[ 40 ]

  My uncle Toby blushed as red as scar-
let as Trim went on ; -- but it was not a
blush of guilt, -- of modesty, -- or of an-
ger ; -- it was a blush of joy ; -- he was
fired with Corporal Trim's project and
description. -- Trim ! said my uncle Toby,
thou hast said enough. -- We might be-
gin the campaign, continued Trim, on
the very day that his Majesty and the
Allies take the field, and demolish 'em
town by town as fast as ---- Trim, quoth
my uncle Toby, say no more. -- Your Ho-
nour, continued Trim, might sit in your
arm-chair, (pointing to it) this fine
weather, giving me your orders, and I
would ---- Say no more, Trim, quoth my
uncle Toby. ------ Besides, your Honour
would get not only pleasure and good
pastime, -- but good air, and good exer-
cise, and good health, -- and your Ho-
nour's wound would be well in a month.

[ 41 ]

Thou hast said enough, Trim, -- quoth
my uncle Toby, (putting his hand into
his breeches-pocket) -- I like thy project
mightily ; -- and if your Honour pleases,
I'll, this moment, go and buy a pioneer's
spade to take down with us, and I'll be-
speak a shovel and a pick-ax, and a couple
of ------ Say no more, Trim, quoth my
uncle Toby, leaping up upon one leg,
quite overcome with rapture, ---- and
thrusting a guinea into Trim's hand. ----
Trim, said my uncle Toby, say no more;
-- but go down, Trim, this moment,
my lad, and bring up my supper this

  Trim ran down and brought up his
Master's supper, -- to no purpose : ----
Trim's plan of operation ran so in my
uncle Toby's head, he could not taste
it. -- Trim, quoth my uncle Toby, get me

[ 42 ]

to bed; -- 'twas all one. -- Corporal Trim's
description had fired his imagination, --
my uncle Toby could not shut his eyes. --
The more he consider'd it, the more be-
witching the scene appeared to him ; --
so that, two full hours before day-light,
he had come to a final determination, and
had concerted the whole plan of his and
Corporal Trim's decampment.

  My uncle Toby had a little neat coun-
try-house of his own, in the village where
my father's estate lay at Shandy, which
had been left him by an old uncle,
with a small estate of about one hundred
pounds a-year. Behind this house, and
contiguous to it, was a kitchen-garden
of about half an acre ; -- and at the bot-
tom of the garden, and cut off from it
by a tall yew hedge, was a bowling-
green, containing just about as much

[ 43 ]

ground as Corporal Trim wished for ; --
so that as Trim uttered the words, ``A
rood and a half of ground to do what
they would with :'' ---- this identical
bowling-green instantly presented itself,
and became curiously painted, all at once,
upon the retina of my uncle Toby's fancy ;
------ which was the physical cause of
making him change colour, or at least,
of heightening his blush to that immo-
derate degree I spoke of.

  Never did lover post down to a belov'd
mistress with more heat and expectation,
than my uncle Toby did, to enjoy this
self-same thing in private ; -- I say in pri-
vate ; ---- for it was sheltered from the
house, as I told you, by a tall yew hedge,
and was covered on the other three sides,
from mortal sight, by rough holly and
thickset flowering shrubs ; -- so that the

[ 44 ]

idea of not being seen, did not a little
contribute to the idea of pleasure pre-
conceived in my uncle Toby's mind. --
Vain thought ! however thick it was
planted about, ---- or private soever it
might seem, -- to think, dear uncle Toby,
of enjoying a thing which took up a
whole rood and a half of ground, -- and
not have it known !

  How my uncle Toby and Corporal Trim
managed this matter, -- with the history
of their campaigns, which were no way
barren of events, -- may make no unin-
teresting under-plot in the epitasis and
working up of this drama. -- At present
the scene must drop, -- and change for
the parlour fire-side.

                          C H A P.

[ 45 ]

C H A P. VI.

   ------ What can they be doing,
brother ? said my father. -- I think, re-
plied my uncle Toby, -- taking, as I told
you, his pipe from his mouth, and strik-
ing the ashes out of it as he began his
sentence ; -- I think, replied he, -- it would
not be amiss, brother, if we rung the

  Pray, what's all that racket over our
heads, Obadiah ? -- quoth my father ; --
my brother and I can scarce hear our-
selves speak.

  Sir, answer'd Obadiah, making a bow
towards his left shoulder, -- my Mistress
is taken very badly ; -- and where's Su-
running down the garden there,

[ 46 ]

as if they were going to ravish her. ----
Sir, she is running the shortest cut into
the town, replied Obadiah, to fetch the
old midwife. ------ Then saddle a horse,
quoth my father, and do you go direct-
ly for Dr. Slop, the man-midwife, with
all our services, -- and let him know your
Mistress is fallen into labour, -- and that
I desire he will return with you with all

  It is very strange, says my father, ad-
dressing himself to my uncle Toby, as
Obadiah shut the door, -- as there is so
expert an operator as Dr. Slop so near --
that my wife should persist to the very
last in this obstinate humour of hers, in
trusting the life of my child, who has had
one misfortune already, to the ignorance
of an old woman ; ---- and not only the
life of my child, brother, -- but her own

[ 47 ]

life, and with it the lives of all the chil-
dren I might, peradventure, have begot
out of her hereafter.

