[ 140 ]

intentions by a courier to morrow morn-

  I am astonished, said Francis the First,
(that day fortnight) speaking to his mi-
nister as he entered the closet, that we
have had no answer from Switzerland --
Sire, I wait upon you this moment, said
Mons. le Premier, to lay before you my
dispatches upon that business. -- They
take it kindly ? said the king -- They do,
Sire, replied the minister, and have the
highest sense of the honour your majesty
has done them -- but the republick, as
godmother, claims her right in this case,
of naming the child.

  In all reason, quoth the king -- she will
christen him Francis, or Henry, or Lewis,
or some name that she knows will be
agreeable to us. Your majesty is de-

[ 141 ]

ceived, replied the minister -- I have this
hour received a dispatch from our resi-
dent, with the determination of the re-
publick on that point also -- And what
name has the republick fixed upon for
the Dauphin ? -- Shadrach, Mesech, and
Abed-nego, replied the minister -- By saint
Peter's girdle, I will have nothing to do
with the Swiss, cried Francis the First,
pulling up his breeches and walking
hastily across the floor.

  Your majesty, replied the minister
calmly, cannot bring yourself off.

  We'll pay them in money -- said the

  Sire, there are not sixty thousand
crowns in the treasury, answered the
minister ---- I'll pawn the best jewel

[ 142 ]

in my crown, quoth Francis the

  Your honour stands pawn'd already
in this matter, answered Monsieur le

  Then, Mons. le Premier, said the king,
by ------ we'll go to war with 'em.


ALBEIT, gentle reader, I have
lusted earnestly, and endeavoured
carefully (according to the measure of
such slender skill as God has vouchsafed
me, and as convenient leisure from other
occasions of needful profit and healthful
pastime have permitted) that these little
books, which I here put into thy hands,

[ 143 ]

might stand instead of many bigger books
-- yet have I carried myself towards thee
in such fanciful guise of careless disport,
that right sore am I ashamed now to en-
treat thy lenity seriously -- in beseeching
thee to believe it of me, that in the
story of my father and his christen-
names, -- I had no thoughts of treading
upon Francis the First -- nor in the affair of
the nose -- upon Francis the Ninth -- nor in
the character of my uncle Toby -- of cha-
racterizing the militiating spirits of my
country -- the wound upon his groin, is
a wound to every comparison of that
kind, -- nor by Trim, -- that I meant the
duke of Ormond -- or that my book is
wrote against predestination, or free will,
or taxes -- If 'tis wrote against any thing,
---- 'tis wrote, an' please your worships,
against the spleen ; in order, by a more
             3              frequent

[ 144 ]

frequent and a more convulsive elevation
and depression of the diaphragm, and
the succussations of the intercostal and
abdominal muscles in laughter, to drive
the gall and other bitter juices from the
gall bladder, liver and sweet-bread of
his majesty's subjects, with all the inimi-
citious passions which belong to them,
down into their duodenums.


  -- BUT can the thing be undone,
Yorick ? said my father -- for in
my opinion, continued he, it cannot. I
am a vile canonist, replied Yorick -- but
of all evils, holding suspense to be the
most tormenting, we shall at least know
the worst of this matter. I hate these
great dinners -- said my father -- The size

[ 145 ]

of the dinner is not the point, answered
Yorick -- we want, Mr. Shandy, to dive
into the bottom of this doubt, whether
the name can be changed or not -- and as
the beards of so many commissaries,
officials, advocates, proctors, registers,
and of the most able of our school-
divines, and others, are all to meet in the
middle of one table, and Didius has so
pressingly invited you, --- who in your
distress would miss such an occasion ? All
that is requisite, continued Yorick, is to
apprize Didius, and let him manage a con-
versation after dinner so as to introduce
the subject -- Then my brother Toby, cried
my father, clapping his two hands toge-
ther, shall go with us.

  VOL. IV.        L            -- Let

[ 146 ]

  -- Let my old tye wig, quoth my uncle
Toby, and my laced regimentals, be hung
to the fire all night, Trim.

                          C H A P.

[ 156 ]


-- NO doubt, Sir -- there is a whole
chapter wanting here -- and a
chasm of ten pages made in the book
by it -- but the book-binder is neither a
fool, or a knave, or a puppy -- nor is the
book a jot more imperfect, (at least upon
that score) -- but, on the contrary, the
book is more perfect and complete by
wanting the chapter, than having it, as
I shall demonstrate to your reverences in
this manner -- I question first by the bye,
whether the same experiment might not
be made as successfully upon sundry
other chapters ---- but there is no end,
an'please your reverences, in trying ex-
periments upon chapters -- we have had
             L 2              enough

[ 157 ]

enough of it -- So there's an end of that

  But before I begin my demonstration,
let me only tell you, that the chapter
which I have torn out, and which other-
wise you would all have been reading
just now, instead of this, -- was the de-
scription of my father's, my uncle Toby's,
Trim's, and Obadiah's setting out and
journeying to the visitations at ****.

  We'll go in the coach, said my father
-- Prithee, have the arms been altered,
Obadiah ? -- It would have made my story
much better, to have begun with telling
you, that at the time my mother's arms
were added to the Shandy's, when the
coach was repainted upon my father's
marriage, it had so fallen out, that the
coach painter, whether by performing

[ 158 ]

all his works with the left-hand, like
Turpilius the Roman, or Hans Holbein of
Basil -- or whether 'twas more from the
blunder of his head than hand -- or whe-
ther, lastly, it was from the sinister turn,
which every thing relating to our family
was apt to take -- It so fell out, however,
to our reproach, that instead of the bend
, which since Harry the Eighth's
reign was honestly our due ---- a bend
, by some of these fatalities, had
been drawn quite across the field of the
Shandy-arms. 'Tis scarce credible that
the mind of so wise a man as my father
was, could be so much incommoded with
so small a matter. The word coach -- let
it be whose it would -- or coach-man, or
coach-horse, or coach-hire, could never
be named in the family, but he constantly
complained of carrying this vile mark of
Illegitimacy upon the door of his own ;
             L 3              he

[ 159 ]

he never once was able to step into the
coach, or out of it, without turning
round to take a view of the arms, and
making a vow at the same time, that it
was the last time he would ever set his
foot in it again, till the bend-sinister was
taken out -- but like the affair of the
hinge, it was one of the many things
which the Destinies had set down in their
books -- ever to be grumbled at (and in
wiser families than ours) -- but never to
be mended.

  -- Has the bend-sinister been brush'd
out, I say ? said my father -- There has
been nothing brush'd out, Sir, answered
Obadiah, but the lining. We'll go
o'horse-back, said my father, turning to
Yorick -- Of all things in the world, ex-
cept politicks, the clergy know the least
of heraldry, said Yorick -- No matter for