[ 180 ]

happens, and ever must, says Prignitz,
that the excellency of the nose is in a di-
rect arithmetical proportion to the excel-
lency of the wearer's fancy.

  It is for the same reason, that is, be-
cause 'tis all comprehended in Slawken-
, that I say nothing likewise of
Scroderus (Andrea) who all the world
knows, set himself to oppugn Prignitz
with great violence, ---- proving it in his
own way, first logically, and then by
a series of stubborn facts, `` That so far
was Prignitz from the truth, in affirming
that the fancy begat the nose, that on the
contrary, -- the nose begat the fancy.''

  -- The learned suspected Scroderus, of
an indecent sophism in this, --- and Prig-
cried out aloud in the dispute, that
Scroderus had shifted the idea upon him,
             1              but

[ 181 ]

  -- but Scroderus went on, maintaining his
thesis. ----

  My father was just balancing within
himself, which of the two sides he should
take in this affair ; when Ambrose Paræus
decided it in a moment, and by over-
throwing the systems, both of Prignitz
and Scroderus, drove my father out of
both sides of the controversy at once.

  Be witness ----

  I don't acquaint the learned reader, --
in saying it, I mention it only to shew the
learned, I know the fact myself. ----

  That this Ambrose Paræus was chief
surgeon and nose-mender to Francis the
ninth of France, and in high credit with
him and the two preceding, or succeed-
             M 2              ing

[ 182 ]

ing kings (I know not which) -- and that
except in the slip he made in his story of
Taliacotius's noses, and his manner of set-
ting them on, ---- was esteemed by the
whole college of physicians at that time,
as more knowing in matters of noses,
than any one who had ever taken them in

  Now Ambrose Paræus convinced my
father, that the true and efficient cause of
what had engaged so much the attention
of the world, and upon which Prignitz
and Scroderus had wasted so much learn-
ing and fine parts, -- was neither this nor
that, ---- but that the length and good-
ness of the nose was owing simply to the
softness and flaccidity in the nurse's breast,
---- as the flatness and shortness of puisne
noses was, to the firmness and elas-
tic repulsion of the same organ of nutri-

[ 183 ]

tion in the hale and lively, -- which, tho'
happy for the woman, was the undoing
of the child, inasmuch as his nose was so
snubb'd, so rebuff'd, so rebated, and so re-
frigerated thereby, as never to arrive ad
mensuram suam legitimam
; ---- but that in
case of the flaccidity and softness of the
nurse or mother's breast, -- by sinking in-
to it, quoth Paræus, as into so much but-
ter, the nose was comforted, nourish'd,
plump'd up, refresh'd, refocillated, and
set a growing for ever.

  I have but two things to observe of
Paræus; first, that he proves and ex-
plains all this with the utmost chastity and
decorum of expression : -- for which may
his soul for ever rest in peace !

  And, secondly, that besides the systems
of Prignitz and Scroderus, which Ambrose
             M 3              Paræus

[ 184 ]

Paræus his hypothesis effectually over-
threw, --- it overthrew at the same time
the system of peace and harmony of our
family ; and for three days together, not
only embroiled matters between my fa-
ther and my mother, but turn'd likewise
the whole house and every thing in
it, except my uncle Toby, quite upside

  Such a ridiculous tale of a dispute be-
tween a man and his wife, never surely in
any age or country got vent through the
key-hole of a street-door !

  My mother, you must know, ---- but
I have fifty things more necessary to let
you know first, -- I have a hundred dif-
ficulties which I have promised to clear
up, and a thousand distresses and domes-
tic misadventures crouding in upon me

[ 185 ]

thick and three-fold, one upon the neck
of another, ---- a cow broke in (to-
morrow morning) to my uncle Toby's for-
tifications, and eat up two ratios and half
of dried grass, tearing up the sods with
it, which faced his horn-work and co-
vered way. -- Trim insists upon being tried
by a court-martial, -- the cow to be shot,
-- Slop to be crucifix'd, -- myself to be tris-
, and at my very baptism made a
martyr of ; ---- poor unhappy devils that
we all are ! -- I want swaddling, ---- but
there is no time to be lost in exclamations.
---- I have left my father lying across
his bed, and my uncle Toby in his old
fringed chair, sitting beside him, and
promised I would go back to them in
half an hour, and five and thirty mi-
nutes are laps'd already. ---- Of all the
perplexities a mortal author was ever
seen in, --- this certainly is the greatest,
             M 4              for

