[ 60 ]

Fever was hourly expected ; and was
uppermost in my uncle Toby's mind all
the time my father was giving him and
Yorick a description of what kind of a
person he would chuse for a preceptor
to me : but as my uncle Toby thought
my father at first somewhat fanciful in
the accomplishments he required, he
forbore mentioning Le Fever's name,
---- till the character, by Yorick's inter-
position, ending unexpectedly, in one,
who should be gentle tempered, and ge-
nerous, and good, it impressed the image
of Le Fever, and his interest upon my
uncle Toby so forceably, he rose instant-
ly off his chair ; and laying down his
pipe, in order to take hold of both my
father's hands ---- I beg, brother Shandy,
said my uncle Toby, I may recommend
poor Le Fever's son to you ---- I beseech
you, do, added Yorick ---- He has a good

[ 61 ]

heart, said my uncle Toby ---- And a
brave one too, an' please your honour,
said the corporal.

  ---- The best hearts, Trim, are
ever the bravest, replied my uncle Toby.
---- And the greatest cowards, an' please
your honour, in our regiment, were the
greatest rascals in it. ---- There was ser-
jeant Kumbur, and ensign ------

  ---- We'll talk of them, said my fa-
ther, another time.


WHAT a jovial and a merry world
would this be, may it please your
worships, but for that inextricable laby-
rinth of debts, cares, woes, want, grief,

[ 62 ]

discontent, melancholy, large jointures,
impositions, and lies !

  Doctor Slop, like a son of a w---- , as
my father called him for it, -- to exalt
himself, -- debased me to death, -- and
made ten thousand times more of Susan-
's accident, than there was any
grounds for ; so that in a week's time,
or less, it was in every body's mouth,
That poor Master Shandy  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  entirely. --
And FAME, who loves to double every
thing, -- in three days more, had sworn
positively she saw it, -- and all the world,
as usual, gave credit to her evidence ----
`` That the nursery window had not
only *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  * ; ----but that *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *'s also.''
             8              Could

[ 63 ]

  Could the world have been sued like
a BODY-CORPORATE, -- my father had
brought an action upon the case, and
trounced it sufficiently ; but to fall foul
of individuals about it ---- as every soul
who had mentioned the affair, did it
with the greatest pity imaginable ; ----
'twas like flying in the very face of his
best friends : ---- And yet to acquiesce
under the report, in silence -- was to ac-
knowledge it openly, -- at least in the
opinion of one half of the world ; and
to make a bustle again, in contradicting
it, -- was to confirm it as strongly in the
opinion of the other half. ------

  ---- Was ever poor devil of a coun-
try gentleman so hampered ? said my
                          I would

[ 64 ]

  I would shew him publicly, said my
uncle Toby, at the market cross.

  ---- 'Twill have no effect, said my

C H A P. XV.

  ---- I'll put him, however, into
breeches said my father, -- let the world
say what it will.


THERE are a thousand resolutions,
Sir, both in church and state, as
well as in matters, Madam, of a more
private concern ; -- which, though they
have carried all the appearance in the
world of being taken, and entered upon
in a hasty, hare-brained, and unadvised
manner, were, notwithstanding this,

[ 65 ]

(and could you or I have got into the
cabinet, or stood behind the curtain, we
should have found it was so) weigh-
ed, poized, and perpended ---- argued
upon ---- canvassed through ---- entered
into, and examined on all sides with so
much coolness, that the GODDESS of COOL-
herself (I do not take upon me to
prove her existence) could neither have
wished it, or done it better.

  Of the number of these was my fa-
ther's resolution of putting me into
breeches ; which, though determined
at once, -- in a kind of huff, and a defi-
ance of all mankind, had, nevertheless,
been pro'd and conn'd, and judicially talk-
ed over betwixt him and my mother
about a month before, in two several
beds of justice, which my father had held
for that purpose. I shall explain the
  VOL. VI.        F            nature

[ 66 ]

nature of these beds of justice in my
next chapter ; and in the chapter follow-
ing that, you shall step with me, Madam,
behind the curtain, only to hear in what
kind of manner my father and my mo-
ther debated between themselves, this
affair of the breeches, -- from which you
may form an idea, how they debated all
lesser matters.


