[ 60 ]

in an ambling condition. -- They were
not. ------ Imagine to yourself, Obadiah
mounted upon a strong monster of a
coach-horse, prick'd into a full gallop,
and making all practicable speed the ad-
verse way.

  Pray, Sir, let me interest you a mo-
ment in this description.

  Had Dr. Slop beheld Obadiah a mile
off, posting in a narrow lane directly to-
wards him, at that monstrous rate, ----
splashing and plunging like a devil thro'
thick and thin, as he approach'd, would
not such a ph2aenomenon, with such a vor-
tex of mud and water moving along with
it, round its axis, -- have been a subject
of juster apprehension to Dr. Slop in his
situation, than the worst of Whiston's co-
mets ? -- To say nothing of the NUCLEUS ;

[ 61 ]

that is, of Obadiah and the coach-horse.
------ In my idea, the vortex alone of
'em was enough to have involved and
carried, if not the Doctor, at least the
Doctor's pony quite away with it. What
then do you think must the terror and
hydrophobia of Dr. Slop have been, when
you read, (which you are just going to
do) that he was advancing thus warily
along towards Shandy-Hall, and had ap-
proach'd to within sixty yards of it, and
within five yards of a sudden turn, made
by an acute angle of the garden wall,
-- and in the dirtiest part of a dirty lane,
-- when Obadiah and his coach-horse
turn'd the corner, rapid, furious, -- pop,
-- full upon him ! -- Nothing, I think,
in nature, can be supposed more terrible,
than such a Rencounter, -- so imprompt !
so ill prepared to stand the shock of it as
Dr. Slop was !
             1              What

[ 62 ]

  What could Dr. Slop do ? -- He cross'd
himself + -- Pugh ! -- but the Doctor,
Sir, was a Papist. -- No matter ; he had
better have kept hold of the pummel. --
He had so ; -- nay, as it happen'd, he had
better have done nothing at all ; -- for in
crossing himself, he let go his whip, --
and in attempting to save his whip be-
twixt his knee and his saddle's skirt, as
it slipp'd, he lost his stirrup, -- in losing
which, he lost his seat ; -- and in the
multitude of all these losses, (which, by
the bye, shews what little advantage
there is in crossing) the unfortunate Doc-
tor lost his presence of mind. So that,
without waiting for Obadiah's onset, he
left his pony to its destiny, tumbling off
it diagonally, something in the stile and
manner of a pack of wool, and without
any other consequence from the fall, save
that of being left, (as it would have been)

[ 63 ]

with the broadest part of him sunk about
twelve inches deep in the mire.

  Obadiah pull'd off his cap twice to Dr.
Slop ; ---- once as he was falling, -- and
then again when he saw him seated. -- Ill
timed complaisance ! ---- had not the fel-
low better have stopp'd his horse, and got
off and help'd him ? -- Sir, he did all
that his situation would allow ; -- but the
MOMENTUM of the coach-horse was so
great, that Obadiah could not do it all at
once ; ---- he rode in a circle three times
round Dr. Slop, before he could fully
accomplish it any how ; -- and at the last,
when he did stop his beast, 'twas done
with such an explosion of mud, that Oba-
had better have been a league off.
In short, never was a Dr. Slop so beluted,
and so transubstantiated, since that affair
came into fashion.
   VOL. II        E            C H A P.

[ 64 ]

C H A P. X.

WHEN Dr. Slop entered the back
parlour, where my father and
my uncle Toby were discoursing upon
the nature of women, -- it was hard to
determine whether Dr. Slop's figure, or
Dr. Slop's presence, occasioned more sur-
prize to them ; for as the accident hap-
pened so near the house, as not to make
it worth while for Obadiah to remount
him, -- Obadiah had led him in as he
was, unwiped, unappointed, unanealed, with
all his stains and blotches on him. ----
He stood like Hamlet's ghost, motion-
less and speechless, for a full minute and
a half, at the parlour door, (Obadiah
still holding his hand) with all the ma-
jesty of mud. His hinder parts, upon
which he had received his fall, totally

[ 65 ]

besmear'd, -- and in every other part of
him, blotched over in such a manner
with Obadiah's explosion, that you would
have sworn, (without mental reservation)
that every grain of it had taken ef-

  Here was a fair opportunity for my
uncle Toby to have triumph'd over my
father in his turn ; -- for no mortal, who
had beheld Dr. Slop in that pickle, could
have dissented from so much, at least, of
my uncle Toby's opinion, ``That may-
``hap his sister might not care to let
``such a Dr. Slop come so near her
`` * * * *'' But it was the Argu-
mentum ad hominem
; and if my uncle
Toby was not very expert at it, you may
think, he might not care to use it. --
No ; the reason was, -- 'twas not his na-
ture to insult.
             E 2              Dr.

[ 66 ]

  Dr. Slop's presence, at that time, was
no less problematical than the mode of
it ; tho', it is certain, one moment's re-
flection in my father might have solved
it ; for he had apprized Dr. Slop but the
week before, that my mother was at her
full reckoning ; and as the Doctor had
heard nothing since, 'twas natural and
very political too in him, to have taken
a ride to Shandy-Hall, as he did, merely
to see how matters went on.