[ 186 ]

  -- for I have Hafen Slawkenbergius's folio,
Sir, to finish ---- a dialogue between my
father and my uncle Toby, upon the solu-
tion of Prignitz, Scroderus, Ambrose Pa-
, Ponocrates, and Grangousier to relate,
-- a tale out of Slawkenbergius to trans-
late, and all this in five minutes less, than
no time at all ; --- such a head ! -- would
to heaven ! my enemies only saw the in-
side of it !


THERE was not any one scene more
entertaining in our family, --- and
to do it justice in this point ; ---- and I
here put off my cap and lay it upon the
table close beside my ink-horn, on pur-
pose to make my declaration to the world
concerning this one article, the more so-
lemn, ---- that I believe in my soul, (un-

[ 187 ]

less my love and partiality to my under-
standing blinds me) the hand of the su-
preme Maker and first Designer of all
things, never made or put a family toge-
ther, (in that period at least of it, which I
have sat down to write the story of) ----
where the characters of it were cast or
contrasted with so dramatic a felicity as
ours was, for this end ; or in which the
capacities of affording such exquisite
scenes, and the powers of shifting them
perpetually from morning to night, were
lodged and intrusted with so unlimited a
confidence, as in the SHANDY-FAMILY.

  Not any one of these was more divert-
ing, I say, in this whimsical theatre of
ours, -- than what frequently arose out of
this self-same chapter of long noses, ----
especially when my father's imagination
was heated with the enquiry, and nothing

[ 188 ]

would serve him but to heat my uncle
Toby's too.

  My uncle Toby would give my father
all possible fair play in this attempt ; and
with infinite patience would sit smoaking
his pipe for whole hours together, whilst
my father was practising upon his head,
and trying every accessible avenue to
drive Prignitz and Scroderus's solutions
into it.

  Whether they were above my uncle
Toby's reason, ---- or contrary to it, ----
or that his brain was like damp tinder, and
no spark could possibly take hold, --- or
that it was so full of saps, mines, blinds,
curtins, and such military disqualifica-
tions to his seeing clearly into Prignitz
and Scroderus's doctrines, -- I say not, --
let school men -- scullions, anatomists, and

[ 189 ]

engineers, fight for it amongst them-
selves. ----

  'Twas some misfortune, I make no
doubt, in this affair, that my father had
every word of it to translate for the bene-
fit of my uncle Toby, and render out of
Slawkenbergius's Latin, of which, as he
was no great master, his translation was
not always of the purest, -- and generally
least so where 'twas most wanted, --- this
naturally open'd a door to a second mis-
fortune ; --- that in the warmer paroxisms
of his zeal to open my uncle Toby's eyes
---- my father's ideas run on, as much
faster than the translation, as the trans-
lation outmoved my uncle Toby's ; ----
neither the one or the other added much
to the perspicuity of my father's lecture.

                          C H A P.

[ 190 ]

C H A P. XL.

THE gift of ratiocination and mak-
ing syllogisms, -- I mean in man,
-- for in superior classes of beings, such
as angels and spirits, -- 'tis all done, may
it please your worships, as they tell me,
by INTUITION; -- and beings inferior, as
your worships all know, ---- syllogize by
their noses : though there is an island
swimming in the sea, though not altogether
at its ease, whose inhabitants, if my intel-
ligence deceives me not, are so wonder-
fully gifted, as to syllogize after the same
fashion, and oft-times to make very well
out too : ---- but that's neither here nor
there ----

  The gift of doing it as it should be,
amongst us, -- or the great and principal

[ 191 ]

act of ratiocination in man, as logicians
tell us, is the finding out the agreement
or disagreement of two ideas one with
another, by the intervention of a third ;
(called the medius terminus) just as a man,
as Locke well observes, by a yard, finds
two mens nine-pin-alleys to be of the
same length, which could not be brought
together, to measure their equality, by

