[ 20 ]

get all be-virtu'd, -- be-pictur'd, -- be-
butterflied, and be-fiddled.

  The more my uncle Toby drank of this
sweet fountain of science, the greater
was the heat and impatience of his thirst,
so that, before the first year of his con-
finement had well gone round, there was
scarce a fortified town in Italy or Flanders,
of which, by one means or other, he had
not procured a plan, reading over as he
got them, and carefully collating there-
with the histories of their sieges, their de-
molitions, their improvements and new
works, all which he would read with that
intense application and delight, that he
would forget himself, his wound, his
confinement, his dinner.

  In the second year my uncle Toby pur-
chased Ramelli and Cataneo, translated

[ 21 ]

from the Italian ; ---- likewise Stevinus,
Marolis, the Chevalier de Ville, Lorini,
Coehorn, Sheeter, the Count de Pagan,
the Marshal Vauban, Mons. Blondel, with
almost as many more books of military
architecture, as Don Quixote was found
to have of chivalry, when the curate and
barber invaded his library.

  Towards the beginning of the third
year, which was in August, Ninety-nine,
my uncle Toby found it necessary to un-
derstand a little of projectiles : -- And ha-
ving judged it best to draw his know-
ledge from the fountain-head, he began
with N. Tartaglia, who it seems was the
first man who detected the imposition of
a cannon-ball's doing all that mischief
under the notion of a right line. -- This
N. Tartaglia proved to my uncle Toby to
be an impossible thing.
             B 3              -- Endless

[ 22 ]

   ------ Endless is the Search of
Truth !

  No sooner was my uncle Toby satisfied
which road the cannon-ball did not go,
but he was insensibly led on, and resolved
in his mind to enquire and find out
which road the ball did go : For which
purpose he was obliged to set off afresh
with old Maltus, and studied him devout-
ly. -- He proceeded next to Gallileo and
Torricellius, wherein, by certain geome-
trical rules, infallibly laid down, he found
the precise path to be a PARABOLA, -- or
else an HYPERBOLA, -- and that the pa-
rameter, or latus rectum, of the conic sec-
tion of the said path, was to the quantity
and amplitude in a direct ratio, as the
whole line to the sine of double the angle
of incidence, form'd by the breech upon
a horizontal plane ; -- and that the semi-

[ 23 ]

parameter, ------ stop ! my dear uncle
Toby, -- stop ! -- go not one foot further
into this thorny and bewilder'd track, --
intricate are the steps ! intricate are the
mases of this labyrinth ! intricate are the
troubles which the pursuit of this be-
witching phantom, KNOWLEDGE, will
bring upon thee. -- O my uncle ! fly -- fly --
fly from it as from a serpent. -- Is it fit,
good-natur'd man ! thou should'st sit up,
with the wound upon thy groin, whole
nights baking thy blood with hectic
watchings ? -- Alas ! 'twill exasperate thy
symptoms, -- check thy perspirations, --
evaporate thy spirits, -- waste thy animal
strength, -- dry up thy radical moisture, --
bring thee into a costive habit of body,
impair thy health, -- and hasten all the
infirmities of thy old age. -- my uncle !
my uncle Toby!

                          C H A P.

[ 24 ]

C H A P. IV.

I Would not give a groat for that man's
knowledge in pen-craft, who does not
understand this, ---- That the best plain
narrative in the world, tack'd very close
to the last spirited apostrophe to my un-
cle Toby, -- would have felt both cold and
vapid upon the reader's palate ; -- there-
fore I forthwith put an end to the chap-
ter, -- though I was in the middle of my

   ------ Writers of my stamp have
one principle in common with painters. --
Where an exact copying makes our
pictures less striking, we choose the less
evil ; deeming it even more pardonable
to trespass against truth, than beauty. --
This is to be understood cum grano salis;

[ 25 ]

but be it as it will, -- as the parallel is
made more for the sake of letting the
apostrophe cool, than any thing else, --
'tis not very material whether upon any
other score the reader approves of it or

  In the latter end of the third year, my
uncle Toby perceiving that the parameter
and semi-parameter of the conic section,
angered his wound, he left off the study
of projectiles in a kind of a huff, and
betook himself to the practical part of
fortification only ; the pleasure of which,
like a spring held back, returned upon
him with redoubled force.

  It was in this year that my uncle be-
gan to break in upon the daily regularity
of a clean shirt, ---- to dismiss his barber
unshaven, ---- and to allow his surgeon

[ 26 ]

scarce time sufficient to dress his wound,
concerning himself so little about it, as
not to ask him once in seven times dres-
sing how it went on : When, lo ! -- all of
a sudden, for the change was as quick as
lightening, he began to sigh heavily for
his recovery, -- complain'd to my father,
grew impatient with the surgeon ; -- and
one morning as he heard his foot com-
ing up stairs, he shut up his books, and
thrust aside his instruments, in order to
expostulate with him upon the protrac-
tion of his cure, which, he told him,
might surely have been accomplished at
least by that time : -- He dwelt long upon
the miseries he had undergone, and the
sorrows of his four years melancholy
imprisonment ; -- adding, that had it not
been for the kind looks, and fraternal
chearings of the best of brothers, -- he
had long since sunk under his misfor-
             1              tunes. --

