[ 120 ]

  We thought, Mr. Trim, it had
been more in the middle ---- said Mrs.
Bridget ----

  That would have undone us for ever --
said the Corporal.

  ---- And left my poor mistress undone
too -- said Bridget.

  The Corporal made no reply to the
repartee, but by giving Mrs. Bridget a

  Come -- come -- said Bridget -- holding
the palm of her left-hand parallel to
the plane of the horizon, and slid-
ing the fingers of the other over it, in a
way which could not have been done,
had there been the least wart or protube-

[ 121 ]

rance ---- 'Tis every syllable of it false,
cried the Corporal, before she had half
finished the sentence ----

  -- I know it to be fact, said Bridget,
from credible witnesses.

  ------ Upon my honour, said the
Corporal, laying his hand upon his
heart, and blushing as he spoke with
honest resentment -- 'tis a story, Mrs.
Bridget, as false as hell ---- Not, said
Bridget, interrupting him, that either I
or my mistress care a halfpenny about it,
whether 'tis so or no ------ only that
when one is married, one would chuse
to have such a thing by one at least ----


[ 122 ]

  It was somewhat unfortunate for Mrs.
Bridget that she had begun the attack
with her manual exercise ; for the Cor-
poral instantly  *   *   *   *   *   *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *.

                          C H A P.

[ 123 ]


IT was like the momentary contest
in the moist eyelids of an April
morning, `` Whether Bridget should
`` laugh or cry.''

  She snatch'd up a rolling pin ----
'twas ten to one, she had laugh'd ----

  She laid it down ---- she cried ; and
had one single tear of 'em but tasted of
bitterness, full sorrowful would the Cor-
poral's heart have been that he had used
the argument ; but the Corporal under-
stood the sex, a quart major to a terce at
least, better than my uncle Toby, and
accordingly he assailed Mrs. Bridget after
this manner.
                          I know

[ 124 ]

  I know, Mrs. Bridget, said the Cor-
poral, giving her a most respectful kiss,
that thou are good and modest by nature,
and art withal so generous a girl in thyself,
that, if I know thee rightly, thou wouldst
not wound an insect, much less the honour
of so gallant and worthy a soul as my
master, wast thou sure to be made a
countess of ---- but thou hast been
set on, and deluded, dear Bridget, as is
often a woman's case, `` to please others
`` more than themselves ---- ''

  Bridget's eyes poured down at the
sensations the Corporal excited.

  ---- Tell me ---- tell me then, my
dear Bridget, continued the Corporal,
taking hold of her hand, which hung

[ 125 ]

down dead by her side, ---- and giving a
second kiss ---- whose suspicion has
misled thee?

  Bridget sobb'd a sob or two ---- then
open'd her eyes ---- the Corporal wiped
'em with the bottom of her apron ----
she then open'd her heart and told
him all.

                          C H A P.

[ 126 ]


MY uncle Toby and the Corporal
had gone on separately with their
operations the greatest part of the cam-
paign and as effectually cut off from all
communication of what either the one
or the other had been doing, as if they
had been separated from each other by
the Maes or the Sambre.

  My uncle, Toby, on his side, had pre-
sented himself every afternoon in his red
and silver, and blue and gold, alternately,
and sustained an infinity of attacks in
them, without knowing them to be at-
tacks -- and so had nothing to commu-
nicate ----

[ 127 ]

  The Corporal, on his side, in taking
Bridget, by it had gain'd considerable
advantages ---- and consequently had
much to communicate ---- but what
were the advantages ---- as well, as
what was the manner by which he had
seiz'd them, required so nice an historian
that the Corporal durst not venture upon
it ; and as sensible as he was of glory,
would rather have been contented to have
gone bareheaded and without laurels for
ever, than torture his master's modesty
for a single moment ----

  ---- Best of honest and gallant ser-
vants! ---- But I have apostrophiz'd
thee, Trim! once before ---- and could
I apotheosize thee also (that is to say)

[ 128 ]

with good company ---- I would do
it without ceremony in the very next

                          C H A P.

[ 129 ]


NOW my uncle Toby had one
evening laid down his pipe upon
the table, and was counting over to
himself upon his finger ends, (beginning
at his thumb) all Mrs. Wadman's per-
fections one by one ; and happening two
or three times together, either by omit-
ting some, or counting others twice over,
to puzzle himself sadly before he could
get beyond his middle finger ---- Prit-
hee, Trim! said he, taking up his pipe
again, ---- bring me a pen and ink :
Trim brought paper also.
   VOL. IX.        K            Take

[ 130 ]

  Take a full sheet ---- Trim! said
my uncle Toby, making a sign with his
pipe at the same time to take a chair and
sit down close by him at the table. The
Corporal obeyed ---- placed the paper
directly before him ---- took a pen and
dip'd it in the ink.

  -- She has a thousand virtues, Trim!
said my uncle Toby ------

  Am I to set them down, an' please
your honour? quoth the Corporal.

  ---- But they must be taken in their
ranks, replied my uncle Toby ; for of
them all, Trim, that which wins me
most, and which is a security for all the
rest, is the compassionate turn and singu-

[ 131 ]

lar humanity of her character -- I pro-
test, added my uncle Toby, looking up,
as he protested it, towards the top of the
ceiling ---- That was I her brother,
Trim a thousand fold, she could not
make more constant or more tender en-
quiries after my sufferings ---- though
now no more.

  The Corporal made no reply to my
uncle Toby's protestation, but by a short
cough -- he dip'd the pen a second time
into the inkhorn ; and my uncle Toby,
pointing with the end of his pipe as close
to the top of the sheet at the left hand
corner of it as he could get it ---- the
Corporal wrote down the word
H U M A N I T Y  -  -  -  -  thus.

             K 2              Prithee,

[ 132 ]

  Prithee,Corporal, said my uncle Toby,
as soon as Trim had done it ------ how
often does Mrs. Bridget enquire after
the wound on the cap of thy knee,
which thou receiv'dst at the battle of

  She never, an' please your honour,
enquires after it at all.

  That, Corporal, said my uncle Toby,
with all the triumph the goodness of his
nature would permit ---- That shews
the difference in the character of the
mistress and maid ---- had the fortune
of war allotted the same mischance to
me, Mrs. Wadman would have enquired
into every circumstance relating to it a

[ 133 ]

hundred times ---- She would have en-
quired, an' please your honour, ten times
as often about your honour's groin ----
The pain, Trim, is equally excruciating,
---- and Compassion has as much to do
with, the one as the other ----

  ---- God bless your honour! cried
the Corporal ---- what has a woman's
compassion to do with a wound upon
the cap of a man's knee? had your ho-
nour's been shot into ten thousand
splinters at the affair of Landen, Mrs.
Wadman would have troubled her head
as little about it as Bridget ; because,
added the Corporal, lowering his voice
and speaking very distinctly, as he
assigned his reason ----

             K 3              `` The

[ 134 ]

  `` The knee is such a distance from
`` the main body -- whereas the groin,
`` your honour knows, is upon the very
`` curtin of the place.''

  My uncle Toby gave a long whistle
---- but in a note which could scarce be
heard across the table.

  The Corporal had advanced too far
to retire ---- in three words he told the
rest ----

  My uncle Toby laid down his pipe
as gently upon the fender, as if it had
been spun from the unravellings of a
spider's web ------

  ------ Let us go to my brother
Shandy's, said he.

                          C H A P.