[ 140 ]

my pulse, and of that careless alacrity
with it, which every day of my life
prompts me to say and write a thousand
things I should not. ---- And this mo-
ment that I last dipp'd my pen into my
ink, I could not help taking notice what
a cautious air of sad composure and so-
lemnity there appear'd in my manner of
doing it. ---- Lord ! how different from
the rash jerks, and hare-brain'd squirts
thou art wont, Tristram ! to transact it
with in other humours, ---- dropping thy
pen, -- spurting thy ink about thy table
and thy books, ---- as if thy pen and thy
ink, thy books and thy furniture cost
thee nothing.


  ---- I WON'T go about to argue the
point with you, -- 'tis so, -- and
                          I am

[ 141 ]

I am persuaded of it, madam, as much
as can be, `` That both man and woman
`` bear pain or sorrow, (and, for aught I
`` know, pleasure too) best in a horizon-
`` tal position.''

  The moment my father got up into
his chamber, he threw himself prostrate
across his bed in the wildest disorder ima-
ginable, but at the same time, in the most
lamentable attitude of a man borne down
with sorrows, that ever the eye of pity
dropp'd a tear for. ---- The palm of his
right hand, as he fell upon the bed, re-
ceiving his forehead, and covering the
greatest part of both his eyes, gently sunk
down with his head (his elbow giving
way backwards) till his nose touch'd the
quilt; ---- his left arm hung insensible
over the side of the bed, his knuckles re-
clining upon the handle of the chamber

[ 142 ]

pot, which peep'd out beyond the va-
lance, -- his right leg (his left being
drawn up towards his body) hung half
over the side of the bed, the edge of it
pressing upon his shin bone. ---- He felt
it not. A fix'd, inflexible sorrow took
possession of every line of his face. -- He
sigh'd once, --- heaved his breast often, --
but utter'd not a word.

  An old set-stitch'd chair, valanced and
fringed around with party-colour'd wor-
sted bobs, stood at the bed's head, oppo-
site to the side where my father's head re-
clined. ---- My uncle Toby sat him down
in it.

  Before an affliction is digested, ----
consolation ever comes too soon ; ---- and
after it is digested, --- it comes too late :
so that you see, madam, there is but a

[ 143 ]

mark between these two, as fine almost
as a hair, for a comforter to take aim at :
my uncle Toby was always either on this
side, or on that of it, and would often say,
He believed in his heart, he could as soon
hit the longitude ; for this reason, when
he sat down in the chair, he drew the cur-
tain a little forwards, and having a tear
at every one's service, --- he pull'd out
a cambrick handkerchief, ---- gave a low
sigh, ---- but held his peace.


  ---- `` ALL is not gain that is got in-
`` to the purse.'' ---- So that
notwithstanding my father had the hap-
piness of reading the oddest books in the
universe, and had moreover, in himself,
the oddest way of thinking, that ever

[ 144 ]

man in it was bless'd with, yet it had this
drawback upon him after all, ---- that it
laid him open to some of the oddest and
most whimsical distresses ; of which this
particular one which he sunk under at
present is as strong an example as can be

  No doubt, the breaking down of the
bridge of a child's nose, by the edge of a
pair of forceps, --- however scientifically
applied, ---- would vex any man in the
world, who was at so much pains in be-
getting a child, as my father was, ----
yet it will not account for the extrava-
gance of his affliction, or will it justify
the unchristian manner he abandoned and
surrender'd himself up to it.

  To explain this, I must leave him upon

[ 145 ]

the bed for half an hour, ---- and my
good uncle Toby in his old fringed chair
sitting beside him.


  ---- I THINK it a very unreason-
able demand, ---- cried my great
grandfather, twisting up the paper, and
throwing it upon the table. ---- By this
account, madam, you have but two thou-
sand pounds fortune, and not a shilling
more, ---- and you insist upon having
three hundred pounds a year jointure for
it. ----

  -- `` Because,'' replied my great grand-
mother, `` you have little or no nose,
`` Sir.'' ------

  Now, before I venture to make use
 VOL. III.        K            of

[ 146 ]

of the word Nose a second time, --- to
avoid all confusion in what will be said
upon it, in this interesting part of my
story, it may not be amiss to explain my
own meaning, and define, with all possible
exactness and precision, what I would
willingly be understood to mean by the
term : being of opinion, that 'tis owing
to the negligence and perverseness of
writers, in despising this precaution, and
to nothing else, ---- That all the polemi-
cal writings in divinity, are not as clear
and demonstrative as those upon a Will o'
, or any other sound part of phi-
losophy, and natural pursuit ; in order to
which, what have you to do, before you
set out, unless you intend to go puzzling
on to the day of judgment, ------ but to
give the world a good definition, and
stand to it, of the main word you have
most occasion for, -- changing it, Sir, as

[ 147 ]

you would a guinea, into small coin ? --
which done, -- let the father of confusion
puzzle you, if he can ; or put a different
idea either into your head, or your
reader's head, if he knows how.

