[ 20 ]

ther with a mixed motion betwixt acci-
dent and anger, he had set out.

  When the letter was brought into the
parlour, which contained the news of
my brother's death, my father had got
forwards again upon his journey to with-
in a stride of the compasses of the very
same stage of Nevers. -- By your leave,
Mons. Sanson, cried my father, striking
the point of his compasses through Ne-
into the table, -- and nodding to my
uncle Toby, to see what was in the letter,
-- twice of one night is too much for an
English gentleman and his son, Mons.
Sanson, to be turned back from so lousy
a town as Nevers, -- what think'st thou,
Toby, added my father in a sprightly tone.
-- Unless it be a garrison town, said my
uncle Toby, -- for then -- I shall be a fool,

[ 21 ]

said my father, smiling to himself, as
long as I live. -- So giving a second nod
-- and keeping his compasses still upon
Nevers with one hand, and holding his
book of the post-roads in the other --
half calculating and half listening, he
leaned forwards upon the table with both
elbows, as my uncle Toby hummed over
the letter.

          ---   ---   ---   ---   ---
---    ---    ---    ---    ---    ---
---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---
---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  he's gone !
said my uncle Toby. -- Where -- Who ?
cried my father. -- My nephew, said my
uncle Toby. ---- What -- without leave --
without money ---- without governor ?
cried my father in amazement. No : --
he is dead, my dear brother, quoth my
uncle Toby. -- Without being ill ? cried
my father again. -- I dare say not, said
my uncle Toby, in a low voice, and fetch-
ing a deep sigh from the bottom of his
             C 3              heart,

[ 22 ]

heart, he has been ill enough, poor lad !
I'll answer for him -- for he is dead.

  When Agrippina was told of her son's
death, Tacitus informs us, that not being
able to moderate the violence of her
passions, she abruptly broke off her work
-- My father stuck his compasses into
Nevers, but so much the faster. -- What
contrarieties ! his, indeed, was matter of
calculation -- Agrippina's must have been
quite a different affair ; who else could
pretend to reason from history ?

  How my father went on, in my opi-
nion, deserves a chapter to itself. --


  ------  ------  And a chapter it
shall have, and a devil of a one too -- so
look to yourselves.

  'Tis either Plato, or Plutarch, or Sene-
, or Xenophon, or Epictetus, or Theo-

[ 23 ]

phrastus, or Lucian -- or some one per-
haps of later date -- either Cardan, or Bu-
, or Petrarch, or Stella -- or possibly
it may be some divine or father of the
church, St. Austin, or St. Cyprian, or
Barnard, who affirms that it is an irresis-
table and natural passion to weep for the
loss of our friends or children -- and Seneca
(I'm positive) tells us somewhere, that
such griefs evacuate themselves best by
that particular channel. -- And accord-
ingly we find, that David wept for his
son Absalom -- Adrian for his Antinous --
Niobe for her children, and that Apollo-
and Crito both shed tears for Socra-
before his death.

  My father managed his affliction other-
wise ; and indeed differently from most
men either ancient or modern ; for he
neither wept it away, as the Hebrews and
the Romans -- or slept it off, as the Lap-
-- or hang'd it, as the English, or
drowned it, as the Germans -- nor did he
             C 4              curse

[ 24 ]

curse it, or damn it, or excommunicate
it, or rhyme it, or lillabullero it. ----

  ---- He got rid of it, however.

  Will your worships give me leave to
squeeze in a story between these two pages ?

  When Tully was bereft of his dear
daughter Tullia, at first he laid it to his
heart, -- he listened to the voice of nature,
and modulated his own unto it. -- O my
Tullia ! my daughter ! my child ! -- still,
still, still, --- 'twas O my Tullia ! ---- my
Tullia ! Methinks I see my Tullia, I
hear my Tullia, I talk with my Tullia. --
But as soon as he began to look into the
stores of philosophy, and consider how
many excellent things might be said upon
the occasion -- no body upon earth can
conceive, says the great orator, how hap-
py, how joyful it made me.

