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me on them, many indeed have thought better of 'em, by considering them more, few worse. I am, Sir, Your humble servant,
TO DAVID GARRICK, ESQ.
(Aboul April, 1760). Thursday, 11 o'clock – Night.
'Twas for all the world like a cut across my finger with a sharp pen-knife. I saw the blood
gave it a suck wrapt it up and thought no more about it.
But there is more goes to the healing of a wound than this comes to: a wound (unless it is a wound not worth talking of, - but, by the bye, mine is) must give you some pain after. Nature will take her own way with it it must ferment it must digest.
The story you told me of Tristram's pretended tutor, this morning My letter by right should have set out with this sentence, and then the simile would not have kept you a moment in suspense. This vile story, I say
though I then saw both how and where wounded - I felt little from it at first or, to speak more honestly (though it ruins my simile), I felt a great deal of pain from it, but affected an air usual on such accidents, of less feeling thau I had.
I have now got home to my lodgings, since the play (you astonished me in it), and have been unwrapping this self-same wound of mine, and shaking my head over it this half-hour.
What the devil! is there no one learned blockhead throughout the many schools of misapplied science in the Christian World to make a tutor of for my Tristram ? ex quovis ligno non fit Are we so run out of stock that there is no one lumber-headed, muddleheaded, mortar-headed, pudding-headed chap amongst our doctors ?
Is there no one single wight of much reading and no learning, amongst the many children in
my mnother's nursery, who bid high for this charge -- but I must disable my judgment by choosing a Warburton ? Vengeance! have I so little concern for the honour of my hero! Am I a wretch so void of sense, so bereft of feeling for the figure he is to make in story, that I should chuse a preceptor to rob him of all the immortality I intended him? O! dear Mr. Garrick. Malice is ingenious
unless where the excess of it outwits itself I have two comforts in this stroke of it; the first is that this one is partly of this kind; and secondly that it is one of the number of those which so unfairly brought poor Yorick to his grave. The report might draw blood of the author of Tristram Shandy but could not harm such a man as the author of the Divine Legation - God bless him! though
(by the bye, and according to the natural course of descents) the blessing should come from him to me.
Pray have you no interest, lateral or collateral, to get me introduced to his Lordship?
Why do you ask?
My dear Sir, I have no claim to such an honour, but what arises from the honour and respect which, in the progress
of my work, will be shewn the world I owe to so great a man.
Whilst I am talking of owing I wish, my dear Sir, that any body would tell you how much I am indebted to you. I am determined never to do it myself, or say more upon the subject than this, that I am yours,
your letter and the account you give me of my wife and girl. I saw Mr. Chấy to-night at 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 on with a grand* retinue of Lord Rockingham's (in whose suite I move) for Wind
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 George Sackville 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 pay her ten guineas, and I will
* Prince Ferdinand, the Marquis of Rockingham, and Earl Temple, were installed Knights of the Garter, on Tuesday, May 6th, 1760 at Windsor.
** "The Clock-maker's Outcry against the author of Tristram Shandy," 8vo.
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
May, 1760. 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. Hill, 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 reasons could they suppose I should be such a fool as to fall foul upon Dr. Warburton, my best friend, by representing him so weak a man — or by telling such a lie of him as his giving me 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. Hill and Dr. M-y, who was the physician meant at Mr. Charles Stanhope's, and Dr. Hill has changed the place on purpose to give M—y a lick.
Now that conversation (though perhaps true,) yet happened at another place, ** and another physician; which I have
* The Royal Female Magazine, for April, 1760. ** As the truth of this anecdote is not denied, it may gratify curiosity to communicate it in Dr. Hill's own words. "At the last dinner that the late lost amiable Charles Stanhope gave to genius, Yorick was present
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 falsehoods — first, with regard to the place of my birth, which was at Clonmel, in Ireland; the story of a hundred pounds to Mrs. W-, *) not true, or of a pension promised; the merit of which I disclaimed, and indeed there are so many other things so untrue, and unlikely to come from me, that the worst enemy I have here
The good old man was vexed to see a pedantic medicine-monger take the lead, and prevent that pleasantry which good wit and good wine might have occasioned, by a discourse in the unintelligible language of his profession, concerning the difference between the phrenitis and the paraphrenitis and the concomitant categories of the mediastium and pleura.
“Good-humoured Yorick saw the sense of the master of the feast, and fell into the cant and jargon of physic, as if he had been one of Radcliffe's travellers. 'The vulgar practice,' says he, 'savours much of mechanical principles; the venerable ancients were all empirics, and the profession will never regain its ancient credit, till practice falls into the old track again. I am myself an instance; I caught cold by leaning on a damp cushion, and after sneezing and sniveling a fortnight, it fell upon my breast; they blooded me, blistered me, and gave me robs and bobs, and lohocks and eclegmata; but I grew worse; for I was treated according to the exact rules of the College. In short, from an inflammation it came to an ADHESION, and all was over with me. They advised me to Bristol, that I might not do them the scandal of dying under their hands: and the Bristol people for the same reason consigned me over to Lisbon. But what do I? why I considered an adhesion is, in plain English, only a sticking of two things together, and that force enough would pull them asunder. I bought a good ash pole, and began leaping over all the walls and ditches in the country. From the height of the pole I used to come souse down npon my feet like an ass, when he tramples upon a bull dog, but it did not do. At last - when I had raised myself, perpendicularly over a wall, I used to fall exactly across the ridge of it upon the side opposite to the adhesion. This tore it off at once, and I am as you see. Come, fill a glass to the memory of the empiric medicine.' If he had been asked elsewhere about this disorder (for he really had a consumptive disorder,) he would have answered, that he was cured by Huxham's decoction of the bark and elixir of vitriol."
* The Widow of Mr. Sterne's predecessor in the living of Coxwould.