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the galleys to put to sea, and went himself on board with an intention of assisting not only Rectina but several others, for the villas stand extremely thick upon that beautiful coast. When hastening to the place whence others fled with the utmost terror, he steered his direct course to the point of danger, and with so much calmness and presence of mind as to be able to make and dictate his observations upon the motion and figure of that dreadful scene. He was now so nigh the mountain that the cinders, which grew thicker and hotter the nearer he approached, fell into the ships, together with pumice-stones and pieces of burning rock; they were likewise in danger not only of being aground by the sudden retreat of the sea, but also from the vast fragments which rolled down from the mountain and obstructed all the shore. Here he stopped to consider whether he should return back again, to which the pilot advising him, “ Fortune,” said he, “befriends the brave; carry me to Pomponianus.” Pomponianus was then at Stabiæ, separated by a gulf which the sea, after several insensible windings, forms upon that shore. He had already sent his baggage on board ; for though he was not at that time in actual danger, yet being within the view of it, and indeed extremely near, if it should in the least increase, he was determined to put to sea as soon as the wind should change. It was favourable, however, for carrying my uncle to Pomponianus, whom he found in the greatest consternation: he embraced him with tenderness, encouraging and exhorting him to keep up his spirits, and, the more to dissipate his fears, he ordered, with an air of unconcern, the baths to be got ready; when, after having bathed, he sat down to supper with great cheerfulness, or at least (what is equally heroic) with all the appearance of it. In the meanwhile the eruption from Mount Vesuvius flamed out in several places with much violence, which the darkness of the night contributed to render still more visible and dreadful. But my uncle, in order to soothe the apprehensions of his friend, assured him it was only the burning of the villages which the country people had abandoned to the flames; after this he retired to rest, and it is most certain he was so little discomposed as to fall into a deep sleep; for, being pretty fat and breathing hard, those who attended without actually heard him snore. The court which led to his apartment being now almost filled with stones and ashes, if he had continued there any time longer it would have been impossible for him to have made his way out; it was thought proper, therefore, to awaken him. He got up, and went to Pomponianus and the rest of his
company, who were not unconcerned enough to think of going to bed. They consulted together whether it would be most prudent to trust to the houses, which now shook from side to side with frequent and violent concussions; or fly to the open fields, where the calcined stones and cinders, though light indeed, yet fell in large showers, and threatened destruction. In this distress they resolved for the fields as the less dangerous situation of the two; a resolution which, while the rest of the company were hurried into it by their fears, my uncle embraced upon cool and deliberate consideration. They went out then, having pillows tied upon their heads with napkins; and this was their whole defence against the storm of stones that fell around them. Though it was now day every where else, with them it was darker than the most obscure night, excepting only what light proceeded from the fire and flames. They thought proper to go down farther upon the shore to observe if they might safely put out to sea, but they found the waves still ran extremely high and boisterous. There my uncle, having drunk a draught or two of cold water, threw himself down upon a cloth which was spread for him, when immediately the flames and a strong smell of sulphur, which was the forerunner of them, dispersed the rest of the company, and obliged him to rise. He raised himself up with the assistance of two of his servants, and instantly fell down dead; suffocated, as I conjecture, by some gross and noxious vapour, having always had weak lungs, and frequently subjected to a difficulty of breathing. As soon as it was light again, which was not till the third day after this melancholy accident, his body was found entire, and without any marks of violence upon it, exactly in the same posture that he fell, and looking more like a man asleep than dead. During all this time my mother and I, who were at Misenum- But as this has no connection with your history, so your inquiry went no farther than concerning my uncle's death; with that, therefore, I will put an end to my letter: suffer me only to add, that I have faithfully related to you what I was either an eyewitness of myself or received immediately after the accident happened, and before there was time to vary the truth. You will choose out of this narrative such circumstances as shall be most suitable. to your purpose ; for there is great difference between what is
proper for a letter and a history, between writing to a friend and writing to the public.--Farewell.
151.-- THE STORY OF LE FEVRE.