  Mayhap, brother, replied my uncle
Toby, my sister does it to save the ex-
pense : -- A pudding's end, -- replied
my father, ---- the Doctor must be paid the
same for inaction as action, -- if not bet-
ter, -- to keep him in temper.

   ------ Then it can be out of no-
thing in the whole world, quoth my
uncle Toby, in the simplicity of his heart,
-- but MODESTY : -- My sister, I dare
say, added he, does not care to let a
man come so near her * * * *. I will
not say whether my uncle Toby had com-
pleated the sentence or not ; ------ 'tis for
his advantage to suppose he had, ----
as, I think, he could have added no
   VOL. II        D            ONE

[ 48 ]

ONE WORD which would have im-
proved it.

  If, on the contrary. my uncle Toby had
not fully arrived at his period's end, --
then the world stands indebted to the
sudden snapping of my father's tobacco-
pipe, for one of the neatest examples of
that ornamental figure in oratory, which
Rhetoricians stile the Aposiopesis. -- Just
heaven ! how does the Poco piu and the
Poco meno of the Italian artists ; -- the in-
sensible MORE or LESS, determine the
precise line of beauty in the sentence, as
well as in the statue ! How do the slight
touches of the chisel, the pencil, the pen,
the fiddle-stick, et cætera, -- give the true
swell, which gives the true pleasure ! -- O
my countrymen ! -- be nice ; -- be cau-
tious of your language ; ---- and never,
O ! never let it be forgotten upon what

[ 49 ]

small particles your eloquence and your
fame depend.

   ---- ``My sister, mayhap, quoth my
``uncle Toby, does not choose to let a
``man come so near her * * * *'' Make
this dash, -- 'tis an Aposiopesis. -- Take
the dash away, and write Backside, ----
'tis Bawdy. -- Scratch Backside out, and
put Cover'd-way in, -- 'tis a Metaphor; --
and, I dare say, as fortification ran so
much in my uncle Toby's head, that if he
had been left to have added one word to
the sentence, -- that word was it.

  But whether that was the case or not
the case ; -- or whether the snapping of
my father's tobacco-pipe so critically,
happened thro' accident or anger, -- will
be seen in due time.

             D 2              CHAP.

[ 50 ]


THO' my father was a good natural
philosopher, -- yet he was some-
thing of a moral philosopher too ; for
which reason, when his tobacco-pipe
snapp'd short in the middle, ---- he had
nothing to do, -- as such, -- but to have
taken hold of the two pieces, and thrown
them gently upon the back of the fire. --
He did no such thing ; -- he threw them
with all the violence in the world ; -- and,
to give the action still more emphasis, --
he started up upon both his legs to
do it.

  This look'd something like heat ; ----
and the manner of his reply to what
my uncle Toby was saying prov'd it
was so.

[ 51 ]

   -- ``Not choose, quoth my father, (re-
peating my uncle Toby's words) to let a
man come so near her ---- '' By hea-
ven, brother Toby ! you would try the
patience of a Job ; -- and I think I have
the plagues of one already, without it.
---- Why ? -- Where ? -- Wherein ? ----
Wherefore ? -- Upon what account, re-
plied my uncle Toby, in the utmost asto-
nishment. ---- To think, said my father,
of a man living to your age, brother,
and knowing so little about women ! --
I know nothing at all about them, -- re-
plied my uncle Toby ;and I think. con-
tinued he, that the shock I received the
year after the demolition of Dunkirk, in
my affair with widow Wadman ; -- which
shock you know I should not have re-
ceived, but from my total ignorance of
the sex, -- has given me just cause to say,
That I neither know, nor do pretend to
             D 3              know,

[ 52 ]

know, any thing about 'em, or their
concerns either. ---- Methinks, brother,
replied my father, you might, at least,
know so much as the right end of a
woman from the wrong.

  It is said in Aristotle's Master-Piece,
``That when a man doth think of any
``thing which is past, -- he looketh down
``upon the ground ; -- but that when he
``thinketh of something which is to come,
``he looketh up towards the heavens.''

  My uncle Toby, I suppose, thought of
neither, -- for he look'd horizontally. --
Right end, -- quoth my uncle Toby, mut-
tering the two words low to himself, and
fixing his two eyes insensibly, as he mut-
tered them, upon a small crevice, form'd
by a bad joint in the chimney-piece. --
Right end of a woman ! ---- I declare,

[ 53 ]

quoth my uncle, I know no more which
it is, than the man in the moon ; -- and if
I was to think, continued my uncle Toby,
(keeping his eye still fix'd upon the bad
joint) this month together, I am sure I
should not be able to find it out.

