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been, thrvugh God's blessing, truly fortunate -- having spent it in the service of one of the best and greatest families in the kingdom — my chief pleasure has been books — Philanthropy I adore. – How very much, good Sir, am I (amongst millions) indebted to you for the character of your amiable Uncle Toby! I declare I would walk ten miles in the dog-days, to shake hands with the honest Corporal. Your sermons have touched me to the heart, and I hope have amended it, which brings me to the point.
tenth discourse, is this very affecting passage Consider how great a part of our species in all ages down to this have been trod under the feet of cruel and capricious tyrants, who would neither hear their cries, nor pity their distresses -- Consider slavery — what it is --how bitter a draught and how many millions are made to drink of it." Of all my favourite authors, not one has drawn a tear in favour of my miserable black brethren excepting yourself, and the humane author of Sir Geo. Ellison. I think you will forgive me; I am sure you will applaud me for beseeching you to give one half hour's attention to slavery, as it is this day practised in our West-Indies. That subject, handled in your striking manner, would ease the yoke (perhaps) of many - but if only of one -gracious God! what a feast to a benevolent heart! and sure I am, you are an epicurean in acts of charity. You who are universally read, and as universally admired
you could not fail. Dear Sir, think in me you behold the uplifted hands of thousands of my brother Moors. Grief (you pathetically observe) is eloquent; figure to yourself their attitudes; hear their supplicating addresses! alas! you cannot refuse.
Humanity must comply - in which hope I beg permission to subscribe myself, Reverend Sir, &c.
LXXVI. FROM MR. STERNE, TO IGNATIUS
Coxwould, July 27, 1766. THERE is a strange coincidence, Sancho, in the little events (as well as in the great ones) of this world; for I had been writing a tender tale of the sorrows of a friendless poor negro-girl, and my eyes had scarce done smarting with it, when your letter of recommendation, in behalf of so many of her brethren and sisters, came to me
but why her brethren? or yours, Sancho, any more than mine? It is by the finest tints, and most insensible gradations, that nature descends from the fairest face about St. James's to the sootiest complexion in Africa: at which tint of these is it that the ties of blood are to cease? and how many shades must we descend lower still in the scale, ere mercy is to vanish with them! But 'tis no uncommon thing, my good Sancho, for one half of the world to use the other half of it like brutes, and then endeavour to make 'em so. For
my own part, I never look westward (when I am in a pensive mood at least) but I think of the burthens which our brothers and sisters are there carrying, and could I ease their shoulders from one ounce of them, I declare I would set out this hour upon a pilgrimage to Mecca for their sakes -- which, by the bye, Sancho, exceeds your walk of ten miles in about the same proportion that a visit of humanity should one of mere form. However, if you meant my Uncle
Toby, more he is
debtor. If I can weave the tale I have wrote into the work I am about
'tis at the service of the afflicted and a much greater matter; for, in serious truth, it casts a sad shade upon the world that so great a part of it are, and have been so long, bound in chains of darkness, and in chains of misery; and I cannot but both respect and felicitate you, that by so much laudable diligence you have broke the one and that by falling into the hands of so good and merciful a family, Providence has rescued you from the other.
And so, good-hearted Sancho, adieu! and believe me I will not forget your letter.
Coxwould, Dec. 20, 1766. THANKS, my dear W., for your letter. I am just preparing to come and greet you and many other friends in town I have drained my ink-standish to the bottom, and after I have published, shall set my face, not towards Jerusalem, but towards the Alps I find I must once more fly from death whilst I have strength - I shall go to Naples, and see whether the air of that place will not set this poor frame to rights
As to the project of getting a bear lead, I think I have enough to do to govern myself — and, however profitable it might be (according to your opinion), I am sure it would be unpleasurable Few are the minutes of life, and I do not think that I have any to throw away on any one being. — I shall spend nine
. or ten months in Italy, and call upon my wife and daughter in France at my return so shall be back by the King's birth-day what a project!
and now, my dear friend, am I going to York, not for the sake of society nor to walk by the side of the muddy Ouse, but to recruit myself of the most violent spitting of blood that ever mortal man experienced; because I had rather (in case 'tis ordained so) die there, than in a post-chaise on the road. - If the amour of my uncle Toby do not please you, I am mistaken and so with a droll story I will finish this letter A sensible friend of mine, with whom, not long ago, I spent some hours in conversation, met an apothecary (an acquaintance of ours) the latter asked him how he did? Why, ill, very ill I have been with Sterne, who has given me such a dose of Attic salt that I am in a fever Attic salt, Sir, Attic salt! I have Glauber salt, I have Epsom salt, in my shop, &c.
Oh! I suppose 'tis some French salt -] wonder you would trust his report of the medicine, he cares not what he takes himself.
I fancy I see you smile – I long to be able to be in London, and embrace my friends there -- and shall enjoy myself a week or ten days at Paris with my friends, particularly the Baron d'Holbach, and the rest of the joyous set. As to the females no, I will not say a word about them only I hate borrowed characters taken up (as a woman does her shift) for the purpose she intends to effectuate. Adieu, adieu I am yours whilst
LXXVIII. - TO MR. PANCHAUD, AT PARIS.
London, Feb. 13, 1767. Paid yesterday (by Mr. Becket) a hundred guineas, or pounds, I forget which, to Mr. Selwin — But you
must remit to Mrs. Sterne at Marseilles a hundred louis before she leaves that place, which will be in less than three weeks. Have you got the ninth volume of Shandy?*
it is liked the best of all here. I am going to publish a Sentimental Journey through France and Italy -- the undertaking is protected and highly encouraged by all our noblesse -- 'tis subscribed for, at a great rate -- 'twill be an original - in large quarto - the subscription half-a-guinea -- If you can procure me the honour of a few names of men of science, or fashion, I shall thank you — they will appear in good
, I company, as all the nobility here almost have honoured me with their names. My kindest remembrance to Mr. Foley — respects to Baron d'Holbach, and believe me ever, ever yours,
Old Bond-street, Feb. 23, 1767. AND so, my Lydia! thy mother and thyself are returning back again from Marseilles to the banks of the Sorgue and there thou wilt sit and fish for trouts
I envy you the sweet situation. Petrarch's tomb I should like to pay a sentimental visit to — the Fountain of Vaucluse, by thy description, must be delightful
I am also much pleased with the account you give me of the Abbé de Sade you find great comfort in such a neighbour neighbour – I am glad he is so good as to
correct thy translation of my Sermons — dear girl, go on, and make me a present of thy work
but why not the House of Mourning? 'tis one of the best. I long to receive the life of Petrarch and his Laura, by
* Alluding to the first edition.