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MY DEAR FRIENDS,
Coxwould, Aug. 13, 1767. I BUT copy your great civility to me in writing you word that I have this moment received another letter wrote eighteen days after the date of the last from St. Jago if our poor friend could have wrote another letter to England, you would in course have had it but I fear, from the circumstance of great hurry and bodily disorder in which she was, when she dispatched this, she might not have time. - In case it has so fallen out, I send you the contents of what I have received — and that is a melancholy history of herself and sufferings since they left St. Jago tinual and most violent rheumatism all the time fever brought on with fits, and attended with delirium, and every terrifying symptom – the recovery from this left her low and emaciated to a skeleton. I give you the pain of this detail with a bleeding heart, knowing how much at the same time it will affect yours. The three or four last days of our journal leave us with hopes she will do well at last, for she is more cheerful
and seems to be getting into better spirits; and health will follow in course. They have crossed the line are much becalmed, by which, with other delays, she fears they will lose their passage to Madras and be some months sooner for it at Bombay. - Heaven protect her, for she suffers much, and with uncommon fortitude. She writes much to me about her dear friend Mrs. J-- in her last packet.
In truth, my good lady, she loves and honours you from her heart; but, if she did not, I should not esteem her, or wish her so well as I do. Adieu, my dear friends you have few in the world more truly and cordially Yours,
L. STERNE. P. S. I have just received, as a present from a man I shall ever love, a most elegant gold snuff-box, fabricated for me at Paris 'tis not the first pledge I have received of his friendship may I presume to inclose you a letter of chit-chat which I shall write to Eliza? I know you will write yourself, and my letter may have the honour to chaperon yours to India they will neither of them be the worse received for going together in company, but I fear they will get late in the year to their destined port, as they go first to Bengal.
Coxwould, Aug. 24, I am truly surprised, my dear Lydia, that my last letter has not reached thy mother and thyself
It looks most unkind on my part, after your having wrote me word of your mother's intention of coming to England, that she has not received my letter to welcome you both and though in that I said I wished you would defer your journey till March, for before that time I should have published my sentimental work, and should be in town to receive you yet I will shew you more real politesses than any you have met with in France, as mine will come warm from the heart. I am sorry you are not here at the races, but les fêtes champêtres of the Marquis de Sade have made you amends. I know Band he is what in France would be called admirable
very well, that would be but so-so here You are right he studies nature more than any, or rather most,
of the French comedians If the Empress of Russia pays him and his wife a pension of twenty thousand livres a year, I think he is very well off.
The folly of staying till after twelve for supper that you two excommunicated beings might have meat!
“his conscience would not let it be served before." Surely the Marquis thought you both, being English, could not be satisfied without it. I would have given, not my gown and cassock (for I have but one), but my topaz ring, to have seen the petits maîtres et maîtresses go to mass, after having 'spent the night in dancing. -- As to my pleasures, they are few in compass. My poor cat sits purring beside me
your lively French dog shall have his place on the other side of my fire
but if he is as devilish as when I last saw him, I must tutor him, for I will not have my cat abused in short, I will have nothing devilish about me combustion will spoil a sentimental thought.
Another thing I must desire do not be alarmed
'tis to throw all your rouge pots into the Sorgue before you set out - I will have no rouge put on in England - and do not bewail them as
did her silver seringue or glister equipage, which she lost in a certain river but take a wise resolution of doing without rouge. I have been three days ago bad again with a spitting of blood – and that unfeeling brute *******
came and drew my curtains, and with à voice like a trumpet, halloo'd in my ear what a fine kettle of fish have you brought yourself to, Mr. S -! In a faint voice I bade him leave me, for comfort sure was never administered in so rough a
manner — Tell your mother, I hope she will parchase what either of you may want at Paris
'tis an Occasion not to be lost so write to me from Paris, chat I may come and meet you in my post-chaise with my long-tailed horses
and the moment you have both put your feet in it, call it hereafter yours. Adieu, dear Lydia believe me what I ever shall be, Your affectionate father,
L. STERNE. I think I shall not write to Avignon any more, but
you will find one for you at Paris adieu.
MY DEAR SIR,
September 19, 1767. You are perhaps the drollest being in the universe
why do you banter me so about what I wrote to you? Tho' I told you, every morning I jump'd into Venus's lap (meaning thereby the sea), was you to infer from that, that I leaped into the ladies' beds afterwards? The body guides you
the mind me. I have wrote the most whimsical letter to a lady that was ever read, and talked of body and soul too I said she had made me vain by saying she was mine more than ever woman was but she is not the lady of Bond-street, nor
square, nor the lady who supped with me in Bondstreet, on scollop'd oysters, and other such things nor did she ever go tête-à-tête with me to Salt Hill. Enough of such nonsense
T'he past is over and I can justify myself unto myself can you do as much? No, 'faith! “You can feel!" Aye, so can my cat, when he
hears a female cater-wauling on the house-top but cater-wauling disgusts me. I had rather raise a gentle flame than have a different one raised in me. Now I take heaven to witness, after all this badinage, my heart is innocent and the sporting of my pen
is equal, just equal to what I did in my boyish days, when I got astride of a stick, and gallop'd away — The truth is this that my pen governs me not me my pen. You are much to blame if you dig for marl, unless you are
sure of it. I was once such a puppy myself as to pare, and burn, and had my labour for my pains, and two hundred pounds out of my pocket. Curse on farming (said I), I will try if the pen will not succeed better than the spade. The following up of that affair (I mean farming) made me lose my temper, and a cart-load of turnips was (I thought) very dear at two hundred pounds.
In all your operations may your own good sense guide you
bought experience is the devil. - Adieu, adieu! Believe me Yours most truly,
CVIII. TO THE SAME.
Coxwould, Sept. 27, You are arrived at Scarborough when all the world has left it
but you are
an unaccountable being, and so there is nothing more to be said on tho matter You wish me to come to Scarborough, and join you to read a work that is not yet finished besides, I have other things in my head. My wife will be here in three or four days, and I must not be found straying in the wilderness but I have been