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others, of a different tendency, have been allowed to meet the public eye.
On the 18th of March, 1768, his exhausted frame sank, after a short struggle, at his lodgings in Bond Street. He was interred at the new burial-ground of St. George, Hanover Square, where a monument has since been erected to his memory by strangers.
Sterne was in his person tall and thin, and had every appearance of being consumptive. Although his features bore the impress of the deep emotions of his soul, their expression was generally humorous. His temper was somewhat fickle and uneven, but his heart ever kind; and his purse, such as it was, never closed against a friend. Thus, although enjoying a good income, and the produce of his works, which was not inconsiderable, he left nothing behind him but debts, and a fame, which time, instead of diminishing, serves but to strengthen.
His best work is, incomparably, "The Sentimental Journey."
It may not, perhaps, be generally known that La Fleur, the faithful friend and companion of Yorick, is not an entirely imaginary character. That excellent man was born in Burgundy: from his infancy he felt an insatiable desire for travelling, and, at eight years of age, fled from the paternal roof, and set out to seek his fortune. Having led a wandering life
two years, he enlisted as a soldier, remained a drummer in the French army six years, deserted in the dress of a peasant, arrived at Montreuil-sur-Mer, and was presented to Sterne covered with rags, but with an erect bearing, a piercing eye, and a ruddy complexion. To him are owing the following valuable particulars of the characters introduced by Sterne in his "Sentimental Journey."
"The lady, noticed under the initial L
was the Mar
chioness de Lambert, to whom my master was indebted for a passport, the want of which began to render him seriously
"The dead ass is not a fiction. The poor man bathed in tears, was as simple and interesting as my master described I remember the circumstance perfectly.
"Poor Maria's story is, alas! but too true. met her, she was rolling on the ground like a child, and covering her head with dust. My master accosted her, and raised her in his arms. She became calm, related her misfortune, and shed tears. My master sobbed. Maria then gently disengaged herself, and sang a hymn to the Virgin. My poor master covered his face with his hands, and conducted her to her cottage. He there found the old woman, and spoke to her gravely. I carried them provisions every day from the hotel; and when my master quitted Moulines, he left the mother his blessing and a little money. I know not how
much, but it is certain that he always gave more than he could afford; thus he often found himself short of money. He had ill calculated his expenses, having only reckoned those of travelling, without taking into the account the poor wretches he would have to relieve on the road. I remember that at almost every post, he would turn to me, with tears in his eyes, and say, These poor creatures afflict me much, my dear La Fleur. How can I relieve them?'
"The only men in whom he did not appear to take any interest, were the monks; I remember his answer to many who came to beg of us: Father, I am engaged; I am poor, like yourself." "