[ 120 ]

There was Babylonicus, and Mediterraneus,
and Polixenes, and Persicus, and Prusicus,
not one of whom (except Capadocius
and Pontus, who were both a little sus-
pected) ever once bowed down his breast
to the goddess ---- The truth is, they
had all of them something else to do --
and so had my uncle Toby -- till Fate --
til Fate I say, envying his name the
glory of being handed down to posterity
with Aldrovandus's and the rest, -- she
basely patched up the peace of Utrecht.

  ---- Believe me, Sirs, 'twas the worst
deed she did that year.


AMONGST the many ill conse-
quences of the treaty of Utrecht,
it was within a point of giving my uncle
Toby a surfeit of sieges ; and though he
recovered his appetite afterwards, yet

[ 121 ]

Calais itself left not a deeper scar in
Mary's heart, than Utrecht upon my
uncle Toby's. To the end of his life he
never could hear Utrecht mentioned upon
any account whatever, -- or so much as
read an article of news extracted out of
the Utrecht Gazette, without fetching a
sigh, as if his heart would break in

  My father, who was a great MOTIVE-
, and consequently a very dan-
gerous person for a man to sit by, either
laughing or crying, -- for he generally
knew your motive for doing both, much
better than you knew it yourself -- would
always console my uncle Toby upon these
occasions, in a way, which shewed
plainly, he imagined my uncle Toby
grieved for nothing in the whole affair,
so much as the loss of his hobby-horse.
---- Never mind, brother Toby, he
would say, -- by God's blessing we shall

[ 122 ]

have another war break out again some
of these days ; and when it does, -- the
belligerent powers, if they would hang
themselves, cannot keep us out of play.
---- I defy 'em, my dear Toby, he would
add, to take countries without taking
towns, ---- or towns without sieges.

  My uncle Toby never took this back-
stroke of my father's at his hobby horse
kindly. ---- He thought the stroke unge-
nerous ; and the more so, because in
striking the horse, he hit the rider too,
and in the most dishonourable part a
blow could fall ; so that upon these oc-
casions, he always laid down his pipe
upon the table with more fire to defend
himself than common.

  I told the reader, this time two years,
that my uncle Toby was not eloquent ;
and in the very same page gave an in-
stance to the contrary : ---- I repeat the
observation, and a fact which contradicts

[ 123 ]

it again. -- He was not eloquent, -- it was
not easy to my uncle Toby to make long
harangues, -- and he hated florid ones ;
but there were occasions where the stream
overflowed the man, and ran so counter
to its usual course, that in some parts
my uncle Toby, for a time, was at least
equal to Tertullus ---- but in others, in
my own opinion, infinitely above him.

  My father was so highly pleased with
one of these apologetical orations of my
uncle Toby's, which he had delivered one
evening before him and Yorick, that he
wrote it down before he went to bed.

  I have had the good fortune to meet
with it amongst my father's papers, with
here and there an insertion of his own,
betwixt two crooks, thus [  ], and is

[ 124 ]

My brother TOBY's justification of his
  own principles and conduct in wishing to
  continue the war

I may safely say, I have read over this
apologetical oration of my uncle Toby's
a hundred times, and think it so fine a
model of defence, -- and shews so sweet a
temperament of gallantry and good prin-
ciples in him, that I give it the world,
word for word, (interlineations and all)
as I find it.


  My uncle TOBY's apologetical oration.

I Am not insensible, brother Shandy,
that when a man, whose profession
is arms, wishes, as I have done, for
war, -- it has an ill aspect to the world ;
---- and that, how just and right soever
his motives and intentions may be, -- he
stands in an uneasy posture in vindicating
himself from private views in doing it.

[ 125 ]

  For this cause, if a soldier is a prudent
man, which he may be, without being
a jot the less brave, he will be sure not
to utter his wish in the hearing of an
enemy ; for say what he will, an enemy
will not believe him. ---- He will be
cautious of doing it even to a friend, --
lest he may suffer in his esteem : ---- But
if his heart is overcharged, and a secret
sigh for arms must have its vent, he
will reserve it for the ear of a brother,
who knows his character to the bottom,
and what his true notions, dispositions,
and principles of honour are : What, I
hope, I have been in all these, brother
Shandy, would be unbecoming in me to
say : ---- much worse, I know, have I
been than I ought, -- and something
worse, perhaps, than I think : But such
as I am, you, my dear brother Shandy,
who have sucked the same breasts with
me, -- and with whom I have been

[ 126 ]

brought up from my cradle, -- and from
whose knowledge, from the first hours of
our boyish pastimes, down to this, I
have concealed no one action of my life,
and scarce a thought in it ---- Such as I
am, brother, you must by this time
know me, with all my vices, and with
all my weaknesses too, whether of my
age, my temper, my passions, or my

  Tell me then, my dear brother Shandy,
upon which of them it is, that when I
condemned the peace of Utrecht, and
grieved the war was not carried on with
vigour a little longer, you should think
your brother did it upon unworthy
views ; or that in wishing for war, he
should be bad enough to wish more of
his fellow creatures slain, -- more slaves
made, and more families driven from
their peaceful habitations, merely for his
own pleasure : ---- Tell me, brother

[ 127 ]

Shandy, upon what one deed of mine do
you ground it ? [ The devil a deed do I
know of, dear
Toby, but one for a hun-
dred pounds, which I lent thee to carry on
these cursed sieges
. ]

  If, when I was a school-boy, I could
not hear a drum beat, but my heart beat
with it -- was it my fault ? ---- Did I
plant the propensity there ? ---- did I
sound the alarm within, or Nature ?

