T  H  E

L   I   F   E

A  N  D



G E N T L E M A N.

Si quid urbaniusculè lusum a nobis, per Musas et Cha-
    ritas et omnium poetarum Numina, Oro te, ne me
    malè capias.

V O L. IX.

L  O  N  D  O  N :
Printed for T. BECKET and P. A. DEHONT,
in the Strand.   MDCCLXVII.




T O  A

G R E A T  M A N.

HAVING, a priori, intended
to dedicate The Amours of my
uncle Toby to Mr. * * * ---- I see
more reasons, a posteriori, for doing
it to Lord * * * * * * *.

  I should lament from my soul, if
this exposed me to the jealousy of
their Reverences ; because, a posteri-
  VOL. IX.        a            ori,


ori, in Court-latin, signifies, the
kissing hands for preferment -- or
any thing else -- in order to get it.

  My opinion of Lord * * * * * * * is
neither better nor worse, than it was
of Mr. * * *. Honours, like im-
pressions upon coin, may give an
ideal and local value to a bit of base
metal ; but Gold and Silver will pass
all the world over without any
other recommendation than their
own weight.

  The same good will that made me
think of offering up half an hour's
amusement to Mr. * * * when out of
place -- operates more forcibly at


present, as half an hour's amuse-
ment will be more serviceable and
refreshing after labour and sorrow,
than after a philosophical repast.

  Nothing is so perfectly Amuse-
ment as a total change of ideas ; no
ideas are so totally different as those
of Ministers, and inoccent Lovers :
for which reason, when I come to
talk of Statesmen and Patriots, and
set such marks upon them as will
prevent confusion and mistakes con-
cerning them for the future -- I pro-
pose to dedicate that Volume to some
gentle Shepherd,

Whose Thoughts proud Science never taught
    to stray,
Far as the Statesman's walk or Patriot-way ;



Yet simple Nature to his hopes had given
Out of a cloud-capp'd head a humbler heaven ;
Some untam'd World in depth of woods em-
    braced --
Some happier Island in the watry-waste --
And where admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful Dogs should bear him company.

  In a word, by thus introducing an
entire new set of objects to his Imagi-
nation, I shall unavoidably give a
Diversion to his passionate and love-
sick Contemplations. In the mean-
           I am,

             The A U T H O R.

L. SterneAutographT H E

L I F E  and  O P I N I O N S


T R I S T R A M S H A N D Y, Gent.


C H A P. I.

I CALL all the powers of time
and chance, which severally check us
in our careers in this world, to bear me
witness, that I could never yet get fairly
to my uncle Toby's amours, till this
very moment, that my mother's curiosity,
   VOL. IX        B            as

[ 2 ]

as she stated the affair, ---- or a different
impulse in her, as my father would have
it ---- wished her to take a peep at them
through the key-hole.

  ``Call it, my dear, by its right name,
quoth my father, and look through the
key-hole as long as you will.''

  Nothing but the fermentation of that
little subacid humour which I have often
spoken of, in my father's habit, could
have vented such an insinuation ---- he
was however frank and generous in his
nature, and at all times open to convic-
tion ; so that he had scarce got to the
last word of this ungracious retort, when
his conscience smote him.


[ 3 ]

  My mother was then conjugally
swinging with her left arm twisted under
his right, in such wise that the inside of
her hand rested upon the back of his --
she raised her fingers, and let them fall --
it could scarce be call'd a tap ; or if it
was a tap ---- 'twould have puzzled a
casuist to say whether 'twas a tap of re-
monstrance, or a tap of confession : my
father, who was all sensibilities from head
to foot, class'd it right -- Conscience re-
doubled her blow -- he turn'd his face
suddenly the other way, and my mother
supposing his body was about to turn
with it in order to move homewards,
by a cross movement of her right leg,
keeping her left as its centre, brought
herself so far in front that as he turned
             B 2.              his

[ 4 ]

head, he met her eye ------ Confu-
sion again! he saw a thousand reasons
to wipe out the reproach, and as many to
reproach himself ---- a thin, blue, chill,
pellucid chrystal with all its humours so
at rest, the least mote or speck of desire
might have been seen at the bottom of
it, had it existed ---- it did not --- and
how I happen to be so lewd myself,
particularly a little before the vernal and
autumnal equinoxes ---- Heaven above
knows ---- My mother ---- madam
---- was so at no time, either by nature,
by institution, or example.