STERNE. [We find the following curious and amusing passage in Boswell's · Life of Johnson:' “ It having been observed that there was little hospitality in London: Johnson. "Nay, Sir, any man who has a name, or who has the power of pleasing, will be very generally invited in London. The man Sterne, I have been told, has had engagements for three months.' Goldsmith. “And a very dull fellow.' Johnson. · Why, no, Sir.'” Johnson had disliked · the man Sterne,' and in truth his habits were not such as a rigid moralist could approve. But Johnson properly repressed the envious notion of Goldsmith, that he was a dull fellow.'” Laurence Sterne was born in 1713 at Clonmel, in Ireland. His father was the grandson of Dr. Richard Sterne, Archbishop of York, and was a lieutenant in an English regiment at the time of the birth of his son. Although of English descent and parentage, the early years of Laurence Sterne were spent in Ireland. At ten years of age he was put to school at Halifax. His father died in 1731, and in 1733 he was admitted at Jesus' College, Cambridge. He subsequently took orders, and obtained the living of Sutton, in Yorkshire. In 1741 he married. He appears to have lived in contented obscurity for nearly twenty years, discharging his professional duties without blame : " Books, painting, fiddling, shooting, were my amusements,” he says; and really, when we consider the indifference to religion which characterized the clergy
th age, we cannot say that his example had any thing in it peculiarly unbecoming his calling. The publication of two volumes of • Tristram Shandy,' in 1759, at once raised him to universal notoriety. Seven other volumes of that work followed in subsequent years, as well as his “Sermons' and the . Sentimental Journey.' He died in 1768. His celebrity threw him into society that ruined his moral sense, and made him unwelcome to those who justly thought that genius was no apology for licentiousness. The same fault has condemned his writings to comparative neglect. In many of the higher excellences there is no book in our language equal to * Tristram Shandy,' and, if its pruriencies could be weeded from it, there are few creations of original talent more capable of calling forth the highest and best feelings of our nature. Leigh Hunt, in his • Essay on Wit and Humour, says, “ If I were requested to name the book of all others, which combined wit and humour under their highest appearance of levity with the profoundest wisdom, it would
be Tristram Shandy.” The passage which we shall extract from this remarkable book has the disadvantage of being amongst the best known of Sterne's celebrated scenes, but it has the advantage at the same time of requiring no excisions to render it quotable in a work intended for general perusal.]
It was some time in the summer of that year in which Dendermond was taken by the allies—which was about seven years before my father came into the country--and about as many after the time that my uncle Toby and Trim had privately decamped from my father's house in town, in order to lay some of the finest sieges to some of the finest fortified cities in Europe—when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard, the landlord of a little inn in the village came into the parlour with an empty phial in his hand, to beg a glass or two of sack ; ": "Tis for a poor gentleman-I think, of the army," said the landlord, " who has been taken ill at my house four days ago, and has never held up
his head since, or had a desire to taste any thing till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass of sack and a thin toast- I think,' says he, taking his hand from his forehead, “it would comfort me.'”
• If I could neither beg, borrow, nor buy such a thing,” added the landlord, “ I would almost steal it for the poor gentleman, he is so ill. I hope in God he will still mend,” continued he, all of us concerned for him.”
“ Thou art a good-natured soul, I will answer for thee,” cried my uncle Toby, “and thou shalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glass of sack thyself,—and take a couple of bottles, with my service, and tell him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more if they will do him good.”
"Though I am persuaded," said my uncle Toby, as the landlord shut the door," he is a very compassionate fellow, Trim,--yet I cannot help entertaining a high opinion of his guest too; there must be something more than common in him, that in so short a time should win so much upon the affections of his host;"- * And of his whole family," added the corporal, “ for they are all concerned for him.”—“Step after him," said my uncle Tobý,—“do, Trim,—and ask if he knows his name."
"I have quite forgot it, truly," said the landlord, coming
back into the parlour with the corporal, “ but I can ask his son again." “ Has he à son with him then ?” said my uncle Toby. “A boy," replied the landlord, * of about eleven or twelve years of age ; but the poor creature has tasted almost as little as his father; he does nothing but mourn and lament for him night and day; he has not stirred from the bedside these two days."
My uncle Toby laid down his knife and fork, and thrust his plate from before him, as the landlord gave him the account; and Trim, without being ordered, took away without saying one word, and in a few minutes after brought him his pipe and tobacco.
Stay in the room a little,” says my uncle Toby. “ Trim !” said my uncle Toby, after he had lighted his pipe, and smoked about a dozen whiffs-Trim came in front of his master and made his bow ;-my uncle Toby smoked on, and said no more, ** Cor poral !" said my uncle Toby-the corporal made his bow. My uncle Toby proceeded no farther, but finished his pipe.
“ Trim !” said my uncle Toby, " I have a projeet in my head, as it is a bad night, of wrapping myself up warm in my roquelaure, and paying a visit to this poor gentleman." " Your honour's roquelaure." replied the corporal, “ has not once been had on since the night before
your honour received your wound, when we mounted guard in the trenches before the gate of St. Nicholas; and besides, it is so cold and rainy a night, that what with the roquelaure and what with the weather, 'twill be enough to give your honour your death, and bring on your honour's torment in your groin." "I fear so," replied my uncle Toby; “but I am not at rest in my mind, Trim, since the account the landlord has given me. I wish I had not known so much of this affair,” added
or that I had known more of it. How shall we manage it?” “Leave it, an 't please your honour, to me,” quoth the corporal ; * I 'll take my hat and stick, and go to the house and reconnoitre, and act accordingly; and I will bring your honour a full account in an hour.” “ Thou shalt go, Trim," said my uncle Toby," and here's a shilling for thee to drink with his servant.” “I shall get it all out of him," said the corporal, shutting the door.
My uncle Toby filled his second pipe; and had it not been that he now and then wandered from the point, with considering whether it was not full as well to have the curtain of the tennaile a straight line