[ 120 ]

there is nothing more dishonest in an his-
torian, than the use of one,) ---- in or-
der to conceive the probability of this er-
ror in my uncle Toby aright, I must give
you some account of an adventure of
Trim's, though much against my will. I
say much against my will, only because the
story, in one sense, is certainly out of its
place here ; for by right it should come
in, either amongst the anecdotes of my
uncle Toby's amours with widow Wad-
, in which corporal Trim was no mean
actor, -- or else in the middle of his and
my uncle Toby's campaigns on the bowl-
ing green, ---- for it will do very well in
either place ; ---- but then if I reserve it
for either of those parts of my story, -- I
ruin the story I'm upon, -- and if I tell it
here -- I anticipate matters, and ruin it

[ 121 ]

  -- What would your worships have
me to do in this case ?

  -- Tell it, Mr. Shandy, by all means.
---- You are a fool, Tristram, if you do.

  O ye POWERS ! (for powers ye are,
and great ones too) -- which enable mor-
tal man to tell a story worth the hearing,
-- that kindly shew him, where he is to
begin it, -- and where he is to end it, --
what he is to put into it, -- and what he is
to leave out, -- how much of it he is to
cast into shade, -- and whereabouts he is
to throw his light ! ---- Ye, who preside
over this vast empire of biographical free-
booters, and see how many scrapes and
plunges your subjects hourly fall into ; --
will you do one thing ?

  I beg and beseech you, (in case you

[ 122 ]

will do nothing better for us) that where-
ever, in any part of your dominions it so
falls out, that three several roads meet in
one point, as they have done just here, --
that at least you set up a guide-post, in
the center of them, in mere charity to di-
rect an uncertain devil, which of the three
he is to take.


THO' the shock my uncle Toby re-
ceived the year after the demoli-
tion of Dunkirk, in his affair with widow
Wadman, had fixed him in a resolution,
never more to think of the sex, ---- or of
aught which belonged to it ; -- yet corpo-
ral Trim had made no such bargain with
himself. Indeed in my uncle Toby's case
there was a strange and unaccountable
concurrence of circumstances which in-

[ 123 ]

sensibly drew him in, to lay siege to that
fair and strong citadel. ---- In Trim's case
there was a concurrence of nothing in the
world, but of him and Bridget in the
kitchen ; ---- though in truth, the love and
veneration he bore his master was such,
and so fond was he of imitating him in
all he did, that had my uncle Toby em-
ployed his time and genius in tagging of
points, ---- I am persuaded the honest
corporal would have laid down his arms, and
followed his example with pleasure.
When therefore my uncle Toby sat down
before the mistress, -- corporal Trim in-
continently took ground before the maid.

  Now, my dear friend Garrick, whom
I have so much cause to esteem and ho-
nour, -- (why, or wherefore, 'tis no mat-
ter) -- can it escape your penetration, -- I
defy it, -- that so many play-wrights, and

[ 124 ]

opificers of chit chat have ever since been
working upon Trim's and my uncle Toby's
pattern. -- I care not what Aristotle, or
Pacuvius, or Bossu, or Ricaboni say, --
(though I never read one of them) ----
there is not a greater difference between
a single-horse chair and madam Pompa-
's vis a vis, than betwixt a single
amour, and an amour thus nobly dou-
bled, and going upon all four, prancing
throughout a grand drama. -- Sir, a sim-
ple, single, silly affair of that kind, ----
is quite lost in five acts, ---- but that is
neither here or there.

  After a series of attacks and repulses in
a course of nine months on my uncle To-
's quarter, a most minute account of
every particular of which shall be given
in its proper place, my uncle Toby, ho-
nest man ! found it necessary to draw off

[ 125 ]

his forces, and raise the siege somewhat

  Corporal Trim, as I said, had made no
such bargain either with himself ---- or
with any one else, ---- the fidelity however
of his heart not suffering him to go into a
house which his master had forsaken with
disgust, ---- he contented himself with
turning his part of the siege into a block-
ade; ---- that is, he kept others off, --
for though he never after went to the
house, yet he never met Bridget in the vil-
lage, but he would either nod or wink,
or smile, or look kindly at her, -- or (as
circumstances directed), he would shake
her by the hand, ---- or ask her lovingly
how she did, ---- or would give her a rib-
band, ---- and now and then, though ne-
ver but when it could be done with de-
corum, would give Bridget a ------

[ 126 ]

  Precisely in this situation, did these
things stand for five years ; that is, from
the demolition of Dunkirk in the year 13,
to the latter end of my uncle Toby's cam-
paign in the year 18, which was about six
or seven weeks before the time I'm speak-
ing of. -- When Trim, as his custom was,
after he had put my uncle Toby to bed,
going down one moon-shiny night to see
that every thing was right at his fortifica-
tions, ---- in the lane separated from the
bowling-green with flowering shrubs and
holly, -- he espied his Bridget.

