T  H  E

L   I   F   E

A  N  D



G E N T L E M A N.

Tarassei tous Anthropous ou ta Pragmata,
alla ta peri ton Pragmaton, Dogmata.

V O L. II.


L O N D O N :

Printed for R. and J. DODSLEY in Pall-Mall.


L I F E  and  O P I N I O N S


T R I S T R A M S H A N D Y, Gent.


C H A P. I.

I Have begun a new book, on purpose
that I might have room enough to
explain the nature of the perplexities
in which my uncle Toby was involved,
from the many discourses and interroga-
tions about the siege of Namur, where
he received his wound.

  I must remind the reader, in case he
has read the history of King William's
             A 2              wars,

[ 2 ]

wars, -- but if he has not, -- I then inform
him that one of the most memorable at-
tacks in that siege, was that which was
made by the English and Dutch upon the
point of the advanced counterscarp, be-
fore the gate of St. Nicolas, which inclo-
sed the great sluice or water-stop, where
the English were terribly exposed to the
shot of the counter-guard and demi-
bastion of St. Roch: The issue of which
hot dispute, in three words, was this ;
That the Dutch lodged themselves upon
the counter-guard, -- and that the English
made themselves masters of the covered
way before St. Nicolas's gate, notwith-
standing the gallantry of the French offi-
cers, who exposed themselves upon the
glacis sword in hand.

  As this was the principal attack of
which my uncle Toby was an eye-witness

[ 3 ]

at Namur, ---- the army of the besiegers
being cut off, by the confluence of the
Maes and Sambre, from seeing much of
each other's operations, -- my uncle Toby
was generally more eloquent and parti-
cular in his account of it ; and the many
perplexities he was in, arose out of the
almost insurmountable difficulties he found
in telling his story intelligibly,
and giving such clear ideas of the differ-
ences and distinctions between the scarp
and counterscarp, ---- the glacis and co-
vered way, ---- the half-moon and rave-
lin, ---- as to make his company fully
comprehend where and what he was

  Writers themselves are too apt to con-
found these terms ; ---- so that you will
the less wonder, if in his endeavours to
explain them, and in opposition to many
             A 3              mis-

[ 4 ]

misconceptions, that my uncle Toby did
oft times puzzle his visiters ; and some-
times himself too.

   To speak the truth, unless the compa-
ny my father led up stairs were tolerably
clear-headed, or my uncle Toby was in
one of his best explanatory moods, 'twas
a difficult thing, do what he could, to
keep the discourse free from obscurity.

  What rendered the account of this
affair the more intricate to my uncle
Toby, was this, -- that in the attack of the
counterscarp before the gate of St. Ni-
, extending itself from the bank of
the Maes, quite up to the great water-
stop ; -- the ground was cut and cross-cut
with such a multitude of dykes, drains,
rivulets, and sluices, on all sides, -- and
he would get so sadly bewilder'd and set

[ 5 ]

fast amongst them, that frequently he
could neither get backwards or forwards
to save his life ; and was oft times obli-
ged to give up the attack upon that very
account only.

  These perplexing rebuffs gave my
uncle Toby Shandy more perturbations
than you would imagine ; and as my
father's kindness to him was continually
dragging up fresh friends and fresh in-
quirers, -- he had but a very uneasy task
of it.

  No doubt my uncle Toby had great
command of himself, -- and could guard
appearances, I believe, as well as most
men ; -- yet any one may imagine, that
when he could not retreat out of the ra-
velin without getting into the half-moon,
or get out of the covered way without
             A 4              falling

[ 6 ]

falling down the counterscarp, nor cross
the dyke without danger of slipping into
the ditch, but that he must have fretted
and fumed inwardly: -- He did so; -- and
these little and hourly vexations, which
may seem trifling and of no account to
the man who has not read Hippocrates,
yet, whoever has read Hippocrates, or
Dr. James Mackenzie, and has considered
well the effects which the passions and
affections of the mind have upon the di-
gestion -- (Why not of a wound as well
as of a dinner ?) ---- may easily conceive
what sharp paroxisms and exacerbations
of his wound my uncle Toby must have
undergone upon that score only.

-- My uncle Toby could not philoso-
phize upon it ; -- 'twas enough he felt it
was so, -- and having sustained the pain
and sorrows of it for three months toge-

[ 7 ]

ther, he was resolved some way or other
to extricate himself.

