Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

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 loss supplied, during our stay in the Isle 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


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 ; from thence we decamped to stay half a year with Mr Featherston, 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. From 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 to 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 farm-house 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. &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 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 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

• 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.
Admitted M. A. at the commencement of 1740.

uncle* and myself were then upon very good terms; for he soon got me
the Prebendary of York ;—but he quarrelled with me afterwards, be-
cause I would not write paragraphs in the newspapers ;-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.f 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 com-
pliment of it. I remained near twenty years at Sutton, doing duty at
both places. I had then very good health. Books, painting, I 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 Stilling-
ton, the family of the C-s shewed us every kindness : 'twas most
truly agreeable to be within a mile and a half of an amiable fa-
mily, 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 Fal-
conbridge presented me with the curacy of Coxwould ; a sweet retire-
ment in comparison of Sutton. In sixty-two I went to France before
was concluded; and

both followed me. I left


both in France, and in two years after, I went to Italy for the recovery


Jaques Sterne, LL.D. He was Prebendary of Durham, Canon Residentiary, 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. LIII, p. 344.

# A specimen of Mr Sterne's abilities in the art of designing, may be seen in Mr Wodhul's Poems, 8vo. 72.

$ 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 Zerephath considered. A Charity Sermon preached on Good Friday, April 17, 1747, for the support of two charity schools in York.

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 for.

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."

To these notices, the following brief account of his death has been added by another writer :

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 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,

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.
1760. Vol. 1 and 2 of Sermons.
1761. Vol. 3 and 4 of Tristram Shandy.
1762. Vol. 5 and 6 of Tristram Shandy.
1765. Vol. 7 and 8 of Tristram Shandy.
1766. Vols. 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 were written about six months only before his death.

« AnteriorContinuar »