  Had the same great reasoner looked
on, as my father illustrated his systems of
noses, and observed my uncle Toby's de-
portment, -- what great attention he gave
to every word, -- and as oft as he took his
pipe from his mouth, with what wonder-
ful seriousness he contemplated the length
of it, -- surveying it transversely as he
held it betwixt his finger and his thumb,
--- then foreright, -- then this way, and

[ 192 ]

then that, in all its possible directions and
foreshortenings, ---- he would have con-
cluded my uncle Toby had got hold of
the medius terminus ; and was syllogizing
and measuring with it the truth of each
hypothesis of long noses, in order as my
father laid them before him. This by the
bye, was more than my father wanted, --
his aim in all the pains he was at in these
philosophic lectures, -- was to enable my
uncle Toby not to discuss, ---- but com-
---- to hold the grains and scru-
ples of learning, -- not to weigh them. --
My uncle Toby, as you will read in the
next chapter, did neither the one or the

                          C H A P.

[ 193 ]


'TIS a pity, cried my father one win-
ter's night, after a three hours
painful translation of Slawkenbergius, -- 'tis
a pity, cried my father, putting my mo-
ther's thread-paper into the book for a
mark, as he spoke ---- that truth, bro-
ther Toby, should shut herself up in such
impregnable fastnesses, and be so obstinate
as not to surrender herself sometimes up
upon the closest siege. ----

  Now it happened then, as indeed it had
often done before, that my uncle Toby's
fancy, during the time of my father's ex-
planation of Prignitz to him, ---- having
nothing to stay it there, had taken a short
flight to the bowling-green ; ---- his bo-
dy might as well have taken a turn there

[ 194 ]

too, ---- so that with all the semblance of
a deep school-man intent upon the medius
---- my uncle Toby was in fact
as ignorant of the whole lecture, and all
its pro's and con's, as if my father had
been translating Hafen Slawkenbergius
from the Latin tongue into the Cherokee.
But the word siege, like a talismanic
power, in my father's metaphor, wafting
back my uncle Toby's fancy, quick as a
note could follow the touch, -- he open'd
his ears, -- and my father observing that
he took his pipe out of his mouth, and
shuffled his chair nearer the table, as with
a desire to profit, -- my father with great
pleasure began his sentence again, ----
changing only the plan, and dropping the
metaphor of the siege of it, to keep clear
of some dangers my father apprehended
from it.

             2              'Tis

[ 195 ]

  'Tis a pity, said my father, that truth
can only be on one side, brother Toby, --
considering what ingenuity these learned
men have all shewn in their solutions of
noses. ---- Can noses be dissolved ? repli-
ed my uncle Toby. ----

  ---- My father thrust back his chair,
---- rose up, --- put on his hat, ---- took
four long strides to the door, -- jerked it
open, -- thrust his head half way out, --
shut the door again, -- took no notice of
the bad hinge, -- returned to the table, --
pluck'd my mother's thread-paper out of
Slawkenbergius's book, -- went hastily to
his bureau, -- walk'd slowly back, twist-
ing my mother's thread-paper about his
thumb, -- unbutton'd his waistcoat, ----
threw my mother's thread-paper into the
fire, -- bit her sattin pin-cushion in two,
fill'd his mouth with bran, -- confound-
ed it ; -- but mark! -- the oath of confu-
  VOL. III.        N            sion

[ 196 ]

sion was levell'd at my uncle Toby's brain,
---- which was e'en confused enough al-
ready, ---- the curse came charged only
with the bran, -- the bran, may it please
your honours, -- was no more than pow-
der to the ball.

  'Twas well my father's passions lasted
not long ; for so long as they did last,
they led him a busy life on't, and it is one
of the most unaccountable problems that
ever I met with in my observations of
human nature, that nothing should prove
my father's mettle so much, or make his
passions go off so like gun-powder, as the
unexpected strokes his science met with
from the quaint simplicity of my uncle
Toby's questions. --- Had ten dozen of
hornets stung him behind in so many dif-
ferent places all at one time, -- he could
not have exerted more mechanical func-
tions in fewer seconds, -- or started half so

[ 197 ]

much, as with one single quære of three
words unseasonably popping in full upon
him in his hobbyhorsical career.

