[ 160 ]

that, cried my father -- I should be sorry
to appear with a blot in my escutcheon
before them ---- Never mind the bend-
, said my uncle Toby, putting on
his tye-wig -- No, indeed, said my father,
-- you may go with my aunt Dinah to a
visitation with a bend-sinister, if you think
fit -- My poor uncle Toby blush'd. My
father was vexed at himself -- No -- my
dear brother Toby, said my father,
changing his tone -- but the damp of the
coach-lining about my loins, may give
me the Sciatica again, as it did December,
, and February last winter -- so if
you please you shall ride my wife's pad
-- and as you are to preach, Yorick, you
had better make the best of your way
before, -- and leave me to take care of
my brother Toby, and to follow at our
own rates.
             L 4              Now

[ 161 ]

  Now the chapter I was obliged to tear
out, was the description of this cavalcade,
in which corporal Trim and Obadiah,
upon two coach-horses a-breast, led the
way as slow as a patrol -- whilst my
uncle Toby, in his laced regimentals and
tye-wig, kept his rank with my father,
in deep roads and dissertations alternately
upon the advantage of learning and arms,
as each could get the start.

  -- But the painting of this journey,
upon reviewing it, appears to be so much
above the stile and manner of any thing
else I have been able to paint in this
book, that it could not have remained
in it, without depreciating every other
scene ; and destroying at the same time
that necessary equipoise and balance,
(whether of good or bad) betwixt chap-
ter and chapter, from whence the just

[ 162 ]

proportions and harmony of the whole
work results. For my own part, I am
but just set up in the business, so know
little about it -- but, in my opinion, to
write a book is for all the world like
humming a song -- be but in tune with
yourself, madam, 'tis no matter how
high or how low you take it. --

  -- This is the reason, may it please
your reverences, that some of the lowest
and flattest compositions pass off very
well -- (as Yorick told my uncle Toby one
night) by siege -- My uncle Toby looked
brisk at the sound of the word siege, but
could make neither head or tail of it.

  I'm to preach at court next Sunday,
said Homenas -- run over my notes -- so I
humm'd over doctor Homenas's notes --
the modulation's very well -- 'twill do,

[ 163 ]

Homenas, if it holds on at this rate -- so
on I humm'd -- and a tolerable tune I
thought it was ; and to this hour, may
it please your reverences, had never
found out how low, how flat, how spi-
ritless and jejune it was, but that all of
a sudden, up started an air in the middle
of it, so fine, so rich, so heavenly -- it car-
ried my soul up with it into the other
world ; now had I, (as Montaigne com-
plained in a parallel accident) -- had I
found the declivity easy, or the ascent
accessible -- certes I had been outwitted
-- Your notes, Homenas, I should have
said, are good notes, -- but it was so per-
pendicular a precipice -- so wholly cut off
from the rest of the work, that by the
first note I humm'd, I found myself
flying into the other world, and from
thence discovered the vale from whence
I came, so deep, so low, and dismal,

[ 164 ]

that I shall never have the heart to de-
scend into it again.

   A dwarf who brings a standard
along with him to measure his own size
-- take my word, is a dwarf in more ar-
ticles than one -- And so much for tear-
ing out of chapters.


-- SEE if he is not cutting it all into
slips, and giving them about him
to light their pipes ! -- 'Tis abominable,
answered Didius ; it should not go unno-
ticed, said doctor Kysarcius -- he was
of the Kysarcij of the low countries.

  Methinks, said Didius, half rising
from his chair, in order to remove a

[ 165 ]

bottle and a tall decanter, which stood
in a direct line betwixt him and Yorick
-- you might have spared this sarcastick
stroke, and have hit upon a more proper
place, Mr. Yorick -- or at least upon a
more proper occasion to have shewn your
contempt of what we have been about :
If the Sermon is of no better worth than
to light pipes with -- 'twas certainly, Sir,
not good enough to be preached before
so learned a body ; and if 'twas good
enough to be preached before so learned
a body -- 'twas certainly, Sir, too good
to light their pipes with afterwards.

  -- I have got him fast hung up, quoth
Didius to himself, upon one of the two
horns of my dilemma -- let him get off
as he can.