  He was one morning lying upon his
back in his bed, the anguish and nature
of the wound upon his groin suffering
him to lye in no other position, when a
thought came into his head, that if he
could purchase such a thing, and have it
pasted down upon a board, as a large
map of the fortifications of the town and
citadel of Namur, with its environs, it
might be a means of giving him ease. --
I take notice of his desire to have the
environs along with the town and cita-
del, for this reason, -- because my uncle
Toby's wound was got in one of the tra-
verses, about thirty toises from the re-
turning angle of the trench, opposite to
the salient angle of the demi-bastion of
St. Roch ; ---- so that he was pretty con-

[ 8 ]

fident he could stick a pin upon the iden-
tical spot of ground where he was stand-
ing in when the stone struck him.

  All this succeeded to his wishes, and
not only freed him from a world of sad
explanations, but, in the end, it prov'd
the happy means, as you will read, of
procuring my uncle Toby his HOBBY-

C H A P. II.

THere is nothing so foolish, when
you are at the expence of making
an entertainment of this kind, as to or-
der things so badly, as to let your cri-
ticks and gentry of refined taste run it
down : Nor is there any thing so likely

[ 9 ]

to make them do it, as that of leaving
them out of the party, or, what is full as
offensive, of bestowing your attention
upon the rest of your guests in so parti-
cular a way, as if there was no such
thing as a critick (by occupation) at

   ------ I guard against both ; for, in
the first place, I have left half a dozen
places purposely open for them ; -- and,
in the next place, I pay them all court, --
Gentlemen, I kiss your hands, -- I pro-
test no company could give me half the
pleasure, -- by my soul I am glad to see
you, ---- I beg only you will make no
strangers of yourselves, but sit down
without any ceremony, and fall on hear-


[ 10 ]

  I said I had left six places, and I was
upon the point of carrying my complai-
sance so far, as to have left a seventh
open for them, -- and in this very spot I
stand on ; -- but being told by a critick,
(tho' not by occupation, --- but by nature)
that I had acquitted myself well enough,
I shall fill it up directly, hoping, in the
mean time, that I shall be able to make
a great deal of more room next year.

   ------ How, in the name of wonder!
could your uncle Toby, who, it seems,
was a military man, and whom you have
represented as no fool, -- be at the same
time such a confused, pudding headed,
muddle headed fellow, as -- Go look.

  So, Sir Critick, I could have replied ;
but I scorn it. ------ 'Tis language un-
urbane, ---- and only befitting the man

[ 11 ]

who cannot give clear and satisfactory
accounts of things, or dive deep enough
into the first causes of human ignorance
and confusion. It is moreover the re-
ply valiant, -- and therefore I reject it ;
for tho' it might have suited my uncle
Toby's character as a soldier excellently
well, -- and had he not accustomed him-
self, in such attacks, to whistle the Lilla-
, -- as he wanted no courage, 'tis
the very answer he would have given ;
yet it would by no means have done for
me. You see as plain as can be, that I
write as a man of erudition ; -- that even
my similes, my allusions, my illustra-
tions, my metaphors, are erudite, -- and
that I must sustain my character properly,
and contrast it properly too, -- else what
would become of me ? Why, Sir, I
should be undone ; -- at this very mo-
ment that I am going here to fill up one

[ 12 ]

place against a critick, -- I should have
made an opening for a couple.

  ------ Therefore I answer thus :

  Pray, Sir, in all the reading which you
have ever read, did you ever read such a
book as Locke's Essay upon the Human
Understanding ? ------ Don't answer me
rashly, -- because many, I know, quote the
book, who have not read it, -- and many
have read it who understand it not : -- If
either of these is your case, as I write to
instruct, I will tell you in three words
what the book is. -- It is a history. -- A
history ! of who ? what ? where ? when ?
Don't hurry yourself. ---- It is a history-
book, Sir, (which may possibly recom-
mend it to the world) of what passes in a
man's own mind ; and if you will say so
much of the book, and no more, believe

[ 13 ]

me, you will cut no contemptible figure
in a metaphysic circle.

  But this by the way.

  Now if you will venture to go along
with me, and look down into the bottom
of this matter, it will be found that the
cause of obscurity and confusion, in the
mind of man, is threefold.