  'Twas all one to my uncle Toby, -- he
smoaked his pipe on, with unvaried com-
posure, -- his heart never intended offence
to his brother, -- and as his head could
seldom find out where the sting of it lay,
---- he always gave my father the credit
of cooling by himself. ---- He was five
minutes and thirty-five seconds about it
in the present case.

  By all that's good ! said my father,
swearing, as he came to himself, and tak-
ing the oath out of Ernulphus's digest of
curses, -- (though to do my father justice
it was a fault (as he told Dr. Slop in the
affair of Ernulphus) which he as seldom
committed as any man upon earth.) ----
By all that's good and great ! brother
             N 2              Toby

[ 198 ]

Toby, said my father, if it was not for the
aids of philosophy, which befriend one
so much as they do, -- you would put a
man beside all temper. -- Why, by the so-
of noses, of which I was telling
you, I meant as you might have known,
had you favoured me with one grain of
attention, the various accounts which
learned men of different kinds of know-
ledge have given the world, of the causes
of short and long noses. -- There is no
cause but one, replied my uncle Toby, --
why one man's nose is longer than ano-
ther's, but because that God pleases to
have it so. -- That is Grangousier's solution,
said my father. -- 'Tis he, continued my
uncle Toby, looking up, and not regard-
ing my father's interruption, who makes
us all, and frames and puts us together
in such forms and proportions, and for
such ends, as is agreeable to his infinite
wisdom. ---- 'Tis a pious account, cried

[ 199 ]

my father, but not philosophical, -- there
is more religion in it than sound science.
'Twas no inconsistent part of my uncle
Toby's character, ---- that he feared God,
and reverenced religion. ---- So the mo-
ment my father finished his remark, --
my uncle Toby fell a whistling Lillabul-
, with more zeal (though more out
of tune) than usual. ----

  What is become of my wife's thread-
paper ?


NO matter, ---- as an appendage to
seamstressy, the thread-paper might
be of some consequence to my mother, --
of none to my father, as a mark in Slaw-
. Slawkenbergius in every page of
him was a rich treasury of inexhaustible
knowledge to my father, -- he could not

[ 200 ]

open him amiss ; and he would often say
in closing the book, that if all the arts
and sciences in the world, with the books
which treated of them, were lost, ----
should the wisdom and policies of go-
vernments, he would say, through dis-
use, ever happen to be forgot, and all
that statesmen had wrote, or caused to be
written, upon the strong or the weak
sides of courts and kingdoms, should
they be forgot also, -- and Slawkenbergius
only left, -- there would be enough in him
in all conscience, he would say, to set
the world a-going again. A treasure
therefore was he indeed ! an institute of
all that was necessary to be known of
noses, and every thing else, ---- at matin,
noon, and vespers was Hafen Slawkenber-
his recreation and delight : 'twas
for ever in his hands, -- you would have
sworn, Sir, it had been a canon's prayer-
book, -- so worn, so glazed, so contrited
             4              and

[ 201 ]

and attrited was it with fingers and with
thumbs in all its parts, from one end
even unto the other.

  I am not such a bigot to Slawkenber-
, as my father ; -- there is a fund in
him, no doubt ; but in my opinion, the
best, I don't say the most profitable,
but the most amusing part of Hafem
, is his tales, ---- and, con-
sidering he was a German, many of them
told not without fancy : ---- these take up
his second book, containing nearly one
half of his folio, and are comprehended
in ten decads, each decad comtaining ten
tales. ---- Philosophy is not built upon
tales ; and therefore 'twas certainly wrong
in Slawkenbergius to send them into the
world by that name ; -- there are a few of
them in his eighth, ninth, and tenth decads,
which I own seem rather playful and spor-
tive, than speculative, -- but in general

[ 202 ]

they are to be looked upon by the learn-
ed as a detail of so many independent
facts, all of them turning round some-
how or other upon the main hinges of his
subject, and collected by him with great
fidelity, and added to his work as so ma-
ny illustrations upon the doctrines of

  As we have leisure enough upon our
hands, -- if you give me leave, madam,
I'll tell you the ninth tale of his tenth