                          I have

[ 166 ]

  I have undergone such unspeakable
torments, in bringing forth this sermon,
quoth Yorick, upon this occasion, -- that
I declare, Didius, I would suffer martyr-
dom -- and if it was possible my horse
with me, a thousand times over, before I
would sit down and make such another :
I was delivered of it at the wrong end of
me -- it came from my head instead of
my heart -- and it is for the pain it gave
me, both in the writing and preaching
of it, that I revenge myself of it, in
this manner. -- To preach, to shew the
extent of our reading, or the subtleties
of our wit -- to parade it in the eyes of
the vulgar with the beggarly accounts
of a little learning, tinseled over with a
few words which glitter, but convey little
light and less warmth -- is a dishonest use
of the poor single half hour in a week which
is put into our hands -- 'Tis not preaching

[ 167 ]

the gospel -- but ourselves -- For my own
part, continued Yorick, I had rather
direct five words point blank to the
heart --

  As Yorick pronounced the word point
my uncle Toby rose up to say
something upon projectiles ---- when a
single word, and no more, uttered from
the opposite side of the table, drew
every one's ears towards it -- a word of
all others in the dictionary the last in
that place to be expected -- a word I am
ashamed to write -- yet must be written
-- must be read ; -- illegal -- uncanonical --
guess ten thousand guesses, multiplied
into themselves -- rack -- torture your in-
vention for ever, you're where you was --
In short, I'll tell it in the next chapter.

             1              C H A P.

[ 168 ]


ZOUNDS! -------------------------
------------------ Z----ds ! cried Phu-
, partly to himself -- and yet high
enough to be heard -- and what seemed
odd, 'twas uttered in a construction of
look, and in a tone of voice, somewhat
between that of a man in amazement,
and of one in bodily pain.

  One or two who had very nice ears,
and could distinguish the expression and
mixture of the two tones as plainly as a
third or a fifth, or any other chord in
musick -- were the most puzzled and per-
plexed with it -- the concord was good in
itself -- but then 'twas quite out of the

[ 169 ]

key, and no way applicable to the subject
stated ; -- so that with all their knowledge,
they could not tell what in the world to
make of it.

  Others who knew nothing of musical
expression, and merely lent their ears to
the plain import of the word, imagined
that Phutatorius, who was somewhat of a
cholerick spirit, was just going to snatch
the cudgels out of Didius's hands, in order
to bemawl Yorick to some purpose -- and
that the desperate monosyllable Z----ds
was the exordium to an oration, which,
as they judged from the sample, presaged
but a rough kind of handling of him ;
so that my uncle Toby's good nature felt
a pang for what Yorick was about to
undergo. But seeing Phutatorius stop
short, without any attempt or desire to
go on -- a third party began to suppose,
             3              that

[ 170 ]

that it was no more than an involuntary
respiration, casually forming itself into
the shape of a twelve-penny oath -- with-
out the sin or substance of one.

  Others, and especially one or two who
sat next him, looked upon it on the con-
trary, as a real and substantial oath pro-
pensely formed against Yorick, to whom
he was known to bear no good liking --
which said oath, as my father philoso-
phized upon it, actually lay fretting and
fuming at that very time in the upper
regions of Phutatorius's purtenance ; and
so was naturally, and according to the
due course of things, first squeezed out
by the sudden influx of blood, which
was driven into the right ventricle of
Phutatorius's heart, by the stroke of sur-
prize which so strange a theory of
preaching had excited.
  VOL. IV.        M            How

[ 171 ]

  How finely we argue upon mistaken
facts !

  There was not a soul busied in all
these various reasonings upon the mono-
syllable which Phutatorius uttered, -- who
did not take this for granted, proceeding
upon it as from an axiom, namely, that
Phutatorius's mind was intent upon the
subject of debate which was arising be-
tween Didius and Yorick ; and indeed as
he looked first towards the one, and then
towards the other, with the air of a man
listening to what was going forwards, --
who would not have thought the same ?
But the truth was, that Phutatorius knew
not one word or one syllable of what was
passing -- but his whole thoughts and at-
tention were taken up with a transaction
which was going forwards at that very
instant within the precincts of his own

[ 172 ]

Galligaskins, and in a part of them, where
of all others he stood most interested to
watch accidents : So that notwithstand-
ing he looked with all the attention in
the world, and had gradually skrewed
up every nerve and muscle in his face,
to the utmost pitch the instrument would
bear, in order, as it was thought, to give
a sharp reply to Yorick, who sat over-
against him -- Yet I say, was Yorick never
once in any one domicile of Phutatorius's
brain -- but the true cause of his excla-
mation lay at least a yard below.

  This I will endeavour to explain to
you with all imaginable decency.

  You must be informed then, that
Gastripheres, who had taken a turn into
the kitchen a little before dinner, to see
how things went on -- observing a wicker-
             M 2              basket

[ 173 ]

basket of fine chesnuts standing upon the
dresser, had ordered that a hundred or
two of them might be roasted and sent
in, as soon as dinner was over -- Gastri-
inforcing his orders about them,
that Didius, but Phutatorius especially,
were particularly fond of 'em.