[ 27 ]

tunes. -- My father was by : My uncle
Toby's eloquence brought tears into his
eyes ; -- 'twas unexpected. -- My uncle
Toby, by nature, was not eloquent ; --
it had the greater effect. -- The Surgeon
was confounded; -- not that there wanted
grounds for such, or greater, marks of
impatience, -- but 'twas unexpected too ;
in the four years he had attended him,
he had never seen any thing like it in
my uncle Toby's carriage ; -- he had never
once dropp'd one fretful or discontented
word ; -- he had been all patience, -- all

   -- We lose the right of complaining
sometimes by forbearing it ; ---- but we
oftener treble the force : -- The Surgeon
was astonished ; -- but much more so,
when he heard my uncle Toby go on, and
peremptorily insist upon his healing up

[ 28 ]

the wound directly, ---- or sending for
Monsieur Ronjat, the King's Serjeant-
Surgeon, to do it for him.

  The desire of life and health is im-
planted in man's nature ; -- the love of
liberty and enlargement is a sister passion
to it : These my uncle Toby had in com-
mon with his species ; -- and either of
them had been sufficient to account for
his earnest desire to get well and out of
doors ; -- but I have told you before that
nothing wrought with our family after '
the common way ; -- and from the time
and manner in which this eager desire
shew'd itself in the present case, the pe-
netrating reader will suspect there was
some other cause or crotchet for it in my
uncle Toby's head : -- There was so, and
'tis the subject of the next chapter to set
forth what that cause and crotchet was.

[ 29 ]

I own, when that's done, 'twill be time
to return back to the parlour fire-side,
where we left my uncle Toby in the mid-
dle of his sentence.

C H A P. V.

WHEN a man gives himself up to
the government of a ruling pas-
sion, ---- or, in other words, when his
HOBBY-HORSE grows head-strong, --
farewell cool reason and fair discretion !

  My uncle Toby's wound was near well,
and as soon as the surgeon recovered his
surprize, and could get leave to say as
much -- he told him, 'twas just beginning
to incarnate ; and that if no fresh exfolia-
tion happen'd, which there was no signs
of, -- it would be dried up in five or six

[ 30 ]

weeks. The sound of as many olym-
piads twelve hours before, would have
convey'd an idea of shorter duration to
my uncle Toby's mind. -- The succession
of his ideas was now rapid, -- he broil'd
with impatience to put his design in
execution ; -- and so, without consulting
further with any soul living, ---- which,
by the bye, I think is right, when you
are predetermined to take no one soul's
advice, -- he privately ordered Trim, his
man, to pack up a bundle of lint and
dressings, and hire a chariot and four to
be at the door exactly by twelve o'clock
that day, when he knew my father would
be upon 'Change. -- So leaving a bank-
note upon the table for the surgeon's
care of him, and a letter of tender thanks
for his brother's, -- he pack'd up his
maps, his books of fortification, his in-
struments, &c. -- and, by the help of a

[ 31 ]

crutch on one side, and Trim on the
other, ---- my uncle Toby embark'd for

  The reason, or rather the rise, of this
sudden demigration, was as follows :

  The table in my uncle Toby's room,
and at which, the night before this
change happened, he was sitting with his
maps, &c. about him, -- being somewhat
of the smallest, for that infinity of great
and small instruments of knowledge
which usually lay crouded upon it ; -- he
had the accident, in reaching over for
his tobacco-box, to throw down his com-
passes, and in stooping to take the com-
passes up, with his sleeve he threw down
his case of instruments and snuffers ; --
and as the dice took a run against him,
in his endeavouring to catch the snuffers
   VOL. II        C            in

[ 32 ]

in falling, -- he thrust Monsieur Blondel
off the table and Count de Pagan o' top
of him.

  'Twas to no purpose for a man, lame
as my uncle Toby was, to think of redres-
sing all these evils by himself, -- he rung
his bell for his man Trim ; -- Trim ! quoth
my uncle Toby, pri'thee see what confu-
sion I have here been making. -- I must
have some better contrivance, Trim. --
Can'st not thou take my rule and mea-
sure the length and breadth of this table,
and then go and bespeak me one as big
again ? -- Yes, an' please your Honour,
replied Trim, making a bow ; -- but I
hope your Honour will be soon well
enough to get down to your country seat,
where, -- as your Honour takes so much
pleasure in fortification, we could ma-
nage this mater to a T.

[ 33 ]

  I must here inform you, that this ser-
vant of my uncle Toby's, who went by
the name of Trim, had been a Corporal
in my uncle's own company, ---- his real
name was James Butler, -- but having
got the nick-name of Trim in the regi-
ment, my uncle Toby, unless when he hap-
pened to be very angry with him, would
never call him by any other name.

