The Journal to Eliza and Various letters by Laurence Sterne and Elizabeth Draper by Sterne, Laurence

THE

WORKS AND LIFE

OF

LAURENCE STERNE.

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YORK EDITION.

The Sutton Issue of the LIFE and WORKS of LAURENCE STERNE, printed at The Westminster Press, New York, is limited to Seven Hundred and Fifty Sets, of which this is Set No. 4

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[Illustration:

LAURENCE STERNE Etching by Hédouin. ]

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THE

JOURNAL TO ELIZA

AND

VARIOUS LETTERS

BY

LAURENCE STERNE

AND

ELIZABETH DRAPER

WITH AN INTRODUCTION

BY

WILBUR L. CROSS

[Illustration: Publisher’s Logo]

J. F. TAYLOR & COMPANY NEW YORK

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Copyright 1904, by

J. F. TAYLOR & COMPANY

NEW YORK

THE WESTMINSTER PRESS

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THE

JOURNAL TO ELIZA

AND

VARIOUS LETTERS

TAKEN FROM

THE GIBBS MANUSCRIPTS

AND

OTHER SOURCES

MOSTLY PUBLISHED NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME

[Illustration: Publisher’s Logo]

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CONTENTS

PAGE INTRODUCTION ii

LETTERS FROM YORICK TO ELIZA 15

THE JOURNAL TO ELIZA 51

ORIGINAL LETTERS OF LAURENCE STERNE 155

LETTERS OF ELIZABETH DRAPER 165

AN EULOGY BY THE ABBÉ RAYNAL 281

FOOTNOTES 288

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

Laurence Sterne. Etching by Frontispiece Hédouin

Tomb of Eliza Draper in 50 Bristol Cathedral

Commodore James, by Sir Joshua 157 Reynolds

Belvidere House, by Lee 173 Woodward Zeigler, from an original sketch by J. B. Frazer

Abbé Raynal 279

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INTRODUCTION

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INTRODUCTION

ELIZABETH DRAPER.

STERNE married Miss Lumley of York. He afterwards held sentimental converse with Miss Fourmantelle, Lady Percy, “My witty widow Mrs. F—,” &c., &c. But his one passion was for the Eliza to whom this volume is dedicated. “Not Swift,” he wrote to her just before she sailed for India, “so loved his Stella, Scarron his Maintenon, or Waller his Sacharissa, as I will love and sing thee, my wife elect! All those names, eminent as they are, shall give place to thine, Eliza.”

Mrs. Elizabeth Draper was daughter to one May Sclater who went out to India when a mere boy. He married there a Miss Whitehill, and settled at Anjengo, a small factory on the coast of Malabar, where Elizabeth was born on April 5, 1744. In due time she was sent to England for the “frivolous education” accorded to “girls destined for India.” “The generality of us,” she wrote in sorrowful retrospect, “* * * were never instructed in the Importance of any thing, but one Worldly Point, that of getting an Establishment of the Lucrative kind, as soon as possible, a tolerable complection, an Easy manner, some degree of taste in the adjustment of our ornaments, some little skill in dancing a minuet, and singing an air.” With no training in “useful Employments,” she returned to India in her fourteenth year to become, six months later, the wife of Daniel Draper, her elder by some twenty years. Since 1750 Draper had been in the service of the East India Company, and in 1759, the year after his marriage, he was appointed Secretary to the Government at Bombay, where with some interruptions he continued for the rest of his life in India. His faithful services were eventually rewarded by a seat in the Council and the post of Accountant General. If a somewhat heavy official, he was described by a friend and admirer as “a very noble and good-humoured man.” There was nothing unusual about the Draper marriage, which now seems so ill-sorted in respect to age; and we may suppose that neither husband nor wife found it too uncomfortable. A boy was born in 1759, and two years later a girl, named for her mother—the Eliza or Betsey who figures in one of the letters. In 1765, the Drapers brought their children to England that they might be given an English education. Later in the same year Mr. Draper went back to Bombay, but his wife remained in England to recover her health, which had been much weakened by child-bearing and the heat of India.

There was then living in Gerrard Street, Soho, a retired Indian commodore named William James. After making a fortune in the Bombay Marine Service, he returned to England, married an attractive wife, and soon won a place in the “best” London society. Early in 1767, Sterne began going to the Jameses for dinner, especially of a Sunday; and the friendship quickly became intimate. Under date of February 23, Sterne wrote to his daughter Lydia: “I wish I had you with me—and I would introduce you to one of the most amiable and gentlest of beings, whom I have just been with— * * * a Mrs. James, the wife of as worthy a man as I ever met with—I esteem them both.” It was no doubt at the house of these “kind friends in Gerrard Street” that Sterne made the acquaintance of Mrs. Draper—and most likely on his arrival in London at the very beginning of January, 1767. Half in love on first sight, Sterne soon became completely engrossed with his new passion. And well he might, for though Eliza may not have been handsome, she was young, good looking at least, and most agreeable in manner. “Your eyes,” Sterne wrote to her, “and the shape of your face (the latter the most perfect oval I ever saw) * * * are equal to any of God’s works in a similar way, and finer than any I beheld in all my travels.” Mrs. Draper was then called by her London friends, says one of her letters, the _Belle Indian_. Sterne saw much of her at the Jameses; she visited his lodgings in Old Bond Street; they made excursions together in and about London; and when separated from her, Sterne communed with her “sweet sentimental picture.” As the time was approaching for her to return to India—she sailed on April 3, 1767—he addressed to her the extraordinary epistles that all the world knows, and for months afterwards he recorded his sensations in a journal which he hoped some day to place in her hands.

The sojourn of Mrs. Draper in England had been to the change and harm of her character. With her little knowledge of the world, she took Sterne and her flatterers too seriously. She was no doubt attractive in appearance, with her oval face and light airs, but her admirers said to her face that she was beautiful; and worse than that, they tried to make out that she possessed qualities of mind which, if cultivated, would surely lead to distinction in literature. They sent her back to the dull humdrum of India with the literary ambitions of Mrs. Montagu and the blue-stockings. Henceforth she was to find at Bombay a great “Dearth of every thing which could charm the Heart—please the Fancy, or speak to the judgment.” Still Mrs. Draper seems for a time to have made the best of the situation. Writing from Tellicherry in 1769 to a friend in England, she spoke with respect if not with enthusiasm of her husband, whom she was assisting in his official correspondence. But by 1772 she became thoroughly sick of India and of her husband in particular. In a letter to Mrs. James from Bombay she lamented that she was compelled to remain in a detestable country, where her health was declining, and her mind was tortured by the desire to return to England and be with her daughter. At this time she was no longer living with Draper as a wife, and for sufficient reasons, for he was engaged in open intrigue with an attendant—a Mrs. Leeds. In retaliation and despair, Mrs. Draper abruptly left her husband on the night of January 14–15, 1773, in company with Sir John Clark of the Navy, then in command of a frigate at Bombay. She sought refuge for a time with a “kind uncle,” Tom Whitehill, at Rajahmandry, and the next year she returned to England, where much attention was paid to her as Sterne’s Eliza. She associated, perhaps not to her good fame, with John Wilkes the politician; and, if an anecdote of Rogers is to be trusted, William Combe, the literary hack, could boast “that it was with him, not with Sterne, that Eliza was in love.” More to be pitied than to be censured, the unfortunate Mrs. Draper died at Bristol on August 3, 1778, in the thirty-fifth year of her age.

Mrs. Draper was buried in the cloisters of Bristol Cathedral, where to her memory stands a monument symbolizing in its two draped figures Genius and Benevolence, the qualities given her in the inscription. The next year the Abbé Raynal, the French historian of the Indies—over whom Mrs. Draper had cast her spells, first in India and afterwards in England—wrote about her in mad eulogy. He had wept, he said, with Eliza over Sterne; and at the time of her death, she was intending to quit her country for a life with him in France. “A statuary,” he goes on to say in description of Mrs. Draper, “who would have wished to represent Voluptuousness, would have taken her for his model; and she would equally have served for him who might have had a figure of Modesty to display. * * * Every instant increased the delight she inspired; every instant rendered her more interesting. * * * Eliza then was very beautiful? No, she was simply beautiful: but there was no beauty she did not eclipse, because she was the only one that was like herself.”[1] And long afterwards, James Forbes, to whose _Oriental Memoirs_ we owe so much for the social India of those days, paid his tribute to Mrs. Draper. Anjengo he averred would ever be celebrated as the birthplace of Eliza: “a lady with whom I had the pleasure of being acquainted at Bombay, whose refined tastes and elegant accomplishments require no encomium from my pen.” To the various places where Mrs. Draper lived in India the curious long made pilgrimages. Colonel James Welsh of the Madras infantry visited the house at Anjengo where she was supposed to be born, and carried away from a broken window pieces of oyster-shell and mother-of-pearl as mementos. He took pains to write also in his _Memoirs_ that the house she lived in at Tellicherry was still standing in 1812. Belvidere House, at Mazagon, overlooking the harbour at Bombay—the house from an upper window of which Eliza escaped by a rope ladder to the ship of Sir John Clark—was long believed to be haunted by her spirit, “flitting about in corridor or verandah in hoop and farthingale.” Sketches of Belvidere were brought to England by J. B. Fraser, the traveller and explorer; and from them Robert Burford painted a panorama[2] for public exhibition in London. For nearly a century, it is said, a tree on the estate of her uncle Tom Whitehill at Masulipatam was called Eliza’s tree in memory of her sojourn there.

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INTRODUCTION

LETTERS FROM YORICK TO ELIZA.

AS narrated in the introduction to the first volume of _Letters and Miscellanies_, Mrs. Draper was induced to print some of the letters that she received from Sterne in the spring of 1767. The slight volume, with the dedication and preface reproduced here, made its appearance in February, 1775. Except for the ten letters that this volume contained, the correspondence between Sterne and Mrs. Draper seems to have been lost. Among the lost letters, were several from Sterne, and all of Mrs. Draper’s replies covering the same period. The latter were so many that Sterne spent an entire afternoon in sorting and arranging them. And to be lamented much more is the disappearance of the long ship letters that passed between the Bramin and Bramine in the summer and fall of the same year. In May, Sterne took four days for an overland letter to Mrs. Draper and in August he dispatched another to _chaperon_ one from Mrs. James. While in his retreat at Coxwold he wept for an evening and a morning over Eliza’s narration of the dangers and miseries of her voyage. “Thou wouldst win me by thy Letters,” he records in his journal to her, “had I never seen thy face or known thy heart.”

The ten letters that have survived bore when written no date except the hour of the day or the day of the week, and they were published by Mrs. Draper without any indication of date whatever. The first brief note, sent with a present of the _Sermons_ and _Tristram Shandy_, evidently belongs to January, perhaps to the last week of the month when appeared the ninth volume of _Shandy_. And very soon afterwards, no doubt, Sterne dispatched the second note in which he would persuade Eliza to admit him as physician in her illness, notwithstanding “the etiquettes of this town say otherwise.” The succeeding eight letters were daily missives from Sterne to Eliza while she was at Deal waiting for the signal of embarkation from the _Earl of Chatham_, which was to bear her to India. On her departure the blood broke from poor Yorick’s heart.

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INTRODUCTION

THE GIBBS MANUSCRIPTS.

THESE manuscripts are by far the most important Sterne discovery of the nineteenth century. They are named from their former owner, Thomas Washbourne Gibbs, a gentleman of Bath, into whose possession they came midway in the century. How this piece of good fortune happened to him, we leave to his own pen to relate:

“Upon the death of my father,” he writes, “when I was eleven years old, a pile of old account books, letters, common-place books, and other papers of no documentary value was set aside as waste, and placed in a room where I used to play. I looked through the papers, and found the journal and letters. An early fondness for reading had made me acquainted with the well-known extracts from the writings of Sterne—‘The Story of Maria,’ ‘The Sword,’ ‘The Monk,’ ‘Le Fevre,’ and a small book containing the ‘Letters of Yorick and Eliza,’ and finding these names in the letters and book, I took all I could find, and obtained permission to preserve them, and they have been in my possession ever since. How they came into the hands of my father, who was a great reader, and had a large collection of books, I never had any means of knowing.”

Mr. Gibbs showed the curious manuscripts to his friends, and in May, 1851, sent a part of them to Thackeray, then at work upon the _English Humourists_. Except for a mention of this incident in a _Roundabout_ (the pages were afterwards suppressed), nothing was publicly known concerning the manuscripts until March, 1878, when Mr. Gibbs read before the Bath Literary Institution a paper on “Some Memorials of Laurence Sterne,” the substance of which was printed in _The Athenæum_ for March 30, 1878. On the death of Mr. Gibbs in 1894, the manuscripts passed under his bequest to the British Museum. They are numbered 34527 among the additional manuscripts acquired in 1894–1899. They contain:

1. The Journal to Eliza.

2. A Letter from Sterne at Coxwold to Mr. and Mrs. James, dated August 10, 1767.

3. A Letter from Sterne at York to Mr. and Mrs. James, dated December 28, 1767.

4. Draft of a Letter from Laurence Sterne to Daniel Draper.

5. A Letter from Elizabeth Draper at Bombay to Anne James, dated April 15, 1772.

6. Two Letters from W. M. Thackeray to J. W. Gibbs dated May 31, and September 12, [1851.]

* * * * *

About the genuineness of every part of this manuscript material there can be no doubt. The _Journal to Eliza_ and the letters to Mr. and Mrs. James and to Daniel Draper are in Sterne’s own hand-writing. The first letter “has been through the post, and is franked by Lord Fauconberg, the patron of the Coxwold living.” The second letter has also passed through the post. The letter from Mrs. Draper is likewise in her own hand. And to the Thackeray letters have been preserved the original covering envelopes.

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INTRODUCTION

THE JOURNAL TO ELIZA.

NEARLY one half of the manuscript volume just described is occupied by _The Journal to Eliza_, or _The Bramine’s Journal_, as Sterne perhaps intended to call it. On the first page is a note by Sterne himself, wherein it is said, with a characteristic attempt at mystification, that the names “Yorick and Draper—and sometimes the Bramin and Bramine”[3]—are fictitious, and that the entire record is “a copy from a French manuscript—in Mr. S——’s hands.” Then follow seventy-six pages of writing, with about twenty-eight lines to the page, and finally a page with only a few words upon it. The leaves are folio in size, and except in the case of the first and the last, both sides are written upon.

This curious diary was composed during the first months after Sterne’s separation from Mrs. Draper. On a certain day late in March 1767, Sterne handed Mrs. Draper into a postchaise for Deal, and turned away to his London lodgings “in anguish.” Before parting, each promised to keep an intimate journal that they might have “mutual testimonies to deliver hereafter to each other,” should they again meet. While Mrs. Draper was at Deal making preparations for her voyage to India, Sterne sent her all that he had written; and on the thirteenth of April he forwarded by a Mr. Watts, then departing for Bombay, a second instalment of his record. These two sections of Sterne’s journal—and likewise all of Mrs. Draper’s, for we know that she kept one—have disappeared. The extant part begins on the thirteenth of April, 1767 and comes down to the fourth of August in the same year. The sudden break was occasioned by the expected return of Mrs. Sterne from France, where she had been living for some time. After her arrival at Coxwold, the journal could be carried on only by stealth; and besides that, Sterne felt her presence—and even the thought of it—a restraint upon the fancy. A postscript was added on the first of November announcing that Mrs. Sterne and Lydia had just gone to York for the winter, while he himself was to remain at Coxwold to complete the _Sentimental Journey_. There were hints that the journal would be resumed as soon as he reached London in the following January. But Sterne probably did not carry out his intention. At least nothing is known of a later effort.

In Sterne’s introductory note, the _Journal_ is described as “a Diary of the miserable feelings of a person separated from a Lady for whose Society he languish’d.” Already worn out by a long stretch of dinners, Sterne completely broke down under the strain of Mrs. Draper’s departure for India. “Poor sick-headed, sick-hearted Yorick!” he exclaims, “Eliza has made a shadow of thee.” As his illness increased, the Sunday visits in Gerrard Street were broken-off, and the sick and dejected lover shut himself up in his lodgings to abstinence and reflection. To allay the “fever of the heart” with which he was wasting, he had recourse to Dr. James’s Powder, a popular remedy of the period which, so said the advertisement, would cure “any acute fever in a few hours, though attended with convulsions.” On going out too soon after taking the nostrum, Sterne caught cold and came near dying. Physicians were called in, and twelve ounces of blood were taken from the patient in order “to quiet,” says Sterne, “what was left in me.” The next day the bandage on his arm broke loose and he “half bled to death” before he was aware of it. Four days later he found himself much “improved in body and mind.” On feeling his pulse, the doctors “stroked their beards and look’d ten per c^t. wiser.” The patient was now in condition for their last prescription: I “am still,” he writes, “to run thro’ a Course of Van Sweeten’s corrosive Mercury, or rather Van Sweeten’s Course of Mercury is to run thro’ me.” The doctors dismissed, Sterne finally experimented at his own risk with a French tincture called _L’Extrait de Saturne_, and on the next day he was able to dine out once more.

During his illness his “room was always full of friendly Visitors,” and the “rapper eternally going with Cards and enquiries.” With these friends, among whom were Lord and Lady Spencer, he had yet to dine; and then on the twenty second of May he set out for Yorkshire. On the twenty eighth he reached his “thatched cottage” at Coxwold, and began another course of corrosive Mercury. His “face as pale and clear as a Lady after her Lying in,” he rose from his bed to take the air every day in his postchaise drawn by “two fine horses,” and by the middle of June he was “well and alert.” So he went over to Hall-Stevenson’s at Crazy Castle, where on the neighboring beach, “as even as a mirrour of 5 miles in Length,” squire and parson ran daily races in their chaises, “with one wheel in the Sea, & the other in the Sand.” In the course of the summer, Sterne paid another visit to Crazy Castle; Hall-Stevenson came to Coxwold for a day or two, and they went together to Harrogate to drink the waters. By the 27th of July they were back at York for the races. At the beginning of the next month, Sterne was “hurried backwards and forwards ab^t. the arrival of Madame”—an event that had long been impending to the suspense and torture of his mind.

To some the _Journal_ will be most interesting for the light it sheds upon Sterne’s doings for four months in the last year of his life. By it may be determined the dates of letters and the order of Sterne’s movements in London and then in Yorkshire. It is no doubt a fragment of trustworthy autobiography. To others it may appeal as a Shandean essay. Indeed Sterne himself thought the story of his illness—especially in its first stages—as good as any of the accidents that befell Mr. Tristram Shandy. All will see that the _Journal_ is a sentimental document. For just as in the _Sentimental Journey_, Sterne here lets his fancy play about trivial incidents and trivial things. A cat as well as a donkey may become an emotional theme:

“Eating my fowl,” he records for July 8, “and my trouts & my cream & my strawberries, as melancholly as a Cat; for want of you—by the by, I have got one which sits quietly besides me, purring all day to my sorrows—& looking up gravely from time to time in my face, as if she knew my Situation.—how soothable my heart is Eliza, when such little things sooth it! for in some pathetic sinkings I feel even some support from this poor Cat—I attend to her purrings—& think they harmonize me—they are _pianissimo_ at least, & do not disturb me.—poor Yorick! to be driven, w^{th}. all his sensibilities, to these resources—all powerful Eliza, that has had this magic^l. authority over him; to bend him thus to the dust.”

With him was always the picture of Eliza, who had sat for him just before going down to Deal. It may have been one of Cosway’s; but we do not know, for it has disappeared along with all other portraits of Mrs. Draper. It rested upon his table as he wrote his daily record of incident and emotion. To it he said his matins and vespers, and felt all his murmurs quieted by the spirit that spoke to him from the “gentle sweet face.” “I’ve been,” he says, “as far as York to day with no Soul with me in my Chase, but y^r. Picture—for it has a _Soul_ I think—or something like one which has talk’d to me, & been the best Company I ever took a Journey with.” He showed the portrait to the Archbishop of York—“his Grace, his Lady and Sister”—and told them “a short but interesting Story” of his “friendship for the original.” It was taken over to Crazy Castle where it went round the table after supper and Eliza’s health with it. And finally, says Sterne, in allusion to the _Sentimental Journey_, “I have brought y^r. name _Eliza!_ and Picture into my work—where they will remain—when you and I are at rest for ever.” But with Sterne sentiment must end in humor; and so came that daring fancy of some Dryasdust commenting in a far distant time on Yorick and Eliza: “Some Annotator,” says Sterne, “or explainer of my works in this place will take occasion to speak of the Friendship w^{ch}. subsisted so long & faithfully betwixt Yorick & the Lady he speaks of—Her Name he will tell the world was Draper—a Native of India—married there to a gentleman in the India Service of that Name—who brought her over to England for the recovery of her health in the Year 65—where She continued to April the year 1767. It was ab^t. three months before her Return to India, That our Author’s acquaintance & hers began. M^{rs}. Draper had a great thirst for knowledge—was handsome—genteel—engaging—and of such gentle disposition & so enlightened an understanding,—That Yorick (whether he made much opposition is not known) from an acquaintance—soon became her Admirer—they caught fire, at each other at the same time—& they w^d. often say, without reserve to the world, & without any Idea of saying wrong in it, That their Affections for each other were _unbounded_—M^r. Draper dying in the Year * * * * * This Lady return’d to England & Yorick the year after becoming a Widower—They were married—& retiring to one of his Livings in Yorkshire, where was a most romantic Situation—they lived & died happily—and are spoke of with honour in the parish to this day.”

Sterne felt sure that the marriage with Eliza would take place within three years. He had so written on the impulse of the moment in dedicating an almanac to her, and he believed that impulse came from heaven. In the meantime Eliza was omnipresent in the spirit. “In proportion,” writes Sterne, “as I am thus torn from y^r. embraces—_I cling the closer to the Idea of you_. Your Figure is ever before my eyes—the sound of y^r. voice vibrates with its sweetest tones the live long day in my ear—I can see & hear nothing but my Eliza.” As he sat down to his _Sentimental Journey_, Eliza entered the library without tapping, and he had to shut her out before he could begin writing. On another day, the dear Bramine was asked to stay that her presence might “soften and modulate” his feelings for a sentimental portrait—the fair Fleming, it may be, or the beautiful Grisette, or the heartbroken Maria. To Eliza he dedicated “a sweet little apartment” in his “thatched palace,” and entered there ten times every day to render his devotions to her in “the sweetest of earthly Tabernacles.” And for his future “Partner and Companion” he built a pavilion in “a retired corner” of his garden, where he sat in reverie, and longed and waited for that day’s sleep when he might say with Adam—“_Behold the Woman Thou has given me for Wife._”

The woman that had been given him for wife twenty-five years before was still in France. But she was then about to visit her husband for the purpose of obtaining from him provision for the support of herself and daughter in southern France. After repeated delays Mrs. Sterne reached Coxwold on the second of October. As Sterne looks forward to this visit, his “heart sinks down to the earth.” He would be in health and strength, if it were not for this cloud hanging over him with “its tormenting consequences.” Taking this distress for theme, his friend Hall-Stevenson wrote “an affecting little poem” which Sterne promised to transcribe for Eliza. When illness prevented Mrs. Sterne from setting out from France as soon as she expected, her husband became impatient at the detention, for he was anxious “to know certainly _the day and hour of this Judgment_.” “The period of misery,” covering a month at length came and passed. Half in love with her husband because of his humanity and generosity, Mrs. Sterne went to York to spend the winter. In the spring she was to retire into France, “whence,” says Sterne, “she purposes not to stir, till her death.—& never, has she vow’d, will give me another sorrowful or discontented hour.” These last weeks with his wife brought to Sterne one consolation more.—Mrs. Sterne confessed to her husband that at the time of her marriage she made herself out ten years younger than she really was. “God bless,” he writes to Eliza, “& make the remainder of her Life happy—in order to w^{ch}. I am to remit her three hundred guineas a year.”

Much that was said, in an earlier volume, of the _Sentimental Journey_ might be appropriately repeated here of the _Journal to Eliza_. Once Sterne was at the point of dying broken hearted because of his separation from Miss Lumley. Twenty-five years after marriage she became “a restless unreasonable Wife whom neither gentleness or generosity can conquer.” With Mrs. Draper, Sterne was no doubt more deeply in love than he had ever been with his wife. He would have married her, but for the barriers. And yet, had he married her, the time must surely have come when even Eliza would have found her place supplanted. For sincere as Sterne may have been for the moment, his emotions were fugitive and volatile. If one woman were not at hand for evoking them, another would answer as well; if not one object, why then another. Whole passages—and this is one of the Sterne curiosities—are taken from the letters to Miss Lumley and carried over into the _Journal to Eliza_, as applicable, with a few minor changes, to the new situation. It was hardly more than writing “Molly” for “Fanny,” or “our faithful friend Mrs. James” for “the good Miss S——” and the old “sentimental repasts” once graced by Miss Lumley could be served anew for Eliza.[4]

To explain these remarkable parallelisms,—sometimes word for word—Mr. Sidney Lee has recently suggested that Mrs. Medalle, in editing her father’s correspondence, “foisted some passages from the _Journal_ on her mother’s love-letters.”[5] Mrs. Medalle was certainly unscrupulous enough for that; but it is more likely that Sterne deliberately adjusted the letters to the _Journal_ from copies preserved at Coxwold. Miss S—— of York consoled with him in the earlier days while Miss Lumley was away in Staffordshire. Mrs. James now consoles with him for the loss of Eliza. The situations are similar; and why should not the same or similar language be used in describing them. Sterne’s plagiarism from himself in the _Journal_ is by no means confined to the sentimental passages. The letter dated June 7, 1767, to A. Lee Esq., descriptive of the golden age at Coxwold, was worked into the _Journal_ for the second of July. And in reverse order, the Shandean story of Sterne’s illness recorded in the _Journal_ for the twenty-second of April, was retold on the twenty-first of May in a letter to the Earl of S——. This was, as has been seen, the manner of the sermons, of which two were nearly alike except for the different texts.

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INTRODUCTION

THACKERAY AND THE JOURNAL.

WHILE Thackeray was preparing his lectures on the _English Humourists_, Mr. Gibbs sent him the _Journal to Eliza_ in a parcel which seems to have contained also the copy of the _Letters from Yorick to Eliza_ now bound with the Gibbs Manuscripts. Surprise has been expressed by Sterne’s biographers—Mr. Percy Fitzgerald and Mr. Sidney Lee—that Thackeray “made no use” of the _Journal_, as if he thought it “of slight importance.” The biographers also say that it was lent to Thackeray “while he was lecturing on Sterne.” As a matter of fact, Thackeray must have received the Manuscripts nearly a month before his lecture; and as will be seen, he did make some use of them. But we will let Thackeray first speak for himself. The following letter to Mr. Gibbs is postmarked May 31, 1851 and June 1, 1851.

13 Young St. Kensington May 31 [1851.]

Dear Sir

I thank you very much for your obliging offer, and the kind terms in w^h. you make it. If you will send me the MSS I will take great care of them, and gratefully restore them to their owner.

Your very faithful Serv^t.

W M THACKERAY

It may be taken for granted that the Manuscripts reached Thackeray in the course of a week. The lecture on Sterne and Goldsmith—the last of the series—was read at Willis’s Rooms on the afternoon of Thursday July 3, 1851.[6] After a long delay, the Manuscripts were returned to Mr. Gibbs, with a comment on the man Sterne as revealed by the _Journal_. I give the letter just as Thackeray wrote it, save for erasures and substitutions:

Kensington 12 September [1851.]

Dear Sir

Immediately after my lectures I went abroad and beg your pardon for having forgotten in the hurry of my departure to return the MSS w^h. you were good enough to lend me. I am sorry that reading the Brahmin’s letters to his Brahmine did not increase my respect for the Reverend Laurence Sterne.

In his printed letters there is one XCII[7] addressed to Lady P. full of love and despair for my Lady & pronouncing that he had got a ticket for Miss xxx benefit that night, which he might use if deprived of the superior delight of seeing Lady P. I looked in the Dramatic Register (I think is the name of the book) to find what lady took a benefit on a Tuesday, & found the names of _2_, 1 at Covent Garden, & one at Drury Lane, on the same Tuesday evening, and no other Miss’s benefit on a Tuesday during the Season. Miss Poyntz I think is one of the names, but I’m 5 miles from the book as I write to you, and forget the lady’s name & the day.

However on the day Sterne was writing to Lady P., and going to Miss ——’s benefit, he is _dying_ in his Journal to the Brahmine, can’t eat, has the Doctor, & is in a dreadful way.

He wasn’t dying, but lying I’m afraid—God help him—a falser & wickeder man its difficult to read of. Do you know the accompanying pamphlet.[8] (My friend M^r. Cooper gave me this copy, w^h he had previously sent to the Reform club, & has since given the club another copy) there is more of Yorick’s love making in these letters, with blasphemy to flavor the compositions, and indications of a scornful unbelief. Of course any man is welcome to believe as he likes for me _except_ a parson, and I can’t help looking upon Swift & Sterne as a couple of traitors and renegades (as one does upon Bonneval or poor Bem the other day,) with a scornful pity for them in spite of all their genius and greatness.

With many thanks for your loan believe me Dear Sir

Very faithfully yours

W. M. THACKERAY

It may be that Thackeray left the _Journal_ unread until after the lecture on Sterne and Goldsmith. No positive statement can be made about that. But it is not probable that he would fail to examine at once Sterne manuscripts that he “gratefully” received. True, no quotation is made from the _Journal_ for the lecture—and in that sense Thackeray “made no use of it”—but a careless perusal of the document is precisely what would lead one to the unreasonable view that Thackeray took of Sterne. He was evidently much amused by the account Sterne gives of a fever brought on by the loss of Eliza—the minute circumstances of the blood letting and the wise physicians, the farewell to Eliza and the announcement on an evening that “I am going,” to be corrected the next morning by “So shall not depart as I apprehended.” At this point Thackeray turned to that famous letter written on an afternoon at the Mount Coffee-house to Lady P., which bears no date except “Tuesday, 3 o’clock,” though in the standard editions of Sterne it is among the letters for April 1767. Sterne writes to “my dear lady” that if she will permit him to spend the evening with her, he will gladly stay away from Miss * * * * * * *’s benefit, for which he has purchased a box ticket. On consulting the Dramatic Register, Thackeray discovered that the only actresses to receive benefits on a Tuesday in April 1767 were Miss Pope at Drury Lane and Miss Poitier at Covent Garden. The date for each was the twenty-first. The very day then, that Sterne was dying for Eliza, he was also dining in the Mount Coffee-house and trying to make an assignation with Lady P. Cleverly forged as Thackeray’s chain may seem, it has one weak link. The date of the letter to Lady P. is undetermined. In Mrs. Medalle’s edition of the correspondence, the letter was placed near the end as if it belonged to December 1767 or to January 1768. In the collected edition of Sterne’s works, it first appeared with the letters for April 1767. April 21, 1767 is impossible, for Sterne was surely too ill then to leave his lodgings. On that very day, as Thackeray might have observed, Sterne wrote to Mr. and Mrs. James that he was “almost dead” from the bleeding. It may be supposed, if you like, that Sterne could exaggerate or even sham an illness to awaken Eliza’s pity for him, but he could have had no motive for deceiving his friends in Gerrard street. Without much doubt the correct date for the letter is Tuesday, April 23, 1765. As he sat in the Mount Coffee-house, Sterne was debating within himself whether he should pass the evening with Lady Percy, or attend the benefit to be given at Covent Garden to Miss Wilford, a popular dancer, who was to appear on that evening as Miranda in Mrs. Centlivre’s _Busy Body_.[9]

How much Thackeray’s unfortunate mistake may have contributed to the violence of his essay in the _Humourists_ we shall never know. It may have been the very thing which clenched his opinion that Sterne’s word was never to be trusted. At any rate, no one can longer say that Thackeray “made no use of” the _Journal to Eliza_. Thereafter Thackeray usually assumed a more genial tone when Sterne became the theme. Nobody can object to that letter he wrote in Sterne’s room at Dessein’s Hôtel for Miss Baxter in America. “Sterne’s picture”—to quote a sentence or two from the delightful passage—“Sterne’s picture is looking down on me from the chimney piece at which he warmed his lean old shanks ninety years ago. He seems to say ‘You are right. I _was_ a humbug: and you, my lad, are you not as great?’ Come, come Mr. Sterne none of these tu quoques. Some of the London papers are abusing me as hard as ever I assaulted you.” Then there is this same fancy elaborated into a _Roundabout_: Thackeray is again in Sterne’s room at midnight, when a lean figure in black-satin breeches appears in the moonlight to call him to account with menacing finger for that mistrust and abuse of ten years back. But there is also another _Roundabout_ in which Sterne figures—_Notes of a Week’s Holiday_,[10] wherein Thackeray returns to the old assault with terrific fury. The _Journal to Eliza_, there mentioned by title, is focussed with an anecdote misread from Dutens’ _Memoirs_, for a scathing portrait of a “wretched old sinner.” Thackeray seems to have immediately repented of his loss of temper, for the passage—two pages in length—was not allowed to go into the collected _Roundabouts_. It has, I think, never been reprinted. Hence the biographers may be pardoned for saying that Thackeray made no use of “Sterne’s own Journal to Eliza,” sent him by “a gentleman from Bath.”

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INTRODUCTION

THE AUTOGRAPH LETTERS.

THE two letters from Sterne to Mr. and Mrs. James are not original drafts that were, according to the usual statement, afterwards recast and elaborated. They are the very letters that went through the mails to their destination; and their counterparts found in the printed collections are only mutilated forms for which Sterne’s daughter is responsible. Mrs. Medalle possessed every quality that should damn the editor. She was ignorant; she was careless; she was dishonest. That the letters as Sterne wrote them may be easily compared with the mutilations, I have printed the two sets side by side in their due place among the _Letters and Miscellanies_; and I here reprint the authentic copies, that the material of the Gibbs Manuscripts may be all together. To both letters Mrs. Medalle gave wrong dates. Words and phrases were inserted for the improvement of her father’s style. An amusing passage on the impending visit of Mrs. Sterne was stricken out. And the references to Mrs. Draper—her journal, letters, and Sterne’s anxiety for her—were either deleted or emasculated. This want of the literary conscience no doubt vitiates the entire Sterne correspondence that appeared under the supervision of Mrs. Medalle.

In the Sterne curiosity-shop, where one strange thing lies hidden beneath another, nothing has been uncovered quite so curious as the draft of a letter to Daniel Draper, Esq., of Bombay. Sterne evidently found it difficult to explain to the husband of Eliza the kind of love he felt for her; for he begins a sentence, breaks it off, starts in anew, draws pen through word and phrase once more, and finally passes into chaos on arriving at the verge of a proposal that Mrs. Draper shall be permitted to return to England and live under his platonic protection. The letter bears no date, but as its substance is contained in the _Journal_ for the second of June, it was probably written soon after Sterne’s coming to Coxwold in the early summer of 1767. That Sterne completed the sketch and sent it off to Draper may seem improbable. But Sterne was certainly corresponding with Draper at this time.[11] A photograph of the letter is given here along with Mr. Gibbs’s own version.[12]

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INTRODUCTION

THE LETTERS OF ELIZABETH DRAPER.

NO apology is necessary for including in the works of Sterne the letters of Mrs. Draper. If the journal she kept for him on the voyage to India and the letters to him covering the year 1767 may not be recovered, we have in their stead several letters, of which some have appeared in print and others are in manuscripts that are accessible.[13] Most important of all is the long ship-letter (forming a part of the Gibbs Manuscripts) from Bombay to Mrs. James in London. It is really the fragment of an autobiography, down to 1772. Now thoroughly disillusioned, Mrs. Draper passes in review her early education, the ill-starred marriage, the friendship with Sterne, the efforts to aid widow and daughter, her literary aims and ambitions, and the sorrow that was fast settling close upon her. Of Sterne she says: “I was almost an Idolator of His Worth, while I fancied Him the Mild, Generous, Good Yorick, We had so often thought him to be.” But “his Death,” she must add with words underscored, “gave me to know, that he was tainted with the Vices of Injustice, meanness & Folly.” Of her treatment by Mrs. Sterne and Lydia she makes bitter complaint, and for the best of reasons. For them she collected, with the aid of Colonel Campbell, twelve hundred rupees among her friends in India; and Lydia she invited to come and live with her. Her kindness was met with a threat to publish her letters to Sterne, then in the hands of the widow and daughter. The sad record is relieved by many charming feminine traits of character, and it is ennobled by the mother yearning to be with her children left behind in England.

