[ 100 ]

gree of inveteracy in their manner of
kicking it, as if the laws had been origi-
nally made for the peace and preservation
of mankind : -- perhaps a more enormous
mistake committed by them still, -- a li-
tigated point fairly hung up ; ---- for in-
stance, Whether John o'Nokes his nose,
could stand in Tom o'Stiles his face, with-
out a trespass, or not, -- rashly determin-
ed by them in five and twenty minutes,
which, with the cautious pro's and con's
required in so intricate a proceeding,
might have taken up as many months, --
and if carried on upon a military plan, as
your honours know, an ACTION should be,
with all the stratagems practicable there-
in, -- such as feints, -- forced marches, --
surprizes, -- ambuscades, -- mask-batte-
ries, and a thousand other strokes of ge-
neralship which consist in catching at
all advantages on both sides, ---- might

[ 101 ]

reasonably have lasted them as many
years, finding food and raiment all that
term for a centumvirate of the profes-

  As for the clergy -------- No --- If
I say a word against them, I'll be shot. --
I have no desire, -- and besides, if I had,
---- I durst not for my soul touch upon
the subject, ---- with such weak nerves
and spirits, and in the condition I am in
at present, 'twould be as much as my life
was worth, to deject and contrist my-
self with so bad and melancholy an ac-
count, ---- and therefore, 'tis safer to draw
a curtain across, and hasten from it, as
fast as I can, to the main and principal
point I have undertaken to clear up, ----
and that is, How it comes to pass, that
your men of least wit are reported to be
men of most judgment. ---- But mark, --
             G 3              I say,

[ 102 ]

I say, reported to be, ---- for it is no more,
my dear Sirs, than a report, and which
like twenty others taken up every
day upon trust, I maintain to be a vile
and a malicious report into the bar-

  This by the help of the observations al-
ready premised,and I hope already weigh-
ed and perpended by your reverences and
worships, I shall forthwith make ap-

  I hate set dissertations, ---- and above
all things in the world, 'tis one of the sil-
liest things in one of them, to darken
your hypothesis by placing a number of
tall, opake words, one before another, in
a right line, betwixt your own and your
readers conception, ---- when in all like-
lihood, if you had looked about, you

[ 103 ]

might have seen something standing, or
hanging up, which would have cleared
the point at once, -- `` for what hinde-
``rance, hurt, or harm, doth the laudable
``desire of knowledge bring to any man,
``if even from a sot, a pot, a fool, a stool, a
``winter-mittain, a truckle for a pully,
``the lid of a goldsmith's crucible, an oyl
``bottle, an old slipper, or a cane chair,''
---- I am this moment sitting upon one.
Will you give me leave to illustrate this
affair of wit and judgment, by the two
knobs on the top of the back of it, ----
they are fasten'd on, you see, with two
pegs stuck slightly into two gimlet-holes,
and will place what I have to say in so
clear a light, as to let you see through the
drift and meaning of my whole preface,
as plainly as if every point and particle
of it was made up of sun beams.
             G 4              I enter

[ 104 ]

  I enter now directly upon the point.

  ---- Here stands wit, ---- and there
stands judgment, close beside it, just like
the two knobbs I'm speaking of, upon
the back of this self same chair on which
I am sitting.

  ---- You see, they are the highest and
most ornamental parts of its frame, ---- as
wit and judgment are of ours, ---- and
like them too, indubitably both made
and fitted to go together, in order as we
say in all such cases of duplicated embel-
lishments, ---- to answer one another.

  Now for the sake of an experiment, and
for the clearer illustrating this matter, --
let us for a moment, take off one of these
two curious ornaments (I care not which)
from the point or pinacle of the chair it

[ 105 ]

now stands on ; ---- nay, don't laugh at
it. ---- But did you ever see in the whole
course of your lives such a ridiculous bu-
siness as this has made of it ? ---- Why,
'tis as miserable a sight as a sow with one
ear; and there is just as much sense and
symmetry in the one, as in the other : --
do, -- pray, get off your seats, only to
take a view of it. ---- Now would any
man who valued his character a straw,
have turned a piece of work out of his
hand in such a condition ? ---- nay, lay
your hands upon your hearts, and answer
this plain question, Whether this one sin-
gle knobb which now stands here like a
blockhead by itself, can serve any pur-
pose upon earth, but to put one in mind
of the want of the other ; ---- and let me
further ask, in case the chair was your
own, if you would not in your consci-
ences think, rather than be as it is, that
             3              it

[ 106 ]

it would be ten times better without any
knobb at all.

  Now these two knobs ---- or top or-
naments of the mind of man, which crown
the whole entablature, -- being, as I said,
wit and judgment, which of all others, as
I have proved it, are the most needful, --
the most priz'd, ---- the most calami-
tous to be without, and consequently the
hardest to come at, ---- for all these rea-
sons put together, there is not a mor-
tal amongst us, so destitute of a love of
good fame or feeding, ---- or so ignorant
of what will do him good therein, -- who
does not wish and stedfastly resolve in his
own mind, to be, or to be thought at
least master of the one or the other, and
indeed of both of them, if the thing
seems any way feasible, or likely to be
brought to pass.

