[ 80 ]

Toby's fitness for the marriage state, no-
thing was ever better : she had formed
him of the best and kindliest clay ----
had temper'd it with her own milk, and
breathed into it the sweetest spirit ---- she
had made him all gentle, generous, and
humane ---- she had fill'd his heart with
trust and confidence, and disposed every
passage which led to it for the commu-
nication of the tenderest offices ---- she
had moreover considered the other causes
for which matrimony was ordained ----

  And accordingly *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *.

  The DONATION was not defended by
my uncle Toby's wound.

[ 81 ]

  Now this last article was somewhat
apocryphal ; and the devil, who is the
great disturber of our faiths in this world,
had raised scruples in Mrs. Wadman's
brain about it ; and like a true devil as
he was, had done his own work at the
same time, by turning my uncle Toby's
Virtue thereupon into nothing but empty
bottles, tripes, trunk hose, and pantofles.

  VOL. IX        G.            C H A P.

[ 82 ]


MRS. Bridget had pawn'd all the
little stock of honour a poor
chambermaid was worth in the world,
that she would get to the bottom of the
affair in ten days ; and it was built upon
one of the most concessible postulatums in
nature : namely, that whilst my uncle
Toby was making love to her mistress,
the Corporal could find nothing better
to do than make love to her ---- `` And
`` I'll let him as much as he will,'' said
Bridget, ``to get it out of him.''

  Friendship has two garments ; an
outer, and an under one. Bridget was
             3              serving

[ 83 ]

serving her mistress's interests in the one
-- and doing the thing which most pleased
herself in the other ; so had as many
stakes depending upon my uncle Toby's
wound as the devil himself ---- Mrs.
Wadman had but one -- and as it possibly
might be her last (without discouraging
Mrs. Bridget, or discrediting her talents)
was determined to play her cards her-

  She wanted not encouragement : a
child might have look'd into his hand
---- there was such a plainness and sim-
plicity in his playing out what trumps
he had ---- with such an unmistrusting
ignorance of the ten-ace ---- and so na-
ked and defenceless did he sit upon the
             G 2              same

[ 84 ]

same sopha with widow Wadman,
that a generous heart would have wept
to have won the game of him.

  Let us drop the metaphor.

                          C H A P.

[ 85 ]


---- AND the story too -- if you
please : for though I have
all along been hastening towards this
part of it, with so much earnest desire,
as well knowing it to be the choicest
morsel of what I had to offer to the
world, yet now that I am got to it,
anyone is welcome to take my pen, and go
on with the story for me that will -- I see
the difficulties of the descriptions I'm
going to give -- and feel my want of

  It is one comfort at least to me, that
I lost some fourscore ounces of blood
this week in a most uncritical fever which
             G 3              attacked

[ 86 ]

attacked me at the beginning of this
chapter ; so that I have still some hopes
remaining it may be more in the se-
rous or globular parts of the blood, than
in the subtile aura of the brain ---- be
it which it will -- an Invocation can do no
hurt ---- and I leave the affair entirely to
the invoked, to inspire or to inject me ac-
cording as he sees good.


[ 87 ]

T H E  I N V O C A T I O N

GENTLE Spirit of sweetest hu-
mour, who erst didst sit upon the
easy pen of my beloved CERVANTES ;
Thou who glided'st daily through his lat-
tice, and turned'st the twilight of his
prison into noonday brightness by thy
presence ---- tinged'st his little urn of
water with heaven-sent Nectar, and
all the time he wrote of Sancho and his
master, didst cast thy mystic mantle
o'er his wither'd * stump, and wide
extended it to all the evils of his
life ------

  * He lost his hand at the battle of Lepanto.

             G4              Turn

[ 88 ]

  ---- Turn in hither, I beseech thee!
---- behold these breeches! ---- they
are all I have in the world ---- that
piteous rent was given them at Ly-
ons ------

  My shirts! see what a deadly schism
has happen'd amongst 'em -- for the laps
are in Lombardy, and the rest of 'em
here -- I never had but six, and a cun-
ning gypsy of a laundress at Milan cut
me off the fore-laps of five -- To do her
justice, she did it with some considera-
tion -- for I was returning out of

  And yet notwithstanding all this,
and a pistol tinder-box which was more-
over filch'd from me at Siena, and

[ 89 ]

twice that I pay'd five Pauls for two
hard eggs, once at Raddicoffini, and a
second time at Capua -- I do not think a
journey through France and Italy, pro-
vided a man keeps his temper all the
way, so bad a thing as some people
would make you believe : there must be
ups and downs, or how the duce should
we get into vallies where Nature spreads
so many tables of entertainment. -- 'Tis
nonsense to imagine they will lend you
their voitures to be shaken to pieces for
nothing ; and unless you pay twelve sous
for greasing your wheels, how should
the poor peasant get butter to his bread?
-- We really expect too much -- and for
the livre or two above par for your sup-
pers and bed -- at the most they are
but one shilling and ninepence half-

[ 90 ]

penny ---- who would embroil their phi-
losophy for it? for heaven's and for your
own sake, pay it ---- pay it with both
hands open, rather than leave Disappoint-
sitting drooping upon the eye of
your fair Hostess and her Damsels in the
gate-way, at your departure ---- and
besides, my dear Sir, you get a sisterly
kiss of each of 'em worth a pound ----
at least I did ----

  ---- For, my uncle Toby's amours
running all the way in my head, they
had the same effect upon me as if they
had been my own ---- I was in the most per-
fect state of bounty and good will ; and
felt the kindliest harmony vibrating with-
in me, with every oscillation of the
chaise alike ; so that whether the roads

[ 91 ]

were rough or smooth, it made no dif-
ference ; everything I saw, or had to do
with, touch'd upon some secret spring
either of sentiment or rapture.