One aspect of the self-drawn portrait has especial interest. Mrs. Draper was—I have said it—a blue-stocking. She was probably not acquainted with Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, whose assemblies of blue-stockings were then famous; but the _Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear_ had reached India. After reading Mrs. Montagu’s book, Mrs. Draper declared that she “would rather be an Attendant on her Person, than the first Peeress of the Realm.” And so under this new inspiration Mrs. Draper resumed the scribbling to which she had been encouraged by Sterne. “A little piece or two” that she “discarded some years ago,” were completed; they were “not perhaps unworthy of the press,” but they were never printed. Though these efforts seem to be lost, Mrs. Draper took advantage of the occasion to weave into her letter to Mrs. James various little essays which may be described in her phrase as “of the moral kind,” because they have to do with practical conduct. Anxiety for the welfare of her daughter Betsey, who had been put to school at Kensington, leads to several pages on the boarding-school and the parlor-boarder, which are good enough to find a place in one of Mrs. Chapone’s letters. A little way on, she relates the “story of a married pair, which,” she says, “pleased me greatly, from the sensible singularity of it.” The tale tells of a wealthy and indolent man in North India who married a smart young woman to “rouse his mind from its usual state of Inactivity”—and he succeeded. The wife, too, discarded her light airs, and became a most agreeable woman. It all reads like a character sketch from Margaret Duchess of Newcastle. There is also an experiment in the sentimental style, wherein is told the story of “a smart pretty French woman,” who, shutting out all promiscuous loves and friendships, kept her heart for her dear husband alone and one “sweet woman” across the Alps. “The lovely Janatone,” writes Mrs. Draper, “died three Years ago—after surviving her Husband about a Week and her Friend a twelvemonth.” And besides these, there are other sketches from life, and vivid descriptions of society at Bombay. If Eliza did not write exactly, as Sterne flattered her, “with an angel’s pen,” she knew how to ramble agreably.

Of other letters by Mrs. Draper, thirteen are now owned by Lord Basing of Hoddington, a descendant of Mrs. Draper’s uncle, Richard Sclater. These letters, which are said to relate mostly to family affairs, have not been procured for this collection. But their tenor may perhaps be inferred from the letter dated Tellicherry, April 1769, which is here printed from the autograph copy in the British Museum. Though the name of the man to whom it was addressed is left blank, the contents show that he was a friend of the Drapers who had retired from the service and returned to England. The letter presents a portrait of Mrs. Draper, not the blue-stocking but the sensible wife who has resolved to adjust herself to the humdrum and drudgery of official India. Her husband, she says, has lost his two clerks, and so she is “maintaining his correspondence for him.” Quite remarkable, too, as her good sense, is the knowledge she shows of the intrigues and blunders that culminated in the troubles with Hyder Ali, then besieging Madras and striking terror throughout South India.

Mrs. Draper’s career in India is brought to a close by the letters written on the eve of her elopement. Now in private hands at Bombay, they were published, with an introductory essay, in the _Times of India_ for February 24, 1894, and in the overland weekly issue for March 3, 1894. In the first of them Mrs. Draper gives “a faithful servant and friend”—one Eliza Mihill—an order on George Horsley, Esq., in England for all her jewels, valued at 500_l._ or more. Accept them, the generous woman writes, “as the best token in my power, expressive of my good will to you.” Of the Mr. Horsley, one of Mrs. Draper’s closest friends, who had gone to England for his health, a pretty character-sketch was made two years before in the long letter to Mrs. James. To him she addressed a brief impassioned note—the second of the series—explaining what she has done for Betty Mihill and what she is about to do for her own freedom. The third letter, which is to her husband, in justification of her conduct, was composed under great agitation of mind, as she was awaiting the moment of the last perilous step. Her pearls and silk clothes she left behind, taking, of all her ornaments, only the picture of Betty—“my dearest girl,” far off in England.

For Mrs. Draper after her escape to England, material is scant. There is really nothing very trustworthy except an undated letter to Wilkes the politician, thanking him for a “French volume” and beseeching him to cease from his flattery. This letter, of which the original is in the British Museum, is here printed from Mr. Fitzgerald’s copy. A degrading anecdote of Combe’s is omitted, as it seems more likely to be false than true. We conclude with the eulogy on Eliza by the Abbé Raynal, the second ecclesiastic to be startled out of propriety by that oval face and those brilliant eyes.

W. L. C.

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LETTERS

FROM

YORICK TO ELIZA.

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TO THE

RIGHT HONOURABLE

LORD APSLEY,

LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR

OF ENGLAND.[14]

MY LORD,

The Editor of the following Letters is so far from having tasted your Lordship’s bounty, that he is, and perhaps ever must remain, a stranger to your person, consequently no adulation is to be apprehended from him——

* * * * *

He leaves it to the weak and oppressed, the widow and orphan, to proclaim your Lordship’s virtues in your public capacity; that which he would celebrate is of a private nature, namely, your filial affection, which is so conspicuous, that he flatters himself a Volume of Letters written by such a person as Mr. STERNE, in which your noble father[15] is placed in a light so truly amiable, cannot fail of engaging your Lordship’s gracious acceptance and protection—in this hope, and upon this foundation, he presumes to dedicate these papers to your Lordship, and to have the honour of subscribing himself,

My Lord,

your Lordship’s

most obedient,

and most humble Servant,

THE EDITOR.

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PREFACE.[16]

THE foul and infamous traffic, between dishonest booksellers, and profligate scribblers, which has subsisted for more than a century, has justly brought posthumous publications under suspicion, in England, France, and more especially in Holland: ministers of state in every European court, great generals, royal mistresses, authors of established reputation, in a word, all such as have had the misfortune to advance themselves to eminence, have been obliged to leave behind them parcels of letters, and other memoirs, of the most secret and important transactions of their times, in which, every fact beyond the information of a news-paper, or coffee-house chat, is so faithfully misrepresented, every character delineated with such punctual deviation from the truth, and causes and effects which have no possible relation, are with such amazing effrontery obtruded upon the public, that it is no wonder if men of sense, who read for instruction as well as entertainment, generally condemn them in the lump, never, or very rarely, affording them the honour of a perusal,—the publisher of these letters, however, has not the smallest apprehension that any part of this well grounded censure can fall to his share; he deals not in surprising events to astonish the reader, nor in characters (one excepted) which have figured on the great theatre of the world; he purposely waves all proofs which might be drawn concerning their authenticity, from the character of the gentleman who had the perusal of the originals, and, with Eliza’s permission, faithfully copied them at Bombay in the East Indies; from the testimony of many reputable families in this city, who knew and loved Eliza, caressed and admired Mr. Sterne, and were well acquainted with the tender friendship between them; from many curious anecdotes in the letters themselves, any one of which were fully sufficient to authenticate them, and submits his reputation to the taste and discernment of the commonest reader, who must, in one view, perceive that these letters are genuine, beyond any possibility of doubt,—as the public is unquestionably entitled to every kind of information concerning the characters contained in these letters, which consists with the duties of humanity and a good citizen, that is, a minute acquaintance with those of whom honourable mention is made, or the publisher is furnished with authorities to vindicate from Mr. Sterne’s censures, which as a man of warm temper and lively imagination, he was perhaps sometimes hurried into without due reflection, he persuades himself that no party concerned, will or can be offended with this publication, especially if it is considered that without such information it would be cold and unentertaining; that by publishing their merits he cannot be understood to intend them any injury, and without it, he would in himself fail in his duty to the public.——Eliza, the lady to whom these letters are addressed, is Mrs. Elizabeth Draper, wife of Daniel Draper, Esq. counsellor at Bombay, and at present chief of the English factory at Surat, a gentleman very much respected in that quarter of the globe—she is by birth an East-Indian; but the circumstance of being born in the country not proving sufficient to defend her delicate frame against the heats of that burning climate, she came to England for the recovery of her health, when by accident she became acquainted with Mr. Sterne. He immediately discovered in her a mind so congenial with his own, so enlightened, so refined, and so tender, that their mutual attraction presently joined them in the closest union that purity could possibly admit of; he loved her as his friend, and prided in her as his pupil; all her concerns became presently his; her health, her circumstances, her reputation, her children, were his; his fortune, his time, his country, were at her disposal, so far as the sacrifice of all or any of these might, in his opinion, contribute to her real happiness. If it is asked whether the glowing heat of Mr. Sterne’s affection never transported him to a flight beyond the limits of pure Platonism, the publisher will not take upon him absolutely to deny it; but this he thinks, so far from leaving any stain upon that gentleman’s memory, that it perhaps includes his fairest encomium; since to cherish the seeds of piety and chastity in a heart which the passions are interested to corrupt, must be allowed to be the noblest effort of a soul fraught and fortified with the justest sentiments of religion and virtue.—Mr. and Mrs. James, so frequently and honourably mentioned in these letters, are the worthy heads of an opulent family in this city: their character is too well established to need the aid of the publisher in securing the estimation they so well deserve, and universally possess, yet he cannot restrain one observation; that to have been respected and beloved by Mr. Sterne and Mrs. Draper, is no inconsiderable testimony of their merit, and such as it cannot be displeasing to them to see published to the world.——Miss Light, now Mrs. Stratton, is on all accounts a very amiable young lady—she was accidentally a passenger in the same ship with Eliza, and instantly engaged her friendship and esteem; but being mentioned in one of Mrs. Draper’s letters to Mr. Sterne, in somewhat of a comparative manner with herself, his partiality for her, as she modestly expressed it, took the alarm, and betrayed him into some expressions, the coarseness of which cannot be excused. Mrs. Draper declares that this lady was entirely unknown to him, and infinitely superior to his idea of her: she has been lately married to George Stratton, Esq. counsellor at Madrass.—The manner in which Mr. Sterne’s acquaintance with the celebrated Lord Bathurst, the friend and companion of Addison, Swift, Pope, Steele, and all the finest wits of the last age, commenced, cannot fail to attract the attention of the curious reader: here, that great man is social and unreserved, unshackled with that sedulity in supporting a feigned character which exposes most of his rank to the contempt of wise men, and the ridicule of their valets de chambre; here he appears the same as in his hours of festivity and happiness with Swift and Addison, superior to forms and ceremonies, and, in his eighty-fifth year, abounding in wit, vivacity, and humanity: methinks, the pleasure of such a gentleman’s acquaintance resembles that of conversing with superior beings; but it is not fit to dwell longer on this pleasing topic, lest it should anticipate the reader’s pleasure in perusing the letter itself. One remark however it suggests, which may be useful to old men in general, namely, that it appears by his Lordship’s example, the sour contracted spirit observable in old age, is not specifically an effect of years, altho’ they are commonly pleaded in its excuse. Old men would therefore do well to correct this odious quality in themselves; or, if that must not be, to invent a better apology for it. It is very much to be lamented, that Eliza’s modesty was invincible to all the publisher’s endeavours to obtain her answers to these letters: her wit, penetration, and judgment, her happiness in the epistolary style, so rapturously recommended by Mr. Sterne, could not fail to furnish a rich entertainment for the public. The publisher could not help telling her, that he wished to God she was really possessed of that vanity with which she was charged; to which she replied, that she was so far from acquitting herself of vanity, that she suspected that to be the cause why she could not prevail on herself to submit her letters to the public eye; for altho’ Mr. Sterne was partial to every thing of her’s, she could not hope that the world would be so too. With this answer he was obliged to be contented; yet cannot reflect without deep concern, that this elegant accomplishment, so peculiarly adapted to the refined and delicate understandings of ladies should be yet so rare, that we can boast of only one Lady Wortley Montagu among us; and that Eliza, in particular, could not be prevailed on to follow the example of that admired lady.—The reader will remark that these letters have various signatures; sometimes he signs Sterne, sometimes Yorick, and to one or two he signs Her Bramin. Altho’ it is pretty generally known who the Bramins are, yet lest any body should be at a loss, it may not be amiss to observe, that the principal cast or tribe among the idolatrous Indians are the Bramins, and out of the chief class of this cast comes the priests so famous for their austerities, and the shocking torments, and frequently death, they voluntarily expose themselves to, on a religious account. Now, as Mr. Sterne was a clergyman, and Eliza an Indian by birth, it was customary with her to call him her Bramin, which he accordingly, in his pleasant moods, uses as a signature.——

* * * * *

It remains only to take some notice of the family, marked with asterisks, on whom Mr. Sterne has thought proper to shed the bitterest gall of his pen. It is however evident, even from some passages in the letters themselves, that Mrs. Draper could not be easily prevailed on to see this family in the same odious light in which they appeared to her perhaps over-zealous friend. He, in the heat, or I may say, hurry of his affection, might have accepted suspicious circumstances as real evidences of guilt, or listened too unguardedly to the insinuations of their enemies.

* * * * *

Be that as it may, as the publisher is not furnished with sufficient authorities to exculpate them, he chuses to drop the ungrateful subject, heartily wishing, that this family may not only be innocent of the shocking treachery with which they are charged, but may be able to make their innocence appear clearly to the world; otherwise, that no person may be industrious enough to make known their name.

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LETTERS

FROM

YORICK TO ELIZA

LETTER I.[17]

ELIZA will receive my books with this. The sermons came all hot from the heart: I wish that I could give them any title to be offered to yours.—The others came from the head—I am more indifferent about their reception.

I know not how it comes about, but I am half in love with you—I ought to be wholly so; for I never valued (or saw more good qualities to value) or thought more of one of your sex than of you; so adieu.

Yours faithfully,

if not affectionately,

L. STERNE.

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LETTER II.

I Cannot rest, Eliza, though I shall call on you at half past twelve, till I know how you do—May thy dear face smile, as thou risest, like the sun of this morning. I was much grieved to hear of your alarming indisposition yesterday; and disappointed too, at not being let in.—Remember, my dear, that a friend has the same right as a physician. The etiquettes of this town (you’ll say) say otherwise.—No matter! Delicacy and propriety do not always consist in observing their frigid doctrines.

I am going out to breakfast, but shall be at my lodgings by eleven; when I hope to read a single line under thy own hand, that thou art better, and wilt be glad to see thy Bramin.

9 o’clock.

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LETTER III.

I Got thy letter last night, Eliza, on my return from Lord Bathurst’s, where I dined, and where I was heard (as I talked of thee an hour without intermission) with so much pleasure and attention, that the good old Lord toasted your health three different times; and now he is in his eighty-fifth year, says he hopes to live long enough to be introduced as a friend to my fair Indian disciple, and to see her eclipse all other nabobesses as much in wealth, as she does already in exterior and (what is far better) in interior merit. I hope so too. This nobleman is an old friend of mine.—You know he was always the protector of men of wit and genius; and has had those of the last century, Addison, Steele, Pope, Swift, Prior, &c. &c. always at his table.—The manner in which his notice began of me, was as singular as it was polite.—He came up to me, one day, as I was at the Princess of Wales’s court. “I want to know you, Mr. Sterne; but it is fit you should know, also, who it is that wishes this pleasure. You have heard, continued he, of an old Lord Bathurst, of whom your Popes and Swifts have sung and spoken so much: I have lived my life with geniuses of that cast; but have survived them; and, despairing ever to find their equals, it is some years since I have closed my accounts, and shut up my books, with thoughts of never opening them again; but you have kindled a desire in me of opening them once more before I die; which I now do; so go home and dine with me.”—This nobleman, I say, is a prodigy; for at eighty-five he has all the wit and promptness of a man of thirty. A disposition to be pleased, and a power to please others beyond whatever I knew: added to which, a man of learning, courtesy, and feeling.

He heard me talk of thee, Eliza, with uncommon satisfaction; for there was only a third person, and of sensibility, with us.—And a most sentimental afternoon, ’till nine o’clock, have we passed! But thou, Eliza, wert the star that conducted and enliven’d the discourse.—And when I talked not of thee, still didst thou fill my mind, and warmed every thought I uttered; for I am not ashamed to acknowledge I greatly miss thee.—Best of all good girls! the sufferings I have sustained the whole night on account of thine, Eliza, are beyond my power of words.—Assuredly does Heaven give strength proportioned to the weight he lays upon us! Thou hast been bowed down, my child, with every burden that sorrow of heart, and pain of body, could inflict upon a poor being; and still thou tellest me, thou art beginning to get ease;—thy fever gone, thy sickness, the pain in thy side vanishing also.—May every evil so vanish that thwarts Eliza’s happiness, or but awakens thy fears for a moment!—Fear nothing, my dear!—Hope every thing; and the balm of this passion will shed its influence on thy health, and make thee enjoy a spring of youth and chearfulness, more than thou hast hardly yet tasted.

And so thou hast fixed thy Bramin’s portrait over thy writing-desk; and wilt consult it in all doubts and difficulties.——Grateful and good girl! Yorick smiles contentedly over all thou dost; his picture does not do justice to his own complacency!

Thy sweet little plan and distribution of thy time—how worthy of thee! Indeed, Eliza, thou leavest me nothing to direct thee in; thou leavest me nothing to require, nothing to ask—but a continuation of that conduct which won my esteem, and has made me thy friend for ever.

May the roses come quick back to thy cheeks, and the rubies to thy lips! But trust my declaration, Eliza, that thy husband (if he is the good, feeling man I wish him) will press thee to him with more honest warmth and affection, and kiss thy pale, poor, dejected face, with more transport, than he would be able to do, in the best bloom of all thy beauty;—and so he ought, or I pity him. He must have strange feelings, if he knows not the value of such a creature as thou art!

I am glad Miss Light[18] goes with you. She may relieve you from many anxious moments.—I am glad your ship-mates are friendly beings. You could least dispense with what is contrary to your own nature, which is soft and gentle, Eliza.—It would civilize savages.—Though pity were it thou shouldst be tainted with the office! How canst thou make apologies for thy last letter? ’tis most delicious to me, for the very reason you excuse it. Write to me, my child, only such. Let them speak the easy carelessness of a heart that opens itself, any how, and every how, to a man you ought to esteem and trust. Such, Eliza, I write to thee,—and so I should ever live with thee, most artlessly, most affectionately, if Providence permitted thy residence in the same section of the globe; for I am, all that honour and affection can make me,

Thy Bramin.

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LETTER IV.

I Write this, Eliza, at Mr. James’s, whilst he is dressing, and the dear girl, his wife, is writing, beside me, to thee.—I got your melancholy billet before we sat down to dinner. ’Tis melancholy indeed, my dear, to hear so piteous an account of thy sickness! Thou art encountered with evils enow, without that additional weight! I fear it will sink thy poor soul, and body with it, past recovery—Heaven supply thee with fortitude! We have talked of nothing but thee, Eliza, and of thy sweet virtues, and endearing conduct, all the afternoon. Mrs. James, and thy Bramin, have mixed their tears a hundred times, in speaking of thy hardships, thy goodness, thy graces.—The ****’s, by heavens, are worthless! I have heard enough to tremble at the articulation of the name.—How could you, Eliza, leave them (or suffer them to leave you rather) with impressions the least favourable? I have told thee enough to plant disgust against their treachery to thee, to the last hour of thy life! Yet still, thou toldest Mrs. James at last, that thou believest they affectionately love thee.—Her delicacy to my Eliza, and true regard to her ease of mind, have saved thee from hearing more glaring proofs of their baseness—For God’s sake write not to them; nor foul thy fair character with such polluted hearts.—_They_ love thee! What proof? Is it their actions that say so? or their zeal for those attachments, which do thee honour, and make thee happy? or their tenderness for thy fame? No—But they _weep_, and say _tender things_.—Adieu to all such for ever. Mrs. James’s honest heart revolts against the idea of ever returning them one visit.—I honour her, and I honour thee, for almost every act of thy life, but this blind partiality for an unworthy being.

Forgive my zeal, dear girl, and allow me a right which arises only out of that fund of affection I have, and shall preserve for thee to the hour of my death! Reflect, Eliza, what are my motives for perpetually advising thee? think whether I can have any, but what proceed from the cause I have mentioned! I think you are a very deserving woman; and that you want nothing but firmness, and a better opinion of yourself, to be the best female character I know. I wish I could inspire you with a share of that vanity your enemies lay to your charge (though to me it has never been visible); because I think, in a well-turned mind, it will produce good effects.

I probably shall never see you more; yet I flatter myself you’ll sometimes think of me with pleasure; because you must be convinced I love you, and so interest myself in your rectitude, that I had rather hear of any evil befalling you, than your want of reverence for yourself. I had not power to keep this remonstrance in my breast.—It’s now out; so adieu. Heaven watch over my Eliza!

Thine,

YORICK.

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LETTER V.

TO whom should Eliza apply in her distress, but to her friend who loves her? why then, my dear, do you apologize for employing me? Yorick would be offended, and with reason, if you ever sent commissions to another, which he could execute. I have been with Zumps[19]; and your piano forté must be tuned from the brass middle string of your guittar, which is C.—I have got you a hammer too, and a pair of plyers to twist your wire with; and may every one of them, my dear, vibrate sweet comfort to my hopes! I have bought you ten handsome brass screws, to hang your necessaries upon: I purchased twelve; but stole a couple from you to put up in my own cabin, at Coxwould—I shall never hang, or take my hat off one of them, but I shall think of you. I have bought thee, moreover, a couple of iron screws, which are more to be depended on than brass, for the globes.

I have written, also, to Mr. Abraham Walker, pilot at Deal, that I had dispatched these in a packet, directed to his care; which I desired he would seek after, the moment the Deal machine arrived. I have, moreover, given him directions, what sort of an arm-chair you would want, and have directed him to purchase the best that Deal could afford, and take it, with the parcel, in the first boat that went off. Would I could, Eliza, so supply all thy wants, and all thy wishes! It would be a state of happiness to me.—The journal is as it should be—all but its contents. Poor, dear, patient being! I do more than pity you; for I think I lose both firmness and philosophy, as I figure to myself your distresses. Do not think I spoke last night with too much asperity of ****; there was cause; and besides, a good heart ought not to love a bad one; and, indeed, cannot. But, adieu to the ungrateful subject.

I have been this morning to see Mrs. James—She loves thee tenderly, and unfeignedly.—She is alarmed for thee—She says thou looked’st most ill and melancholy on going away. She pities thee. I shall visit her every Sunday, while I am in town. As this may be my last letter, I earnestly bid thee farewell.—May the God of Kindness be kind to thee, and approve himself thy protector, now thou art defenceless! And, for thy daily comfort, bear in thy mind this truth, that whatever measure of sorrow and distress is thy portion, it will be repaid to thee in a full measure of happiness, by the Being thou hast wisely chosen for thy eternal friend.

Farewell, farewell, Eliza; whilst I live, count upon me as the most warm and disinterested of earthly friends.

YORICK.

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LETTER VI.

MY DEAREST ELIZA!

I Began a new journal this morning; you shall see it; for if I live not till your return to England, I will leave it you as a legacy. ’Tis a sorrowful page; but I will write cheerful ones; and could I write letters to thee, they should be cheerful ones too: but few, I fear, will reach thee! However, depend upon receiving something of the kind by every post; till then, thou wavest thy hand, and bid’st me write no more.

Tell me how you are; and what sort of fortitude Heaven inspires you with. How are you accommodated, my dear? Is all right? Scribble away, any thing, and every thing to me. Depend upon seeing me at Deal, with the James’s, should you be detained there by contrary winds.—Indeed, Eliza, I should with pleasure fly to you, could I be the means of rendering you any service, or doing you kindness. Gracious and merciful GOD! consider the anguish of a poor girl.—Strengthen and preserve her in all the shocks her frame must be exposed to. She is now without a protector, but thee! Save her from all accidents of a dangerous element, and give her comfort at the last.

My prayer, Eliza, I hope, is heard; for the sky seems to smile upon me, as I look up to it. I am just returned from our dear Mrs. James’s, where I have been talking of thee for three hours.—She has got your picture, and likes it: but Marriot, and some other judges, agree that mine is the better, and expressive of a sweeter character. But what is that to the original? yet I acknowledge that hers is a picture for the world, and mine is calculated only to please a very sincere friend, or sentimental philosopher.—In the one, you are dressed in smiles, with all the advantages of silks, pearls, and ermine;—in the other, simple as a vestal—appearing the good girl nature made you;—which, to me, conveys an idea of more unaffected sweetness, than Mrs. Draper, habited for conquest, in a birthday suit, with her countenance animated, and her dimples visible.—If I remember right, Eliza, you endeavoured to collect every charm of your person into your face, with more than _common_ care, the day you sat for Mrs. James—Your colour, too, brightened; and your eyes shone with more than usual brilliancy. I then requested you to come simple and unadorned when you sat for me—knowing (as I see with _unprejudiced_ eyes) that you could receive no addition from the silk-worm’s aid, or jeweller’s polish. Let me now tell you a truth, which, I believe, I have uttered before.—When I first saw you, I beheld you as an object of compassion, and as a very plain woman. The mode of your dress (tho’ fashionable) disfigured you.—But nothing now could render you such, but the being solicitous to make yourself admired as a handsome one.—You are not handsome, Eliza, nor is yours a face that will please the tenth part of your beholders,—but are something more; for I scruple not to tell you, I never saw so intelligent, so animated, so good a countenance; nor was there (nor ever will be), that man of sense, tenderness, and feeling, in your company three hours, that was not (or will not be) your admirer, or friend, in consequence of it; that is, if you assume, or assumed, no character foreign to your own, but appeared the artless being nature designed you for. A something in your eyes, and voice, you possess in a degree more persuasive than any woman I ever saw, read, or heard of. But it is that bewitching sort of nameless excellence, that men of nice sensibility alone can be touched with.

Were your husband in England, I would freely give him five hundred pounds (if money could purchase the acquisition), to let you only sit by me two hours in a day, while I wrote my Sentimental Journey. I am sure the work would sell so much the better for it, that I should be reimbursed the sum more than seven times told.—I would not give nine pence for the picture of you, the Newnhams have got executed—It is the resemblance of a conceited, made-up coquette. Your eyes, and the shape of your face (the latter the most perfect oval I ever saw), which are perfections that must strike the most indifferent judge, because they are equal to any of GOD’S works in a similar way, and finer than any I beheld in all my travels, are manifestly injured by the affected leer of the one, and strange appearance of the other; owing to the attitude of the head, which is a proof of the artist’s, or your friend’s false taste. The ****’s, who verify the character I once gave of teazing, or sticking like pitch, or bird-lime, sent a card that they would wait on Mrs. **** on Friday.—She sent back, she was engaged.—Then to meet at Ranelagh, to night.—She answered, she did not go.—She says, if she allows the least footing, she never shall get rid of the acquaintance; which she is resolved to drop at once. She knows them. She knows they are not her friends, nor yours; and the first use they would make of being with her, would be to sacrifice you to her (if they could) a second time. Let her not then; let her not, my dear, be a greater friend to thee, than thou art to thyself. She begs I will reiterate my request to you, that you will not write to them. It will give her, and thy Bramin, inexpressible pain. Be assured, all this is not without reason on her side. I have my reasons too; the first of which is, that I should grieve to excess, if Eliza wanted that fortitude her Yorick has built so high upon. I said I never more would mention the name to thee; and had I not received it, as a kind of charge, from a dear woman that loves you, I should not have broke my word. I will write again to morrow to thee, thou best and most endearing of girls! A peaceful night to thee. My spirit will be with thee through every watch of it.

Adieu.

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LETTER VII.

I Think you could act no otherwise than you did with the young soldier. There was no shutting the door against him, either in politeness or humanity. Thou tellest me he seems susceptible of tender impressions: and that before Miss Light has sailed a fortnight, he will be in love with her.—Now I think it a thousand times more likely that he attaches himself to thee, Eliza; because thou art a thousand times more amiable. Five months with Eliza; and in the same room; and an amorous son of Mars besides!—“_It can no be, masser._” The sun, if he could avoid it, would not shine upon a dunghill; but his rays are so pure, Eliza, and celestial,—I never heard that they were polluted by it.—Just such will thine be, dearest child, in this, and every such situation you will be exposed to, till thou art fixed for life.—But thy discretion, thy wisdom, thy honour, the spirit of thy Yorick, and thy own spirit, which is equal to it, will be thy ablest counsellors.

Surely, by this time, something is doing for thy accommodation.—But why may not clean washing and rubbing do, instead of painting your cabin, as it is to be hung? Paint is so pernicious, both to your nerves and lungs, and will keep you so much longer too, out of your apartment; where, I hope, you will pass some of your happiest hours.—

I fear the best of your ship-mates are only genteel by comparison with the contrasted crew, with which thou must behold them. So was—you know who!—from the same fallacy that was put upon the judgment, when—but I will not mortify you. If they are decent, and distant, it is enough; and as much as is to be expected. If any of them are more, I rejoice;—thou wilt want every aid; and ’tis thy due to have them. Be cautious only, my dear, of intimacies. Good hearts are open, and fall naturally into them. Heaven inspire thine with fortitude, in this, and every deadly trial! Best of GOD’S works, farewell! Love me, I beseech thee; and remember me for ever!

I am, my Eliza, and will ever be, in the most comprehensive sense,

Thy friend,

YORICK.

P.S. Probably you will have an opportunity of writing to me by some Dutch or French ship, or from the Cape de Verd Islands—it will reach me some how.—

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LETTER VIII.

MY DEAR ELIZA!

OH! I grieve for your cabin.—And the fresh painting will be enough to destroy every nerve about thee. Nothing so pernicious as white lead. Take care of yourself, dear girl; and sleep not in it too soon. It will be enough to give you a stroke of an epilepsy.

I hope you will have left the ship; and that my Letters may meet, and greet you, as you get out of your postchaise, at Deal.—When you have got them all, put them, my dear, into some order.—The first eight or nine, are numbered: but I wrote the rest without that direction to thee; but thou wilt find them out, by the day or hour, which, I hope, I have generally prefixed to them. When they are got together, in chronological order, sew them together under a cover. I trust they will be a perpetual refuge to thee, from time to time; and that thou wilt (when weary of fools, and uninteresting discourse) retire, and converse an hour with them, and me.

I have not had power, or the heart, to aim at enlivening any one of them, with a single stroke of wit or humour; but they contain something better; and what you will feel more suited to your situation—a long detail of much advice, truth, and knowledge. I hope, too, you will perceive loose touches of an honest heart, in every one of them; which speak more than the most studied periods; and will give thee more ground of trust and reliance upon Yorick, than all that laboured eloquence could supply. Lean then thy whole weight, Eliza, upon them and upon me. “May poverty, distress, anguish, and shame, be my portion, if ever I give thee reason to repent the knowledge of me.”——With this asseveration, made in the presence of a just God, I pray to him, that so it may speed with me, as I deal candidly, and honourably with thee! I would not mislead thee, Eliza; I would not injure thee, in the opinion of a single individual, for the richest crown the proudest monarch wears.

Remember, that while I have life and power, whatever is mine, you may style, and think, yours.—Though sorry should I be, if ever my friendship was put to the test thus, for your own delicacy’s sake.—Money and counters are of equal use, in my opinion; they both serve to set up with.

I hope you will answer me this letter; but if thou art debarred by the elements, which hurry thee away, I will write one for thee; and knowing it is such a one as thou would’st have written, I will regard it as my Eliza’s.

Honour, and happiness, and health, and comforts of every kind, sail along with thee, thou most worthy of girls! I will live for thee, and my Lydia—be rich for the dear children of my heart—gain wisdom, gain fame, and happiness, to share with them—with thee—and her, in my old age.—Once for all, adieu. Preserve thy life; steadily pursue the ends we proposed; and let nothing rob thee of those powers Heaven has given thee for thy well-being.

What can I add more, in the agitation of mind I am in, and within five minutes of the last postman’s bell, but recommend thee to Heaven, and recommend myself to Heaven with thee, in the same fervent ejaculation, “that we may be happy, and meet again; if not in this world, in the next.”—Adieu,—I am thine, Eliza, affectionately, and everlastingly,

YORICK.

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LETTER IX.

I Wish to God, Eliza, it was possible to postpone the voyage to India, for another year.—For I am firmly persuaded within my own heart, that thy husband could never limit thee with regard to time.

I fear that Mr. B—— has exaggerated matters.—I like not his countenance. It is absolutely killing.—Should evil befal thee, what will he not have to answer for? I know not the being that will be deserving of so much pity, or that I shall hate more. He will be an outcast, alien—In which case I will be a father to thy children, my good girl!—therefore take no thought about them.—

But, Eliza, if thou art so very ill, still put off all thoughts of returning to India this year.—Write to your husband—tell him the truth of your case.—If he is the generous, humane man you describe him to be, he cannot but applaud your conduct.—I am credibly informed, that his repugnance to your living in England arises only from the dread, which has entered his brain, that thou mayest run him in debt, beyond thy appointments, and that he must discharge them—that such a creature should be sacrificed for the paltry consideration of a few hundreds, is too, too hard! Oh! my child! that I could, with propriety indemnify him for every charge, even to the last mite, that thou hast been of to him! With joy would I give him my whole subsistence—nay, sequester my livings, and trust the treasures Heaven has furnished my head with, for a future subsistence.—

You owe much, I allow, to your husband,—you owe something to appearances, and the opinion of the world; but, trust me, my dear, you owe much likewise to yourself.—Return therefore, from Deal, if you continue ill.—I will prescribe for you, gratis.—You are not the first woman, by many, I have done so for, with success. I will send for my wife and daughter, and they shall carry you, in pursuit of health, to Montpelier, the wells of Bancois, the Spa, or whither thou wilt. Thou shalt direct them, and make parties of pleasure in what corner of the world fancy points out to thee. We shall fish upon the banks of Arno, and lose ourselves in the sweet labyrinths of its vallies.—And then thou shouldst warble to us, as I have once or twice heard thee.—“I’m lost, I’m lost”—but we should find thee again, my Eliza.—Of a similar nature to this, was your physician’s prescription: “Use gentle exercise, the pure southern air of France, or milder Naples—with the society of friendly, gentle beings.” Sensible man! He certainly entered into your feelings. He knew the fallacy of medicine to a creature, whose ILLNESS HAS ARISEN FROM THE AFFLICTION OF HER MIND. Time only, my dear, I fear you must trust to, and have your reliance on; may it give you the health so enthusiastic a votary to the charming goddess deserves.

I honour you, Eliza, for keeping secret some things, which if explained, had been a panegyric on yourself. There is a dignity in venerable affliction which will not allow it to appeal to the world for pity or redress. Well have you supported that character, my amiable, philosophic friend! And, indeed, I begin to think you have as many virtues as my uncle Toby’s widow.—I don’t mean to insinuate, hussy, that _my_ opinion is no better founded than his was of Mrs. Wadman; nor do I conceive it possible for any _Trim_ to convince me it is equally fallacious.—I am sure, while I have my reason, it is not.—Talking of widows—pray, Eliza, if ever you are such, do not think of giving yourself to some wealthy nabob—because I design to marry you myself.—My wife cannot live long—she has sold all the provinces in France already—and I know not the woman I should like so well for her substitute as yourself.—’Tis true, I am ninety-five in constitution, and you but twenty-five—rather too great a disparity this!—but what I want in youth, I will make up in wit and good humour.—Not Swift so loved his Stella, Scarron his Maintenon, or Waller his Sacharissa, as I will love, and sing thee, my wife elect! All those names, eminent as they were, shall give place to thine, Eliza. Tell me, in answer to this, that you approve and honour the proposal, and that you would (like the Spectator’s mistress) have more joy in putting on an old man’s slipper, than associating with the gay, the voluptuous, and the young.—Adieu, my Simplicia!

