every day bringing in the name of L. She told me last night (upon giving me some hartshorn) she had observed my ill­ness began the very day of your de­parture for S—; that I had never held up my head, had seldom, or scarce ever smiled, had fled from all society—that she verily believed I was broken-hearted, for she had never entered the room, or passed by the door, but she heard me sigh heavily—that I neither eat, or slept, or took pleasure in any thing as before;—judge then, my L. can the valley look so well—or the roses and jes­samines smell so sweet as heretofore? [Page 37] Ah me!—But adieu—the vesper bell calls me from thee to my God!

L. STERNE.

LETTER III. To the same.

BEFORE now my L. has lodged an indictment against me in the high court of Friendship—I plead guilty to the charge, and intirely submit to the mercy of that amiable tribunal.—Let this mitigate my punishment, if it will not expiate my transgression—do not say that I shall offend again in the same manner, though a too easy par­don sometimes occasions a repetition of the same fault.—A miser says, though I do no good with my money [Page 39] to-day, to-morrow shall be marked with some deed of beneficence.—The Libertine says, let me enjoy this week in forbidden and luxurious pleasures, and the next I will dedicate to serious thought and reflection.—The Gamester says, let me have one more chance with the dice and I will never touch them more.—The Knave of every profession wishes to obtain but inde­pendency, and he will become an honest man.—The Female Coquette triumphs in tormenting her inamorato, for fear, after marriage, he should not pity her.

[Page 40]Thy apparition of the fifth instant, (for letters may almost be called so) proved more welcome as I did not expect it. Oh! my L—, thou art kind indeed to make an apology for me, and thou never wilt assuredly repent of one act of kindness—for being thy debtor, I will pay thee with interest.—Why does my L. complain of the desertion of friends?—Where does the human being live that will not join in this complaint?—It is a common observation, and perhaps too true, that married people seldom extend their regards beyond their own fire­side.—There is such a thing as parsi­mony in esteem, as well as money— [Page 41] yet as the one costs nothing, it might be bestowed with more liberality.—We cannot gather grapes from thorns, so we must not expect kind attach­ments from persons who are wholly folded up in selfish schemes.—I do not know whether I most despise, or pity such characters—nature never made an unkind creature—ill usage, and bad habits, have deformed a fair and lovely creation.

My L!—thou art surrounded by all the melancholy gloom of winter; wert thou alone, the retirement would be agreeable.—Disappointed ambition might envy such a retreat, and disap­pointed [Page 42] love would seek it out.—Crouded towns, and busy societies, may delight the unthinking, and the gay—but solitude is the best nurse of wisdom.—Methinks I see my con­templative girl now in the garden, watching the gradual approaches of spring.—Do'st not thou mark with delight the first vernal buds? the snow-drop, and primrose, these early and welcome visitors, spring beneath thy feet.—Flora and Pomona already consider thee as their handmaid; and in a little time will load thee with their sweetest blessing.—The feathered race are all thy own, and with them, untaught harmony will soon begin to [Page 43] cheer thy morning and evening walks.—Sweet as this may be, return—re­turn—the birds of Yorkshire will tune their pipes, and sing as melodiously as those of Staffordshire.

Adieu, my beloved L. thine too much for my peace,

L. STERNE.

LETTER IV. To the same.

I HAVE offended her whom I so tenderly love!—what could tempt me to it! but if a beggar was to knock at thy gate, wouldst thou not open the door and be melted with compas­sion.—I know thou wouldst, for Pity has erected a temple in thy bosom.—Sweetest, and best of all human pas­sions! let thy web of tenderness cover the pensive form of affliction, and soften the darkest shades of misery! I have re-considered this apology, and, alas! [Page 45] what will it accomplish? Arguments, however finely spun, can never change the nature of things—very true—so a truce with them.

I have lost a very valuable friend by a sad accident, and what is worse, he has left a widow and five young children to lament this sudden stroke.—If real usefulness and integrity of heart, could have secured him from this, his friends would not now be mourning his untimely fate.—These dark and seemingly cruel dispensations of Provi­dence, often make the best of human hearts complain.—Who can paint the distress of an affectionate mother, [Page 46] made a widow in a moment, weeping in bitterness over a numerous, helpless, and fatherless offspring?—God! these are thy chastisements, and require (hard task!) a pious acquiescence.

Forgive me this digression, and al­low me to drop a tear over a departed friend; and what is more excellent, an honest man. My L! thou wilt feel all that kindness can inspire in the death of—The event was sudden, and thy gentle spirit would be more alarmed on that account.—But my L. thou hast less to lament, as old age was creeping on, and her period of doing good, and being useful, was [Page 47] nearly over.—At sixty years of age the tenement gets fast out of repair, and the lodger with anxiety thinks of a discharge.—In such a situation the poet might well say‘"The soul uneasy, &c."’

My L. talks of leaving the country—may a kind angel guide thy steps hither.—Solitude at length grows tire­some.—Thou sayest thou wilt quit the place with regret—I think so too.—Does not something uneasy mingle with the very reflection of leaving it? It is like parting with an old friend, whose temper and company one has long been acquainted with.—I think [Page 48] I see you looking twenty times a day at the house—almost counting every brick and pane of glass, and telling them at the same time with a sigh, you are going to leave them.—Oh happy modification of matter! they will remain insensible of thy loss.—But how wilt thou be able to part with thy garden?—The recollection of so many pleasing walks must have endeared it to you. The trees, the shrubs, the flowers, which thou reared with thy own hands—will they not droop and fade away sooner upon thy departure.—Who will be the successor to nurse them in thy absence.—Thou wilt leave thy name upon the myrtle­tree.—If [Page 49] trees, and shrubs, and flow­ers, could compose an elegy, I should expect a very plaintive one upon this subject.

Adieu, adieu. Believe me ever, ever thine,

L. STERNE.

LETTER V. To S— C—, Esq.

My Dear Friend,

I HAVE been in such a continual hurry since the moment I arrived here—what with my books, and what with visiters, and visitings, that it was not in my power sooner to sit down and acknowledge the favour of your obliging letter; and to thank you for the most friendly motives which led you to write it: I am not much in pain upon what gives my kind friends at Stillington so much [Page 51] on the chapter of Noses—because, as the principal satire throughout that part is levelled at those learned block­heads who, in all ages, have wasted their time and much learning upon points as foolish—it shifts off the idea of what you fear, to another point—and 'tis thought here very good—'twill pass muster—I mean not with all—no—no! I shall be attacked and pelted, either from cellars or garrets, write what I will—and besides, must expect to have a party against me of many hundreds—who either do not—or will not laugh.—'Tis enough if I divide the world;—at least I will rest contented with it.—I wish you was [Page 52] here to see what changes of looks and political reasoning, have taken place in every company, and coffee-house since last year; we shall be soon Prussians and Anti-Prussians, B—'s and Anti-B—s, and those distinc­tions will just do as well as Whig and Tory—and for aught I know serve the same ends.—The K. seems resolved to bring all things back to their original principles, and to stop the torrent of corruption and laziness.—He rises every morning at six to do business—rides out at eight to a minute, returns at nine to give himself up to his people.—By persisting, 'tis thought he will oblige [Page 53] his M.......s and dependants, to dis­patch affairs with him many hours sooner than of late—and 'tis much to be question'd whether they will not be enabled to wait upon him sooner by being free'd from long levees of their own, and applications; which will in all likelyhood be transferr'd from them directly to himself—the present system being to remove that Phalanx of great people, which stood betwixt the throne and the subjects, and suffer them to have immediate access without the intervention of a caball—(this is the language of others): however the K. gives every thing himself, knows every thing, and weighs every thing ma­turely, [Page 54] and then is inflexible—this puts old stagers off their game—how it will end we are all in the dark.

