PARODIES
 
LETTERS
I
II
III
IV
V VI
VII VIII
IX
X

 

 

L. STERNE,
LETTERS TO ELIZA (1767),
LETTER III
ANONYMOUS,
LETTERS FROM ELIZA TO YORICK (1775),
LETTER III

 

[5]

 

I GOT thy letter last night, Eliza, on
my return from Lord Bathurst's,
where I di'd, and where I was heard
(as I ta1k'd of thee an hour with-
out intermission) with so much plea-
sure and attention, that the good old
Lord toasted your health three several
times; and now tho' he is now 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 Na-
bobesses as much in wea1th, as she
does already in exterior and (what is
far better) in interior merit -- I hope
so too.

            B3              This


[6]

This nobleman is an old friend of
mine. You know he was a1ways 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
of me began of me, was as singular, as it was
polite: he came up to me one day, as
I was at the Princess of Wa1es's court
--- "I want to know you, Mr.
S--ne; but it is fit you should also
know who it is that wishes this plea-
sure You have heard, continued he,
of an old Lord Bathurst, of whom
your Pope's and Swift's have sung and
spoken so much: I have lived my life

                     with


 

[7]

 

with genius's of that cast, but have
surviv'd them; and, despairing ever to
find their equals, 'tis some years since
I have clos'd my accounts, and shut up
my books, with thoughts of never
opening them again: But you have
kindled a desire in me to open 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---
adisposition to be pleased, and a
power to please others, beyond what-
ever I knew; added to which, a man
of learning, courtesy, and feeling.---

 

 

 

[21]

KIND YORICK,

I PERUSED your epistle, as I always
do, with infinite pleasure -- I am
charmed with your account of that wor-
thy nobleman, lord Bathurst -- half a
score of such as him would make old
age amiable, redeem it from the cha-
racter of morossness, and render it the
most desirable period of life.

     The company of his lordship has kept,
and the friendships he has courted, suffi-
ciently evidence his understanding -- the
manner of his conducting himself to you,
at the princessof Wales' Court, is
enough to render his name respecta-
ble. ---

                                I

[22]

 

     I am obliged to his lordship for his
good opinion of me, though I only
shone like the moon with borrowed
light -- I cannot merit his encomious ---
they are not due to myself; but to my
picture, as drawn by your brillant ima-
gination -- your kind fancy was fun,
that gave me the light, which his lordship admired. ---

     You speak with seraphic truth, when
you say, heaven gives us strenght,pro-
portioned to the weight it lays upon
us --- I have experienced it --- for I find fortitude encrease with my illness ---
and as my health decayed, my dependance
upon providence grew stronger. ---

     But I am better than -- than heaven -- you
bid me hope every thing -- I do -- hope

                         is

[23]

 

is the balm of soul, the kind soother
of my anguish upon all occasions. ---

     The time approaches for my departure
from Englad -- I could wish you to
be of the voyage -- your conversation
would shorten the tedious hours, and
smooth the rugged boson of the deep.
I should find no terrors from the waver-
ing elements, nor dread the dangers that surrounded my floating prison. ---

     Yet why should I wish to call you from
your peaceful retirement, and domestic happiness -- to trust the precarious ele-
ments, and seek an inclement sky -- cruel thought Eliza, be content to bear thy
Yorick's image in thy mind -- and to trea-
sure his instructions in thy heart -- then
thou wilt be properly sustained against
the changes of torture, and dangers of
the deep -- then thou wilt be in the true
sense of the expression, YORICK' ELIZA --.





 

 
Top