Yours,

TRISTRAM.

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LETTER X.

MY DEAR ELIZA!

I Have been within the verge of the gates of death.—I was 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 awoke, with the bosom of my shirt steeped in tears. I dreamt I was sitting under the canopy of Indolence, and that thou earnest into the room, with a shaul in thy hand, and told 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 that you folded the shaul about my waist, and, kneeling, supplicated my attention. I awoke; but in what a frame! Oh! my God! “But thou wilt number my tears, and 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 father!”—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 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 misery 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 new; 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 country-women in yours.—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[20] (I read in the papers) is got to the Downs; and the wind, I find, is fair. If so—blessed woman! take my last, last farewell!—Cherish the remembrance of me; think how I esteem, nay 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 forms—but I concenter it in one word,

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, or 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!

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THE JOURNAL TO ELIZA

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[Illustration:

Tomb of Eliza Draper in Bristol Cathedral. ]

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THE JOURNAL TO ELIZA

THIS Journal wrote under the fictitious names of Yorick & Draper—and sometimes of the Bramin & Bramine—but ’tis a Diary of the miserable feelings of a person separated from a Lady for whose Society he languish’d—The real Names—are foreign—& the acc^t. a copy from a french Mans^t.—in M^r. S——’s hands—but wrote as it is, to cast a Viel over them—There is a Counterpart—which is the Lady’s acc^t. what transactions daily happend—& what Sentiments occupied her mind, during this Separation from her admirer—these are worth reading—the translator cannot say so much in fav^r. of Yoricks which seem to have little merit beyond their honesty & truth.[21]

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CONTINUATION OF THE BRAMINES JOURNAL.

([S]he saild 23[22])

Sunday Ap: 13.[23]

WROTE the last farewel to Eliza by M^r. Wats who sails this day for Bombay—inclosed her likewise the Journal kept from the day we parted, to this—so from hence continue it till the time we meet again—Eliza does the same, so we shall have mutual testimonies to deliver hereafter to each other, That the Sun has not more constantly rose & set upon the earth, than we have thought of & remember’d, what is more chearing than Light itself—eternal Sunshine! Eliza!—dark to me is all this world without thee! & most heavily will every hour pass over my head, till that is come w^{ch}. brings thee, dear Woman back to Albion. Dined with Hall &c. at the brawn’s head—the whole Pandamonium assembled—supp’d together at Halls—worn out both in body & mind, & paid a severe reckoning all the night.

* * * * *

Ap: 14. Got up tottering & feeble—then is it Eliza, that I feel the want of thy friendly hand & friendly Council—& yet, with thee beside me, thy Bramin would lose the merit of his virtue—he could not err—but I will take thee upon any terms Eliza! I shall be happy here—& I will be so just, so kind to thee, I will deserve not to be miserable hereafter—a Day dedicated to Abstinence & reflection—& what object will employ the greatest part of mine—full well does my Eliza know.

* * * * *

Munday. Ap: 15.

Worn out with fevers of all kinds, but most, by that fever of the heart with w^{ch}. I’m eternally wasting, & shall waste till I see Eliza again—dreadful Suffering of 15 months!—it may be more—great Controuler of Events! surely thou wilt proportion this, to my Strength, and to that of my Eliza. Pass’d the whole afternoon in reading her Letters, & reducing them to the order in which they were wrote to me—staid the whole evening at home—no pleasure or Interest in either Society or Diversions—What a change, my dear Girl, hast thou made in me!—but the Truth is, thou hast only turn’d the tide of my passions a new way—they flow Eliza to thee—& ebb from every other Object in this world—& Reason tells me they do right—for my heart has rated thee at a Price, that all the world is not rich enough to purchase thee from me, at. In a high fever all the night.

* * * * *

Ap: 16. and got up so ill, I could not go to M^{rs}. James as I had promised her—took James’s Powder however—& leand the whole day with my head upon my hand, sitting most dejectedly at the Table with my Eliza’s Picture before me—sympathizing & soothing me—O my Bramine! my Friend! my Help-mate!—for that (if I’m a prophet) is the Lot mark’d out for thee;—& such I consider thee now, & thence it is, Eliza, I share so righteously with thee in all the evil or good which befalls thee—But all our portion is Evil now, & all our hours grief—I look forwards towards the Elysium we have so often and rapturously talk’d of—Cordelia’s spirit will fly to tell thee in some sweet Slumber, the moment the door is open’d for thee & The Bramin of the Vally, shall follow the track wherever it leads him, to get to his Eliza, & invite her to his Cottage—

* * * * *

5 in the afternoon—I have just been eating my Chicking, sitting over my repast upon it, with Tears—a bitter Sause—Eliza! but I could eat it with no other—when Molly spread the Table Cloath, my heart fainted within me—one solitary plate—one knife—one fork—one Glass!—O Eliza! ’twas painfully distressing,—I gave a thousand pensive penetrating Looks at the Arm chair thou so often graced on these quiet, sentimental Repasts—& sighed & laid down my knife & fork,—& took out my handkerchief, clap’d it across my face & wept like a child—I shall read the same affecting acc^t. of many a sad Dinner w^{ch}. Eliza has had no power to taste of, from the same feelings & recollections, how She and her Bramin have eat their bread in peace and Love together.

* * * * *

April 17. with my friend M^{rs}. James in Gerard street, with a present of Colours & apparatus for painting:—Long Conversation about thee my Eliza—sunk my heart w{th}. an infamous acc^t. of Draper & his detested Character at Bombay—for what a wretch art thou hazarding thy life, my dear friend, & what thanks is his nature capable of returning?—thou wilt be repaid with Injuries & Insults! Still there is a blessing in store for the meek and gentle, and Eliza will not be disinherited of it: her Bramin is kept alive by this hope only—otherwise he is so sunk both in Spirits and looks, Eliza would scarce know him again. Dined alone again to day; & begin to feel a pleasure in this kind of resigned misery arising from this situation of heart unsupported by aught but its own tenderness—Thou owest me much Eliza!—& I will have patience; for thou wilt pay me all—But the Demand is equal; much I owe thee, & with much shalt thou be requited.——sent for a Chart of the Atlantic Ocean, to make conjectures upon what part of it my Treasure was floating—O! ’tis but a little way off—and I could venture after it in a Boat, methinks—I’m sure I could, was I to know Eliza was in distress—but fate has chalk’d out other roads for us—We must go on with many a weary step, each in his separate heartless track, till Nature——

* * * * *

Ap: 18.

This day set up my Carriage,—new Subject of heartache, That Eliza is not here to share it with me.

Bought Orm’s account of India—why? Let not my Bramine ask me—her heart will tell her why I do this, & every Thing—

* * * * *

Ap: 19—poor sick-headed, sick hearted Yorick! Eliza has made a shadow of thee—I am absolutely good for nothing, as every mortal is who can think & talk but upon one thing!—how I shall rally my powers alarms me; for Eliza thou has melted them all into one—the power of loving thee & with such ardent affection as triumphs over all other feelings—was with our faithful friend all the morning; & dined with her & James—What is the Cause, that I can never talk ab^t. my Eliza to her, but I am rent in pieces—I burst into tears a dozen different times after dinner, & such affectionate gusts of passion, That she was ready to leave the room,—& sympathize in private for us—I weep for you both, said she (in a whisper,) for Eliza’s anguish is as sharp as yours—her heart as tender—her constancy as great—heaven join your hands I’m sure together!—James was occupied in reading a pamphlet upon the East India affairs—so I answerd her with a kind look, a heavy sigh, and a stream of tears—what was passing in Eliza’s breast, at this affecting Crisis?—something kind, and pathetic,! I will lay my Life.

* * * * *

8 o’clock—retired to my room, to tell my dear this—to run back the hours of Joy I have pass’d with her—& meditate upon those w^{ch}. are still in reserve for Us.—By this time M^r. James tells me, You will have got as far from me, as the Maderas—& that in two months more, you will have doubled the Cape of good hope—I shall trace thy track every day in the map, & not allow one hour for contrary Winds, or Currants—every engine of nature shall work together for us—’Tis the Language of Love—& I can speak no other. & so, good night to thee, & may the gentlest delusions of love impose upon thy dreams, as I forbode they will, this night, on those of thy Bramine.

* * * * *

Ap: 20. Easter Sunday.

was not disappointed—yet awoke in the most acute pain—Something Eliza is wrong with me—you should be ill, out of Sympathy—& yet you are too ill already—my dear friend—all day at home in extream dejection.

* * * * *

Ap: 21. The Loss of Eliza, and attention to that one Idea, brought on a fever—a consequence, I have for some time, forseen—but had not a sufficient Stock of cold philosophy to remedy—to satisfy my friends, call’d in a Physician—Alas! alas! the only Physician, & who carries the Balm of my Life along with her,—is Eliza.—why did I suffer thee to go from me? surely thou hast more than once call’d thyself my Eliza, to the same account—twil cost us both dear! but it could not be otherwise—We have submitted—we shall be rewarded. ’Twas a prophetic spirit, w^{ch}. dictated the acc^t. of Corp^l. Trim’s uneasy night when the fair Beguin ran in his head,—for every night & almost every Slumber of mine, since the day we parted, is a repe[ti]tion of the same description—dear Eliza! I am very ill—very ill for thee—but I could still give thee greater proofs of my affection, parted with 12 Ounces of blood, in order to quiet what was left in me—’tis a vain experiment,—physicians cannot understand this; ’tis enough for me that Eliza does—I am worn down my dear Girl to a Shadow, & but that I’m certain thou wilt not read this, till I’m restored—thy Yorick would not let the Winds hear his Complaints——4 o’clock—sorrowful meal! for ’twas upon our old dish.—we shall live to eat it, my dear Bramine, with comfort.

* * * * *

8 at night, our dear friend M^{rs}. James, from the forbodings of a good heart, thinking I was ill; sent her maid to enquire after me—I had alarm’d her on Saturday; & not being with her on Sunday,—her friendship supposed the Condition I was in—She suffers most tenderly for Us, my Eliza!—& we owe her more than all the Sex—or indeed both Sexes, if not, all the world put together—adieu! my sweet Eliza! for this night—thy Yorick is going to waste himself on a restless bed, where he will turn from side to side a thousand times—& dream by Intervals of things terrible & impossible—That Eliza is false to Yorick, or Yorick is false to Eliza.

* * * * *

Ap: 22^d.—rose with utmost difficulty—my Physician order’d me back to bed as soon as I had got a dish of Tea—was bled again; my arm broke loose & I half bled to death in bed before I felt it. O! Eliza! how did thy Bramine mourn the want of thee to tye up his wounds, & comfort his dejected heart—still something bids me hope—and hope, I will—& it shall be the last pleasurable sensation I part with.

* * * * *

4 o’clock. They are making my bed—how shall I be able to continue my Journal in it?—If there remains a chasm here—think Eliza, how ill thy Yorick must have been.—this moment rec^d. a Card from our dear friend, beging me to take [care] of a Life so valuable to my friends—but most so—she adds, to my poor dear Eliza.—not a word from the Newnhams! but they had no such exhortations in their harts, to send thy Bramine—adieu to em!

* * * * *

Ap: 23.—a poor night, and am only able to quit my bed at 4 this afternoon—to say a word to my dear—& fulfill my engagement to her, of letting no day pass over my head without some kind communication with thee—faint resemblance, my dear girl, of how our days are to pass, when one kingdom holds us—visited in bed by 40 friends, in the Course of the Day—is not one warm affectionate call, of that friend, for whom I sustain Life, worth ’em all?—What thinkest thou my Eliza.

* * * * *

Ap: 24.

So ill, I could not write a word all this morning—not so much, as Eliza! farewel to thee;—I’m going——am a little better.

——so shall not depart, as I apprehended—being this morning something better—& my Symptoms become milder, by a tolerable easy night.—and now, if I have strength & Spirits to trail my pen down to the bottom of the page, I have as whimsical a Story to tell you, and as comically dis-astrous as ever befell one of our family——Shandy’s nose—his name—his Sash-Window—are fools to it. It will serve at _least_ to amuse you. The Injury I did myself in catching cold upon James’s pouder, fell, you must know, upon the worst part it could—the most painful, & most dangerous of any in the human Body—It was on this Crisis, I call’d in an able Surgeon & with him an able physician (both my friends) to inspect my disaster—’tis a venerial Case, cried my two Scientifick friends——’tis impossible at least to be that, replied I—for I have had no commerce whatever with the Sex—not even with my wife, added I, these 15 years—You are * * * * * however my good friend, said the Surgeon, or there is no such Case in the world—what the Devil! said I without knowing Woman—we will not reason ab^t. it, said the Physician, but you must undergo a course of Mercury,—I’ll lose my life first, said I—& trust to Nature, to Time—or at the worst—to Death,—so I put an end with some Indignation to the Conference; and determined to bear all the torments I underwent, & ten times more rather than, submit to be treated as a _Sinner_, in a point where I had acted like a _Saint_. Now as the father of mischief w^d. have it, who has no pleasure like that of dishonouring the righteous—it so fell out, That from the moment I dismiss’d my Doctors—my pains began to rage with a violence not to be express’d, or supported—every hour became more intolerable—I was got to bed—cried out & raved the whole night—& was got up so near dead, That my friends insisted upon my sending again for my Physician & Surgeon—I told them upon the word of a man of Strict honour, They were both mistaken as to my case—but tho’ they had reason’d wrong—they might act right—but that sharp as my sufferings were, I felt them not so sharp as the Imputation, w^{ch}. a venerial treatment of my case, laid me under—They answerd that these taints of the blood laid dormant 20 years—but that they would not reason with me in a matter wherein I was so delicate—but would do all the office for w^{ch}. they were call’d in—& namely, to put an end to my torment, w^{ch}. otherwise would put an end to me.—& so have I been compell’d to surrender myself—& thus Eliza is your Yorick, y^r. Bramine—your friend with all his sensibilities, suffering the chastisement of the grossest Sensualist—Is it not a most ridiculous Embarassm^t. as ever Yorick’s Spirit could be involved in—’Tis needless to tell Eliza, that nothing but the purest consciousness of Virtue, could have tempted Eliza’s friend to have told her this Story—Thou art too good my Eliza to love aught but Virtue—& too discerning not to distinguish the open character w^{ch}. bears it, from the artful & double one w^{ch}. affects it—This, by the way, w^d. make no bad anecdote in T. Shandy’s Life—however I thought at least it would amuse you, in a country where _less Matters_ serve.—This has taken me three Sittings—it ought to be a good picture—I’m more proud, That it is a true one. In ten Days I shall be able to get out—my room always full of friendly Visitors—& my rapper eternally going with Cards & enquiries after me. I sh^d. be glad of the Testimonies—without the Tax.

Every thing convinces me, Eliza, We shall live to meet again—So—Take care of y^r. health, to add to the comfort of it.

* * * * *

Ap: 25. after a tolerable night, I am able, Eliza, to sit up and hold a discourse with the sweet Picture thou hast left behind thee of thyself, & tell it how much I had dreaded the catastrophe, of never seeing its dear Original more in this world—never did that look of sweet resignation appear so eloquent as now; it has said more to my heart—& cheard it up more effectually above little fears & _may be’s_—Than all the Lectures of philosophy I have strength to apply to it, in my present Debility of mind and body.—as for the latter—my men of Science, will set it properly agoing again—tho’ upon what principles—the Wise Men of Gotham know as much as they—If they _act right_—what is it to me, how _wrong they think_, for finding my machine a much less tormenting one to me than before, I become reconciled to my Situation, and to their Ideas of it——but don’t you pity me, after all, my dearest and my best of friends? I know to what an amount thou wilt shed over me, this tender Tax—&’tis the Consolation springing out of that, of what a good heart it is which pours this friendly balm on mine, That has already, & will for ever heal every evil of my Life. And what is becoming, of my Eliza, all this time!—where is she sailing?—what Sickness or other evils have befallen her? I weep often my dear Girl, for thee my Imagination surrounds them with[24]—What w^d. be the measure of my Sorrow, did I know thou wast distressed?—adieu—adieu—& trust my dear friend—my dear Bramine, that there still wants nothing to kill me in a few days, but the certainty, That thou wast suffering, what I am—& yet I know thou art ill—but when thou returnest back to England, all shall be set right—so heaven waft thee to us upon the wings of Mercy—that is, as speedily as the winds & tides can do thee this friendly office. This is the 7^{th}. day That I have tasted nothing better than Water gruel—am going, at the solicitation of Hall, to eat of a boild fowl—so he dines with me on it—and a dish of Macaruls—

* * * * *

7 o’clock—I have drank to thy Name Eliza! everlasting peace & happiness (for my Toast) in the first glass of Wine I have adventured to drink. My friend has left me— & I am alone,—like thee in thy solitary Cabin after thy return from a tasteless meal in the round house & like thee I fly to my Journal, to tell thee, I never prized thy friendship so high, or loved thee more—or wish’d so ardently to be a Sharer of all the weights w^{ch}. Providence has laid upon thy tender frame—Than this moment—when upon taking up my pen, my poor pulse quickend—my pale face glowed—and tears stood ready in my Eyes to fall upon the paper, as I traced the word Eliza. O Eliza! Eliza! ever best & blessed of all thy Sex! blessed in thyself and in thy Virtues—& blessed and endearing to all who know thee—to Me, Eliza, most so; because I _know more_ of thee than any other—This is the true philtre by which Thou hast charm’d me & wilt for ever charm & hold me thine, whilst Virtue & faith hold this world together;’tis the simple Magic, by which I trust, I have won a place in that heart of thine on w^{ch}. I depend so satisfied, That Time & distance, or change of every thing w^{ch}. might allarm the little hearts of little men, create no uneasy suspence in mine—It scorns to doubt—& scorns to be doubted—’tis the only exception—where Security is not the parent of Danger.

My Illness will keep me three weeks longer in town.—but a Journey in less time would be hazardous, unless a short one across the Desert w^{ch}. I should set out upon to morrow, could I carry a Medicine with me which I was sure would prolong one month of y^r. Life—or should it happen——

—but why make Suppositions?—when Situations happen—’tis time enough to shew thee That thy Bramin is the truest & most friendly of mortal Spirits, & capable of doing more for his Eliza, than his pen will suffer him to promise.

* * * * *

Ap: 26. Slept not till three this morning—was in too delicious Society to think of it; for I was all the time with thee besides me, talking over the projess [_sic_] of our friendship, & turning the world into a thousand shapes to enjoy it. got up much better for the Conversation—found myself improved in body & mind & recruited beyond any thing I look’d for; my Doctors, stroked their beards, & look’d ten per C^t. wiser upon feeling my pulse, & enquiring after my Symptoms—am still to run thro’ a Course of Van Sweeten’s corrosive Mercury, or rather Van Sweeten’s Course of Mercury is to run thro’ me—I shall be sublimated to an etherial Substance by the time my Eliza sees me—she must be sublimated and uncorporated too, to be able to see me—but I was always transparent & a Being easy to be seen thro’, or Eliza had never loved me nor had Eliza been of any other _Cast_ herself could her Bramine have held _Communion_ with her. hear every day from our worthy sentimental friend—who rejoyces to think that the Name of Eliza is still to vibrate upon Yorick’s ear—this, my dear Girl, many who loved me dispair’d off—poor Molly who is all attention to me—& every day brings in the name of poor M^{rs}. Draper, told me last night, that She and her Mistress had observed, I had never held up my head, since the Day you last dined with me—That I had seldom laughed or smiled—had gone to no Diversions—but twice or thrice at the most, dined out—That they thought I was broken hearted, for she never entered the room or passed by the door, but she heard me sigh heavily—That I neither eat or slept or took pleasure in any Thing as before, except writing——The Observation will draw a sigh Eliza, from thy feeling heart—& yet, so thy heart w^d. wish to have it—’tis fit in truth We suffer equally nor can it be otherwise—when the causes of anguish in two hearts are so proportion’d, as in ours.—; Surely—Surely—Thou art mine Eliza! for dear have have I bought thee!

* * * * *

Ap: 27. Things go better with me, Eliza! and I shall be reestablished soon, except in bodily weakness; not yet being able to rise from thy arm chair, & walk to the other corner of my room, & back to it again without fatigue—I shall double my Journey to morrow, & if the day is warm the day after be got into my Carriage & be transported into Hyde park for the advantage of air and exercise—wast thou but besides me, I could go to Salt hill, I’m sure, & feel the journey short & pleasant.—another Time! * * * * * * * —the present, alas! is not ours. I pore so much on thy Picture—I have it _off by heart_—dear Girl—oh ’tis sweet!’tis kind!’tis reflecting!’tis affectionate! ’tis——thine my Bramine—I say my matins & Vespers to it—I quiet my Murmurs, by the Spirit which speaks in it—“all will end well my Yorick.”—I declare my dear Bramine I am so secured & wrapt up in this Belief, That I would not part with the Imagination, of how happy I am to be with thee, for all the offers of present Interest or Happiness the whole world could tempt me with; in the loneliest cottage that Love & Humility ever dwelt in, with thee along with me, I could possess more refined Content, Than in the most glittering Court; & with thy Love & fidelity, taste truer joys, my Eliza, & make thee also partake of more, than all the senseless parade of this silly world could compensate to either of us—with this, I bound all my desires & worldly views—what are they worth without Eliza? Jesus! grant me but this, I will deserve it—I will make my Bramine as Happy, as thy goodness wills her—I will be the Instrument of her recompense for the sorrows & disappointments thou has suffer’d her to undergo; & if ever I am false, unkind or un-gentle to her, so let me be dealt with by thy Justice.

* * * * *

9 o’clock, I am preparing to go to bed my dear Girl, & first pray for thee, & then to Idolize thee for two wakeful hours upon my pillow—I shall after that, I find dream all night of thee, for all the day have I done nothing but think of thee—something tells, that thou hast this day, been employed in the same way. good night, fair Soul—& may the sweet God of sleep close gently thy eyelids—& govern & direct thy Slumbers—adieu—adieu, adieu!

* * * * *

Ap: 28. I was not deceived Eliza! by my presentiment that I should find thee out in my dreams; for I have been with thee almost the whole night, alternately soothing Thee, or telling thee my sorrows—I have rose up comforted & strengthened—& found myself so much better, that I orderd my Carriage, to carry me to our mutual friend—Tears ran down her cheeks when she saw how pale & wan I was—never gentle creature sympathized more tenderly—I beseech you, cried the good Soul, not to regard either difficulties or expences, but fly to Eliza directly—I see you will dye without her—save y^rself for her—how shall I look her in the face? What can I say to her, when on her return I have to tell her, That her Yorick is no more!—Tell her my dear friend, said I, That I will meet her in a better world—& that I have left this, because I could not live without her; tell Eliza, my dear friend, added I—That I died broken hearted—and that you were a Witness to it—as I said this, She burst into the most pathetic flood of Tears—that ever kindly Nature shed. You never beheld so affecting a Scene—’twas too much for Nature! oh! she is good—I love her as my Sister!—& could Eliza have been a witness, hers would have melted down to Death & scarse have been brought back, an Extacy so celestial & savouring of another world.—I had like to have fainted, & to that Degree was my heart & soul affected, it was w^{th}. difficulty I could reach the street door; I have got home, & shall lay all day upon my Sopha—& to morrow morning my dear Girl write again to thee; for I have not strength to drag my pen—

* * * * *

Ap: 29.

I am so ill to day, my dear, I can only tell you so—I wish I was put into a Ship for Bombay—I wish I may otherwise hold out till the hour We might otherwise have met—I have too many evils upon me at once—& yet I will not faint under them—Come!—Come to me soon my Eliza & save me!

* * * * *

Ap: 30. Better to day—but am too much visited & find my strength wasted by the attention I must give to all concern’d for me—I will go Eliza, be it but by ten mile Journeys, home to my thatched Cottage—& there I shall have no respit—for I shall do nothing but think of thee—and burn out this weak Taper of Life by the flame thou hast superadded to it—fare well my dear * * * * —to morrow begins a new month—& I hope to give thee in it, a more sunshiny side of myself—Heaven! how is it with my Eliza—

* * * * *

May 1.

got out into the park to day—Sheba there on Horseback; pass’d twice by her without knowing her—she stop’d the 3^d. time—to ask me how I did—I w^d. not have askd you, Solomon! said She, but y^r. Looks affected me—for you’re half dead I fear—I thank’d Sheba very kindly, but w^{th}out any emotion but what sprung from gratitude—Love alas! was fled with thee Eliza!—I did not think Sheba could have changed so much in grace & beauty—Thou hadst shrunk poor Sheba away into Nothing, but a good natured girl, without powers or charms—I _fear_ your wife is dead; quoth Sheba—no, you don’t _fear_ it Sheba said I—Upon my word Solomon! I would quarrel with You, was you not so ill—If you knew the cause of my Illness, Sheba, replied I, you w^d. quarrel but the more with me—You lie, Solomon! answerd Sheba, for I know the Cause already—& am so little out of Charity with You upon it—That I give you leave to come & drink Tea with me before you leave Town—you’re a good honest Creature Sheba—no! you Rascal, I am not—but I’m in Love, as much as you can be for y^r. Life—I’m glad of it Sheba! said I—You Lie, said Sheba, & so canter’d away.—O my Eliza, had I ever truely loved another (w^{ch}. I never did) Thou hast long ago, cut the Root of all Affection in me—& planted & waterd & nourish’d it, to bear fruit only for thyself—Continue to give me proofs I have had and shall preserve the same rights over thee my Eliza! and if I ever murmur at the sufferings of Life after that, Let me be numbered with the ungrateful.—I look now forwards with Impatience for the day thou art to get to Madras—& from thence shall I want to hasten thee to Bombay—where heaven will make all things Conspire to lay the Basis of thy health & future happiness—be true my dear girl, to thy self—& the rights of Self preservation which Nature has given thee—persevere—be firm—be pliant—be placid—be courteous—but still be true to thy self—& never give up y^r. Life,—or suffer the disquieting altercations, or small outrages you may undergo in this momentous point, to weigh a Scruple in the Ballance—Firmness—& fortitude & perseverance gain almost impossibilities—& _Skin_ for _Skin_, saith Job, _nay all that a Man has, will he give_ for his Life—oh my Eliza! That I could take the Wings of the Morning, & fly to aid thee in _this_ virtuous Struggle. went to Ranelagh at 8 this night, and sat still till ten—came home ill.

* * * * *

May 2^d.

I fear I have relapsed—sent afresh for my Doctor—who has confined me to my sopha—being able neither to walk, stand or sit upright, without aggravating my Symptoms—I’m still to be treated as if I was a Sinner—& in truth have some appearances so strongly implying it, That was I not conscious I had had no Commerce with the Sex these 15 Years, I would decamp to morrow for Montpellier in the South of France, where Maladies of this sort are better treated & all taints more radically driven out of the Blood—than in this Country; but If I continue long ill—I am still determined to repair there—not to undergo a Cure of a distemper I cannot have, but for the bettering my Constitution by a better Climate.—I write this as I lie upon my back—in w^{ch}. posture I must continue, I fear some days—If I am able—will take up my pen again before night—

* * * * *

4 o’clock.—an hour dedicated to Eliza! for I have dined alone—& ever since the Cloath has been laid, have done nothing but call upon thy dear Name—and ask why ’tis not permitted thou shouldst sit down, & share my Macarel & fowl—there would be enough, said Molly as she placed it upon the Table to have served both You & poor M^{rs}. Draper—I never bring in the knives & forks, added she, but I think of her—There was no more trouble with you both, than w^{th}. one of You—I never heard a high or a hasty word from either of You—You were surely made, added Molly, for one another, you are both so kind so quiet & so friendly—Molly furnished me with Sause to my Meat—for I wept my plate full, Eliza! & now I have begun, could shed tears till Supper again—& then go to bed weeping for thy absence till morning. Thou hast bewitch’d me with powers, my dear Girl, from which no power shall unlose me—and if fate can put this Journel of my Love into thy hands, before we meet, I know with what warmth it will inflame the kindest of hearts, to receive me. peace be with thee, my Eliza, till that happy moment!

* * * * *

9 at night. I shall never get possession of myself, Eliza! at this rate—I want to Call off my Thoughts from thee, that I may now & then apply them to some concerns w^{ch}. require both my attention & genius, but to no purpose—I had a Letter to write to Lord Shelburn—& had got my apparatus in order to begin—when a Map of India coming in my Way—I begun to study the length & dangers of my Eliza’s Voyage to it, and have been amusing & frightening myself by turns, as I traced the path-way of the Earl of Chatham, the whole afternoon—good god! what a voyage for any one!—but for the poor relax’d frame of my tender Bramine to cross the Line twice, & be subject to the Intolerant heats, & the hazards w^{ch}. must be the consequence of em to such an unsupported Being! O Eliza! ’tis too much—& if thou conquerest these, and all the other difficulties of so tremendous an alienation from thy Country, thy Children & thy friends,’tis the hand of Providence w^{ch}. watches over thee for most merciful purposes—Let this persuasion, my dear Eliza! stick close to thee in all thy tryals—as it shall in those thy faithful Bramin is put to—till the mark’d hour of deliverance comes. I’m going to sleep upon this religious Elixir—may the Infusion of it distil into the gentlest of hearts—for that Eliza! is thine—sweet, dear, faithful Girl, most kindly does thy Yorick greet thee with the wishes of a good night & of Millions yet to come——

* * * * *

May 3^d. Sunday. What can be the matter with me! Something is wrong, Eliza! in every part of me—I do not gain strength; nor have I the feelings of health returning back to me; even my best moments seem merely the efforts of my mind to get well again, because I cannot reconcile myself to the thoughts of never seeing thee Eliza more.—for something is out of tune in every Chord of me—still with thee to nurse & sooth me, I should soon do well—The want of thee is half my distemper—but not the whole of it—I must see M^{rs}. James to night, tho’ I know not how to get there—but I shall not sleep, if I don’t talk of you to her—so shall finish this Days Journal on my return—

* * * * *

May 4^{th}. Directed by M^{rs}. James how to write Over-Land to thee, my Eliza!—would gladly tear out thus much of my Journal to send to thee—but the Chances are too many against it’s getting to Bombay—or of being deliverd into y^r. own hands——shall write a long long Letter—& trust it to fate & thee. was not able to say three words at M^{rs}. James, thro’ utter weakness of body & mind; & when I got home—could not get up stairs w^{th}. Molly’s aid—have rose a little better, my dear girl—& will live for thee—do the same for thy Bramin, I beseech thee. a Line from thee now, in this state of my Dejection,—would be worth a kingdome to me!—

* * * * *

May 4. Writing by way of Vienna & Bussorah My Eliza.—this & Company took up the day.

* * * * *

5^{th}. writing to Eliza.—& trying _l’Extrait de Saturne_ upon myself.—(a french Nostrum)

* * * * *

6^{th}. Dined out for the 1^{st}. time—came home to enjoy a more harmonious evening w^{th}. my Eliza, than I could expect at Soho Concert[25]—every Thing my dear Girl, has lost its former relish to me—& for thee eternally does it quicken! writing to thee over Land all day.

* * * * *

7. continue poorly, my dear!—but my blood warms every mom^t. I think of our future Scenes—so must grow strong upon the Idea—what shall I do upon the Reality?—O God!—

* * * * *

8^{th}. employ’d in writing to my Dear all day—& in projecting happiness for her—tho in misery myself. O! I have undergone Eliza!—but the worst is over—(I hope)—so adieu to those Evils, & let me haste the happiness to come.

* * * * *

9^{th}.—10^{th}.—& 11^{th}.—so unaccountably disorder’d—I cannot say more—but that I w. suffer ten times more & with wishes for my Eliza—adieu bless’d Woman!—

* * * * *

12^{th}. O Eliza! That my weary head was now laid upon thy Lap—(tis all that’s left for it)—or that I had thine, reclining upon my bosome, and there resting all its disquietudes;—my Bramine—the world or Yorick must perish, before that foundation shall fail thee!—I continue poorly—but I turn my Eyes Eastward the oftener, & with more earnestness for it——Great God of Mercy! shorten the Space betwixt us,—Shorten the space of our miseries!

* * * * *

13^{th}. Could not get the Gen^l. post office to take charge of my Letters to You—so gave thirty shillings to a Merchant to further them to Aleppo & from thence to Bassorah—so you will receive ’em (I hope in god) say by Christmas—Surely ’tis not impossible, but I may be made as happy as my Eliza, by some transcript from her, by that time—If not I shall hope—& hope every week, and every hour of it, for Tidings of Comfort—we taste not of it _now_, my dear Bramine—but we will make full meals upon it hereafter.—Cards from 7 or 8 of our Grandies to dine with them before I leave Town—shall go like a Lamb to the Slaughter—“_Man delights not me—nor Woman_”

* * * * *

14. a little better to day—& would look pert, if my heart would but let me—dined w^{th}. L^d. & Lady Bellasis.—so beset w^{th}. Company—not a moment to write.

* * * * *

15. Undone with too much Society yesterday,—You scarse can Conceive my dear Eliza what a poor Soul I am—how I shall be got down to Cox only heaven knows—for I am as weak as a Child—You would not like me the worse for it, Eliza, if you was here—My friends like me, the more,—& Swear I shew more true fortitude & eveness of temper in my Suffering than Seneca, or Socrates—I am, my Bramin,[26] resigned.

* * * * *

16. Taken up all day with worldly matters, just as my Eliza was the week before her departure.—breakfasted with Lady Spencer—caught her with the character of y^r. Portrait—caught her passions still more with that of y^rself.—& my Attachment to the most amiable of Beings—drove at night to Ranelagh—staid an hour—returned to my Lodgings, dissatisfied.

17. At Court—every thing in this world seems in Masquerade, but thee dear Woman—and therefore I am sick of all the world but thee—one Evening _so spent_, as the _Saturday’s w^{ch}. preeceeded our Separation—would sicken all the Conversation of the world—I relish no Converse since_—when will the like return?—’tis hidden from us both, for the wisest ends—and the hour will come my Eliza! when We shall be convinced, that every event has been order’d for the best for Us—our fruit is not ripend—the accidents of time & Seasons will ripen every Thing _together_ for Us—a little better to day—or could not have wrote this. dear Bramine rest thy Sweet Soul in peace!

* * * * *

18. Laid sleepless all night, with thinking of the many dangers & sufferings, my dear Girl! that thou art exposed to—from the Voiage & thy sad state of health—but I find I must think no more upon them—I have rose wan and trembling with the Havock they have made upon my nerves—’tis death to me to apprehend for you—I must flatter my Imagination, That every Thing goes well with You—Surely no evil can have befallen you—for if it had—I had felt some monitory sympathetic Shock within me, w^{ch}. would have spoke like Revelation.—So farewell to all tormenting _May be’s_ in regard to my Eliza—She is well—she thinks of her Yorick w^{th}. as much Affection and true esteem as ever—and values him as much above the World, as he values his Bramine.

* * * * *

19. Packing up, or rather Molly for me, the whole day—tormenting! had not Molly all the time talk’d of poor M^{rs}. Draper—& recounted every Visit She had made me, and every repast she had shared with me—how good a Lady!—How sweet a temper!—how beautiful!—how genteel!—how gentle a Carriage—& how soft & engaging a look!—the poor girl is bewitch’d with us both—infinitely interested in our Story, tho’ She knows nothing of it but from her penetration and Conjectures.—She says however,’tis Impossible not to be in Love with her—In heart-felt truth, Eliza! I’m of Molly’s opinion.

