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time declining; but he continued to visit his After a short struggle with his disorder, his friends, and retained his usual flow of spirits. debilitated and worn-out frame submitted to In February 1768 he began to perceive the fate on the 18th day of March 1768, at his approaches of death; and with the concern of lodgings in Bond Street. He was buried at a good man, and with the solicitude of an the new burying-ground belonging to the parish affectionate parent, devoted his attention to of St. George, Hanover Square, on the 22d of the future welfare of his daughter. His letters the same month, in the most private manner; at this period reflect so much credit on his and hath since been indebted to strangers for a character, that it is to be lamented some others monument very unworthy of his memory; on in the collection were permitted to see the light. ! which the following lines are inscribed :
Near to this place
Lies the Body of
Aged 53 Years.
Ah! mollitcr ossa quiescant.
If a sound Head, warm Heart, and Breast humana,
This monumental Stone was erected by two brother masons; for, though he did not live to be a member of their society, yet, as his all-incomparable performances evidently prove him to have acted by rule and square, they rejoice in this opportunity of perpetuating his high and irreproachable character to after ages.
W. & S.
" It is scarcely necessary to observe that this date is erroneous
IN MEMORY OF
M R. STERNE,
AUTHOR OF THE
WITH wit and genuine humour, to dispel
A CHARACTER AND EULOGIUM
AND HIS WRITINGS:
FAMILIAR EPISTLE FROM A GENTLEMAN IN IRELAND
TO HIS FRIEND.
(WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1769.]
What trifle comes next?-Spare the censure, my friend,
EULOGIUM OF STERNE AND HIS WRITINGS.
When you think, too, beside and there's nothing more clear-
How widely digressive ! yet could I, O STERNE,'
The above eulogium will, I doubt not, appear to you (and perhaps also to many others) much too high for the literary character of STERNE. I have not at present either leisure or inclination to enter into argument upon the question; but, in truth, I consider myself as largely his debtor for the tears and the laughter he so frequently excited, and was desirous to leave behind me (for so long at least as this trifle shall remain) some small memorial of my gratitude. I will even add that, although I regard the memory of Shakespeare with a veneration little short of idolatry, I esteem the Monk's horn-box a relic ‘as devoutly to be wished as a pipe-stopper, a walking-stick, or even an inkstand of the mulberry tree.
1 The late Reverend Laurence Sterne, A.M., etc., author Maria, the Monk, and the Dead Ass, must, if he has of that truly original, humorous, heteroclite work called feelings, bear sufficient testimony; and his Sermons The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, of A Senti- throughout (though sometimes, perhaps, chargeable mental Journey throu-jh France and Italy (which, alas, with a levity not entirely becoming the pulpit) breathe he did not live to finish), and of some volumes of the kindest spirit of philanthropy, of good-will towards Sermons. Of his skill in delineating and supporting man. For the few exceptional parts of his works, those his characters, those of the father of his hero, of his small blemishes uncle Toby, and of Corporal Trim (out of numberless
Quas aut incuria fudit others), afford ample proof; to his power in the
Aut humura paruin cavit natura Jathetic, whoever shall read the stories of Le Fevre, i suffer them, kind critic, to rest with his ashes!
I WISH either my father or my mother, or indeed - Then, positively, there is nothing in the both of them, as they were in duty both equally question that I can see, either good or bad. bound to it, had minded what they were about Then let me tell you, sir, it was a very unscasonwhen they begot me. Had they duly considered able question at least, because it scattered and how much depended upon what they were then dispersed the animal spirit whose business it was doing,-that not only the production of a ra- to have escorted and gone hand in hand with tional being was concerned in it, but that pos- the HOMUNCULUS, and conducted him safe sibly the happy formation and temperature of to the place destined for his reception. his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast The HOMUNCULUS, sir, in however low and of his mind; and, for aught they knew to the ludicrous a light he may appear, in this age of contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house, levity, to the eye of folly or prejudice ; to the might take their turn from the humours and eye of reason, in scientific research, he stands dispositions which were then uppermost ;-had confessed--a Being guarded and circumscribed they duly weighed and considered all this, and with rights. —The minutest philosophersproceeded accordingly,-I am verily persuaded who, by the bye, have the most enlarged underI should have made a quite different figure in standings (their souls being inversely as their the world from that in which the reader is likely inquiries)--show us incontestably that the Hoto see me. Believe me, good folks, this is not MUNCULUS is created by the same hand,-engen80 inconsiderable a thing as many of you may
dered in the same course of nature,-endowed think it :--you have all, I dare say, heard of the with the same locomotive powers and faculties animal spirits, as how they are transfused from with us :-That he consists, as we do, of skin, father to son, etc.--and a great deal to that hair, fat, flesh, veins, arteries, ligaments, purpose. Well, you may take my word, that nerves, cartilages, bones, marrow, brains, glands, nine parts in ten of a man's sense or his non- genials, humours, and articulations ;-is a Being sense, his successes and miscarriages in this of as much activity,-and in all senses of the world, depend upon their motions and activity, word, as much and as truly our fellow-creature and the different tracks and trains you put them as my Lord Chancellor of England. He may into; so that when once they are set a-going, be benefited,-he may be injured,-he may obwhether right or wrong, 'tis not a halfpenny tain redress ; in a word, he has all the claims matter,--away they go cluttering like hey-go and rights of humanity, which Tully, Puffenmad; and by treading the same steps over and dorf, or the best ethic writers allow to arise out over again, they presently make a road of it, as of that state and relation. plain and as smooth as a garden walk, which, Now, dear sir, what if any accident had bewhen they are once used to, the devil himself fallen him in his way alone! or that, through sometimes shall not be able to drive them off it. terror of it, natural to so young a traveller, my
