Laurence Sterne, A Political Romance




To — —, Esq; of




You write me Word that the Letter
I wrote to you, and now stiled The
Political Romance
is printing; and that,
as it was drop'd by Carelessness, to make
some Amends, you will overlook the
Printing of it yourself, and take Care to
see that it comes right into the World.

I was just going to return you Thanks,
and to beg, withal, you would take Care
That the Child be not laid at my Door. —
But having, this Moment, perused the
Reply to the Dean of York's Answer,—it
has made me alter my Mind in that re-
spect; so that, instead of making you the
Request I intended, I do here desire That
the Child be filiated upon me, Laurence
, Prebendary of York, &c. &c. And
I do, accordingly, own it for my own true
and lawful Offspring.

My Reason for this is plain;—for as,
you see, the Writer of that Reply, has ta-
ken upon him to invade this incontested

             G             Right


Right of another Man's in a Thing of this
Kind, it is high Time for every Man to
look to his own—Since, upon the same
, and with half the Degree of An-
ger, that he affirms the Production of that
very Reverend Gentleman's, to be the Child
of many Fathers, some one in his Spight
(for I am not without my Friends of that
Stamp) may run headlong into the other
Extream, and swear, That mine had no
Father at all: —And therefore, to make
use of Bays's Plea in the Rehearsal, for
Prince Pretty-Man; I merely do it, as
he says, "for fear it should be said to be
no Body's Child at all."

I have only to add two Things: —First,
That, at your Peril, you do not presume
to alter or transpose one Word, nor rectify
one false Spelling, nor so much as add or
diminish one Comma or Tittle, in or to my
Romance: —For if you do,—In case any
of the Descendents of Curl should think
fit to invade my Copy-Right, and print it
over again in my Teeth, I may not be able,
in a Court of Justice, to swear strictly
to my own Child, after you had so large
a Share
in the begetting it.



In the next Place, I do not approve of
your quaint Conceit at the Foot of the
Title Page of my Romance,—It would
only set People on smiling a Page or two
before I give them Leave;—and besides,
all Attempts either at Wit or Humour,
in that Place, are a Forestalling of what
slender Entertainment of those Kinds are
prepared within: Therefore I would have
it stand thus:

Y     O     R     K:
Printed in the Year 1759.

(Price One Shilling.)

I know you will tell me, That it is set
too high; and as a Proof, you will say,
That this last Reply to the
Dean's Answer
does consist of near as many Pages as mine;
and yet is all sold for Six-pence. —But
mine, my dear Friend, is quite a different
: —It is a Web wrought out of my
own Brain, of twice the Fineness of this
which he has spun out of his; and besides,
I maintain it, it is of a more curious Pat-
tern, and could not be afforded at the
Price that his is sold at, by any honest
Workman in Great-Britain .

            G2            More-


Moreover, Sir, you do not consider,
That the Writer is interested in his Story,
and that it is his Business to set it a-going
at any Price: And indeed, from the Infor-
mation of Persons conversant in Paper and
Print, I have very good Reason to believe,
if he should sell every Pamphlet of them,
he would inevitably be a Great Loser by it,
This I believe verily, and am,

  Dear Sir,
Sutton on the Forest, Your obliged Friend
Jan. 20, 1759. and humble Servant,


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