[ 100 ]

  I thought, Trim, said my uncle
Toby, a man never fell in love so very

  Yes, an' please your honour, if
he is in the way of it ---- replied

  I prithee, quoth my uncle Toby,
inform me how this matter happened.

  ---- With all pleasure, said the cor-
poral, making a bow.

                          C H A P.

[ 101 ]


I Had escaped, continued the corporal,
all that time from falling in love, and
had gone on to the end of the chapter,
had it not been predestined otherwise ----
there is no resisting our fate.

  It was on a Sunday, in the afternoon,
as I told your honour ----

  The old man and his wife had walked
out ----

  Every thing was still and hush as
midnight about the house ----

  There was not so much as a duck or
a duckling about the yard ----

             H 3            ---- When

[ 102 ]

  ---- When the fair Beguine came in
to see me.

  My wound was then in a fair way of
doing well ---- the inflammation had been
gone off for some time, but it was suc-
ceeded with an itching both above and
below my knee, so insufferable, that I
had not shut my eyes the whole night
for it.

  Let me see it, said she, kneeling down
upon the ground parallel to my knee,
and laying her hand upon the part below
it ---- It only wants rubbing a little, said
the Beguine ; so covering it with the bed
clothes, she began with the forefinger
of her right-hand to rub under my knee,
guiding her fore-finger backwards and

[ 103 ]

forwards by the edge of the flannel which
kept on the dressing.

  In five or six minutes I felt slightly the
end of her second finger --- and presently
it was laid flat with the other, and she
continued rubbing in that way round and
round for a good while ; it then came in-
to my head, that I should fall in love --
I blush'd when I saw how white a hand
she had -- I shall never, an' please your
honour, behold another hand so white
whilst I live ----

  ---- Not in that place : said my uncle
Toby ----

  Though it was the most serious des-
pair in nature to the corporal -- he could
not forbear smiling.
             H 4             The

[ 104 ]

  The young Beguine, continued the
corporal, perceiving it was of great ser-
vice to me -- from rubbing, for some
time, with two fingers -- proceeded to rub
at length, with three -- till by little and
little she brought down the fourth, and
then rubb'd with her whole hand : I
will never say another word, an' please
your honour, upon hands again --- but it
was softer than satin ----

  ---- Prithee, Trim, commend it as
much as thou wilt, said my uncle Toby ; I
shall hear thy story with the more delight
---- The corporal thank'd his master
most unfeignedly ; but having nothing to
say upon the Beguine's hand, but the
same over again ---- he proceeded to the
effects of it.

[ 105 ]

  The fair Beguine, said the corporal,
continued rubbing with her whole hand
under my knee -- till I fear'd her zeal
would weary her ---- ``I would do a
``thousand times more,'' said she, ``for
``the love of Christ'' --- In saying which
she pass'd her hand across the flannel, to
the part above my knee, which I had
equally complained of, and rubb'd it

  I perceived, then, I was beginning to
be in love ----

  As she continued rub-rub-rubbing -- I
felt it spread from under her hand, an'
please your honour, to every part of my
frame ----

  The more she rubb'd, and the longer
strokes she took ---- the more the fire

[ 106 ]

kindled in my veins ---- till at length,
by two or three strokes longer than the
rest ---- my passion rose to the highest
pitch ---- I seiz'd her hand ----

  ---- And then, thou clapped'st it to
thy lips, Trim, said my uncle Toby ----
and madest a speech.

  Whether the corporal's amour termi-
nated precisely in the way my uncle Toby
described it, is not material ; it is enough
that it contain'd in it the essence of all the
love-romances which ever have been
wrote since the beginning of the world.

                          C H A P.

