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

 

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

[14]

 

I WRITE this, Eliza, at Mr. James's,
whilst he is dressing, and the dear
girl, his wife, is writing, beside me, to
thee---

 

I got your melancholy billet before
we sat down to dinner; 'tis melan-
choly indeed, my dear, to hear so pi-
teous an account of thy sickness, thou
art encompass'd with evils enow, with-
out that additional weight ---I fear it
will sink thy poor soul, and body with
it, past. recovery --- Heaven supply
thee with fortitude! We have talk'd
of nothing but thee, Eliza, and of thy

                    sweet


[15]

 

sweet virtues, and endearing conduct,
all the afternoon. ---

Mrs. James, and thy Bramin have
mix'd their tears a hundred times, in
speaking of thy hardships, thy good-
ness, thy graces, 'tis a subject that
will never end betwixt us --- Oh! she
is good and friendly!

 

The *** by heavens are worthless;
I have heard enough to tremble at the
articulation of the name --- How cou'd
you Eliza, leave them (or suffer them
to leave you rather) with impressions
the least favourable? I have told thee
enough to plant disgust against their
treachery to thee, to the last hour of

                    thy


 

[16]

 

thy life --- yet still thou told'st Mrs.
James at last, that thou believest they
affectionately love thee --- Her delicacy
to my Eliza, and true regard to her
ease of mind, have saved thee from
hearing more glaring proofs of their
baseness --- For God's sake, write not to
them; nor foul thy fair characters
with such polluted hearts --- They love
thee! --- What proof? --- Is it their ac-
tions that say so? or their zeal for
those attachments, which do thee ho-
nour, and make thee happy? Or their
tenderness for thy fame? No, but
they weep and say tender things ---
Adieu to all such for ever ---

                    Mrs.


[17]

 

Mrs. James's honest heart revolts
against the idea of ever returning them
one visit. I honour her, and I honour
thee, for almost every act of thy life,
but this blind partiality for an unwor-
thy being.

Forgive my zeal, dear girl, and
allow me a right, which arises only
out of that fund of affection I have
and shall preserve for thee, to the
hour of my death ---

 

Reflect Eliza, what are my mo-
tives for perpetually advising thee,
think whether I can have any which
proceed not form the cause I have
mentioned?

            C I             think


[18]

I think you a very deserving wo-
man, and that you want nothing but
finnness, and a better opinion of
yourself, to be the best female charac-
ter I know. ---

 

I wish I cou'd , inspire you with a
share of that vanity your enemies lay
to your charge (tho' to me it has
never been visible) because I think,
in a well turn'd mind, it will produce
good effects ---

I probably shall never see you more;
yet I flatter myself you'll sometimes
think of me with pleasure; because
you must be convinced I love you,
and so interest myself in your recti-

                    tude,

 

[19]

tude, that I had rather hear of any
evil befalling you, than your want of
reverence for yourself ---

I had not power to keep this remon-
strance in my breast --- tis now out ---
so adieu! Heaven watch over my
Eliza.


            Thine,

                        YORICK

 

[24]

KIND YORICK.
MY nerves are so weak, and my
hand trembles so much, that I
am afraid this scrawl will hardly be in-
telligible -- I am extremely ill -- indeed I
am. ---

     I am obliged to exert myself to write
this -- present my kind respects to Mr.
and Mrs. James -- they are in my heart ---
they occupy a share of my cordial friend-
ship, with my Bramin -- may heaven pre-
serve you all from experiencing the an-
guish my poor weak being is oppressed
with. ---

     But think not Yorick that I complain ---
no --

                    Boun-


 

[25]

 

     Bountiful heaven, I thank theee for my affections -- thou chastiseh me for my
goog--my poor vain heart had wandered
from the thoughts of futurity -- thou hast
brought it back, and fixed its attention
to the point where it ought to dwell -- O
keep me from the sin of repining, and
give me strength to bear my afflictions
with patience.

     The family of the ***s have been
with me -- they are truly amiable beings --
I admire them greatly -- they were ex-
tremely efflicted at my situation -- I be-
lieve they felt for me -- I am sure they
regard me.

     I am taken with a strange dizziness --
I can say no more, adieu.

ELIZA.

            D            My

 





 

 
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