T  H  E

L   I   F   E

A  N  D



G E N T L E M A N.

Multidudinis imperitæ non formido judicia ; meis
   tamen, rogo parcant opusculis ---- in quibus
   fuit propositi semper, a jocis ad seria, a seriis
   vicissim ad jocos transire.

               JOAN. SARESBERIENSIS,
                    Episcopus Lugdun.


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 Wish, Dr. Slop,'' quoth my
uncle Toby (repeating his
wish for Dr. Slop a second time, and with
a degree of more zeal and earnestness in
his manner of wishing, than he had wish-
ed it at first *) ---- `` I wish, Dr. Slop,''
quoth my uncle Toby, ``you had seen what
``prodigious armies we had in Flanders

    * Vid. Vol. II, p. 159.

             A 3              My

[ 6 ]

  My uncle Toby's wish did Dr. Slop a
disservice which his heart never intended
any man, ---- Sir, it confounded him --
and thereby putting his ideas first into
confusion, and then to flight, he could
not rally them again for the soul of him.

  In all disputes, --- male or female, ---
whether for honour, for profit, or for love,
-- it makes no difference in the case ; --
nothing is more dangerous, madam, than
a wish coming sideways in this unexpect-
ed manner upon a man : the safest way in
general to take off the force of the wish,
is, for the party wished at, instantly to
get up upon his legs -- and wish the wisher
something in return, of pretty near the
same value, --- so balancing the account
upon the spot, you stand as you were --
nay sometimes gain the advantage of the
attack by it.

[ 7 ]

  This will be fully illustrated to the
world in my chapter of wishes. ----

  Dr. Slop did not understand the nature
of this defence ; ---- he was puzzled with
it, and it put an entire stop to the dis-
pute for four minutes and a half ; ----
five had been fatal to it : -- my father saw
the danger ---- the dispute was one of the
most interesting disputes in the world,
`` Whether the child of his prayers and
endeavours should be born without a
head or with one :'' ---- he waited to the
last moment to allow Dr. Slop, in whose
behalf the wish was made, his right of re-
turning it ; but perceiving, I say, that
he was confounded, and continued look-
ing with that perplexed vacuity of eye
which puzzled souls generally stare with,
---- first in my uncle Toby's face ---- then
in his --- then up --- then down --- then
             A 4              east

[ 8 ]

east ---- east and by east, and so on, ----
coasting it along by the plinth of the
wainscot till he had got to the opposite
point of the compass, -- and that he had
actually begun to count the brass nails
upon the arm of his chair ---- my father
thought there was no time to be lost with
my uncle Toby, so took up the discourse
as follows.

C H A P. II.

`` -- WHAT prodigious armies
you had in Flanders !'' ----

  Brother Toby, replied my father, taking
his wig from off his head with his right
hand, and with his left pulling out a
striped India handkerchief from his right
coat pocket, in order to rub his head,

[ 9 ]

as he argued the point with my uncle
Toby. ------

  ---- Now, in this I think my father
was much to blame ; and I will give you
my reasons for it.

  Matters of no more seeming conse-
quence in themselves than, `` Whether
my father should have taken off his wig
with his right hand or with his left
,'' ----
have divided the greatest kingdoms, and
made the crowns of the monarchs who
governed them, to totter upon their
heads. -- But need I tell you, Sir, that the
circumstances with which every thing in
this world is begirt, give every thing in
the world its size and shape ; ---- and by
tightening it, or relaxing it, this way or
that, make the thing to be, what it is --
great -- little -- good -- bad -- indifferent

[ 10 ]

or not indifferent, just as the case hap-

   As my father's India handkerchief was
in his right coat pocket, he should by no
means have suffered his right hand to
have got engaged : on the contrary, in-
stead of taking off his wig with it, as he
did, he ought to have committed that
entirely to the left ; and then, when the
natural exigency my father was under of
rubbing his head, call'd out for his hand-
kerchief, he would have had nothing in
the world to have done, but to have put
his right hand into his right coat pocket
and taken it out ; -- which he might have
done without any violence, or the least
ungraceful twist in any one tendon or
muscle of his whole body.

  In this case, (unless indeed, my father

[ 11 ]

had been resolved to make a fool of him-
self by holding the wig stiff in his left
hand -- or by making some nonsensical
angle or other at his elbow joint, or arm-
pit) -- his whole attitude had been easy --
natural -- unforced : Reynolds himself, as
great and gracefully as he paints, might
have painted him as he sat.

  Now, as my father managed this mat-
ter, ---- consider what a devil of a figure
my father made of himself.

  -- In the latter end of Queen Anne's
reign, and in the beginning of the reign
of King George the first -- ``Coat pockets
were cut very low down in the skirt
.'' ----
I need say no more ---- the father of mis-
chief, had he been hammering at it a
month, could not have contrived a worse
fashion for one in my father's situation.
                          C H A P.

[ 12 ]


IT was not an easy matter in any king's
reign, (unless you were as a lean a sub-
ject as myself) to have forced your hand
diagonally, quite across your whole body,
so as to gain the bottom of your opposite
coat-pocket. -- In the year, one thousand
seven hundred and eighteen, when this
happened, it was extremely difficult ; so
that when my uncle Toby discovered the
transverse zig-zaggery of my father's ap-
proaches towards it, it instantly brought
into his mind those he had done duty in,
before the gate of St. Nicholas ; ---- the
idea of which drew off his attention so
entirely from the subject in debate, that
he had got his right hand to the bell to
ring up Trim, to go and fetch his map of
Namur, and his compasses and sector

[ 13 ]

along with it, to measure the returning
angles of the traverses of that attack, --
but particularly of that one, where he re-
ceived his wound upon his groin.

