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Illustrations of Sterne with other essays and verses, London 2798 befindet. Ein Dr. Whyte hat zu beweisen gesucht, dass Sterne's Werke irreligiös und unmoralisch wären. Seine Schrift führt den Titel: the Fallacy of french freedom and dangerous tendency of Sterne's writings. Obrigens existiren auch Auszüge von Sterne's Schriften unter dem Titel: Beauties of Sterne.
- I was
My dear Eliza, 1
have been within the verge of the gates of death. ill the last time, I wrote to you; and apprehensive of what would be the consequence.
My fears were but too well founded; for in ten minutes after I dispatched my letter, this poor, fine-spun frame of Yorick's gave way, and I broke a vessel in my breast, and could not stop the loss of blood till four this morning. I Have filled all thy India handkerchiefs with it.
It came, I think, from my heart! I fell asleep, through weakness. At six I awokc, with the bosom of my shirt steeped in tears. I dreamt I was sitting under the canopy of Indolence, and that thou camest into the room with a shaul in thy hand, and toldst me, my spirit had flown to thee in the Downs*), with tidings of my fate; and that you were come to administer what consolation filial affection could bestow, and to receive my parting breath and blessing. With tàat you folded the shaul about my waist, and, kneeling, supplicated my attention. I awoke; but in what a frame! my God! my
God! But thou wilt number my tears, put them all into thy bottle.” Dear girl, I see thee, thou art for ever present to my fancy, embracing my feeble knees, and raising thy fine eyes to bid me be of comfort: and when I talk to Lydia, the words of Esau, as uttered by thee , perpetually, ring in my ears,
„Bless me even also, my Blessing attend thee, thou child of my heart! My bleeding is quite stopped, and I feel the principle of life strong within me; so be not alarmed, Eliza I know I shall do well. I have eat my breakfast with hunger, and
*) S. Seite 87.
I write to thee with a pleasure arising from that prophetic impression in my imagination, that all will terminate to our heart's content.” Comfort thyself eternally with this persuasion, „that the best of beings, as thou hast sweetly expressed it, could not, by a combination of accidents, produce such a chain of events, merely to be the source of mi sery to the leading person engaged in them.” The observation was very applicable, very good, and very elegantly expressed. I wish my memory did justice to the wording of it. Who taught you the art of writing so sweetly, Eliza? You have absolutely exalted it to a science! When I am in want of ready cash, and ill health will permit my genius to exert itself, I shall print your letters, as finished essays „by an unfortunate Indian lady." The style is aew; and would almost be a sufficient recommendation for their selling well, without merit but their sense, natural ease, and spirit, is not to be equalled, I believe, in this section of the globe; nor, I will answer for it, by any of your countrywomen in your's. I have shewed your letter to Mrs. B-, and to half the literati in town. You shall not be angry with me for it, because I meant to do you honour by it. You cannot imagine, how many admirers your epistolary productions have gained you, that never viewed your external merits. I only wonder where thou could'st acquire thy graces, thy goodness, thy accomplishments -- so connected! so educated! Nature has surely studied to make thee her peculiar care,
for thou art, and not in my eyes alone, the best and fairest of all her works.
And so, this is the last letter thou art to receive from me,
because the Earl of Chatham *), I read in the papers, is got to the Downs **); and the wind, I find, is fair. If
blessed woman! take my last, last farewell! Cherish the remembrance of me; think how I esteem,
how affectionately I love thee, and what a price I set upon thee! Adieu, adieu! and with my adieu let me give thee one streight rule of conduct, that thou hast heard from my lips in a thousand fornts but I çorcenter it in onu word:
*) Name des Schiffs. **) Den 7ten April 1767.
Reverence Thyself! Adieu, once more, Eliza! May no anguish of heart plant
! a wrinkle upon thy face, till I behold it again! May no doubt or misgivings disturb the serenity of thy mind, awaken a painful thought about thy children
for they are Yorick's and Yorick is thy friend for ever! Adieu, adieu, adieu!
P.S. Remember, that Hope shortens all journies, 'by sweetening them; so sing my little stanza on the subject, with the devotion of an hymn, every morning, when thou arisest, and thou wilt eat thy breakfast with more comfort for it.