Pray, my dear, quoth my mother, hare you little gentleman had got to his journey's end not forgot to wind up the clock ? — Good G-! | miserably spent, his muscular strength and cried my father, making an exclamation, but virility worn down to a thread, his own animal taking care to moderate his voice at the same spirits ruffled beyond description; and that, in time,- Did ever woman, since the creation of the this sad disordered state of nerves, he had laid world, interrupt a man with such a silly question ? | down a prey to sudden starts, or a series of Pray, what was your father saying?---Nothing. melancholy dreams and fancies, for nine long, long months together.--I tremble to think what fashion altogether : But that gentleman is speaka foundation had been laid for a thousand weak-ing only of an epic poem or a tragedy--(I forget nesses, both of body and mind, which no skill which) ;-besides, if it was not so, I should beg of the physician or the philosopher could ever Mr. Horace's pardon ; for, in writing what I afterwards have set thoroughly to rights. have set about, I shall confine myself neither
to his rules, nor to any man's rules that ever
lived. CHAPTER III.
To such, however, as do not choose to go so
far back into these things, I can give no better To my uncle, Mr. Toby Shandy, do I stand in- advice than that they skip over the remaining debted for the preceding anecdote, to whom my part of this chapter; for I declare beforehand, father, who was an excellent natural philo- 'tis wrote only for the curious and inquisitive. sopher, and much given to close reasoning upon
Shut the door. I was begot the smallest matters, had oft and heavily com- in the niglit betwixt the first Sunday and the plained of the injury; but once more particu- first Monday in the month of March, in the larly, as my uncle Toby well remembered, upon year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred his observing a most unaccountable obliquity (as and eighteen. I am positive I was.-But how he called it) in my manner of setting up my top, came I to be so very particular in my account of and justifying the principles upon which I had a thing which happened before I was born, is done it, -the old gentleman shook his head, and owing to another small anecdote known only in in a tone more expressive by half of sorrow than our family, but now made public, for the better reproach, he said his heart all along foreboded, clearing up of this point. and he saw it verified in this, and from a thou- My father, you must know, who was originally sand other observations he had made upon me, a Turkey merchant, but had left off business for that I should neither think nor act like any some years, in order to retire to, and die upon, other man's child. But, alas ! continued he, his paternal estate in the county of —, was, I shaking his head a second time, and wiping away believe, one of the most regular men in everya tear which was trickling down his cheeks, my thing he did, whether 'twas matter of business Tristram's misfortunes began nine months before or matter of amusement, that ever lived. As a ever he came into the world.
small specimen of this extreme exactness of his, — My mother, who was sitting by, looked up, to which he was in truth a slave, he had made but she knew no more than her backside what it a rule for many years of his life-on the first my father meant; but my uncle, Mr. Toby Sunday night of every month throughout the Shandy, who had been informed of the affair, whole year, as certain as ever the Sunday understood him very well.
night came—to wind up a large house-clock,
with his own hands; and being somewhere
between fifty and sixty years of age at the time
I have been speaking of, he had likewise graduI KNOW there are readers in the world, as well ally brought some other little family concernas many other good people in it who are no ments to the same period, in order, as he would readers at all, who find themselves ill at ease often say to my uncle Toby, to get them all out unless they are let into the whole secret, from of the way at one time, and to be no more first to last, of everything which concerns you. plagued and pestered with them the rest of the
It is in pure compliance with this humour of month. theirs, and from a backwardness in my nature It was attended but with one misfortune, to disappoint any one soul living, that I have which in a great measure fell upon myself, been so very particular already. As my life and the effects of which, I fear, I shall carry and opinions are likely to make some noise in with me to my grave; namely, that, from an the world, and, if I conjecture right, will take unhappy association of ideas, which have no in all ranks, professions, and denominations of connection in nature, it so fell out at length, men whatever-be no less read than the Pil- that my poor mother could never hear the said grim's Progress itself--and in the end prove the clock wound up,- -but the thoughts of some very thing which Montaigne dreaded his Essays other things unavoidably popped into her head should turn out, that is, a book for a parlour-and vice versâ :which strange combination window,-I find it necessary to consult every of ideas, the sagacious Locke, who certainly one a little in his turn, and therefore must beg understood the nature of these things better pardon for going on a little further in the same than most men, affirms to have produced more way: for which cause right glad I am that I wry actions than all other sources of prejudice have begun the history of myself in the way I whatsoever. have done ; and that I am able to go on, tracing But this by the bye. everything in it, as Horace says, ab ovo.
Now it appears by a memorandum in my Horace, I know, does not recommend this pocket-book, which now lies upon the table,