THE ancient Goths of Germany, who
(the learned Cluverius is positive)
were first seated in the country between
the Vistula and the Oder, and who after-
wards incorporated the Herculi, the Bu-
, and some other Vandallick clans
to 'em, -- had all of them a wise custom
of debating every thing of importance
             1              to

[ 67 ]

to their state, twice ; that is, -- once
drunk, and once sober : ---- Drunk --
that their counsels might not want vi-
gour ; ---- and sober -- that they might
not want discretion.

  Now my father, being entirely a water-
drinker, -- was a long time gravelled
almost to death, in turning this as much
to his advantage, as he did every other
thing, which the ancients did or said ;
and it was not till the seventh year of his
marriage, after a thousand fruitless ex-
periments and devices, that he hit upon
an expedient which answered the pur-
pose ; ---- and that was when any diffi-
cult and momentous point was to be set-
tled in the family, which required great
sobriety, and great spirit too, in its de-
termination, ---- he fixed and set apart
the first Sunday night in the month, and
             F 2              the

[ 68 ]

the Saturday night which immediately
preceded it, to argue it over, in bed
with my mother : By which contrivance,
if you consider, Sir, with yourself, * *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *.

  These my father, humourously enough,
called his beds of justice ; ---- for from
the two different counsels taken in these
two different humours, a middle one
was generally found out, which touched
the point of wisdom as well, as if he
had got drunk and sober a hundred

  It must not be made a secret of to the
world, that this answers full as well in
literary discussions, as either in military

[ 69 ]

or conjugal ; but it is not every author
that can try the experiment as the Goths
and Vandals did it ---- or if he can,
may it be always for his body's health ;
and to do it, as my father did it, --
am I sure it would be always for his
soul's. ----

  My way is this : ------

  In all nice and ticklish discussions, --
(of which, heaven knows, there are
but too many in my book) -- where I
find I cannot take a step without the
danger of having either their worships
or their reverences upon my back ----
I write one half full, -- and t'other fast-
; ---- or write it all full, -- and cor-
rect it fasting; ---- or write it fasting, --
and correct it full, for they all come to
the same thing : ---- So that with a less
             F 3              variation

[ 70 ]

variation from my father's plan, than
my father's from the Gothick ---- I feel
myself upon a par with him in his first
bed of justice, --- and no way inferior to
him in his second. ---- These different
and almost irreconcileable effects, flow
uniformly from the wise and wonderful
mechanism of nature, -- of which, -- be
her's the honour. ---- All that we can do,
is to turn and work the machine to the
improvement and better manufactury
of the arts and sciences. ------

  Now, when I write full, -- I write as if
I was never to write fasting again as long
as I live ; ---- that is, I write free from
the cares, as well as the terrors of the
world. ---- I count not the number of
my scars, -- nor does my fancy go forth
into dark entries and bye corners to ante-
date my stabs. ---- In a word, my pen

[ 71 ]

takes its course ; and I write on as much
from the fullness of my heart, as my
stomach. ----

  But when, an' please your honours,
I indite fasting, 'tis a different history.
---- I pay the world all possible atten-
tion and respect, -- and have as great a
share (whilst it lasts) of that understrap-
ping virtue of discretion, as the best of
you. ---- So that betwixt both, I write a
careless kind of a civil, nonsensical, good
humoured Shandean book, which will
do all your hearts good ------

  ---- And all your heads too, -- pro-
vided you understand it.

             F 4              C H A P.

