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-que fim endis für il PREFATORY MEMOIR
LAURENCE STERNE was one of those few authors who
Roger Sterne * (says this narrative), grandson to
* Mr. Sterne was descended from a family of that name in Suffolk, one of which settled in Nottinghamshire. The following genealogy is extracted from Thoresby's Ducatus Leodinensis (p. 215) :
SIMON STERNE, of Mansfield.
ment, was married to Agnes Hebert, widow of a captain of a good family. Her family name was (I believe) Nuttle ;—though, upon recollection, that was the name of her father-in-law, who was a noted sutler in Flanders, in Queen Anne's wars, where my father married his wife's daughter (N.B. he was in debt to him), which was in September 25, 1711, old style.This Nuttle had a son by my grandmother,-a fine person of a man, but a graceless whelp!—what became of him I know not.—The family (if any left) live now at Clonmel, in the south of Ireland; at which town I was born, November 24, 1713, a few days after my mother arrived from Dunkirk.—My birthday was ominous to my poor father, who was, the day of our arrival, with many other brawe officers, broke, and sent adrift into the wide world, with a wife and two children ;—the elder of which was Mary. She was born at Lisle, in French Flanders, July 10, 1712, new style.—This child was the most unfortunate:-She married one Weemans, in Dublin, who used her most unmercifully ;--spent his substance, became a bankrupt, and left my poor sister to shift for herself; which she was able to do but for a few months, for she went to a friend's house in the country, and died of a broken heart. She was a most beautiful woman, of a fine figure, and deserved a better fate.—The regiment in which my father served being broke, he left Ireland as soon as I was able to be carried, with the rest of his family, and came to the family seat at Elvington, near York, where his mother lived. She was daughter to Sir Roger Jacques,
and an heiress. There we sojourned for about ten months, when the regiment was established, and our household decamped with bag and baggage for Dublin. -Within a month of our arrival, my father left us, being ordered to Exeter; where, in a sad winter, my mother and her two children followed him, travelling from Liverpool, by land, to Plymouth.—(Melancholy description of this journey, not necessary to be transmitted here.)—In twelve months we were all sent back to Dublin.-My mother, with three of us (for she layin at Plymouth of a boy, Joram), took ship at Bristol, for Ireland, and had a narrow escape from being cast away, by a leak springing up in the vessel.–At length, after many perils and struggles, we got to Dublin.There my father took a large house, furnished it, and in a year and a half's time spent a great deal of money. In the year one thousand seven hundred and nineteen, all unhinged again; the regiment was ordered, with many others, to the Isle of Wight, in order to embark for Spain, in the Vigo expedition. We accompanied the regiment, and were driven into Milford Haven, but landed at Bristol; from thence, by land, to Plymouth again, and to the Isle of Wight; —where, I remember, we stayed encamped some time before the embarkation of the troops—(in this expedition, from Bristol to Hampshire, we lost poor Joram, a pretty boy, four years old, of the small-pox)—my mother, sister, and myself remained at the Isle of Wight during the Vigo expedition, and until the regiment had got back to Wicklow, in Ireland; from whence my father sent for us.-We had poor Joram's