* * * * *

20. Taking Leave of all the Town, before my departure to morrow.

* * * * *

21. detaind by Lord & Lady Spencer who had made a party to dine & sup on my Acc^t. Impatient to set out for my Solitude—there the Mind, Eliza! gains strength, & learns to lean upon herself—and seeks refuge in its own Constancy & Virtue—in the world it seeks or accepts of a few treacherous supports—the feign’d Compassion of one—the flattery of a second—the Civilities of a third—the friendship of a fourth—they all deceive—& bring the Mind back to where mine is retreating—that is Eliza! to itself—to thee who art my second self, to retirement, reflection & Books—when The Stream of Things, dear Bramine, Brings Us both together to this Haven—will not your heart take up its rest for ever? & will not y^r. head Leave the world to those who can make a better thing of it—if there are any who know how.—Heaven take thee Eliza! under it’s Wing—adieu! adieu—

* * * * *

22^d.

Left Bond Street & London w^t. it, this Morning—What a Creature I am! my heart has ached this week to get away—& still was ready to bleed in quiting a Place where my Connection with my dear dear Eliza began—Adieu to it! till I am summon’d up to the Downs by a Message, to fly to her—for I think I shall not be able to support Town without you—& w^d. chuse rather to sit solitary here till the end of the next Summer—to be made happy altogether—then seek for happiness—or even suppose I can have it, but in Eliza’s Society.

* * * * *

23^d.[27] bear my Journey badly—ill—& dispirited all the Way—staid two days on the road at the A-Bishops of Yorks—shewd his Grace & his Lady and Sister y^r. portrait—w^{th}. a short but interesting Story of my friendship for the Original—kindly nursed & honourd both—arrived at my Thatchd Cottage the 28^{th}. of May.

* * * * *

29^{th}. & 30^{th}.—confined to my bed—so emaciated, and unlike what I was, I could scarse be angry with thee Eliza, if thou Coulds not remember me, did heaven send me across thy way—Alas! poor Yorick!—“_remember thee! Pale Ghost—remember thee—“whilst Memory holds a seat in this_ distracted World—Remember thee—Yes from the Table of her Memory,” shall just Eliza wipe away all trivial men—& leave a throne for Yorick—adieu dear constant Girl—adieu—adieu—& Remember my Truth and eternal fidelity—Remember how I Love—remember what I suffer.—Thou art mine Eliza by Purchace—had I not earn’d thee with a bitter price.

* * * * *

31.

Going this day upon a long course of Corrosive Mercury—w^{ch}. in itself, is deadly poyson, but given in a certain preparation, not very dangerous—I was forced to give it up in Town, from the terrible Cholicks both in Stomach & Bowels—but the Faculty thrust it down my Throat again—These Gentry have got it into their Nodelles, That mine is _an Ecclesiastic_ Rheum as the french call it—god help em! I submit as my Uncle Toby did, in drinking Water, upon the wound he rec^d. in his Groin—_Merely for quietness sake_.

* * * * *

June 1.

The Faculty, my dear Eliza! have mistaken my Case—why not y^{rs}.? I wish I could fly to you & attend you but one month as a physician—You’ll Languish & dye where you are,—(if not by the climate)—most certainly by their _Ignorance of y^r. Case_, & the unskilful Treatment you must be a martyr to in such a place as Bombay.—I’m Languishing here myself with every Aid & help—& tho’ I shall conquer it—yet have had a cruel Struggle—w^d. my dear friend, I could ease y^{rs}., either by my Advice—my attention—my Labour—my purse—They are all at y^r. Service, such as they are—and that you know Eliza—or my friendship for you is not worth a rush.

* * * * *

June 2^d.

This morning surpriz’d with a Letter from my Lydia—that She and her Mama, are coming to pay me a Visit—but on Condition I promise not to detain them in England beyond next April—when, they purpose, by my Consent, to retire into France, & establish themselves for Life—To all which I have freely given my parole of Honour—& so shall have them with me for the Summer—from Oct^r. to April—they take Lodgings in York—when they Leave me for good & all I suppose.

☞——Every thing for the best! Eliza. This unexpected visit, is neither a visit of friendship or form—but ’tis a visit, such as I know you will never make me,—of pure Interest—to pillage what they can from me. In the first place to sell a small estate I have of sixty p^{ds}. a year—& lay out the purchase money in joint annuitys for them in the french Funds; by this they will obtain 200 p^{ds}. a year, to be continued to the longer Liver—and as it rids me of all future care—& moreover transfers their Income to the Kingdom where they purpose to live—I’m truely acquiescent—tho’ I lose the Contingency of surviving them—but ’tis no matter—I shall have enough—& a hundred or two hundred Pounds for Eliza when ever She will honour me with putting her hand into my Purse——In the main time, I am not sorry for this Visit, as every Thing will be finally settled between us by it—only as their Annuity will be too strait—I shall engage to remit them a 100 Guineas a year more, during my Wife’s Life—& then, I will think, Eliza, of living for myself & the Being I love as much. But I shall be pillaged in a hundred small Item’s by them—w^{ch}. I have a Spirit above saying, _no_—to; as Provisions of all sorts of Linnens—for house use—Body use—printed Linnens for Gowns—Mazareens of Teas—Plate, (all I have, but 6 Silver Spoons)—In short I shall be pluck’d bare—all but of y^r. Portrait & Snuff Box & y^r. other dear Presents—& the neat furniture of my thatched Palace—& upon these I set up Stock again, Eliza. What say you, Eliza! shall we join our _little capitals together_?—will M^r. Draper give us leave?—he may safely—if y^r. _Virtue_ & Honour are only concerned,—’twould be safe in Yoricks hands, as in a Brothers—I w^d. not wish M^r. Draper to allow you above half I allow M^{rs}. Sterne—Our Capital would be too great, & tempt us from the Society of poor Cordelia—who begins to wish for you.

By this time, I trust you have doubled the Cape of good hope—& sat down to y^r. writing Drawer; & look’d in Yoricks face, as you took out y^r. Journal; to tell him so—I hope he seems to smile as kindly upon you Eliza, as ever—y^r. Attachment & Love for me, will make him do so to eternity—if ever he sh^d. change his Air, Eliza!—I charge you catechize your own Heart—oh! twil never happen!

* * * * *

June 3^d.—Cannot write my Travels, or give one half hours close attention to them, upon Thy Acc^t. my dearest friend—Yet write I must, & what to do with You, whilst I write—I declare I know not—I want to have you ever before my Imagination—& cannot keep you out of my heart or head—In short thou enterst my Library Eliza! (as thou one day shalt) without tapping—or sending for—by thy own Right of ever being close to thy Bramine—now I must shut you out sometimes—or meet you Eliza! with an empty purse upon the Beach—pity my entanglements from other passions—my Wife with me every moment of the Summer—think w^t. restraint upon a Fancy that should Sport & be in all points at its ease—O had I, my dear Bramine this Summer, to soften—& modulate my feelings—to enrich my fancy, & fill my heart brim full with bounty—my Book w^d. be worth the reading—

It will be by stealth if I am able to go on with my Journal at all—It will have many Interruptions—& Heyho’s! most sentimentally utter’d—Thou must take it as it pleases God.—as thou must take the Writer—eternal Blessings be about You Eliza! I am a little better, & now find I shall be set right in all points—my only anxiety is about You—I want to prescribe for you My Eliza—for I think I understand y^r. _Case_ better than all the Faculty. adieu—adieu.

* * * * *

June 4.

Hussy!—I have employ’d a full hour upon y^r. sweet sentimental Picture—and a couple of hours upon yourself—& with as much kind friendship, as the hour You left me—I deny it—Time lessens no Affections w^{ch}. honour & merit have planted—I w^d. give more, and hazard more now for your happiness than in any one period, since I first learn’d to esteem you—is it so with thee my friend? has absence weakened my Interest—has time worn out any Impression—or is Yoricks name less Musical in Eliza’s ears?—my heart smites me, for asking the question—’tis Treason ag^{st}. thee Eliza and Truth—Ye are dear Sisters, and y^r. Brother Bramin Can never live to see a Separation amongst Us.—What a similitude in our Trials whilst asunder!—Providence has order’d every Step better, than we could have order’d them,—for the particular good we wish each other—This you will comment upon & find the _Sense of_ without my explanation.

I wish this Summer & Winter w^{th}. all I am to go through with in them, in business & Labour & Sorrow, well over—I have much to compose—& much to discompose me—have my Wife’s projects—& my own Views arising out of them, to harmonize and turn to account—I have Millions of heart aches to suffer & reason with—& in all this Storm of Passions, I have but one small Anchor, Eliza! to keep this weak Vessel of mine from perishing—I trust all I have to it—as I trust Heaven, which cannot leave me, without a fault, to perish.—may the same just Heaven my Eliza, be that eternal Canopy w^{ch}. shall shelter thy head from evil _till we_ meet—Adieu—adieu—adieu.

* * * * *

June 5.

I sit down to write this day, in good earnest—so read Eliza! quietly besides me—I’ll not give you a Look—except one of kindness—dear Girl! if thou lookest so bewitching once more—I’ll turn thee out of my Study—You may bid me defiance, Eliza.—You cannot conceive how much & how universally I’m pitied, upon the Score of this unexpected Visit from france—my friends think it will kill me—If I find myself in danger I’ll fly to you to Bombay—will M^r. Draper receive me?—he ought—but he will never know what reasons make it his _Interest_ and _Duty_—We must leave all all to that Being who is infinitely removed above all Straitness of heart ... & is a friend to the friendly, as well as to the friendless.

* * * * *

June 6.—am quite alone in the depth of that sweet Recess, I have so often described to You—’tis sweet in itself—but You never come across me—but the perspective brightens up—& every Tree & Hill & Vale & Ruin ab^t. me—smiles as if you was amidst ’em—delusive moments!—how pensive a price do I pay for you—fancy sustains the Vision whilst She has strength—but Eliza! Eliza is not with me!—I sit down upon the first Hillock Solitary as a sequester’d Bramin—I wake from my delusion to a thousand Disquietudes, which many talk of—my Eliza!—but few feel—then weary my Spirit with thinking, plotting, & projecting—& when I’ve brought my System to my mind—am only Doubly miserable, That I cannot execute it—

Thus—Thus my dear Bramine are we lost at present in this tempest—Some Haven of rest will open to us assuredly—God made us not for Misery! and Ruin—he has orderd all our Steps—& influenced our Attachments for what is worthy of them—It must end well—Eliza!—

* * * * *

June 7

I have this week finish’d a sweet little apartment which all the time it was doing, I flatter’d the most delicious of Ideas, in thinking I was making it for You—’Tis a neat little simple elegant room, overlook’d only by the Sun—just big enough to hold a Sopha; for us—a Table, four Chairs, a Bureau, & a Book case—They are to be all y^{rs}., Room & all—& there Eliza! shall I enter ten times a day to give thee Testimonies of my Devotion—Wast thou this moment sat down, it w^d. be the sweetest of earthly Tabernacles—I shall enrich it, from time to time, for thee—till Fate lets me lead thee, by the hand Into it—& then it can want no Ornament.—’tis a little oblong room—with a large Sash at the end—a little elegant fireplace—w^{th}. as much room to dine around it, as in Bond street—But in sweetness & Simplicity; & silence beyond any thing—oh my Eliza!—I shall see thee surely Goddesse of this Temple,—and the most sovereign one, of all I have—& of all the powers heaven has trusted me with—They were lent me, Eliza! only for thee—& for thee my dear Girl shall be kept & employ’d.—You know _what rights_ You have over me.—wish to heaven I could Convey the Grant more amply than I have _done_—but ’tis the same—’tis register’d where it will longest last—& that is in the feeling & most sincere of human hearts—You know I mean this reciprocally—& whenever I mention the Word Fidelity & Truth,—in Speaking of y^r. Reliance on mine—I always Imply the same Reliance upon the same Virtues in my Eliza.—I love thee Eliza! & will love thee for ever—Adieu.—

* * * * *

June 8.

Begin to recover, and sensibly to gain strength every day—and have such an appetite as I have not had for some Years—I prophecy I shall be the better, for the very Accident which has occasioned my Illness—& that the Medicines & Regimen I have submitted to will make a thorough Regeneration of me, and y^t. I shall have more health and strength, than I have enjoy’d these ten Years—Send me such an Acc^t. of thyself Eliza, by the first sweet Gale—but ’tis impossible You sh^d. from Bombay—twil be as fatal to You, as it has been to thousands of y^r. Sex—England & Retirement in it, can only save you—Come!—Come away—

* * * * *

June 9^{th}. I keep a post chaise & a couple of fine horses, & take the Air every day in it—I go out—& return to my Cottage Eliza! alone—’tis melancholly, what sh^d. be matter of enjoyment; & the more so for that reason—I have a thousand things to remark & say as I roll along—but I want you to say them to—I could some times be wise—& often Witty—but I feel it a reproach to be the latter whilst Eliza is so far from hearing me—& what is Wisdom to a foolish weak heart like mine! Tis like the Song of Melody to a broken Spirit—You must teach me fortitude my dear Bramine—for with all the tender qualities w^{ch}. make you the most precious of Women—& most wanting of all other Women of a kind of protector—yet you have a passive kind of sweet Courage w^{ch}. bears you up—more than any one Virtue I can summon up in my own Case—We were made with Tempers for each other Eliza! and you are bless’d with such a certain turn of Mind & reflection—that if Self love does not blind me—I resemble no Being in the world so nearly as I do you—do you wonder then I have such friendship for you?—for my own part, I sh^d. not be astonished, Eliza, if you was to declare “You was up to the ears in Love with Me.”

* * * * *

June 10^{th}.

You are stretching over now in the Trade Winds from the Cape to Madrass—(I hope)—but I know it not, some friendly Ship you possibly have met w^{th}., & I never read an Acc^t. of an India Man arrived—but I expect that it is the Messenger of the news my heart is upon the rack for.—I calculate, That you will arrive at Bombay by the beginning of October—by February, I shall surely hear from you thence—but from Madrass sooner.—I expect you Eliza in person, by September—& shall scarse go to London till March—for what have I to do there, when (except printing my Books) I have no Interest or Passion to gratify—I shall return in June to Coxwould—& there wait for the glad Tidings of y^r. arrival in the Downs—won’t You write to me Eliza? by the first Boat? would not you wish to be greeted by y^r. Yorick upon the Beech?—or be met by him to hand you out of y^r. postchaise, to pay him for the Anguish he underwent, in handing you into it?—I know your answers—my Spirit is with You. farewel dear friend—

* * * * *

June 11.

I am every day negociating to sell my little Estate besides me—to send the money into France to purchace peace to myself—& a certainty of never having it interrupted by M^{rs}. Sterne—who when She is sensible I have given her all I can part with—will be at rest herself—Indeed her plan to purchace annuities in france—is a pledge of Security to me—That She will live her days out there—otherwise She could have no end in transporting this two thousand pounds out of England—nor w^d. I consent but upon that plan—but I may be at rest!—if my imagination will but let me—Hall says ’tis no matter where she lives; If we are but separate,’tis as good as if the Ocean rolled between us—& so I should argue to another Man—but,’tis an Idea w^{ch}. won’t do so well for me—& tho’ nonsensical enough—Yet I shall be most at rest when there is that Bar between Us—was I never so sure, I sh^d. never be interrupted by her, in England—but I may be at rest I say, on that head—for they have left all their Cloaths & plate and Linen behind them in france—& have joined in the most earnest Entreaty, That they may return & fix in france—to w^{ch}. I have give my word & honour—You will be bound with me Eliza! I hope, for performance of my promise—I never yet broke it, in cases where Interest or pleasure could have tempted me,—and shall hardly do it now, when tempted only by misery.—In Truth Eliza! thou art the Object to w^{ch}. every act of mine is directed—You interfere in every Project—I rise—I go to sleep with this on my Brain—how will my dear Bramine approve of this?—w^{ch}. way will it conduce to make her happy? and how will it be a proof of my affection to her? are all the Enquiries I make—y^r. Honour, y^r. Conduct, y^r. Truth & regard for my esteem—I know will equally direct every Step—& movement of y^r. Desires—& with that Assurance, is it, my dear Girl, That I sustain Life.—But when will those Sweet eyes of thine, run over these Declarations?—how—& with whom are they to be entrusted; to be conveyed to You?—unless M^{rs}. James’s friendship to us, finds some expedient—I must wait—till the first evening I’m with You—when I shall present You w^{th}. them as a better Picture of me, than Cosway could do for You …—have been dismally ill all day—owing to my course of Medicines w^{ch}. are too strong & forcing for this gawsy Constitution of mine—I mend with them however—good God! how is it with You?——

* * * * *

June 12. I have return’d from a delicious walk of Romance, my Bramine, which I am to tread a thousand times over with You swinging upon my arm—’tis to my Convent—& I have pluckd up a score [of] Bryars by the roots w^{ch}. grew near the edge of the foot way, that they might not scratch or incommode you—had I been sure of y^r. taking that walk with me the very next day, I could not have been more serious in my employm^t.—dear Enthusiasm?—thou bringst things forward in a moment, w^{ch}. Time keeps for Ages back—I have you ten times a day besides me—I talk to you Eliza, for hours together—I take y^r. Council—I hear your reasons—I admire you for them!—to this magic of a warm Mind, I owe all that’s worth living for, during this State of our Trial—Every Trinket you gave or exchanged w^{th}. me has its force—y^r. Picture is Y^rself—all Sentiment, Softness & Truth—It speaks—it listens—’tis concerned—it resignes—Dearest Original! how like unto thee does it seem—& will seem—till thou makest it vanish, by thy presence—I’m but so, so—but advancing in health—to meet you—to nurse you, to nourish you ag^{st}. you come—for I fear, You will not arrive, but in a State that calls out to Yorick for support—Thou art Mistress, Eliza, of all the powers he has to sooth & protect thee—for thou art Mistress of his heart; his affections; and his reason—& beyond that, except a paltry purse, he has nothing worth giving thee—.

* * * * *

June 13.

This has been a year of presents to me—my Bramine—How many presents have I rec^d. from You in the first place?—L^d. Spencer has loaded me with a grand Ecritoire of 40 Guineas—I am to receive this week a fourty Guinea-present of a gold Snuff Box, as fine as Paris can fabricate one with an Inscription on it, more valuable, than the Box itself—I have a present of a portrait, (which by the by I have immortalized in my Sentimental Journey) worth them both—I say nothing of a gold Stock buccle & Buttons—tho’ I rate them above rubies, because they were Consecrated by the hand of Friendship, as She fitted them to me.—I have a present of the Sculptures upon poor Ovid’s Tomb, who died in Exile, tho’ he wrote so well upon the Art of Love—These are in six beautiful Pictures executed on Marble at Rome—& these Eliza, I keep sacred as Ornaments for y^r. Cabinet, on Condition I hang them up.—and last of all, I have had a present, Eliza! this Year, of a Heart so finely set—with such rich materials—& Workmanship—That Nature must have had the chief hand in it—If I am able to keep it—I shall be a rich Man—If I lose it—I shall be poor indeed—so poor! I shall stand begging at y^r. gates.—But what can all these presents portend—That it will turn out a fortunate earnest, of what is to be given me hereafter.

* * * * *

June 14.

I want you to comfort me my dear Bramine—& reconcile my mind to 3 months misery—some days I think lightly of it—on others—my heart sinks down to the earth—but ’tis the last Trial of conjugal Misery—& I wish it was to begin this moment, That it might run its period the faster—for sitting as I do, expecting sorrow—is suffering it—I am going to Hall to be philosophizd with for a week or ten Days on this point—but one hour with you would calm me more & furnish me with stronger Supports under this weight upon my Spirits, than all the world put together—Heaven! to what distressful Encountres hast thou thought fit to expose me—& was it not, that thou hast bless’d me with a chearfulness of disposition—& thrown an object in my way, That is to render that Sun Shine perpetual—Thy dealings with me, would be a mystery.

* * * * *

June 15—from morning to night every mom^t. of this day held in Bondage at my friend L^d. ffauconberg’s—so have but a moment left to close the day, as I do every one—with wishing thee a sweet nights rest—would I was at the feet of y^r. Bed fanning breezes to You, in y^r. Slumbers—Mark!—you will dream of me this night—& if it is not recorded in your Journal—I’ll say, you could not recollect it the day following—adieu.—

* * * * *

June 16.

My Chaise is so large—so high—so long—so wide—so Crawford’s-like, That I am building a coach house on purpose for it—do you dislike it for this gigantick size?—now I remember, I heard you once say—You hated a small post Chaise—w^{ch}. you must know determined my Choice to this—because I hope to make you a present of it—& if you are squeamish I shall be as squeamish as You, & return you all y^r. presents,—but one—w^{ch}. I cannot part with—and what that is—I defy you to guess. I have bought a milch Asse this afternoon—& purpose to live by Suction, to save the expences of houskeeping—& have a Score or two guineas in my purse, next

* * * * *

June 17.

I have brought y^r. name _Eliza!_ and Picture into my work[28]—where they will remain—when You & I are at rest for ever—Some Annotator or explainer of my works in this place will take occasion, to speak of the Friendship w^{ch}. subsisted so long & faithfully betwixt Yorick & the Lady he speaks of—Her Name he will tell the world was Draper—a Native of India—married there to a gentleman in the India Service of that Name—who brought her over to England for the recovery of her health in the Year 65—where She continued to April the Year 1767. It was ab^t. three months before her Return to India, That our Author’s acquaintance & hers began. M^{rs}. Draper had a great thirst for knowledge—was handsome—genteel—engaging—and of such gentle dispositions & so enlightened an understanding,—That Yorick (whether he made much opposition is not known) from an acquaintance—soon became her Admirer—they caught fire, at each other at the same time—& they w^d. often say, without reserve to the world, & without any Idea of saying wrong in it, That their Affections for each other were _unbounded_—M^r. Draper dying in the Year * * * * * This Lady return’d to England & Yorick the Year after becoming a Widower—They were married—& retiring to one of his Livings in Yorkshire, where was a most romantic Situation—they lived & died happily—and are spoke of with honour in the parish to this day—

[Illustration]

* * * * *

June 18.

How do you like the History, of this couple, Eliza?—is it to your mind?—or shall it be written better some sentimental Evening after your return—’tis a rough sketch—but I could make it a pretty picture, as the outlines are just—we’ll put our heads together & try what we can do. This last Sheet has put it out of my power, ever to send you this Journal to India—I had been more guarded—but that You have often told me, ’twas in vain to think of writing by Ships w^{ch}. sail in March,—as you hoped to be upon y^r. return again by their arrival at Bombay—If I can write a Letter I will—but this Journal must be put into Eliza’s hands by Yorick only—God grant you to read it soon.—

* * * * *

June 19.

I never was so well and alert, as I find myself this day—tho’ with a face as pale & clear as a Lady after her Lying in. Yet you never saw me so Young by 5 Years—& If you do not leave Bombay soon—You’ll find me as young as Y^rself—at this rate of going on——Summon’d from home—adieu.

* * * * *

June 20.

I think my dear Bramine—That nature is turn’d upside down—for Wives go to visit Husbands, at greater perils & take longer journies to pay them this Civility now a days out of ill Will—than good—Mine is flying post a Journey of a thousand Miles—with as many miles to go back—merely to see how I do, & whether I am fat or lean—& how far are you going to see y^r. Helpmate—and at such hazards to Y^r. Life, as few Wives’ best affections w^d. be able to surmount—But Duty & Submission Eliza govern thee—by what impulses my Rib is bent towards me—I have told you—& yet I w^d. to God, Draper but rec^d. & treated you with half the courtesy & good nature—I wish you was with him—for the same reason I wish my Wife at Coxwould—That She might the sooner depart in peace—She is ill—of a Diarhea which she has from a weakness on her bowels ever since her paralitic Stroke—Travelling post in hot weather, is not the best remedy for her—but my girl says—she is determined to venture—She wrote me word in Winter, She w^d. not leave france, till her end approach’d—surely this journey is not prophetic! but twould invert the order of Things on the other side of this Leaf—and what is to be on the next _Leaf_—The Fates, Eliza only can tell us—rest satisfied.

* * * * *

June 21.

have left off all medicines—not caring to tear my frame to pieces with ’em—as I feel perfectly well.—set out for Crasy Castle to morrow morning—where I stay ten days—take my Sentimental Voyage—and this Journal with me, as certain as the two first Wheels of my Chariot—I cannot go on without them.—I long to see y^{rs}.—I shall read it a thousand times over If I get it before y^r. arrival—What w^d. I now give for it—tho’ I know there are _circumstances_ in it, That will make my heart bleed & waste within me—_but if all blows over_—’tis enough—we will not recount our Sorrows, but to shed tears of Joy over them—O Eliza! Eliza! Heaven nor any Being it created, never so possessed a Man’s heart—as thou possessest mine—use it kindly—Hussy—that is, eternally be true to it.

* * * * *

June 22. Ive been as far as York to day with no Soul with me in my Chase, but y^r. Picture—for it has a _Soul_ I think—or something like one which has talk’d to me, & been the best Company I ever took a Journey with (always excepting a Journey I once took with a friend of y^{rs}. to Salt hill, & Enfield Wash—The pleasure I had in those Journies, have left _Impressions_ upon my Mind, which will last my Life—You may tell her as much when You see her—she will not take it ill—I set out early to morrow morning to see M^r. Hall—but take my Journal along with me.

* * * * *

June 24^{th}.

As pleasant a Journey as I am capable of taking Eliza! without thee—Thou shalt take it with me when time & tide serve hereafter, & every other Journey w^{ch}. ever gave me pleasure, shall be rolled over again with thee besides me—Amo’s Vale shall look gay again upon Eliza’s Visit—and the Companion of her Journey, will grow young again as he sits upon her Banks with Eliza seated besides him—I have this and a thousand little parties of pleasure—& systems of living out of the common high road of Life, hourly working in my fancy for you—there wants only the _Dramatis Personæ_ for the performance—the play is wrote—the Scenes are painted—& the Curtain ready to be drawn up.—the whole Piece waits for thee, my Eliza—

* * * * *

June 25.—In a course of continual visits & Invitations here—_Bombay-Lascelles_ dined here to day (his Wife yesterday brought to bed)—(he is a poor sorry soul!) but has taken a house two miles from Crasy Castle—What a Stupid, selfish, unsentimental set of Beings are the Bulk of our Sex! by Heaven! not one man out of 50, informd with feelings—or endow’d either with heads or hearts able to possess & fill the mind—of such a Being as thee,—with one Vibration like its own—I never see or converse with one of my Sex—but I give this point a reflection—how w^d. such a creature please my Bramine? I assure thee Eliza I have not been able to find one, whom I thought could please You—the turn of Sentiment, with w^{ch}. I left y^r. Character possess’d—must improve, hourly upon You—Truth, fidelity, honour & Love mix’d up with Delicacy, garrantee one another—and a taste so improved as y^{rs}, by so delicious fare, can never degenerate—I shall find you, my Bramine, if possible, more valuable & lovely than when you first caught my esteem and kindness for You—and tho’ I see not this change—I give you so much Credit for it—that at this moment, my heart glowes more warmly as I think of you—& I find myself more your Husband than contracts can make us—I stay here till the 29^{th}.—had intended a longer Stay—but much company & Dissipation rob me of the only comfort my mind takes, w^{ch}. is in retirement, where I can think of You Eliza! and enjoy you quietly & without Interruption—’tis the way We must expect all that is to be had of _real_ enjoyment in this vile world—which being miserable itself—seems so confederated ag^{st}. the happiness of the Happy, that they are forced to secure it in private—Vanity must still be had;—& that, Eliza! every thing w^{th}. it, w^{ch}. Yorick’s sense, or generosity has to furnish to one he loves so much as thee—need I tell thee—Thou wilt be as much a Mistress of—as thou art eternally of thy Yorick—adieu—adieu—

* * * * *

June 26—eleven at night—out all the day—dined with a large Party—shewd y^r. Picture from the fullness of my heart—highly admired—alas! said I did you but see the Original!—good night.—

* * * * *

June 27.

Ten in the morning, with my Snuff open at the Top of this sheet,—& your gentle sweet face opposite to mine, & saying “what I write will be cordially read”—possibly you may be precisely engaged at this very hour, the same way—and telling me some interesting Story ab^t. y^r. health, y^r. sufferings—y^r. heart aches—and other Sensations w^{ch}. friendship—absence & uncertainty create within you. for my own part, my dear Eliza, I am a prey to every thing in its turn—& was it not for that sweet clew of hope w^{ch}. is perpetual opening me a way which is to lead me to thee thro’ all this Labyrinth—was it not for this, my Eliza! how could I find rest for this bewilderd heart of mine?—I sh^d. wait for you till September came—& if you did not arrive with it—sh^d. sicken & die—but I will live for thee—so count me Immortal—3 India Men arrived within ten days—will none of ’em bring me Tidings of You?—but I am foolish—but ever thine—my dear, dear Bramine.

* * * * *

June 28.

O what a tormenting night have my dreams led me ab^t. You Eliza—M^{rs}. Draper a Widow!—with a hand at Liberty to give!—and gave it to another!—She told me—I must acquiesce—it could not be otherwise. Acquiese! cried I, waking in agonies—God be prais’d cried I—’tis a dream—fell asleep after—dreamd You was married to the Captain of the Ship—I waked in a fever—but ’twas the Fever in my blood which brought on this painful chain of Ideas—for I am ill to day—& for want of more cheary Ideas, I torment my Eliza with these—whose Sensibility will suffer, if Yorick could dream but of her Infidelity! & I suffer Eliza in my turn, & think my self at pres^t. little better than an old woman or a Dreamer of Dreams in the Scripture Language—I am going to ride myself into better health & better fancies with Hall—whose Castle lying near the Sea—We have a Beach as even as a mirrour of 5 miles in Length before it, where we daily run races in our Chaises; with one wheel in the Sea, & the other in the Sand—O Eliza, w^{th}. w^t. fresh ardour & impatience when I’m viewing the element, do I sigh for thy return—But I need no _memento’s_ of my Destitution & misery for want of thee—I carry them ab^t. me,—& shall not lay them down—(for I worship & I do Idolize these tender sorrows) till I meet thee upon the Beech & present the handkerchiefs staind with blood w^{ch}. broke out from my heart upon y^r. departure—This token of what I felt at that Crisis, Eliza, shall never, never be wash’d out. Adieu my dear Wife—you are still mine—notwithstanding all the Dreams & Dreamers in the World.—M^r. Lascells dined w^{th}. us—Mem^d. I have to tell you a Conversation—I will not write it—

* * * * *

June 29. am got home from Halls—to Coxwould—O ’tis a delicious retreat! both from its beauty, & air of Solitude; & so sweetly does every thing ab^t it invite y^r. mind to rest from its Labours and be at peace with itself & the world—That ’tis the only place, Eliza, I could live in at this juncture—I hope one day, You will like it as much as y^r. Bramine—It shall be decorated & made more worthy of You—by the time fate encourages me to look for you—I have made you a sweet Sitting Room (as I told You) already—and am projecting a good Bed-Chamber adjoining it, with a pretty dressing room for You, which connects them together—& when they are finish’d, will be as sweet a set of romantic apartments, as You ever beheld—the Sleeping room will be very large—The dressing room, thro’ w^{ch}. You pass into y^r. Temple, will be little—but Big enough to hold a dressing Table—a couple of chairs, with room for y^r. Nymph to stand at her ease both behind and on either side of you—w^{th}. spare Room to hang a dozen petticoats—gowns, &c—& Shelves for as many Bandboxes—y^r. little Temple I have described—and what it will hold—but if it ever it holds You & I, my Eliza—the Room will not be too little for us—but We shall be _too big_ for the Room.—

* * * * *

June 30.—’Tis now a quarter of a year (wanting 3 days) since You sail’d from the Downs—in one month more—You will be (I trust) at Madras—& there you will stay I suppose 2 long long months, before you set out for Bombay—’Tis there I shall want to hear from you,—most impatiently—because the most interesting Letters must come from Eliza when she is there—at present, I can hear of y^r. health, & tho’ that of all Acc^{ts}. affects me most—yet still I have hopes taking their Rise from that—& those are—What Impression you can make upon M^r. Draper, towards setting you at Liberty—& leaving you to pursue the best measures for y^r. preservation—and these are points, I w^d. go to Aleppo, to know certainty[29]: I have been possess’d all day & night with an opinion, That Draper will change his behaviour totally towards you—That he will grow friendly & caressing—and as he knows y^r. nature is easily to be won with gentleness, he will practice it to turn you from y^r. purpose of quitting him—In short when it comes to the point of y^r. going from him to England—it will have so much the face, if not the reality, of an alienation on y^r. side from India for ever, as a place you cannot live at—that he will part with You by no means, he can prevent—You will be cajolled my dear Eliza thus out of y^r. Life—but what serves it to write this, unless means can be found for You to read it—If you come not—I will take the Safest Cautions I can to have it got to You—& risk every thing, rather than You should not know how much I think of You—& how much stronger hold you have got of me, than ever.—Dillon has obtain’d his fair Indian—& has this post wrote a kind Letter of enquiry after Yorick and his Bramine—he is a good Soul—& interests himself much in our fate—I have wrote him a whole Sheet[30] of paper ab^t. us—it ought to have been copied into this Journal—but the uncertainty of y^r. ever reading it, makes me omit that, with a thousand other things, which when we meet, shall beguile us of many a long winters night.—_those precious Nights!_—my Eliza! You rate them as high as I do—& look back upon the manner the hours glided over our heads in them, with the same Interest & Delight as the Man you _spent them with_—They are all that remains to us—except the _Expectation_ of their return—the Space between us is a dismal Void—full of doubts & suspence—Heaven & its kindest Spirits, my dear rest over y^r. thoughts by day—& free them from all disturbance at night adieu—adieu Eliza!—I have got over this Month—so fare wel to it, & the Sorrows it has brought with it—the next month, I prophecy will be worse.

* * * * *

July 1.—But who can foretell what a month may produce—Eliza—I have no less than seven different chances—not one of w^{ch}. is improbable—and any one of [’em] would set me much at Liberty—& some of ’em render me compleatly happy—as they w^d. facilitate & open the road to thee—what these chances are I leave thee to conjecture, my Eliza—some of them You cannot divine—tho’ I once hinted them to You—but those are pecuniary chances arising out of my Prebend—& so not likely to stick in thy brain—nor could they occupy mine a moment, but on thy acc^t. … I hope before I meet thee Eliza on the Beach, to have every thing plan’d; that depends on me properly—& for what depends upon him who orders every Event for us, to him I leave & trust it—We shall be happy at last I know—’tis the Corner Stone of all my Castles—&’tis all I bargain for. I am perfectly recovered—or more than recover’d—for never did I feel such Indications of health or Strength & promptness of mind—notwithstanding the Cloud hanging over me of a Visit—& all its tormenting consequences—Hall has wrote an affecting little poem upon it—the next time I see him, I will get it, & transcribe it in this Journal, for You.... He has persuaded me to trust her with no more than fifteen hundred pounds into Franc[e]—twil purchase 150 p^{ds}. a year—& to let the rest come annually from myself—the advice is wise enough, If I can get her off with it—I’ll summon up the Husband a little (if I can)—& keep the 500 p^{ds}. remaining for emergencies—who knows, Eliza, what sort of Emergencies may cry out for it—I conceive some—& you Eliza are not backward in Conception—so may conceive others. _I wish I was in Arno’s Vale!_—

* * * * *

July 2^d.—But I am in the Vale of Coxwould & wish You saw in how princely a manner I live in it—’tis a Land of Plenty—I sit down alone to Venison, fish or wild foul—or a couple of fouls—with curds, and strawberrys & cream, (and all the simple clean plenty w^{ch}. a rich Vally can produce,—with a Bottle of wine on my right hand (as in Bond street) to drink y^r. health—I have a hundred hens & chickens ab^t my yard—and not a parishoner catches a hare a rabbit or a Trout—but he brings it as an offering—In short ’tis a golden Vally—& will be the golden Age when You govern the rural feast, my Bramine, & are the Mistress of my table & spread it with elegancy and that natural grace & bounty w^{th}. w^{ch}. heaven has distinguish’d You.…

—Time goes on slowly—every thing stands still—hours seem days & days seem Years whilst you lengthen the Distance between us—from Madras to Bombay—I shall think it shortening—and then desire & expectation will be upon the rack again—come—come—

* * * * *

July 3^d.

