Uncaptioned Tailpiece — "Montreuil" in Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, first published in 1768. Wood-engraving, 3 cm high by 9.3 cm wide, bottom of p. 52. Johannot shows the scroll, the journal, and two quill pens to remind the reader of Yorick's being a travel-writer (although somewhat different from Mundungus and Smelfungus) as well as the protagonist of his own book. The passage complemented introduces the young Frenchman, a deserter from the army who will serve as the Sancho Panzo to Yorick's Don Quixote.[Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Passage Complemented

I cannot take a fitter opportunity to observe, once for all, that tant pis and tant mieux, being two of the great hinges in French conversation, a stranger would do well to set himself right in the use of them, before he gets to Paris.

A prompt French Marquis, at our ambassador’s table, demanded of Mr. H—, if he was H— the poet? No, said Mr. H—, mildly. Tant pis, replied the Marquis.

It is H— the historian, said another, Tant mieux, said the Marquis. And Mr. H—, who is a man of an excellent heart, return’d thanks for both.

When the landlord had set me right in this matter, he called in La Fleur, which was the name of the young man he had spoke of — saying only first, that as for his talents he would presume to say nothing — Monsieur was the best judge what would suit him; but for the fidelity of La Fleur he would stand responsible in all he was worth.

The landlord deliver’d this in a manner which instantly set my mind to the business I was upon — and La Fleur, who stood waiting without, in that breathless expectation which every son of Nature of us have felt in our turns, came in. ["Montreuil," p. 51-52]


Sterne, Laurence. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. With 100 illustrations by Tony Johannot. London: Willoughby, 1857.

Turner, Katherine. "Notes." Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (1768). Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2010.

Last modified 21 September 2018