  A temperate current of blood ran or-
derly through her veins in all months of
the year, and in all critical moments both

[ 5 ]

of the day and night alike ; nor did she
superinduce the least heat into her hu-
mours from the manual effervescencies
of devotional tracts, which having little
or no meaning in them, nature is oft
times obliged to find one ---- And as for
my father's example! 'twas so far from
being either aiding or abetting thereunto,
that 'twas the whole business of his life
to keep all fancies of that kind out of
her head ---- Nature had done her part,
to have spared him this trouble ; and what
was not a little inconsistent, my father
knew it ---- And here am I sitting, this
12th day of August, 1766, in a pur-
ple jerkin and yellow pair of slippers,
without either wig or cap on, a most
             B 3              tragi-

[ 6 ]

tragicomical completion of his predic-
tion ``That I should neither think,
``nor act like any other man's child,
``upon that very account.''

  The mistake of my father was in
attacking my mother's motive, instead
of the act itself : for certainly key-holes
were made for other purposes ; and
considering the act as an act which
interfered with a true proposition, and
denied a key-hole to be what it was
------ it became a violation of na-
ture ; and was so far, you see, cri-

  It is for this reason, an' please
your Reverences, That key-holes are

[ 7 ]

the occasions of more sin and wicked-
ness than all other holes in this world
put together.

  ---- which leads me to my uncle
Toby's amours.

             B 4              CHAP.

[ 8 ]

C H A P. II.

Though the Corporal had
been as good as his word in put-
ting my uncle Toby's great ramillie-wig
into pipes, yet the time was too short
to produce any great effects from it :
it had lain many years squeezed up in
the corner of his old campaign trunk ;
and as bad forms are not so easy to be
got the better of, and the use of candle-
ends not so well understood, it was
not so pliable a business as one would
have wished. The Corporal with cheary
eye and both arms extended, had fallen
back perpendicular from it a score times,
to inspire it, if possible, with a better
air ---- had SPLEEN given a look at it,

[ 9 ]

'twould have cost her Ladyship a smile
---- it curl'd every where but where the
Corporal would have it ; and where a
buckle or two, in his opinion, would
have done it honour, he could as soon
have raised the dead.

  Such it was ---- or rather such would
it have seem'd upon any other brow ; but
the sweet look of goodness which sat
upon my uncle Toby's assimilated every
thing around it so sovereignly to it-
self, and Nature had moreover wrote
GENTLEMAN with so fair a hand in every
line of his countenance, that even his
tarnish'd gold laced hat and huge cock-
ade of flimsy taffeta became him ; and
though not worth a button in themselves,
yet the moment my uncle Toby put
them on, they became serious objects,

[ 10 ]

and altogether seem'd to have been picked
up by the hand of Science to set him off
to advantage.

  Nothing in this world could have co-
operated more powerfully towards this,
than my uncle Toby's blue and gold ----
had not Quantity in some measure been ne-
cessary to Grace :
in a period of fifteen or
sixteen years since they had been made,
by a total inactivity in my uncle Toby's
life, for he seldom went further than the
bowling-green -- his blue and gold had
become so miserably too strait for him,
that it was with the utmost difficulty the
Corporal was able to get him into them :
the taking them up at the sleeves was
of no advantage. ---- They were laced
however down the back, and at the seams
of the sides, &c., in the mode of King

[ 11 ]

William's reign ; and to shorten all de-
scription, they shone so bright against the
sun that morning, and had so metallick,
and doughty an air with them, that had
my uncle Toby thought of attacking in
armour, nothing could have so well im-
posed upon his imagination.

  As for the thin scarlet breeches, they
had been unripp'd by the taylor between
the legs, and left at sixes and sevens ----

  ---- Yes, Madam, ---- but let us go-
vern our fancies. It is enough they
were held impracticable the night before,
and as there was no alternative in my
uncle Toby's wardrobe, he sallied forth
in the red plush.

