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WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HENRY MORLEY
LL.D., PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE AT
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
JUNE 13, 1938
MORLEY'S UNIVERSAL LIBRARY.
VOLUMES ALREADY PUBLISHED.
DEEDS OF PANTAGRUEL.
T LAURENCE STERNE was born in Clonmel Barracks on the 24th of November 1713. He died in Bond Street lodgings on the 18th of March 1768, in the fifty-fifth year of an unhealthy life. Roger Sterne, his father, died a lieutenant in the army; but Laurence was bred to the Church, that being a profession in which his family could look for patronage enough to secure his maintenance ; for his great-grandfather was Richard Sterne, who died Archbishop of York at the age of 87, thirty years before Laurence was born. Sterne's grandfather, the eldest of the Archbishop's thirteen children, was Simon Sterne, who had married Mary Jaques, heiress of Elvington, five miles from York. He became the father of seven children, and died ten years before Laurence's birth. His eldest son was Richard, who, on his father's death, succeeded to Elvington, and became head of the family. Simon's second son was Jaques, who took orders, and lived to become an Archdeacon. He died in 1759. His seventh child was Roger Sterne, Laurence's father.
In that year of Queen Anne's reign when Steele and Addison were producing The Spectator, Roger Sterne, then an ensign, whose daily pay was three shillings and twopence-halfpenny, married Agnes, widow of a Captain Hebert, and daughter of Mr. Nuttall, an Irish army sutler. Their first child, Mary, was born at Lisle, in July 1712. Their second child, Laurence, was born, as before said, in Clonmel Barracks, on the 24th of Noveinber 1713. That being the year of the Peace of Utrecht, all regiments which had been raised since the Peace of Ryswick in 1697, excepting two, were broken. The 34th Foot, to which Ensign Roger Sterne belonged, was thus broken, and Roger Sterne went to his family in Yorkshire. Laurence Sterne wrote afterwards of his father, for his daughter Lydia, “My father was a little smart man-active to the last degree in all exercises-most patient of fatigue and disappointments, of which it pleased God to give him full measure. He was in temper somewhat rapid and hasty, but of a kindly, sweet disposition, void of all designs, and so innocent in his own intentions that he suspected no one; so that you might have cheated him ten times in a day, if nine had not been sufficient for your purpose.”
After a few months the 34th Foot was established again, and Ensign Sterne, with his wife and her two infant children, joined his regiment at Dublin in the winter of 1714, at the beginning of the reign of George the First. The regiment moved presently to Exeter, where a third child was born ; he was named Joram. After about a year in barracks at Exeter, the regiment returned to Dublin. Ensign Sterne and his family had lived in barracks until now, when they furnished a house and remained in it for three years,
1719, when Laurence was six years old. Roger Sterne was then ordered with his regiinent to join the Vigo expedition. Joram died of small-pox, and a girl, Anne, was born. Mother and children remained in the Isle of Wight till the father's return, then went to Wicklow Barracks, where, in 1720, another son was born ; he was named Devisher. For six months the family now lived with a relation of Mrs. Sterne's, who was Vicar of Anamoe, seven miles from Wicklow. In 1721 they were moved to Dublin, and spent a year in barracks there, where the child Anne died. They moved next to Mullingar, and then to Wicklow again, where the child Devisher, who had been left at a farmhouse, died; and in 1723 another child was born, and was named Susan, and died. In 1724 another was born, who was named Catherine, and lived.
The surviving children of the family were the two eldest and the youngest-Mary, Laurence, Catherine. Mary married a merchant of Dublin, who ill-used her, became bankrupt, and, says Sterne, “left my poor sister to shift for herself, which she was able to do but for a few months, for she went to a friend's house in the country, and died of a broken heart." But Catherine survived her brother Laurence.
In 1725, Roger Sterne obtained leave of absence to take his son Laurence, then aged eleven or twelve, to a school at Halifax, where the child would be under the care of his uncle Richard, the head of the family and heir of Alvington, who was then living at Woodhouse, also his property, about a mile and a half out of Halifax, The boy never again saw his father, Roger Sterne was at the siege of Gibraltar in 1727, and then went to Jamaica, where he died of yellow fever in March 1731, when Laurence, between seventeen and eighteen years old, was ready to leave the Halifax Free Grammar School, at which he had been placed. Recollections of his childhood, and kind memories of his