'Tis fear'd the war is quite over in Germany; never was known such havock amongst troops—I was told yesterday by a Colonel, from Ger­many, that out of two battalions of nine hundred men, to which he be­long'd, but seventy-one left!—P.... F... has sent word, 'tis said, that he must have forty-thousand men directly sent to take the field—and with pro­visions for them too, for he can but subsist them for a fortnight—I hope this will find you all got to York—I [Page 55] beg my compliments to the amiable Mrs. Croft, &c. &c.

Tho' I purposed going first to Golden-Square, yet fate has thus long disposed of me—so I have never been able to set a foot towards that quarter.

I am, dear Sir, Your's affectionately L. STERNE.

LETTER VI. To the same.

My dear Sir,

I HAVE just time to acknowledge the favour of yours, but not to get the two prints you mention—which shall be sent you by next post—I have bought them, and lent them to Miss Gilbert, but will assuredly send for them and enclose them to you:—I will take care to get your pictures well copied, and at a moderate price. And if I can be of further use, I beseech you to employ [Page 57] me; and from time to time will send you an account of whatever may be worth transmitting.—The stream now sets in strong against the German war. Loud complaints of — — — making a trade of the war, &c. &c. much expected from Ld. G—'s evidence to these matters, who is ex­pected every hour;—the K. wins every day upon the people, shews himself much at the play, (but at no opera) rides out with his bro­thers every morning, half an hour after seven, till nine—returns with them—spends an hour with them at breakfast, and chat—and then sits [Page 58] down to business. I never dined at home once since I arrived—am four­teen dinners deep engaged just now, and fear matters will be worse with me in that point than better.—As to the main points in view, at which you hint—all I can say is, that I see my way, and unless Old Nick throws the dice—shall, in due time, come off winner.—Tristram will be out the twentieth—there is a great rout made about him before he enters the stage—whether this will be of use or no, I can't say—some wits of the first mag­nitude here, both as to wit and station, engage me success—time will shew— [Page 59] Adieu, dear Sir! and with my com­pliments to Mrs. Croft, &c.

I am your affectionate, and obliged L. STERNE.

LETTER VII. To the same.

Dear Sir,

I THIS moment received the favour of your kind letter.—The letter in the Ladies Magazine about me, was wrote by the noted Dr. H—, who wrote the Inspector, and undertakes that magazine—the people of York are very uncharitable to suppose any man so gross a beast as to pen such a cha­racter of himself.—In this great town no soul ever suspected it, for a thousand [Page 61] reasons—could they suppose I should be such a fool as to fall foul upon Dr. W—n, my best friend, by repre­senting him so weak a man—or by tel­ling such a lye of him—as his giving me a purse, to buy off his tutorship for Tristram!—or I should be fool enough to own I had taken his purse for that purpose!

You must know there is a quarrel between Dr. H— and Dr. M—y, who was the physician meant at Mr. C— S—'s, and Dr. H— has changed the place on purpose to give M—y a lick.—Now that con­versation, (tho' perhaps true) yet hap­pen'd [Page 62] at another place, and with another physician; which I have contradicted in this city for the ho­nour of my friend M—y, all which shews the absurdity of York credulity, and nonsense. Besides the account is full of falshoods—first with regard to the place of my birth, which was at C—, in Ireland—the story of a hundred pounds to Mrs. W—, not true, or of a pension promised; the merit of which I disclaim'd—and indeed there are so many other things so un­true, and unlikely to come from me, that the worst enemy I have here never had a suspicion—and to end all Dr. H— owns the paper.

[Page 63]I shall be down before May is out—I preach before the Judges on Sun­day—my sermons come out on Thurs­day after—and I purpose the Monday at furthest after that to set out for York—I have bought a pair of horses for that purpose—my best respects to your Lady—

I am, Dear Sir, Your most obliged and faithful, L. STERNE.
[Page 64]

P.S. I beg pardon for this hasty scrawl, having just come from a Con­cert where the D.. of Y... perform'd—I have received great notice from him, and last week had the honour of supping with him.

LETTER VIII. To the same.

Dear Sir,

SINCE I had the favour of your obliging letter, nothing has hap­pened, or been said one day, which has not been contradicted the next; so having little certain to write, I have forbore writing at all, in hopes every day of something worth filling up a letter. We had the greatest expectations yesterday that ever were [Page 66] raised, of a pitched battle in the H— of C—, wherein Mr. P— was to have entered and thrown down the gaunt­let, in defence of the German war.—There never was so full a house—the gallery full to the top—I was there all the day—when, lo! a political fit of the gout seized the great combat­tant—he entered not the lists—B... got up, and begged the house, as he saw not his right honourable friend there, to put off the debate—it could not be done; so B... rose up, and made a most long, passionate, inco­herent speech, in defence of the Ger­manick war—but very severe upon the unfrugal manner it was carried [Page 67] on—in which he addressed himself principally to the C— of the E—, and laid him on terribly.—It seems the chancery of Hanover had laid out 350,000 pounds, on account, and brought in our treasury debtor—and the grand debate was, for an honest examination of the particulars of this extravagant account, and for vouchers to authenticate it.—L... answered B... very rationally, and coolly—Lord N. spoke long—Sir F. D— maintained the German war was most pernicious—Mr. C—, of Surry, spoke well against the ac­count, with some others—L. B—n at last got up, and spoke half an hour [Page 68] with great plainness, and temper—explained a great many hidden springs relating to these accounts, in favour of the late K.—and told two or three conversations which had passed between the K. and himself, relative to these expences—which cast great honour upon the K's character. This was with regard to the money the K. had secretly furnished out of his pocket to lessen the account of the Hanover-score brought us to discharge.

B—d and B—n abused all who sought for peace, and joined in the cry for it; and B—d added, that the reasons of wishing a peace [Page 69] now, were the same as at the peace of Utretch—that the people behind the curtain could not both maintain the war and their places too, so were for making another sacrifice of the nation, to their own interests.—After all—the cry for a peace is so general, that it will certainly end in one. Now for myself.—

One half of the town abuse my book as bitterly, as the other half cry it up to the skies—the best is, they abuse and buy it, and at such a rate, that we are going on with a second edition, as fast as possible.

[Page 70]I am going down for a day or two with Mr. Spencer, to Wimbleton; on Wednesday there is to be a grand assembly at Lady N—. I have en­quired every where about Stephen's affair, and can hear nothing—My friend, Mr. Charles T—, will be now secretary of war—he bid me wish him joy of it, though not in posses­sion.—I will ask him—and depend, my most worthy friend, that you shall not be ignorant of what I learn from him—believe me ever, ever,

Yours, L. S.

LETTER IX. To the same.

My dear Sir,

A STRAIN which I got in my wrist by a terrible fall, prevented my acknowledging the favour of your obliging letter. I went yesterday morn­ing to breakfast with Mr. V—, who is a kind of right-hand man to the secretary, on purpose to enquire about the propriety, or feasibility, of doing what you wish me—and he has [Page 72] told me an anecdote which, had you been here, would, I think, have made it wiser to have deferred speaking about the affair a month hence than now; it is this—You must know that the numbers of officers who have left their regiments in Germany, for the pleasures of the town, have been a long topic for merriment; as you see them in St. James's Coffee-house, and the park, every hour, enquiring, open mouth, how things go on in Germany, and what news?—when they should have been there to have fur­nished news themselves—but the worst part has been, that many of them have left their brother officers on their [Page 73] duty, and in all the fatigues of it, and have come with no end but to make friends, to be put unfairly over the heads of those who were left risk­ing their lives.—In this attempt there have been some but too successful, which has justly raised ill-blood and complaints from the officers who staid behind—the upshot has been, that they have every soul been ordered off, and woe be to him ('tis said) who shall be found listening. Now just to mention our friend's case whilst this cry is on foot, I think would be doing more hurt than good, but if you think otherwise, I will go with all my heart and mention it to Mr. [Page 74] T..., for to do more I am too in­considerable a person to pretend to. You made me and my friends here very merry with the accounts current at York, of my being forbid the court—but they do not consider what a considerable person they make of me, when they suppose either my going, or my not going there, is a point that ever enters the K's head—and for those about him, I have the honour either to stand so personally well known to them; or to be so well represented by those of the first rank, as to fear no accident of that kind.

