[ 180 ]

and governing our opinions, both of men
and things, -- that trifles light as air,
shall waft a belief into the soul, and
plant it so immoveably within it, -- that
Euclid's demonstrations, could they be
brought to batter it in breach, should not
all have power to overthrow it.

  Yorick, I said, picked up the chesnut
which Phutatorius's wrath had flung
down -- the action was trifling -- I am
ashamed to account for it -- he did it,
for no reason, but that he thought the
chesnut not a jot worse for the adven-
ture -- and that he held a good chesnut
worth stooping for. -- But this incident,
trifling as it was, wrought differently in
Phutatorius's head : He considered this
act of Yorick's, in getting off his chair,
and picking up the chesnut, as a plain
acknowledgment in him, that the ches-

[ 181 ]

nut was originally his, -- and in course,
that it must have been the owner of the
chesnut, and no one else, who could
have plaid him such a prank with it :
What greatly confirmed him in this opi-
nion, was this, that the table being pa-
rallelogramical and very narrow, it af-
forded a fair opportunity for Yorick,
who sat directly over-against Phutatorius,
of slipping the chesnut in -- and conse-
quently that he did it. The look of
something more than suspicion, which
Phutatorius cast full upon Yorick as these
thoughts arose, too evidently spoke his
opinion -- and as Phutatorius was naturally
supposed to know more of the matter
than any person besides, his opinion at
once became the general one ; -- and for
a reason very different from any which
have been yet given -- in a little time it
was put out of all manner of dispute.

[ 182 ]

  When great or unexpected events fall
out upon the stage of this sublunary
world -- the mind of man, which is an
inquisitive kind of a substance, naturally
takes a flight, behind the scenes, to see
what is the cause and first spring of
them -- The search was not long in this

  It was well known that Yorick had
never a good opinion of the treatise which
Phutatorius had wrote de Concubinis reti-
, as a thing which he feared had
done hurt in the world -- and 'twas easily
found out, that there was a mystical
meaning in Yorick's prank -- and that his
chucking the chesnut hot into Phutato-
's ***--*****, was a sarcastical fling
at his book -- the doctrines of which,
they said, had inflamed many an honest
man in the same place.

[ 183 ]

  This conceit awaken'd Somnolentus --
made Agelastes smile -- and if you can
recollect the precise look and air of a
man's face intent in finding out a riddle --
it threw Gastripheres's into that form --
and in short was thought by many to be
a master-stroke of arch-wit.

  This, as the reader has seen from one
end to the other, was as groundless as
the dreams of philosophy : Yorick, no
doubt, as Shakespear said of his ancestor
-- `` was a man of jest,'' but it was tem-
per'd with something which withheld him
from that, and many other ungracious
pranks, of which he as undeservedly
bore the blame ; -- but it was his misfor-
tune all his life long to bear the impu-
tation of saying and doing a thousand
things of which (unless my esteem blinds
me) his nature was incapable. All I

[ 184 ]

blame him for -- or rather, all I blame
and alternately like him for, was that
singularity of his temper, which would
never suffer him to take pains to set a
story right with the world, however in
his power. In every ill usage of that
sort, he acted precisely as in the affair of
his lean horse -- he could have explained
it to his honour, but his spirit was
above it ; and besides he ever looked
upon the inventor, the propagator and
believer of an illiberal report alike so in-
jurious to him, -- he could not stoop to
tell his story to them -- and so trusted to
time and truth to do it for him.

  This heroic cast produced him incon-
veniences in many respects -- in the pre-
sent, it was followed by the fixed resent-
ment of Phutatorius, who, as Yorick had
just made an end of his chesnut, rose up

[ 185 ]

from his chair a second time, to let him
know it -- which indeed he did with a
smile ; saying only -- that he would en-
deavour not to forget the obligation.

  But you must mark and carefully se-
parate and distinguish these two things
in your mind.

  -- The smile was for the company.

  -- The threat was for Yorick.


-- CAN you tell me, quoth Phuta-
, speaking to Gastripheres
who sat next to him, -- for one would
not apply to a surgeon in so foolish an
affair, -- can you tell me, Gastripheres,

[ 186 ]

what is best to take out the fire ? -- Ask
Eugenius, said Gastripheres -- That greatly
depends, said Eugenius, pretending igno-
rance of the adventure, upon the nature
of the part -- If it is a tender part, and
a part which can conveniently be wrapt
up -- It is both the one and the other,
replied Phutatorius, laying his hand as
he spoke, with an emphatical nod of his
head upon the part in question, and lift-
ing up his right leg at the same time to
ease and ventilate it -- If that is the case,
said Eugenius, I would advise you, Phu-
, not to tamper with it by any
means ; but if you will send to the next
printer, and trust your cure to such a
simple thing as a soft sheet of paper just
come off the press -- you need do nothing
more than twist it round -- The damp
paper, quoth Yorick (who sat next to
his friend Eugenius) though I know it
  VOL. IV.        N            has

[ 187 ]

has a refreshing coolness in it -- yet I pre-
sume is no more than the vehicle -- and
that the oil and lamp-black with which
the paper is so strongly impregnated,
does the business -- Right, said Eugenius,
and is of any outward application I would
venture to recommend the most anodyne
and safe.

