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beings two feet and a half higher than himself. The dwarf suffered inexpressibly on all sides; but the thing which incommoded him most, was a tall corpulent German, near seven feet high, who stood between him and all possibility of his seeing either the stage or the actors. The poor dwarf did all he could to get a peep at what was going forwards, by seeking for some little opening betwixt the German's arm and his body, trying first one side and then the other; but the German stood square in the most unac commodating posture that can be imagined

-the dwarf might as well have been placed at the bottom of the deepest draw-well in Paris; so he civilly reached up his hand to the German's sleeve, and told him his dis tress.-The German turned his head back, looked down upon him, as Goliah did upon David and unfeelingly resumed his pos

ture."

Such was the distress of Scarron's dise astrous hero, Ragotin. "Il vint tard á la comedie, & pour la punition de ses pechez,

E

il se plaça derriere un gentilhomme à large eschine, et couvert d'une grosse casaque qui grossissoit beaucoup sa figure. Il etoit d'une taille si haute au dessus des plus grandes, qu' encore qu'il fut assis, Ragotin qui n'etoit separé de lui que d'un rang de sieges, crut qu'il etoit debout, et lui cria incessament qu'il assit comme les autres, ne pouvant croire qu'un homme assis ne dust pas avoir sa tete au niveau de toutes celles de la compagnie. Ce gentilhomme qui se nommoit la Baguenodiere, ignora longtemps que Ragotin parlat á lui. Enfin Ragotin l'appella Mr. á la plume verte, et comme veritablement il en avoit une bien touffue, bien sale, et peu fine, il tourna la teste, et vit le petit impatient qui lui dit assez rudement qu'il s'assit. La Baguenodiere en fut si peu ému, qu'il se retourna vers le theatre, comme si de rien n'eut eté. Ragotin lui recria encore qu'il s'assit. II tourna encore la tete devers lui; le regarda, et se retourna vers le theatre. Ragotin recria, Baguenodiere tourna la tete pour la

troisieme fois; regarda son homme, et pour la troisieme fois se retourna vers le theatre. Tant que dura la comedie, Ragotin lui cria de meme force qu'il assit, et la Baguenodiere le regarda toujours d'un meme flegme, capable de faire enrager tout le genre humain."*

For the mean and disgusting turn which this story receives in the Roman Comique, Sterne has substituted a rich and beautiful chain of incidents which takes the strongest hold on our feelings. He has in no instance of his imitations shewed a truer taste: the character of Scarron's manner, indeed, is that it always disappoints expectation.

That Sterne frequently had in view the Tale of a Tub, in composing Tristram Shandy, cannot be doubted: Swift's Dissertation on Ears probably contributed towards Sterne's digressions on Noses, which shall be consider ed hereafter. I do not know that it has been observed, that in this pleasant and acute

*Roman Comique, tom. ii, chap. xvii.

satire, Swift has formed his manner very much upon that of JOHN EACHARD. The style of Swift is much superior in correctness of taste, but the turn of pleasantry is very similar, and has little in common with other writers. Eachard was a writer of great celebrity in Swift's early days, when he composed his Tale of a Tub, a work produced in the vigour of his fancy, and the first heat of his literary attainments.

I shall not presume to determine whether Sterne made any use of a whimsical book, apparently published about the year 1748, (for it has no date) under the title of, An Essay towards the Theory of the Intelligible World, by Gabriel John. It is a pretty close copy of the Tale of a Tub in manner; some appearances of imitation may, therefore, be supposed to result from the common reference of both writers to Swift. If Sterne can be supposed to have taken any thing from this book, it must be the hint of his marbled pages. The author of Gabriel John has covered almost the whole of his 163d page

and he ob

with dashes, thus

well un

serves in a corner; The author very derstands, that a good sizeable hiatus discovers a very great genius, there being no wit in the world more ideal, and consequently more refined, than what is displayed in those elaborate pages, that have ne'er a syllable written on them. The only subject of doubt respecting the charge of imitation in this case is, that Sterne may be allowed to have possessed sufficient genius to extend one of Swift's. hiatus over a whole leaf, without the aid of our anonymous writer,

The essay in question was professedly composed to satirize Norris's Theory of the Ideal World; but Hobbes (whose reveries still retained the much injured name of philosophy), Bentley, and Wotton, the objects of Swift's satire, were made equal victims of our author's ridicule. The book contains several poems which have no apparent connection with the general design, excepting some parodies of Dr. Bentley's peculiar system of emendation. It must be

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