  About two minutes before the time
that my uncle Toby interrupted Yorick's
harangue -- Gastripheres's chesnuts were
brought in -- and as Phutatorius's fondness
for 'em, was uppermost in the waiter's
head, he laid them directly before Phuta-
, wrapt up hot in a clean damask

  Now whether it was physically impos-
sible, with half a dozen hands all thrust
into the napkin at a time -- but that some
one chesnut, of more life and rotundity

[ 174 ]

than the rest, must be put in motion --
it so fell out, however, that one was
actually sent rolling off the table ; and
as Phutatorius sat straddling under -- it
fell perpendicularly into that particular
aperture of Phutatorius's breeches, for
which, to the shame and indelicacy of
our language be it spoke, there is no
chaste word throughout all Johnson's
dictionary -- let it suffice to say -- it was
that particular aperture, which in all good
societies, the laws of decorum do strictly
require, like the temple of Janus ( in
peace at least) to be universally shut up.

  The neglect of this punctilio in Phuta-
(which by the bye should be a
warning to all mankind) had opened a
door to this accident. --

             M 3              -- Accident,

[ 175 ]

  -- Accident, I call it, in compliance to
a received mode of speaking, -- but in
no opposition ot the opinion either of
Acrites or Mythogeras in this matter ; I
know they were both prepossessed and
fully persuaded of it -- and are so to this
hour, That there was nothing of acci-
dent in the whole event -- but that the
chesnut's taking that particular course,
and in a manner of its own accord -- and then
falling with all its heat directly into that
one particular place, and no other ----
was a real judgment upon Phutatorius,
for that filthy and obscene treatise de
Concubinis retinendis
, which Phutatorius
had published about twenty years ago --
and was that identical week going to give
the world a second edition of.

  It is not my business to dip my pen in
this controversy ---- much undoubtedly

[ 176 ]

may be wrote on both sides of the
question -- all that concerns me as an hi-
storian, is to represent the matter of
fact, and render it credible to the reader,
that the hiatus in Phutatorius's breeches
was sufficiently wide to receive the ches-
nut ; -- and that the chesnut, some how
or other, did fall perpendicularly and
piping hot into it, without Phutatorius's
perceiving it, or any one else at that time.

  The genial warmth which the chestnut
imparted, was not undelectable for the
first twenty or five and twenty seconds, --
and did no more than gently solicit Phu-
's attention towards the part : --
But the heat gradually increasing, and
in a few seconds more getting beyond
the point of all sober pleasure, and then
advancing with all speed into the regions
of pain, -- the soul of Phutatorius, toge-
             M 4              ther

[ 177 ]

ther with all his ideas, his thoughts, his
attention, his imagination, judgment,
resolution, deliberation, ratiocination,
memory, fancy, with ten battalions of
animal spirits, all tumultuously crouded
down, through different defiles and cir-
cuits, to the place in danger, leaving all
his upper regions, as you may imagine,
as empty as my purse.

  With the best intelligence which all
these messengers could bring him back,
Phutatorius was not able to dive into the
secret of what was going forwards below,
nor could he make any kind of conjecture,
what the devil was the matter with it :
However, as he knew not what the true
cause might turn out, he deemed it most
prudent, in the situation he was in at
present, to bear it, if possible, like a
stoic ; which, with the help of some

[ 178 ]

wry faces and compursions of the mouth,
he had certainly accomplished, had his
imagination continued neuter -- but the
sallies of the imagination are ungovern-
able in things of this kind -- a thought
instantly darted into his mind, that tho'
the anguish had the sensation of glowing
heat -- it might, notwithstanding that,
be a bite as well as a burn ; and if so,
that possibly a Newt or an Asker, or some
such detested reptile, had crept up, and
was fastening his teeth -- the horrid idea
of which, with a fresh glow of pain
arising that instant from the chesnut,
seized Phutatorius with a sudden panick,
and in the first terrifying disorder of the
passion it threw him, as it has done the
best generals upon earth, quite off his
guard ; -- the effect of which was this,
that he leapt incontinently up, uttering
as he rose that interjection of surprise so

[ 179 ]

much discanted upon, with the aposio-
pestick-break after it, marked thus,
Z----ds -- which, though not strictly
canonical, was still as little as any man
could have said upon the occasion ; ----
and which, by the bye, whether cano-
nical or not, Phutatorius could no more
help than he could the cause of it.

  Though this has taken up some time
in the narrative, it took up little more
time in the transaction, than just to al-
low time for Phutatorius to draw forth
the chesnut, and throw it down with
violence upon the floor -- and for Yorick,
to rise from his chair, and pick the
chesnut up.

  It is curious to observe the triumph
of slight incidents over the mind : -- What
incredible weight they have in forming
             1              and