From the first moment I sat down to write my life for the amusement of the world, and my opinions for its instruction, has a cloud insensibly been gathering over my father.⁠⸺⁠A tide of little evils and distresses has been setting in against him.⁠—Not one thing, as he observed himself, has gone right: and now is the storm thicken’d and going to break, and pour down full upon his head.

I enter upon this part of my story in the most pensive and melancholy frame of mind that ever sympathetic breast was touched with.⁠⸺⁠My nerves relax as I tell it.⁠⸺⁠Every line I write, I feel an abatement of the quickness of my pulse, and of that careless alacrity with it, which every day of my life prompts me to say and write a thousand things I should not.⁠⸺⁠And this moment that I last dipp’d my pen into my ink, I could not help taking notice what a cautious air of sad composure and solemnity there appear’d in my manner of doing it.⁠⸺⁠Lord! how different from the rash jerks and hair-brain’d squirts thou art wont, Tristram, to transact it with in other humours⁠—dropping thy pen⁠⸺⁠spurting thy ink about thy table and thy books⁠—as if thy pen and thy ink, thy books and furniture cost thee nothing!