صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

1

poral, and what will become of his boy? He shall not drop, said my uncle Toby, firmly.--A-well-o'day,--do what we can for him, said Trim, maintaining his point, the poor soul will die:

He shall not die, by Go, cried my uncle Toby.

-The ACCUSING SPIRIT which few up to heaven's chancery with the oath, blush'd as he gave it in and the RECORDING ANGEL as he wrote it down, dropp'd a tear upon the word, and blotted it out for ever.

-My uncle Toby went to his bureau,-put his purse into his breeches pocket, and having ordered the corporal to go early in the morning for a physician,--he went to bed and fell asleep.

The sun looked bright the morning after, to every eye in the village but Le Fevre's and his afflicted son's; the hand of death press'd heavy upon his eye-lids, -and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn round its circle,-when. my uncle Toby, who had rose up an hour before his wonted time, entered the lieutenant's room, and without preface or apology, fat himself down upon the chair, by the bed-fide, and independently of all modes and customs, opened the curtain in the manner an old friend and brother officer would have done it, and asked him how he did, --how he had rested in the night,-what was his complaint, -where was his pain,-and what he could do to help him ?-and without giving him time to answer any one of the inquiries, went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the corporal the night before for him.

-You shall go home directly, Le Fevre, said my uncle Toby, to my house,—and we'll send for a doctor to see what's the matter,--and we'll have an apothecary,--and z

the

the corporal shall be your nurse;- and I'll be your fervant, Le Fevre.

THERE was a frankness in my uncle Toby, -not the effeet of familiarity,--but the cause of it, --which let you at once into his foul, and shewed you the goodness of his nature; to this, there was fomething in his looks, and voice, and manner, fuperadded, which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take shelter under him ; so that before my uncle Toby had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father, had the son insensibly pressed up

close to his knees, and had taken hold of the breast of his coat, and was pulling it towards him. The blood and spirits of Le Fevre, which were waxing cold and flow within him, and were retreating to their laft citadel, the heartgallied back, the film forsook his eyes for a moment, he looked up wishfully in my uncle Toby's face, then cast a look upon his boy, and that ligament, fine as it was, was never broken.

Nature instantly ebb'd again, the film returned to its place- -the pulse fluttered- -ftoppid

went on throbb’dstopp'd again moved topp'dthall I go on?No.

STERNE,

[blocks in formation]

A

FEW hours before Yorick breathed his last, Eugenius

stept in with an intent to take his last fight and laf farewel of him. Upon his drawing Yorick's curtain, and aking how he felt himself, Yorick looking up in his face, toak hold of his hand, and, after thanking him for the many tokens of his friendship to him, for which, he said, if it was their fate to meet hereafter, he would thank him again and again; he told him, he was within a few hours of giving his enemies the hip for ever. I hope not, anfwered Eugenius, with tears trickling down his cheeks, and with the tenderest tone that ever man spoke, I hope not, Yorick, faid he.--Yorick replied, with a look up, and gentle squeeze of Eugenius's hand,--and that was all, but it cut Eugenius to the heart. Come, come, Yorick, quoth Eugenius, wiping his eyes, and fummoning ap the man within him,- my dear lad, be comforted, let not all thy spirits and fortitude forsake thee at this crisis when thou moft wanteft them who knows what resources are in store, and what the power of God may yet do for thee Yorick laid his hand upon his heart, and gently fhook his head ; for my part, continued Eugenius, crying bitterly as he uttered the words, I declare I know not, Yorick, how to part with thee, and would gladly flatter my hopes, added Eugenius, cheering up his voice, that there is still enough left of thee to make a bifhop,--and that I may live to fee it.--I beseech thee, Eugenius, quoth Yorick, taking off his night-cap as well as he could with his left hand his right ftill being grasped close in that of Eugenius, I beseech thee to take a view of my head. I see nothing that ails it, replied Eugenius. Then alas ! my friend, said Yorick, let me tell you, that it is so bruised and mis-shapened with the blows which have been so unhandsomely given me in the dark, that I might say with Sancho Panca, that should I recover, and " mitres there. upon

many

be suffered to rain down from heaven as thick as « hail, not one of them would fit it.”. Yorick's last breath was hanging upon his trembling lips ready to depard

as he uttered this ;—yet still it was uttered with fomething of a Cervantic tone ; and as he spoke it, Eugenius could perceive a stream of lambent fire lighted up for a moment in his eyes ; — faint picture of thofe flashes of his spirit, which (as Shakespear faid of his ancestor) were wont to set the table in a roar!

EUGENIUS was convinced from this, that the heart of his friend was broke; he squeezed his hand, and then walked softly out of the room, weeping as he walked. Yorick followed Eugenius with his eyes to the door, he then closed them, and never opened them more.

He lies buried in a corner of his church-yard, under a plain marble flab, which his friend Eugenius, by leave of his executors, laid upon his grave, with no more than these three words of infcription, serving both for his epitaph and elegy,

Alas, poor YORICK!

Ten times a day has Yorick's ghost the consolation to hear his monumental infcription read over with such a variety of plaintive tones, as denote a general pity and esteem for him :-a footway crossing the church-yard close by his grave,--not a passenger goes by without stopping to cast a look upon it, and fighing as he walks on, Alas, poor YORICK!

STERNE.

[ocr errors][merged small]

CH A P.

III:

BEGGAR'S PETITION.

PITY

ITY the sorrows of a poor old man,

Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door,
Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span,
Oh! give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.

These tatter'd cloaths my poverty befpeak,
These hoary locks proclaim my lengthen'd years;
And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek
Has been the channel to a flood of tears.

Yon house, erected on the rising ground,
With tempting aspect drew me from my road;
For Plenty there a residence has found,
And Grandeur a magnificent abode.

Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor !
Here, as I crav'd a morsel of their bread,
A pamper'd menial drove me from the door
To seek a felter in an humbler Thed,

[ocr errors]

Oh! take me to your hospitable dome ;
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold !
Short is my passage to the friendly tomb,
For I am poor and miserably old.

1

Should I reveal the fources of my grief,
If soft humanity e'er touch'd your breaft,
Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,
And tears of Pity would not be repreit.

Z 3

Heaven

« السابقةمتابعة »