[ 140 ]

  ``In how many kingdoms of the world,''
[Here Trim kept waving his right hand
from the sermon to the extent of his arm,
returning it backwards and forwards to
the conclusion of the paragraph.]

  ``In how many kingdoms of the world
``has the crusading sword of this mis-
``guided saint-errant spared neither age,
``or merit, or sex, or condition ? -- and,
``as he fought under the banners of a
``religion which set him loose from ju-
``stice and humanity, he shew'd none ;
``mercilessly trampled upon both, ----
``heard neither the cries of the unfortu-
``nate, nor pitied their distresses.''

  [I have been in many a battle, an'
please your Honour, quoth Trim, sighing,
but never in so melancholy a one as
this. -- I would not have drawn a tricker

[ 141 ]

in it, against these poor souls, ---- to
have been made a general officer. ----
Why, what do you understand of the
affair ? said Doctor Slop, looking towards
Trim with something more of contempt than
the Corporal's honest heart deserved. --
What do you know, friend, about this
battle you talk of ? ---- I know, replied
Trim, that I never refused quarter in my
life to any man who cried out for it ; --
but to a woman or a child, continued
Trim, before I would level my musket
at them, I would lose my life a thou-
sand times. ---- Here's a crown for thee,
Trim, to drink with Obadiah to-night,
quoth my uncle Toby, and I'll give Oba-
another too. -- God bless your Ho-
nour, replied Trim, -- I had rather these
poor women and chil-dren had it. ------
Thou art an honest fellow, quoth my
uncle Toby. ------ My father nodded his

[ 142 ]

head, ---- as much as to say, ---- and so
he is. ------

  But pri'thee, Trim, said my father, make
an end, -- for I see thou hast but a leaf
or two left.]

        Corporal Trim read on.

  ``If the testimony of past centuries
``in this matter is not sufficient, -- con-
``sider, at this instant, how the votaries
``of that religion are every day thinking
``to do service and honour to God, by
``actions which are a dishonour and scan-
``dal to themselves.

  ``To be convinced of this, go with
``me for a moment into the prisons of
``the inquisition.'' [God help my poor
brother Tom.] -- ``Behold Religion, with

[ 143 ]

``Mercy and Justice chained down under
``her feet, -- there sitting ghastly upon
``a black tribunal, propp'd up with racks
``and instruments of torment. Hark !
``-- hark ! what a piteous groan !'' [Here
Trim's face turned as pale as ashes.]
``See the melancholy wretch who ut-
``ter'd it,'' -- [Here the tears began to
trickle down] ``just brought forth to un-
``dergo the anguish of a mock trial, and
``endure the utmost pains that a studied
``system of cruelty has been able to in-
``vent.'' -- [D--n them all, quoth Trim,
his colour returning into his face as red
as blood.] -- ``Behold this helpless victim
``delivered up to his tormentors, -- his
``body so wasted with sorrow and con-
``finement.'' ---- [Oh ! 'tis my brother,
cried poor Trim in a most passionate
exclamation, dropping the sermon upon
the ground, and clapping his hands to-
   VOL. II        K            gether.

[ 144 ]

gether -- I fear 'tis poor Tom. My fa-
ther's and my uncle Toby's hearts yearn'd
with sympathy for the poor fellow's di-
stress, -- even Slop himself acknowledged
pity for him. -- Why, Trim, said my fa-
ther, this is not a history, -- 'tis a sermon
thou art reading ; -- pri'thee begin the
sentence again.] -- ``Behold this helpless
``victim deliver'd up to his tormentors,
``-- his body so wasted with sorrow and
``confinement, you will see every nerve
``and muscle as it suffers.

  ``Observe the last movement of that
``horrid engine !'' [I would rather face
a cannon, quoth Trim, stamping.] ----
``See what convulsions it has thrown
``him into ! ---- Consider the nature of
``the posture in which he now lies
``stretched, -- what exquisite tortures he
``endures by it !'' ---- [I hope 'tis not in

[ 145 ]

Portugal.] -- ``'Tis all nature can bear !
``Good God ! see how it keeps his weary
``soul hanging upon his trembling lips !
[I would not read another line of it,
quoth Trim, for all this world ; -- I fear,
an' please your Honours, all this is in
Portugal, where my poor brother Tom is.
I tell thee, Trim, again, quoth my father,
'tis not an historical account, -- 'tis a de-
scription. -- 'Tis only a description, honest
man, quoth Slop, there's not a word of
truth in it. -- That's another story, replied
my father. -- However, as Trim reads it
with so much concern, -- 'tis cruelty to
force him to go on with it. -- Give me
hold of the sermon, Trim, -- I'll finish it
for thee, and thou may'st go. I must stay
and hear it too, replied Trim, if your Ho-
nour will allow me ; -- tho' I would not
read it myself for a Colonel's pay. ----
             K 2              Poor

[ 146 ]

Poor Trim ! quoth my uncle Toby. My
father went on.]

