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“ He [Archbishop Leighton) used often to say, that if he were to choose a place to die in, it should be an inn; it looking like a pilgrim's going home, to whom this world was all as an inn, and who was weary of the noise and confusion in it. He added, that the officious tenderness and care of friends was an entanglement to a dying man; and that the unconcerned attendance of those that could be procured in such a place would give less disturbance."*

Sterne has amused himself with a panegyric on the literary benefits of shaving: 66 I maintain it, the conceits of a roughbearded man are seven years more terse and juvenile for one single operation; and if they did not run a risk of being shaved quite away, might be carried up, by continual shavings, to the very highest pitch of sublimity.”+ It is an honour to think like great men; upon this occasion, I must in

* V

ii. p. 259, 8vo.
+ Tristram Shandy, vol. ix, chap. 13.

troduce Sterne to no less a personage than the Macedonian hero. Before one of Alexander's battles, Parmenio presented himself, to give an account of his arrangements, and to enquire whether any thing remained to be done : nothing, said Alexander, but that the men should shave. SHAVE! cried Parmenio: yes, replied the prince; do you not consider what a handle a long beard affords to the enemy?*

Peter 1. of Russia gave the clearest proof that he reckoned the custom of shaving essential to the progress of civilization: it is pity that Sterne did not quote this convincing historical example. Horace, too, seems to have thought that his philosopher would have reasoned better without his beard:

Di te, Damasippe, Deæque
Verum, ob consilium donent tonsore.

The plan of the Sentimental Journey

* Barbat. de Barbigenio, in Dornavius's Am. phitheatrum Sapientiæ,


seems to have been taken from the little French pieces, which have had such celebrity; the Voyage of Chapelle and Bachaumont, and the Voyage of Fontaine ; the merit of which consists in making trifles considerable. The only material difference between Sterne's pleasant fragment and these, consists in the want of verse. The French sentimental tours are enlivened by rhymes of great variety, and Sterne would perhaps have imitated them in this respect, if he could have written poetry.

There is one French writer, whom Sterne seems to have imitated; it is Marivaux, whose style, according to D'Alembert, is much more popular in England than in his own country. From him and Crebillon, I think, Sterne learnt to practise what Quintilian had made a precept: Minus est totum dicere quam

With genius enough for the attempt, one has frequently failed in producing pleasure by the length of his digressions, and the other by affecting an excessive refinement and ambiguity in his language.


Les bons écrivains du siecle de Louis XIV. says Voltaire, ont eu de la force, aujour d'hui on cherche de contorsions. Our own writers are not free from this error; and it would not be unworthy their consideration, that a sentence, which is so much refined as to admit of several different senses, may perhaps have no direct claim to any sense.* Sterne has seldom indulged these lapses, for which he was probably indebted to the buoyant force of Burton's firm Old English sinews.

Whoever will take the trouble of comparing Sterne’s Dialogue with his own feelings, in the Sentimental Journey,t to that of Ja. cob with his Avarice and his Honour, in the first part of the Paysan Parvenu, will perceive a near resemblance. It would be cruel to insert the French declamation. A shorter passage from the same work will shew that the Shandean manner is very

* Maynard puts this very well:

Mon ami, chasse bien loin
Cette noire rhetorique,
Tes ouvrages ont besoin
D'un devin qui les explique.
Si ton esprit veut cacher
Les belles choses qu'il pense,
Di-moi, qui peut t'empêcher
De te servir du silence ?

4 Compare also the first conversation with

similar to that of Marivaux.

Le Directeur avoit laissé parler l'aineé sans l'interrompre, & sembloit meme un peu piqué de l'obstination de l'autre.

Prenant pourtant un air tranquille et benin: ma chere Demoiselle, écoutez moi, dit il à cette cadette; vous savez avec quelle affection particuliere je vous donne mes conseils à toutes deux.

Ces derniers paroles, à toutes deux, furent partagées, de façon que la Cadette en avoit pour le moins les trois quarts & demi pour

Me. Freval, in the Paysan Parvenu, with a scene in the Sentimental Journey. Bayle, too, furnished Sterne with some hints, which Mr. Jackson of Exeter has noticed, in his Four Ageso The preceding part of this book was printed, before I saw Mr. Jackson's work,

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