[ 80 ]

the bell at the bed's head for Trim) was
to a grenadier, I think in Makay's regi-

  -- Had my uncle Toby shot a bullet
thro' my father's heart, he could not
have fallen down with his nose upon the
quilt more suddenly.

  Bless me ! said my uncle Toby.

C H A P. IV.

WAS it Makay's regiment, quoth
my uncle Toby, where the poor
grenadier was so unmercifully whipp'd at
Bruges about the ducats. -- O Christ ! he
was innocent ! cried Trim with a deep
sigh. ---- And he was whipp'd, may it
please your honour, almost to death's

[ 81 ]

door. -- They had better have shot him
outright, as he begg'd, and he had gone
directly to heaven, for he was as innocent
as your honour. ---- I thank thee, Trim,
quoth my uncle Toby. I never think of
his, continued Trim, and my poor bro-
ther Tom's misfortunes, for we were all
three school-fellows, but I cry like a
coward. -- Tears are no proof of cowar-
dice, Trim. -- I drop them oft-times my-
self, cried my uncle Toby. -- I know your
honour does, replied Trim, and so am
not ashamed of it myself. -- But to think,
may it please your honour, continued
Trim, a tear stealing into the corner of
his eye as he spoke -- to think of two vir-
tuous lads with hearts as warm in their
bodies, and as honest as God could make
them -- the children of honest people,
going forth with gallant spirits to seek
their fortunes in the world -- and fall into
  VOL. IV.        G            such

[ 82 ]

such evils ! -- poor Tom ! to be tortured
upon a rack for nothing -- but marrying
a Jew's widow who sold sausages -- honest
Dick Johnson's soul to be scourged out of
his body, for the ducats another man put
into his knapsack ! -- O ! -- these are mis-
fortunes, cried Trim, pulling out his
handkerchief -- these are misfortunes, may
it please your honour, worth lying down
and crying over.

  -- My father could not help blushing.

  -- 'Twould be a pity, Trim quoth my
uncle Toby, thou shouldst ever feel sorrow
of thy own -- thou feelest it so tenderly
for others. -- Alack -o-day, replied the
corporal, brightening up his face -- your
honour knows I have neither wife or child
---- I can have no sorrows in this world.
-- My father could not help smiling. --

[ 83 ]

As few as any man, Trim, replied my
uncle Toby ; nor can I see how a fellow
of thy light heart can suffer, but from
the distress of poverty in thy old age --
when thou art passed all services, Trim, --
and hast out-lived thy friends -- An'please
your honour, never fear, replied Trim
chearily -- But I would have thee never
fear, Trim, replied my uncle ; and there-
fore, continued my uncle Toby, throwing
down his crutch, and getting up upon
his legs as he uttered the word there-
-- in recompence, Trim, of thy long
fidelity to me, and that goodness of thy
heart I have had such proofs of -- whilst
thy master is worth a shilling -- thou shalt
never ask elsewhere, Trim, for a penny.
Trim attempted to thank my uncle Toby,
-- but had not power -- tears trickled
down his cheeks faster than he could
wipe them off -- He laid his hands upon
             G 2              his

[ 84 ]

his breast -- made a bow to the ground,
and shut the door.

  -- I have left Trim my bowling-green,
cried my uncle Toby -- My father smiled
-- I have left him moreover a pension,
continued my uncle Toby -- My father
looked grave.

C H A P. V.

IS this a fit time, said my father to
himself, to talk of PENSIONS and

C H A P. VI.

WHEN my uncle Toby first men-
tioned the grenadier, my father,
I said, fell down with his nose flat to the
quilt, and as suddenly as if my uncle

[ 85 ]

Toby had shot him ; but it was not added,
that every other limb and member of my
father instantly relapsed with his nose into
the same precise attitude in which he lay
first described ; so that when corporal
Trim left the room, and my father found
himself disposed to rise off the bed, -- he
had all the little preparatory movements
to run over again, before he could do it.
-- Attitudes are nothing, madam, -- 'tis the
transition from one attitude to another --
like the preparation and resolution of the
discord into harmony, which is all in all.

  For which reason my father played the
same jig over again with his toe upon the
floor -- pushed the chamber-pot still a
little farther within the valance -- gave a
hem -- raised himself up upon his elbow
-- and was just beginning to address
himself to my uncle Toby -- when recol-
             G 3              lecting

[ 86 ]

lecting the unsuccessfulness of his first
effort in that attitude, -- he got upon his
legs, and in making the third turn across
the room, he stopped short before my
uncle Toby ; and laying the three first
fingers of his right-hand in the palm of
his left, and stooping a little, he addressed
himself to my uncle Toby as follows.