Hail! Hail! my dear Eliza—I steal something every day from my sentimental Journey—to obey a more sentimental impulse in writing to you—& giving you the present Picture of myself—my wishes—my Love, my sincerity—my hopes—my fears—tell me, have I varied in any one Lineament, from the first sitting—to this last—have I been less warm—less tender and affectionate than you expected or could have wish’d me in any one of ’em—or, however varied in the expressions of what I was & what I felt, have I not still presented the same air and face towards thee?—take it as a Sample of what I ever shall be—My dear Bramine—& that is—such as my honour, my Engagements & promisses & desires have fix’d me—I want You to be on the other side of my little table, to hear how sweetly y^r. Voice will be in Unison to all this—I want to hear what You have to say to y^r. Yorick upon this Text.—what heavenly Consolation w^d. drop from y^r. Lips—& how pathetically you w^d. enforce y^r. Truth & Love upon my heart to free it from every Aching doubt—Doubt! did I say—but I have none—and as soon w^d I doubt the Scripture I have preach’d on—as question thy promisses or suppose one Thought in thy heart during thy absence from me, unworthy of my Eliza—for if thou art false, my Bramine—the whole world—and Nature itself are lyars—and I will trust to nothing on this side of heaven—but turn aside from all Commerce with expectation, & go quietly on my way alone towards a State where no disappointments can follow me—you are grieved when I talk thus; it implies what does not exist in either of us—so cross it out if thou wilt—or leave it as a part of the picture of a heart that again Languishes for Possession—and is disturbed at every Idea of its uncertainty—So heaven bless thee—& ballance thy passions better than I have power to regulate mine—farewel my dear Girl—I sit in dread of to morrow’s post which is to bring me an acc^t. when _Madame_ is to arrive.——

July 4^{th}. Hear nothing of her—so am tortured from post to post, for I want to know certainly _the day & hour of this Judgment_—She is moreover ill, as my Lydia writes me word—& I’m impatient to know whether ’tis that—or what other Cause detains her, & keeps me in this vile state of Ignorance—I’m pitied by every Soul in proportion as her Character is detested—& her Errand known—She is coming, every one says, to flea poor Yorick or stay him—& I am spirited up by every friend I have to sell my Life dear & fight valiantly in defence both of my property & Life—Now my Maxim, Eliza, is quietly [_sic_] in three[31]—“Spare my Life, and take all I have[”]—If she is not content to decamp with that—One Kingdome shall not hold us—for If she will not betake herself to France—I will but these, I verlily [_sic_] believe my fears & nothing more—for she will be as impatient to quit England—as I could with her—but of this—you will know more, before I have gone thro’ this month’s Journal.—I get 2000 pounds for my Estate—that is, I had the offer this morning of it—& think ’tis enough.—when that is gone—I will begin saving for thee—but in Saving myself for thee, That & every other kind Act is implied.—get on slowly with my Work—but my head is too full of other Matters—yet will I finish it before I see London—for I am of too scrupulous honour to break faith with the world—great Authors make no scruple of it—but if they are great Authors—I’m sure they are little Men.—& I’m sure also of another Point w^{ch}. concerns y^rself—& that is Eliza, that You shall never find me one hair breadth a less Man than you [32] —farewell—I love thee eternally—

July 5. Two letters from the South of France by this post, by which by some fatality, I find not one of my Letters have got to them this month—This gives me concern—because it has the aspect of an unseasonable unkindness in me—to take no notice of what has the appearance at least of a Civility in desiring to pay me a Visit—my daughter besides has not deserved ill of me—& tho’ her mother has, I w^d. not ungenerously take that Opportunity, which would most overwhelm her, to give any mark of my resentment—I have besides long since forgiven her—& am the more inclined now as she proposes a plan, by which I shall never more be disquieted—in these 2 last, she renews her request to have leave to live where she has transfer’d her fortune—& purposes, with my leave she says, to end her days in the South of France—to all which I have just been writing her a Letter of Consolation & good will—& to crown my professions, intreat her to take post with my girl to be here time enough to enjoy York races—& so having done my duty to them—I continue writing, to do it to thee Eliza who art the _Woman of my heart_, & for whom I am ordering & planning this, & every thing else—be assured my Bramine that ere every thing is ripe for our Drama, I shall work hard to fit out & decorate a little Theatre for us to act on—but not before a crouded house—no Eliza—it shall be as secluded as the elysian fields—retirement is the nurse of Love and kindness—& I will Woo & caress thee in it in such sort, that every thicket & grotto we pass by _shall_ solicit the remembrance of the mutual pledges We have exchanged of Affection with one another—oh! these expectations—make me sigh as I recite them—& many a heart-felt Interjection! do they cost me, as I saunter alone in the tracks we are to tread together hereafter—still I think thy heart is with me—& whilst I think so, I prefer it to all the Society this world can offer—&’tis in truth my dear owing to this—that tho I’ve rec^d. half a dozen Letters to press me to join my friends at Scarborough—that Ive found pretences not to quit You _here_—and sacrifice the many sweet occasions I have of giving my thoughts up to You—, for Company I cannot rellish _since I have tasted_ my dear Girl, the _sweets of thine_.—

* * * * *

July 6.

Three long Months and three long days are passed & gone, since my Eliza sighed on taking her Leave of Albions Cliffs, & of all in Albion, which was dear to her—How oft have I smarted at the Idea, of that last longing Look by w^{ch}. thou badest adieu to all thy heart sufferd at that dismal Crisis—’twas the Separation of Soul & Body—& equal to nothing but what passes on that tremendous Moment.—& like it in one Consequence, that thou art in another world; where I w^d. give a world to follow thee, or hear even an Acc^t. of thee—for this I shall write in a few days to our dear friend M^{rs}. James—she possibly may have heard a single Syllable or two ab^t. You—but it cannot be; the same must have been directed towards Yoricks ear, to whom you w^d. have wrote the Name of _Eliza_, had there been no time for more. I w^d almost now compound w^{th}. Fate—& was I sure Eliza only breathd—I w^d. thank heaven & acquiesce. I kiss your Picture—your Shaul—& every trinket I exchanged with You—every day I live—alas! I shall soon be debarrd of that—in a fortnight I must lock them up & clap my seal & y^{rs}. upon them in the most secret Cabinet of my Bureau—You may divine the reason, Eliza! adieu—adieu!

* * * * *

July 7.

—But not Yet—for I will find means to write to you every night whilst my people are here—if I sit up till midnight, till they are asleep.—I should not dare to face you, if I was worse than my word in the smallest Item—& this Journal I promised You Eliza should be kept without a chasm of a day in it—& had I my time to myself & nothing to do but gratify my propensity—I sh^d. write from sun rise to sun set to thee—But a Book to write—a Wife to receive & make Treaties with—an estate to sell—a Parish to superintend—and a disquieted heart perpetually to reason with, are eternal calls upon me—& yet I have you more in my mind than ever—and in proportion as I am thus torn from y^r. embraces—_I cling the closer to the Idea of you_. Your Figure is ever before my eyes—the sound of y^r. voice vibrates with its sweetest tones the live long day in my ear—I can see & hear nothing but my Eliza, remember this, when you think my Journal too short & compare it not with thine, w^{ch}. tho’ it will exceed it in length, can do no more than equal it in Love and truth of esteem—for esteem thee I do beyond all the powers of eloquence to tell thee how much—& I love thee my dear Girl, & prefer thy Love, to me more than the whole world—

* * * * *

_night_—have not eat or drunk all day thro’ vexation of heart at a couple of ungrateful unfeeling Letters from that Quarter, from whence, had it pleased God, I should have look’d for all my Comforts—but he has will’d they sh^d. come from the east—& he knows how I am satisfyed with all his Dispensations—but with none, my dear Bramine, so much as this—with w^{ch}. Cordial upon my Spirits—I go to bed, in hopes of seeing thee in my Dreams.

* * * * *

July 8^{th}.

—eating my fowl, and my trouts & my cream & my strawberries, as melancholly as a Cat; for want of you—by the by, I have got one which sits quietly besides me, purring all day to my sorrows—& looking up gravely from time to time in my face, as if she knew my Situation.—how soothable my heart is Eliza, when such little things sooth it! for in some pathetic sinkings I feel even some support from this poor Cat—I attend to her purrings—& think they harmonize me—they are _pianissimo_ at least, & do not disturb me.—poor Yorick! to be driven, w^{th}. all his sensibilities, to these resources—all powerful Eliza, that has had this Magic^l. authority over him; to bend him thus to the dust—But I’ll have my revenge, Hussy!

* * * * *

July 9. I have been all day making a sweet Pavilion in a retired Corner of my garden,—but my Partner & Companion & friend for whom I make it, is fled from me, & when she return to me again, Heaven who first brought us together, best knows—when that hour is foreknown what a Paradise will I plant for thee—till then I walk as Adam did whilst there was no help-meet found for it, and could almost wish a days Sleep would come upon me till that Moment When I can say as he did—“_Behold the Woman Thou has given me for Wife_.” She shall be call’d La Bramine. Indeed Indeed Eliza! my Life will be little better than a dream, till we approach nearer to each other—I live scarse conscious of my existence—or as if I wanted a vital part; & could not live above a few hours—& yet I live, & live, & live on, for thy Sake, and the sake of thy truth to me; which I measure by my own,—& I fight ag^{st}. every evil and every danger, that I may be able to support & shelter thee from danger and evil also.—upon my word, dear Girl, thou owest me much—but ’tis cruel to dun thee when thou art not in a condition to pay—I think Eliza has not run off in her Yoricks debt—

* * * * *

July 10.

I cannot suffer you to be longer upon the Water—in 10 days time, You shall be at Madrass—the element roles in my head as much as y^{rs}., & I am sick at the sight & smell of it—for all this, my Eliza, I feel in Imagination & so strongly I can bear it no longer—on the 20^{th}. therefore Ins^t. I begin to write to you as a terrestrial Being—I must deceive myself—& think so I will notwithstanding all that Lascelles has told me—but there is no truth in him.—I have just kiss’d y^r. picture—even that sooths many an anxiety—I have found out the Body is too little for the head—it shall not be rectified, till I sit by the Original, & direct the Painter’s Pencil and that done, will take a Scamper to _Enfield_ & see y^r. dear children—if You tire by the Way, there are _one or two_ places to rest at.—I never stand out. God bless thee—I am thine as _ever_

* * * * *

July 11.

Sooth me—calm me—pour thy healing Balm Eliza, into the sorest of hearts—I’m pierced with the Ingratitude and unquiet Spirit of a restless unreasonable Wife whom neither gentleness or generosity can conquer—She has now entered upon a new plan of waging War with me, a thousand miles—thrice a week this last month, has the quietest man under heaven been outraged by her Letters—I have offer’d to give her every Shilling I was worth except my preferment, to be let alone & left in peace by her—Bad Woman! nothing must now purchace this, unless I borrow 400 p^{ds}. to give her & carry into france—more—I w^d. perish first, my Eliza! ’ere I would give her a shilling of another man’s, w^{ch}. I must do if I give her a shill^g. more than I am worth.—How I now feel the want of thee! my dear Bramine—my generous unworldly honest creature—I shall die for want of thee for a thousand reasons—every emergency & every Sorrow each day brings along with it—tells me what a Treasure I am bereft off,—whilst I want thy friendship & Love to keep my head up sinking—Gods will be done, but I think she will send me to my grave.—She will now keep me in torture till the end of Sept^r.—& writes me word to day—She will delay her Journey two Months beyond her 1^st. Intention—it keeps me in eternal suspence all the while—for she will come unawars at last upon me—& then adieu to the dear sweets of my retirement.

How cruelly are our Lots drawn, my dear—both made for happiness—& neither of us made to taste it! In feeling so acutely for my own disapp^tment I drop blood for thine, I call thee in to my Aid—& thou wantest mine as much—Were we together we sh^d. recover—but never, never till then _nor by any other Recipe_.—

* * * * *

July 12.

Am ill all day with the Impressions of Yesterday’s account.—can neither eat or drink or sit still & write or read—I walk like a disturbed Spirit ab^t. my Garden—calling upon heaven & thee,—to come to my Succour—could’st Thou but write one word to me, it would be worth half the world to me—my friends write me millions—& every one invites me to flee from my Solitude & come to them—I obey the commands of my friend Hall who has sent over on purpose to fetch me—or he will come himself for me—so I set off to morrow morning to take Sanctuary in Crasy Castle—The news papers have sent me there already by putting in the following paragraph

* * * * *

“We hear from Yorkshire, That Skelton Castle is the present Rendevouz, of the most brilliant Wits of the Age—the admired Author of Tristram—M^r. Garrick &c beening [_sic_] there; & M^r. Coleman & many other men of Wit & Learning being every day expected”—when I get there, w^{ch}. will be to morrow night, my Eliza will hear from her Yorick—her Yorick—who loves her more than ever.

* * * * *

July 13. Skelton Castle. Your picture has gone round the Table after supper—& y^r. health after it, my invaluable friend!—even the Ladies, who hate grace in another, seemed struck with it in You—but Alas! you are as a dead Person—& Justice (as in all such Cases) is paid you in course—when thou returnest it will be rendered more sparingly—but I’ll make up all deficiences—by honouring You more than ever Woman was honourd by man—every good Quality That ever good heart possess’d—thou possessest my dear Girl; & so sovereignly does thy temper & sweet sociability, which harmonize all thy other properties make me thine, that whilst thou art true to thyself and thy Bramin—he thinks thee worth a world—& w^d. give a World was he master of it, for the undisturbed possession of thee—Time and Chance are busy throwing this Die for me—a fortunate Cast, or two, at the most, makes our fortune—it gives us each other—& then for the World, I will not give a pinch of Snuff.—Do take care of thyself—keep this prospect before thy eyes—have a view to it in all y^r. Transactions, Eliza,—In a word Remember You are mine—and stand answerable for all you say & do to me—I govern myself by the same Rule—& such a History of myself can I lay before you as shall create no blushes, but those of pleasure—’tis midnight—& so sweet Sleep to thee the remaining hours of it. I am more thine, my dear Eliza! than ever—but that cannot be—

* * * * *

July 14.

dining & feasting all day at M^r. Turner’s—his Lady a fine Woman herself, in love w^{th}. your picture—O my dear Lady, cried I, did you but know the Original—but what is she to you, Tristram—nothing; but that I am in Love with her—et cætera——said She—no I have given over dashes—replied I——I verily think my Eliza I shall get this Picture set, so as to wear it, as I first purposed—ab^t. my neck—I do not like the place ’tis in—it shall be nearer my heart—Thou art ever in its centre—good night—

* * * * *

July 15—From home. (Skelton Castle) from 8 in the morning till late at Supper—I seldom have put thee off, my dear Girl—& yet to morrow will be as bad—

* * * * *

July 16.

for M^r. Hall has this Day left his Crasy Castle to come and sojourn with me at Shandy Hall for a few days—for so they have long christend our retired Cottage—we are just arrived at it & whilst he is admiring the premisses—I have stole away to converse a few minutes with thee, and in thy own dressing room—for I make every thing thine & call it so, before hand, that thou art to be mistress of hereafter. This _Hereafter_, Eliza, is but a melancholly term—but the Certainty of its coming to us, brightens it up—pray do not forget my prophecy in the Dedication of the Almanack—I have the utmost faith in it myself—but by what impulse my mind was struck with 3 Years—heaven whom I believe it’s author, best knows—but I shall see y^r. face before—but that I leave to You—& to the Influence such a Being must have over all inferior ones—We are going to dine with the Arch Bishop[33] to morrow—& from thence to Harrogate for three days, whilst thou dear Soul art pent up in sultry Nastiness—without Variety or change of face or Conversation—Thou shalt have enough of both when I cater for thy happiness Eliza—& if an Affectionate husband & 400 p^{ds}. a year in a sweeter Vally than that of Jehosophat will do—less thou shalt never have—but I hope more—& were it millions ’tis the same—twould be laid at thy feet—Hall is come in in raptures with every thing—& so I shut up my Journal for to day & to morrow for I shall not be able to open it where I go—adieu my dear Girl—

* * * * *

18—was yesterday all the day with our A. Bishop—this good Prelate who is one of our most refined Wits & the most of a gentleman of our order—oppresses me with his kindness—he shews in his treatment of me, what he told me upon taking my Leave—that he loves me, & has a high Value for me—his Chaplains tell me, he is perpetually talking of me—& has such an opinion of my head & heart that he begs to stand Godfather for my next Literary production—so has done me the hon^r. of putting his name in a List which I am most proud of because my Eliza’s name is in it. I have just a moment to scrawl this to thee, being at York—where I want to be employed in taking you a little house, where the prophet may be accommodated with a “_Chamber in the Wall apart with a stool & a Candlestick_”—where his Soul can be at rest from the distractions of the world, & lean only upon his kind hostesse. & repose all his Cares, & melt them _along with hers_ on her sympathetic bosom.

* * * * *

July 19. Harrogate Spaws.—drinking the waters here till the 26^{th}.—to no effect, but a cold dislike of every one of your sex—I did nothing, but make comparisons betwixt thee my Eliza, & every woman I saw and talk’d to—thou hast made me so unfit for every one else—than[34] I am thine as much from necessity, as Love—I am thine by a thousand sweet ties, the least of which shall never be relax’d—be assured my dear Bramine of this—& repay me in so doing, the Confidence I repose in thee—y^r. absence, y^r. distresses, your sufferings; your conflicts, all make me rely but the more upon that fund in you, w^{ch}. is able to sustain so much weight—Providence I know will relieve you from one part of it—and it shall be the pleasure of my days to ease, my dear friend of the other—I Love thee Eliza, more than the heart of Man ever loved Woman’s—I even love thee more than I did, the day thou badest me Farewell—Farewell!—Farewell! to thee again—I’m going from hence to York Races.—

* * * * *

July 27. arrived at York.—where I had not been 2 hours before My heart was overset with a pleasure, w^{ch}. beggard every other, that fate could give me—save thyself—It was thy dear Packets from Iago—I cannot give vent to all the emotions I felt even before I opend them—for I knew thy hand—& my seal—w^{ch}. was only in thy possession—O ’tis from my Eliza, said I.—I instantly shut the door of my Bed-chamber, & orderd myself to be denied—& spent the whole evening, and till dinner the next day, in reading over and over again the most interesting Acc^t.—& the most endearing one that ever tried the tenderness of man—I read & wept—and wept and read till I was blind—then grew sick, & went to bed—& in an hour call’d again for the Candle—to read it once more—as for my dear Girls pains & her dangers I cannot write ab^t. them—because I cannot write my feelings or express them any how to my mind—O Eliza! but I will talk them over with thee with a sympathy that shall woo thee, so much better than I have ever done—That we will both be gainers in the end—_I’ll love thee for the dangers thou hast past_—and thy Affection shall go hand in hand w^{th}. me, because I’ll pity thee—as no man ever pitied Woman—but Love like mine is never satisfied—else y^r. 2^d. Letter from Iago—is a Letter so warm, so simple, so tender! I defy the world to produce such another—by all that’s kind & gracious! I will entreat thee Eliza so kindly—that thou shalt say, I merit much of it—nay all—for my merit to thee, is my truth.

I now want to have this week of nonsensical Festivity over—that I may get back, with my picture w^{ch}. I ever carry ab^t. me—to my retreat and to Cordelia—when the days of our Afflictions are over, I oft amuse my fancy, w^{th}. an Idea, that thou wilt come down to me by Stealth, & hearing where I have walk’d out to—surprize me some sweet Shiney night at Cordelia’s grave, & catch me in thy Arms over it—O my Bramin! my Bramin!——

* * * * *

July 31—am tired to death with the hurrying pleasures of these Races—I want still & _silent_ ones—so return home to morrow, in search of them—I shall find them as I sit contemplating over thy passive picture; sweet Shadow! of what is to come! for ’tis all I can now grasp—first and best of woman kind! remember me, as I remember thee—’tis asking a great deal my Bramine!—but I cannot be satisfied with less—farewell—fare—happy till fate will let me cherish thee myself.—O my Eliza! thou writest to me with an Angels pen—& thou wouldst win me by thy Letters, had I never seen thy face or known thy heart.

* * * * *

Aug^{st}. 1. what a sad Story thou hast told me of thy Sufferings & Despondences from S^t. Iago, till thy meeting w^th. the Dutch Ship—’twas a sympathy above Tears—I trembled every Nerve as I went from line to line—& every moment the Acc^t. comes across me—I suffer all I felt, over & over again—will providence suffer all this anguish without end—& without pity?—“_it no can be_”—I am tried my dear Bramine in the furnace of Affliction as much as thou—by the time we meet, We shall be fit only for each other—& should cast away upon any other Harbour.

* * * * *

Aug^{st}. 2. my wife uses me most unmercifully—every Soul advises me to fly from her—but where can I fly If I fly not to thee? The Bishop of Cork & Ross[35] has made me great offers in Ireland—but I will take no step without thee—& till heaven opens us some track—He is the best of feeling tender hearted men—knows our Story—sends You his Blessing—and says if the Ship you return in touches at Cork (w^ch. many India men do)—he will take you to his palace, till he can send for me to join You—he only hopes, he says, to join us together for ever—but more of this good man, and his attachment to me—hereafter and of and [_sic_] couple of Ladies in the family &c.—&c.

* * * * *

Aug^t. 3. I have had an offer of exchanging two pieces of preferment I hold here (but sweet Cordelia’s Parish is not one of ’em) for a living of 350 p^{ds}. a year in Surry[36] ab^t. 30 miles from London—& retaining Coxwould & my Prebendaryship—w^{ch}. are half as much more—the Country also is sweet—but I will not—I cannot take any step unless I had thee my Eliza for whose sake I live, to consult with—& till the road is open for me as my heart wishes to advance—with thy sweet light Burden in my Arms, I could get up fast the hill of preferment, if I chose it—but without thee I feel Lifeless—and if a Mitre was offer’d me, I would not have it, till I could have thee too, to make it sit easy upon my brow—I want kindly to smooth thine, & not only wipe away thy tears but dry up the Source of them for ever—

* * * * *

Aug^{st}. 4. Hurried backwards & forwards ab^t. the arrival of Madame, this whole week—& then farewel I fear to this journal—till I get up to London—& can pursue it as I wish—at present all I can write would be but the History of my miserable feelings—She will be ever present—& if I take up my pen for thee—something will jarr within me as I do it—that I must lay it down again—I will give you one gen^l. Acc^t. of all my sufferings together—but not in Journals—I shall set my wounds a-bleeding every day afresh by it—& the Story cannot be too short—so worthiest best, kindest & affec^{te}. of Souls farewell—every Moment will I have thee present—& sooth my sufferings with the looks my fancy shall cloath thee in—Thou shalt lye down & rise up with me—ab^t. my bed & ab^t. my paths, & shalt see out all my Ways.—adieu—adieu—& remember one eternal truth, My dear Bramine, w^{ch}. is not the worse, because I have told it thee a thousand times before—That I am thine—& thine only, & for ever.

L. STERNE.

[Postscript.]

Nov: 1^st. All my dearest Eliza has turned out more favourable than my hopes—M^{rs}. S.—& my dear Girl have been 2 Months with me and they have this day left me to go to spend the Winter at York, after having settled every thing to their hearts content—M^{rs}. Sterne retires into france, whence she purposes not to stir, till her death.—& never, has she vow’d, will give me another sorrowful or discontented hour—I have conquerd her, as I w^d. every one else, by humanity & Generosity—& she leaves me, more than half in Love w^{th}. me—She goes into the South of france, her health being insupportable in England—& her age, as she now confesses ten Years more, than I thought being on the edge of sixty—so God bless—& make the remainder of her Life happy—in order to w^{ch}. I am to remit her three hundred guineas a year—& give my dear Girl two thousand p^{ds}.—w^{th}. w^{ch}. all Joy, I agree to,—but ’tis to be sunk into an annuity in the french Loans—

—And now Eliza! Let me talk to thee—But What can I say, What can I write—But the Yearnings of heart wasted with looking & wishing for thy Return—Return—Return! my dear Eliza! May heaven smooth the Way for thee to send thee safely to us, & joy for Ever.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

ORIGINAL LETTERS

OF

LAURENCE STERNE.

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[Illustration: Handwritten letter.]

[Illustration: Handwritten letter.]

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ORIGINAL LETTERS

OF

LAURENCE STERNE

TO

DANIEL DRAPER, ESQ.

[Coxwould, 1767?]

I OWN it, Sir, that the writing a letter to a gentleman I have not the honour to be known to—a letter likewise upon no kind of business (in the ideas of the world) is a little out of the common course of things—but I’m so myself, and the impulse which makes me take up my pen is out of the common way too, for it arises from the honest pain I should feel in having so great esteem and friendship as I bear for Mrs. Draper—if I did not wish to hope and extend it to Mr. Draper also. I am really, dear sir, in love with your wife; but ’tis a love you would honour me for, for ’tis so like that I bear my own daughter, who is a good creature, that I scarce distinguish a difference betwixt it—that moment I had would have been the last.

I wish it had been in my power to have been of true use to Mrs. Draper at this distance from her best protector. I have bestowed a great deal of pains (or rather, I should say, pleasure) upon her head—her heart needs none—and her head as little as any daughter of Eve’s, and indeed less than any it has been my fate to converse with for some years. I wish I could make myself of any service to Mrs. D. whilst she is in India, and I in the world—for worldly affairs I could be of none.

I wish you, dear sir, many years’ happiness. ’Tis a part of my Litany, to pray for her health and life. She is too good to be lost, and I would out of pure zeal take a pilgrimage to Mecca to seek a medicine.[37]

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[Illustration:

Commodore James, by Sir Joshua Reynolds. ]

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TO MR. AND MRS. JAMES.

Coxwould, Aug^{st}. 10, 1767.

MY DEAR FRIENDS,

I but copy your great civility to me—in writing you word, that I have this moment rec^d. another Letter, wrote eighteen days after the date of the last from S^t. Iago—If our poor friend could have wrote another Letter to England, you will in course have it—but I fear from the circumstance of great hurry, and bodily disorder when she dispatch’d this she might not have time—In case it has so fallen out—I send you the contents of w^t. I have rec^d.—and that is a melancholly history of herself and sufferings since they left Iago—continual and most violent rhumatism all the time—a fever brought on—with fits—and attended with Delirium, and every terrifying symptome—the recovery from this left her low and emaciated to a skeleton—I give you the pain of this detail with a bleeding heart—knowing how much at the same time it will affect yours—The three or four last days in her journal, leave us with hopes she will do well at last—for she is more chearful, and seems to be getting up her spirits—& health in course with it.—They have cross’d the Line—are much becalm’d—w^{ch}. with other delays, [s]he fears, they will lose their passage to Madrass—& be some months sooner for it at Bombay—Heaven protect this worthy creature! for she suffers much, & with uncommon fortitude—She writes much to me ab^t. her dear friend M^{rs}. James in her last Packet—in truth, my good Lady, she honours & loves you from her heart—but if she did not—I should not Love her half so well myself as I do.

Adieu my dear friends—You have Very few in the world, more truely & cordially y^{rs}.

L. STERNE.

_P.S._

I have just rec^d. as a present from a right Hon^{ble}.[38] a most elegant gold Snuff fabricated for me at Paris—I wish Eliza was here, I would lay it at her feet—however, I will enrich my gold Box, with her picture,—& if the Doner does not approve of such an acquisition to his pledge of friendship—I will send him his Box again—

* * * * *

May I presume to inclose you the Letter I write to M^{rs}. Draper—I know you will write yourself—& my Letter may have the honour to chaperon yours to India. M^{rs}. Sterne & my daughter are coming to stay a couple of months with [me], as far as from Avignion—& then return—Here’s Complaisance for you—I went 500 miles the last Spring, out of my way, to pay my wife a weeks visit—and she is at the expence of coming post a thousand miles to return it—what a happy pair!—however, en passant, she takes back sixteen hundred p^{ds}. into France with her—and will do me the honour likewise to strip me of every thing I have—Except Eliza’s Picture, Adieu.

_Endorsed_:—

To M^{rs}. James

in Gerard Street,

Soho,

London.

Free Fauconberg.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

TO MR. AND MRS. JAMES.

York, Dec. 28, 1767.

I WAS afraid that either my friend M^r. James, or M^{rs}. James, or their little Blossome was drooping, or that some of you were ill by not having the pleasure of a line from you, & was thinking of writing again to enquire after you all—when I was cast down myself with a fever, & bleeding at my lungs, which had confined me to my room three weeks, when I had the favour of y^{rs}. which till to day I have not been able to thank you both kindly for, as I most cordially now do,—as well as for all y^r. proofs & professions of good will to me—I will not say, I have not ballanced Acc^{ts}. with you in this—all I know, is, That I honour and value you more than I do any good creature upon earth—& that I could not wish y^r. happiness and the Success of whatever conduces to it, more than I do, was I your Brother—but good god! are we not all brothers and sisters, who are friendly & virtuous & good?—

Surely my dear friends, my Illness has made a sort of sympathy for y^r. Afflictions upon the Score of y^r. dear little one—and I make no doubt when I see Eliza’s Journal, I shall find she has been ill herself at that time—I am rent to pieces with uncertainty ab^t. this dear friend of ours—I think too much—& interest my self so deeply by my friendship for her, that I am worn down to a Shadow—to this I owe my decay of health—but I can’t help it——

As my fever has left me, I set off the latter end of the week with my friend M^r. Hall for Town—I need not tell my friends in Gerard Street, I shall do myself the Honour to visit them before either Lord Shelburn or Lord Spencer &c. &c.—

I thank you my dear friend, for what you say so kindly ab^t. my Daughter—it shews y^r. good heart, as she is a stranger, ’tis a free Gift in you—but when she is known to you—she shall win _it fairly_—but Alas! when this event is to happen, is in the clouds—M[rs.] Sterne has hired a house ready fur[nished] at York, till she returns to france & my Lydia must not leave her—

What a sad scratch of a Letter—but I am weak my dear friends both in body & mind—so God bless you—Youl see me enter like a Ghost—so I tell you before hand, not to be frighten’d.

I am, my dear friends with truest attachment & end esteem Y^{rs}.

L. STERNE.

_Endorsed_:—

To

M^r. or M^{rs}. James

Gerrard Street

Soho

London.

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LETTERS

OF

ELIZABETH DRAPER.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

LETTERS

OF

ELIZABETH DRAPER.

TO ——[39]

[Tellicherry April, 1769.]

MY DEAR SIR

IT’S with great pleasure I take every opportunity of paying my Duty to you, but more particularly this by the Grenville, as by her I’m enabled to give you a better account of Mr. Drapers success as a Merchant, than he flatter’d himself with any hopes of, upon his arrival at Tellicherry, and if Fortune continues to be as propitious to us, the six ensuing Seasons, as she’s proved the last,—Mr. D. would not thank the Directors for nominating him to the Government of Bombay. We are both well, entirely contented and wish not to exchange our situation, but for an Independence in England, which I hope we are in the way of obtaining, and may accomplish in six or seven Years, notwithstanding Hyder Ally maintains his Ground, and has absolutely refused to listen to terms of Peace from the Madrassers, unless they will make over Trichinopoly to him. This, they think they can not in point of Honor, or Conscience do—tho’ they are heartily tired of the War, & wish to accommodate with him, on reasonable terms—they are now preparing for a long Siege, which he has threatened them with, and if they do not receive Supplies of Money, & Troops, from England, God knows! what will be their fate!—as Hyder is really a very clever, and enterprising Man,—accustomed to face, & Conquer Europeans and has for his surest adviser, one of the best Politicians in India, Governour Laws—of Pondicherry, whom it is imagined, has always plan’d each of his Campaigns; the Gentlemen of Bengal have drained their Treasury, to befriend those of Madrass—but the Governour of Bombay—will not consent to assist them in any respect, tho’ he has often been solicited to do it—and a little timely aid from our side, might have prevented the present melancholy prospect, but he says, he has no notion of Quixotism adventures, and as we cannot benefit by the troubles, he will not risque our suffering any loss,—this argument is very cruel,[40] & superficial, tho’ at first it may appear Specious, ’tis impolitic too, because if the Madrassers are worsted, we certainly shall be the next Prey—but that’s a distant Day, & he always quotes “sufficient to the Day is the Evil thereof.” but he is a poor, despicable[41] Creature, in every respect and as unfit for a Governour—as I am for an Arch-Bishop, not one Individual, is there at Bombay, his friend,—and in short, he neither is—or deserves to be, Loved, esteem’d, or feared. We are very particularly interested in Hyders success, at this Settlement, as he has most of the Country powers, about us, in total subjection, & infests our Coast, with his Fleet, to intercept our Merchantmen, their’s no leaving us, now for Bombay, with any safety, without a Convoy, & the Bombay Cruizers, three or four of them, are Stationed between Carwar, Onore, & Mount Dilly, for that purpose. we are terribly infested too, by the Cooley Boats, & Mallawans. the Morattas, had the Insolence to surround Bombay with their Fleet a few months since, which did not a little terrify our Pusillanimous General, but they soon dispersed when the Commodore received Permission to ask them some questions. it’s imagined this Bravado was effected at the Instigation of Hyder, to Divert us from all thoughts of sending Troops to Madrass, it answerd his hopes—but if he had bribed the Governours Brahmin to be his friend, it would have done as well—for nothing in Public or domestic Concerns, is transacted at Bombay, without that Fellows knowledge & consent some of the Gentlemen by way of reprimand, have advised Mr. Hodges to give him a Seat at Council. our Island is now very Populous—very expensive, very improvable, & would be very flourishing, if we had a proper Man at the head of affairs. This Coast has been vastly injured by Hyders Ravages. ’tis nothing in Comparison to what it was some Years ago, but would still be the Source of profit to the Company, & a Tellicherry Chief if the War was once happily terminated.—Most of the Gentlemen that distinguished themselves, by behaving ill at Mangulore, have been broke by a General Court Martial at Bombay. it was a tedious affair—lasting upwards of six Weeks, tho’ the Members met Daily,—This my dear Sir, is all the Public Intelligence, I can recollect, worthy of transmitting you, and now for a little private, Tom Whitehill, my kind Uncle, is well—I often hear from him & he must by all accounts, have made himself independent, by this time. he is increasing his Family of Natural Children, but declared to me, that he never would give them more than five thousand rupees each, because he would not tempt any Gentleman to marry them for the sake of Money, and he had rather dispose of them to Phesendars of their own Colour—than to Europeans—he has one Daughter marriageable, two young ones, & two or three infant Sons,—I never hear from Jack Whitehill, but I know he is well, from my Correspondents at Madrass, I hope he does not maintain Silence to his English friends, as ...[42] should he be a good Accomptant & write swiftly Mr. Draper would be very glad of him here—make it worth his while, and keep him out of harms way, as he is in want of just such a Person, You know his inability to use the Pen—he has lost his two Clerks too, & if I was not capable of assisting, & maintaining his Correspondence for him I know not what he would do, at this juncture. I only fulfil my Duty—and have not the least merit in it—as a good Purvoe that thoroughly understood English, and spelled properly—would answer his Views still better. Louisa is very advantageously married, to the Commander of our Forces, a Colonel Pemble, he is handsome, amiable and magnificent in his temper—his Income amounts to thirty thousand Rupees a year—but I fear they stand little chance of saving a Fortune, as they are Gay—extravagant, & fond of Company, but I know not if it signifies much—as they love India—are healthy, admired, and esteemed here—and not very desirous of exchanging affluence in the Eastern ...[43] fondness, and is a Prince in Spirit, and occasional good works, they are on no terms with the Governour, neither visiting, or being visited by him. A Mr Banister, that is much older than yourself & formerly knew you in the Service, now resides here—he desired me to present his kindest remembrances to you, assuring you of his unalterable esteem, & good wishes. The good Man & his Wife live very comfortably—are well. and much noticed with respectful attention I hope to be favor’d with long & interesting letters from Europe by the next Ship—England, which was always dear to me—was never so much so as now!—the We[l]fare of my dear Children, sits very near my heart, & I cannot help feeling great anxiety on their account, tho’ I am confident of Mrs. Whitehills care, and best attention to their true Interest, God preserve the poor babes! may they live to give satisfaction to their Parents—and reflect honour on their amiable Protectress! I hope you had an agreeable Summer in the Society of my friend and little ...[44] by presenting my compliments to him, and best wishes for his health, and enjoyment of England; we _now_ wish him our Head again, would to Heaven he had not left us a Prey to the foolish policy, and low Cunning of an Hodges[44]! the wish is entirely general, not a moist Eye—or grave Countenance will be visible on his Departure, unless it’s his Female Coffary Shirt airers,—for a few Rupees, or mere form’s sake. oh! he is gloriously hated! and I prognosticate, ever will be so—even by the Wife of his Bosom—if he is Dotard enough with his jealous propen[sities] and Selfish particularities, to make a second choice! but no:—his avarice will prevent his marrying again, for a good Woman would loathe his Wealth with such an Incumbrance as himself—and a bad one’s ...[45] happy—prays your ever grateful and ...[45]ed Child.