[ 107 ]


AS soon as the corporal had finished
the story of his amour -- or ra-
ther my uncle Toby for him -- Mrs.
Wadman silently sallied forth from her
arbour, replaced the pin in her mob,
pass'd the wicker gate, and advanced
slowly towards my uncle Toby's sentry-
box : the disposition which Trim had
made in my uncle Toby's mind, was too
favourable a crisis to be let slipp'd ----

  ---- The attack was determin'd upon :
it was facilitated still more by my uncle
Toby's having ordered the corporal to
wheel off the pioneer's shovel, the spade,
the pick-axe, the pickets, and other

[ 108 ]

military stores which lay scatter'd upon
the ground where Dunkirk stood -- The
corporal had march'd -- the field was clear.

  Now consider, sir, what nonsense it is,
either in fighting, or writing, or any
thing else (whether in rhyme to it, or
not) which a man has occasion to do --
to act by plan : for if ever Plan, inde-
pendent of all circumstances, deserved re-
gistering in letters of gold (I mean in the
archives of Gotham) -- it was certainly
the PLAN of Mrs. Wadman's attack of
my uncle Toby in his sentry-box, BY
PLAN ---- Now the Plan hanging up in
it at this juncture, being the Plan of Dun-
kirk -- and the tale of Dunkirk a tale of
relaxation, it opposed every impression
she could make : and besides, could she
have gone upon it -- the manoeuvre of

[ 109 ]

fingers and hands in the attack of the
sentry-box, was so outdone by that of the
fair Beguine's, in Trim's story -- that just
then, that particular attack, however
successful before -- became the most heart-
less attack that could be made ----

  O! let woman alone for this. Mrs.
Wadman had scarce open'd the wicker-
gate, when her genius sported with the
change of circumstances.

  ---- She formed a new attack in a

                          C H A P.

[ 110 ]


  ---- I am half distracted, captain
Shandy, said Mrs.Wadman, holding
up her cambrick handkerchief to her left
eye, as she approach'd the door of my
uncle Toby's sentry-box ---- a mote ----
or sand ---- or something ---- I know not
what, has got into this eye of mine ----
do look into it -- it is not in the white --

  In saying which, Mrs. Wadman edged
herself close in beside my uncle Toby,
and squeezing herself down upon the cor-
ner of his bench, she gave him an op-
portunity of doing it without rising up
------ Do look into it -- said she.


[ 111 ]

  Honest soul! thou didst look into it
with as much innocency of heart, as ever
child look'd into a raree-shew box ; and
'twere as much a sin to have hurt thee.

  ---- If a man will be peeping of his
own accord into things of that nature
---- I've nothing to say to it ----

  My uncle Toby never did : and I will
answer for him, that he would have sat
quietly upon a sofa from June to Ja-
nuary (which, you know, takes in both
the hot and cold months), with an eye as
fine as the Thracian * Rhodope's besides

  * Rhodope Thracia tam inevitabili fascino
instructa, tam exacte oculis intuens attraxit,
ut si in illam quis incidisset, fieri non posset,
quin caperetur : ---- I know not who.

             3             him,

[ 112 ]

him, without being able to tell, whether
it was a black or a blue one.

  The difficulty was to get my uncle
Toby, to look at one at all.

  'Tis surmounted. And

  I see him yonder with his pipe pendu-
lous in his hand, and the ashes falling
out of it -- looking -- and looking --
then rubbing his eyes ---- and looking
again, with twice the good nature that
ever Galileo look'd for a spot in the sun.

  ---- In vain! for by all the powers
which animate the organ ---- Widow
Wadman's left eye shines this moment
as lucid as her right ---- there is neither
mote, or sand, or dust, or chaff, or speck,
or particle of opake matter floating in it
             4             -- There

[ 113 ]

---- There is nothing, my dear paternal
uncle! but one lambent delicious fire,
furtively shooting out from every part
of it, in all directions, into thine ----

  ---- If thou lookest, uncle Toby, in
search of this mote one moment longer
---- thou art undone.