  When Guy, Earl of Warwick, and
Parismus and Parismenus, and Valentine
and Orson, and the Seven Champions of
were handed around the school,
-- were they not all purchased with my
own pocket money ? Was that selfish,
brother Shandy ? When we read over the
siege of Troy, which lasted ten years
and eight months, ---- though with such
a train of artillery as we had at Namur,
the town might have been carried in a
             4              week

[ 128 ]

week -- was I not as much concerned for
the destruction of the Greeks and Trojans
as any boy of the whole school ? Had I
not three strokes of a ferula given me,
two on my right hand and one on my
left, for calling Helena a bitch for it ?
Did any one of you shed more tears for
Hector ? And when king Priam came to
the camp to beg his body, and returned
weeping back to Troy without it, -- you
know, brother, I could not eat my
dinner. ------

  ---- Did that bespeak me cruel ? Or
because, brother Shandy, my blood flew
out into the camp, and my heart panted
for war, -- was it a proof it could not
ache for the distresses of war too ?

  O brother ! 'tis one thing for a sol-
dier to gather laurels, -- and 'tis another
to scatter cypress. ---- [ Who told thee,

[ 129 ]

my dear Toby, that cypress was used by
the ancients on mournful occasions ?

  ---- 'Tis one thing, brother Shandy,
for a soldier to hazard his own life -- to
leap first down into the trench, where he
is sure to be cut in pieces : ---- 'Tis one
thing, from public spirit and a thirst of
glory, to enter the breach the first man,
-- to stand in the foremost rank, and
march bravely on with drums and trum-
pets, and colours flying about his ears :
---- 'Tis one thing, I say, brother
Shandy, to do this -- and 'tis another
thing to reflect on the miseries of war ;
-- to view the desolations of whole coun-
tries, and consider the intolerable fa-
tigues and hardships which the soldier
himself, the instrument who works them,
is forced (for six-pence a day, if he can
get it) to undergo.

  Need I be told, dear Yorick, as I
was by you, in Le Fever's funeral ser-
  VOL. VI.        K            mon,

[ 130 ]

mon, That so soft and gentle a creature,
born to love, to mercy, and kindness, as
man is, was not shaped for this ?
---- But
why did you not add, Yorick, -- if not by
NATURE -- that he is by NECESSITY ?
---- For what is war ? what is it, Yorick,
when fought as ours has been, upon
principles of liberty, and upon principles
of honour ---- what is it, but the getting
together of quiet and harmless people,
with their swords in their hands, to keep
the ambitious and the turbulent within
bounds ? And heaven is my witness,
brother Shandy, that the pleasure I have
taken in these things, -- and that infinite
delight, in particular, which has attend-
ed my sieges in my bowling green, has
arose within me, and I hope in the cor-
poral too, from the consciousness we
both had, that in carrying them on, we
were answering the great ends of our

                          C H A P.

[ 131 ]


I Told the Christian reader ---- I say
Christian ---- hoping he is one ----
and if he is not, I am sorry for it ----
and only beg he will consider the matter
with himself, and not lay the blame
entirely upon this book, ------

  I told him, Sir ---- for in good truth,
when a man is telling a story in the
strange way I do mine, he is obliged
continually to be going backwards and
forwards to keep all tight together in the
reader's fancy ---- which, for my own
part, if I did not take heed to do more
than at first, there is so much unfixed
and equivocal matter starting up, with
so many breaks and gaps in it, -- and so
little service do the stars afford, which,
nevertheless, I hang up in some of the
darkest passages, knowing that the
             K 2              would

[ 132 ]

world is apt to lose its way, with all the
lights the sun itself at noon day can
give it ---- and now, you see, I am lost
myself ! ------

  ---- But 'tis my father's fault ; and
whenever my brains come to be dissected,
you will perceive, without spectacles,
that he has left a large uneven thread, as
you sometimes see in an unsaleable piece
of cambrick, running along the whole
length of the web, and so untowardly,
you cannot so much as cut out a * *,
(here I hang up a couple of lights again)
---- or a fillet, or a thumb-stall, but it
is seen or felt. ------

  Quanto id diligentius in liberis procrean-
dis cavendum
, sayeth Cardan. All which
being considered, and that you see 'tis
morally impracticable for me to wind
this round to where I set out ------

  I begin the chapter over again.
                          C H A P.

[ 133 ]


I Told the Christian reader in the be-
ginning of the chapter which preceded
my uncle Toby's apologetical oration, --
though in a different trope from what
I shall make use of now, That the peace
of Utrecht was within an ace of creating
the same shyness betwixt my uncle Toby
and his hobby-horse, as it did betwixt
the queen and the rest of the confede-
rating powers.

