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after, spake pure iambics, and raved still on Perseus's speech, 0 Cupid, prince of gods and
As car-men, boys, and prentices, when a new song is published with us, go singing that new tune still in the streets, they continually acted that tragical part of Perseus, and in every man's mouth was, 0 Cupid, in every street, 0 Cupid, in every house almost, O Cupid, prince of gods and men ; pronouncing still, like stage-players, 0 Cupid. They were so possessed all with that rapture, and thought of that pathetical love-speech, they could not, a long time after, forget, or drive it out of their minds, but, 0 Cupid, prince of gods and men, was ever in their mouths.
Why Sterne should have called this a fragment, I cannot imagine; unless, as Burton forgot to quote his author, Sterne was not aware that the story was taken from the introduction to Lucian's Essay on the Method of Writing History.
Burton has spoiled this passage by an unfaithful translation. Sterne has worked it up to a beautiful picture, but very different from the original in Lucian, with which, I am persuaded, he was unacquainted.
That part of Mr. Shandy's letter to Uncle Toby, which consists of obsolete medical practices, is taken from one of Burton's chapters on the cure of Love-Melancholy.*
Gordonius's prescription of a severe beating for the cure of love, seems to have entertained Sterne greatly. This remedy was once a favourite with physicians, in the cure of many diseases: there was then good reason for giving Birch a place in the dispensatories. To say nothing of Luther's practice in the case of his maid-servant, which I shall have occasion to mention afterwards, wę find in the Appendix to Wepfer's Historiæ apoplecticorum, an account of a soldier, who prevented an attack of the apoplexy, by flogging himself, till blood ran freely from his back and nostrils. Oribasius, one of the virtuosi of that time, wrote to recommend whipping in fevers.' Dr. Musgrave quotes
Anatomy of Melancholy, p. 333, to 335.
a German physician, who cured two of his patients of dysentery, by drubbing them as much as was sufficient.*
The practice of these terrible doctors among unfortunate lunatics, is too notori
One of them directs the application for love-melancholy in this elegant manner, in his book; si juvenis est, flagelletur ejus culus cum verberibus,t et si non sistit, ponatur in fundo turris cum pane et aqua, &c.
Campanella tells a curious story of an Italian prince, an excellent musician, qui alvum deponere non poterat, nisi verberatus a servo ad id adscito. I I omit
prescriptions of the same kind. These instances are sufficient to establish the predilection of the faculty for this practice, which Butler has so highly celebrated for its moral tendency:
Whipping that's virtue's governess,
* Of the qualities of the nerves, p. 138.
That mends the gross mistakes of nature,
Peter 1. of Russia seems to have adopted this philosophy, for we are assured that he was accustomed to cane his ministers and courtiers, for high misdemeanors, with his own imperial hands.
Sterne has made frequent references to Montaigne: the best commentary on the fifth chapter of Tristram Shandy, vol. vill. is Montaigne's essay on the subject of that chapter.
Charges of Plagiarism in his Sermons have been brought against Sterne, which I have not been anxious to investigate, as in that species of composition, the principal matter must consist of repetitions. But it has long been my opinion, that the manner, the style, and the selection of subjects for those Sermons, were derived from the ex. cellent Contemplations of Bishop Hall.
* Hudibras, part ii, canto i.
There is a delicacy of thought, and tenderness of expression in the good Bishop's compositions, from the transfusion of which Sterne looked for immortality.
Let us compare that singular Sermon, entitled THE LEVITE AND HIS CONCUBINE, with part of the Bishop's Contemplation of the Levite's CONCUBINE. I shall follow Sterne's order.
66 — Then shame and grief go with her, and wherever she seeks a shelter, may the hand of justice shut the door against her."*
What husband would not have said she is gone, let shame and grief go with her; I shall find one no less pleasing, and more faithful.t
« Our annotators tell us, that in Jewish æconomicks, these (concubines) differed little from the wife, except in some outward ceremonies and stipulations, but agreed with her in all the true essences of marriage." I The law of God, says the Bishop, allowed
* Sterne, Sermon xviii. + Bp. Hall's Works, p. 1017.
Sterne loc, citat.