[Page 75]I thank God (B...'s excepted) I have never yet made a friend, or connection I have forfeited, or done ought to forfeit—but on the contrary, my true character is bet­ter understood, and where I had one friend last year, who did me honour, I have three now.—If my enemies knew that by this rage of abuse, and ill will, they were effec­tually serving the interests both of myself, and works, they would be more quiet—but it has been the fate of my betters, who have found, that the way to fame, is like the way to heaven—through much tribulation—and till I shall have the honour to be [Page 76] as much mal-treated as Rabelais, and Swift were, I must continue humble; for I have not filled up the measure of half their persecutions.

The court is turning topsy-turvy. Lord B..e, le premier—Lord T..t to be groom of the chambers in room of the D... of R....d—Lord H...x to Ireland—Sir F. D...d in T...'s place—P..t seems un­moved—a peace inevitable—Stocks rise—the peers this moment kissing hands, &c. &c. (this week may be be christened the kiss-hands week) for a hundred changes will happen in consequence of these. Pray present [Page 77] my compliments to Mrs. C... and all friends, and believe me, with the greatest fidelity,

Your ever obliged, L. STERNE.

P.S. Is it not strange that Lord T...t should have power to remove the Duke of R...d.

Pray when you have read this, send the news to Mrs. Sterne.

LETTER X. To the same.

Dear Sir,

I RETURN you ten thousand thanks for the favour of your letter—and the account you give me of my wife and girl.—I saw Mr. Ch—y to­night a Ranelagh, who tells me you have inoculated my friend Bobby.—I heartily wish him well through, and hope in God all goes right.

On Monday we set out with a grand retinue of Lord Rockingham's (in [Page 79] whose suite I move) for Windsor—they have contracted for fourteen hundred pounds for the dinner, to some general undertaker, of which the K. has bargained to pay one third. Lord G— S—, was last Satur­day at the opera, some say with great effrontery—others with great dejection.

I have little news to add.—There is a shilling pamphlet wrote against Tristram.—I wish they would write a hundred such.

Mrs. Sterne says her purse is light; will you, dear Sir, be so good as to [Page 80] pay her ten guineas, and I will reckon with you when I have the pleasure of meeting you.—My best compliments to Mrs. C. and all friends.—Believe me, dear Sir, your obliged and faith­ful

LAU. STERNE.

LETTER XI. To Mrs. F—.

Dear Madam,

YOUR kind enquiries after my health, deserve my best thanks.—What can give one more pleasure than the good wishes of those we value?—I am sorry you give so bad an account of your own health, but hope you will find benefit from tar-water—it has been of infinite service to me.—I suppose, my good lady, by [Page 82] what you say in your letter, ‘"that I am busy writing an extraordinary book,"’ that your intelligence comes from York—the fountain-head of chit-chat news—and—no matter.—Now for your desire of knowing the reason of my turning author? why truly I am tired of employing my brains for other people's advantage.—'Tis a foolish sacrifice I have made for some years to an ungrateful person.—I depend much upon the candour of the publick, but I shall not pick out a jury to try the merit of my book amongst *******, and—till you read my Tristram, do not, like some people, condemn it.—Laugh I am [Page 83] sure you will at some passages.—I have hired a small house in the Mins­ter Yard for my wife, and daughter—the latter is to begin dancing, &c. if I cannot leave her a fortune, I will at least give her an education.—As I shall publish my works very soon, I shall be in town by March, and shall have the pleasure of meeting with you.—All your friends are well, and ever hold you in the same estimation that your sincere friend does.

Adieu, dear lady, believe me, with every wish for your happiness, your most faithful, &c.

LAURENCE STERNE.

LETTER XII. To Dr. ******.

Dear Sir,

DE mortuis nil nisi bonum, is a maxim which you have so often of late urged in conversation, and in your letters, (but in your last especi­ally) with such seriousness, and severity against me, as the supposed transgres­sor of the rule;—that you have made me at length as serious and severe as yourself:—but that the humours you have stirred up might not work too [Page 85] potently within me, I have waited four days to cool myself, before I would set pen to paper to answer you, ‘"de mortuis nil nisi bonum."’ I de­clare I have considered the wisdom, and foundation of it over and over again, as dispassionately and charitably as a good Christian can, and, after all, I can find nothing in it, or make more of it, than a nonsensical lullaby of some nurse, put into Latin by some pedant, to be chanted by some hypo­crite to the end of the world, for the consolation of departing lechers.—'Tis, I own, Latin; and I think that is all the weight it has—for, in plain English, 'tis a loose and futile position [Page 86] below a dispute—‘"you are not to speak any thing of the dead, but what is good."’ Why so?—Who says so?—neither reason or scripture.—Inspired authors have done otherwise—and reason and common sense tell me, that if the characters of past ages and men are to be drawn at all, they are to be drawn like themselves; that is, with their excellencies, and with their foi­bles—and it is as much a piece of justice to the world, and to virtue too, to do the one, as the other.—The rule­ing passion et les egarements du coeur, are the very things which mark, and distinguish a man's character;—in which I would as soon leave out a [Page 87] man's head as his hobby-horse.—How­ever, if like the poor devil of a painter, we must conform to this pious canon, de mortuis, &c. which I own has a spice of piety in the sound of it, and be obliged to paint both our angels and our devils out of the same pot—I then infer that our Sydenhams, and Sangrados, our Lucretias,—and Mas­salinas, our Sommers, and our Bo­lingbrokes—are alike entitled to sta­tues, and all the historians, or satirists who have said otherwise since they de­parted this life, from Sallust, to S—e, are guilty of the crimes you charge me with, "cowardice and injustice."

[Page 88]But why cowardice? ‘"because 'tis not courage to attack a dead man who can't defend himself."’—But why do you doctors of the faculty attack such a one with your incision knife? Oh! for the good of the living.—'Tis my plea.—But I have something more to say in my behalf—and it is this—I am not guilty of the charge—tho' de­fensible. I have not cut up Doctor Kunastrokius at all—I have just scratch'd him—and that scarce skin­deep.—I do him first all honour—speak of Kunastrokius as a great man—(be he who he will) and then most distantly hint at a drole foible in his character—and that not first reported [Page 89] (to the few who can even understand the hint) by me—but known before by every chamber-maid and footman within the bills of mortality—but Kunastrokius, you say, was a great man—'tis that very circumstance which makes the pleasantry—for I could name at this instant a score of honest gentlemen who might have done the very thing which Kunastrokius did, and seen no joke in it at all—as to the failing of Kunstrokius, which you say can only be imputed to his friends as a misfortune—I see nothing like a misfortune in it to any friend or re­lation of Kunastrokius—that Kuna­strokius [Page 90] upon occasions should sit with ******* and ******* —I have put these stars not to hurt your worship's delicacy—If Kunastro­kius after all is too sacred a charactter to be even smiled at, (which is all I have done) he has had better luck than his betters:—In the same page (without imputation of cowardice) I have said as much of a man of twice his wisdom—and that is Solomon, of whom I have made the same remark ‘"That they were both great men’—and like all mortal men had each their ruling passion.

