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of Wight, by the birth of a girl, Anne, born September the twenty-third, one thousand seven hundred and nineteen. This pretty blossom fell, at the age of three years, in the barracks of Dublin: she was, as I well remember, of a fine delicate frame, not made to last long, as were most of my father's babes. We embarked for Dublin, and had all been cast away by a most violent storm; but, through the intercessions of my mother, the captain was prevailed upon to turn back into Wales, where we stayed a month, and at length got into Dublin, and travelled by land to Wicklow; where my father had for some weeks given us over for lost. We lived in the barracks at Wicklow one year (one thousand seven hundred and twenty), when Devijeher (so called after Colonel Devijeher) was born; thence we decamped to stay half a year with Mr. Fetherston, a clergyman, about seven miles from Wicklow; who, being a relation of my mother's invited us to his parsonage at Animo. It was in this parish, during our stay, that I had that wonderful escape in falling through a mill-race whilst the mill was going, and of being taken up unhurt: the story is incredible, but known for truth in all that part of Ireland, where hundreds of the common people flocked to see me. Hence we followed the regiment to Dublin, where we lay in the barracks a year. In this year (one thousand seven hundred and twenty-one) I learnt to write, &c. The regiment ordered in twenty-two to Carrickfergus, in the north of Ireland. We all decamped; but got no further than Drogheda; thence ordered to Mullengar, forty miles west, where, by Providence, we stumbled upon a kind relation, a collateral descendant from Archbishop Sterne, who took us all to his castle,
and kindly entertained us for a year, and sent us to the regiment at Carrickfergus, loaded with kindnesses, &c. A most rueful and tedious journey had we all (in March) to Carrickfergus, where we arrived in six or seven days. Little Devijeher here died; he was three years old: he had been left behind at nurse at a farmhouse near Wicklow, but was fetched to us by my father the summer after: another child sent to fill his
place, Susan. This babe too left us behind in this weary journey. The autumn of that year, or the spring afterwards (I forget which), my father got leave of his colonel to fix me at school, which he did near Halifax, with an able master; with whom I stayed some time, till, by God's care of me, my cousin Sterne, of Elvington, became a father to me, and sent me to the university, &c. To pursue the thread of our story, my father's regiment was, the year after, ordered to Londonderry, where another sister was brought forth, Catherine, still living; but most unhappily estranged from me by my uncle's wickedness and her own folly. From this station the regiment was sent to defend Gibraltar, at the siege, where my father was run through the body by Captain Phillips, in a duel (the quarrel began about a goose!); with much difficulty, he survived, though with an impaired constitution, which was not able to withstand the hardships it was put to; for he was sent to Jamaica, where he soon fell by the country fever, which took away his senses first, and made a child of him; and then, in a month or two, walking about continually without complaining, till the moment he sat down in an arm-chair, and breathed his last, which was at Port Antonio, on the north of the island. My father was a little smart man, active to the last degree in all
exercises, most patient of fatigue and disappointments, of which it pleased God to give him full measure. He was, in his temper, somewhat rapid and hasty, but of a kindly sweet disposition, void of all design; and so innocent in his own intentions that he suspected no one; so that you might have cheated him ten times in a day, if nine had not been sufficient for your purpose. My poor father died in March, 1731. I remained at Halifax till about the latter end of that year, and cannot omit mentioning this anecdote of myself and schoolmaster: he had the ceiling of the school-room new white-washed; the ladder remained there: I one unlucky day mounted it, and wrote with a brush, in large capital letters, LAU. STERNE, for which the usher severely whipped me. My master was very much hurt at this, and said, before me, that never should that name be effaced, for I was a boy of genius, and he was sure that I should come to preferment. This expression made me forget the stripes I had received.
In the year thirty-two* my cousin sent me to the university, where I staid some time. 'Twas there that I commenced a friendship with Mr. H which has been lasting on both sides. I then came to York, and my uncle got me the living of Sutton: and, at York, I became acquainted with your mother, and courted her for two years: - she owned she liked me; but thought herself not rich enough, or me too poor, to be joined together. She went to her sister's in S -; and I wrote to her often. I believe then she was partly
*He was admitted of Jesus College, in the university of Cambridge, 6th July 1733, under the tuition of Mr. Cannon.
Matriculated 29th March 1735.
Admitted to the degree of B.A. in January 1736.
determined to have me, but would not say so. At her return she fell into a consumption; and one evening that I was sitting by her, with an almost broken heart to see her so ill, she said, "My dear Laurey, I never can be yours, for I verily believe I have not long to live! but I have left you every shilling of my fortune." - Upon that she shewed me her will. This generosity overpowered me. It pleased God that she recovered, and I married her in the year 1741. My uncle* and myself were then upon very good terms; for he soon got me the Prebendary of York; but he quarrelled with me afterwards, because I would not write paragraphs in the news-papers: though he was a party man, I was not, and detested such dirty work, thinking it beneath me. From that period he became my bitterest enemy. .** — By my wife's means, I got the living of Stillington: a friend of hers in the south had promised her that, if she married a clergyman in Yorkshire, when the living became vacant, he would make her a compliment of it. I remained near twenty years at Sutton, doing duty at both places. I had then very good health. Books, *** painting, fiddling, and shooting, were my amusements. As to the Squire of the parish, I cannot say we were upon a very friendly footing: but at Stillington, the family of the C- s shewed us every kindness: 'twas most truly
* Jaques Sterne, LL.D. He was Prebendary of Durham, Canon Re. sidentiary, Precentor and Prebendary of York, Rector of Rise, and Rector of Hornsey cum Riston, both in the East Riding of the county of York. He died June 9th, 1759.
** It hath, however, been insinuated that he for some time wrote a periodical electioneering paper at York, in defence of the Whig interest.— Monthly Review, vol. 53, p. 344.
*** A specimen of Mr. Sterne's abilities in the art of designing may be seen in Mr. Wodhul's poems, 8vo. 1772.
agreeable to be within a mile and a half of an amiable family, who were ever cordial friends. In the year 1760, I took a house at York for your mother and yourself, and went up to London to publish *my two first volumes of Shandy.** In that year Lord Falconbridge presented me with the curacy of Coxwould; a sweet retirement in comparison of Sutton. In sixtytwo I went to France, before the peace was concluded; and you both followed me. I left you both in France, and, in two years after, I went to Italy for the recovery of my health; and, when I called upon you, I tried to engage your mother to return to England with me:*** she and yourself are at length come, and I have had the inexpressible joy of seeing my girl every thing I wished her.
I have set down these particulars relating to my family and self for my Lydia, in case hereafter she might have a curiosity, or a kinder motive, to know them.
The first edition was printed in the preceding year at York. ** The following is the order in which Mr. Sterne's publications appeared:
1747. The Case of Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath considered. A charity Sermon preached on Good-Friday, April 17, 1747, for the support of two charity-schools in York.
1750. The Abuses of Conscience. Set forth in a Sermon preached in the cathedral church of St. Peter, York, at the summer assizes, before the Hon. Mr. Baron Clive, and the Hon. Mr. Baron Smythe, on Sunday, July 29, 1750.
1759. Vol. 1 and 2 of Tristram Shandy.
1761. Vol. 3 and 4 of Tristram Shandy.
1766. Vol. 3, 4, 5, and 6, of Sermons.
1767. Vol. 9 of Tristram Shandy.
1768. The Sentimental Journey.
The remainder of his works were published after his death.
*** From this passage it appears that the present account of Mr. Sterne's Life and Family was written about six months only before his death.