  In books of strict morality and close
reasoning, such as this I am engaged
in, -- the neglect is inexcusable ; and hea-
ven is witness, how the world has re-
venged itself upon me for leaving so
many openings to equivocal strictures, --
and for depending so much as I have
done, all along, upon the cleanliness of
my reader's imaginations.

  ------ Here are two senses, cried Eu-
, as we walk'd along, pointing with
the fore finger of his right hand to the
word Crevice, in the fifty second page of
the second volume of this book of books,
             K 2              -- here

[ 148 ]

  -- here are two senses, ---- quoth he. ----
And here are two roads, replied I, turn-
ing short upon him, ---- a dirty and a
clean one, ---- which shall we take ? ----
The clean, -- by all means, replied Eu-
genius. Eugenius
, said I, stepping before
him, and laying my hand upon his
breast, ---- to define ---- is to distrust. ----
Thus I triumph'd over Eugenius ; but I
triumph'd over him as I always do, like a
fool. ---- 'Tis my comfort however, I am
not an obstinate one ; therefore

  I define a nose as follows, ---- intreat-
ing only beforehand, and beseeching my
readers, both male and female, of what
age, complexion, and condition soever,
for the love of God and their own souls,
to guard against the temptations and
suggestions of the devil, and suffer him
by no art or wile to put any other ideas
             1              into

[ 149 ]

into their minds, than what I put into my
definition. ---- For by the word Nose,
throughout all this long chapter of noses,
and in every other part of my work,
where the word Nose occurs, -- I declare,
by that word I mean a Nose, and nothing
more, or less.


  ---- `` BECAUSE,'' quoth my
great grandmother, repeating the
words again, --- `` you have little or no
`` nose, Sir'' ----

  S'death ! cried my great grandfather,
clapping his hand upon his nose, -- 'tis
not so small as that comes to ; -- 'tis a full
inch longer than my father's. ---- Now,
my great grandfather's nose was for all
             K 3              the

[ 150 ]

the world like unto the noses of all the
men, women, and children, whom Pan-
found dwelling upon the island of
ENNASIN. ---- By the way, if you would
know the strange way of getting a-kin
amongst so flat-nosed a people, ---- you
must read the book ; -- find it out your-
self, you never can. ----

  ---- 'Twas shaped, Sir, like an ace of

   ---- 'Tis a full inch, continued my
great grandfather, pressing up the ridge
of his nose with his finger and thumb ;
and repeating his assertion, ---- 'tis a full
inch longer, madam, than my father's -- .
You must mean your uncle's, replied my
great grandmother.


[ 151 ]

  ---- My great grandfather was con-
vinced. -- He untwisted the paper, and
signed the article.


  ---- WHAT an unconscionable
jointure, my dear, do we
pay out of this small estate of ours,
quoth my grandmother to my grand-

  My father, replied my grandfather,
had no more nose, my dear, saving the
mark, than there is upon the back of my
hand. ----

  ---- Now, you must know, that my
great grandmother outlived my grand-
father twelve years ; so that my father
             K 4              had

[ 152 ]

had the jointure to pay, a hundred and
fifty pounds half yearly --- (on Michael-
and Lady day) -- during all that

  No man discharged pecuniary obliga-
tions with a better grace than my fa-
ther. ------ And as far as the hundred
pounds went, he would fling it upon the
table, guinea by guinea, with that spirit-
ed jerk of an honest welcome, which ge-
nerous souls, and generous souls only, are
able to fling down money : but as soon as
ever he enter'd upon the odd fifty, -- he
generally gave a loud Hem ! -- rubb'd the
side of his nose leisurely with the flat part
of his fore finger, --- inserted his hand
cautiously betwixt his head and the cawl
of his wig, -- look'd at both sides of every
guinea, as he parted with it, -- and seldom

[ 153 ]

could get to the end of the fifty pounds,
without pulling out his handkerchief,
and wiping his temples.

  Defend me, gracious heaven ! from
those persecuting spirits who make no al-
lowances for these workings within us. --
Never, -- O never may I lay down in their
tents, who cannot relax the engine, and
feel pity for the force of education, and
the prevalance of opinions long derived
from ancestors !

