Given that the disapproving Pichot thanked him "de s'etre au moins dispense de la toux" ("for having at least dispensed with the cough"; 49), Lockroy likely not only aestheticized the consumptive's most painfully conspicuous symptom, but actually minimized its appearance in performance.
If he played down the cough, he played up the consumptive's pallor.
Angele was followed by a string of plays in which a similarly pale and lovelorn young consumptive played a pivotal role.
Les Filles de Marbre marked the moment of the consumptive hero's full acceptance on English-speaking stages.
Derided by Lytton Bulwer as a sign of French decadence and emasculation, the consumptive hero, his torments, and the virtuoso acting they invited now sold The Marble Heart to an English-speaking audience.
As works like The Marble Heart moved across the Atlantic, the constructions of emotional, national, class, and gender identity that had shaped the consumptive heroes of Europe became available for the representation of North American cultural idols.
Chambers's Cyclopaedia lists one of the causes of consumption as the 'accidental': that is, something that is not hereditary or 'natural'. This consumptive time is irregular, disorderly, without narrative structure.
that thou art, and ever will be!' One wonders whether Sterne had in mind, both in these passages and throughout the novel, the physician Sir Thomas Browne's comment in his letter concerning the death of a consumptive: 'The whole course of Time runs out at the Nativity and Death of things.'
Indeed a certain messenger of death; but know, that of all the bailiffs sent to arrest us to the debt of nature, none useth his prisoners with more civility and courtesie.' Sir Thomas Browne's description of the 'soft death' of a consumptive in his 'Letter to a Friend' was similarly influential from its publication in 1690 right into the nineteenth century. Consumption was regarded as a disease that, unless 'galloping', allowed time for the good man to prepare himself for death.
In the light of the tradition of the consumptive 'good death' one can view Tristram Shandy as an extended and ironic meditation on this ideal. Consumptive time, in the view of Fuller and Browne, is indeed a carefully composed religious narrative, culminating in the peaceful acceptance of the sick man into the kingdom of heaven.
Sterne 'set the wheels a-going', but was no more in control of the eventual outcome than any other serial writer subject to the general contingencies of life, and certainly no more than any other consumptive writer: Keats, to take the obvious example, was forced to stop writing a year before he died.
Despite the general logic of accidental and 'diseased' narrative time, Sterne does seem to have attempted to imagine both a peaceful consumptive good death and an orderly narrative in the Yorick episode of the first volume, a point at which Sterne was still finding his modus operandi for Tristram Shandy.