   -- ``Consider the nature of the posture
``in which he now lies stretch'd, -- what
``exquisite torture he endures by it ! --
``'Tis all nature can bear ! -- Good God !
``See how it keeps his weary soul hang-
``ing upon his trembling lips, -- willing
``to take its leave, ---- but not suffered
``to depart ! ---- Behold the unhappy
``wretch led back to his cell !'' [Then,
thank God, however, quoth Trim, they
have not killed him] -- ``See him dragg'd
``out of it again to meet the flames, and
``the insults in his last agonies, which
``this principle, ---- this principle, that
``there can be religion without mercy,
``has prepared for him.'' [Then, thank
God, -- he is dead, quoth Trim, -- he is

[ 147 ]

out of his pain, -- and they have done
their worst at him. -- O Sirs ! ---- Hold
your peace, Trim, said my father, going
on with the sermon, lest Trim should in-
cense Dr. Slop, -- we shall never have done
at this rate. ]

  ``The surest way to try the merit of
``any disputed notion is, to trace down
``the consequences such a notion has
``produced, and compare them with the
``spirit of Christianity ; -- 'tis the short
``and decisive rule which our Saviour
``hath left us, for these and such-like
``cases, and it is worth a thousand ar-
``guments, -- By their fruits ye shall know

  ``I will add no further to the length
``of this sermon, than, by two or three
             K 3              ``short

[ 148 ]

``short and independent rules deducible
``from it.

  ``First, Whenever a man talks loudly
``against religion, -- always suspect that it
``is not his reason, but his passions which
``have got the better of his CREED. A
``bad life and a good belief are disagree-
``able and troublesome neighbours, and
``where they separate, depend upon it, 'tis
``for no other cause but quietness sake.

  ``Secondly, When a man, thus represen-
``ted, tells you in any particular instance,
``-- That such a thing goes against his
``conscience, -- always believe he means
``exactly the same thing, as when he tells
``you such a thing goes against his sto-
``mach ; -- a present want of appetite
``being generally the true cause of both.
             1              ``in

[ 149 ]

  ``In a word, -- trust that man in no-
``thing, who has not a CONSCIENCE in
``every thing.

  ``And, in your own case, remember
``this plain distinction, a mistake in
``which has ruined thousands, ---- that
``your conscience is not a law : -- No, God
``and reason made the law, and have
``placed conscience within you to deter-
``mine ; -- not like an Asiatick Cadi, ac-
``cording to the ebbs and flows of his
``own passions, -- but like a British judge
``in this land of liberty and good sense,
``who makes no new law, but faithfully
``declares that law which he knows al-
``ready written.''


             K 4              Thou

[ 150 ]

  Thou hast read the sermon extremely
well, Trim, quoth my father. -- If he had
spared his comments, replied Dr. Slop,
he would have read it much better. I
should have read it ten times better, Sir,
answered Trim, but that my heart was so
full. -- That was the very reason, Trim,
replied my father, which has made thee
read the sermon as well as thou hast done ;
and if the clergy of our church, continued
my father, addressing himself to Dr. Slop,
would take part in what they deliver, as
deeply as this poor fellow has done, -- as
their compositions are fine, (I deny it,
quoth Dr. Slop) I maintain it, that the
eloquence of our pulpits, with such sub-
jects to inflame it, -- would be a model
for the whole world : -- But, alas ! con-
tinued my father, and I own it, Sir, with
sorrow, that, like French politicians in this
respect, what they gain in the cabinet
             1              they

[ 151 ]

they lose in the field. ---- 'Twere a pity,
quoth my uncle, that this should be lost.
I like the sermon well, replied my fa-
ther, ---- 'tis dramatic, ---- and there is
something in that way of writing, when
skilfully managed, which catches the at-
tention. ------ We preach much in that
way with us, said Dr. Slop. -- I know that
very well, said my father, -- but in a tone
and manner which disgusted Dr. Slop,
full as much as his assent, simply, could
have pleased him. ---- But in this, added
Dr. Slop, a little piqued, ---- our sermons
have greatly the advantage, that we ne-
ver introduce any character into them
below a patriarch or a patriarch's wife,
or a martyr or a saint. -- There are some
very bad characters in this, however, said
my father, and I do not think the sermon
a jot the worse for 'em. ------ But pray,
quoth my uncle Toby, -- who's can this

[ 152 ]

be ? -- How could it get into my Stevi-
A man must be as great a conjurer
as Stevinus, said my father, to resolve
the second question : -- The first, I think,
is not so difficult; -- for unless my judg-
ment greatly deceives me, ---- I know the
author, for 'tis wrote, certainly, by the
parson of the parish.

  The similitude of the stile and man-
ner of it, with those my father con-
stantly had heard preach'd in his pa-
rish-church, was the ground of his con-
jecture, ---- proving it as strongly, as
an argument a priori, could prove such
a thing to a philosophic mind, That
it was Yorick's and no one's else : -----
It was proved to be so a posteriori,
the day after, when Yorick sent a ser-
vant to my uncle Toby's house to enquire
after it.