  Then brother Toby, replied my father,
I will tell you.

  Every thing in this world, continued
my father, (filling a fresh pipe) -- every
thing in this earthly world, my dear bro-
ther Toby, has two handles ; -- not always,
quoth my uncle Toby ; -- at least, replied
my father, every one has two hands, --
which comes to the same thing. -- Now,
if a man was to sit down coolly, and con-
sider within himself the make, the shape,
the construction, com-at-ability, and con-
venience of all the parts which constitute
             D 4              the

[ 54 ]

the whole of that animal, call'd Woman,
and compare them analogically -- I never
understood rightly the meaning of that
word, ---- quoth my uncle Toby. ------
ANALOGY, replied my father, is the cer-
tain relation and agreement, which dif-
ferent -- Here a Devil of a rap at the door
snapp'd my father's definition (like his
tobacco-pipe) in two, -- and, at the same
time, crushed the head of as notable and
curious a dissertation as ever was engen-
dered in the womb of speculation ; -- it
was some months before my father could
get an opportunity to be safely deliver'd
of it : -- And, at this hour, it is a thing
full as problematical as the subject of the
dissertation itself, -- (considering the confu-
sion and distresses of our domestick mis-
adventures, which are now coming thick
one upon the back of another) whether

[ 55 ]

I shall be able to find a place for it in
the third volume or not.


IT is about an hour and a half's tole-
rable good reading since my uncle
Toby rung the bell, when Obadiah was
order'd to saddle a horse, and go for Dr.
Slop, the man-midwife ; -- so that no one
can say, with reason, that I have not al-
lowed Obadiah time enough, poetically
speaking, and considering the emergency
too, both to go and come ; ------ tho', mo-
rally and truly speaking, the man,
perhaps, has scarce had time to get on
his boots.

  If the hypercritick will go upon this ;
and is resolved after all to take a pen-

[ 56 ]

dulum, and measure the true distance
betwixt the ringing of the bell and the
rap at the door ; -- and, after finding it to
be no more than two minutes, thirteen
seconds, and three fifths, ---- should take
upon him to insult over me for such a
breach in the unity, or rather probability,
of time ; -- I would remind him, that the
idea of duration and of its simple modes,
is got merely from the train and succes-
sion of our ideas, -- and is the true scho-
lastick pendulum, ---- and by which, as a
scholar, I will be tried in this matter, --
abjuring and detesting the jurisdiction of
all other pendulums whatever.

  I would, therefore, desire him to con-
sider that it is but poor eight miles from
Shandy-Hall to Dr. Slop, the man-mid-
wife's house ; -- and that whilst Obadiah
has been going those said miles and back,

[ 57 ]

I have brought my uncle Toby from Na-
, quite across all Flanders, into Eng-
land :
-- That I have had him ill upon my
hands near four years ; -- and have since
travelled him and Corporal Trim, in a
chariot and four, a journey of near two
hundred miles down into Yorkshire ; -- all
which put together, must have prepared
the reader's imagination for the enter-
ance of Dr. Slop upon the stage, -- as
much, at least, (I hope) as a dance, a
song, or a concerto between the acts.

  If my hypercritick is intractable, -- al-
ledging, that two minutes and thirteen
seconds are no more than two minutes
and thirteen seconds, -- when I have said
all I can about them ; -- and that this
plea, tho' it might save me dramatically,
will damn me biographically, rendering
my book, from this very moment, a pro-

[ 58 ]

fess'd ROMANCE, which, before, was a
book apocryphal : ---- If I am thus pres-
sed -- I then put an end to the whole
objection and controversy about it all at
once, -- by acquainting him, that Obadiah
had not got above threescore yards from
the stable-yard before he met with Dr.
Slop ; -- and indeed he gave a dirty proof
that he had met with him, -- and was
within an ace of giving a tragical one

  Imagine to yourself ; -- but this had
better begin a new chapter.

C H A P. IX.

IMagine to yourself a little, squat, un-
courtly figure of a Doctor Slop, of
about four feet and a half perpendicular

[ 59 ]

height, with a breadth of back, and a
sesquipedality of belly, which might have
done honour to a Serjeant in the Horse-

  Such were the out-lines of Dr. Slop's
figure, which, -- if you have read Ho-
's analysis of beauty, and if you have
not, I wish you would ; -- you must know,
may as certainly be caracatur'd, and con-
vey'd to the mind by three strokes as
three hundred.

  Imagine such a one, -- for such, I say,
were the out-lines of Dr. Slop's figure, co-
ming slowly along, foot by foot, wad-
dling thro' the dirt upon the vertebræ
of a little diminutive pony, -- of a pretty
colour ; -- but of strength, -- alack ! ----
scarce able to have made an amble of it,
under such a fardel, had the roads been