  As the corporal thought there was no-
thing in the world so well worth shewing
as the glorious works which he and my
uncle Toby had made, Trim courteously
and gallantly took her by the hand, and
led her in : this was not done so private-
ly, but that the foul-mouth'd trumpet of

[ 127 ]

Fame carried it from ear to ear, till at
length it reached my father's, with this
untoward circumstance along with it,
that my uncle Toby's curious draw-bridge,
constructed and painted after the Dutch
fashion, and which went quite across the
ditch, -- was broke down, and some how
or other crush'd all to pieces that very

  My father, as you have observed, had
no great esteem for my uncle Toby's
hobby-horse, -- he thought it the most ri-
diculous horse that ever gentleman mount-
ed, and indeed unless my uncle Toby
vexed him about it, could never think of
it once, without smiling at it, ---- so
that it never could get lame or happen
any mischance, but it tickled my father's
imagination beyond measure; but this
being an accident much more to his hu-

[ 128 ]

mour than any one which had yet befall'n
it, it proved an inexhaustible fund of en-
tertainment to him. ---- Well, --- but
dear Toby ! my father would say, do tell
me seriously how this affair of the bridge
happened. ---- How can you teaze me so
much about it ? my uncle Toby would
reply, -- I have told it you twenty times,
word for word as Trim told it me. -- Pri-
thee, how was it then, corporal ? my fa-
ther would cry, turning to Trim. -- It was
a mere misfortune, an' please your ho-
nour, ---- I was shewing Mrs. Bridget
our fortifications, and in going too near
the edge of the fosse, I unfortunately
slip'd in. ---- Very well, Trim ! my father
would cry, -- (smiling mysteriously, and
giving a nod, ---- but without inter-
rupting him) ------ and being link'd
fast, an' please your honour, arm in arm
with Mrs. Bridget, I dragg'd her after
             1              me,

[ 129 ]

me, by means of which she fell backwards
soss against the bridge, ---- and Trim's
foot, (my uncle Toby would cry, taking
the story out of his mouth) getting into
the cuvette, he tumbled full against the
bridge too. -- It was a thousand to one,
my uncle Toby would add, that the poor
fellow did not break his leg. -- Ay truly !
my father would say, ---- a limb is soon
broke, brother Toby, in such encounters.
---- And so, an' please your honour, the
bridge, which your honour knows was a
very slight one, was broke down betwixt
us, and splintered all to pieces.

  At other times, but especially when
my uncle Toby was so unfortunate as to say
a syllable about cannons, bombs or pe-
tards, -- my father would exhaust all the
stores of his eloquence (which indeed
were very great) in a panegyric upon the
  VOL. III.        I            BAT-

[ 130 ]

BATTERING-RAMS ofthe ancients, -- the
VINEAwhich Alexander made use of at the
siege of Tyre. ---- He would tell my uncle
Toby of the CATAPULTÆ of the Syrians
which threw such monstrous stones so ma-
ny hundred feet, and shook the strongest
bulwarks from their very foundation ; -- he
would go on and describe the wonderful
mechanism of the BALLISTA, which Mar-
makes so much rout about, -- the
terrible effects of the PYRABOLI, -- which
cast fire, ---- the danger of the TEREBRA
and SCORPIO, which cast javelins. -- But
what are these, he would say, to the de-
structive machinery of corporal Trim ? --
Believe me, brother Toby, no bridge, or
bastion, or sally port that ever was con-
structed in this world, can hold out against
such artillery.

  My uncle Toby would never attempt
             3              any

[ 131 ]

any defence against the force of this ridi-
cule, but that of redoubling the vehe-
mence of smoaking his pipe ; in doing
which, he raised so dense a vapour one
night after supper, that it set my father,
who was a little phthisical, into a suf-
focating fit of violent coughing : my
uncle Toby leap'd up without feeling the
pain upon his groin, -- and, with infinite
pity, stood beside his brother's chair, tap-
ping his back with one hand, and hold-
ing his head with the other, and from
time to time, wiping his eyes with a clean
cambrick handkerchief, which he pull'd
out of his pocket. ---- The affectionate
and endearing manner in which my
uncle Toby did these little offices, ---- cut
my father thro' his reins, for the pain he
had just been giving him. ---- May my
brains be knock'd out with a battering
ram or a catapulta, I care not which,
             I 2              quoth

[ 132 ]

quoth my father to himself, ---- if ever
I insult this worthy soul more.


