[ 140 ]


NOW, because I have once or twice
said, in my inconsiderate way of
talking, That I was confident the follow-
ing memoirs of my uncle Toby's courtship
of widow Wadman, whenever I got time
to write them, would turn out one of
the most compleat systems, both of the
elementary and practical part of love and
love-making, that ever was addressed to
the world ---- are you to imagine from
thence, that I shall set out with a descrip-
tion of what love is ? whether part God
and part Devil, as Plotinus will have
it ----

  ---- Or by a more critical equation,
and supposing the whole of love to be
as ten ---- to determine, with Ficinus,
`` How many parts of it -- the one, -- and
                          `` how


[ 141 ]

`` how many the other ;'' -- or whether it
is all of it one great Devil, from head to
tail, as Plato has taken upon him to
pronounce ; concerning which conceit
of his, I shall not offer my opinion :
-- but my opinion of Plato is this ; that
he appears, from this instance, to have
been a man of much the same temper
and way of reasoning with doctor Bayn-
, who, being a great enemy to blis-
ters, as imagining that half a dozen of
'em on at once, would draw a man as
surely to his grave, as a herse and six --
rashly concluded, that the Devil himself
was nothing in the world, but one great
bouncing Cantharidei. ------

  I have nothing to say to people who
allow themselves this monstrous liberty
in arguing, but what Nazianzen cried out
(that is polemically) to Philagrius ----

  `` Euge!'' O rare! 'tis fine reasoning,
Sir, indeed !
-- `` hoti philosopheis en Pathesi''

[ 142 ]

  -- and most nobly do you aim at truth, when
you philosophize about it in your moods and

  Nor is it to be imagined, for the same
reason, I should stop to enquire, whe-
ther love is a disease, ---- or embroil my-
self with Rhasis and Dioscorides, whether
the seat of it is in the brain or liver ; --
because this would lead me on, to an
examination of the two very opposite
manners, in which patients have been
treated ---- the one, of Aætius, who
always begun with a cooling glyster of
hempseed and bruised cucumbers; -- and
followed on with thin potations of water
lillies and purslane -- to which he added
a pinch of snuff, of the herb Hanea ; --
and where Aætius durst venture it, -- his

  ---- The other, that of Gordonius,
who (in his cap. 15 de Amore) directs

[ 143 ]

they should be thrashed,`` ad putorem
---- till they stink again.

  These are disquisitions, which my fa-
ther, who had laid in a great stock of
knowledge of this kind, will be very
busy with, in the progress of my uncle
Toby's affairs : I must anticipate thus
much, That from his theories of love,
(with which, by the way, he contrived
to crucify my uncle Toby's mind, almost
as much as his amours themselves) -- he
took a single step into practice ; -- and
by means of a camphorated cerecloth,
which he found means to impose upon
the taylor for buckram, whilst he was
making my uncle Toby a new pair of
breeches, he produced Gordonius's effect
upon my uncle Toby without the dis-

  What changes this produced, will be
read in its proper place : all that is need-
             4              ful

[ 144 ]

ful to be added to the anecdote, is this,
---- That whatever effect it had upon
my uncle Toby, ---- it had a vile effect
upon the house ; ---- and if my uncle
Toby had not smoaked it down as he did,
it might have had a vile effect upon my
father too.


---- 'TWILL come out of itself
by and bye. ---- All I con-
tend for is, that I am not obliged to set
out with a definition of what love is ;
and so long as I can go on with my story
intelligibly, with the help of the word
itself, without any other idea to it, than
what I have in common with the rest of
the world, why should I differ from it a
moment before the time? ---- When I

[ 145 ]

can get on no further, -- and find myself
entangled on all sides of this mystick la-
byrinth, -- my Opinion will then come
in, in course, -- and lead me out.

  At present, I hope I shall be suffici-
ently understood, in telling the reader,
my uncle Toby fell in love :

  -- Not that the phrase is at all to my
liking : for to say a man is fallen in love,
-- or that he is deeply in love, -- or up to
the ears in love, -- and sometimes even
over head and ears in it, -- carries an idio-
matical kind of implication, that love is
a thing below a man : -- this is recurring
again to Plato's opinion, which, with
all his divinityship, -- I hold to be dam-
nable and heretical ; -- and so much for

  Let love therefore be what it will, --
my uncle Toby fell into it.

  VOL. VI.        L            -- And

[ 146 ]

  ---- And possibly, gentle reader, with
such a temptation -- so wouldst thou :
For never did thy eyes behold, or thy
concupiscence covet any thing in this
world, more concupiscible than widow


TO conceive this right, -- call for pen
and ink -- here's paper ready to your
hand. ---- Sit down, Sir, paint her to
your own mind ---- as like your mistress
as you can ---- as unlike your wife as
your conscience will let you -- 'tis all
one to me ---- please but your own fancy
in it.

