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

[43]

My Dear Eliza,

I Think you could act no otherwise
than you did with the young so-
ldier, there was no shutting the door
against him, either in politeness or hu-
manity ---

Thou tell'st me he seems susceptible
of tender impressions, and that before
Miss L---t has sail'd a fortnight, he
will be in love with her ---

Now, I think it a thousand times
more likely, that he attaches himself
to thee, Eliza, because thou art a thou-
sand times more amiable ---

                     Five


[44]

Five months with Eliza, and in the
same room, and an amorous son of
Mars besides,"It can no be Masser."
--- The sun, if he could avoid it,
wou'd not shine upon a dunghill ; but
his rays are so pure, Eliza, and celes-
tial, I never heard that they were polluted
by it --- Just such will thine be, my
dearest child, in this and every such
situation you will be expos'd to,
till thou art fix'd for life. ---

But, thy discretion, thy wisdom,
thy honour, the spirit of thy Yorick,
and thy own spirit, which is equal to
it, will be thy ablest counsellors ---

                     Surely


[45]

Surely, by this time, something is
doing for thy accommodation --- but
why may not clean washing and rub-
bing do, instead of painting your cab-
in, as it is to be hung --- paint is so
pernicious both to your nerves and
lungs, and will keep you, so much
longer too, out of possession of your
apartment, where I hope you will pass
some of your happiest hours ---

I fear the best of your shipmates,
are only genteel by comparison with
the contrasted crew, with which thou
must behold them.

So was-you know who, from the
same fallacy that was put upon the
judgement,




[46]

judgement, when --- But I will not
mortify you --- If they are decent and
distant, it is enough, and as much as
it is to be expected; If any of them are
more, I rejoice ---

Thou wilt want every aid, and 'tis
thy due to have them ---

Be cautious only, my dear, of inti-
macies; good hearts are open, and
fall naturally into them --- heaven in-
spire thine with fortitude, in this and
every other deadly trial!

Best of GOD'S works! Farewell,
love me, I beseech thee, and remem-
ber me for ever, I am, my Eliza, and

                     ever



[47]

ever will be in the most comprehen-
sive sense,

Thy Friend ---

YORICK ---

P.S. Probably you will have an
opportunity of writing to me by some
Dutch or French ship, or from the
Cape de Verd Islands, 'twill reach me
some how ---

[43]

 

MY YORICK,
I Hope your fears, respecting my health,
on the account of my cabin being new
painted, will prove groundless.-- But as
it will give my Yorick pleasure -- I pro-
mise to take care of myself, particular
care for his sake.

     I have received your letters with heart-
felt satisfaction-I received them, and
have arranged them in chronological or-
der, as you directed me -- I found no
difficulty in doing it, as the dates sup-
plied any deficiency in the numbering.

     I have put them under a cover -- I will
wear them next my heart -- they shall,
indeed, be my refuge -- my kind silent
moniters -- I will peruse them with rever-

    F2                 ence,

[44]


ence, and obey them with respect -- I
have already treasured them in my me-
mory, and experienced their efficacy.

     While they are animated by knowledge
and truth, thy honest heart appears in
every line, and makes them glow with sensibility. -- My reverberates to every sentence, and sympathizes with thine.--
I return thy asservation with equal sin-
cerity, and imprecate fame wrath, if
my candour is not equal to thine.

     You say, "If thou art debarred by
" the elements, which hurry thee away,
" I will write one (a letter) for thee, and
" knwing it is such an one, as thou
" would have written - I will regard it
" as my Eliza's."

                      Do


[45]


     Do, my Yorick, when I have left the
British shore -- while I am combating the
uncertainty of the boisterous elements
-- when I can non longer nehold the white
cliffs of the native land, a land happy in
thy birth, do write a letter for thy Eliza
-- Strech thy imagination to its outmost
extent -- fancy all that is tender, delicate,
kind and pure - fancy the most seraphic
affection, and belive the powers of thy
imagination cannot exceed the dictates of
my heart.

     You ejaculate, "May we be happy,
" and meet again -- if not in this world,
" in the next."

I extend the petition, "May we again
" meet, both here and hereafter."

ELIZA.

                                                     KIND

[46]

KIND YORICK,
I AM very happy in the company of
Miss L. ---t, she is an amiable and
deserving young lady. - I am throroughly
satisfied that she is to sail with me.

     There is to be of the voyage a mili-
tary officer in the company's service--
He yesterday introduce upon us to tea --
I did not chuse to shew any resentment
- - I rallied him, I told him, That bold-
ness was certainly one of the principle re-
quisites in a soldier.

     He excused his incivility, without
confessing it with a good grace.

     He seems to be greatly taken with
Miss L---t, -- I dare engage that be-

                     fore


[47]

fore we have sailed together the space of
a fortnight, he will be in love with her.

     The passenger I am to sail with are
genteel people, and the officers behave
with politeness and decorum.

     My Yorick, my friend, divides my
thoughts with the dear name that duty
bind me to. - I often dream of you --
remember me in your prayers -- think of
me waking, and let me like an illusion,
steal through your fancy, while you sleep --
I am yours -- I am yours.

Adieu, adieu.

ELIZA.

P.S. As my stay will be so short, at least
     in all probability, take very opportuni-
     ty to write to me - adieu.

                     My





 

 
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