  The Corporal had array'd himself in
poor Le Fevre's regimental coat ; and

[ 12 ]

with his hair tuck'd up under his Mon-
tero cap, which he had furbish'd up
for the occasion march'd three paces
distant from his master : a whiff of mi-
litary pride had puff'd out his shirt at
the wrist ; and upon that, in a black lea-
ther thong clipp'd into a tassel beyond
the knot, hung the Corporal's stick ----
My uncle Toby carried his cane like a

  ---- It looks well at least, quoth my
father to himself.

                          C H A P.

[ 13 ]


MY uncle Toby turn'd his head
more than once behind him, to
see how he was supported by the Corpo-
ral ; and the Corporal, as oft as he did
it, gave a slight flourish with his stick --
but not vapouringly ; and with the sweet-
est accent of most respectful encourage-
ment, bid his honour ``never fear.''

  Now my uncle Toby did fear ; and
grievously too : he knew not (as my fa-
ther had reproach'd him) so much as the
right end of a Woman from the wrong,
and therefore was never altogether at his
ease near any one of them ---- unless in
sorrow or distress ; then infinite was his
pity ; nor would the most courteous

[ 14 ]

knight of romance have gone further, at
least upon one leg, to have wiped away
a tear from a woman's eye ; and yet ex-
cepting once that he was beguiled into
it by Mrs. Wadman, he had never looked
stedfastly into one ; and would often tell
my father, in the simplicity of his heart,
that it was almost (if not alout) as bad
as talking bawdy. ----

  ---- And suppose it is? my father
would say.

                          C H A P.

[ 15 ]

C H A P. IV.

SHE cannot, quoth my uncle Toby,
halting, when they had march'd up
to within twenty paces of Mrs. Wad-
man's door -- she cannot, Corporal, take
it amiss. ----

  ---- She will take it, an' please your
honour, said the Corporal, just as the
Jew's widow at Lisbon took it of my
brother Tom. ----

  ---- And how was that? quoth my
uncle Toby, facing quite about to the

  Your honour, replied the Corporal,
knows of Tom's misfortunes ; but this

[ 16 ]

affair has nothing to do with them any
further than this, That if Tom had
not married the widow ---- or had it
pleased God after their marriage,
that they had but put pork into their sausa-
ages, the honest soul had never been taken
out of his warm bed, and dragg'd to
the inquisition ---- 'Tis a cursed place --
added the Corporal, shaking his head,
-- when once a poor creature is in,
he is in, an' please your honour, for

  'Tis very true, said my uncle Toby
looking gravely at Mrs. Wadman's house,
as he spoke.

  Nothing, continued the Corporal, can
be so sad as confinement for life -- or so
sweet, an' please your honour, as liberty.

[ 17 ]

  Nothing, Trim ---- said my uncle
Toby, musing ----

  Whilst a man is free -- cried the Cor-
poral, giving a flourish with his stick
thus ----

  VOL. IX.              C           

[ 18 ]

  A thousand of my father's most subtle
syllogisms could not have said more for

  My uncle Toby look'd earnestly to-
wards his cottage and his bowling green.

  The Corporal had unwarily conjured
up the Spirit of calculation with his
wand ; and he had nothing to do, but
to conjure him down again with his
story, and in this form of Exorcism,
most unecclesiastically did the Corporal
do it.

                          C H A P.

[ 19 ]

C H A P. V.

AS Tom's place, an' please your
honour, was easy -- and the wea-
ther warm -- it put him upon thinking se-
riously of settling himself in the world ;
and as it fell out about that time, that a
Jew who kept a sausage shop in the same
street, had the ill luck to die of a stran-
gury, and leave his widow in possession
of a rousing trade ---- Tom thought (as
every body in Lisbon was doing the best
he could devise for himself) there could
be no harm in offering her his service
to carry it on : so without any introduction
to the widow, except that of buying a
pound of sausages at her shop -- Tom
set out -- counting the matter thus within
             C 2              himself