  There is an indignant way in which a
man sometimes dismounts his horse,
which as good as says to him, `` I'll go
`` afoot, Sir, all the days of my life,
`` before I would ride a single mile upon
`` your back again.'' Now my uncle
Toby could not be said to dismount his
horse in this manner ; for in strictness of
language, he could not be said to dis-
             K 3              mount

[ 134 ]

mount his horse at all ---- his horse ra-
ther flung him ---- and somewhat vi-
, which made my uncle Toby take
it ten times more unkindly. Let this
matter be settled by state jockies as they
like. ---- It created, I say, a sort of shy-
ness betwixt my uncle Toby and his
hobby-horse. ---- He had no occasion
for him from the month of March to
November, which was the summer after
the articles were signed, except it was
now and then to take a short ride out,
just to see that the fortifications and har-
bour of Dunkirk were demolished, ac-
cording to stipulation.

  The French were so backwards all that
summer in setting about that affair, and
Monsieur Tugghe, the deputy from the
magistrates of Dunkirk, presented so many
affecting petitions to the queen, -- beseech-
ing her majesty to cause only her thunder-
bolts to fall upon the martial works,which

[ 135 ]

might have incurred her displeasure, --
but to spare -- to spare the mole, for the
mole's sake ; which, in its naked situa-
tion, could be no more than an object
of pity ---- and the queen (who was
but a woman) being of a pitiful dispo-
sition, -- and her ministers also, they not
wishing in their hearts to have the town
dismantled, for these private reasons, * *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  * ------

  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *   * ; so that the whole went hea-
vily on with my uncle Toby ; insomuch,
that it was not within three full months,
after he and the corporal had constructed
the town, and put it in a condition to
be destroyed, that the several com-
mandants, commissaries, deputies, ne-
gotiators, and intendants, would permit
             K 4              him

[ 136 ]

him to set about it. ---- Fatal interval of
inactivity !

  The corporal was for beginning the
demolition, by making a breach in the
ramparts, or main fortifications of the
town ---- No, -- that will never do, cor-
poral, said my uncle Toby, for in going
that way to work with the town, the
English garrison will not be safe in it an
hour ; because if the French are treache-
rous ---- They are as treacherous as de-
vils, an' please your honour, said the
corporal ---- It gives me concern always
when I hear it, Trim, said my uncle
Toby, -- for they don't want personal bra-
very ; and if a breach is made in the
ramparts, they may enter it, and make
themselves masters of the place when
they please : ---- Let them enter it, said
the corporal, lifting up his pioneer's
spade in both his hands, as if he was
going to lay about him with it, -- let
them enter, an' please your honour, if

[ 137 ]

they dare. ---- In cases like this, corpo-
ral, said my uncle Toby, slipping his
right hand down to the middle of his
cane, and holding it afterwards trun-
cheon-wise, with his forefinger extended,
---- 'tis no part of the consideration of
a commandant, what the enemy dare, --
or what they dare not do ; he must act
with prudence. We will begin with the
outworks both towards the sea and the
land, and particularly with fort Louis,
the most distant of them all, and demo-
lish it first, -- and the rest, one by one,
both on our right and left, as we retreat
towards the town ; ---- then we'll demo-
lish the mole, -- next fill up the harbour,
-- then retire into the citadel, and blow
it up into the air ; and having done
that, corporal, we'll embark for Eng-
. ---- We are there, quoth the corpo-
ral, recollecting himself ---- Very true,
said my uncle Toby --- looking at the
                          C H A P.

[ 138 ]


A Delusive, delicious consultation or
two of this kind, betwixt my uncle
Toby and Trim, upon the demolition of
Dunkirk, -- for a moment rallied back the
ideas of those pleasures, which were slip-
ping from under him : ---- still -- still all
went on heavily ---- the magic left the
mind the weaker -- STILLNESS, with SI
at her back, entered the solitary
parlour, and drew their gauzy mantle
over my uncle Toby's head ; ---- and
LISTLESSNESS, with her lax fibre and un-
directed eye, sat quietly down beside him
in his armchair. ---- No longer Amberg,
and Rhinberg, and Limbourg, and Huy,
and Bonn, in one year, -- and the prospect
of Landen, and Trerebach, and Drusen, and
Dendermond, the next, -- hurried on the
blood : -- No longer did saps, and mines,
and blinds, and gabions, and palisadoes,

[ 139 ]

keep out this fair enemy of man's re-
pose : ---- No more could my uncle
Toby, after passing the French lines, as
he eat his egg at supper, from thence
break into the heart of France, -- cross
over the Oyes, and with all Picardie open
behind him, march up to the gates of
Paris, and fall asleep with nothing but
ideas of glory : ---- No more was he to
dream, he had fixed the royal standard
upon the tower of the Bastile, and awake
with it streaming in his head.

  ---- Softer visions, -- gentler vibra-
tions stole sweetly in upon his slumbers ;
-- the trumpet of war fell out of his
hands, -- he took up the lute, sweet in-
strument ! of all others the most delicate!
the most difficult ! ---- how wilt thou
touch it, my dear uncle Toby ?

                          C H A P.