[ 40 ]

  They amicably laid it down, that there
was a just and geometrical arrangement
and proportion of the several parts of the
human frame to its several destinations,
offices, and functions, which could not
be transgressed but within certain limits
-- that nature, though she sported -- she
sported within a certain circle ; -- and they
could not agree about the diameter of it.

  The logicians stuck much closer to the
point before them than any of the classes
of the literati ; -- they began and ended
with the word nose ; and had it not been
for a petitio principii, which one of the
ablest of them ran his head against in the
beginning of the combat, the whole con-
troversy had been settled at once.

  A nose, argued the logician, cannot
bleed without blood -- and not only blood
                          -- but

[ 41 ]

-- but blood circulating in it to supply
the phænomenon with a succession of
drops -- (a stream being but a quicker
succession of drops, that is included, said
he) -- Now death, continued the logician,
being nothing but the stagnation of the
blood --

  I deny the definition -- Death is the
separation of the soul from the body,
said his antagonist -- Then we don't agree
about our weapon, said the logician --
Then there is an end of the dispute, re-
plied the antagonist.

  The civilians were still more concise ;
what they offered being more in the na-
ture of a decree -- than a dispute.

   -- Such a monstrous nose, said they,
had it been a true nose, could not possibly
have been suffered in civil society -- and if
             1              false

[ 42 ]

false -- to impose upon society with such
false signs and tokens, was a still greater
violation of its rights, and must have
had still less mercy shewn it.

  The only objection to this was, that
if it proved any thing, it proved the
stranger's nose was neither true nor false.

  This left room for the controversy to
go on. It was maintained by the advo-
cates of the ecclesiastic court, that there
was nothing to inhibit a decree, since
the stranger ex mero motu had confessed
he had been at the Promontory of Noses,
and had got one of the goodliest, &c. &c.
-- To this it was answered, it was impossi-
ble there should be such a place as the
Promontory of Noses, and the learned be
ignorant where it lay. The commissary
of the bishop of Strasburg undertook the

[ 43 ]

advocates, explained this matter in a
treatise upon proverbial phrases, shewing
them, that the Promontory of Noses was
a mere allegoric expression, importing no
more than that nature had given him a
long nose : in proof of which, with great
learning, he cited the underwritten au-
thorities *, which had decided the point
  * Nonnulli ex nostratibus eadem loquendi for-
mulâ utun. Quinimo et Legistæ & Canonistæ --
Vid. Parce Bar & Jas in d. L. Provincial. Constitut.
de conjec. vid. Vol. Lib. 4. Titul. l. N. 7. quà
etiam in re conspir. Om. de Promontorio Nas.
Tichmak. ff. d. tit. 3. fol. 189. passim. Vid. Glos.
de contrahend. empt.&c. nec non J. Scrudr. in cap.
§. refut. ff. per totum. cum his cons. Rever. J.
Tubal, Sentent. & Prov. cap. 9. ff. 11, 12. obiter.
V. et. Librum, cui Tit. de Terris & Phras. Belg.
ad finem, cum Comment. N. Bardy Belg. Vid.
Scrip. Argentoratens. de Antiq. Ecc. in Episc. Ar-
chiv. fid. coll. per Von Jacobum Koinshoven Fo-
lio Argent. 1583, præcip. ad finem. Quibus add.
Rebuff in L. obvenire de Signif. Nom. ff. fol. &
de Jure, Gent. & Civil. de prohib. aliena feud. per
federa, test. Joha. Luxius in prolegom. quem velim
videas, de Analy. Cap. 1, 2, 3. Vid. Idea.


[ 44 ]

incontestably, had it not appeared that a
dispute about some franchises of dean and
chapter-lands had been determined by it
nineteen years before.

  It happened -- I must not say unluckily
for Truth, because they were giving her
a lift another way in so doing ; that the
two universities of Strasburg -- the Luthe-
, founded in the year 1538 by Jacobus
, counsellor of the senate, -- and
the Popish, founded by Leopold, arch-duke
of Austria, were, during all this time,
employing the whole depth of their
knowledge (except just what the affair
of the abbess of Quedlinburg's placket-
holes required) -- in determining the point
of Martin Luther's damnation.

  The Popish doctors had undertaken to
demonstrate a priori ; that from the ne-

[ 45 ]

cessary influence of the planets on the
twenty-second day of October 1483 ----
when the moon was in the twelfth house
-- Jupiter, Mars, and Venus in the third,
the Sun, Saturn, and Mercury all got
together in the fourth -- that he must in
course, and unavoidably be a damn'd
man -- and that his doctrines, by a direct
corollary, must be damn'd doctrines too.

  By inspection into his horoscope, where
five planets were in coition all at once
with scorpio * (in reading this my father
  * Hæc mira, satisque horrenda. 5 Planetarum
coitio sub Scorpio Asterismo in nonâ coeli statione,
quam Arabes religioni deputabant effecit Martinum
sacrilegum hereticum, christianæ reli-
gionis hostem acerrimum atque prophanum, ex
horoscopi directione ad Martis coitum, religiosis-
simus obiit, ejus Anima scelestissima ad infernos
navigavit -- ab Alecto, Tisiphone, et Megera fla-
gellis igneis cruciata perenniter.
   -- Lucas Gauricus in Tractatu astrologico de
præteritis multorum hominum accidentibus per
genituras examinatis.