  My father was as proud of his elo-

[ 25 ]

could be for his life, and for aught I am
convinced of to the contrary at present,
with as much reason : it was indeed his
strength -- and his weakness too. ---- His
strength -- for he was by nature eloquent,
-- and his weakness -- for he was hourly
a dupe to it ; and provided an occasion
in life would but permit him to shew his
talents, or say either a wise thing, a witty,
or a shrewd one -- (bating the case of a
systematick misfortune) -- he had all he
wanted. -- A blessing which tied up my
father's tongue, and a misfortune which
set it loose with a good grace, were pretty
equal : sometimes, indeed, the misfor-
tune was the better of the two ; for in-
stance, where the pleasure of the harangue
was as ten, and the pain of the misfor-
tune but as five -- my father gained half
in half, and consequently was as well
again off, as it never had befallen him.

  This clue will unravel, what otherwise
would seem very inconsistent in my fa-

[ 26 ]

ther's domestick character ; and it is this,
that in the provocations arising from the
neglects and blunders of servants, or o-
ther mishaps unavoidable in a family, his
anger, or rather the duration of it, eter-
nally ran counter to all conjecture.

  My father had a favourite little mare,
which he had consigned over to a most
beautiful Arabian horse, in order to have
a pad out of her for his own riding : he
was sanguine in all his projects ; so talk-
ed about his pad every day with as abso-
lute a security, as if it had been reared,
broke, -- and bridled and saddled at his
door ready for mounting. By some neg-
lect or other in Obadiah, it so fell out,
that my father's expectations were an-
swered with nothing better than a mule,
and as ugly a beast of the kind as ever
was produced.

  My mother and my uncle Toby expect-
ed my father would be the death of Oba-

[ 27 ]

diah -- and that there never would be an
end of the disaster. ---- See here ! you
rascal, cried my father, pointing to the
mule, what you have done ! -- It was not
me, said Obadiah. -- How do I know
that ? replied my father.

  Triumph swam in my father's eyes, at
the repartee -- the Attic salt brought wa-
ter into them -- and so Obadiah heard no
more about it.

  Now let us go back to my brother's

  Philosophy has a fine saying for every
thing. -- For Death it has an entire set ;
the misery was, they all at once rushed
into my father's head, that 'twas difficult
to string them together, so as to make
any thing of a consistent show out of
them. -- He took them as they came.

  ``'Tis an inevitable chance -- the first
`` statute in Magnâ Chartâ -- it is an ever-

[ 28 ]

`` lasting act of parliament, my dear bro-
`` ther, -- All must die.

  `` If my son could not have died, it
`` had been matter of wonder, -- not that
`` he is dead.''

  `` Monarchs and princes dance in the
`` same ring with us.''

  `` -- To die, is the great debt and tri-
`` bute due unto nature : tombs and mo-
`` numents, which should perpetuate our
`` memories, pay it themselves ; and the
`` proudest pyramid of them all, which
`` wealth and science have erected, has
`` lost its apex, and stands obtruncated in
`` the traveller's horizon.'' (My father
found he got great ease, and went on) --
`` Kingdoms and provinces, and towns
`` and cities, have they not their periods?
`` and when those principles and powers,
`` which at first cemented and put them
`` together, have performed their several
                          `` evo-

[ 29 ]

`` evolutions, they fall back.'' -- Brother
Shandy, said my uncle Toby, laying down
his pipe at the word evolutions -- Revolu-
tions, I meant, quoth my father, -- by
heaven ! I meant revolutions, brother
Toby -- evolutions is nonsense. -- 'Tis not
nonsense -- said my uncle Toby. ---- But is
it not nonsense to break the thread of such
a discourse, upon such an occasion ? cried
my father -- do not -- dear Toby, conti-
nued he, taking him by the hand, do not
-- do not, I beseech thee, interrupt me at
this crisis. -- My uncle Toby put his pipe
into his mouth.

  `` Where is Troy and Mycenæ, and
`` Thebes and Delos, and Persepolis, and
`` Agrigentum'' -- continued my father,
taking up his book of post-roads, which
he had laid down. -- `` What is become,
`` brother Toby, of Nineveh and Babylon,
`` of Cizicum and Mitylenæ ? The fairest
`` towns that ever the sun rose upon, are
`` now no more : the names only are left,
                          `` and

[ 30 ]

`` and those (for many of them are wrong
`` spelt) are falling themselves by piece-
`` meals to decay, and in length of time
`` will be forgotten, and involved with
`` every thing in a perpetual night : the
`` world itself, brother Toby, must -- must
`` come to an end.