  My father knit his brows, and as he
knit them, all the blood in his body seem-
ed to rush up into his face ---- my uncle
Toby dismounted immediately.

  -- I did not apprehend your uncle
Toby was o' horseback. ------

C H A P. IV.

A Man's body and his mind, with the
utmost reverence to both I speak
it, are exactly like a jerkin, and a jerkin's
lining ; -- rumple the one -- you rumple
the other. There is one certain excep-
tion however in this case, and that is,

[ 14 ]

when you are so fortunate a fellow, as to
have had your jerkin made of a gum-
taffeta, and the body-lining to it, of a
sarcenet or thin persian.

  Zeno, Cleanthes, Diogenes Babylonius,
Dyonisius Heracleotes, Antipater, Panætius

and Possidonius amongst the Greeks ; --
Cato and Varro and Seneca amongst the
Romans ; -- Pantenus and Clemens Alexan-
and Montaigne amongst the Chris-
tians ; and a score and a half of good ho-
nest, unthinking, Shandean people as ever
lived, whose names I can't recollect, --
all pretended that their jerkins were made
after this fashion, ---- you might have
rumpled and crumpled, and doubled and
creased, and fretted and fridged the out-
sides of them all to pieces ; -- in short,
you might have played the very devil
with them, and at the same time, not

[ 15 ]

one of the insides of 'em would have been
one button the worse, for all you had
done to them.

  I believe in my conscience that mine
is made up somewhat after this sort : --
for never poor jerkin has been tickled
off, at such a rate as it has been these last
nine months together, ---- and yet I de-
clare the lining to it, ---- as far as I am a
judge of the matter, it is not a three-
penny piece the worse ; -- pell mell, hel-
ter skelter, ding dong, cut and thrust,
back stroke and fore stroke, side way and
long way, have they been trimming it
for me : -- had there been the least gum-
miness in my lining, ---- by heaven ! it
had all of it long ago been fray'd and
fretted to a thread.

  -- You Messrs. the monthly Review-
             2              ers !

[ 16 ]

ers ! ---- how could you cut and slash
my jerkin as you did ? ---- how did you
know, but you would cut my lining too ?

  Heartily and from my soul, to the pro-
tection of that Being who will injure none
of us, do I recommend you and your af-
fairs, -- so God bless you ; -- only next
month, if any one of you should gnash
his teeth, and storm and rage at me, as
some of you did last MAY, (in which I
remember the weather was very hot) --
don't be exasperated, if I pass it by again
with good temper, ---- being determined
as long as I live or write (which in my
case means the same thing) never to give
the honest gentleman a worse word or a
worse wish, than my uncle Toby gave the
fly which buzz'd about his nose all dinner
, ---- `` Go, ---- go poor devil,''
quoth he, `` ---- get thee gone, ---- why
             3              ``should

[ 17 ]

``should I hurt thee? This world is surely
``wide enough to hold both thee and me.''

C H A P. V.

ANY man, madam, reasoning up-
wards, and observing the prodi-
gious suffusion of blood in my father's
countenance, -- by means of which, (as
all the blood in his body seemed to rush
up into his face, as I told you) he must
have redden'd, pictorically and scientinti-
cally speaking, six whole tints and a half,
if not a full octave above his natural co-
lour : ---- any man, madam, but my
uncle Toby, who had observed this, toge-
ther with the violent knitting of my fa-
ther's brows, and the extravagant contor-
tion of his body during the whole affair,
-- would have concluded my father in a
rage ; and taking that for granted, ----
  VOL        B            had

[ 18 ]

had he been a lover of such kind of con-
cord as arises from two such instruments
being put into exact tune, -- he would in-
stantly have skrew'd up his, to the same
pitch ; -- and then the devil and all had
broke loose -- the whole piece, madam,
must have been played off like the sixth
of Avison's Scarlatti -- con furia , -- like
mad. ---- Grant me patience ! ---- What
has con furia, -- con strepito, ---- or any
other hurlyburly word whatever to do
with harmony ?

  Any man, I say, madam, but my uncle
Toby, the benignity of whose heart inter-
preted every motion of the body in the
kindest sense the motion would admit of,
would have concluded my father angry
and blamed him too. My uncle Toby
blamed nothing but the taylor who cut
the pocket-hole ; ---- so sitting still, till
             4              my

[ 19 ]

my father had got his handkerchief out
of it, and looking all the time up in his
face with inexpressible good will -- my fa-
ther at length went on as follows.


  ---- ``WHAT prodigious armies
you had in Flanders !''

  ---- Brother Toby, quoth my father, I
do believe thee to be as honest a man,
and with as good and as upright a heart
as ever God created ; ---- nor is it thy
fault, if all the children which have been,
may, can, shall, will or ought to be begot-
ten, come with their heads foremost into
the world : -- but believe me, dear Toby,
the accidents which unavoidably way-lay
them, not only in the article of our beget-
ting 'em, -- though these in my opinion,
             B 2              are