Excerpt from "A Sentimental Journey"

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Excerpt from "A Sentimental Journey"


Excerpt from Sterne depicting Yorick's perception of relations and awkwardly delicate description of the fille de chambre.


In this oddly sexual account of an interaction with a fille de chambre, Yorick remarks that the fille de chambre is so sentimentally in tune with himself that they must be related. Yorick had previously described the girl as "submissive" and "humble," suggesting a perverted sense of attraction that he may have toward her. Yorick's usage of the word "consanguinity" suggests that Yorick senses both a physical and humoric relation between them, which demonstrates Yorick's characteristic sentimentality. Futhermore, by highlighting his sympathetic connection with the fille de chambre, Sterne asserts through Yorick that the highest cause of sympathy is relationship.


Laurence Sterne



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"For my own part, I felt the conviction of consanguinity so strongly, that I could not help turning half round to look in her face, and see if I could trace out any thing in it of a family likeness - Tut! said I, are we not all relations?"

Original Format



Laurence Sterne, “Excerpt from "A Sentimental Journey",” Enlightenmens, accessed December 2, 2022, http://enlightenmens.lmc.gatech.edu/items/show/872.

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