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As Mr. Sterne, in the foregoing narrative, hath brought down the account of himself until within a few months of his death, it remains only to mention that he left York about the end of the year 1767, and came to London, in order to publish The sentimental Journey, which he had written during the preceding summer at his favourite living of Coxwould. His health had been for some time declining; but he continued to visit his friends, and retained his usual flow of spirits. In February, 1768, he began to perceive the approaches of death; and with the concern of a good man, and with the solicitude of an affectionate parent, devoted his attention to the future welfare of his daughter. His letters, at this period, reflect so much credit on his character that it is to be lamented some others in the collection were permitted to see the light. After a short struggle with his disorder, his debilitated and worn-out frame submitted to fate on the 18th day of March, 1768, at his lodgings in Bond-street. He was buried at the new burying-ground belonging to the parish of St. George, Hanover-square, on the 22nd of the same month, in the most private manner; and hath since been indebted to strangers for a monument very unworthy of his memory; on which the following lines are inscribed:
Near to this Place
The Reverend LAURENCE Sterne, a. m.
Ah! molliter ossa quiescant.
It is scarcely necessary to observe that this date is erroneous.
MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE OF THE REV. MR. STERNE.
If a sound Head, warm Heart, and Breast humane,
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.
A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
THEY order, said I, this matter better in France. You have been in France? said my gentleman, turning quick upon me, with the most civil triumph in the world..... Strange! quoth I, debating the matter with myself, that one-and-twenty miles, sailing, for 'tis absolutely no further from Dover to Calais, should give a man these rights: I'll look into them: so, giving up the argument, I went straight to my lodgings, put up half a dozen shirts and a black pair of silk breeches; "the coat I have on," said I, looking at the sleeve, "will do;" took a place in the Dover stage; and, the packet sailing at nine the next morning, - by three I had got set down to my dinner upon a fricaseed chicken, so incontestibly in France that, had I died that night of an indigestion, the whole world could not have suspended the effects of the droits d'aubaine;* - my shirts, and black pair of silk breeches, portmanteau and all, must have gone to the
FRANCE AND ITALY.
* All the effects of strangers (Swiss and Scots excepted) dying in France are seized, by virtue of this law, though the heir be upon the spot; the profit of these contingences being farmed, there is no redress.
King of France: even the little picture which I have
But I have scarce set a foot in
WHEN I had finished my dinner, and drunk the King of France's health, to satisfy my mind that I bore him no spleen, but, on the contrary, high honour for the humanity of his temper, I rose up an inch
taller for the accommodation.2
No, said I, the Bourbon is by no means a cruel race: they may be misled, like other people; but there is a mildness in their blood. As I acknowledged this, I felt a suffusion of a finer kind upon my cheek, more warm and friendly to man than what Burgundy (at least of two livres a bottle, which was such as I had been drinking).could have produced.
Just God! said I, kicking my portmanteau aside, what is there in this world's goods which should sharpen our spirits, and make so many kind-hearted brethren of us fall out so cruelly as we do by the way?
When man is at peace with man, how much lighter than a feather is the heaviest of metals in his hand! he pulls out his purse, and, holding it airily and un
compress'd, looks round him as if he sought for an object to share it with. In doing this, I felt every vessel in my frame dilate, the arteries beat all cheerily together, and every power which sustained life performed it with so little friction that 'twould have confounded the most physical precieuse in France: with all her materialism, she could scarce have called me a machine.
I'm confident, said I to myself, I should have overset her creed.
The accession of that idea carried Nature, at that time, as high as she could go; I was at peace with the world before, and this finish'd the treaty with myself.
Now, was I a King of France, cried I, what a moment for an orphan to have begged his father's portmanteau of me!
or one man
I HAD scarce uttered the words, when a poor Monk, of the order of St. Francis, came into the room, to beg something for his convent. No man cares to have his virtues the sport of contingencies, may be as another man is puissant; generous, non quoad hanc, or be it as it may, for there is no regular reasoning upon the ebbs and flows of our humours, they may depend upon the same causes, for aught I know, which influence the tides themselves;'twould oft be no discredit to us to suppose it was so: I'm sure, at least for myself, that in many a case I should be more highly satisfied to have it said by the