t will probably strike the reader as more extraordinary even than this coincidence is that Sterne should have been either unaware of it, or should have omitted mention of it in the above passage.]
There is, as has been observed, a certain mixture of the comic and the pathetic in the life-history of this obscure father of a famous son. His life was clearly not a fortunate one, so far as external circumstances go; but its misfortunes had no sort of consoling dignity about them. Roger Sterne's lot in the world was not so much an unhappy as an uncomfortable one; and discomfort earns little sympathy, and absolutely no admiration, for its sufferers. He somehow reminds us of one of those Irish heroes--good-natured, peppery, debt-loaded, light-hearted, shiftless--whose fortunes we follow with mirthful and half-contemptuous sympathy in the pages of Thackeray. He was obviously a typical specimen of that class of men who are destitute alike of the virtues and failings of the "respectable" and successful; whom man
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