[Page 91]—The consolation you give me, ‘"That my book however will be read enough to answer my design of raising a tax upon the public"’—is very unconsolatory—to say nothing how very mortifying! by h—n! an author is worse treated than a com­mon ***** at this rate—‘"You will get a penny by your sins, and that's enough."’—Upon this chapter let me comment.—That I proposed laying the world under contribution when I set pen to paper—is what I own, and I suppose I may be allow'd to have that view in my head in common with every other writer, to make my labour of advantage to myself.

[Page 92]Do not you do the same? but I beg I may add, that whatever views I had of that kind, I had other views—the first of which was, the hopes of doing the world good by ridiculing what I thought deserving of it—or of disservice to sound learning, &c.—how I have succeeded my book must shew—and this I leave entirely to the world—but not to that little world of your acquaintance, whose opinion, and sen­timents you call the general opinion of the best judges without exception, who all affirm (you say) that my book cannot be put into the hands of any woman of character. (I hope you except widows, doctor—for they are [Page 93] not all so squeamish—but I am told they are all really of my party in return for some good offices done their in­terests in the 176th page of my second volume) But for the chaste married, and chaste unmarried part of the sex—they must not read my book! Heaven forbid the stock of chastity should be lessen'd by the life and opinions of Tristram Shandy—yes, his opinions—it would certainly debauch 'em! God take them under his protection in this fiery trial, and send us plenty of Duenas to watch the workings of their humours, 'till they have safely got thro' the whole work.—If this will not be sufficient, may we have plenty [Page 94] of Sangrados to pour in plenty of cold water, till this terrible fermenta­tion is over—as for the nummum in loculo, which you mention to me a se­cond time, I fear you think me very poor, or in debt—I thank God tho' I don't abound—that I have enough for a clean shirt every day—and a mutton chop—and my contentment with this, has thus far (and I hope ever will) put me above stooping an inch for it, for—estate.—Curse on it, I like it not to that degree, nor envy (you may be sure) any man who kneels in the dirt for it—so that howsoever I may fall short of the ends proposed in commencing author—I enter this [Page 95] protest, first that my end was honest, and secondly, that I wrote not be fed, but to be famous. I am much obliged to Mr. Garrick for his very favourable opinion—but why, dear Sir, had he done better in finding fault with it than in commending it? to humble me? an author is not so soon humbled as you imagine—no, but to make the book better by castrations—that is still sub judice, and I can assure you upon this chapter, that the very passages, and descriptions you propose, that I should sacrifice in my second edi­tion, are what are best relish'd by men of wit, and some others whom I esteem as sound criticks—so that upon [Page 96] the whole, I am still kept up, if not above fear, at least above despair, and have seen enough to shew me the folly of an attempt of castrating my book to the prudish humours of particulars. I believe the short cut would be to publish this letter at the beginning of the third volume, as an apology for the first and second. I was sorry to find a censure upon the insincerity of some of my friends—I have no reason myself to reproach any one man—my friends have continued in the same opinions of my books which they first gave me of it—many indeed have [Page 97] thought better of 'em, by considering them more; few worse.

I am, Sir, Your humble servant, LAURENCE STERNE.

LETTER XIII. To the B— of G—.

My Lord,

NOT knowing where to send two sets of my Sermons, I could think of no better expedient, than to order them into Mr. Berrenger's hands, who has promised me that he will wait upon your Lordship with them, the first moment he hears you are in town. The truest and humblest thanks I [Page 99] return to your Lordship for the gene­rosity of your protection, and advice to me; by making a good use of the one, I will hope to deserve the other; I wish your Lordship all the health and happiness in this world, for I am

Your Lordship's Most obliged and Most grateful Servant, L. STERNE.

P.S. I am just sitting down to go on with Tristram, &c.—the scribblers use me ill, but they have used my betters much worse, for which may God forgive them.

LETTER XIV. To the Rev. Mr. STERNE.

Reverend Sir,

I HAVE your favour of the 9th Instant, and am glad to understand, you are got safe home, and employ'd again in your proper studies and amuse­ments. You have it in your power to make that, which is an amusement to yourself and others, useful to both: at least, you should above all things, beware of its becoming hurtful to either, by any violations of [Page 101] decency and good manners; but I have already taken such repeated li­berties of advising you on that head, that to say more would be needless, or perhaps unacceptable.

Whoever is, in any way, well re­ceived by the public, is sure to be annoy'd by that pest of the public, profligate scribblers. This is the com­mon lot of successful adventurers; but such have often a worse evil to struggle with, I mean the over-offi­ciousness of their indiscreet friends. There are two Odes, as they are call'd, printed by Dodsley. Whoever was the author, he appears to be a [Page 102] monster of impiety and lewdness—yet such is the malignity of the scrib­blers, some have given them to your friend Hall; and others, which is still more impossible, to yourself; tho' the first Ode has the insolence to place you both in a mean and a ridiculous light. But this might arise from a tale equally groundless and maglignant, that you had shewn them to your ac­quaintances in M. S. before they were given to the public. Nor was their being printed by Dodsley the likeliest means of discrediting the calumny.

About this time, another, under the mask of friendship, pretended to draw [Page 103] your character, which was since pub­lished in a Female Magazine, (for dul­ness, who often has as great a hand as the devil, in deforming God's works of the creation, has made them, it seems, male and female) and from thence it was transformed into a Chronicle. Pray have you read it, or do you know its author?

But of all these things, I dare say Mr. Garrick, whose prudence is equal to his honesty or his talents, has re­monstrated to you with the freedom of a friend. He knows the inconstancy of what is called the Public, towards all, even the best intentioned, of those [Page 104] who contribute to its pleasure, or amusement. He (as every man of honour and discretion would) has availed himself of the public favour, to regulate the taste, and, in his proper station, to reform the manners of the fashionable world; while by a well judged oeconomy, he has provided against the temptations of a mean and servile dependency, on the follies and vices of the great.

In a word, be assured, there is no one more sincerely wishes your welfare and happiness, than,

Reverend Sir,
W. G.

LETTER XIV. To my Witty Widow, Mrs. F—.

Madam,

WHEN a man's brains are as dry as a squeez'd Orange—and he feels he has no more conceit in him than a Mallet, 'tis in vain to think of sitting down, and writing a letter to a lady of your wit, unless in the honest John-Trot-Stile of, yours of the 15th instant came safe to hand, &c. which, by the bye, looks like a letter of business; and you know very well, from the first [Page 106] letter I had the honour to write to you, I am a man of no business at all. This vile plight I found my genius in, was the reason I have told Mr. —, I would not write to you till the next post—hopeing, by that time to get some small recruit, at least of vivacity, if not wit, to set out with;—but upon second thoughts, thinking a bad letter in season—to be better than a good one, out of it—this scrawl is the con­sequence, which, if you will burn the moment you get it—I promise to send you a fine set essay in the stile of your female epistolizers, cut and trim'd at all points.—God defend me from such, who never yet knew what it was to [Page 107] say or write one premeditated word in my whole life—for this reason I send you with pleasure, because wrote with the careless irregularity of an easy heart.—Who told you Garrick wrote the medley for Beard?—'Twas wrote in his house, however, and be­fore I left town.—I deny it—I was not lost two days before I left town.—I was lost all the time I was there, and never found till I got to this Shandy castle of mine.—Next winter I intend to sojourn amongst you with more de­corum, and will neither be lost or found any where.