[ 46 ]

would always shake his head) in the
ninth house which the Arabians allotted
to religion -- it appeared that Martin Lu-
did not care one stiver about the
matter -- and that from the horoscope
directed to the conjunction of Mars --
they made it plain likewise he must die
cursing and blaspheming -- with the blast
of which his soul (being steep'd in guilt)
sailed before the wind, into the lake of
hell fire.

  The little objection of the Lutheran
doctors to this, was, that it must certainly
be the soul of another man, born Oct.
22, 1483, which was forced to sail down
before the wind in that manner -- inasmuch
as it appeared from the register of Islaben,
in the county of Mansfelt, that Luther
was not born in the year 1483, but in
84 ; and not on the 22d day of October ,

[ 47 ]

but on the 10th of November, the eve of
Martinmas-day, from whence he had the
name of Martin.

  [-- I must break off my translation for
a moment ; for if I did not, I know I
should no more be able to shut my eyes
in bed, than the abbess of Quedlinburg --
It is to tell the reader, that my father
never read this passage of Slawkenbergius
to my uncle Toby but with triumph -- not
over my uncle Toby, for he never opposed
him in it -- but over the whole world.

   -- Now you see, brother Toby, he would
say, looking up, `` that christian names
`` are not such indifferent things ;'' --
had Luther here been called by any other
name but Martin, he would have been
damned to all eternity -- Not that I look
upon Martin, he would add, as a good

[ 48 ]

name -- far from it -- 'tis something better
than a neutral, and but a little -- yet little
as it is, you see it was of some service to

  My father knew the weakness of this
prop to his hypothesis, as well as the best
logician could shew him -- yet so strange
is the weakness of man at the same time,
as it fell in his way, he could not for his
life but make use of it ; and it was cer-
tainly for this reason, that though there
are many stories in Hafen Slawkenbergius's
Decads full as entertaining as this I am
translating, yet there is not one amongst
them which my father read over with
half the delight -- it flattered two of his
strangest hypotheses together -- his NAMES
and his NOSES -- I will be bold to say,
he might have read all the books in the
Alexandrian library, had not fate taken

[ 49 ]

other care of them, and not have met
with a book or a passage in one, which
hit two such nails as these upon the head
at one stroke.]

  The two universities of Strasburg were
hard tugging at this affair of Luther's
navigation. The Protestant doctors had
demonstrated, that he had not sailed right
before the wind, as the Popish doctors
had pretended ; and as every one knew
there was no sailing full in the teeth of
it, -- they were going to settle, in case he
had sailed, how many points he was off ;
whether Martin had doubled the cape,
or had fallen upon a lee-shore ; and no
doubt, as it was an enquiry of much edi-
fication, at least to those who understood
this sort of NAVIGATION, they had gone on
with it in spite of the size of the stranger's
nose, had not the size of the stranger's
   VOL. IV.        E            nose

[ 50 ]

nose drawn off the attention of the world
from what they were about -- it was their
business to follow. ----

  The abbess of Quedlinburg and her four
dignitaries was no stop ; for the enormity
of the stranger's nose running full as much
in their fancies as their case of conscience
-- The affair of their placket-holes kept
cold -- In a word, the printers were or-
dered to distribute their types -- all con-
troversies dropp'd.

  'Twas a square cap with a silk tassel
upon the crown of it -- to a nut shell --
to have guessed on which side of the nose
the two universities would split.

  'Tis above reason, cried the doctors on
one side.

  'Tis below reason, cried the others.

  'Tis faith, cried the one.

[ 51 ]

  'Tis a fiddle-stick, said the other.

  'Tis possible, cried the one.

  'Tis impossible, said the other.

  God's power is infinite, cried the No-
sarians, he can do any thing.

  He can do nothing, replied the Anti-
nosarians, which implies contradictions.

  He can make matter think, said the

  As certainly as you can make a velvet cap
out of a sow's ear, replied the Antinosarians.

  He can make two and two five,
replied the Popish doctors. -- 'Tis false,
said their opponents. --

  Infinite power is infinite power, said
the doctors who maintained the reality
             E 2              of

[ 52 ]

of the nose. ---- It extends only to all
possible things, replied the Lutherans.

  By God in heaven, cried the Popish
doctors, he can make a nose, if he thinks
fit, as big as the steeple of Strasburg.

  Now the steeple of Strasburg being the
biggest and the tallest church-steeple to
be seen in the whole world, the Antino-
sarians denied that a nose of 575 geome-
trical feet in length could be worn, at
least by a middle-siz'd man -- The Popish
doctors swore it could -- The Lutheran
doctors said No ; -- it could not.