  `` Returning out of Asia, when I sailed
`` from Ægina towards Megara'' (when
can this have been ? thought my uncle Toby)

`` I began to view the country round
`` about. Ægina was behind me, Me-
`` gara
was before, Pyræus on the right
`` hand, Corinth on the left. -- What flou-
`` rishing towns now prostrate upon the
`` earth ! Alas ! alas ! said I to myself,
`` that man should disturb his soul for
`` the loss of a child, when so much as
`` this lies awfully buried in his presence
`` ---- Remember, said I to myself again
`` -- remember thou art a man.'' --


[ 31 ]

  Now my uncle Toby knew not that this
last paragraph was an extract of Servius
's consolatory letter to Tully. --
He had as little skill, honest man, in the
fragments, as he had in the whole pieces
of antiquity. -- And as my father, whilst
he was concerned in the Turky trade, had
been three or four different times in the
Levant, in one of which he had staid a
whole year and a half at Zant, my uncle
Toby naturally concluded, that in some
one of these periods he had taken a
trip across the Archipelago into Asia; and
that all this sailing affair with AEgina be-
hind, and Megara before, and Pyræus on
the right hand, &c. &c. was nothing
more than the true course of my father's
voyage and reflections. -- 'Twas certainly
in his manner, and many an undertaking
critick would have built two stories high-
er upon worse foundations. -- And pray,
brother, quoth my uncle Toby, laying the
end of his pipe upon my father's hand

[ 32 ]

in a kindly way of interruption -- but
waiting till he finished the account --
what year of our Lord was this? -- 'Twas
no year of our Lord, replied my father.
-- That's impossible, cried my uncle Toby.
-- Simpleton ! said my father, -- 'twas for-
ty years before Christ was born.

  My uncle Toby had but two things for
it; either to suppose his brother to be
the wandering Jew, or that his misfor-
tunes had disordered his brain. -- `` May
`` the Lord God of heaven and earth
`` protect him and restore him,'' said my
uncle Toby, praying silently for my father,
and with tears in his eyes.

  -- My father placed the tears to a pro-
per account, and went on with his ha-
rangue with great spirit.

  `` There is not such great odds, bro-
`` ther Toby, betwixt good and evil, as
`` the world imagines'' ---- (this way of

[ 33 ]

setting off, by the bye, was not likely to
cure my uncle Toby's suspicions. -- `` La-
`` bour, sorrow, grief, sickness, want, and
`` woe, are the sauces of life.'' -- Much
good may it do them -- said my uncle Toby
to himself. ----

  `` My son is dead ! -- so much the bet-
`` ter; -- 'tis a shame in such a tempest to
`` have but one anchor.''

  `` But he is gone for ever from us ! --
`` be it so. He is got from under the
`` hands of his barber before he was bald --
`` -- he is but risen from a feast before
`` he was surfeited -- from a banquet be-
`` fore he had got drunken.''

  ``The Thracians wept when a child
`` was born'' -- (and we were very near
it, quoth my uncle Toby) -- `` and feasted
`` and made merry when a man went
`` out of the world ; and with reason. --
  VOL. V.        D            `` Death

[ 34 ]

`` Death opens the gate of fame, and
`` shuts the gate of envy after it, -- it
`` unlooses the chain of the captive, and
`` puts the bondsman's task into another
`` man's hands.''

  `` Shew me the man, who knows what
`` life is, who dreads it, and I'll shew thee
`` a prisoner who dreads his liberty.''

  Is it not better, my dear brother Toby,
(for mark -- our appetites are but diseases)
-- is it not better not to hunger at all,
than to eat ? -- not to thirst, than to take
physick to cure it ?

  Is it not better to be freed from cares
and agues, from love and melancholy,
and the other hot and cold fits of life,
than like a galled traveller, who comes
weary to his inn, to be bound to begin
his journey afresh ?