[Page 108]Now I wish to God, I was at your elbow—I have just finished one volume of Shandy, and I want to read it to some one who I know can taste and relish humour—this by the way, is a little impudent in me—for I take the thing for granted, which their high mightinesses the world have yet to de­termine—but I mean no such thing—I could wish only to have your opinion—shall I, in truth, give you mine?—I dare not—but I will; provided you keep it to yourself—know then, that I think there is more laughable humour,—with equal degree of Cervantick satire—if not more than in the last—but we are bad judges of the merit of our children.

[Page 109]I return you a thousand thanks for your friendly congratulations upon my habitation—and I will take care, you shall never wish me but well, for I am, madam,

With great esteem and truth, Your most obliged L. STERNE.

P.S. I have wrote this so vilely and so precipitately, I fear you must carry it to a decypherer—I beg you'll do me the honour to write—otherwise [Page 110] you draw me in, instead of Mr. — drawing you into a scrape—for I should sorrow to have a taste of so agreeable a correspondent—and no more.

Adieu.

LETTER XV. To Lady —.

I RETURN to my new habitation, fully determined to write as hard as can be, and thank you most cordially, my dear lady, for your letter of con­gratulation upon my Lord Faucon­berg's having presented me with the curacy of this place—though your congratulation comes somewhat of the latest, as I have been possessed of it some time.—I hope I have been of some service to his Lordship, and he [Page 112] has sufficiently requited me.—'Tis seventy guineas a year in my pocket, though worth a hundred—but it obliges me to have a curate to officiate at Sutton and Stillington.—'Tis within a mile of his Lordship's seat, and park. 'Tis a very agreeable ride out in the chaise, I purchased for my wife.—Lyd has a poney which she delights in.—Whilst they take these diversions, I am scribbling away at my Tristram. These two volumes are, I think, the best.—I shall write as long as I live, 'tis, in fact, my hobby-horse: and so much am I delighted with my uncle Toby's imaginary character, that I am become an enthusiast.—My Lydia [Page 113] helps to copy for me—and my wife knits and listens as I read her chap­ters.—The coronation of his Majesty (whom God preserve!) has cost me the value of an Ox, which is to be roasted whole in the middle of the town, and my parishioners will, I suppose, be very merry upon the occasion.—You will then be in town—and feast your eyes with a sight, which 'tis to be hoped will not be in either of our powers to see again—for in point of age we have about twenty years the start of his Majesty.—And now, my dear friend, I must finish this—and with every wish for your hap­piness conclude myself your most sin­cere well-wisher and friend,

L. STERNE.

LETTER XVI. To J— H— S—, Esq.

Dear H—,

I REJOICE you are in London—rest you there in peace; here 'tis the devil.—You was a good prophet.—I wish myself back again, as you told me I should—but not because a thin death-doing pestiferous north-east wind blows in a line directly from crazy-castle turret full upon me in this cuckoldly retreat, (for I value the north-east wind and all its powers [Page 115] not a straw)—but the transition from rapid motion to absolute rest was too violent.—I should have walked about the streets of York ten days, as a proper medium to have passed thro', before I entered upon my rest.—I staid but a moment, and I have been here but a few, to satisfy me I have not managed my miseries like a wise man—and if God, for my consolation under them, had not poured forth the spirit of Shandeism into me, which will not suffer me to think two moments upon any grave subject, I would else, just now lay down and die—die—and yet, in half an hour's time, I'll lay a guinea, I shall be as merry as a [Page 116] monkey—and as mischievous too, and forget it all—so that this is but a copy of the present train running cross my brain.—And so you think this cursed stupid—but that, my dear H. depends much upon the quotâ horâ of your shabby clock, if the pointer of it is in any quarter between ten in the morning or four in the afternoon—I give it up—or if the day is obscured by dark engendering clouds of either wet or dry weather, I am still lost—but who knows but it may be five—and the day as fine a day as ever shone upon the earth since the destruction of Sodom—and peradventure your honour may have got a good hearty [Page 117] dinner to-day, and eat and drank your intellectuals into a placidulish and a blandulish amalgama—to bear non­sense, so much for that.

'Tis as cold and churlish just now, as (if God had not pleased it to be so) it ought to have been in bleak Decem­ber, and therefore I am glad you are where you are, and where (I repeat it again) I wish I was also—Curse of poverty, and absence from those we love!—they are two great evils which embitter all things—and yet with the first I am not haunted much.—As to matrimony, I should be a beast to rail at it, for my wife is easy—but the [Page 118] world is not—and had I staid from her a second longer it would have been a burning shame—else she declares her­self happier without me—but not in anger is this declaration made—but in pure sober good-sense, built on sound experience—she hopes you will be able to strike a bargain for me before this time twelvemonth, to lead a bear round Europe: and from this hopes from you, I verily believe it is, that you are so high in her favour at present—She swears you are a fellow of wit, though humourous; a funny jolly soul, though somewhat splenetic; and (bating the love of women) as honest as gold—how do you like the [Page 119] simile?—Oh, Lord! now are you going to Ranelagh to-night, and I am sitting, sorrowful as the prophet was when the voice cried out to him and said, ‘"What do'st thou here, Elijah?"’—'Tis well the spirit does not make the same at Coxwold—for unless for the few sheep left me to take care of, in this wilderness, I might as well, nay better, be at Mecca—When we find we can by a shifting of places, run away from ourselves, what think you of a jaunt there, before we finally pay a visit to the vale of Jehosophat—As ill a fame as we have, I trust I shall one day or other see you face to face—so tell the two colonels, if they [Page 120] love good company, to live righteously and soberly as you do, and then they will have no doubts or dangers within, or without them—present my best and warmest wishes to them, and advise the eldest to prop up his spirits, and get a rich dowager before the conclusion of the peace—why will not the advice suit both, par nobile fratrum?

To-morrow morning, (if Heaven permit) I begin the fifth volume of Shandy—I care not a curse for the critics—I'll load my vehicle with what goods he sends me, and they may take 'em off my hands, or let them alone—I am very valourous—and 'tis in pro­portion [Page 121] as we retire from the world and see it in its true dimensions, that we despise it—no bad rant!—God above bless you! You know I am

Your affectionate Cousin, LAURENCE STERNE.

What few remain of the Demoniacs, greet—and write me a letter, if you are able, as foolish as this.

LETTER XVII. To D— G—, Esq.

My dear Friend,

THINK not that because I have been a fortnight in this metropolis without writing to you, that there­fore I have not had you and Mrs. G. a hundred times in my head and heart—heart! yes, yes, say you—but I must not waste paper in badinage this post, whatever I do the next. [Page 123] Well! here I am, my friend, as much improved in my health for the time, as ever your friendship could wish, or at least your faith give credit to—by the bye I am somewhat worse in my intellectuals, for my head is turned round with what I see, and the un­expected honours I have met with here. Tristram was almost as much known here as in London, at least among your men of condition and learning, and has got me introduced into so many circles ('tis comme a Londres.) I have just now a fortnight's dinners and suppers upon my hands—My ap­plication to the Count de Choisuiel goes on swimmingly, for not only Mr. [Page 124] Pelletiere, (who, by the bye, sends ten thousand civilities to you, and Mrs. G.) has undertaken my affair, but the Count de Limbourgh—the Baron d'Holbach, has offered any security for the inoffensiveness of my behaviour in France—'tis more, you rogue! than you will do—This Baron is one of the most learned noblemen here, the great protector of wits, and the Scavans who are no wits—keeps open house three days a week—his house, is now, as yours was to me, my own—he lives at great ex­pence—'Twas an odd incident when I was introduced to the Count de Bissie, which I was at his desire—I [Page 125] found him reading Tristram—this grandee does me great honours, and gives me leave to go a private way through his apartments into the palais royal, to view the Duke of Orleans' collections, every day I have time—I have been at the doc­tors of Sorbonne—I hope in a fort­night to break through, or rather from the delights of this place, which in the scavoir vivre, exceed all the places, I believe, in this section of the globe—

I am going, when this letter is wrote, with Mr. Fox, and Mr. Maccart­ny to Versailles—the next morning I [Page 126] wait upon Monsr. Titon, in company with Mr. Maccartny, who is known to him, to deliver your commands. I have bought you the pamphlet up­on theatrical, or rather tragical de­clamation—I have bought another in verse, worth reading, and you will receive them, with what I can pick up this week, by a servant of Mr. Hodges, who he is sending back to England.

