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, Quand je revins de l'enterrement de ma femme, m'essuyant les yeux, et travaillant à plorer, chacun me disoit, compere, ne te soucie, je sçay bien ton fait, je te donneray bien une autre femme. Helas! me disoit-il, on ne me disoit point ainsi, quand j' cu perdu l'une de mes vaches.*
How far Sterne was obliged to Bouchet for particular passages, I am unable to decide, having never seen the greater part of the Sereès.
There was more reason to have represented the acquisition of this book as matter of triumph, than the purchase of Bruscambille.
Mr. Shandy has the good fortune, we are told, to get Bruscambille's Prologue on Noses almost for nothing—that is, for three half
66 There are not three Bruscambilles in Christendom-said the stall-man, except what are chained up in the libraries of the curious. My father flung down the money as quick as lightning-took Bruscambille into his bosom-hyed home from Piccadilly to Coleman-street with it, as he would have hyed home with a treasure, without taking his hand once off from Bruscambille all the way.
* Sereès. p. 216.
** This is excellently calculated to excite the appetite of literary epicures, but the book in question is not sufficiently entertaining to gratify much expectation. It consists of occasional prologues, in prose, a species of amusement much in vogue during the reign of Louis XIII. TABARIN, who seems to have been contemporary
with BRUSCAMBILLE, but more a merry-andrew than a comedian, published his dialogues with his master, and his prologues, about the same time. They both stole largely from the Moyen de Parvenir, as the editor of that book has observed. The original copy of the Penseés Faceticuses de Bruscambille was published in 1623, mine was printed at Cologne, in 1741.
* Tristram Shandy, vol. iii, chap. xxxv.
+ Tabarin is mentioned in the Description of the Winter in Paris, by Boisrobert, an officer of Cardinal Richlieu.
Tout divertissement nous manque:
There is little merit in this mass of buffoonery; the only originality consists in its galimatias; however, as the book is not easily to be procured, I shall insert the Prologue on Noses among the notes, that no future collector may sigh for Bruscambille.*
The false taste of Scarron's humour has occasioned a general neglect of his works; it was by mere accident that I discovered the origin of a very interesting scene in the Sentimental Journey, in taking up the Roman Comique. It is the chapter of the Dwarf, which every reader of Sterne must immediately recollect, but I shall transcribe that part which is directly taken from Scar
“ A poor defenceless being of this order [a dwarf ], had got thrust somehow or other into this luckless place (the parterre]—the night was hot, and he was surrounded by
* See note V.
beings two feet and a half higher than himself. The dwarf suffered inexpressibly on all sides; but the thing which incommoded him mosty 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 unaccommodating 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 posture.”
Such was the distress of Scarron's disastrous hero, Ragotin. “ Il vint tard á la comedie, & pour la punition de ses pechez, 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. Il tourra encore la tete devers lui; le regarda, et se retourna vers le theatre. Ragotin recria, Baguenodiere tourna la tete pour la