ELIZA DRAPER

Tellicherry April 1769

P.S.

Mr Draper presents you his respectful Compliments, with t[he sin]cerest assurences of his doing every thi[ng i]n his power for Stephen, if you se[nd him] to Bombay.

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[Illustration:

Belvidere House, by Lee Woodward Zeigler, from an original sketch by J. B. Frazer. ]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

To M^{RS}. ANNE JAMES.

Bombay 15^{th}. April 1772.

I NOW have before me, Dearest of Women, and Friend twenty sheets of your writing received this year; and mean to answer every page of it which I’ve not yet replied to distinctly—the first Letter is dated 15^{th}. May 1771 by Tryon of the Deptford, this I answered months ago—as I did that of the 5^{th}. April, by Captain Allen, the contents of which related wholly to himself & M^r. Cooper his Nephew, and one of the same date, by M^r. Allen his Purser to the same effect—Your next is dated 28^{th}. April and enclosed an Account of Money Matters—that of the 20^{th}. should have been handed first, but as it contains much more importantant [_sic_] matter, I purposely omitted giving it the Precedence—from meaning to speak at large on some parts of it.—You say my dear, _that you had_

“_suffered much Uneasiness at hearing that I thought you had not acted a friendly part by me in protecting two unfortunate People,[46] and requesting me to make a contribution amongst my friends in their Favor:—that, this Report touched you to the heart; tho’ you disbelieved it, as it was inconsistent with my Humanity, my opinion of you, and the reverse of all my letters, and yet, when you found, that I had wrote to Becket,[47] your Ideas’ were rather confused; for if I had, had a proper reliance on you, I need not have applied to him; as I might have supposed, you would find some means to secure my letters, if violent measures had been the Widows Plan; but, that you, was perfectly easy as to that matter; and imagined I should have been the same; knowing you to be my Friend—that there was a stiffness, in my calling you M^{rs}. James, which eat you to the heart, particularly, when I said I could not accost you with my usual Freedom—What had you done to create reserve, & distance? and had my letter concluded in the same style, you should have believed I was altered, not you._”

I will endeavour to answer all this very plainly, and in the first place, I do assure you then, on my never forfeited word, that I neither by Thought, Word, or Action, ever gave the most distant Cause for such a Report, and how, or wherefore it was invented & propagated, I know no more, than I do of any one foreign Circumstance, yet unheard, or unthought of by me—it is certain, my dear James, that so far from thinking unkindly of you for your patronage of the Sternes, that you never to me, appeared in so amiable a Light—Strange; if you had not, as nothing but a sordid Principle, most narrowly selfish could have induced me to dislike an action which had its foundation in Generosity, and all the milder feminine Virtues—but my James, I will be very explicit with you, on this subject as you have introduced it yourself—the World, I fear, does not see the beauty of a compassionate disinterestedness, in the same light, that you and I do—for it has been said, and wrote to me, more than once, that my friend was betraying the Cause of her Eliza, in order to acquire the Title of Patroness, to Beauty, and Distress—I never paid the least regard to such Insinuations—for I [pers]onally supposed they had their foundation in Ignorance, Malice and that Love of Talk, which is alike common to the rash Young, and ill natured Old—I cannot believe any thing to the Prejudice of those I love my dear James—nothing which arraigns their Morals, I am sure, I cannot!—and if this knowledge, cannot secure me from Unkindness as deceit—I am, and ever must be a ready sacrifice to their Hands—for I neither can or will maintain suspicion, against the Friends I trust—I can but suffer by them, in my Peace, Property or Fame—and these are ever at the Devotion of those I love, if more consequential to them, than my Ease—I might in such Case lament the fate of my ill star’d sensibility, which led me to fix my Regards on Persons so incapable of promoting my Happiness, from not being equally conscious as myself how much pleasanter it is to love another with the most endearing affection, than to regard the Pleas of a poor Selfish Self—Some Philosophers and Moralists too, assert the proof to be impossible, but I deny the Facts, and could deduce from my own Experience, Young as I am, a thousand Instances to validate my Opinion to the most Incredulous—but of that, no more at present—for it is a Key, harsh and Untuneful, to the Notes of Peace, and might awaken every painful sense, which could set my heart a bleeding—You wonder my dear, at my writing to Becket—I’ll tell you why I did so—_I had heard some Anecdotes extremely disadvantageous to the Characters of the Widow & Daughter, and that from Persons who said they had been personally acquainted with them, both in France and England—I had no reason to doubt, the Veracity of these Gentlemen Informants, they could have no view in deceiving me, or motive of putting me on my Guard, but what arose from Benevolence, which I hope is common to the greatest part of Mankind—Some part of their Intelligence, corroborated, what I had a thousand times heard, from the lips of Yorick, almost, invariably repeated—the Widow, I was assured was occasionally a Drinker, a Swearer, exceeding Unchaste—tho’ in point of Understanding, and finished Address supposed to be inferior to no Woman in Europe_—the Secret of my Letters being in her hands, had some how become extremely Public, it was noticed to me by almost every Acquaintance I had in the C[ompany’s][48] Ships, as at this Settlement—this alarmed me—for at that time I had never Communicated the Circumstance, and could not suspect you of acting by me in any manner, which I would not have acted in by my self—One Gentleman in particular told me, that both you, and I should be deceived, if we had the least reliance on the Honor or Principles of M^{rs}. Sterne, for that, when she had secured as much as she could, for suppressing the Correspondence, she was capable of selling it to a Bookseller afterwards—by either refusing to restore it to you—or taking Copies of it, without our knowledge—and therefore he advised me, if I was averse to it’s Publication to take every means in my Power of Suppressing it—this influenced me to write to Becket, and promise him a reward equal to his Expectations, if He would deliver the Letters to you (I think I proposed no other method to Him except this, but I am not sure) in case they were offered him for sale—I had a long Conflict in my own mind whether I should, or should not reveal every thing regarding this Business to you at length, I determined to keep the Secret in my own breast and that from a motive [of] Delicacy rather than good Judgment—so well do I know, how harshly it grates, to have those we love, aspersed, whether with or without Foundation—My Circumstances, as to this Family were peculiar, and require the nicest Conduct—Interest, Jealousy, a thousand Narrow Motives, might be supposed to Stimulate me! as I could not with Honor, have disclosed my Authorities for advancing many things I must have advanced, to say the half of what I had been told,—and a real or pretended respect, for myself had prompted the disclosure of them, it would have been something worse than ungenerous to have subjected the Persons to ill Will, or being called upon to prove their assertions when they had a Moral Claim to my handsome treatment at least, for whether their Intelligence was founded on, Truth or falsehood, it is not to be conceived, that they meant I should suppose them influenced by unjust Motives; consequently, it had all the Rights of well attested Facts, till I could disprove it—This I have never been able to do, tho’ all my Enquiries, when Yoricks Widow or Daughter has been named have tended to this effect, in hopes of Accomplishing my Wishes; for it cannot surely be supposed my dear James, that I am so fiend like in my nature as to wish that any Woman of Sense and Character, might be proved vicious rather than virtuous, by the confirmations of Truth or Chance—it is True my friend! I love not these Ladies! and what is more, I think, I think! Excuse me my dear—that while I preserve my Rectitude and Sensibility, I never shall!—and I would not part with them for so paltry an Exchange, as the Acquisition of New Acquaintances. “Trifles, light as air”;—You know what these are to the Jealous—and such they are, to the liberal, Ingenuous Minded, I would sooner, regulate my opinion of Man or Womens real Worth, from their Conduct in Trivial Matters, than I would from their grand efforts to attain a Name or Character.—Ambition, Lust of Praise, Interest, Pride, a thousand sordid affections, may stimulate, in the one Case—but the other is of too humble a Nature to affect Glare; broad Day light is not necessary to it; for few, very, very few, have that sense, which is capable of feeling, a Grace, a Manner, & Decorum, beyond the fixed & settled rules of Vice & Virtue—consequently, when such an Attention to the Minutiæ is uniformly practised, by Male or Female, its source must be in the Heart, from a preferable love to Goodness only—How I do, more than Admire, a Creature so Characterized! I would almost suffer Martyrdom, to see such Perfection in my only Child! and if I live to be her Monitress it shall be the Study of my Life to make her capable of it——My dear Friend, that Stiffness you complain’d of when I called you M^{rs}. James, & said I could not accost you with my usual Freedom Entirely arose from depression of Spirits, too natural to the Mortified, when severe Disappointments gall the sense—You had told me that Sterne was no more—I had heard it before; but this conformation [_sic_] of it sorely afflicted me; for I was almost an Idolator of His Worth, while I fancied Him the Mild, Generous, Good Yorick, We had so often thought Him to be—to add to my regrets for his loss—his Widow had my letters in her Power, (I never entertained a good opinion of her) and meant to subject me to Disgrace & Inconvenience by the Publication of them—You knew not the contents of these letters, and it was natural for you to form the worst judgment of them, when those who had seen ’em reported them, unfavorably, and were disposed to dislike me on that account—My dear Girl! had I not cause to feel humbled so circumstanced—and can you wonder at my sensations communicating themselves to my Pen? You cannot on reflection—for such are the Emotions of the Human Heart, that they must influence human Actions, while Truth and Nature, are unsubdued—I do not, I assure you my dear James, I never did, think you acted by me other than the kindest part throughout this whole Transaction with the Sternes—I lament your attachment to them, but I only lament it for your sake, in case Lydia, is rather speciously attractive than mildly amiable; w^{ch}. I have heard Insinuated—whatever cause, I may have to dislike them on my own account, I can have none to do so on Yours—While they preserve an Empire in Your Breast from their superiority in Merit principally—but beware of Deceivers my dear Woman, the best Hearts are most liable to be imposed on, by them—Frank, Generous, Kind themselves—they naturally suppose, Each Companion of specious semblance, a Kindred Spirit, till dire Experience has convinced them, that Hypocrisy can assume all Shapes meet for her Purpose:—do not suppose my Caution arises from any thing but affection; for tho’ I hint at Counterfeits to you, I never suffer any thing of the kind to escape me to others—On the contrary I ever speak of both Widow & Daughter as you or they, might wish me to speak, when expatiating on the subject,—for I have no Idea my James, that Eliza’s opinion is to be the Standard of other Peoples, well as I think of it in the main—and however Angry I may be with them in my heart, I should be very sorry to have People I esteemed think ill of them—as a proof of which, I’ll transcribe for you, part of a letter I wrote on the subject the other Day, to Colonel Campbell in Bengal—who is a great Favorite of Mine, had sent me six hundred Rupees, which He had raised by Contributions for their use, and hinted[49] his wishes to know something of the Ladies—as He meant to visit England shortly.—

“I sensibly feel the Exertions of your kindness in behalf of my Friends Widow & Daughter—and assure myself, if you ever know them, that your own Complacency will administer a Reward from the Consciousness of having served two very Amiable Persons; as well Educated Women, of Talents, and Sensibility, are, I believe of all others, the most serious objects of a Generous Compassion, when obliged to Descend from an Easy Elegance, their Native Sphere, to the Mortifying Vicissitudes of Neglect & pecuniary Embarrassments. The Ladies, are no Strangers to your Character; and I please myself with the Notion of their proving a very agreable addition to your Acquaintance, when you are at all disposed to cultivate Theirs. M^{rs}. Sterne, I have heard spoke of as one of the most sensible Women in Europe—she is nearly related to the M^{rs}. Montague, whose Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare has reflected so much Honor, on the reputation of Female Judgment & Generosity—which circumstance renders it probable, that she, (M^{rs}. Sterne) may possess equal Powers from Inheritance—Miss Sterne is supposed to have a portion of each Parents best Qualities—the Sensibility & frolic Vivacity of Yorick, most happily blended in her Composition—Lively by Nature, Youth & Education, she cannot fail to please every Spectator of capacious Mind; but much, I fear, that, the Shandy Race will be Extinct with this Accomplished Young Woman—for She’s of the Muses Train, and too much attached to them and filial Duties, to think of a change of name with much Complacency—How is it Colonel (You are a Casius—& can tell me) that a Woman seldom, very seldom, judges favorably of the Wedded Life, if once seriously attached to those Moral Doctrines & Poetic Flights—so truely captivating to a Muse like Apprehension? And yet the Nine are said to aid the Votary’s of Love—Apollo himself, sacrifices at Cupid’s Shrine, and Verse Men of all Ages, have at some period of their Lives, been prone to follow his great Example.—I fear, I fear: that the Details of Experience, joined to a little more than ordinary Penetration may be the true Source of their Dislike to Masculine Subjection.”