[ 153 ]

  It seems that Yorick, who was inqui-
sitive after all kinds of knowledge, had
borrowed Stevinus of my uncle Toby, and
had carelesly popp'd his sermon, as soon
as he had made it, into the middle of
Stevinus ; and, by an act of forgetfulness,
to which he was ever subject, he had
sent Stevinus home, and his sermon to
keep him company.

  Ill-fated sermon ! Thou wast lost, after
this recovery of thee, a second time,
dropp'd thro' an unsuspected fissure in
thy master's pocket, down into a trea-
cherous and a tatter'd lining, -- trod deep
into the dirt by the left hind foot of his
Rosinante, inhumanly stepping upon thee
as thou falledst ; -- buried ten days in the
mire, -- raised up out of it by a beggar,
sold for a halfpenny to a parish-clerk, --
transferred to his parson, -- lost for ever

[ 154 ]

to thy own, the remainder of his days, --
nor restored to his restless MANES till
this very moment, that I tell the world
the story.

  Can the reader believe, that this ser-
mon of Yorick's was preach'd at an assize,
in the cathedral of York, before a thou-
sand witnesses, ready to give oath of it,
by a certain prebendary of that church,
and actually printed by him when he had
done, ---- and within so short a space as
two years and three months after Yorick's
death. -- Yorick, indeed, was never better
served in his life ! ---- but it was a little
hard to male-treat him before, and plun-
der him after he was laid in his grave.

  However, as the gentleman who did
it, was in perfect charity with Yorick, --
and, in conscious justice, printed but a

[ 155 ]

few copies to give away ; -- and that, I am
told, he could moreover have made as
good a one himself, had he thought fit,
-- I declare I would not have published
this anecdote to the world ; -- nor do I
publish it with an intent to hurt his cha-
racter and advancement in the church ; --
I leave that to others ; -- but I find my-
self impell'd by two reasons, which I
cannot withstand.

  The first is, That, in doing justice, I
may give rest to Yorick's ghost ; -- which,
as the country people, -- and some others,
believe, ---- still walks.

  The second reason is, That, by laying
open this story to the world, I gain an
opportunity of informing it, -- That in
case the character of parson Yorick, and
this sample of his sermons is liked, -- that

[ 156 ]

there are now in the possession of the
Shandy Family, as many as will make a
handsome volume, at the world's ser-
vice, ------ and much good may they
do it.


OBADIAH gain'd the two crowns
without dispute ; for he came in
jingling, with all the instruments in the
green bays bag we spoke of, slung across
his body, just as Corporal Trim went out
of the room.

  It is now proper, I think, quoth Dr.
Slop, (clearing up his looks) as we are in
a condition to be of some service to
Mrs. Shandy, to send up stairs to know
how she goes on.

[ 157 ]

  I have ordered, answered my father,
the old midwife to come down to us
upon the least difficulty ; ---- for you
must know, Dr. Slop, continued my fa-
ther, with a perplexed kind of a smile
upon his countenance, that by express
treaty, solemnly ratified between me and
my wife, you are no more than an auxi-
liary in this affair, -- and not so much
as that, ---- unless the lean old mother
of a midwife above stairs cannot do
without you. ------ Women have their
particular fancies, and in points of this
nature, continued my father, where they
bear the whole burden, and suffer so
much acute pain for the advantage of
our families, and the good of the spe-
cies, -- they claim a right of deciding,
en Soveraines, in whose hands, and in
what fashion, they chuse to undergo

[ 158 ]

  They are in the right of it, -- quoth
my uncle Toby. But, Sir, replied Dr.
Slop, not taking notice of my uncle Toby's
opinion, but turning to my father, -- they
had better govern in other points ; -- and
a father of a family, who wished its per-
petuity, in my opinion, had better ex-
change this prerogative with them, and
give up some other rights in lieu of it. --
I know not, quoth my father, answering
a little too testily, to be quite dispassion-
ate in what he said, -- I know not, quoth
he, what we have left to give up, in lieu
of who shall bring our children into the
world, -- unless that, -- of who shall beget
them. ---- One would almost give up
any thing, replied Dr. Slop. ---- I beg
your pardon, -- answered my uncle Toby.
---- Sir, replied Dr. Slop, it would asto-
nish you to know what Improvements
we have made of late years in all branches

[ 159 ]

of obstetrical knowledge, but particu-
larly in that one single point of the safe
and expeditious extraction of the foetus,
-- which has received such lights, that,
for my part, (holding up his hands) I
declare I wonder how the world has ---
I wish, quoth my uncle Toby, you had
seen what prodigious armies we had in


I Have dropp'd the curtain over this
scene for a minute, -- to remind you
of one thing, -- and to inform you of an-

  What I have to inform you, comes, I
own, a little out of its due course ; -- for
it should have been told a hundred and
   VOL. II        L            fifty