[ 107 ]

  Now your graver gentry having little
or no kind of chance in aiming at the
one, -- unless they laid hold of the other,
---- pray what do you think would be-
come of them ? -- Why, Sirs, in spight
of all their gravities, they must e'en have
been contented to have gone with their
insides naked : -- this was not to be borne,
but by an effort of philosophy not to be
supposed in the case we are upon, ---- so
that no one could well have been angry
with them, had they been satisfied with
what little they could have snatched up
and secreted under their cloaks and great
perrywigs, had they not raised a hue and
cry at the same time against the lawful

  I need not tell your worships, that this
was done with so much cunning and arti-
fice, -- that the great Locke, who was sel-

[ 108 ]

dom outwitted by false sounds, ---- was
nevertheless bubbled here. The cry, it
seems, was so deep and solemn a one,
and what with the help of great wigs,
grave faces, and other implements of de-
ceit, was rendered so general a one against
the poor wits in this matter, that the phi-
losopher himself was deceived by it, -- it
was his glory to free the world from the
lumber of a thousand vulgar errors ; ----
but this was not of the number ; so that
instead of sitting down cooly, as such a
philosopher should have done, to have
examined the matter of fact before he
philosophised upon it; ---- on the contra-
ry, he took the fact for granted, and so
joined in with the cry, and halloo'd it as
boisterously as the rest.

  This has been made the Magna Charta
of stupidity ever since, -- but your reve-

[ 109 ]

rences plainly see, it has been obtained in
such a manner, that the title to it is not
worth a groat ; ---- which by the bye is
one of the many and vile impositions
which gravity and grave folks have to an-
swer for hereafter.

  As for great wigs, upon which I may
be thought to have spoken my mind too
freely, ---- I beg leave to qualify what-
ever has been unguardedly said to their
dispraise or prejudice, by one general de-
claration ---- That I have no abhorrence
whatever, nor do I detest and abjure either
great wigs or long beards, ---- any further
than when I see they are bespoke and let
grow on purpose to carry on this self-same
imposture -- for any purpose, -- peace
be with them ; -- mark only, -- I
write not for them.

                          C H A P.

[ 110 ]


EVERY day for at least ten years to-
gether did my father resolve to have
it mended, ---- 'tis not mended yet; ----
no family but ours would have borne
with it an hour, -- and what is most asto-
nishing, there was not a subject in the
world upon which my father was so elo-
quent, as upon that of door-hinges. ----
And yet at the same time, he was certain-
ly one of the greatest bubbles to them, I
think, that history can produce : his rhe-
toric and conduct were at perpetual
handy-cuffs. ---- Never did the parlour-
door open -- but his philosophy or his
principles fell a victim to it; ---- three
drops of oyl with a feather, and a smart
stroke of a hammer, had saved his ho-
nour for ever.
             1              -- Incon-

[ 111 ]

   ---- Inconsistent soul that man is ! --
languishing under wounds, which he has
the power to heal ! -- his whole life a con-
tradiction to his knowledge! -- his reason,
that precious gift of God to him -- (instead
of pouring in oyl) serving but to sharpen
his sensibilities, ---- to multiply his pains
and render him more melancholy and un-
easy under them ! -- poor unhappy crea-
ture, that he should do so ! ---- are not
the necessary causes of misery in this life
enow, but he must add voluntary ones to
his stock of sorrow ; ---- struggle against
evils which cannot be avoided, and sub-
mit to others, which a tenth part of the
trouble they create him, would remove
from his heart for ever ?

  By all that is good and virtuous! if
there are three drops of oyl to be got, and
a hammer to be found within ten miles

[ 112 ]

of Shandy-Hall, -- the parlour-door hinge
shall be mended this reign.


WHEN corporal Trim had brought
his two mortars to bear, he was
delighted with his handy-work above
measure ; and knowing what a pleasure
it would be to his master to see them, he
was not able to resist the desire he had of
carrying them directly into the parlour.

  Now next to the moral lesson I had in
view in mentioning the affair of hinges,
I had a speculative consideration arising
out of it, and it is this.

  Had the parlour-door open'd and
turn'd upon its hinges, as a door should
do ------
                          -- Or

[ 113 ]

  -- Or for example, as cleverly as our
government has been turning upon its
hinges, ---- (that is, in case things have
all along gone well with your worship, --
otherwise I give up my simile) -- in this
case, I say, there had been no danger ei-
ther to master or man, in corporal Trim's
peeping in : the moment, he had beheld
my father and my uncle Toby fast asleep,
---- the respectfulness of his carriage was
such, he would have retired as silent as
death, and left them both in their arm-
chairs, dreaming as happy as he had
found them : but the thing was morally
speaking so very impracticable, that for
the many years in which this hinge was
suffered to be out of order, and amongst
the hourly grievances my father submit-
ted to upon its account, -- this was one;
that he never folded his arms to take his
nap after dinner, but the thoughts of be-
   VOL.        H            ing

[ 114 ]

ing unavoidably awakened by the first
person who should open the door, was
always uppermost in his imagination,
and so incessantly step'd in betwixt him
and the first balmy presage of his repose,
as to rob him, as he often declared, of
the whole sweets of it.