—So much my Dear, for my description of the Sternes to Colonel Campbell, tho’ I’ve seen them not, but with the Minds Eye:—be so good my dear, as to announce his name and Character to them, as it’s probable He may find them out and make himself known to them—He has been very assiduous in collecting above one half of the Money I have sent Home for their use—in his Profession He is supposed to have extraordinary Merit—and in his Principles, and Manners, He is I think, one of ten thousand—sensible, sweet tempered, & Amiable, to a very great degree—added to which, lively, comical & accomplished—Young, Handsome, rich, & a Soldier!—What fine Girl, would wish more? I borrow my Notions of M^{rs}. & Miss Sterne from Various Reports—By culling the good from the bad in such Cases one may at any time, form a tolerable description of a Character.—this I believe, is what’s called conveying a Lye, in the Words of Truth—but no matter—Campbell cannot be hurt by thinking favorably of them, and they might be much Injured by his forming a different opinion—for the real Dislike of a Man of sense & Honor, this dislike, founded, on Principle, is, I think, the severest Disgrace that can happen to a Woman of sentiment or reputation—May it never be the fate of Me, or Mine, Good Heaven! for if any thing in Nature could prompt me to be guilty of Suicide, it would be an Affliction of this nature, all others have their Alleviations, but this, must arise, from a consciousness of our being lost to Worth—as a Good & Wise Man, never is Influenced by Caprice, but only contemns the Sinner from his hatred of the Sin. I am grown very moral of late, I believe, my dear Friend, for I cannot help dispersing such grave reflections as these throughout my Letters or Discourse, both my reading, and natural turn of Mind, encourages [this] Propensity, and as it teaches me to have a good reason for the Minutiæ in all Actions which savour of kindness, or the Agreable; I am rather pleased with myself, for the cultivation of a Taste, which may promote my usefulness in Society, as well as insure my own Approbation on just Grounds.—I am a good deal altered in my appearance James, since you used to view me with the Eyes of Kindness, due only, to a second self—but, my Head and Heart, if Self Love does not mislead me, are both much improved and the Qualities of Reflection and tenderness, are no bad substitutes for that clearness of Complection, and Je-ne-scai-quoi Air, which my flatterers used to say entitled me to the Appellation of Belle Indian. I read a great deal, I scribble much—and I daily ride on Horseback, bathe in the Sea—and live most abstemiously—but I cannot manage to acquire confirmed Health in this detested Country; and what is far worse, I cannot induce M^r. Draper, to let me return to England; tho’ He must be sensible, that both my Constitution and Mind, are suffering by the effects of a Warm Climate—I do, and must wonder that He will not,[50] for what good Purpose my Residence Here can promote, I am quite at a loss to imagine, as I am disposed to think favorably of M^r. D’s Generosity and Principles. My dear James, it is Evident to the whole of our Acquaintance, that our Minds are not pair’d, and therefore I will not scruple informing _you_—that I neither do, nor will any more, if I can help it live with Him as a Wife—my reasons for this are cogent; be assured they are;—or I would not have formed the Resolution—I explain them not to the World—tho’ I could do it, and with credit to myself; but for that very cause I will persevere in my silence—as I love not selfish Panegyricks.—How wretched must be that Woman’s Fate, my dear James, who loving Home, and having a Taste for the Acquitments [_sic_], both useful and Agreable, can find nothing congenial in her Partners Sentiments—nothing companionable, nothing engagingly domestic in his Manner, to endear his Presence, nor even any thing of that Great, or respectful sort, which creates Public Praise, and by such means, often lays the Foundation of Esteem, and Complacency at Home?—Sad, Sad State! my James—and Wo! be to the feeling Heart so circumstanced!—a Woman who might have been a Valuable Member of Society, is by such _disunion_ either a Mere Blank—or liable to every Disgrace resulting from Infamy—if finely organized—Grief & Disappointment may render useless all her Mental Faculties—if chearful by nature, and calculated to struggle with trying difficulties, in Hopes of surmounting them, these very excellencies, are so many snares to her, as they excite to Envy, Malice, & Detraction—for who is just enough to acknowledge, that an Amiable, Sensible Woman, has fund sufficient in her own Mind, to be a perpetual Resource to her in all Calamities and Exigencies? On the contrary, who does not Insinuate, that where such a Character is unhappily pair’d & Maintains her Chearfulness, Secret pleasures make her Amends for public Penances—? a thousand Causes will rather be assigned, than the real One; as few People are good enough themselves, for Goodness’s Sake, to imagine that, that Principle should regulate the Conduct of a Woman unhappily married—but surely! surely! they are mistaken—for if that same laudable Affection, will not engage to the Pursuit of every thing praise worthy—no other I fear, will ever bear us out—as Virtue, in it’s comprehensive sense, to those who understand it well must have an effect on the mind very superior to what is Excited by Inferior Principles, and yet, even these, such as Pride, the love of Fame, Wealth, Greatness—a Humour or a Name; will sometimes enable us to forego Ease & Health—and to risque Life & Honor—and can it be so divine a Thing, to Practise Worth, for Glory’s Sake—and not equally so, at least, to Practise it for it’s own—when in fact this same Glory is nothing better than one of it’s under Ministers? there never was a more just saying than that of Virtue being it’s own Reward—and those who understand it’s nature, could not wish a diviner than what springs from the consciousness of it—while they are Inhabitants of Earth, I mean—for as to a future state of Rewards & Punishments—I pretend not to argue about it lest I should be guilty of something blamable, when I only wished to assert the cause of Goodness as preferable to all other known Causes. We can but Reason from what we know—and therefore Silence and Modesty is the proper Shield for Ignorance, in such conflicts as would prove superior to our Strength.—I wonder not at the Praises given to Mrs. Montagues Essay—it has, I am told, all the Advantages of Learning, Sound Criticism, and just Taste.—I am so far a Judge of it’s Merit, as to be confident that it bespeaks Her of a generous Nature, as it seems calculated to rescue Genius—long departed Genius from the illiberal Censures of Witty Malice, now living, and too long triumphant—but my dear James, the circumstance of all others, I most admire in Mrs. Montagues Character—is her avoiding to put her Name to this Performance—this evinces a something very superior, to what is commonly ascribed, even to good Taste—I would rather be an Attendant on her Person, than the first Peeress of the Realm—if, this proceeded from a certain Delicacy and justness of Apprehension, only to be met with in Women of refined sense.—You say my Friend that you wonder I do not employ my leisure Hours in writing something which might reflect Lustre on my Name—and you encourage me to do so, by Praises which are easily accounted for from the partiality you ever have kindly considered my Talents with—I will be very Ingenuous with you on this Subject—There was a time, when I fancied myself capable of doing justice to some Undertaking of the Moral kind, My Taste has been thought judicious, and my language often Complimented as Elegant, this was Yoricks given opinion of it whatever his real one might be.—A little Piece or two I designed some Years ago, and finished lately—are not, perhaps unworthy of the Press, when compared with many Productions which have gained their Authors some degree of Reputation in the literate World—but my dear James, I do not think writing a Poem, a Play, an Essay, or an Anything the Chief Merit of a Woman;—so little do I think it necessary to the Fame of a good one, that I most assuredly, if capable of the Performance, would never affix my Name to it—my Vanity of this kind is amazingly lessened, if not quite extinct—from this you may gather, that I did not always judge so nicely, as I do at present—true my friend, a great flow of animal spirits—high Health—Youth—Flattery, and fair Prospects, wrought their usual Effects on a mind rather sprightly, than solid, but adversity is an Excellent School—and two or three serious Afflictions, have done more for me, in the way of self Knowledge, and Home Philosophy, than I might probably [have] acquired before my Grand Climateric, if Fortune had continued lavish of her Smiles to me, her once Enthusiastic Votary—a thousand little Flights which are only to be excused, on the score of Youth & Gay Fancy, now appear too trifling to have engaged the time & labour I once bestowed on them, and with a view, to raise my Consequence, I own to you my beloved Friend—for I had Romance and Vanity Enough, to think they would Answer the Airy Purpose—and add to my Praise, as much as the Letters of Madame de Sevigne or Ninon D’Lenclos did to Theirs, but as Judgment increased, Fancy lessened; and now I should be as much concerned, if they were to see the Light in form of a Printed Volume as I then should if I had thought any unforeseen Accident would have robbed me the Prospect of many encomiums, which I flattered myself with the notion of being entitled to on their Publication—this change of Humour, induces me to think, that my sentiments may be as different to what they now are, some time hence, as they are at present from what they were three Years ago—and this renders me extremely averse to shewing any of my Performances, lest I should acquire a Name that I could neither support or Defend, for the Suffrages of Friendship are as liable to Error in such Cases, as the Censures of Malignancy, and I am not qualified to steer clear of this Scylla & Charybdis, by those lukewarm affections, which enables Worldly Wisdom to rest it’s appeal with the Indifferent—for I love not the neutral Character—and would never consult it, in anything which concerned the Heart or it’s good Affections, it’s cold absolves, approach too near to the Stoical Virtue—the only species of Virtue I have; and that because “it’s fix’d, as in a Frost”—The Praises of the whole Tribe could do nothing better than play round my Head, and that’s a minor Pleasure, compared to the Heart-felt one of kind Sympathy—I could my dear James, assign many Rational Motives for my declining to scribble for the world, even if my Inclination, and Capacity dictated the Measure—the former, seriously does not, and the latter is by no means equal to the undertaking—I have much, very much indeed to learn, before I can accomplish my first Wish of deserving to be thought, a Woman truely Amiable enough, to employ me, my whole Life; as my Powers, are not of that ready sort to receive Things quickly as if by Intuition—You must not imagine from this, that I dislike a Woman’s engaging in the Field of Literature or Science—far from it, I declare to you, if she goes to it well Armed, on the contrary, if I may presume to say so—I think that Salique Law a very absurd one which reserves to Men only, the Province of Instructing & pleasing by useful Lucubrations, the result of Genius, Taste and Contemplative Life.—I cannot help thinking that they might be supposed to infringe on our Prerogative, if our minds were train’d in the same advantageous manner as Theirs—as to learning and the sciences I mean, for I wish not to interfere in their boistrous Pursuits.—Our Genius’s, for aught I know, may be as great, but however that may be, our Taste, Apprehension, Delicacy, in every thing We are Mutually concerned in, soars far, very far above Theirs—and as the Arrangements of Civil Life, are managed—Our Home Station, naturally induces that contemplative Turn, so advantageous to the Cause of Philosophy and all the Fine Arts—Nothing I believe but the frivolous Manners, inculcated by our frivolous Education, prevents our Capacity for disputing the Empire of Sense, Wit, and Reason with these Masculine Rulers, and that they do possess it, is rather owing to their usurped Authority as Legislators, than to any superiority in point of natural advantages—those of strength and personal courage, excepted. I love my own sex, James, and could wish for the Honor and Happiness of it, that the whole system of Female Education was very much altered, tho’ not totally reversed—M^{rs}. Montague’s Pen, might do justice to this subject; ’tis an important one, and worthy of her—had I the Honor of her Acquaintance & good opinion, I would strenuously recommend it to her consideration—as the pleas of natural solicitude uncultivated by Art might have their just Weight, on a Mind so happily enriched as hers is by useful acquirements—You cannot think my dear James, how much I lament the want of that knowledge, which is only to be attain’d in the Spring time of Life—as my Reflection encreases, I daily am more sensible of the loss I have sustained, in not receiving those advantages which are the birthright of Girls well born, or by nature teachable, especially if their Prospects are such as to give them a chance of being fix’d in conspicuous Life—such was my Case—it is the Case of all Girls destined for India—No Beings in the World are less indebted to Education—None living, require greater Assistances from it—for the regulations of time in Eastern Countries are such that every Woman must naturally have a large portion of it, Leisure; this is either a Blessing or Curse, as our Minds are disposed—the Generality of us are extremely frivolous, and Ignorant; How should we be otherwise? We were never instructed in the Importance of any thing, but one Worldly Point, that of getting an Establishment of the Lucrative kind, as soon as possible, a tolerable Complection, an Easy Manner, some degree of taste in the Adjustment of our Ornaments, some little skill in dancing a Minuet, and singing an Air, are the Summum Bonum, of Perfections here—and these are all that Mothers, Aunts & Governess’s Inculcate.—With Some Merit, as to these Accomplishments—the very best of us—leave Europe, and Commence Wives in the East, [at] fourteen—Climate, Custom, and immediate Examples—induce to Indolence—this betrays us into the Practice of Gallantry—that Prisoner of all that’s Amiable & Good—No Country in the World abounds more with it’s pernicious Consequences, no Women in the World are less Subject to the force of genuine Love!—this may seem a Paradox, but it is in fact none at all—for their grand object once attained, that of a settlement in Life—they know not what other to pursue—their Conduct is then regulated by Chance—and they are Intriguers, or nominally virtuous—as Beauty, Health, or Temptation dictates—this is a sad Picture, my dear James—Yet it is but too strong a Resemblance—and surely the hapless originals of it, are less blamable than their Early Instructors—Why were they not taught the necessity of useful Employments—and considering _Morals_, next to religion, as the most essential of all Things to their Happiness in both Worlds—poor Things! the _Word_ is a bye one to Them—and the Precepts, it inculcates—the subject of their illiberal Derision—Many of them have good Propensities—but Habit, so counteracts their momentary Resolves of the serious kind that no steadiness in Well doing must be expected from them in this Climate—the attaining useful knowledge—and a Will of our Own, on proper Grounds, is dreadful up Hill Work, without the assistance of Precept & Example, the one occasionally to lean on, and the other to stimulate; And those Persons, must owe very important obligations to Nature, who by dint of knowledge, self taught, can rise superior to the Prejudices of India, while an Indian; I mean not to be, or to seem guilty of any Pride or Vanity my dear James—when I swear to you in the openness of my Heart, that I’ve not yet known, or seen the Woman abroad, whom I would associate with thro’ Choice, in preference to being alone—there may be a thousand others, more sensible, or Amiable, but the Sense or Qualifications, of those I have met with, have had nothing in them congenial to my taste—and therefore we only associate in the formal way; this I am sorry for—for I love the Company of my own sex, when they are mild, Ingenuous & devoted to Cleanliness—Your Miss Bristow, I’m told, was an elegant Woman—I fancy so—for she was not liked Here and is styled, by way of Reproach, the Reserved & Poetical Lady—she has Genius, I think, for I have seen some little Pieces of hers, which abound with happy Thoughts; and her Enthusiasm in matters of Love or Friendship, makes me like her Character, tho’ I have never seen her Person—I wish she had continued Here—we should, I think, have been upon a good footing together, for you know my James, that I have none of that narrowness which excites to Envy, or Detraction, at the sight of superior Merit. I fear, poor Woman, that she will not be as happy as she deserves to be, for the man, she has chosen, by M^{rs}. Shaws Account, is a contemptible one, and in wretched Circumstances, without a prospect of Improving them—She now, I am told, lives in the black Town at Madrass, without Friends, without Acquaintances, Conveniences, Notice.—Still—her Book, and her Pen afford her constant Employment—Here is a proof of the Advantages of a natural good Taste, being well cultivated—but for the resources in her own mind, M^{rs}. Tasswell must have sunk a prey to affliction—or been a Wretch indeed—if incapable of Feeling what she has experienced—for of all Misery, that I think is the greatest, which renders us incapable of estimating our Blessings—or misfortunes arightly—be my Woes in Life what they will, may I never be delivered of them at so sad a cost as inconsiderateness—“I had rather stand all Adventures with Religion, (even tho’ I practised not the Duties of it) than Endeavor to get rid of the Thoughts of it by Diversion.”—M^{rs}. Taswell, I hope is employ’d in some Ingenious Work,—a Woman who writes well, cannot I believe write too much, if she neglects none of the Duties of her own sex to be so engaged—but these are certainly, her first concern, and these accomplished—the more she excels in, the more she Evidences the strength of her Genius, and that Economy of Time, which it is Wisdom, to be an Economist of.—Miss Shaw, I think, a whining, La La Girl—don’t you think so my dear? I am sorry if I do her injustice, but there’s nothing which attaches me to her, either in the way of sentiment, manners, or appearance—for I detest that covert insignificancy, which is comprised in the appellation of good natured sort of Girls—to me, it implies, that any Man might make a Fool of Her, who could be satisfied with a non-resisting Victory. M^{rs}. Playdell, and Miss Harris, as I told you by the Hampshire, remain’d at the Cape instead of proceeding to Bombay—had they come here, I would have shewn them all the rites of Hospitality—Cap^t. Taylor, will tell you all you wish to know relative to them—the M^r. Gambier you mentioned to me, at your Father’s request my dear, went Home Cap^t. Taylors Passenger, He is a fine Youth, and dear to me, and all who know Him, on the score of his Worth, strict Principles, and Amiable Manners are his real Characteristicks—I have given him a letter for you, by way of Passport, to your Notice—He desired & deserves, it—therefore I could not refuse Him—I fear poor Youth, We never shall see Him again, for the Disorder in his Neck (an Aneurism) is of too dangerous a nature, to give sanguine Hopes of his surviving the necessary Operation in case He submits to it—and if He does not—He must never more Visit India, as the Heat of this Climate would soon increase it, beyond the Power of Art to reduce it or save Him. M^r. Horsley too—another Friend of mine, I have desired M^r. James, to interest himself, in obtaining your smiles, and good Graces for—I know not that you’ll like Him at first, I rather think not—for He’s reserved, and has none of that Easy Address, which Impresses People Agreably at first sight, but He has one of the clearest Heads, my James, that I ever knew, added to which a correctness of Taste and Nobleness of sentiment, which does Honor to the Manly Character—I would not Introduce Him, to any I loved, if I did not think their merit would bear them out—for the Creature is penetrating, and satyrical—but you have nothing to fear from those Qualities; for it’s only to Impertinence, Affection, and Arrogance, that He’s severe, to be frank with you my James—I know not the Person in India, I’m afraid of—now that He has left it—nor do I know the Man in the World whose good Opinion I would rather Insure, and that because—He, amongst a thousand Indians—stands alone in mine, as a Competent Judge of Merit of that sort, particularly, which adds Grace & Worth to the Female Character—The World says I am a favorite with Him; and I the rather suspect it, (tho’ He has said severer Things to me, than Man before Him, ever did)—because He devoted much of his Time to me, and this, I believe, he would not have done, if it had not been the result of his free Choice—for never mortal was less Punctilious—, spoke less to the sex, and more to the Reason, than He did, when once Interested enough to speak his real sentiments, to any Woman.—I think Horsley altogether, a very great Character—He has a thousand singularities, a thousand Faults—but they are infinitely overbalanced by one of the most active Minds, and Generous Hearts that ever I knew Inhabit a human Frame—I give you all these Lights into his Character, in order that you may manage with Him accordingly, for I wish those I love, to be liked by the Discerning & Worthy,—if James, admits him to any degree of Intimacy in your Family—make him read Poetry to you my dear—his manner of doing it will charm _you_—and yet the Creature has no more notion of music than I have of Algebra—this has often puzzled me—such a Judge of Harmony—and yet no taste in fine sounds; I declare to you that I have been quite mortified, when I, who think I may pretend to some little merit as to Ear & Voice, have aimed at doing justice to Poetry, and could not please myself for my Life, when upon consigning the Book to Him—He has exactly hit the modulation & manner I in vain wished to compass,—and yet his natural Voice is almost as defective, as his Judgment in music.—but enough of Him, after telling you, that He visits England on the score of extreme bad Health, (indeed He has gone thro’ enough to kill forty Giants in this Country) and will in all probability be obliged to continue there for some Years, before he has the confirmed Health, He once possessed.—_I cannot my dear, send you the six hundred Rupees I received from Colonel Campbell for the use of the Sternes_ by this ship, as none but Company’s servants are allowed Bills on the Company, on their own Account.—M^r. D, cannot swear, that this money is his own Property—however, I account to you or them for it with Interest—and if this Restriction as to Bills, is not taken off by the Mocha ship, I will lay out the money in Pearl (as that I am told sells advantageously in England, Very much so at present) and send it by Cap^t. Jones, or somebody for their use; and by such means, they can in no way be losers, and I hope it will be no Inconvenience to them, to wait a few months longer for it, then I wished them to do—as I imagine their Expectations from me, must have ceased, with the last Bill, I transmitted to England.—O my dear Friend for God sake, pay them all the money of mine in your Hands—would it were twice as much! the Ring too is much at M^{rs}. Sternes service—as should be every thing I have in the world, rather than I would freely owe the shadow of an obligation to Her.—You say my dear, in your letter of May 29^{th}. 1771, dated from Eltham—“I hope my Lydia’s Letter did not give you pain, perhaps not Pleasure, but you must make some allowance, for she loves her Mother, who really is a good Woman—and even the Proposal however kind the Intention in having Lydia live with you, yet the taking from M^{rs}. Sterne her only Child, and only Comfort, and taking no notice of the Mother, was rather ill timed in my Eliza and threw some difficulties in my way”—Miss Sternes Letter did indeed my dear, give me a great deal of pain—it was such a one, as I by no means deserved, in answer to one wrote in the true spirit of kindness, however it might have been construed.—M^r. Sterne had repeatedly told me, that his Daughter was as well acquainted with my Character, as he was with my appearance—in all his letters, wrote since my leaving England, this Circumstance is much dwelt upon—another too, that of M^{rs}. Sternes being in too precarious a state of health, to render it probable that she would survive many months—her violence of Temper (indeed James I wish not to recriminate or be severe just now) and the hatefulness of her Character are strongly urged to me, as the Cause of his Indifferent Health, the whole of his Misfortunes, and the Evils that would probably shorten his Life—the Visit M^{rs}. Sterne meditated some time Antecedent to his Death, he most pathetically lamented, as an adventure that would wound his Peace, and greatly embarrass his Circumstances, the former on account of the Eye Witness He should be, to his Childs Affections having been Alienated from Him by the Artful Misrepresentations of her Mother, under whose Tutorage she had ever been—and the latter, from the capacity of her Disposition—for well do I know say’s He,—“that the sole Intent of her visit is to plague & fleece me—had I money enough, I would buy off this Journey, as I have done several others—but till my sentimental work is published, I shall not have a single sous more than will Indemnify People for my immediate Expences.” Soon after the receipt of this Intelligence I heard of Yoricks Death, the very first ship which left us afterwards, I wrote to Miss Sterne by and with all the freedom which my Intimacy with her Father & his Communications warranted.—I purposely avoided speaking of her Mother for I knew nothing to her Advantage—and I had heard a great deal to the reverse—So circumstanced—, How could I with any kind of Delicacy mention a Person, who was hateful to my departed Friend, when for the sake of that very friend—I wished to confer a kindness on his Daughter—and to enhance the value of it,—solicited her society, & consent to share my Prospects, as the highest Favor which could be shewn to myself?—indeed I knew not, but M^{rs}. Sterne, from the Description I had received of her, might be no more—or privately confined, if in Being, owing to a Malady, which I’ve been told the Violence of her temper subjects her to. You my dear, knew nothing of the Ladies at this time—my letter of Invitation was sent before I received your’s urging the necessity of their circumstances—and the worthiness of their Characters—but can they be thus worthy, when so ready to take part against a stranger—tho’ that Stranger is the friend of a woman they profess to Esteem & admire, & has ever had the Advantage of being described by her in an Amiable light? Non Credo! The Intention, ought in all Causes, my James, to sanctify the Act, where the kindness of the One is visible, and the propriety of the other, nothing worse than doubtful—and so it ever will my dear to benevolent Natures. Miss Sterne, in her letter, tells me—_that her Father did sometimes misrepresent her mother, in order to justify his neglect of her_—I do not think highly of a Daughter, who could compliment a living Parent, however justly at the expence of a Deceased one—but as this was Miss Sternes opinion—she might in common justice to have supposed that M^{rs}. Sterne had been misrepresented to me, this would have accounted for my silence on the subject & clearly evinced that I could not mean any kind of Disrespect to herself or mother by not naming her in my letter of Invitation—indeed my dear—so far from it—that my silence on the subject, as I’ve hinted before, only proceeded from a Delicacy w’ch is natural to me, when I either wish or mean to speak to the affections—I have been strangely deceived in Miss Sternes—or she never could have perverted my sentiments so much as to suppose I did her an Injury, in addressing her as a kindred Spirit, and with all the freedom I could wish to subsist between myself and a sister of my Heart—the circumstance in particular, which you allude to was such as would of itself, have given me some reputation in the Eyes of Discerning and kind Sensibility! consequently it ought not to have obstructed your progress in my favor—nor would it my James—Excuse me—if these Rivals of mine in your friendship had been half as deserving, as your absent Eliza—I cannot account for M^{rs}. Sterne’s pique towards me from that, (as it proved) unfortunate letter—not on any one principle of Goodness, my dear, can I account for it—for however the Woman might have been displeased, at my supposed slight of her, the Mother I think, must have pleaded well for me, in a kind maternal breast—as she must have been sensible that I meant affectionate services to her Child, however I’d failed in the Punctilios due to herself, and that fond sensations, in such a Cause, must be lukewarm indeed in that[51] could not counteract the effects of Caprice—Reason, she had none, to be angry with me, knowing that my sole knowledge of her was derived from Yoricks Communications—and that such, were not of the favorable sort—I believed Sterne implicitly, I believed him! _I had no Motive to do otherwise than believe him just, generous & unhappy—till his Death gave me to know, that he was tainted with the Vices of Injustice, Meanness & Folly._ Nothing had ever offered to remove my prejudice against the Widows Character—till your assurances made me wish to be divested of it—Why then angry with me for a slight, which had it’s foundation in real Propriety when the very Proposal which Accompanied it, ought to have acted as a sponge on that, and a thousand such trivial offences, if I had been guilty of them? why? me!—why—I’ll tell you my Dear—because such Commentations on the beauty of a good Action—are like those Pretenders to science, who viewing a fine Poem, Statue, piece of Architecture, or Painting, have not latitude of mind enough, to comprehend the whole beauty of the Design, but enough of Presumtion to censure a Line—a Toe, a Pillar, or single error of the Pencil; if any of these vary in the smallest degree from the Rules of Art—Science may be Taught, and so may good breeding, Taste, Worth and Genius must be innate—to fill the Graceful, whether in Still or Active Life.—A Connoisseur in either, will refer to the _Plan_, in preference to seeking those Minute Blemishes, from w’ch the finest Models are not wholly exempt—and if all is fair, and well proportioned _There_, He with pleasure fixes his Eye on it as the Grand object worthy his Attention, in the way of Praise & Criticisms. And thus, I should have supposed, a Widow & Daughter of the Sentimental Yorick, capable of acting upon every occasion, in which it was given them to distinguish sterling merit from the false—for such I call every species of good Breeding, in some Cases, when Generosity, and Delicacy are principally requisite—I would engage, in a twelvemonth, to train any Girl of moderate abilities, to all the necessary Forms, and peculiar Etiquettes of genteel Behaviour—but I would not engage to make her capable of reaching one Generous Thought—’tis no hard matter, “to dwell in Decency’s forever”—those who find Virtue painful,—have endeavor’d, and succeeded in it—I should not have imagined, that M^{rs}. & Miss Sterne needed to have been told, there were greater Wants, than what result’d from an Ignorance of, or Defect in mere Ceremonies—these have their use, no Doubt—and I can admire them as much as any Body in Dissipated Life, where nothing superior to Amusing the Imagination, is I suppose aimed at tho’ serious consequences do sometimes happen from our frequenting such scenes—but I should form a very queer opinion of a Friend—or Stranger, who had it in their Power to oblige me—Meant to do so—and either tête-à-tête, or by Letter—prefaced the Intention with the Flatteries agreable enough in a Rout Room—any fashionable Circle or Epistle Dedicatory—for there, they are common, and one naturally expects to find ’em. Any species of Civility, I could have exerted towards M^{rs}. Sterne, in the Crisis you know of, would have been just as _ill-timed_. Complaisance, if not something more hyperbolical—for I certainly entertained a most unfavorable opinion of her—and thought I paid a high Compliment to her Delicacy in forbearing to speak of her at all—as my Imagination suggested nothing good—and to profess a liking or solicitude about Persons, or Things, I am no way interested about—it’s what I cannot do, my dear James—Nor do I Honor Those who Can—A few words more, of the Widow & Daughter, and then I hope to have done with the subject—when I think of Miss Sternes reply, to a letter replete with kindness—for such I am sure it was, because such, I meant it should be—and the Mother starting any difficulties to oblige me in a Point I had much at Heart—because I had neglected a mere Ceremony—which in my Case—could have meant just nothing at all at the very best—I can, and do pronounce from my very soul—that I think them as unworthy my Friendship—as any two Persons, I know, or ever yet heard of—and it does indeed, wound both my Pride, and Love, that the Woman in Life, I most Value—should bring them into Competition with myself, when she names me as her Friend—her dear Eliza.—I hate Competitions in Love, or Friendship; and am not more Jealous in the one Case, than in the other—but you my dear James, have nothing to apprehend, on the score of this Passion, for it is of that quiet sort which can offend nobody, or prey on anything but my own Peace—I do not love easily—but my Affections once given—and they are irrecoverable, whether treated with the Distinction they Merit or not—I have no Idea of loving any two Friends equally, or indeed with the same species of Affection, _My_, Heart, naturally forms an Election—and would I think—sooner break, than suffer the Preference due to that Choice, to be at all Infringed upon—Esteem—Complacency—it doubtless would ever be susceptible of, where the worthy were to be found; and different degrees of these Qualities as the Objects were more or less Amiable—or peculiarly circumstanced——but one Friend in the Emphatical Sense of the Word—and one Love together with the Relations arising from that union—are I think—sufficient to engross the whole serious affections of any one Woman—and where they do not, they are not the friend or Lover, I could wish to be, or to be thought capable of being for which I give _All_. I think, I think my James—I have a right to expect reciprocal affection—at least nothing less, I am sure would gratify my Pride, or satisfy my Love—but in opinions of this sort—I—perhaps; consult a very improper Standard—tho’ a very natural one—in appealing to my own Heart—for that has ever deceived me in the judgment I have formed of other Peoples—still, I must refer to it—for I know of no other Rule and Measure, that is not equally—if not more liable, to mislead me—and I believe it’s better to suffer occasionally by the fallibility of what’s well known to us—than trust to chance for our Success—by having recourse to foreign Expedients—I blame not a good Man or Woman, for having a sincere regard & even Friendship for a bad person for such Things are Possible—for They have been—but I do extremely blame or pity, any Person who having elected another to be the chosen partner of their Heart—can yet suffer a second or third, to dispute the preference & Privileges only due to the First—the Thing could never be, my James—if that one, had been loved with genuine warmth, as well as Distinction—for it is just as natural for us to distinguish between Character, as Faces—no two of which could ever be proved alike—and choice is never I believe neutral in such Cases—it naturally points to the one in preference to the other tho’ not always to the best—still there is a necessity for it’s choosing for itself for it will not be controul’d, and where that’s the case, ’tis wisdom to give it scope—by aiming to direct it only—We may break the force of the Distemper’s by eluding them, but in no other way can we restrain it’s Powers—I once had a sincere affection for a sweet pretty French Woman—Young, lively, tender, sensible, and happily married—she saw the earnestness I felt to please her—and justified my partiality in her favor by disclaiming any Title to it—as her heart was too much engrossed by her Husband, and an Italian Cousin to do justice to the sensibility of Mine—“My dear Eliza—said she—I see you are fondly disposed to like me above any other Person—(this was true)—I feel grateful for this preference for it does me Honor, from a Mind so Ingenuous and capable of Refinement (so she was pleased to say) as Yours—but my dear Girl—I will have nothing more than your Esteem, in common with other agreable Women, for nothing more, can I give you, of myself—and I should be guilty of the highest injustice, if I encouraged in you a hope, that I could be your Friend, in mine, & your sense of the word—’tis impossible my Eliza—for I have from Infancy, been tenderly attached to a sweet Woman on the other side of the Alps—and my Husband, is almost the Object of my Adoration—These two possess my whole Heart—It has no _room_ for other Objects—Esteem, Complacency, Generosity, Humanity & Civility—are qualities the World has a right to—these, I can bestow occasionally; but these constitute not the whole of Friendship, tho’ they are absolutely requisite to the Formation of it—Your notions My Dear, are just as Delicate as my Own—Your heart is equally tender—and your first Regards will be a prize to any Person, capable of deserving them; reserve them, my dear, for some amiable woman unfetter’d by what the _World_ calls _friends_, or unclogged by sisters, and she will do justice to your Preference—I cannot—for I cannot give you mine, tho’ I think you worthy of it—and without a mutual feeling in such Cases no Commerce of the kind, was ever durable or Happy—” I admired M^{rs}. Martaigne, for her Ingenuousness, but I had not the better opinion of her sensibility, or Generosity for haranguing me thus—and so I told her—She always answered my objections, with that kindness and good sense, which were natural to her—but never thought of me I believe with any thing more than a transient emotion of good Will, when I was out of her Presence—this sorely afflicted me, for I would have abandon’d anything understood by the word Diversion, to have been two Hours in her Company—and I could not bear to think that I should be always desirous of associating with her—without her seeming to think my society either an addition or Dimunition to her satisfaction—I once complain’d of this—and before her husband—with all the _Pathos_ I was mistress of. She heard me with the greatest sweetness—and never once Interrupted me, tho’ I was more vehement than was reconcilable to good manners—but the Truth was—that I was mortified, at feeling my own Insignificancy before the most Amiable Couple, I knew in the World.—“Where situations in Life are not similar—and minds have the same good Propensities (said the charming Janatone)—there always must be some degree of Doubt and Chagrin in the suffering Party—had you my Eliza, been happily married—tenderly connected with one of your own sex—and enjoyed all the advantages [of] liberal Education, as I have done—You, like me, would have had, your whole stock of affection occupied by two Persons—& then my dear, you had been a happy Woman—for both Martaigne & myself, have a thousand times remark’d that We never in our Various Wanderings, met with an uncultivated Creature, so much indebted to Nature, for every good affection of the Heart.—Your affections, now my dear, are diffused.—You know not the strength of them—Mine are collected as in a Focus—to make use of a Term of science—and that Circumstance, together with the Happiness of my Destiny in having chosen well—is all the superiority I can boast over you—My Lover (pointing to Martaigne) who is a Philosopher has made human nature his study—can explain to you why it’s impossible—that even a good Amiable Woman should do justice to more than the Claims of a Husband Friend, and a female one—the rest of the World—I own to you, my sensible Girl, are nothing to me in comparison of these, but that I have not Penetration enough to see merit in Various Characters—but I certainly have not materials to reward it, in more than my stated number—did the Fancy of doing so occur to me—I must to accomplish it—take from those I am bound to, by every tye of Love, Gratitude & Sympathy—and then I might cease to promote the Happiness of those Persons who now constitute the sole Value of mine, (for Lovers & Friends are jealous of Competition, and they are right to be so, as the Principal worth of _their_ privileges is derived, from there being _Their_ privileges only,) and I will not risque it, why should I? for what? to pursue, and accomplish another Happiness? I am contented with that I possess, and well I may [be]—Merit even, is not always so rewarded—and I have no Idea, of any Felicity on Earth, superior to what I now experience—I have been taught to think—& I truly believe it—that a Woman, however capacious her mind—and Amiable her manners—has but such a Portion of Worth as Enables her to fill the Duties of her Station well—and if her Destiny subjects her to a Worthy Partner in Life, He & his, especially with the Addition of a female Friend, offer scope enough, for the Exertion of all her Talents & good Propensities, be they ever so numerous, and endearing—And it is a Maxim with me, from which I believe, I never shall depart—that where a Married Woman, evinces a desire to please the other Sex—& professes attachments to many, or more than one Individual of her own—that she has, either been unfortunate in her Choice—or has not those Qualities, which could enable her to fulfill the great Duties, of Love & Friendship fitly & Handsomely.”—How like you, the Sentiments of M^{rs}. Martaigne my dear James—? Whether it was that her Person & Manner, gave Advantages to Them, or that they really made a Strong Impression on me from the Propriety of Them, I know not; but in my Life, I never felt so strong a Disposition to believe a Woman. She often told me, that she was unworthy the Love of such a heart as mine, because she could not return it—Respect for her Memory & frequent recollections of her Various Excellencies, is now all that remains with me relative to the Lovely Janatone; for she died three years ago—after surviving her Husband about a week and her Friend a twelvemonth—What had such a Woman to do in life after the survival of her best affections? Unless indeed as an Example to all others, how they should grieve upon such Disastrous Circumstances——knowing her, as I did, I was not sorry to hear of her Releasement so soon after the Death of Martaigne—Charming, Happy Couple! I have enthusiasm enough to wish to undertake a Journey into Italy, for the pleasure of Weeping over their Tomb Stone—and think the Sad Luxury, would Administer, more to my Happiness; than half the Pursuits, which the World styles Pleasant—I never shall contemplate, their Like again—Sense, Wit, Literature, All the Manly Accomplishments & Graces, were his!—Beauty, Softness, and every feminine Virtue Hers!—Their Story was Romantic—their Life Pleasant, and their Deaths I doubt not most Happy!—You may have heard me speak of them, before—but never with so much Explicitness—I had my reasons for being reserved on the subject—They were in England when I left it—but quite Incognito—M^r. Sterne Introduced me to their Notice—the most Agreable Service, He ever did me—for till I saw Madame de Martaigne—I never saw the Character, who came up to my Ideas of Female Beauty & Worth—till I knew her Husband—I never conceived it possible for a Man to please a whole Life—without the least Apprehension of Indifference or Satiety! Excuse this Elogium in their Praise to you my dear James, tho’ you knew them not—You would have loved, as much as I admired Them—and joined your Tears with mine, for the Loss of Persons so Amiably distinguished—this subject has such hold of me, that I cannot readily quit it—and therefore I’ll indulge the Penserozo Humours, by telling you a couple of little anecdotes, as such matters often give a better Insight into Character, than all the great Outlines—Upon reading Lord Lyttletons Monody, on the Death of his Lucy—she used to wish that Martaigne had wrote, and that she had been the subject—declaring, that to be so lamented—she would consent to dye, and that with Pleasure—Westminster Abbey, was her favorite Scene of Amusement—Contemplation rather—on account of a Monument there inscribed to the Memory of a M^{rs}. Nightingale, you may have noticed it, as it is a very Singular one, and well Executed—Death is stalking out of a Cavern—Aims his Dart at a Woman—and her Husband Endeavors to repel the Stroke, with an Anxiety and Terror in his Countenance, more Easy to conceive than describe—M^{rs}. M—— never passed the Abbey _if alone_, but she called to look at this Monument—often went there, from a very distant part of the Town, on no other Errand—and never saw it I believe, but it cost her more Tears, than the deepest wrote Tragedy would have done. She used to say—that Octavia was the first of all female Characters in Ancient History—and that Marc Anthony deserved to lose the World, for his insensibility to the Virtues of such a wife, rather than for attaching himself to a Cleopatra—Prior of all our English Poets, was her Favorite—and his Nut brown Maid, her Theme of Admiration whenever it was named—Solomons Egyptian, was a grand Favorite with her—especially when she returned the Proffer’d Wreath—afterwards, indeed, the Girl talked too much—but altogether, she behaved nobly—now poor Afra, _I_ think, was not inferior to her—and deserved a better fate than she met with—read the second book of Priors Solomon my dear, if it is not familiar to you, in order that you may form a judgment of her taste, from the above specimen of it—You will find it in the Second Volume of his Works—but I’ll give you no more of her Criticisms—for if I was to recollect the whole of them, I should fill a Volume, and the above are sufficient, to give you an Idea of her sensibility and Taste—I know not how other People might be affected by these Traits in a Character—but I know, I cannot think of them, without an Emotion which is pleasing to me, because it flatters me with the notion of some worth, as I cannot foresee other benefit from it, than what arises from the consciousness of a tender sensibility—and that is in Fact—all, in all—tho’ the World is too often pleased to Judge otherwise. I thank you my dear, and with all my Heart for the Explicitness you have used as to Betsey’s[52] situation—she is now I hope at M^{rs}. Terry’s—if you remember my Dear, you recommended this school to me when I was in England—and a twelvemonth ago, I desired M^{rs}. Whitehill[53] to remove her from Newington to Kensington—and I shall insist on the Circumstance of her sleeping in an Airy Room, unincumber’d with scholars, tho’ the Price of her Schooling should be greatly rais’d by it—as to having her a Parlour Boarder—I know not what to say My James—as I cannot think more highly of the tall Girls so distinguished than I do of the lesser Misses, en Groupe—in General those Girls are horribly frivolous, or Artful; and I would rather My Darling retained the simplicity of a Child, by associating with those of her own Age only, than acquired any of the knowledge, which Parlour Boarder Maxims too frequently inculcates—for Betsey, if I mistake not, has much observation for her Years, and would soon from the liveliness of her apprehension become a Proficient in all those Flirtations & Flippancies so commonly found in Women Girls—I think, my dear, I cannot consent to her being a Parlour Boarder; the increase of Expence would weigh nothing with me, If I thought it would be for her advantage, but as I do not it certainly has some weight in the Scale of Objection—I shall not only write to M^{rs}. Whitehill about the Chamber arrangement, but to M^{rs}. Terry, enclosing it to M^{rs}. Whitehill, and desiring her to deliver it or not as she thinks it will add force to her Directions.—I detest Boarding Schools, my James—I know, from having experienced in my own Case, how little of the Useful is to be acquired there & I am truely sensible of the risque a Child runs, of being ruined in Constitution, & forever Corrupted in her Morals in those Seminaries, for in order to secure both the one and the other, every Child it associates with, ought to be of as Amiable Propensities as itself—and can this be expected when there are fifty Children, all descended from different Parents, no one of which may be like the other, in either affections humour or Blood? And who of feeling can be satisfied to trust to Chance for that which is to constitute the Honor & Welfare, or disgrace & misery of a beloved Child? for ’tis Certain, that the Principles inculcated in Youth, and confirmed by Habit, more or less influence all our succeeding Actions—& creates the Portion of praise, or blame which fix’s our Character in Life.—I have thought often, and very much on this matter, and the more I ponder it, the more I am convinced in my first particularly for an Home Education—and this is one of my grand Inducements for pining after a reunion to my Child, for I do think my James, that I am better qualified to be her Instructress than any other human Being—and this, because I am her Mother, and as such infinitely more Interested in her Welfare than any Friend, however cordial can be, for, on her Establishment in Life, do I think to found my own Prospects of a Mild quiet Evening, after a very boistrous Day—as such it must be, if my Autumn, partakes of my Spring, & Summers Nature—& I have no reason to expect otherwise—Miracles having long since ceased to Operate—Consequently, Policy, as well as Maternal Affection induces me to wish the Cultivation of this Plant under my own Eye, as so much, so very much depends on the flourishing of it—for I think James, if this poor Girl, was to prove unhappy, or worthless, that it would weigh me down much sooner than Loads of Accumulated Affliction reserved for myself alone—or Independed [_sic_] of her fate—for with that, is united the future Chart of mine—if she is deserving & Amiable, I cannot be wholly miserable—if the reverse—which, Heaven forbid! Not all the Blessings in Life—can be superior—to[o] Tasteless—to me—for my Ideas of Happiness are so Interwoven with those of her good Destiny, that in Fact, they are one & the same—and nothing more variable, than a Distinction in Terms—this known to M^r. Draper—and most assuredly felt by me with all the Agonies of Doubt and longing Expectation; I do & must wonder—that He refuses the request so often made, that of my going Home & fixing this Object under my own Protection—for Independent of my Health—which really is Very precarious—I live in a manner, so utterly irreconciliable to my own good opinion in the way of Delicacy and in the Public’s favorable Eye—that I seriously should wish to leave India, if I had no other motive for it than wishing to change the scene—but when I take into consideration, Betseys Welfare, (w^{ch}. I’m vain enough to think is suffering by my absence from her, tho’ I’ve a high opinion of M^{rs}. Whitehill altogether)—my present situation—M^(r). Drapers extreme Indifference about me—what I may lose as to my Childs Improvements by not visiting England—and the little use there can be to any Person my continuing Here—I must & do think I am very hardly dealt with—as it can only arise from a notion very Injurious to my Principles—and as such, I can and do feel the Indignity, with all the bitterness of a wounded Spirit—for I have not deserved to be thought ill of—nor am I treated, as if I was—when there’s any occasion for the Exertions of my Epistolary talents, or Address—I only say this to you James—what my Thoughts are upon such occasions I will not say, tho’ I am confident that no Husband acts the Politic, any more than the Generous part by a Woman—when He at times can descend to solicit her aid—and at others, use her with unmanly violence, lest a notion of her own superiority should induce her, to contemn his Authority—Contemptible Reasoning! I do my James detest those Maxims of Rule, which are founded on Sex alone—and can as heartily despise the Man who has recourse to Them, because He may, from the Accidental Circumstance of his Gender alone.—In Marriage, as, the most serious of all social Compacts—all people ought I think to determine on living well together, whether seduced into it by Love, or the Prospect of Convenience—at least, I’m moved to Wonder when sensible Individuals don’t plan ingenuously & act conformably to it, in every Thing which regards their mutual Interest, for as to separate there’s no such Thing between People of Morals & good Judgment, when they are once fated to pass their lives together.—Children—their mutual Interest in having a Home Comfortable, Affectionate, Orderly, a mind at Ease, and Respect abroad—are so many pleasing Links which depend entirely on their own Chain of good Conduct—and these must rivet those propensities to well doing—w’ch the sensible Practise, when Prudence alone views the reverse of such Picture in a distressful Light—I yesterday heard a story of a married pair, which pleased me greatly, from the sensible singularity of it—tho’ I avoided making any comments at the time—A Gentleman in the North of very large fortune—and indolent turn of mind, was extremely desirous of marrying a Woman of such sprightly talents, and good Disposition as might rouse his mind from it’s usual state of Inactivity, and at the same time, Induce her to be grateful for his preference, and never think of taking advantage of his Supine Humour—this you’ll say, might be difficult to accomplish, however as he was perfectly Indifferent as to Money Matters—Very Young & rather Handsome—Many Necessitous Girls endeavor’d to Captivate His Notice—but all in Vain—till a Very smart spirited one, in the Person of a Toad Eater threw out a Bait for Him at a Water drinking Place. He was attracted by her appearance, and had singularity enough to admire her courage, in thinking of a Man worth three thousand a year. They married, and the generality of People Prophecied that Misery would be the Portion of each, as Interest on one side, and Caprice on the other was only supposed to have cemented their union—but the man had great good Judgment, as well as generosity, under the appearance of Much Phlegm, & Indolence—and the Girl, Sense and Gratitude, as well as Wit & Vivacity at will—and they proved a very Happy and respectable Couple, without other aides than such as Moderate Affections, and reasonable Dictates, usually supply—but their Sensible Plan of Acting, was in a great measure ascribed to a very serious conversation he had with her the Day after Marriage.—After shewing her his House, his Gardens, making his Housekeeper explain to her the different Departments of Servants &c. &c. Economicks—He desired she would oblige Him with her Company in his Library, tête a tête, for a couple of Hours—the Girl was all Amazement—and well she might—for He had never been known to harangue for a Quarter of an hour together in his Life—but she submitted of course & you are to supposed them seated in his Study, each side of a Pembroke Table, if you will, his Hand extended over it to receive Hers—and He Declaiming Thus—“My Dear Lydia I observed your su[r]prize, and I wonder not at it, when I proposed a Conference with you—You must think it strange—that I, who never sought to engage your attention for more than ten minutes together before, should now solicit it for Hours, when I’ve a Prospect of engaging it as often as I choose—but my dear Girl—lend me your serious attention at present, & I flatter myself that I never shall be desirous of it again on the same subject—as I cannot think my Inclinations once known, that you will ever act in opposition to them—You are not to suppose Lydia, from my Character as to Indolence & Singularity, that I have not the same Discernment and in many Respects the same Passions as other men and you will find perhaps, under this Apparent Nonchalance one of the steadiest Tempers and most quick sighted observers—you ever met with in the most brilliant of your acquaintance—but the Truth is, my Dear, that I’m of a Very speculative if not Philosophic Humour—I have in my heart—a most thorough Contempt for Pageantry and Ceremony, in almost all it’s Forms—but I have never yet loved an human Being well enough to tell them so—I am satisfied with the rectitude of my own Heart, and desire no other Praises than what results from the Consciousness of Deserving all good Peoples, if the string of my Actions was once discover’d—but I speak not of this Peculiarity, as any Excellence in my Nature—it is perhaps the Contrary—as most Good Persons are taught to admire the Opinions & Practises of the Public, and they may be right in doing so—if either the one or the other are effectual in stimulating to good Examples—with me they do not operate in this way—I have no pleasure in any thing, however well appearing, if I cannot trace it to the source of good Moral Principles—I love the study of the human Kind above all sciences—and in order to accomplish this, I must have my own at perfect ease—this an Indifferent Spectator would imagine no difficult matter surrounded with affluence, bless’d with Health and equal Spirits as I am—but my Dear Girl—in spite of these Advantages—I have not tasted any Permanent Happiness—My Domesticks leave me, without intending it, I believe—My Recreations have pall’d, in spite of my Philosophy—and Serious Inclinations to continue them without satiety—for they have always been such, as my Reason approved—Friendships, I have had, but they have only been transient ones, owing to the want of congeniality in my associations [and] Feelings, which is requisite to gratify a taste like mine—the World mixed too much, in their Regards of the tenderest sort for me to expect to keep my Hold, if any Matter of Interest intervened, and therefore I have been content, to bear the reproach of fickleness (tho’ a Vice I abhor’d) by relaxing in my attentions, and by that means furnishing them with an excuse to break off a Commerce which had nothing better than Convenience or Love of Dissipation for its Basis.—Marriage I have ever thought, the union of all others, best calculated to promote the Happiness of a Heart like mine—but I despair’d I own to you—of meeting with an object capable of fulfilling her share of it’s Duties, Agreable to my sense of the matter—Address, I’d none—and my fortune I rather thought a snare to me, as I never made a secret of my being indifferent as to that article, if I could but secure the Woman of my choice—her affections I mean Lydia—that is, that preference in them, which every man is entitled to expect, who marries a Woman of principle unattached to any other man, and while he preserves his right to them, by such a portion of kindness and Confidence as assures her, of the same Place in His—This my dear Girl, I have yet my Doubts of—as to you—Your Dissipated tho’ Mortifying Manner of Life—induces me to think, you may have seen the man you could have prefer’d to myself, if you had been at liberty to bestow your hand where you had chose. (I hope Lydia shed tears at this place) Your Embarrassments as to Situation—Your indifferent Prospects, naturally accounted for your wishing to attract any Man, whose Honorable Protection, could insure you a tolerable Establishment in Life—Fortune threw me in your way—I saw your Design and assisted you in it, as I flattered myself, that I distinguished in you a disposition to be grateful for any pecuniary Advantages I could bestow—this was all I expected, it was almost all I wished till I could have time & opportunities to convince you, that I deserved, all that a Woman so circumstanced has to give.—And now my dearest Girl, I will deal very ingenuously with you—I really like you at present, as much as many women would wish to be liked—but my affections are so much controul’d by my Reason—that I believe I could withdraw them without any Material Prejudice to my Peace if you disgusted me by Indifference in your Carriage towards myself, or the least species of Coquettry towards any other Man whatever—for I think myself entitled to Mild obligingness at all times, however singular my Humour, and I would as soon, my Wife gave her Person to another Man, as her little finger, with the Idea of a Momentary Preference to myself—start not Lydia—nor think yourself subject to a Jealous Husband—for such I neither am, or ever can be—but I _am_ Nice—so nice, that I could much sooner forgive your want of love for me, than your want of Delicacy, in any of the Punctilios, which are not only peculiar to the Feminine Character, but highly graceful in it when properly maintain’d. My dear Girl—I mean to deal quite upon the Square with you, My Prudence will occasionally restrain your lively Powers—and those will constitute my Happiness, judiciously exerted—for nothing but yourself that I know of—has a chance of the Power, to make me animated or even visibly chearful—We shall be mut[u]ally assisting & obliged to each other—I wish to banish the Word Obedience from our Compact—and to substitute that of _We_ for the letter _I_ & _Word You_—I will never arrogate on the score of Masculine Prerogative—I am ashamed of those Men, who have recourse to it, when they have a sensible mild companion to deal with, & do not you my Lydia, ever mistake, your real Interest so much as to be induced to take advantages of the Easiness of my nature. You may, I tell you, you may, succeed in many Points by attempting it, for I cannot contend with those who are even Indifferent to me, but my Dear, you would by such means injure my opinion of your Generosity—& this would pave the way to various uneasiness’s with the Woman I loved—We must in that case part, for I would owe nothing, but to her Love, Gratitude, or kindness—the Tye of Duty without these—is to me, a mere cobweb—tell me your Thoughts, on every subject, as they arise my Lydia—& I will either conform to them, or satisfy your reason by giving the preference to my Own; our joint Stock of Wisdom is the Property of one or both as one or both as either may happen to have occasion for more than their immediate supplies—let us use it as such, my Lydia—and never think of valuing ourselves occasionally, more than each other, for this, or that advantage—when all our good Qualities ought to be in common to both, and so they must, if we mean to promote each others Happiness, on a principle of Love, Wisdom, or mere Policy for there’s no such Thing, in Fact, as a separate Interest in Marriage, between Persons of Reflection—or good Morals—they must each, occasionally, advance their whole Quota of Worth, in order to please or assist the other, if they wish to live Peaceably or be Respected—and this every thinking Man & Woman must wish—My dearest Lydia, would you gain my soul, & reign for ever the Mistress of it, do not teaze me with Menial Adventures—never let me hear your voice rais’d or see a frown lowering on your Brow—these requests complied with on your Part—I will engage to second all your Wishes, while you seem desirous of promoting mine—and I doubt not but we may years hence be cited as Examples of Conjugal Felicity, when those whose Union commenced in Transport, have long, exhausted, all their stock of Tenderness—for you my dear, have Wit, Spirit, sense enough; and a Devotion to Elegant Cleanliness—I, prudence, tenderness, and easy Temper to please—and a real Inclination to love you better, than I now do, every Day of my Life—perfect this wish my Lydia—it is in your Power to do it—as I doubt your Capacity in Nothing which is congenial to your Will.”——Was not this a sensible Harangue my dear James? I swear to you, that to see a Plan of this sort seems a thousand times better calculated to promote Harmony in Life, than all the Reserves, Distances, and Authorities, which men of noted Pride or Wisdom can have recourse to; for there is that, in the Mind of a Principled Woman, which makes her fond of unlimited confidences, it speaks to her affections, and I verily believe there never yet, was that good Character, who abused them; Men of sense, should never insinuate to a Wife, that they have not a very high opinion of her Generosity—as it is the first step, to a good Minds being careless and a degenerate One’s throwing off the Mask—for many a Woman has been complimented into good Behaviour, upon trying occasions when Temptations foible—and many a one, lost to a sense of greatness, from depriving her of the Rewards due to Worth, and by that means destroying the Principle of Self Complacency, which in Some Minds, must be encouraged to be durable—for such is our Machinery, my dear James, that we are all actuated by Praise, more or less, consequently more Mechanical in our Thoughts & Actions than Pride or Knowledge, will sometimes admit of from not being conscious perhaps of the necessity of that stimulus in their own Case, which is absolutely requisite to some natures, to impel them to any thing of the Noble, and good Kind.—After telling you that M^r. & M^{rs}. Fenton, experienced the good effects of coming to an Éclaircissement, and having a real dependance on the Generosity & good sense of each other, it may be unnecessary to add perhaps, that they became the esteem, & admiration of their neighbourhood; still I tell you of it, because it’s pleasant to dwell on such subjects, & not to leave a doubt on the mind of those who contemplate them with satisfaction, as every judge of real merit must, from their own fund of Natural Benevolence—M^r. Fenton, from a Man distinguished for his Indifference and Taciturnity—became as remarkable for his Even Chearfulness, and social Humour—Lydia lost nothing of her Sprightly Talents, by making many of his Maxims, her own—and added to the reputation of being a most agreable Woman, that of being as respectable, as lively. A numerous offspring, together with the Habit of acting in Concert upon all occasions, has so rivited their affections, & Principles, that a description of their manners has rather the air of a romantic Fiction, than any thing which exists in real Life—consequently the truest reflection, and at the same time the bitterest satyr, which can be made on the present system of Wedlock is, that to think & act as they do, will be the ready means, of making a Couple pass for Romantic.—Sincerity, Constancy, Generosity, and tenderness, are rarely to be found. They are so much out of use, that People of Mode imagine them to be out of Nature. I borrow this Thought from a letter in Swifts Collection—it is, There applied to Friendship, I remember, and as the Passage struck me, I will endeavor to give you the whole of it, I quote from Memory. “We meet, with few Friends: the greatest part of those, who, pass for such, are properly speaking, nothing more than acquaintances; and no Wonder, since Tully’s Maxim is certainly true, that Friendship can subsist non nisi inter bonus [_sic_], at that age of Life, when there is balm in the Blood, and that Confidence in the Mind, which the innocency of our own heart inspires, and the Experience of other People’s destroys. I was apt to confound my Acquaintance & my friends together. I never doubted but I had a numerous Cohort of the Latter.—but the fire of Adversity has purged the mass of my Acquaintances, and the separation made, I discover on one side, a handful of friends; but on the other, a Legion of Enemies, at least of strangers.—Happily this fiery trial has had an effect on me, which makes me some amends. I have found less Resource in other People, and more in myself, than I expected.” Have you formed an Acquaintance with my dear M^{rs}. Stratton, James? I hope you have, because I think her Mind of that Cast, which must inevitably please you when once known—her reserve is imputed to be as a foible in this part of the world, by superficial observers—but to me, it speaks an Additional Charm in her Character—As I love those Dispositions, which do not unfold themselves to all alike, but reserve for a few, a distinguished Few! their Ingenuousness and pleasing Powers—Such Persons, never attract the Notice of the World in a great Measure, but they generally make the steadiest Friends and kindest support in every serious relation of Life.—and this once known, We must feel a Superior degree of esteem for Them—As the very Indifference which displeases mere Acquaintance, is a tacit acknowledgement of their sincerity when they profess to like any Individual; and in fact, a very high Compliment to the Person so noticed; as We may observe, that Reserve and, Indifference immediately give Place, to Ingenuous Communications, and a desire to please, when once they profess to regard any body with real affection—I own to you, I greatly admire those Characters, who can hold general applause so cheap, as never to think of trying for it—a wariness to prevent Censure, every delicate mind must practise—but any thing farther from the World than mere Indifference or silence, seems not to be the aim, of these rightly formed Creatures, and truely, when one sees the Scandal, Malice, & Detraction, which Vivacity Address—and the Desire of pleasing, Subjects People of Brilliant Talents to—there’s nothing methinks very enviable, in their Powers—especially if they are not (as I’ve heard is the case) so well qualified to discharge the softer Engagements of Society, as the undisplaying Tempers of a sombre hue.—If you observe, throughout your whole acquaintance my dear James—I dare say you’ll find—that the most serious, & quiet natures, attach Husbands, Lovers, friends, & children to them much more strongly than the Gay Agreables do—and this might be easily accounted for.—I dare say too—that Minds of such a Cast are much more capable of any thing Great, and worthy of Record, than the Vivacious fair ones—for it is the Curse of these to fail in exciting esteem—tho’ they often Charm—and seldom fail to amuse—but such is the degeneracy of the Times, that a Woman must have deep Reflection indeed, who, unassisted by Excellent Advisers can rise superior to the Amiable Triflers Character—As Men of almost all Denominations prefer it to that of any other species—and no Wonder—for where Marriage is made subservient to a wretch’d plan’d system of Convenience, Men Doubtless, will often find their Home a seat of Irksomeness; and fly to any thing, or any body, who can divest them of Thinking—’tis then, that the agreable Trifler, feels her own Importance—and judges, that it ought to be, the summit of female Perfection, because it often pleases when Sense, Birth & Prudence, fail to attach or Amuse; not considering, poor Thing, that it’s Merit, is principally founded, on the Defects of the other Sex—for if Men were Wise, at all times they would always Act from Principle—consequently only be amused by the Trifling, and give their serious attachments to the seriously Deserving—but this can never be till Marriage becomes an affair of the Heart, as till then, Men never can be satisfied to ponder & reflect on the spring of their own actions with impartiality, that is if they have any remain of sensibility in them—for so true a reverence has every one for himself, when He comes clearly to appear before his Close Companion Conscience; that He had rather profess the Vilest Things of himself in Company, than hear his Character privately from his own mouth. So that we may from hence conclude, That the chief Interest of Ambition, Avarice, Corruption, and every sly, insinuating Vice, is to prevent this Intimacy, and familiarity of Discourse which is consequent upon close Retirement, and inward Recess.—and to avoid it—the Man, or Woman, of frailty, will ever seek Dissipation in all its forms, till that even becomes toilsome as the severest Manual Labour—I never had so high an Idea of the Recluse Character as I have at Present, nor so contemptible a one of the frivolous—as I cannot help thinking that the former must be conscious of his own superiority in every thing which regards the Heart, or He never could submit to live without those aids which society furnishes—and as to the latter, He could not be insensible enough, to make a toil of Diversion (the Wise intention of which was to unbend the Mind only) if He had that Credit with himself which enables a Man to question his own Heart, without any fear of its Reproofs on the score of Vice—Here’s—Morality for you my dear James—but I hope it will not displease you—as I cannot help thinking it confirms my own good Resolutions, when I thus, give forth—a voice to its Dictates either in writing or Discourse——I shall strenuously urge M^r. Draper to let me return to England next year—that is about January next at farthest—As he always promised—that I should be with my Girl, by the time she was twelve years old, whether He was desirous, or ready to quit India, by that time, or not—in October next, she will be eleven—& I hope—I hope! M^r. Draper will not forfeit his Word to me—his Prospects, as to the Broach Affair will be then settled—and his fortune is so easy, that He may without prejudice to it, allow me four or five hundred a year, I desire no more—my Residence of Choice, would be in some one of the Villages near Town, as I mean to have Eliza entirely with me—& must be near the Metropolis on account of the necessary Masters for her Instruction—otherwise I should have to fix at some distance from London—as I know, the Self Denial requisite to avoid Participation in Gay Scenes, is by no means a pleasing Sensation, tho’ a very necessary one, to Persons of greater taste than affluence—and I would at any time rather avoid Temptation, than be obliged to resist it (which I must do—if seated in the midst of it)—as I have no Idea that my Philosophy is of that Invulnerable sort, that may safely defy all outward attacks, without the least risk of endangering it. The Parthian Discipline, to fight Flying is the properest Method of Defence a Woman can make when Danger or Temptations assail her Courage—but to guard against their approaches is still better Policy, as well as more Amiable—because it evinces Wisdom & Modesty too—both highly praiseworthy in the Female Character—and reflective of Light upon each other—when gracefully exerted—I am as sensible, as yourself, my dear, of the necessity there may be for my being in England before Betsey is much older—I can, and will speak plainer than you have done—as a proof of which I now tell you, that I do not think M^{rs}. Whitehills at all a proper Protection for Betsey—in the first Place, because she has never been a Parent herself—in the next, because Misfortunes in the Early part of her Life, when her Affections were warm, and Expectations high, have given, to a mind naturally active & Chearful—both an Indolent, & reserved Cast—the former disqualifies her, for attending to the Minutiæ in a Childs Education, and the latter for encouraging, that species of Communicativeness, which is the Cement of Affection between a Child and it’s Monitress—I have another objection to M^{rs}. Whitehills Patronage—which may seem at first, to have an ungenerous sound—but I mean nothing illiteral by it—and that is, her narrow Circumstances——Betsey has a chance for living Elegantly, and I am afraid from the natural bent of her mind that if she is suddenly translated from one extreme of Life to another, she may be apt to forget her obligations to M^{rs}. Whitehall, and regulate her opinion of her, by her situation—this is but too natural, to Girls of lively Propensities, especially if they are taught to look forward to the luxuries, as to a real Good—and all Preceptors, & Preceptress’s teach this, more or less, for what else can be implied, by their servile Attention to Parents and Persons of Wealth—however Denominated, as to Character. A conduct of the above sort, in Betsey, to M^{rs}. Whitehill, would indeed distress me exceedingly; & well I know, it would to the Soul, mortify that sensible Woman—for she has all those finer Sensibilities, w’ch Affliction & Pecuniary Embarrassments, rather gives a sharper edge to, than blunts by the trial of perverse Accidents—and for this reason—Independent of my Wishes on her own Account, I do most seriously wish, that her situation in Life had been perfectly easy—Children, in general—have amazing Powers as to observation & memory—Betsey, I am confident, possesses these—& they may enable her to retain as to matters in which I had rather she was perfectly ignorant. Had M^{rs}. Whitehill been a Mother—had her fortune been affluent, and her tenderness of Heart a little more Conspicuous—I know not the Woman who could have been more capable of forming the Minds of Young People, for she has great Good Sense, Generosity of Temper, a Mind Naturally Chearful, & prone to make every thing it’s own with the assistance of very little Application, then she reads, writes, speakes, not only correctly but gracefully, these are all Important Advantages. I can & do feel the weight of them, & shall for ever think my self obliged for Her—unsolicited offer to take Charge of the Children—I should have loved her better perhaps, if I had thought it proceeded from a Principle of Affection to myself rather than Generosity—but this is foolish to say—or think—as We certainly can rely more securely on those Qualities which are implanted in the breast by nature herself & confirmed by Choice & Habit, than on those partial Affections, which Caprice, Absence, Time, or Chance Eradicate.’Tis certain that I in my Life, could never be induced to Unbend my whole soul in the Presence of M^{rs}. Whitehill—there was a consent of Minds, a something wanting, which enables the playful sincere Heart, to disclose it’s follies, it’s Wishes, with the genuine warmth of kind Simplicity, and without the suspicion of being any way a sufferer, by the frank disclosure. Betsey’s Temper, partakes much of the nature of my own, & if her observation is of the same stamp—she will have her Reserves to M^{rs}. Whitehill, & this will inculcate an artifice which is at all times hateful, and more particularly so in the Girlish Character—which ought to be composed of frankness, Generosity, and all the mild Attributes, suitable to the Age of Innocence.—Oh my dear James! what an important Task is it to train a young mind properly to all the Duties of Society! and yet how shamefully is it neglected by Guardians—Teachers, and even by Parents themselves! and for what is it too often Neglected? even for some sorry purpose of dirty interest—or more contemptible one, of Thoughtless Dissipation—the first ought ever to be subservient to our childrens Welfare—instead of taking place of it—as a primary Consideration, and the last can only amuse for a While, at best, and yet to pursue these Ideal Satisfactions—we too, too often, neglect a permanent Good—in leaving to the blind guidance of Chance, a study, which if properly cultivated, might be the source of all our Pleasures—when Age & Decency urges the Propriety of making way for Younger Actors in the busy Scenes of Life’s Stage.—I know not a more disgraceful Picture of human nature—than that of Old People frequenting the paths assigned to Youth—& folly—or a more delightful survey to the Intelligent Mind, than that of Age, retiring to the Sequester’d Valley, beloved by it’s Offspring, Honor’d by it’s Dependants—and Reverenced by All—But this can only, with reason be expected, when in Youth—We give up something to the Claims of our Children. Our _Time_, I must ever think of as their lawful Property—this once Devoted to them, & judiciously arranged for the Purpose of Solid Improvements—They must be a Blessing to us—if Nature has not forgot indeed or much erred, in the Execution of her part.—I do declare to you my friend, that when I am once settled in England—Betsey shall be as inseparable from me, as my Right Hand is from my left.—I am astonished at the Reasoning of those Parents, who can imagine that a Venal person will do justice to their Children for the sake of a Pecuniary Reward; when they themselves, betray an unwillingness to forming their Principles, and Manners by the resignation of Time, or the sacrifice of what’s call’d Diversions. I have no Idea, but a Girl must improve a thousand times more, under the Tutorage of a Prudent Mother, than from the Documents of the most sensible & accomplished Governess whatever.—A Boarding School, may be a very proper seminary for an Actress—as there she may learn to lisp before a numerous audience—and to lose that Bashfulness so prejudicial to the Cares of Fame, in the way of Public Excellence—but for a Child, who is to aspire no higher, than to the Character of a private Gentle Woman, it is I think, the very worst Nursery she can possibly be fixed in—so thinking, do you not pity me James, when you connect the Idea of Betseys situation with this plain assurance? take into the account too, my Dear, that all my Prospects of Worldly Happiness are dependant on the Rectitude, Manners & Establishment of this beloved Child—Think of my being obliged to submit all these Important Concerns to Chance, and that for no better Reason, than to remain an useless Spectator in a detestable Country, where my Health is declining, my Mind tortured by the Sacrifice of my own just Wishes—to a most illiberal species of Reasoning, founded on Caprice—and then my Dear Woman, You will but do justice to my sorrow—if you think, and pronounce—that of all Beings the most worthy your Compassion at present is your unfortunate Friend—your almost, broken Hearted Eliza.——I am indeed—Unhappy! I think, superlatively so!—but I will try to divest myself of this Notion,—as, with Nerves like Mine, it might accelerate a Fate, I wish to avoid, for the sake of my Dearer self—for Betsey, would never get such another Monitress—as I am Qualified to be to her—My Disappointments—real Afflictions, & Natural turn of Mind—all have added to a tenderness for her, which ever, I think, was fondly maternal—and encouraged me, to stake my last Chance for Happiness on her Head—May Heaven crown my pleased Hopes with Success, and I think I shall not repine at whatever else, it’s Providence imposes.—I am going to some Warm Springs of the same quality nearly, as the Bath Waters—a Bilious Complaint, obliges me to this Expedition—I wish it did not—for a change of scene here, is attended with great fatigue, as well as an immoderate Expence—owing to the necessity of our carrying, Tents, Equipage, and every Household Convenience along with us—I shall be absent only a Month—and yet my Expences in that time, in spite of economy, will amount to as great a sum, as would defray the Charges of a Voyage to England. Would to God! the money was to be so appropriated in preference to my Laving, and Commencing “Phthisical Nymph of the Fountain.”—but it will not be—and I must endeavor to rest satisfied, till next year—I sometimes think, my dear James—that our present Differences Here, may induce the Directors to send us a Governor from England, in preference to appointing any of the Gentlemen Here to succeed—in which Case, your Commodore I suppose has a Chance of succeeding to the Chair, if he chooses to Exert his Interest, to obtain it—I own to you, in that Case my dear, that my wishes for seeing you accompany Him are not very sanguine—the Climate—the Society—are dreadful Taxations, on the Mind as well as Body’s Health—and I wish you to preserve yours, serene, and Chearful, as long as you live, and to a good old age, without any of those Rubs of Disturbances—ill Health, & worse spirits usually Creates.—Your little Maiden too—how would you dispose of her? I like not your bringing her with you, nor yet the Idea of your seperating from her for years together—James, I think, is rather attached to this Country, see, an Instance, of the force of Habit, in this—for absolutely, it is not, not otherwise to be justified on any one Principle of Sound Reasoning—or Agreable Caprice for there never was a greater Dearth, of every thing which could charm the Heart—please the Fancy, or speak to the Judgment, than what reigns in Bombay, nor Wit, Beauty, Sense, Merit, have We—nor yet Taste—Humour, Amusements—Social Converse—and as to Worth in it’s different Species; of Honor, Character—benevolence, Industry—and what is Emphatically meant, by Superior Abilities—We either are too ignorant to know the real Estimation of Them—or so far degenerate, as to laugh at their ascribed Powers, when any selfish Purpose can be gratified, by the Derision of Them—Such are the People I associate with, such must be your Fate, my dear Woman, if you visit this Country—Happy for you—that your Mind is formed, & has that natural Bias to Goodness, which cannot now be perverted, by the Maxims, & Examples of a wretched Community—I wish you my dear Friend, all the Happiness, you can possibly wish yourself, and therefore I never wish to see you in India.—Indeed you do me but justice in thinking that my Regard for your little Treasure must equal the tenderness you shew towards mine, for ’tis certain that I am just as sincere in wishing her Welfare, as I am in wishing that of Betseys—and I flatter myself, dear James, that these Young Plants of ours will not Emulate us more in anything else, than they will in the affection they bear to each other—for it would be a source of joy to me, to see them capable of a lively friendship, and each considering the other as a second self—for which purpose, I would endeavor to instill into the mind of Eliza, how very superior the pleasure of obliging is, to that of gratifying any Inclination which has self, only, or even principally, for it’s object.—as I’m confident such a mode of thinking must lead to the attainment of every social Virtue, and diffuse a Complacency throughout the whole manner which would please every Sensible Observer, and insure heartfelt peace to the Possesser of it—if any Acquisition in nature can effect so desired a Purpose. I could wish my dear—when your little Maiden begins to handle the Pen, that a Correspondence might be commenced between her and Betsey, as an Intercourse of this kind between young People is often promotive of the most endearing offices, & might be made highly conducive to their reciprocal Improvement in various ways, as well as lead to Perfection in an Art, which certainly is a valuable accomplishment in Young Women—for nothing expands the Mind, and gives advantages to style, more, than the early Practise of familiar letter writing—for which Purpose, I would endeavor to make it agreable to them, by suffering them to carry it on without the least Restraint—as it is not to be imagined how quick the Progress of Improvement frequently is in such Cases—both our Girls, seem to have lively Talents—here’s a fine field for the Display of them—and their Ignorance, their Innocence rather, renders it impossible that they should be the means of Injuring each other—no matter if they spell incorrectly and scribble nothing but nonsense—their doing even this, will pave the way to their acquitting themselves better—and there is to young as well as old, a joy in giving way to the dictates of fancy only, when they imagine that none superior to themselves will pass judgment on the Performance, and for this Reason my James—I would not attempt, or wish to make them think that I had any desire to view their Epistles.—but this my Friend, I submit entirely to you—What a letter have I wrote, and how I have wrote it, but no matter, if you can but read it, for it is too long to write over again—and indeed if it was not, I am not fond of the practise of copying—it looks as if we wrote for applause, or were afraid to entrust our friends with our first Thoughts, which certainly, are in general the best Picture of our Minds—for tho’ after Reflection, may enable us to improve the Drapery by heightening the Colouring, it’s a great Doubt with me if we ever improve the likeness by attempting to give grace to the Features, and quere whether we can be satisfied to embellish some parts of a Portrait, without endeavoring to do as much by the whole, when the Pencil is once in our hands, and the fancy of improving very strong upon us—therefore I deem it more fair to give the first sketch, whether of the rude or elegant sort, when we mean to convey an Idea of Truth, to our Friends, or People of real Taste—For such will always make kinder allowances for an Artist, than He in Modesty could make for Himself. Adieu! my beloved Friend! I wish you Health, and a large Portion of everything that’s desirable—Remember me most kindly to your Husband. I will write to him by this opportunity if I have time—I now enclose you a Duplicate & Triplicate, of Bills I have sent you before for the use of the Sternes—by Cap^t. Taylor you would receive some Trifles from me. Adieu! Adieu! I ever am most sincerely Yours—with the tenderest affection.