  Dull organs, dear Sir, in the first place.
Secondly, slight and transient impressions
made by objects when the said organs are
not dull. And, thirdly, a memory like
unto a sieve, not able to retain what it has
received. -- Call down Dolly your cham-
ber-maid, and I will give you my cap
and bell along with it, if I make not this
matter so plain that Dolly herself shall
understand it as well as Malbranch. ----
             3              When

[ 14 ]

When Dolly has indited her epistle to
Robin, and has thrust her arm into the
bottom of her pocket hanging by her
right side ; ---- take that opportunity to
recollect that the organs and faculties of
perception, can, by nothing in this world,
be so aptly typified and explained as by
that one thing which Dolly's hand is in
search of. -- Your organs are not so dull
that I should inform you -- 'tis an inch,
Sir, of red seal-wax.

  When this is melted and dropp'd upon
the letter, -- if Dolly fumbles too long for
her thimble, till the wax is over harden'd,
it will not receive the mark of her thim-
ble from the usual impulse which was
wont to imprint it. Very well: If Dolly's
wax, for want of better, is bees-wax, or
of a temper too soft, -- tho' it may re-
ceive, -- it will not hold the impression,
             1              how

[ 15 ]

how hard soever Dolly thrusts against it ;
and last of all, supposing the wax good,
and eke the thimble, but applied there-
to in careless haste, as her mistress rings
the bell ; ---- in any one of these three
cases, the print, left by the thimble, will
be as unlike the prototype as a brass-

  Now you must understand that not
one of these was the true cause of the
confusion in my uncle Toby's discourse ;
and it is for that very reason I enlarge
upon them so long, after the manner of
great physiologists, -- to shew the world
what it did not arise from.

  What it did arise from, I have hinted
above, and a fertile source of obscurity
it is, -- and ever will be, -- and that is the
unsteady uses of words which have per-
   VOL. II        B            plexed

[ 16 ]

plexed the clearest and most exalted un-

  It is ten to one, (at Arthur's) whether
you have ever read the literary histories
of past ages ; -- if you have, -- what ter-
rible battles, yclept logomachies, have
they occasioned and perpetuated with
so much gall and ink-shed, -- that a good
natured man cannot read the accounts
of them without tears in his eyes.

  Gentle critick ! when thou hast weigh'd
all this, and consider'd within thyself how
much of thy own knowledge, discourse,
and conversation has been pestered and
disordered, at one time or other, by this,
and this only : ---- What a pudder and
racket in COUNCILS about ousia and hypo-
; and in the SCHOOLS of the learned
about power and about spirit ; -- about
             4              essences,

[ 17 ]

essences, and about quintessences ; ----
about substances, and about space. ----
What confusion in greater THEATRES
from words of little meaning, and as in-
determinate a sense; -- when thou consi-
ders this, thou wilt not wonder at my
uncle Toby's perplexities, -- thou wilt drop
a tear of pity upon his scarp and his coun-
terscarp ; -- his glacis and his covered-
way ; -- his ravelin and his half-moon :
'Twas not by ideas, ---- by heaven !
his life was put in jeopardy by words.


WHen my uncle Toby got his map
of Namur to his mind, he began
immediately to apply himself, and with
the utmost diligence, to the study of it ;
for nothing being of more importance
             B 2              to

[ 18 ]

to him that his recovery, and his reco-
very depending, as you have read, up-
on the passions and affections of his
mind, it behoved him to take the nicest
care to make himself so far master of his
subject, as to be able to talk upon it
without emotion.

  In a fortnight's close and painful ap-
plication, which, by the bye, did my
uncle Toby's wound, upon his groin, no
good, -- he was enabled, by the help of
some marginal documents at the feet of
the elephant, together with Gobesius's mi-
litary architecture and pyroballogy, trans-
lated from the Flemish, to form his dis-
course with passable perspicuity ; and,
before he was two full months gone, --
he was right eloquent upon it, and could
make not only the attack of the advan-

[ 19 ]

ced counterscarp with great order ; ----
but having, by that time, gone much
deeper into the art, than what his first
motive made necessary, -- my uncle Toby
was able to cross the Maes and Sambre ;
make diversions as far as Vauban's line,
the abbey of Salsines, &c. and give his
visiters as distinct a history of each of
their attacks, as of that of the gate of
St. Nicholas, where he had the honour to
receive his wound.

  But the desire of knowledge, like the
thirst of riches, increases ever with the ac-
quisition of it. The more my uncle Toby
pored over his map, the more he took a
liking to it ; -- by the same process and
electrical assimilation, as I told you, thro'
which I ween the souls of connoisseurs
themselves, by long friction and incum-
bition, have the happiness, at length, to
             B 3              get