I was last night with Mr. Fox to see Madle. Clairon, in Iphigene—she is extremely great—would to God you had one or two like her—what a luxury, to see you with one of such [Page 127] powers in the same interesting scene—but 'tis too much—Ah! Preville! thou art Mercury himself—By virtue of taking a couple of boxes, we have bespoke this week the Frenchman in London, in which Preville is to send us home to supper, all happy—I mean about fifteen or sixteen English of distinction, who are now here, and live well with each other.

I am under great obligations to Mr. Pitt, who has behaved in every respect to me like a man of good breeding, and good nature—In a post or two I will write again—Foley is an honest soul—I could write six volumes of [Page 128] what has passed comically in this great scene, since these last fourteen days—but more of this hereafter—We are all going into mourning; nor you, nor Mrs. G. would know me, if you met me in my remise—bless you both! Service to Mrs. Denis. Adieu, adieu.

L. S.

LETTER XVIII. To Lady D—.

YOUR Ladyship's kind enquiries after my health is indeed kind, and of a piece with the rest of your character. Indeed I am very ill, having broke a vessel in my lungs—hard writing in the summer, together with preaching, which I have not strength for, is ever fatal to me—but I cannot avoid the latter yet, and the former is too pleasurable to be given up—I believe [Page 130] I shall try if the south of France will not be of service to me—his G. of Y. has most humanely given me the per­mission for a year of two—I shall set off with great hopes of its efficacy, and shall write to my wife and daughter to come and join me at Paris, else my stay could not be so long—‘"Le Fever's story has beguiled your ladyship of your tears,"’ and the thought of the accusing spirit flying up heaven's chancery with the oath, you are kind enough to say is sublime—my friend, Mr. Garrick, thinks so too, and I am most vain of his approbation—your ladyship's opinion adds not a little to my vanity.

[Page 131]I wish I had time to take a little excursion to Bath, were it only to thank you for all the obliging things you say in your letter—but 'tis im­possible—accept at least my warmest thanks—If I could tempt my friend, Mr. H. to come to France, I should be truly happy—If I can be of any service to you at Paris, command him who is, and ever will be,

Your Ladyship's faithful, L. STERNE.

LETTER XIX. To J— H— S—, Esq.

Dear H—,

I SYMPATHIZED for, or with you, on the detail you give me of your late agitations—and would willingly have taken my horse, and trotted to the oracle to have enquired into the etymology of all your sufferings, had I not been assured, that all that evacu­ation of bilious matter, with all that [Page 133] abdomical motion attending it (both which are equal to a month's purga­tion and exercise) will have left you better than it found you—Need one go to D— to be told that all kind of mild, (mark, I am going to talk more foolishly than your apothecary) open­ing, saponacious, dirty-shirt, sud-washing liquors are proper for you, and consequently all styptical pota­tions, death and destruction—if you had not shut up your gall-ducts by these, the glauber salts could not have hurt—as it was, 'twas like a match to the gunpowder, by raising a fresh combustion, as all physic does at first, so that you have been let off—nitre, [Page 134] brimstone, and charcoal, (which is blackness itself) all at one blast—'twas well the piece did not burst, for I think it underwent great violence, and, as it is proof, will, I hope, do much service in this militating world—Panty is mistaken, I quarrel with no one.—There was that coxcomb of — in the house, who lost temper with me for no reason upon earth but that I could not fall down and worship a brazen image of learning and eloquence, which he set up to the persecution of all true believers—I sat down upon his altar, and whistled in the time of his divine service—and broke down his carved work, and [Page 135] kicked his incense pot to the D—, so he retreated, sed non sine telle in corde suo.—I have wrote a clerum, whether I shall take my doctor's de­grees or no—I am much in doubt, but I trow not.—I go on with Tris­tram—I have bought seven hundred books at a purchase dog cheap—and many good—and I have been a week getting them set up in my best room here—why do not you transport yours to town, but I talk like a fool.—This will just catch you at your spaw—I wish you incolumem apud Londi­num—do you go there for good and all—or ill?—I am, dear cousin,

Yours affectionately, L. STERNE.

LETTER XX. To D. G—, Esq.

Dear G.

THIS will be put into your hands by Doctor Shippen, a physician, who has been here some time with Miss Poyntz, and is this moment setting off for your metropolis, so I snatch the opportunity of writing to you and my kind friend Mrs. G.—I see nothing like her here, and yet I have been in­troduced [Page 137] to one half of their best Goddesses, and in a month more shall be admitted to the shrines of the other half—but I neither worship—or fall (much) upon my knees before them; but on the contrary, have converted many unto Shandeism—for be it known I Shandy it away fifty times more than I was ever wont, talk more non­sense than ever you heard me talk in your days—and to all sorts of people. Qui le diable est ce homme là—said Choiseul, t'other day—ce Chevalier Shandy—You'll think me as vain as a devil, was I to tell you the rest of the dialogue—whether the bearer knows it or no, I know not—'Twill serve up [Page 138] after supper, in Southampton-street, amongst other small dishes, after the fatigues of Richard the IIId—O God! they have nothing here, which gives the nerves so smart a blow, as those great characters in the hands of G—! but I forgot I am writing to the man himself—The devil take (as he will) these transports of enthusiasm! apro­pos—the whole City of Paris is be­witch'd with the comic opera, and if it was not for the affairs of the Jesuits, which takes up one half of our talk, the comic opera would have it all—It is a tragical nuisance in all companies as it is, and was it not for some sudden starts and dashes—of Shandeism, which [Page 139] now and then either breaks the thread, or entangles it so, that the devil him­self would be puzzled in winding it off—I should die a martyr—this by the way I never will—

I send you over some of these comic operas by the bearer, with the Sallon, a satire—The French comedy, I seldom visit it—they act scarce any thing but tragedies—and the Clairon is great, and Madlle. Dumesnil, in some places, still greater than her—yet I cannot bear preaching—I fancy I got a surfeit of it in my younger days.—There is a tragedy to be damn'd to­night—peace be with it, and the gentle [Page 140] brain which made it! I have ten thou­sand things to tell you, I cannot write—I do a thousand things which cut no figure, but in the doing—and as in London, I have the honour of having done and said a thousand things I never did or dream'd of—and yet I dream abundantly—If the devil stood behind me in the shape of a courier, I could not write faster than I do, having five letters more to dispatch by the same Gentleman; he is going into another section of the globe, and when he has seen you, he will depart in peace.

The Duke of Orleans has suffered my portrait to be added to the number [Page 141] of some odd men in his collection; and a gentleman who lives with him has taken it most expressively, at full length—I purpose to obtain an etching of it, and to send it you—your prayer for me of rosy health, is heard—If I stay here for three or four months, I shall return more than reinstated. My love to Mrs. G.