  For three generations at least, this te-
in favour of long noses had gradually
been taking root in our family. ----
TRADITION was all along on its side, and
INTEREST was every half year stepping
in to strengthen it ; so that the whimsi-
cality of my father's brain was far from

[ 154 ]

having the whole honour of this, as it had
of almost all his other strange notions. --
For in a great measure he might be said
to have suck'd this in, with his mother's
milk. He did his part however. ---- If
education planted the mistake, (in case it
was one) my father watered it, and ri-
pened it to perfection.

  He would often declare, in speaking
his thoughts upon the subject, that he
did not conceive how the greatest family
in England could stand it out against an
uninterrupted succession of six or seven
short noses. -- And for the contrary rea-
son, he would generally add, That it
must be one of the greatest problems in
civil life, where the same number of long
and jolly noses following one another
in a direct line, did not raise and hoist it
             2              up

[ 155 ]

up into the best vacancies in the king-
dom. ---- He would often boast that the
Shandy family rank'd very high in king
Harry the VIIIth's time, but owed its
rise to no state engine, -- he would say, --
but to that only ; --- but that, like other
families, he would add, -- it had felt the
turn of the wheel, and had never reco-
vered the blow of my great grandfather's
nose. ---- It was an ace of clubs indeed,
he would cry, shaking his head, ---- and
as vile a one for an unfortunate family,
as ever turn'd up trumps.

  ---- Fair and softly, gentle reader !
---- where is thy fancy carrying thee?
---- If there is truth in man, by my
great grandfather's nose, I mean the ex-
ternal organ of smelling, or that part of
man which stands prominent in his face,

[ 156 ]

  -- and which painters say, in good jolly
noses and well-proportioned faces, should
comprehend a full third, -- that is, mea-
suring downwards from the setting on of
the hair. ----

  ---- What a life of it has an author,
at this pass !


IT is a singular blessing, that nature
has form'd the mind of man with the
same happy backwardness and renitency
against conviction, whichisobserved in old
dogs, ---- `` of not learning new tricks.''

  What a shuttlecock of a fellow would
the greatest philosopher that ever exist-
ed, be whisk'd into at once, did he read

[ 157 ]

such books, and observe such facts, and
think such thoughts, as would eternally
be making him change sides !

  Now, my father, as I told you last
year, detested all this. -- He pick'd up an
opinion, Sir, as a man in a state of nature
picks up an apple. -- It becomes his own, --
and if he is a man of spirit, he would lose
his life rather than give it up. ----

  I am aware, that Didius, the great civi-
lian, will contest this point ; and cry out
against me, Whence comes this man's
right to this apple ? ex confesso, he will
say, ---- things were in a state of na-
ture. -- The apple, as much Frank's apple,
as John's. Pray, Mr. Shandy, what pa-
tent has he to shew for it ? and how did
it begin to be his ? was it, when he set

[ 158 ]

his heart upon it ? or when he gather'd
it ? or when he chew'd it ? or when he
roasted it ? or when he peel'd ? or when
he brought it home ? or when he digest-
ed ? ---- or when he ------ ? ---- . For
'tis plain, Sir, if the first picking up of
the apple, made it not his, ---- that no
subsequent act could.

  Brother Didius,Tribonius will answer, --
(now Tribonius the civilian and church
lawyer's beard being three inches and a
half and three eighths longer than Di-
his beard, -- I'm glad he takes up the
cudgels for me, so I give myself no fur-
ther trouble about the answer.) -- Brother
Didius, Tribonius will say, it is a decreed
case, as you may find it in the fragments
of Gregorius and Hermogenes's codes, and
in all the codes from Justinian's down to

[ 159 ]

the codes of Louis and Des Eaux, -- That
the sweat of a man's brows, and the ex-
sudations of a man's brains, are as much
a man's own property, as the breeches
upon his backside ; ---- which said exsu-
dations, &c. being dropp'd upon the
said apple by the labour of finding it, and
picking it up ; and being moreover in-
dissolubly wafted, and as indissolubly an-
nex'd by the picker up, to the thing
pick'd up, carried home, roasted, peel'd,
eaten, digested, and so on ; ---- 'tis evi-
dent that the gatherer of the apple, in so
doing, has mix'd up something which
was his own, with the apple which was
not his own, by which means he has ac-
quired a property ; -- or, in other words,
the apple is John's apple.

  By the same learned chain of reason-