Blessings, rest, and Hygeia go with thee! May'st thou soon return, in peace and affluence to illumine my night! I am, and shall be, the last to deplore thy loss, and will be the first to congratulate, and hail thy return.
Fare thee well!
ELIZA TO YORICK.
My Bramin, This is the last letter thou wilt receive from me, while I àm within sight of the British shore - the land of freedom, and benevolence the land, which to its own glory be it spoken
gave my Yorick being.
your illness gave me the most genuine concern.
To break a blood - vessel in thy breast dreadful ! I was alarmed at the intelligence, and my blood thrilled in my veins, and curdled near my heart, when I read it. O that my India handkerchiefs had been styptic, to give I was happy to read you bad slept but
your dream heaven render it improphetic
heaven keep me from the painful office of administering to your dissolution. Thy tears I will treasure in my bottle, or at least, I will
fill it with my tears, and call them thine, as they are unfeignedly' shed upon thy account.
Your imagination images to may feelings me in fancy in the very supplicating posture. I should assume, Were I near you
I should embrace! embrace! your knees, and look, as if I hade you be of comfort for I should only look I should be unable to speak.
weep for thee
I join with thee in blessing the child of thy heart thy Lydia.
And all praise be given to that bountiful Being, who has healed thy disorder, and stopped. thy bleeding who bade thee again „feel the principle of life strong within thee.”
All will certainly terminate to our heart's content to think otherwise, is to entertain an ill opinion of an omaipotent Being who is all wise, all merciful and all good, whose benignity is equal to his power, and both are unbounded.
You may inquire, who taught me the art of writing it was even my Yorick! if I have any claim to merit, if my stile is, as you are pleased to say, new if the ease and spirit of my compositions are not to be equalled
the praise is entirely due to yourself.
I have taken the utmost pains to steal your sentiments your manger
the delicacy of your expressions flow of your thoughts the purity of your diction in fine, I have in my writings aimed as much as possible to be Yorick.
But I cannot think my stile equal to what your prejudice in my favour persuades you it is; - I can perceive manifest faults in my compositions myself. I am not laying a trap for future plaudits, indeed I am not.
I beg that our correspondence may be from the heart, not of the heart
therefore no compliments.
I I must, however, chide - I must, my Yorick, - for showing my letters. You tell me, you have shewn them to Mrs: B and to half the literati in town; indeed you have been to blame
to expose your Eliza's weakness.
She bares her heart to thee she lays it entirely open — but she would not have it shewn so naked to every one in the fullness of her sincerity Many thinks may slip from her unsuspecting pen, 'which she would not have known to any one, who could not, like thee, make great allowances in her favour and pardon the weakness of her nature.
You say, „you cannot imagine, how many admirers your epistolary productions have gained you."
False flattery! their encomiums are illusive it is to you their compliments are paid they find you are blind to my errors they perceive you implicitly admire all that
comes from me they pretend to coincide with your opinion, not to give you any uncasiness, they admire
they reverence you they will not mortify you, by declaring that any being you are pleased to think perfect, is not so.
It is the respect due to the incrits of my Yorick, that occasions the many compliments paid to the tritling deserts of his Eliza. We are in the Downs the wind is fair
we shall sail this evening the captaia has just informed me so I therefore took this opportunity to pour the effusions of my heart to thee in haste.
Farewell, woribiest of men feeling being, thou art all sentiment farewell I will — I will cherish the remem. brance of thee! You tell me how yon esteem me how affectionately you love me — what a price you set upon me.
I esteem thee with equal ardour I love thee with equal affection I prize thee as ardenty let me be ever dear to thy heart, and an inhabitant' of thy memory. I will „reverence myself” for my Yorick's sake
I will, my Yorick, who is my friend for ever.
I will sing thy little stanza to Hope in my matin and evening orisons
yet I cannot help deploring our separation.
Farewell, my Bramin, my faithful monitor, farewell! May prosperity attend thee, and peace crown thy days with felicity!
P. S. I will, if possible, write by some ship bound to England.
2) The Story of Le Fevre*). I
some time in the summer of that year in which Dendermond **) was taken by the allics ***
***), about seven years before my father came into the country,
*) Tristram Shandy, Volume VI. chap. 6. **) Dendermonde, eine Festung im Königreich der, Niederlande. ***) Im Jahre 1706.