Abbildungen der Seite

the first words of some song which was then a favou= rite of the author.

Pag. 159, lin. 8. My uncle Toby's widow. For the story of this widow see Tristram Shandy.

Ibid. lin. 9. Hussey; a term which, though in its proper sense it is a word of reproach, is frequently used especially to children without impoli=


Ibid. lin. 28. The Spectator's mistress: see the Spectator.

Pag. 160, lin. 28. Bless me even also : Genesis, chapt. 27, verse 38.

Pag. 162, lin. 2. Earl of Chatham : the name of the vessel in which Eliza went to the East-Indies.



of a letter from the author to his daughter.

I am apprehensive the dear friend I men= tioned in my last letter is going into a decline I was with her two days ago, and I never beheld a being so altered she has a tender frame, and looks like a drooping lilly, for the roses are fled from her cheeks

I can never see or talk to this incomparable wo= man without bursting into tears I have a thousand obligations to her, and I owe her more than her whole sex, if not all the world put together. = She has a delicacy in her way of thinking that few possess our conversations are of the most interesting na= ture, and she talks to me of quitting this world with more composure than others think of living in it. I have written an epitaph, of which I send thee a copy. 'Tis expressive of her modest worth. But may heaven restore her! and may she live to write mine!

Columns and laboured urns but vainly shew
An idle scene of decorated woe.

The sweet companion and the friend sincere
Need no mechanick help to force the tear.
In heart-felt numbers, never meant to shine,
'Twill flow eternal o'er a hearse like thine;
"Twill flow, whilst gentle goodness has one friend,
Or kindred tempers have a tear to lend.

Say all that is kind of me to thy mother, and be= lieve me, my Lydia, that I love thee most truly So


[ocr errors]

be, thy

I am what I ever was, and hope ever shall
Affectionate father,

L. S.


on a monument erected to the memory of the author in the burying ground in which he was enterred.

Near to this place
Lies the body of

The reverend Laurence Sterne, A. M.
Died September 13th, 1768, (1)
Aged 53 years.

Ah! molliter ossa quiescant!

If a sound head, warm heart, and breast humane,
Unsullied worth, and soul without a stain;
If mental powers could ever justly claim
The well-won tribute of immortal fame,
Sterne was the man, who with gigantick stride
Mowed down luxuriant follies far and wide.
Yet what, though keenest knowledge of mankind
Unseal'd to him the springs that move the mind;
What did it cost him? Ridicul'd, abus'd,
By fools insulted, and by prudes accus'd.
In his, mild reader, view thy future fate,
Like him despise what 'twere a sin to hate.

Garrick, who was the intimate friend and admirer of Sterne, wrote the following epitaph for him.

Shall pride a heap of sculptured marble raise, Some worthless, un-mourn'd titled fool to praise;

(1) This date is erroneous; L. Sterne being dead on the 18th day of march 1768.

And shall we not by one poor grave-stone learn, Where genius, wit, and humour, sleep with Sterne?

The following verses to his memory were also prefixed to the collection of his letters, published by his daughter Mrs. Medalle.

With wit, and genuine humour, to dispel,
From the desponding bosom, gloomy care,
And bid the gushing tear, at the sad tale
Of hapless love or filial grief, to flow

From the full sympathising heart, were thine,
These powers, ô Sterne! but now thy fate demands
(No plumage nodding o'er the emblazoned hearse
Proclaiming honour where no virtue shone)
But the sad tribute of a heart-felt sigh:
What tho' no taper cast its deadly ray,

Nor the full choir sings requiems o'er thy tomb,
The humbler grief of friendship is not mute;
And poor Maria, with her faithful kid,
Her auburn tresses carelessly entwin'd

With olive foliage, at the close of day,

Shall chaunt her plaintive vespers at thy grave.
Thy shade too, gentle Monk, mid awful night,
Shall pour libations from its friendly eye;
For 'erst his sweet benevolence bestow'd
Its generous pity, and bedewed with tears
The sod, which rested on thy aged breast.


« ZurückWeiter »