  The poor fellow had been disabled
for the service, by a wound on his left
knee by a musket-bullet, at the battle of
Landen, which was two years before the
affair of Namur ; -- and as the fellow was
well beloved in the regiment, and a
handy fellow into the bargain, my uncle
Toby took him for his servant, and of ex-
cellent use was he, attending my uncle
Toby in the camp and in his quarters as
valet, groom, barber, cook, sempster,
             C 2              and

[ 34 ]

and nurse ; and indeed, from first to last,
waited upon him and served him with
great fidelity and affection.

  My uncle Toby loved the man in re-
turn, and what attached him more to
him still, was the similitude of their
knowledge : -- For Corporal Trim, (for
so, for the future, I shall call him) by
four years occasional attention to his
Master's discourse upon fortified towns,
and the advantage of prying and peeping
continually into his Master's plans, &c.
exclusive and besides what he gained
HOBBY-HORSICALLY, as a body-servant,
Non Hobby-Horsical per se ; ---- had be-
come no mean proficient in the science ;
and was thought, by the cook and cham-
ber-maid, to know as much of the na-
ture of strong-holds as my uncle Toby

[ 35 ]

  I have but one more stroke to give to
finish Corporal Trim's character, -- and it
is the only dark line in it. -- The fellow
lov'd to advise, -- or rather to hear him-
self talk ; his carriage, however, was so
perfectly respectful, 'twas easy to keep
him silent when you had him so ; but set
his tongue a-going, -- you had no hold
of him ; -- he was voluble ; -- the eternal
interlardings of your Honour, with the
respectfulness of Corporal Trim's manner,
interceeding so strong in behalf of his
elocution, -- that tho' you might have
been incommoded, -- you could not well
be angry. My uncle Toby was seldom
either the one or the other with him, --
or, at least, this fault, in Trim, broke no
squares with 'em. My uncle Toby, as
I said, loved the man ; -- and besides, as
he ever looked upon a faithful servant, --
but as a humble friend, -- he could not
             C 3              bear

[ 36 ]

bear to stop his mouth. -- Such was Cor-
poral Trim.

  If I durst presume, continued Trim,
to give your Honour my advice, and
speak my opinion in this matter. -- Thou
art welcome, Trim, quoth my uncle
Toby, -- speak, -- speak what thou thinkest
upon the subject, man, without fear.
Why then, replied Trim, (not hanging
his ears and scratching his head like a
country lout, but) stroking his hair back
from his forehead, and standing erect as
before his division. ------ I think, quoth
Trim, advancing his left, which was his
lame leg, a little forwards, -- and point-
ing with his right hand open towards a
map of Dunkirk, which was pinn'd against
the hangings, -- I think, quoth Corporal
Trim, with humble submission to your
Honour's better judgment, -- that these

[ 37 ]

ravelins, bastions, curtins, and horn-
works make but a poor, contemptible,
fiddle faddle piece of work of it here
upon paper, compared to what your Ho-
nour and I could make of it, were we in
the country by ourselves, and had but a
rood, or a rood and a half of ground to
do what we pleased with : As summer is
coming on, continued Trim, your Ho-
nour might sit out of doors, and give me
the nography ---- (call it ichnography,
quoth my uncle) -- of the town or cita-
del, your Honour was pleased to sit down
before, -- and I will be shot by your Ho-
nour upon the glacis of it, if I did not
fortify it to your Honour's mind. -- I dare
say thou would'st Trim, quoth my uncle.
-- For if your Honour, continued the
Corporal, could but mark me the poly-
gon, with its exact lines and angles ----
that I could do very well, quoth my
             C 4              uncle

[ 38 ]

uncle. -- I would begin with the fossé,
and if your Honour could tell me the
proper depth and breadth, -- I can to a
hair's breadth, Trim, replied my uncle, --
I would throw out the earth upon this
hand towards the town for the scarp, --
and on that hand towards the campaign
for the counterscarp, -- very right, Trim,
quoth my uncle Toby, -- and when I had
sloped them to your mind, -- an' please
your Honour, I would face the glacis, as
the finest fortifications are done in Flan-
, with sods, ---- and as your Honour
knows they should be, ---- and I would
make the walls and parapets with sods
too ; -- the best engineers call them ga-
zons, Trim, said my uncle Toby ; -- whe-
ther they are gazons or sods is not much
matter, replied Trim, your Honour knows
they are ten times beyond a facing either
of brick or stone ; ---- I know they are,

[ 39 ]

Trim, in some respects, -- quoth my uncle
Toby, nodding his head ; -- for a cannon-
ball enters into the gazon right onwards,
without bringing any rubbish down with
it, which might fill the fossé, (as was the
case at St. Nicolas's Gate) and facilitate
the passage over it.

  Your Honour understands these mat-
ters, replied Corporal Trim, better than
any officer in his Majesty's service ; ----
but would your Honour please to let the
bespeaking of the table alone, and let us
but go into the country, I would work
under your Honour's directions like a
horse, and make fortifications for you
something like a tansy, with all their
batteries, saps, ditches, and pallisadoes,
that it should be worth all the world's
riding twenty miles to go and see it.