*Calais (ka-LAY). French port town on the English Channel, where Yorick lands after crossing from England. The author places travelers in various categories such as “Inquisitive” and “Splenetic.” Yorick himself wishes to be a “sentimental traveller.” He will experience the world without a jaundiced eye, and thereby learn more about himself than about the places he visits. It hardly concerns this type of traveler where he goes; it is the journey that matters.
Yorick has not entirely slipped into the sentimental mode when he first arrives in Calais. While dining at a local inn, he rudely dismisses a poor monk seeking alms. He quickly repents of his harsh treatment, however, and, through the rest of the novel treats people, from noblemen to beggars, with great interest and compassion. This is particularly true of the many women he encounters. Though Calais is Yorick’s first experience in a foreign country, he spends his entire time there flirting with a woman from Brussels. Time is largely irrelevant to the sentimental traveler. If one looks at everything around him with interest in his heart, he muses, “what a large volume of adventures may be grasped” within a single hour.
*Paris. French capital and obligatory stop on the grand tour of Europe. On the way to the great city, Yorick employs a manservant named La Fleur, a young Frenchman who is a sentimental traveler in his own right and who sees the world through his heart. When they arrive in Paris, Yorick makes a point of avoiding famous sites such as the Louvre, the Palais Royal, and galleries and churches. He believes that the “originals” of art are humankind and that all people are temples unto themselves. Sterne himself was a cleric, and Christian love for one’s neighbor, both charitable and physical, suffuses his traveler’s universe.
Eschewing the city’s traditional tourist spots,...
(The entire section is 797 words.)