  This at once started a new dispute,
which they pursued a great way upon the
extent and limitation of the moral and
natural attributes of God -- That contro-
versy led them naturally into Thomas

[ 53 ]

Aquinas, and Thomas Aquinas to the

  The stranger's nose was no more heard
of in the dispute -- it just served as a frigate
to launch them into the gulph of school-
divinity, -- and then they all sailed before
the wind.

  Heat is in proportion to the want of
true knowledge.

  The controversy about the attributes,
&c. instead of cooling, on the contrary
had inflamed the Strasburgers imagina-
tions to a most inordinate degree -- The
less they understood of the matter, the
greater was their wonder about it -- they
were left in all the distresses of desire
unsatisfied -- saw their doctors, the Parch-
, the Brassarians, the Turpen-
, on one side -- the Popish doctors
             E 3              on

[ 54 ]

on the other, like Pantagruel and his
companions in quest of the oracle of the
bottle, all embarked and out of sight.

   ---- The poor Strasburgers left upon
the beach !

  -- What was to be done ? -- No delay
-- the uproar increased -- every one in dis-
order -- the city gates set open. --

  Unfortunate Strasburgers ! was there
in the store-house of nature -- was there
in the lumber-rooms of learning -- was there
in the great arsenal of chance, one
single engine left undrawn forth to torture
your curiosities, and stretch your desires,
which was not pointed by the hand of
fate to play upon your hearts ? -- I dip
not my pen into my ink to excuse the
surrender of yourselves -- 'tis to write your

[ 55 ]

panegyrick. Shew me a city so macera-
ted with expectation -- who neither eat,
or drank, or slept, or prayed, or heark-
ened to the calls either of religion or na-
ture for seven and twenty days together,
who could have held out one day longer.

  On the twenty-eighth the courteous
stranger had promised to return to Stras-

  Seven thousand coaches (Slawkenber-
must certainly have made some mis-
take in his numerical characters) 7000
coaches -- 15000 single horse chairs ----
20000 waggons, crouded as full as they
could all hold with senators, counsellors,
syndicks -- beguines, widows, wives, vir-
gins, canons, concubines, all in their
coaches -- The abbess of Quedlinburg, with
the prioress, the deaness and sub-chantress
             E 4              leading

[ 56 ]

leading the procession in one coach, and
the dean of Strasburg, with the four great
dignitaries of his chapter on her left-
hand -- the rest following higglety-pigglety
as they could ; some on horseback ----
some on foot -- some led -- some driven --
some down the Rhine -- some this way --
some that -- all set out at sun-rise to meet
the courteous stranger on the road.

  Haste we now towards the catastrophe
of my tale -- I say Catastrophe (cries Slaw-
inasmuch as a tale, with parts
rightly disposed, not only rejoiceth (gau-
in the Catastrophe and Peripeitia of
a DRAMA, but rejoiceth moreover in all
the essential and integrant parts of it --
it has its Protasis, Epitasis, Catastasis,
its Catastrophe or Peripeitia growing one
out of the other in it, in the order Aristotle]
first planted them -- without which a tale

[ 57 ]

had better never be told at all, says
Slawkenbergius, but be kept to a man's

  In all my ten tales, in all my ten de-
cads, have I, Slawkenbergius, tied down
every tale of them as tightly to this rule,
as I have done this of the stranger and
his nose.

   -- From his first parley with the centi-
nel, to his leaving the city of Strasburg,
after pulling off his crimson-sattin pair of
breeches, is the Protasis or first entrance
---- where the characters of the Personæ
are just touched in, and the
subject slightly begun.

  The Epitasis, wherein the action is
more fully entered upon and heightened,
till it arrives at its state or height called
             1              the

[ 58 ]

the Catastasis, and which usually takes
up the 2d and 3d act, is included within
that busy period of my tale, betwixt the
first night's uproar about the nose, to
the conclusion of the trumpeter's wife's
lectures upon it in the middle of the
grand parade ; and from the first em-
barking of the learned in the dispute --
to the doctors finally sailing away, and
leaving the Strasburgers upon the beach
in distress, is the Catastasis or the ripen-
ing of the incidents and passions for their
bursting forth in the fifth act.

  This commences with the setting out
of the Strasburgers in the Frankfort road,
and terminates in unwinding the laby-
rinth and bringing the hero out of a
state of agitation (as Aristotle calls it)
to a state of rest and quietness.
             4              This,

[ 59 ]

  This, says Hafen Slawkenbergius, con-
stitutes the catastrophe or peripeitia of
my tale -- and that is the part of it I am
going to relate.

  We left the stranger behind the curtain
asleep -- he enters now upon the stage.

   -- What dost thou prick up thy ears
at ? -- 'tis nothing but a man upon a horse
-- was the last word the stranger uttered
to his mule. It was not proper then to
tell the reader, that the mule took his
master's word for it ; and without any
more ifs or ands, let the traveller and his
horse pass by.

  The traveller was hastening with all
diligence to get to Strasburg that night
--- What a fool am I, said the traveller
to himself, when he had rode about a