[ 147 ]

[ 148 ]

 ------ Was ever any thing in Nature
so sweet ! -- so exquisite !

  ---- Then, dear Sir, how could my
uncle Toby resist it ?

  Thrice happy book ! thou wilt have
one page, at least, within thy covers,
which MALICE will not blacken, and
which IGNORANCE cannot misrepresent.


AS Susannah was informed by an ex-
press from Mrs. Bridget, of my
uncle Toby's falling in love with her
mistress, fifteen days before it happened,
-- the contents of which express, Susan-
communicated to my mother the
next day, -- it has just given me an op-
portunity of entering upon my uncle
Toby's amours a fortnight before their
             2              I have

[ 149 ]

  I have an article of news to tell you,
Mr. Shandy, quoth my mother, which
will surprise you greatly. ------

  Now my father was then holding one
of his second beds of justice, and was
musing within himself about the hard-
ships of matrimony, as my mother
broke silence. ------

  `` ---- My brother Toby, quoth she,
`` is going to be married to Mrs. Wad-
`` man

  ---- Then he will never, quoth my
father, be able to lie diagonally in his bed
again as long as he lives.

  It was a consuming vexation to my
father, that my mother never asked the
meaning of a thing she did not under-
             L 3              ---- That

[ 150 ]

  ---- That she is not a woman of sci-
ence, my father would say -- is her mis-
fortune -- but she might ask a question. --

  My mother never did. ---- In short,
she went out of the world at last without
knowing whether it turned round, or
stood still. ---- My father had officiously
told her above a thousand times which
way it was, -- but she always forgot.

  For these reasons a discourse seldom
went on much further betwixt them,
than a proposition, -- a reply, and a re-
joinder ; at the end of which, it gene-
rally took breath for a few minutes, (as
in the affair of the breeches) and then
went on again.

  If he marries, 'twill be the worse for
us, -- quoth my mother.
             8              Not

[ 151 ]

  Not a cherry-stone, said my father, --
he may as well batter away his means
upon that, as any thing else.

  ---- To be sure, said my mother : so
here ended the proposition, -- the reply,
-- and the rejoinder, I told you of.

  lt will be some amusement to him,
too, ---- said my father.

  A very great one, answered my mo-
ther, if he should have children. ----

  ---- Lord have mercy upon me, --
said my father to himself ---- *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *.

                          C H A P.

[ 152 ]

C H A P. XL.

I Am now beginning to get fairly into
my work; and by the help of a
vegitable diet, with a few of the cold
seeds, I make no doubt but I shall be
able to go on with my uncle Toby's story,
and my own, in a tolerable straight line.

[ 153 ]

  These were the four lines I moved in
through my first, second, third, and
fourth volumes. ---- In the fifth volume
I have been very good, ---- the precise
line I have described in it being this :     
By which it appears, that except at the
curve, marked A. where I took a trip
to Navarre, -- and the indented curve B.
which is the short airing when I was
there with the Lady Baussiere and her
page, -- I have not taken the least frisk
of a digression, till John de la Casse's
devils led me the round you see marked
D. -- for as for c c c c c they are nothing
but parentheses, and the common ins
and outs incident to the lives of the great-
est ministers of state ; and when com-

[ 154 ]

pared with what men have done, -- or
with my own transgressions at the letters
A B D -- they vanish into nothing.

  In this last volume I have done better
still -- for from the end of Le Fever's
episode, to the beginning of my uncle
Toby's campaigns, -- I have scarce step-
ped a yard out of my way.

  If I mend at this rate, it is not im-
possible ---- by the good leave of his
grace of Benevento's devils ---- but I
may arrive hereafter at the excellency of
going on even thus ;

which is a line drawn as straight as I
could draw it, by a writing-master's
ruler, (borrowed for that purpose) turn-
ing neither to the right hand or to the

[ 155 ]

  This right line, -- the path-way for
Christians to walk in ! say divines ----

  ---- The emblem of moral rectitude !
says Cicero ----

  ---- The best line ! say cabbage-plan-
ters ---- is the shortest line, says Archi-
, which can be drawn from one
given point to another. ----

  I wish your ladyships would lay
this matter to heart in your next birth-
day suits !

  ---- What a journey !

  Pray can you tell me, -- that is, with-
out anger, before I write my chapter
upon straight lines ---- by what mis-
take ---- who told them so ---- or how it
has come to pass, that your men of wit
and genius have all along confounded this
line, with the line of GRAVITATION.