THE draw-bridge being held irrepa-
rable, Trim was ordered directly to
set about another, ---- but not upon the
same model ; for cardinal Alberoni's in-
trigues at that time being discovered,
and my uncle Toby rightly foreseeing that
a flame would inevitably break out be-
twixt Spain and the Empire, and that the
operations of the ensuing campaign must
in all likelihood be either in Naples or
Scicily, ---- he determined upon an Italian
bridge, --- (my uncle Toby, by the bye,
was not far out in his conjectures) ----
but my father, who was infinitely the
better politician, and took the lead as far
of my uncle Toby in the cabinet, as my

[ 133 ]

uncle Toby took it of him in the field, --
convinced him, that if the King of Spain
and the Emperor went together by the
ears, that England and France and Hol-
must, by force of their pre-engage-
ments, all enter the lists too ; ---- and if
so, he would say, the combatants, bro-
ther Toby, as sure as we are alive, will
fall to it again, pell-mell, upon the old
prize-fighting stage of Flanders; ---- then
what will you do with your Italian bridge ?

  ---- We will go on with it then, upon
the old model, cried my uncle Toby.

  When corporal Trim had about half
finished it in that stile, ---- my uncle Toby
found out a capital defect in it, which he
had never thoroughly considered before.
It turned, it seems, upon hinges at both
ends of it, opening in the middle, one
             I 3              half

[ 134 ]

half of which turning to one side of the
fosse, and the other, to the other ; the ad-
vantage of which was this, that by divid-
ing the weight of the bridge into two
equal portions, it impowered my uncle
Toby to raise it up or let it down with the
end of his crutch, and with one hand,
which, as his garrison was weak, was as
much as he could well spare, -- but the
disadvantages of such a construction were
insurmountable, ---- for by this means,
he would say, I leave one half of my
bridge in my enemy's possession, ---- and
pray of what use is the other ?

  The natural remedy for this, was no
doubt to have his bridge fast only at one
end with hinges, so that the whole might
be lifted up together, and stand bolt up-
right, ---- but that was rejected for the
reason given above.

[ 135 ]

  For a whole week after he was deter-
mined in his mind to have one of that
particular construction which is made
to draw back horizontally, to hinder a
passage ; and to thrust forwards again to
gain a passage, ---- of which sorts your
worships might have seen three famous
ones at Spires before its destruction, -- and
one now at Brisac, if I mistake not ; ----
but my father advising my uncle Toby,
with great earnestness, to have nothing
more to do with thrusting bridges, -- and
my uncle foreseeing moreover that it
would but perpetuate the memory of the
corporal's misfortune, ---- he changed his
mind, for that of the marquis d'Hôpital's
invention, which the younger Bernouilli
has so well and learnedly described, as your
worships may see, -- Act. Erud. Lips. an.
1695, -- to these a lead weight is an eter-
nal ballance, and keeps watch as well as a
             I 4              couple

[ 136 ]

couple of centinels, inasmuch as the con-
struction of them was a curve-line ap-
proximating to a cycloid, ---- if not a cy-
cloid itself.

  My uncle Toby understood the nature
of a parabola as well as any man in Eng-
, -- but was not quite such a master of
the cycloid ; -- he talked however about it
every day ; ---- the bridge went not for-
wards. ---- We'll ask somebody about is,
cried my uncle Toby to Trim.


WHEN Trim came in and told my
father, that Dr. Slop was in the
kitchen, and busy in making a bridge, --
my uncle Toby, ---- the affair of the jack-
boots having just then raised a train of
military ideas in his brain, ---- took it in-

[ 137 ]

stantly for granted that Dr. Slop was mak-
ing a model of the marquis d'Hôpital's
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.

  Had my uncle Toby's head been a Sa-
's box, and my father peeping in all
the time at one end of it, ---- it could
not have given him a more distinct con-
ception of the operations in my uncle
Toby's imagination, than what he had ;
so notwithstanding the catapulta and bat-
tering-ram, and his bitter imprecation
about them, he was just beginning to tri-
umph ------

  When Trim's answer, in an instant,
tore the laurel from his brows, and
twisted it to pieces.
                          C H A P.

[ 138 ]


  ---- THIS unfortunate draw-bridge
of yours, quoth my father --
God bless your honour, cried Trim, 'tis a
bridge for master's nose. ---- In bring-
ing him into the world with his vile in-
struments, he has crush'd his nose, Su-
says, as flat as a pancake to his
face, and he is making a false bridge with
a piece of cotton and a thin piece of
whalebone out of Susannah's stays, to
raise it up.

  ------ Lead me, brother Toby, cried
my father, to my room this instant.

                          C H A P.

[ 139 ]


FROM the first moment I sat down
to write my life for the amusement
of the world, and my opinions for its in-
struction, has a cloud insensibly been
gathering over my father. ---- A tide of
little evils and distresses has been setting
in against him. ---- Not one thing, as he
observed himself, has gone right : and
now is the storm thicken'd, and going to
break, and pour down full upon his

  I enter upon this part of my story in
the most pensive and melancholy frame
of mind, that ever sympathetic breast
was touched with. ------ My nerves re-
lax as I tell it. ------ Every line I write,
I feel an abatement of the quickness of