I am, my dear G. Your most humble Servant, L. STERNE.

LETTER XXI. To the same.

My Dear G.

I SNATCH the occasion of Mr. Wilcox (the late Bishop of Roche­ster's son) leaving this place for Eng­land, to write to you, and I inclose it to Hall, who will put it into your hand, possibly behind the scenes. I hear no news of you, or your empire, I would have said kingdom—but here every thing is hyperbolized—and if [Page 143] a woman is but simply pleased—'tis Je suis charmeé—and if she is charmed 'tis nothing less, than that she is ravi-sh'd—and when ravi-sh'd, (which may happen) there is nothing left for her but to fly to the other world for a metaphor, and swear, qu'elle etoit toute exiasieé—which mode of speaking, is, by the bye, here creep­ing into use, and there is scarce a woman who understands the bon ton, but is seven times in a day in down­right extasy—that is, the devil's in her—by a small mistake of one world for the other—Now, where am I got?

[Page 144]I have been these two days reading a tragedy, given me by a lady of talents, to read and conjecture if it would do for you—'Tis from the plan of Diderot, and possibly half a trans­lation of it—The Natural Son, or, the Triumph Virtue, in five acts—It has too much sentiment in it, (at least for me) the speeches too long, and savour too much of preaching—this may be a second reason, it is not to my taste—'Tis all love, love, love, throughout, without much separation in the character; so I fear it would not do for your stage, and perhaps for the very reason which recommend it to a French one.—After a vile sus­pension [Page 145] of three weeks—we are be­ginning with our comedies and operas again—yours I hear never flourished more—here the comic actors were never so low—the tragedians hold up their heads—in all senses. I have known one little man support the the­atrical world, like a David Atlas, upon his shoulders, but Preville can't do half as much here, though Mad. Clairon stands by him, and sets her back to his—she is very great, however, and highly improved since you saw her—she also supports her dignity at table, and has her public day every Thurs­day, when she gives to eat, (as they say here) to all that are hungry and dry.

[Page 146]You are much talked of here, and much expected as soon as the peace will let you—these two last days you have happened to engross the whole conversation at two great houses where I was at dinner—'Tis the greatest problem in nature, in this meridian, that one and the same man should possess such tragic and comic powers, and in such an equilibrio, as to divide the world for which of the two nature intended him.

Crebillion has made a convention with me, which, if he is not too lazy, will be no bad persiflage—as soon as I get to Thoulouse he has agreed to [Page 147] write me an expostulatry letter upon the indecorums of T. Shandy—which is to be answered by recrimi­nation upon the liberties in his own works—these are to be printed together—Crebillion against Sterne—Sterne against Crebillion—the copy to be sold, and the money equally divided—This is good Swiss-policy.

I am recovered greatly, and if I could spend one whole winter at Tou­louse, I should be fortified, in my inner man, beyond all danger of re­lapsing.—A sad asthma my daughter has been martyr'd with these three winters, but mostly this last, makes [Page 148] it, I fear, necessary she should try the last remedy of a warmer and softer air, so I am going this week to Ver­sailles, to wait upon Count Choiseul to solicit passports for them—If this system takes place, they join me here—and after a month's stay we all de­camp for the south of France—if not, I shall see you in June next. Mr. Fox, and Mr. Macartny, having left Paris, I live altogether in French families—I laugh 'till I cry, and in the same tender moments cry 'till I laugh. I Shandy it more than ever, and verily do believe, that by mere Shandeism sublimated by a laughter-loving peo­ple, I fence as much against infirmi­ties, [Page 149] as I do by the benefit of air and climate. Adieu, dear G. present ten thousand of my best respects and wishes to and for my friend Mrs. G.—had she been last night upon the Tulleries, she would have annihilated a thousand French goddesses, in one single turn.

I am most truly, my dear friend, L. STERNE.

LETTER XXII. To Mrs. S—, York.

My Dear,

IT is a thousand to one that this reaches you before you have set out—However I take the chance—you will receive one wrote last night, the mo­ment you get to Mr. E. and to wish you joy of your arrival in town—to that letter which you will find in town, I have nothing to add that I can think on—for I have almost drain'd my [Page 151] brains dry upon the subject.—For God sake rise early and gallop away in the cool—and always see that you have not forgot your baggage in changing post-chaises—You will find good tea upon the road from York to Dover—only bring a little to carry you from Calais to Paris—give the Custom-House officers what I told you—at Calais give more, if you have much Scotch snuff—but as to­bacco is good here, you had best bring a Scotch mill and make it your­self, that is, order your valet to manu­facture it—'twill keep him out of mischief.—I would advise you to take three days in coming up, for fear of [Page 152] heating yourselves—See that they do not give you a bad vehicle, when a better is in the yard, but you will look sharp—drink small Rhenish to keep you cool, (that is if you like it.) Live well and deny yourselves nothing your hearts wish. So God in heav'n prosper and go along with you—kiss my Lydia, and believe me both af­fectionately,

Yours, L. STERNE.

LETTER XXIII. To the same.

My Dear,

THERE have no mails arrived here 'till this morning, for three posts, so I expected with great impatience a letter from you and Lydia—and lo! it is arrived. You are as busy as Throp's wife, and by the time you receive this, you will be busier still—I have exhausted all my ideas about your journey—and what is needful [Page 154] for you to do before and during it—so I write only to tell you I am well—Mr. Colebrooks, the minister of Swisserland's secretary, I got this morning to write a letter for you to the governor of the Custom-House-Office, at Calais—it shall be sent you next post.—You must be cautious about Scotch snuff—take half a pound in your pocket, and make Lyd do the same. 'Tis well I bought you a chaise—there is no getting one in Paris now, but at an enormous price—for they are all sent to the army, and such a one as yours we have not been able to match for forty guineas; for a friend of mine who is going from [Page 155] hence to Italy—the weather was never known to set in so hot, as it has done the latter end of this month, so he and his party are to get into his chaises by four in the morning, and travel 'till nine—and not stir out again till six; but I hope this severe heat will abate by the time you come here—however I beg of you once more to take special care of heating your blood in travel­ling and come tout doucement, when you find the heat too much—I shall look impatiently for intelligence from you, and hope to hear all goes well; that you conquer all difficulties, that you have received your pass-port, my picture, &c. Write and tell me [Page 156] something of every thing. I long to see you both, you may be assured, my dear wife and child, after so long a separation—and write me a line directly, that I may have all the notice you can give me, that I may have apartments ready and fit for you when you arrive.—For my own part I shall continue writing to you a fortnight longer—present my respects to all friends—you have bid Mr. C. get my visitations at P. done for me, &c. &c. If any offers are made about the inclosure at Rascal, they must be en­closed to me—nothing that is fairly proposed shall stand still on my score. Do all for the best, as He who guides [Page 157] all things, will I hope do for us—so heav'n preserve you both—believe me

Your affectionate L. STERNE.

Love to my Lydia—I have bought her a gold watch to present to her when she comes.

LETTER XXIV. To the same.