  ---- They were the sweetest notes I
ever heard ; and I instantly let down the
foreglass to hear them more distinctly
---- 'Tis Maria, said the postillion,
observing I was listening ------ Poor
Maria, continued he, (leaning his body
on one side to let me see her, for he was
in a line betwixt us), is sitting upon a
bank playing her vespers upon her pipe,
with her little goat beside her.

  The young fellow utter'd this with an
accent and a look so perfectly in tune to
a feeling heart, that I instantly made

[ 92 ]

a vow, I would give him a four and
twenty sous piece, when I got to
Moulins ----

  ------ And who is poor Maria?
said I.

  The love and pity of all the villages
around us, said the postillion ---- it is
but three years ago, that the sun did not
shine upon so fair, so quick-witted and
amiable a maid ; and better fate did
Maria deserve than to have her Banns
forbid, by the intrigues of the curate of
the parish who published them ----

  He was going on, when Maria, who
had made a short pause, put the pipe
to her mouth and began the air again
                          ---- they

[ 93 ]

---- they were the same notes ; ---- yet
were ten times sweeter : It is the evening
service to the Virgin, said the young
man ---- but who has taught her to
play it -- or how she came by her pipe,
no one knows ; we think that Heaven has
assisted her in both ; for ever since she
has been unsettled in her mind, it seems
her only consulation ---- she has never
once had the pipe out of her hand, but
plays that service upon it almost night
and day.

  The postillion delivered this with so
much discretion and natural eloquence,
that I could not help decyphering some-
thing in his face above his condition,
and should have sifted out his history,
2                          had

[ 94 ]

had not poor Maria's taken such full
possession of me.

  We had got up by this time almost
to the bank where Maria was sitting :
she was in a thin white jacket with her
hair, all but two tresses, drawn up into a
silk net, with a few olive leaves twisted
a little fantastically on one side ---- she
was beautiful ; and if ever I felt the full
force of an honest heart-ache, it was the
moment I saw her ----

  ---- God help her! poor damsel!
above a hundred masses, said the postil-
lion, have been said in the several parish
churches and convents around, for her,
---- but without effect ; we have still
hopes, as she is sensible for short intervals,

[ 95 ]

that the Virgin at last will restore her to
herself ; but her parents, who know her
best, are hopeless upon that score, and
think her senses are lost for ever.

  As the postillion spoke this, MARIA
made a cadence so melancholy, so tender
and querulous, that I sprung out of the
chaise to help her, and found myself
sitting betwixt her and her goat before I
relapsed from my enthusiasm.

  MARIA look'd wistfully for some time
at me, and then at her goat ---- and
then at me ---- and then at her goat
again, and so on, alternately ----

  ---- Well, Maria, said I softly ----
What resemblance do you find?

                          I do

[ 96 ]

  I do intreat the candid reader to believe
me, that it was from the humblest con-
viction of what a Beast man is, ---- that
I ask'd the question ; and that I would not
have let fallen an unseasonable pleasantry
in the venerable presence of Misery, to be
entitled to all the wit that ever Rabelais
scatter'd ---- and yet I own my heart
smote me, and that I so smarted at the
very idea of it, that I swore I would set
up for Wisdom and utter grave sentences
the rest of my days ---- and never ----
never attempt again to commit mirth
with man, woman, or child, the longest
day I had to live.

  As for writing nonsense to them ----
I believe there was a reserve -- but that
I leave to the world.

[ 97 ]

  Adieu, Maria! -- adieu, poor hapless
damsel! ---- some time, but not now, I
may hear thy sorrows from thy own lips
---- but I was deceived ; for that mo-
ment she took her pipe and told me such
a tale of woe with it, that I rose up, and
with broken and irregular steps walk'd
softly to my chaise.

  ------ What an excellent inn at

  VOL. IX.        H            C H A P.

[ 98 ]


WHEN we have got to the end
of this chapter (but not before)
we must all turn back to the two blank
chapters, on the account of which my
honour has lain bleeding this half hour
---- I stop it, by pulling off one of my
yellow slippers and throwing it with all
my violence to the opposite side of my
room, with a declaration at the heel of
it ----

  ---- That whatever resemblance it
may bear to half the chapters which are
written in the world, or, for aught I
know, may be now writing in it -- that
it was as casual as the foam of Zeuxis
his horse : besides, I look upon a chapter

[ 99 ]

which has only nothing in it with re-
spect ; and considering what worse
things there are in the world ---- That
it is no way a proper subject for sa-
tire ------

  ---- Why then was it left so? And
here, without staying for my reply, shall
I be call'd as many blockheads, num-
skulls, doddypoles, dunderheads, ninny-
hammers, goosecaps, joltheads, nincom-
poops, and sh--t-a-beds ---- and other
unsavory appellations, as ever the cake-
bakers of Lerné, cast in the teeth of
King Gargantua's shepherds ---- And
I'll let them do it, as Bridget said, as
much as they please ; for how was it pos-
sible they should foresee the necessity I
             H 2              was