  `` When things move upon bad hinges, an'
please your lordships, how can it be other-
wise ?

  Pray, what's the matter ? Who is there?
cried my father, waking, the moment
the door began to creak. ---- I wish the
smith would give a peep at that confound-
ed hinge. ---- 'Tis nothing, an' please
your honour, said Trim, but two mor-
tars I am bringing in. ---- They shan't
make a clatter with them here, cried my
father hastily. ---- If Dr. Slop has any

[ 115 ]

drugs to pound, let him do it in the
kitchen. ---- May it please your honour,
cried Trim, -- they are two mortar-pieces
for a siege next summer, which I have
been making out of a pair of jack-boots,
which Obadiah told me your honour had
left off wearing. ---- By heaven ! cried
my father, springing out of his chair, as
he swore, -- I have not one appointment
belonging to me, which I set so much
store by, as I do by these jack-boots,
---- they were our great-grandfather's,
brother Toby, ---- they were hereditary.
Then I fear, quoth my uncle Toby, Trim
has cut off the entail. ---- I have only cut
off the tops, an' please your honour,
cried Trim. ---- I hate perpetuities as much
as any man alive, cried my father,
---- but these jack-boots, continued he,
(smiling, though very angry at the same
time) have been in the family, brother,
             H 2              ever

[ 116 ]

ever since the civil wars ; ---- Sir Roger
wore them at the battle of Marston-
. -- I declare I would not have taken
ten pounds for them. ---- I'll pay you the
money, brother Shandy, quoth my uncle
Toby, looking at the two mortars with
infinite pleasure, and putting his hand in-
to his breeches-pocket, as he viewed them.
---- I'll pay you the ten pounds this mo-
ment with all my heart and soul. ----

  Brother Toby, replied my father, alter-
ing his tone, you care not what money
you dissipate and throw away, provided,
continued he, 'tis but upon a SIEGE. --
Have I not a hundred and twenty pounds
a year, besides my half-pay ? cried my
uncle Toby. ---- What is that, replied my
father, hastily, -- to ten pounds for a
pair of jack-boots ? ---- twelve guineas
for your pontoons; ---- half as much for

[ 117 ]

your Dutch-draw-bridge; -- to say nothing
ofthe train of little brass-artillery you be-
spoke last week, with twenty other prepa-
rations for the siege of Messina; believe me,
dear brother Toby, continued my father,
taking him kindly by the hand, -- these mi-
litary operations of yours are above your
strength ; -- you mean well, brother, -- but
they carry you into greater expences than
you were first aware of, ---- and take my
word, ---- dear Toby, they will in the end
quite ruin your fortune, and make a
beggar of you. ---- What signifies it if
they do, brother, replied my uncle Toby,
so long as we know 'tis for the good of
the nation. --

  My father could not help smiling for
his soul ; -- his anger at the worst was ne-
ver more than a spark, -- and the zeal and
simplicity of Trim, ---- and the generous
             H 3              (tho'

[ 118 ]

(tho' hobby-horsical) gallantry of my
uncle Toby, brought him into perfect good
humour with them in an instant.

  Generous souls ! -- God prosper you
both, and your mortar-pieces too, quoth
my father to himself.


ALL is quiet and hush, cried my
father, at least above stairs, -- I
hear not one foot stirring. ---- Prithee,
Trim, who is in the kitchen ? There is no
one soul in the kitchen, answered Trim,
making a low bow as he spoke, except
Dr. Slop. ---- Confusion ! cried my father,
(getting up upon his legs a second time)
---- not one single thing has gone right
this day ! had I faith in astrology, bro-
ther, (which by the bye, my father had)
             2              I would

[ 119 ]

I would have sworn some retrograde pla-
net was hanging over this unfortunate
house of mine, and turning every indi-
vidual thing in it out of its place. ----
Why, I thought Dr. Slop had been above
stairs with my wife, and so said you. --
What can the fellow be puzzling about
in the kitchen ? ---- He is busy, an'
please your honour, replied Trim, in
making a bridge. ---- 'Tis very obliging
in him, quoth my uncle Toby ; ---- pray
give my humble service to Dr. Slop,
Trim, and tell him I thank him heartily.

  You must know, my uncle Toby mis-
took the bridge as widely as my father
mistook the mortars ; ---- but to under-
stand how my uncle Toby could mistake
the bridge, -- I fear I must give you an
exact account of the road which led to
it; ---- or to drop my metaphor, (for
             H 4              there