[ 72 ]


WE should begin, said my father,
turning himself half round in
bed, and shifting his pillow a little to-
wards my mother's, as he opened the
debate ---- We should begin to think,
Mrs. Shandy, of putting this boy into
breeches. ----

  We should so, -- said my mother. ----
We defer it, my dear, quoth my father,
shamefully. ------

  I think we do, Mr. Shandy, -- said my

  ---- Not but the child looks extreme-
ly well, said my father, in his vests and
tunics. ------
                          ---- He

[ 73 ]

  ---- He does look very well in them,
-- replied my mother. ------

  ---- And for that reason it would be
almost a sin, added my father, to take
him out of 'em. ----

  ---- It would so, -- said my mother :
---- But indeed he is growing a very
tall lad, -- rejoin'd my father.

  ---- He is very tall for his age, in-
deed, -- said my mother. ----

  ---- I can not (making two syllables
of it) imagine, quoth my father, who
the duce he takes after. ----

  I cannot conceive, for my life, -- said
my mother. ------
                          Humph !

[ 74 ]

  Humph ! ---- said my father.

  (The dialogue ceased for a moment.)

  ---- I am very short myself, -- conti-
nued my father, gravely.

  You are very short, Mr. Shandy, --
said my mother.

  Humph ! quoth my father to himself,
a second time : in muttering which, he
plucked his pillow a little further from
my mother's, -- and turning about again,
there was an end of the debate for three
minutes and a half.

  ---- When he gets these breeches
made, cried my father in a higher tone,
he'll look like a beast in 'em.

[ 75 ]

  He will be very aukward in them at
first, replied my mother. ------

  ---- And 'twill be lucky, if that's
the worst on't, added my father.

  It will be very lucky, answered my

  I suppose, replied my father, -- mak-
ing some pause first, -- he'll be exactly
like other people's children. ------

  Exactly, said my mother. ------

  ---- Though I should be sorry for
that, added my father : and so the de-
bate stopped again.

  ---- They should be of leather, said
my father, turning him about again. --

[ 76 ]

  They will last him, said my mother, the

  But he can have no linings to 'em,
replied my father. ------

  He cannot, said my mother.

  'Twere better to have them of fustian,
quoth my father.

  Nothing can be better, quoth my
mother. ------

  ---- Except dimity, -- replied my fa-
ther : ---- 'Tis best of all, -- replied my

  ---- One must not give him his death,
however, -- interrupted my father.

  By no means, said my mother : ----
and so the dialogue stood still again.
             7              I am

[ 77 ]

  I am resolved, however, quoth my
father, breaking silence the fourth time,
he shall have no pockets in them. ----

  ---- There is no occasion for any,
said my mother. ------

  I mean in his coat and waistcoat, --
cried my father.

  ---- I mean so too, -- replied my

  ---- Though if he gets a gig or a top
---- Poor souls ! it is a crown and a
scepter to them, -- they should have where
to secure it. ------

  Order it as you please, Mr. Shandy,
replied my mother. ------
                          ---- But

[ 78 ]

  ---- But don't you think it right ?
added my father, pressing the point
home to her.

  Perfectly, said my mother, if it pleases
you, Mr. Shandy. ------

  ---- There's for you ! cried my father,
losing temper ---- Pleases me ! ---- You
never will distinguish, Mrs. Shandy, nor
shall I ever teach you to do it, betwixt
a point of pleasure and a point of con-
venience. ---- This was on the Sunday
night ; ---- and further this chapter say-
eth not.


AFTER my father had debated the af-
fair of the breeches with my mother,
-- he consulted Albertus Rubenius upon
                          it ;

[ 79 ]

it ; and Albertus Rubenius used my father
ten times worse in the consultation (if
possible) than even my father had used my
mother : For as Rubenius had wrote a
quarto express, De re Vestiaria Veterum, --
it was Rubenius's business to have given
my father some lights. -- On the contrary,
my father might as well have thought of
extracting the seven cardinal virtues out
of a long beard, -- as of extracting a single
word out of Rubenius upon the subject.

  Upon every other article of ancient
dress, Rubenius was very communicative
to my father ; -- gave him a full and sa-
tisfactory account of

     The Toga, or loose gown.
     The Chlamys.
     The Ephod.
     The Tunica, or Jacket.