E. DRAPER.

[Illustration: Handwritten letter.]

TO MRS. ELIZA MIHILL.

Bombay. Marine House, January 14, 1773.

MY DEAR BETTY.—

THIS may be the last hour I may have it in my power to write or do anything of use for the benefit of you my faithful servant and dear friend; for in the latter capacity, indeed, I’ve rather wished ever to consider you, therefore let me dedicate it as properly as the peculiarity of my situation will admit. When Mr. Horsley went to England I consigned some few jewels to him, the amount of which would be about £500 or £600, and which I ever intended for you in case I could not induce Mr. Draper to make you a present exceeding it, and more suited to my wishes. Accept it, my dear woman, as the best token in my power, expressive of my good will to you. Do not hesitate from any point of delicacy or principle to Mr. Draper:—I am as incapable of taking mean pecuniary advantages, as the most moral persons breathing can be. This little fund, by right, is my due; it is what results from the sale of my ornaments, little perquisites due to me as a woman, and which he never would have possessed had I not received them; nor will they be _his_ if you decline having them—that is the worth of them. Take it then, Betty, without any scruple of conscience. The enclosed is an order on Mr. Horsley for the delivery of it to you. You will, perhaps, see England before me. God bless you, my dear woman! Visit my child sometimes, and speak kindly to her of her mother. My heart is full. The next twenty-four hours will, in all probability, either destine me to the grave or a life of reproach,—shocking alternative, but I will endeavour to bear my fate, so as to assure my own heart. I had deserved a better, if chance had not counteracted the good propensities assigned me by nature. God give you health and a peaceable establishment in England, my dear woman.

Adieu,

ELIZA DRAPER.

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TO GEO. HORSLEY ESQ.

January 14, 1773.

DEAR HORSLEY,—

IF you knew the misery and compunction with which I addressed this note to you, you would, in spite of reason and justice, think me entitled to some degree of pity, though I am lost, for ever lost, to every claim which could entitle me to your esteem. This hour is my own, but whether the next may produce my death or destraction, or whatever else, heaven only knows. I dedicate it as one act of just benevolence, by requesting you to pay to Betty Mihill, or her order, the sum of money which may have resulted from the sale of my diamond rings, be it what it will. Adieu Horsley! God restore you to health, and the enjoyment of yourself.

ELIZA DRAPER.

TO DANIEL DRAPER.

[January 14, 1773.]

IF you knew, Draper, with what anguish I accosted you at present, I think, and cannot help thinking it, that the severity of justice should give place to the sentiment of compassion, in a farewell letter—I will not recriminate—I would even be all in fault, if that might serve to alleviate the disgrace inflicted on my husband, by my elopement from him, but, Draper, be candid, I beseech you, as you sometimes can be, when it makes against yourself to be so, and then think, if you have not a great deal to reproach yourself for, in this late affair—if you can say you have not, I must, I fear, be miserable, as my sole prospect of happiness is derived from the idea that your own consciousness will befriend me in this particular instance, and if it does, let it operate so as to prevent your pursuing me in a vindictive manner. I speak in the singular number, because I would not wound you by the mention of a name that I know must be displeasing to you; but, Draper, believe me for once, when I solemnly assure you, that it is you only who have driven me to serious Extremities. But from the conversation on Monday last he had nothing to hope, or you to fear. Lost to reputation, and all hopes of living with my dearest girl on peaceable or creditable terms, urged by a despair of gaining any one point with you, and resenting, strongly resenting, I own it your avowed preference of Leeds to myself, I _myself_ Proposed the scheme of leaving you thus abruptly. Forgive me, Draper, if its accomplishment has excited anguish; but if pride is only wounded by the measure, sacrifice that I beseech you to the sentiment of humanity, as indeed you may, and may be amply revenged in the compunction I shall feel to the hour of my death, for a conduct that will so utterly disgrace me with all I love, and do not let this confirm the prejudice imbibed by Leeds’s tale, as I swear to you _that was false_, though my present mode of acting may rather seem the consequence of it than of a more recent event. Oh! that prejudice had not been deaf to the reasonable requests of a wounded spirit, or that you, Draper could have read my very soul, as undisguisedly, as sensibility and innocence must ever wish to be read! But this is, too, like recrimination which I would wish to avoid. I can only say in my justification, Draper, that if you imagine I plume myself on the Success of my scheme, you do me a great wrong. My heart bleeds for what I suppose may possibly be the sufferings of yours, though too surely had you loved, all this could never have been. My head is too much disturbed to write with any degree of connection. No matter, for if your own mind does not suggest palliatives, all I can say will be of little avail. I go, I know not whither, but I will never be a tax on you, Draper. Indeed, I will not, and do not suspect me of being capable of adding to my portion of infamy. I am not a hardened or depraved creature—I never will be so. The enclosed are the only bills owing that I know of, except about six rupees to Doojee, the shoemaker. I have never meant to load myself with many spoils to your prejudice, but a moderate provision of linen has obliged me to secure part of what was mine, to obviate some very mortifying difficulties. The pearls and silk cloathes are not in the least diminished. Betty’s picture, of all the ornaments, is the only one I have ventured to make mine. I presume not to recommend any of the persons to you who were immediately officiating about me; but this I conjure you to believe as strictly true, that not one of them or any living soul in the Marine House or Mazagon, was at all privy to my scheme, either directly or indirectly, nor do I believe that any one of them had the smallest suspicion of the matter; unless the too evident Concern occasioned by my present conflict induced them to think Something extraordinary was in agitation. O! Draper! a word, a look, sympathetic of regret on Tuesday or Wednesday would have saved me the perilous adventure, and such a portion of remorse as would be sufficient to fill up the longer life. I reiterate my request that vindictive measures may not be pursued. Leave me to my fate I conjure you, Draper, and in doing this you will leave me to misery inexpressible, for you are not to think, that I am either satisfied with myself or my prospects, though the latter are entirely my own seeking. God bless you, may health and prosperity be yours, and happiness too, as I doubt not but it will, if you suffer your resentments to be subdued by the aid of true and reasonable reflections. Do not let that false idea of my triumphing induce you to acts of vengeance I implore you, Draper, for indeed that can never be, nor am I capable of bearing you the least ill will; or treating your name or memory with irreverence, now that I have released myself from your dominion. Suffer me but to be unmolested, and I will engage to steer through life with some degree of approbation, if not respect. Adieu! again Mr. Draper, and be assured I have told you nothing but the truth, however it may clash with yours and the general opinion.

ELIZA DRAPER.

TO MR. WILKES.

Sunday Afternoon, Mar. 22, [1775?]

I thank you for the French volume, Mr. Wilkes, and I really feel myself obliged for the English pages; tho’ the Eulogium which accompanied them makes me half afraid of indulging in something which I presume to call taste for the pleasure of wit and conversation, as there is nothing which I ought to be more apprehensive of than Praise from distinguished persons because it ever has had too powerful an effect on my imagination to render me capable of aspiring to merit in capital instances. I say not this with a view to disqualify and extort refinements in flattery, but from such a consciousness of my own imbecility as makes me very serious when reduced to the necessity of self-examination. If, therefore, you have the generosity which I take you to have, you will rather endeavour to correct my _foiblesse_ than to add to it by your encomiums. I request my compliments, if you please, to Miss Wilkes, and am your much obliged and most obedient,

ELIZA DRAPER.

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[Illustration:

Abbé Raynal. ]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

AN EULOGY

BY THE

ABBÉ RAYNAL

------------------------------------------------------------------------

AN EULOGY

BY THE

ABBÉ RAYNAL

(From the _European Magazine_ for March, 1784)

MRS. DRAPER, the Lady who has been so celebrated as the Correspondent of Mr. STERNE under the name of ELIZA, will naturally attract the notice of the Public. That she was deserving of the encomiums bestowed upon her by that admirable writer will appear from the following eulogium written by the excellent Abbé RAYNAL, which I transmit to you for publication in your next Magazine.

I am, yours, &c.

A. T.

Territory of Anjengo, thou art nothing; but thou hast given birth to Eliza. A day will come, when these staples of commerce, founded by the Europeans on the coasts of Asia, will exist no more. Before a few centuries are elapsed, the grass will cover them, or the Indians, avenged, will have built upon their ruins. But if my works be destined to have any duration, the name of Anjengo will not be obliterated from the memory of man. Those who shall read my works, or those whom the winds shall drive towards these shores, will say: There it is that Eliza Draper was born; and if there be a Briton among them, he will immediately add, with the spirit of conscious pride, And there it was that she was born of English parents.

Let me be permitted to indulge my grief, and to give a free course to my tears! Eliza was my friend. Reader, whosoe’er thou art, forgive me this involuntary emotion. Let my mind dwell upon Eliza. If I have sometimes moved thee to compassionate the calamities of the human race, let me now prevail upon thee to commiserate my own misfortune. I was thy friend without knowing thee; be for a moment mine. Thy gentle pity shall be my reward.

Eliza ended her days in the land of her forefathers, at the age of three-and-thirty. A celestial soul was separated from a heavenly body. Ye who visit the spot on which her sacred ashes rest, write upon the marble that covers them: In such a year, in such a month, on such a day, at such an hour, God withdrew his spirit, and Eliza died.

And thou, original writer, her admirer and her friend, it was Eliza who inspired thy works, and dictated to thee the most affecting pages of them. Fortunate Sterne, thou art no more, and I am left behind. I wept over thee with Eliza; thou wouldst weep over her with me; and had it been the will of Heaven, that you had both survived me, your tears would have fallen together upon my grave.

The men were used to say, that no woman had so many graces as Eliza: the women said so too. They all praised her candour; they all extolled her sensibility; they were all ambitious of the honour of her acquaintance. The stings of envy were never pointed against unconscious merit.

Anjengo, it is to the influence of thy happy climate that she certainly was indebted for that almost incompatible harmony of voluptuousness and decency, which diffused itself over all her person, and accompanied all her motions. A statuary who would have wished to represent Voluptuousness, would have taken her for his model; and she would equally have served for him who might have had a figure of Modesty to display. Even the gloomy and clouded sky of England had not been able to obscure the brightness of that aërial kind of soul, unknown in our climates. In every thing that Eliza did, an irresistible charm was diffused around her. Desire, but of a timid and bashful cast, followed her steps in silence. Any man of courteousness alone must have loved her, but would not have dared to own his passion.

I search for Eliza every where: I discover, I discern some of her features, some of her charms, scattered among those women whose figure is most interesting. But what is become of her who united them all? Nature, who hast exhausted thy gifts to form an Eliza, didst thou create her only for one moment? Didst thou make her to be admired for one instant, and to be for ever regretted?

All who have seen Eliza, regret her. As for myself, my tears will never cease to flow for her all the time I have to live. But is this sufficient? Those who have known her tenderness for me, the confidence she had bestowed upon me, will they not say to me, She is no more, and yet thou livest.

Eliza intended to quit her country, her relations, her friends, to take up her residence along with me, and spend her days in the midst of mine. What happiness had I not promised to myself? What joy did I not expect, from seeing her sought after by men of genius; and beloved by women of the nicest taste? I said to myself, Eliza is young, and thou art near thy latter end. It is she who will close thine eyes. Vain hope! Fatal reverse of all human probabilities! My old age has been prolonged beyond the days of her youth. There is now no person in the world existing for me. Fate has condemned me to live, and die alone.

Eliza’s mind was cultivated, but the effects of this art were never perceived. It had done nothing more than embellish nature; it served in her, only to make the charm more lasting. Every instant increased the delight she inspired; every instant rendered her more interesting. Such is the impression she made in Europe. Eliza then was very beautiful? No, she was simply beautiful:[54] but there was no beauty she did not eclipse, because she was the only one that was like herself.

Eliza has written; and the men of her nation, whose works have been the most abounding in elegance and taste, would not have disavowed the small number of pages she has left behind her.

When I saw Eliza, I experienced a sensation unknown to me. It was too warm to be no more than friendship; it was too pure to be love. Had it been a passion, Eliza would have pitied me; she would have endeavoured to bring me back to my reason, and I should have completely lost it.

Eliza used frequently to say, that she had a greater esteem for me than for any one else. At present I may believe it.

In her last moments, Eliza’s thoughts were fixed upon her friend; and I cannot write a line without having before me the monument she has left me. Oh! that she could also have endowed my pen with her graces and her virtue! Methinks, at least, I hear her say, “That stern muse that looks at you, is History, whose awful duty it is to determine the opinion of posterity. That fickle deity that hovers o’er the globe, is Fame, who condescended to entertain us a moment about you; she brought me thy works, and paved the way for our connection [_liaison_] by esteem. Behold that phœnix immortal amidst the flames: it is the symbol of Genius, which never dies. Let these emblems perpetually incite thee to shew thyself the defender of HUMANITY, of TRUTH, and of LIBERTY.”

Eliza, from the highest Heaven, thy first and last country, receive my oath: I SWEAR NOT TO WRITE ONE LINE IN WHICH THY FRIEND MAY NOT BE RECOGNISED.[55]

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Footnotes

-----

Footnote 1:

Quoted from the English translation in _The European Magazine_, March, 1784. Consult Raynal, _Histoire Philosophique et Politique_ (Book III, new edition, Paris, 1780).

Footnote 2:

A vignette of the view was made for _The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction_ (July 9, 1831).

Footnote 3:

Mrs. Draper called Sterne the Bramin in allusion to his priestly character; and he kept up the fiction by addressing her as the Bramine.

Footnote 4:

Compare the letters to Miss Lumley with the _Journal_ for April 15, 16, 19, 26.

Footnote 5:

Article on Sterne in the _Dictionary of National Biography_.

Footnote 6:

The London _Times_ for July 4.

Footnote 7:

No. CVIII in this edition.

Footnote 8:

_Seven Letters written by Sterne and his Friends_, edited by W. Durrant Cooper (London, printed for private circulation, 1844). The letter Thackeray thought blasphemous is evidently the one addressed to John Hall-Stevenson from Coxwold on December 17, 1766.

Footnote 9:

See note to Letter CVIII.

Footnote 10:

_Cornhill Magazine_ for November 1860.

Footnote 11:

See Letter CXLIV.

Footnote 12:

_Athenæum_, 30 March, 1878.

Footnote 13:

For spurious letters, see the introduction to the first volume of _Letters and Miscellanies_ in this edition.

Footnote 14:

From the original edition.

Footnote 15:

Lord Bathurst.

Footnote 16:

From the original edition.

Footnote 17:

The letters to Eliza are without date. The first letter belongs to January, 1767; and the second to January or February; the last eight were written during the week or thereabouts that preceded Mrs. Draper’s departure for India (April 3, 1767).

Footnote 18:

Miss Light afterwards married George Stratton, Esq., in the service of the East India Company at Madras.

Footnote 19:

A maker of musical instruments.

Footnote 20:

By the newspapers of the times it appears that the _Earl of Chatham_, East Indiaman, sailed from Deal, April 3, 1767.

Footnote 21:

_The Journal to Eliza_, or _The Continuation of the Bramines Journal_—Sterne’s phrase written above the first entry—is printed just as Sterne left it, with its wild chronology and all its vagaries in spelling and punctuation. This descriptive title-page, as well as the _Journal_ itself, is in Sterne’s own hand.

Footnote 22:

The mistake in date is obvious.

Footnote 23:

Sunday fell on the 12th in April 1767.

Footnote 24:

Sterne evidently intended to write “for those my Imagination surrounds thee with.”

Footnote 25:

One of the famous concerts at Carlisle House under the management of Mrs. Theresa Cornelys.

Footnote 26:

Just as Sterne sometimes refers to himself as the Bramine, so he here carelessly addresses Eliza as the Bramin.

Footnote 27:

Only the first clause can belong to the twenty-third.

Footnote 28:

A Sentimental Journey.

Footnote 29:

This is probably a slip for “certainly,” though Sterne may have intended “for a certainty.”

Footnote 30:

This letter is probably lost. Consult Letter CXLI.

Footnote 31:

Sterne apparently intended “is quickly wrote in three words.”

Footnote 32:

Erasure.

Footnote 33:

Robert Hay Drummond. Consult Letters LXVI., LXXXIV., and CI.

Footnote 34:

Evidently a slip for _that_.

Footnote 35:

Dr. Jemmet Brown, whom Sterne met at Scarborough. Consult Letter CLV.

Footnote 36:

Consult Letter CLXIII.

Footnote 37:

Mr. Gibbs made this version from the rough draft.

Footnote 38:

Probably, Mr. Gibbs thought, Sir George Macartney, to whom Sterne addressed Letter CLXII.

Footnote 39:

Some friend in England formerly in the Indian service.

Footnote 40:

The letters _ru_ in this word have been altered from something else.

Footnote 41:

The _c_ in this word has been altered from _s_.

Footnote 42:

A few lines of the manuscript are lost here.

Footnote 43:

Some lines are lost.

Footnote 44:

Thomas Hodges, Governour of Bombay (1767–71). His predecessor was Charles Crommelin (1760–67).

Footnote 45:

Some lines are lost.

Footnote 46:

Sterne’s widow and daughter.

Footnote 47:

Thomas Becket, the publisher.

Footnote 48:

Here and elsewhere the manuscript is worn away.

Footnote 49:

In the manuscript “desired” is written above “hinted.”

Footnote 50:

Supply: “let me return to England.”

Footnote 51:

For the meaning of the sentence, substitute _if they_ for _in that_.

Footnote 52:

A daughter to the Drapers.

Footnote 53:

Probably an aunt to Mrs. Draper.

Footnote 54:

Eliza étoit donc très-belle? Non, elle n’étoit que belle.

Footnote 55:

For the original French, see the _Histoire Philosophique et Politique_ (new edition, Vol. II., Bk. III., 1780).

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● Transcriber’s Notes: ○ The footnotes have been gathered together and inserted at the end of the text. ○ On page 115 the word “comon” and on page 187, the word “comands” appeared with a tilde (˜)over the letter “m”. This probably was a contraction of “mm” and it was replaced by those letters. ○ Many inconsistencies in dating were left as they appeared on the printed page. ○ Missing or obscured punctuation was silently corrected. ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected. ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only when a predominant form was found in this book. ○ The use of a carat (^) before a letter, or letters, shows it was intended to be a superscript abbreviation, as in “w^{ch}.” (which) or “M^{rs.}” (Mrs.). ○ Text that was in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).