Sunday, June 23, 2019

“Laurie, powl ’em”

Sundry stories:

A many Idle tales are told of Sterne in the Country. Once it is said that as he was going over the Fields on a sunday to preach at Stillington it happened that his Pointer Dog sprung a Covey of Partridges, when he went directly home for his Gun and left his Flock that was waiting for him in the Church, in the lurch.

Another time when he was skaiting on the Car at Stillington, the Ice broke in with him in the middle of the Pond, and none of the Parishioners wou’d assist to extricate him, as they were at variance. Another time a Flock of Geese assembled in the Church Yard at Sutton, when his Wife bawl’d out, “Laurie, powl ’em,” i.e. pluck the quills, on which they were ready to riot and mob Laurie.


Sterne’e Popularity at one time arose to that pitch, that on a Wager laid in London that a Letter addressed to Tristram Shandy in Europe shou’d reach him when luckily the Letter came down into Yorkshire and the Post Boy meeting Sterne on the road to Sutton pulled off his hatt and gave it him.

From “Yorkshire Anecdotes,” in The Complete Works and Life of Laurence Sterne (1904).
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