  Was it my case, said Gastripheres, as
the main thing is the oil and lamp-black,
I should spread them thick upon a rag,
and clap it on directly. That would
make a very devil of it, replied Yorick --
And besides, added Eugenius, it would
not answer the intention, which is the
extreame neatness and elegance of the
prescription, which the faculty hold to
be half in half -- for consider, if the type
is a very small one, (which it should be)
the sanative particles, which come into

[ 188 ]

contact in this form, have the advantage
of being spread so infinitely thin and with
such a mathematical equality (fresh pa-
ragraphs and large capitals excepted) as
no art or management of the spatula can
come up to. It falls out very luckily,
replied Phutatorius, that the second edi-
tion of my treatise de Concubinis retinendis,
is at this instant in the press -- You may
take any leaf of it, said Eugenius -- No
matter which -- provided, quoth Yorick,
there is no bawdry in it --

  They are just now, replied Phutatorius,
printing off the ninth chapter -- which is
the last chapter but one in the book --
Pray what is the title to that chapter,
said Yorick, making a respectful bow to
Phutatorius as he spoke -- I think, an-
swered Phutatorius, 'tis that, de re con-

             N 2              For

[ 189 ]

  For heaven's sake keep out of that
chapter, quoth Yorick.

  -- By all means -- added Eugenius.


-- NOW, quoth Didius, rising up,
and laying his right-hand with
his fingers spread upon his breast -- had
such a blunder about a christian-name
happened before the reformation -- (It
happened the day before yesterday, quoth
my uncle Toby to himself) and when
baptism was administer'd in Latin ----
('Twas all in English, said my uncle )
-- Many things might have coincided
with it, and upon the authority of sundry
decreed cases, to have pronounced the
baptism null, with a power of giving

[ 190 ]

the child a new name -- Had a priest, for
instance, which was no uncommon thing,
through ignorance of the Latin tongue,
baptized a child of Tom-o'Stiles, in
nomino patriæ & filia & spiritum sanctos
-- the baptism was held null -- I beg your
pardon, replied Kysarcius, -- in that case,
as the mistake was only in the termina-
the baptism was valid -- and to
have rendered it null, the blunder of the
priest should have fallen upon the first
syllable of each noun -- and not, as in
your case, upon the last. --

  My father delighted in subtleties of
this kind, and listen'd with infinite at-

  Gastripheres, for example, continued
Kysarcius, baptizes a child of John
's in Gomine gatris, &c, &c
             N 3              instead

[ 191 ]

instead of in Nomine patris, &c -- Is this
a baptism ? No, -- say the ablest cano-
nists ; inasmuch as the radix of each
word is hereby torn up, and the sense
and meaning of them removed and
changed quite to another object ; for
Gomine does not signify a name, nor
gatris a father -- What do they signify ?
said my uncle Toby -- Nothing at all --
quoth Yorick -- Ergo, such a baptism is
null, said Kysarcius -- In course, answered
Yorick, in a tone two parts jest and one
part earnest --

  But in the case cited, continued Kysar-
, where patrim is put for patris, filia
for filij, and so on -- as it is a fault only
in the declension, and the roots of the
words continue untouch'd, the inflexions
of their branches, either this way or
that, does not in any sort hinder the

[ 192 ]

baptism, inasmuch as the same sense
continues in the words as before -- But
then, said Didius, the intention of the
priest's pronouncing them grammatically,
must have been proved to have gone
along with it -- Right, answered Kysar-
; and of this, brother Didius, we
have an instance in a decree of the de-
cretals of Pope Leo the IIId. -- But my
brother's child, cried my uncle Toby,
has nothing to do with the Pope -- 'tis
the plain child of a Protestant gentle-
man, christen'd Tristram against the wills
and wishes both of its father and mother,
and all who are a-kin to it --

  If the wills and wishes, said Kysarcius,
interrupting my uncle Toby, of those
only who stand related to Mr. Shandy's
child, were to have weight in this mat-
ter, Mrs. Shandy, of all people, has the
             N 4              least

[ 193 ]

least to do in it -- My uncle Toby lay'd
down his pipe, and my father drew his
chair still closer to the table to hear the
conclusion of so strange an introduction.