WHEN I reflect, brother Toby,
upon MAN ; and take a view of
that dark side of him which represents
his life as open to so many causes of
trouble -- when I consider, brother Toby,
how oft we eat the bread of affliction,
and that we are born to it, as to the
portion of our inheritance -- I was born
to nothing, quoth my uncle Toby, inter-

[ 87 ]

rupting my father -- but my commission.
Zooks ! said my father, did not my uncle
leave you a hundred and twenty pounds
a year ? -- What could I have done with-
out it ? replied my uncle Toby. -- That's
another concern, said my father testily --
But I say, Toby, when one runs over the
catalogue of all the cross reckonings and
sorrowful items with which the heart of
man is overcharged, 'tis wonderful by
what hidden resources the mind is enabled
to stand it out, and bear itself up, as it
does against the impositions laid upon
our nature. ---- 'Tis by the assistance of
Almighty God, cried my uncle Toby,
looking up, and pressing the palms of
his hands close together -- 'tis not from
our own strength, brother Shandy -- a sen-
tinel in a wooden centry-box, might as
well pretend to stand it out against a
detachment of fifty men, -- we are upheld
             G 4              by

[ 88 ]

by the grace and the assistance of the best
of Beings.

  -- That is cutting the knot, said my
father, instead of untying it. -- But give
me leave to lead you, brother Toby, a
little deeper into this mystery.

  With all my heart, replied my uncle

  My father instantly exchanged the at-
titude he was in, for that in which So-
is so finely painted by Raffael in
his school of Athens ; which your con-
noisseurship knows is so exquisitely ima-
gined, that even the particular manner
of the reasoning of Socrates is expressed
by it -- for he holds the fore-finger of his
left-hand between the fore-finger and the
thumb of his right, and seems as if he

[ 89 ]

was saying to the libertine he is re-
claiming -- `` You grant me this -- and this :
`` and this, and this, I don't ask of
`` you -- they follow of themselves in
`` course.''

  So stood my father, holding fast his
fore-finger betwixt his finger and his
thumb, and reasoning with my uncle
Toby as he sat in his old fringed chair,
valanced around with party-coloured
worsted bobs -- O Garrick ! what a rich
scene of this would thy exquisite powers
make ! and how gladly would I write such
another to avail myself of thy immor-
tality, and secure my own behind it.

                          C H A P.

[ 90 ]


THOUGH man is of all others
the most curious vehicle, said my
father, yet at the same time 'tis of so
slight a frame and so totteringly put to-
gether, that the sudden jerks and hard jost-
lings it unavoidably meets with in this
rugged journey, would overset and tear
it to pieces a dozen times a day -- was it
not, brother Toby, that there is a secret
spring within us -- Which spring, said my
uncle Toby, I take to be Religion. -- Will
that set my child's nose on ? cried my
father, letting go his finger, and striking
one hand against the other -- It makes
every thing straight for us, answered my
uncle Toby -- Figuratively speaking, dear
Toby, it may, for aught I know, said
             3              my

[ 91 ]

my father ; but the spring I am speaking
of, is that great and elastic power within
us of counterbalancing evil, which like
a secret spring in a well-ordered machine,
though it can't prevent the shock -- at
least it imposes upon our sense of it.

  Now, my dear brother, said my fa-
ther, replacing his fore-finger, as he was
coming closer to the point, -- had my
child arrived safe into the world, un-
martyr'd in that precious part of him --
fanciful and extravagant as I may appear
to the world in my opinion of christian
names, and of that magic bias which
good or bad names irresistably impress
upon our characters and conducts -- hea-
ven is witness ! that in the warmest trans-
ports of my wishes for the prosperity of
my child, I never once wished to crown
his head with more glory and honour,

[ 92 ]

than what GEORGE or EDWARD would
have spread around it.

  But alas ! continued my father, as the
greatest evil has befallen him -- I must
counteract and undo it with the greatest

  He shall be christened Trismegistus,

  I wish it may answer -- replied my
uncle Toby, rising up.

C H A P. IX.

WHAT a chapter of chances, said
my father, turning himself about
upon the first landing, as he and my
uncle Toby were going down stairs ----
what a long chapter of chances do the

[ 93 ]

events of this world lay open to us !
Take pen and ink in hand, brother Toby,
and calculate it fairly -- I know no more
of calculations than this balluster, said
my uncle Toby, (striking short of it with
his crutch, and hitting my father a de-
sperate blow souse upon his shin-bone) --
'Twas a hundred to one -- cried my uncle
Toby. ---- I thought, quoth my father,
( rubbing his shin ) you had known
nothing of calculations, brother Toby.
-- 'Twas a meer chance, said my uncle
Toby -- Then it adds one to the chapter
-- replied my father.