AN eye is for all the world exactly
like a cannon, in this respect ;
That it is not so much the eye or the can-
non, in themselves, as it is the carriage of
the eye ---- and the carriage of the can-
non, by which both the one and the other
are enabled to do so much execution.
I don't think the comparison a bad one :
However, as 'tis made and placed at the
   VOL. VIII        I            head

[ 114 ]

head of the chapter, as much for use as
ornament, all I desire in return, is, that
whenever I speak of Mrs. Wadman's
eyes (except once in the next period) that
you keep it in your fancy.

  I protest, Madam, said my uncle
Toby, I can see nothing whatever in
your eye.

  It is not in the white ; said Mrs. Wad-
man : my uncle Toby look'd with might
and main into the pupil ----

  Now of all the eyes, which ever were
created ---- from your own, Madam, up
to those of Venus herself, which certainly
were as venereal a pair of eyes as ever
stood in a head ---- there never was an
eye of them all, so fitted to rob my uncle

[ 115 ]

Toby of his repose, as the very eye, at
which he was looking ---- it was not,
Madam, a rolling eye ---- a romping or
a wanton one -- nor was it an eye spark-
ling -- petulant or imperious -- of high
claims and terrifying exactions, which
would have curdled at once that milk of
human nature, of which my uncle Toby
was made up ---- but 'twas an eye full of
gentle salutations ---- and soft responses
---- speaking ---- not like the trumpet
stop of some ill-made organ, in which
many an eye I talk to, holds coarse con-
verse ---- but whispering soft ---- like the
last low accents of an expiring saint ----
``How can you live comfortless, cap-
``tain Shandy, and alone, without a
``bosom to lean your head on ---- or
``trust your cares to?''
             I 2              It

[ 116 ]

  It was an eye ----

  But I shall be in love with it myself,
if I say another word about it.

  ---- It did my uncle Toby's business.


THERE is nothing shews the cha-
racters of my father and my uncle
Toby, in a more entertaining light, than
their different manner of deportment,
under the same accident ---- for I call
not love a misfortune, from a persuasion,
that a man's heart is ever the better for it
---- Great God! what must my uncle
Toby's have been, when 'twas all be-
nignity without it.

             3             My

[ 117 ]

  My father, as appears from many of
his papers, was very subject to this pas-
sion, before he married ---- but from a
little subacid kind of drollish impatience
in his nature, whenever it befell him, he
would never submit to it like a christian ;
but would pish, and huff, and bounce,
and kick, and play the Devil, and write
the bitterest Philippicks against the eye
that ever man wrote ---- there is one in
verse upon some body's eye or other, that
for two or three nights together, had put
him by his rest ; which in his first trans-
port of resentment against it, he begins
thus :

  ``A Devil 'tis ---- and mischief such doth work
  ``As never yet did Pagan, Jew, or Turk.'' *

  * This will be printed with my father's
life of Socrates, &c. &c.

             I 3              In

[ 118 ]

  In short during the whole paroxism,
my father was all abuse and foul lan-
guage, approaching rather towards male-
diction ---- only he did not do it with as
much method as Ernulphus ---- he was
too impetuous ; nor with Ernulphus's
policy ---- for tho' my father, with the
most intolerant spirit, would curse both
this and that, and every thing under
heaven, which was either aiding or abet-
ting to his love ---- yet never concluded
his chapter of curses upon it, without
cursing himself in at the bargain, as one
of the most egregious fools and cox-
combs, he would say, that ever was let
loose in the world.

  My uncle Toby, on the contrary, took
it like a lamb ---- sat still and let the

[ 119 ]

poison work in his veins without resis-
tance ---- in the sharpest exacerbations of
his wound (like that on his groin) he
never dropt one fretful or discontented
word ---- he blamed neither heaven nor
earth ---- or thought or spoke an inju-
rious thing of any body, or any part of
it ; he sat solitary and pensive with his
pipe ---- looking at his lame leg ----
then whiffing out a sentimental heigh ho!
which mixing with the smoak, incom-
moded no one mortal.

  He took it like a lamb ---- I say.

  In truth he had mistook it at first ; for
having taken a ride with my father, that
very morning, to save if possible a beau-
tiful wood, which the dean and chapter
             I 4              were