  It has not only been a question,
captain Shandy, amongst the * best law-
yers and civilians in this land, continued
Kysarcius, `` Whether the mother be of kin
`` to her child,''
-- but after much dispas-
sionate enquiry and jactitation of the
arguments on all sides, -- it has been ad-
judged for the negative, -- namely, `` That
`` the mother is not of kin to her child
My father instantly clapp'd his hand
upon my uncle Toby's mouth, under co-
lour of whispering in his ear -- the truth
was, he was alarmed for Lillabullero --
and having a great desire to hear more

  * Vid. Swinbum on Testaments, Part 7. § 8.
  Ý Vid. Brook Abridg. Tit. Administr. N. 47.

[ 194 ]

of so curious an argument -- he begg'd my
uncle Toby, for heaven's sake, not to
disappoint him in it -- My uncle Toby
gave a nod -- resumed his pipe, and con-
tenting himself with whistling Lillabullero
inwardly -- Kysarcius, Didius, and Trip-
went on with the discourse as

  This determination, continued Kysar-
, how contrary soever it may seem
to run to the stream of vulgar ideas,
yet had reason strongly on its side ; and
has been put out of all manner of dis-
pute fromthe famous case, known com-
monly by the name of the Duke of Suf-
's case : -- It is cited in Brook, said
Triptolemus -- And taken notice of by
Lork Coke, added Didius -- And you may
find it in Swinburn on Testaments, said

[ 195 ]

  The case, Mr Shandy, was this.

  In the reign of Edward the Sixth,
Charles Duke of Suffolk having issue a
son by one venter, and a daughter by
another venter, made his last will,
wherein he devised goods to his son,
and died ; after whose death the son died
also -- but without will, without wife,
and without child -- his mother and his
sister by the father's side (for she was
born of the former venter) then living.
The mother took the administration of
her son's goods, according to the statute
of the 21st of Harry the Eighth, whereby
it is enacted, That in case any person
die intestate, the administration of his
goods shall be committed to the next
of kin.


[ 196 ]

  The administratlon being thus (sur-
reptitiously) granted to the mother, the
sister by the father's side commenced a
suit before the Ecclesiastical Judge, al-
leging, I st, That she herself was next
of kin ; and 2dly, That the mother was
not of kin at all to the party deceased ;
and therefore pray'd the court, that the
administration granted to the mother
might be revoked, and be committed
unto her, as next of kin to the deceased,
by force of the said statute.

  Hereupon, as it was a great cause,
and much depending upon its issue --
and many causes of great property likely
to be decided in times to come, by the
precedent to be then made -- the most
learned, as well in the laws of this realm,
as in the civil law, were consulted toge-
ther, whether the mother was of kin to

[ 197 ]

her son, or no. -- Whereunto not only
the temporal lawyers -- but the church-
lawyers -- the juris-consulti -- the juris-
prudentes -- the civilians -- the advocates
-- the commissanies -- the judges of the
consistory and prerogative courts of Can-
and York, with the master of
the faculties, were all unanimously of
opinion, That the mother was not of *
kin to her child --

  And what said the Duchess of Suffolk
to it ? said my uncle Toby.

  The unexpectedness of my uncle
Toby's question, confounded Kysarcius
more than the ablest advocate ---- He
stopp'd a full minute, looking in my
uncle Toby's face without replying ---

  * Mater non numeratur inter consanguineos.
Bald. in ult. C. de Verb. signific.

[ 198 ]

and in that single minute Triptolemus put
by him, and took the lead as follows.

  'Tis a ground and principle in the
law, said Triptolemus, that things do not
ascend, but descend in it ; and I make no
doubt 'tis for this cause, that however
true it is, that the child may be of the
blood or seed of its parents -- that the
parents, nevertheless, are not of the
blood and seed of it ; inasmuch as the
parents are not begot by the child, but
the child by the parents -- For so they
write, Liberi sunt de sanguine patris &
matris, sed pater et mater non sunt de
sanguine liberorum.

  -- But this, Triptolemus, cried Didius,
proves too much -- for from this autho-
rity cited it would follow, not only
what indeed is granted on all sides,

[ 199 ]

that the mother is not of kin to her
child -- but the father likewise ---- It is
held, said Triptolemus, the better opi-
nion ; because the father, the mother,
and the child, though they be three
persons, yet are they but (una caro *)
one flesh ; and consequently no degree
of kindred -- or any method of acquiring
one in nature -- There you push the ar-
gument again too far, cried Didius --
for there is no prohibition in nature,
though there is in the levitical law, --
but that a man may beget a child upon
his grandmother -- in which case, sup-
posing the issue a daughter, she would
stand in relation both of ---- But who
ever thought, cried Kysarcius, of laying
with his grandmother ? ---- The young
gentleman, replied Yorick, whom Selden
speaks of -- who not only thought of it,
  * Vid. Brook Abridg. Tit. Administr. N. 47.