  There is no terror, brother Toby, in its
looks, but what it borrows from groans

[ 35 ]

and convulsions -- and the blowing of
noses, and the wiping away of tears with
the bottoms of curtains in a dying man's
room. -- Strip it of these, what is it --
'Tis better in battle than in bed, said my
uncle Toby. -- Take away its herses, its
mutes, and its mourning, -- its plumes,
scutcheons, and other mechanic aids --
What is it ? -- Better in battle ! continued
my father, smiling, for he had absolutely
forgot my brother Bobby -- 'tis terrible no
way -- for consider, brother Toby, -- when
we are -- death is not ; -- and when death
is -- we are not. My uncle Toby laid
down his pipe to consider the proposi-
tion ; my father's eloquence was too ra-
pid to stay for any man -- away it went,
-- and hurried my uncle Toby's ideas
along with lt. ----

  For this reason, continued my father,
'tis worthy to recollect, how little alte-
ration in great men, the approaches of
             D 2              death

[ 36 ]

death have made. -- Vespasian died in a
jest upon his close-stool -- Galba with a
sentence -- Septimius Severus in a dispatch
-- Tiberius in dissimulation, and Cæsar
in a compliment. -- I hope, 'twas
a sincere one -- quoth my uncle Toby.

  -- 'Twas to his wife, -- said my father.

C H A P. IV.

  ---- And lastly -- for of all the choice
anecdotes which history can produce of
this matter, continued my father, -- this,
like the gilded dome which covers in the
fabrick, -- crowns all. --

  'Tis of Cornelius Gallus, the prætor --
which I dare say, brother Toby, you have
read. -- I dare say I have not, replied
my uncle. -- He died, said my father, as
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
-- And if it was with his wife, said my
uncle Toby -- there could be no hurt in it.
                          -- That's

[ 37 ]

  -- That's more than I know -- replied my

C H A P. V.

MY mother was going very ginger-
ly in the dark along the passage
which led to the parlour, as my uncle
Toby pronounced the word wife. -- 'Tis a
shrill, penetrating sound of itself, and O-
had helped it by leaving the door
a little a-jar, so that my mother heard
enough of it, to imagine herself the sub-
ject of the conversation : so laying the
edge of her finger across her two lips --
holding in her breath, and bending her
head a little downwards, with a twist of
her neck -- (not towards the door, but
from it, by which means her ear was
brought to the chink) -- she listened with
all her powers : ---- the listening slave,
with the Goddess of Silence at his back,
could not have given a finer thought for
an intaglio.
             D 3              In

[ 38 ]

  In this attitude I am determined to let
her stand for five minutes : till I bring
up the affairs of the kitchen (as Rapin
does those of the church) to the same

C H A P. VI.

THOUGH in one sense, our family
was certainly a simple machine, as
it consisted of a few wheels ; yet there
was thus much to be said for it, that
these wheels were set in motion by so
many different springs, and acted one
upon the other from such a variety of
strange principles and impulses, ---- that
though it was a simple machine, it had
all the honour and advantages of a com-
plex one, ---- and a number of as odd
movements within it, as ever were be-
held in the inside of a Dutch silk-mill.

  Amongst these there was one, I am
going to speak of, in which, perhaps, it

[ 39 ]

was not altogether so singular, as in many
others ; and it was this, that whatever
motion, debate, harangue, dialogue, pro-
ject, or dissertation, was going forwards
in the parlour, there was generally ano-
ther at the same time, and upon the same
subject, running parallel along with it in
the kitchen.

  Now to bring this about, whenever an
extraordinary message, or letter, was de-
livered in the parlour, -- or a discourse
suspended till a servant went out -- or the
lines of discontent were observed to hang
upon the brows of my father or mother
-- or, in short, when any thing was sup-
posed to be upon the tapis worth know-
ing or listening to, 'twas the rule to leave
the door, not absolutely shut, but some-
what a-jar -- as it stands just now, -- which,
under covert of the bad hinge, (and that
possibly might be one of the many rea-
sons why it was never mended) it was
not difficult to manage ; by which means,
             D 4              in