  But my father's mind took unfortu-
nately a wrong turn in the investigation ;
running, like the hypercritick's, altogether
upon the ringing of the bell and the
rap upon the door, -- measuring their dis-
tance, -- and keeping his mind so intent
upon the operation, as to have power to
think of nothing else, -- common-place
infirmity of the greatest mathematicians !

[ 67 ]

working with might and main at the de-
monstration, and so wasting all their
strength upon it, that they have none
left in them to draw the corollary, to do
good with.

  The ringing of the bell and the rap
upon the door, struck likewise strong
upon the sensorium of my uncle Toby, --
but it excited a very different train of
thoughts ; -- the two irreconcileable pul-
sations instantly brought Stevinus, the
great engineer, along with them, into my
uncle Toby's mind : -- What business
Stevinus had in this affair, -- is the greatest
problem of all ; -- it shall be solved, --
but not in the next chapter.

             E 3              C H A P.

[ 68 ]

C H A P. XI.

WRiting, when properly managed,
(as you may be sure I think mine
is) is but a different name for conversa-
tion : As no one, who knows what he is
about in good company, would venture
to talk all ; -- so no author, who under-
stands the just boundaries of decorum
and good breeding, would presume to
think all : The truest respect which you can pay
to the reader's understanding, is
to halve this matter amicably, and leave
him something to imagine, in his turn,
as well as yourself.

  For my own part, I am eternally pay-
ing him compliments of this kind, and
do all that lies in my power to keep his
imagination as busy as my own.

[ 69 ]

  'Tis his turn now ; -- I have given an
ample description of Dr. Slop's sad over-
throw, and of his sad appearance in the
back parlour ; ---- his imagination must
now go on with it for a while.

  Let the reader imagine then, that Dr.
Slop has told his tale ; -- and in what
words, and with what aggravations his
fancy chooses : ---- Let him suppose that
Obadiah has told his tale also, and with
such rueful looks of affected concern,
as he thinks will best contrast the two
figures as they stand by each other :
Let him imagine that my father has
stepp'd up stairs to see my mother : --
And, to conclude this work of imagina-
tion, -- let him imagine the Doctor wash'd,
---- rubb'd down, ---- condoled with, --
felicitated, -- got into a pair of Obadiah's
pumps, stepping forwards towards the
             E 4              door,

[ 70 ]

door, upon the very point of entering
upon action.

  Truce ! -- truce, good Dr. Slop ! -- stay
thy obstetrick hand ; -- return it safe into
thy bosom to keep it warm ; -- little do'st
thou know what obstacles ; -- little do'st
thou think what hidden causes retard its
operation ! -- Hast thou, Dr. Slop, -- hast
thou been intrusted with the secret ar-
ticles of this solemn treaty which has
brought thee into this place ? -- Art thou
aware that, at this instant, a daughter of
Lucina is put obstetrically over thy head ?
Alas ! 'tis too true. -- Besides, great son
of Pilumnus ! what can'st thou do ? ----
Thou has come forth unarm'd ; -- thou
hast left thy tire-tête, -- thy new-invented
forceps, -- thy crotchet, -- thy squirt, and
all thy instruments of salvation and deli-
verance behind thee. ------ By heaven !

[ 71 ]

at this moment they are hanging up in a
green bays bag, betwixt thy two pistols,
at thy bed's head ! -- Ring ; -- call ; -- send
Obadiah back upon the coach-horse to
bring them with all speed.

   -- Make great haste, Obadiah, quoth
my father, and I'll give thee a crown ; --
and, quoth my uncle Toby, I'll give him


YOUR sudden and unexpected ar-
rival, quoth my uncle Toby, ad-
dressing himself to Dr. Slop, (all three of
them sitting down to the fire together,
as my uncle Toby began to speak) -- in-
stantly brought the great Stevinus into
my head, who, you must know, is a fa-

[ 72 ]

vourite author with me. ------ Then,
added my father, making use of the ar-
gument Ad Crumenam, ---- I will lay
twenty guineas to a single crown piece,
(which will serve to give away to Oba-
when he gets back) that this same
Stevinus was some engineer or other, --
or has wrote something or other, either
directly or indirectly, upon the science of

  He has so, -- replied my uncle Toby. --
I knew it, said my father ; -- tho', for
the soul of me, I cannot see what kind
of connection there can be betwixt Dr.
Slop's sudden coming, and a discourse
upon fortification ; -- yet I fear'd it. --
Talk of what we will, brother, -- or let
the occasion be never so foreign or unfit
for the subject, -- you are sure to bring
it in : I would not, brother Toby, con-

[ 73 ]

tinued my father, -- I declare I would
not have my head so full of curtins and
horn-works. ---- That, I dare say, you
would not, quoth Dr. Slop, interrupting
him, and laughing most immoderately at
his pun.

  Dennis the critick could not detest and
abhor a pun, or the insinuation of a pun,
more cordially than my father ; ---- he
would grow testy upon it at any time ; --
but to be broke in upon by one, in a
serious discourse, was as bad, he would
say, as a fillip upon the nose ; -- he saw
no difference.