  The double success of my father's re-
partees tickled off the pain of his shin at
once -- it was well it so fell out -- (chance !
again) -- or the world to this day had
never known the subject of my father's
calculation -- to guess it -- there was no

[ 94 ]

chance -- What a lucky chapter of chances
has this turned out ! for it has saved me
the trouble of writing one express, and
in truth I have anew already upon my
hands without it ---- Have not I pro-
mised the world a chapter of knots ?
two chapters upon the right and the
wrong end of a woman ? a chapter upon
whiskers ? a chapter upon wishes ? -- a
chapter of noses ? -- No, I have done
that -- a chapter upon my uncle Toby's
modesty ? to say nothing of a chapter
upon chapters, which I will finish before
I sleep -- by my great grandfather's whis-
kers, I shall never get half of 'em through
this year.

  Take pen and ink in hand, and calcu-
late it fairly, brother Toby, said my fa-
ther, and it will turn out a million to one,
that of all the parts of the body, the edge

[ 95 ]

of the forceps should have the ill luck
just to fall upon and break down that
one part, which should break down the
fortunes of our house with it.

  It might have been worse, replied my
uncle Toby -- I don't comprehend, said
my father -- Suppose the hip had present-
ed, replied my uncle Toby, as Dr. Slop

  My father reflected half a minute --
looked down -- touched the middle of his
forehead slightly with his finger --

  -- True, said he.

                          C H A P.

[ 96 ]

C H A P. X.

IS it not a shame to make two chapters
of what passed in going down one
pair of stairs ? for we are got no farther
yet than to the first landing, and there
are fifteen more steps down to the bot-
tom ; and for aught I know, as my fa-
ther and my uncle Toby are in a talking
humour, there may be as many chapters
as steps ; -- let that be as it will, Sir, I
can no more help it than my destiny : --
A sudden impulse comes across me ----
drop the curtain, Shandy -- I drop it ----
Strike a line here across the paper,Tristram
-- I strike it -- and hey for a new chapter !

  The duce of any other rule have I to
govern myself by in this affair -- and if I

[ 97 ]

had one -- as I do all things out of all
rule -- I would twist it and tear it to
pieces, and throw it into the fire when I
had done -- Am I warm ? I am, and the
cause demands it -- a pretty story ! is a
man to follow rules -- or rules to follow
him ?

  Now this, you must know, being my
chapter upon chapters, which I promised
to write before I went to sleep, I thought
it meet to ease my conscience entirely
before I lay'd down, by telling the world
all I knew about the matter at once : Is
not this ten times better than to set out
dogmatically with a sententious parade of
wisdom, and telling the world a story of
a roasted horse -- that chapters relieve the
mind -- that they assist -- or impose upon
the imagination -- and that in a work of
this dramatic cast they are as necessary as
  VOL. IV.        H            the

[ 98 ]

the shifting of scenes -- with fifty other
cold conceits, enough to extinguish the
fire which roasted him. -- O ! but to un-
derstand this, which is a puff at the fire
of Diana's temple -- you must read Lon-
-- read away -- if you are not a jot
the wiser by reading him the first time over
-- never fear -- read him again -- Avicenna
and Licetus, read Aristotle's metaphysicks
forty times through a piece, and never
understood a single word. -- But mark the
consequence -- Avicenna turned out a de-
sperate writer at all kinds of writing --
for he wrote books de omni scribili ; and
for Licetus (Fortunio) though all the
world knows he was born a foetus *, of
  * Ce Foetus n'etoit pas plus grand que la paúme
de la main ; mais son pere l'ayant éxaminè en qua-
litè de Médecin, & ayant trouvé que c'etoit quel-
que chose de plus qu'un Embryon, le fit transporter
tout vivant à Rapallo, ou il le fit voir à Jerôme

[ 99 ]

no more than five inches and a half in
length, yet he grew to that astonishing
height in literature, as to write a book
with a title as long as himself ---- the
learned know I mean his Gonopsychan-
, upon the origin of the human

Bardi & à d'autres Medecins du lieu. On trouva
qu'il ne lui manquoit rien d'essential a la vie ; &
son pere pour faire voir un essai de son expérience,
entreprit d'achever l'ouvrage de la Nature, & de
travailler a la formation de l'Enfant avec le même
artifice que celui dont on se sert pour faire éclorre
les Poulets en Egypte. Il instruisit une Nourrisse
de tout ce qu'elle avoit à faire, & ayant fait mettre
son fils dans un four proprement accommodè, il
reussit à l'élever et a lui faire prendre ses accroisse-
mens necessaires, par l'uniformité d'une chaleur
étrangére mesurée éxactement sur les dégrés d'un
Thermométre, ou d'un autre instrument équivalent.
(Vide Mich. Giustinian, ne gli Scritt. Liguri á
Cart. 223. 488.)
             H 2                        On