[135 ]


THERE will be just time, whilst
my uncle Toby and Trim are
walking to my father's, to inform you,
that Mrs. Wadman had, some moons
before this, made a confidant of my mo-
ther ; and that Mrs. Bridget, who had
the burden of her own, as well as her
mistress's secret to carry, had got hap-
pily delivered of both to Susannah be-
hind the garden-wall.

  As for my mother, she saw nothing
at all in it, to make the least bustle about
---- but Susannah was sufficient by her-
self for all the ends and purposes you
could possibly have, in exporting a fa-
             K 4              mily

[ 136 ]

mily secret ; for she instantly imparted it
by signs to Jonathan ---- and Jonathan
by tokens to the cook, as she was bast-
ing a loin of mutton ; the cook sold it
with some kitchen fat to the postillion
for a groat, who truck'd it with the
dairy maid for something of about the
same value ---- and though whisper'd
in the hay-loft, FAME caught the notes
with her brazen trumpet and sounded
them upon the house-top -- In a word,
not an old woman in the village or five
miles round, who did not understand
the difficulties of my uncle Toby's siege,
and what were the secret articles which
had delay'd the surrender. ----

  My father, whose way was to force
every event in nature into an hypothesis,

[ 137 ]

by which means never man crucified
TRUTH at the rate he did ---- had but
just heard of the report as my uncle
Toby set out ; and catching fire suddenly
at the trespass done his brother by it, was
demonstrating to Yorick, notwithstand-
ing my mother was sitting by ---- not
only, ``That the devil was in women
`` and that the whole of the affair was
`` lust ;'' but that every evil and disor-
der in the world, of what kind or nature
soever, from the first fall of Adam,
down to my uncle Toby's (inclusive)
was owing one way or other to the same
unruly appetite.

  Yorick was just bringing my father's
hypothesis to some temper, when my un-
cle Toby entering the room with marks

[ 138 ]

of infinite benevolence and forgiveness in
his looks, my father's eloquence re-
kindled against the passion ---- and as he
was not very nice in the choice of his
words when he was wroth ---- as soon as
my uncle Toby was seated by the fire,
and had filled his pipe, my father broke
out in this manner.

                          C H A P.

[ 139 ]


---- THAT provision should be
made for continuing the race
of so great, so exalted and godlike a
Being as man -- I am far from denying --
but philosophy speaks freely of every
thing ; and therefore I still think and
do maintain it to be a pity, that it should
be done by means of a passion which
bends down the faculties, and turns all
the wisdom, contemplations, and opera-
tions of the soul backwards ---- a passion,
my dear, continued my father, addressing
himself to my mother, which couples
and equals wise men with fools, and
makes us come out of caverns and
hiding-places more like satyrs and four-
footed beasts than men.
             2              I know

[ 140 ]

  I know it will be said, continued my
father (availing himself of the Prolepsis)
that in itself, and simply taken ---- like
hunger, or thirst, or sleep ---- 'tis an af-
fair neither good or bad--or shameful or
otherwise. ---- Why then did the delicacy
of Diogenes and Plato so recalcitrate against
it? and wherefore, when we go about to
make and plant a man, do we put out
the candle? and for what reason is it,
that all the parts thereof -- the congredi-
ents -- the preparations -- the instruments,
and whatever serves thereto, are so held
as to be conveyed to a cleanly mind by
no language, translation, or periphrasis

   ---- The act of killing and destroying
a man, continued my father, raising his
voice -- and turning to my uncle Toby --

[ 141 ]

you see, is glorious -- and the weapons by
which we do it are honourable ---- We
march with them upon our shoulders ----
We strut with them by our sides ---- We
gild them ---- We carve them ---- We
in-lay them ---- We enrich them ----
Nay, if it be but a scoundril cannon, we
cast an ornament upon the breech of it. --

   ---- My uncle Toby laid down his
pipe to intercede for a better epithet ----
and Yorick was rising up to batter the
whole hypothesis to pieces ----

   ---- When Obadiah broke into the
middle of the room with a complaint,
which cried out for an immediate hear-

   The case was this :

[ 142 ]

  My father, whether by ancient cus-
tom of the manor, or as impropriator of
the great tithes, was obliged to keep a
Bull for the service of the Parish, and
Obadiah had led his cow upon a pop-
visit to him one day or other the pre-
ceding summer ---- I say, one day or
other -- because as chance would have it,
it was the day on which he was married
to my father's house-maid ---- so one
was a reckoning to the other. There-
fore when Obadiah's wife was brought to
bed -- Obadiah thanked God ----

   ---- Now, said Obadiah, I shall have
a calf: so Obadiah went daily to visit his


[ 143 ]

  She'll calve on Monday -- on Tuesday
-- or Wednesday at the farthest ----

   The cow did not calve ---- no -- she'll
not calve till next week ---- the cow put
it off terribly ---- till at the end of the
sixth week Obadiah's suspicions (like a
good man's) fell upon the Bull.

   Now the parish being very large, my
father's Bull, to speak the truth of him,
was no way equal to the department ; he
had, however, got himself, somehow
or other, thrust into employment -- and as
he went through the business with a grave
face, my father had a high opinion of

                      ---- Most

[ 144 ]

  ---- Most of the townsmen, an'
please your worship, quoth Obadiah, be-
lieve that 'tis all the Bull's fault ----

   ---- But may not a cow be barren?
replied my father, turning to Doctor

   It never happens, said Dr. Slop, but
the man's wife may have come before
her time naturally enough ---- Prithee
has the child hair upon his head? -- ad-
ded Dr. Slop ----

   ---- It is as hairy as I am, said Oba-
diah. ---- Obadiah had not been shaved
for three weeks ---- Wheu - - u - - - -
u - - - - - - - - cried my father ; begin-
ning the sentence with an exclamatory

[ 145 ]

whistle ---- and so, brother Toby, this
poor Bull of mine, who is as good a
Bull as ever p-ss'd, and might have
done for Europa herself in purer times
---- had he but two legs less, might
have been driven into Doctors Commons
and lost his character ---- which to a
Town Bull, brother Toby, is the very
same thing as his life ------

   L--d! said my mother, what is all
this story about? ----

   A C O C K and a B U L L, said
Yorick ---- And one of the best of its
kind, I ever heard.