My Dear,

I KEEP my promise and write to you again—I am sorry the bureau must be open'd for the deeds—but you will see it done—I imagine you are con­vinced of the necessity of bringing three hundred pounds in your pocket—if you consider, Lydia must have two slight negligees—you will want a new gown or two—as for painted linens [Page 159] buy them in town, they will be more admired because English than French.—Mrs. H. writes me word that I am mistaken about buying silk cheaper at Toulouse, than Paris, that she advises you to buy what you want here—where they are very beautiful and cheap, as well as blonds, gauzes, &c.—these I say will all cost you sixty gui­neas—and you must have them—for in this country nothing must be spared for the back—and if you dine on an onion, and lay in a garret seven stories high, you must not betray it in your cloaths, according to which you are well or ill look'd on. When we are got to Toulouse, we must begin to turn [Page 160] the penny, and we may, (if you do not game much) live very cheap—I think that expression will divert you—and now God knows I have not a wish but for your health, comfort, and safe arrival here—write to me every other post, that I may know how you go on—you will be in raptures with your chariot—Mr. R. a gentleman of fortune, who is going to Italy, and has seen it, has offered me thirty guineas for my bargain.—You will wonder all the way, how I am to find room in it for a third—to ease you of this wonder, 'tis by what the coach-makers here call a cave, which is a second bottom added [Page 161] to that you set your feet upon which lets the person (who sits over-against you) down with his knees to your ancles, and by which you have all more room—and what is more, less heat—because his head does not inter­cept the sore-glass little or nothing—Lyd and I will enjoy this by turns; sometimes I shall take a bidet—(a little post horse) and scamper before—at other times I shall sit in fresco upon the arm-chair without doors, and one way or other will do very well.—I am under infinite obligations to Mr. Thornhil, for accommodating me thus, and so genteely, for 'tis like making a present of it.—Mr. T— [Page 162] will send you an order to receive it at Calais—and now, my dear girls, have I forgot any thing?

Adieu, adieu!
Yours most affectionately, L. STERNE.

A week or ten days will enable you to see every thing—and so long you must stay to rest your bones.

LETTER XXV. To the same.

My dearest,

HAVING an opportunity of writing by a friend who is setting out this morning for London, I write again, in case the two last letters I have wrote this week to you should be be detained by contrary winds at Calais—I have wrote to Mr. E—, by the same hand, to thank him for his kindness to you in the handsomest [Page 164] manner I could—and have told him, his good heart, and his wife's, have made them overlook the trouble of having you at his house, but that if he takes you apartments near him they will have occasion still enough left to shew their friendship to us—I have begged him to assist you, and stand by you as if he was in my place with regard to the sale of the Shandys—and then the copy-right—Mark to keep these things distinct in your head—but Becket I have ever found to be a man of probity, and I dare say you will have very little trouble in finishing matters with him—and I would rather wish you to treat with him than with [Page 165] another man—but whoever buys the fifth and sixth volumes of Shandy's, must have the nay-say of the seventh and eighth.—I wish, when you come here, in case the weather is too hot to travel, you could think it pleasant to go to the Spaw for four or six weeks, where we should live for half the money we should spend at Paris—after that we should take the sweetest season of the vintage to go to the south of France—but we will put our heads together, and you shall just do as you please in this, and in every thing which depends on me—for I am a being perfectly contented, when others are pleased—to bear and forbear will [Page 166] ever be my maxim—only I fear the heats through a journey of five hun­dred miles for you, and my Lydia, more than for myself.—Do not forget the watch chains—bring a couple for a gentleman's watch likewise, we shall lie under great obligations to the Abbé M. and must make him such a small acknowledgement; according to my way of flourishing, 'twill be a present worth a kingdom to him—They have bad pins, and vile needles here—bring for yourself, and some for presents—as also a strong bottle-skrew, for whatever Scrub we may hire as butler, coachman, &c. to uncork us our Frontiniac—You will [Page 167] find a letter for you at the Lyon D'Ar­gent—Send for your chaise into the court-yard, and see all is tight—Buy a chain at Calais strong enough not to be cut off, and let your portman­teau be tied on the forepart of your chaise for fear of a dog's trick—so God bless you both, and remember me to my Lydia,

I am yours affectionately, L. STERNE.

LETTER XXVI. To the same.

My dearest,

PROBABLY you will receive another letter with this, by the same post, if so read this the last—It will be the last you can possibly receive at York, for I hope it will catch you just as you are upon the wing—if that should happen, I suppose in course you have executed the contents of it, in all things which relate to pecuniary [Page 169] matters, and when these are settled to your mind, you will have got thro' your last difficulty—every thing else will be a step of pleasure, and by the time you have got half a dozen stages you will set up your pipes and sing Te Deum together, as you whisk it along.—Desire Mr. C— to send me a proper letter of attorney by you, he will receive it back by return of post. You have done every thing well with regard to our Sutton and Stillington affairs, and left things in the best channel—if I was not sure you must have long since got my pic­ture, garnets, &c. I would write and scold Mr. T— abominably—he put [Page 170] them in Becket's hands to be for­warded by the stage coach to you as soon as he got to town.—I long to hear from you, and that all my letters and things are come safe to you, and then you will say that I have not been a bad lad—for you will find I have been writing continually as I wished you to do—Bring your silver coffee-pot, 'twill serve both to give water, le­monade, and orjead—to say nothing of coffee and chocolate, which, by the bye, is both cheap and good at Tou­louse, like other things—I had like to have forgot a most necessary thing, there are no copper tea-kettles to be had in France, and we shall find such [Page 171] a thing the most comfortable utensil in the house—buy a good strong one, which will hold two quarts—a dish of tea will be of comfort to us in our journey south—I have a bronze tea-pot, which we will carry also, as China cannot be brought over from Eng­land, we must make up a villainous party-coloured tea equipage to regale ourselves, and our English friends whilst we are at Toulouse—I hope you have got your bill from Becket.—There is a good natured kind of a trader I have just heard of, at Mr. Foley's, who they think will be coming off from England to France, with horses, the latter end of June. He happened [Page 172] to come over with a lady, who is sister to Mr. Foley's partner, and I have got her to write a letter to him in London, this post, to beg he will seek you out at Mr. E—'s, and in case a cartel ship does not go off before he goes, to take you under his care. He was infinitely friendly in the same office last year to the lady who now writes to him, and nursed her on ship-board, and de­fended her by land with great good­will.—Do not say I forget you, or whatever can be conducive to your ease of mind, in this journey—I wish I was with you to do these offices my­self, and to strew roses on your way— [Page 173] but I shall have time and occasion to shew you I am not wanting—Now, my dears, once more pluck up your spirits—trust in God—in me—and in your­selves—with this, was you put to it, you would encounter all these difficul­ties ten times told—Write instantly, and tell me you triumph over all fears; tell me Lydia is better, and a help­mate to you—You say she grows like me—let her shew me she does so in her comtempt of small dangers, and fighting against the apprehensions of them, which is better still. As I will not have F.'s share of the books, you will inform him so—Give my love to Mr. Fothergill, and to those true [Page 174] friends which Envy has spared me—and for the rest, laissés passer—You will find I speak French tolerably—but I only wish to be understood.—You will soon speak better; a month's play with a French Demoiselle will make Lyd chatter it like a magpye. Mrs. — understood not a word of it when she got here, and writes me word she begins to prate a pace—you will do the same in a fortnight—Dear Bess, I have a thousand wishes, but have a hope for every one of them—You shall chant the same jubilate, my dears, so God bless you. My duty [Page 175] to Lydia, which implies my love too. Adieu, believe me

Your affectionate, L. STERNE.

Memorandum: Bring watch-chains, tea-kettle, knives, cookery book, &c.

You will smile at this last article—so adieu—At Dover the Cross Keys, at Calais at the Lyon D'Argent—the master a Turk in grain.

End of the First Volume.

Written by Mr. STERNE.

  • I. The Life and Opinions of Tris­tram Shandy, Gentleman, 6 vol. 18s bound.
  • II. Sermons, 7 vol. 1l is bound.
  • III. Sentimental Journey, 2 vol. 6s bound.

Printed for T. BECKET.

Of whom may be had, A Bust of Mr. Sterne, an exceeding good Likeness, price 1l 7s bronzed.

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