  Sir, quoth my uncle Toby, addressing
himself to Dr. Slop, ---- the curtins my
brother Shandy mentions here have no-
thing to do with bed-steads ; -- tho', I
know, Du Cange says, ``That bed-cur-

[ 74 ]

``tains, in all probability, have taken their
``name from them ;'' -- nor have
the horn-works, he speaks of, any thing
in the world to do with the horn-works
of cuckoldom : -- But the curtin, Sir, is the
word we use in fortification, for that part
of the wall or rampart which lies between
the two bastions and joins them. ---- Be-
siegers seldom offer to carry on their at-
tacks directly against the curtin, for this
reason, because they are so well flanked;
('tis the case of other curtins, quoth Dr.
Slop, laughing) however, continued my
uncle Toby, to make them sure, we ge-
nerally choose to place ravelins before
them, taking care only to extend them
beyond the fos*sé or ditch : -- The com-
mon men, who know very little of for-
tification, confound the ravelin and the
half-moon together, -- tho' they are very
different things ; -- not in their figure or

[ 75 ]

construction, for we make them exactly
alike in all points ; -- for they always con-
sist of two faces, making a salient angle,
with the gorges, not straight, but in
form of a crescent. -- Where then lies the
difference ? (quoth my father, a little
testily ) -- In their situations, answered my
uncle Toby : -- For when a ravelin, bro-
ther, stands before the curtain, it is a ra-
velin ; and when a ravelin stands before
a bastion, then the ravelin is not a rave-
lin ; -- it is a half-moon ; -- a half-moon
likewise is a half-moon, and no more, so
long as it stands before its bastion ; -- but
was it to change place, and get before
the curtin, -- 'twould be no longer a half-
moon ; a half-moon, in that case, is not
a half-moon ; -- 'tis no more than a rave-
lin. -- I think, quoth my father, that the
noble science of defence has its weak
sides, -- as well as others.
                          -- As

[ 76 ]

   -- As for the horn-works (high! ho!
sigh'd my father) which, continued my
uncle Toby, my brother was speaking of,
they are a very considerable part of an
outwork ; -- they are called by the French
engineers Ouvrage á corne, and we gene-
rally make them to cover such places as
we suspect to be weaker than the rest ; --
'tis form'd by two epaulments or demi-
bastions, -- they are very pretty, and if
you will take a walk, I'll engage to shew
you one well worth your trouble. ---- I
own, continued my uncle Toby, when we
crown them, -- they are much stronger,
but then they are very expensive, and
take up a great deal of ground ; so that,
in my opinion, they are most of use to
cover or defend the head of a camp ;
otherwise the double tenaille ------ By
the mother who bore us ! ---- brother

[ 77 ]

Toby, quoth my father, not able to hold
out any longer, -- you would provoke a
saint ; -- here have you got us, I know not
how, not only souse into the middle of the
old subject again : -- But so full is your
head of these confounded works, that
tho' my wife is this moment in the pains
of labour, -- and you hear her cry out, --
yet nothing will serve you but to carry
off the man-midwife. ---- Accoucheur, --
if you please, quoth Dr. Slop. -- With all
my heart, replied my father, I don't care
what they call you, ---- but I wish the
whole science of fortification, with all its
inventors, at the Devil ; -- it has been the
death of thousands, -- and it will be mine,
in the end. -- I would not, I would not,
brother Toby, have my brains so full of
saps, mines, blinds, gabions, palisadoes,
ravelins, half-moons, and such trum-

[ 78 ]

pery, to be proprietor of Namur, and of
all the towns in Flanders with it.

  My uncle Toby was a man patient of
injuries ; -- not from want of courage, -- I
have told you in the fifth chapter of this
second book, ``That he was a man of
courage :'' -- And will add here, that
where just occasions presented, or called
it forth, -- I know no man under whose
arm I would sooner have taken shelter ;
nor did this arise from any insensibility
or obtuseness of his intellectual parts ; --
for he felt this insult of my father's as
feelingly as a man could do ; -- but he
was of a peaceful, placid nature, -- no
jarring element in it, -- all was mix'd up
so kindly within him ; my uncle Toby
had scarce a heart to retalliate upon
a fly.
                          -- Go

[ 79 ]

  -- Go -- says he, one day at dinner, to
an over-grown one which had buzz'd
about his nose, and tormented him cruelly
all dinner-time, -- and which, after infinite
attempts, he had caught at last, as it flew
by him ; -- I'll not hurt thee, says my uncle
Toby, rising from his chair, and going a-
cross the room, with the fly in his hand,
-- I'll not hurt a hair of thy head : -- Go,
says he, lifting up the sash, and opening
his hand as he spoke, to let it escape ; --
go poor Devil, get thee gone, why should
I hurt thee ? -- This world surely is wide
enough to hold both thee and me.

  I was but ten years old when this hap-
pened ; -- but whether it was, that the
action itself was more in unison to my
nerves at that age of pity, which instant-
ly set my whole frame into one vibration
of most pleasurable sensation ; -- or how
   VOL. II        F            far