[ 140 ]

not stop to answer, for fear of breaking
the thread of his discourse ----

  This latter, continued he, partakes
wholly of the nature of Venus.

  The first, which is the golden chain
let down from heaven, excites to love he-
roic, which comprehends in it, and excites
to the desire of philosophy and truth ----
the second, excites to desire, simply ----

  ---- I think the procreation of children
as beneficial to the world, said Yorick, as
the finding out the longitude ----

  ---- To be sure, said my mother, love
keeps peace in the world ----

  ---- In the house -- My dear, I own --

  ---- It replenishes the earth ; said my
mother ----

  But it keeps heaven empty -- my dear ;
replied my father.
                          ---- 'Tis

[ 141 ]

  ---- 'Tis Virginity, cried Slop, tri-
umphantly, which fills paradise.

  Well push'd nun! quoth my father.


MY father had such a skirmishing,
cutting kind of a slashing way
with him in his disputations, thrusting
and ripping, and giving every one a
stroke to remember him by in his turn --
that if there were twenty people in com-
pany -- in less than half an hour he was
sure to have every one of 'em against him.

  What did not a little contribute to leave
him thus without an ally, was that if
there was any one post more untenable
than the rest, he would be sure to throw
himself into it ; and to do him justice,
when he was once there, he would defend

[ 142 ]

it so gallantly, that 'twould have been a
concern, either to a brave man, or a
good-natured one, to have seen him
driven out.

  Yorick, for this reason, though he
would often attack him -- yet could never
bear to do it with all his force.

  Doctor Slop's VIRGINITY, in the close
of the last chapter, had got him for
once on the right side of the rampart ;
and he was beginning to blow up all the
convents in Christendom about Slop's
ears, when corporal Trim came into the
parlour to inform my uncle Toby, that
his thin scarlet breeches, in which the
attack was to be made upon Mrs. Wad-
man, would not do ; for, that the tay-
lor, in ripping them up, in order to turn
them, had found they had been turn'd

[ 143 ]

before ---- Then turn them again, bro-
ther, said my father rapidly, for there
will be many a turning of 'em yet be-
fore all's done in the affair ---- They are
as rotten as dirt, said the corporal ----
Then by all means, said my father, be-
speak a new pair, brother ---- for though
I know, continued my father, turning
himself to the company, that widow
Wadman has been deeply in love with
my brother Toby for many years, and
has used every art and circumvention of
woman to outwit him into the same
passion, yet now that she has caught
him ---- her fever will be pass'd it's
height ----

  ---- She has gain'd her point.

  In this case, continued my father,
which Plato, I am persuaded, never

[ 144 ]

thought of ---- Love, you see, is not
into which a man enters, as my brother
Toby would do, into a corps ---- no
matter whether he loves the service or
no ---- being once in it -- he acts as if he
did ; and takes every step to shew him-
self a man of prowesse.

  The hypothesis, like the rest of my
father's, was plausible enough, and my
uncle Toby had but a single word to ob-
ject to it -- in which Trim stood ready to
second him ---- but my father had not
drawn his conclusion ----

  For this reason, continued my father
(stating the case over again) notwith-
standing all the world knows, that Mrs.

[ 145 ]

Wadman affects my brother Toby -- and
my brother Toby contrariwise affects
Mrs. Wadman, and no obstacle in nature
to forbid the music striking up this very
night, yet will I answer for it, that this
self-same tune will not be play'd this

  We have taken our measures badly,
quoth my uncle Toby, looking up in-
terrogatively in Trim's face.

  I would lay my Montero cap, said
Trim ---- Now Trim's Montero-cap, as
I once told you, was his constant wager ;
and having furbish'd it up that very
night, in order to go upon the attack --
it made the odds look more considerable
---- I would lay, an' please your ho-
nour, my Montero-cap to a shilling ----
   VOL. VIII        L            was

[ 146 ]

was it proper, continued Trim (making
a bow) to offer a wager before your ho-
nours ----

  ---- There is nothing improper in it,
said my father -- 'tis a mode of expres-
sion ; for in saying thou would'st lay thy
Montero-cap to a shilling -- all thou mean-
est is this -- that thou believest ----

  ---- Now, What do'st thou believe?

  That Widow Wadman, an' please your
worship, cannot hold it out ten days ----

  And whence, cried Slop, jeeringly, hast
thou all this knowledge of woman, friend?

  By falling in love with a popish cler-
gy-woman, said Trim.

  'Twas a Beguine, said my uncle Toby.

[ 147 ]

  Doctor Slop was too much in wrath
to listen to the distinction ; and my fa-
ther taking that very crisis to fall in hel-
ter-skelter upon the whole order of Nuns
and Beguines, a set of silly, fusty bag-
gages ---- Slop could not stand it ----
and my uncle Toby having some mea-
sures to take about his breeches -- and
Yorick about his fourth general division
-- in order for their several attacks next
day -- the company broke up : and my
father being left alone, and having half
an hour upon his hands betwixt that and
bed-time ; he called for pen, ink, and
paper, and wrote my uncle Toby the fol-
lowing letter of instructions.

             L 2             My

[ 148 ]

  My dear brother Toby,

WHAT I am going to say to
thee, is upon the nature of wo-
men, and of love-making to them ;
and perhaps it is as well for thee -- tho'
not so well for me -- that thou hast occa-
sion for a letter of instructions upon that
head, and that I am able to write it to

  Had it been the good pleasure of him
who disposes of our lots -- and thou no
sufferer by the knowledge, I had been
well content that thou should'st have
dipp'd the pen this moment into the ink,
instead of myself ; but that not being the
case ---------- Mrs. Shandy being now
close besides me, preparing for bed ----
                          I have

[ 149 ]

I have thrown together without order,
and just as they have come into my mind,
such hints and documents as I deem may
be of use to thee ; intending, in this, to
give thee a token of my love ; not
doubting, my dear Toby, of the manner
in which it will be accepted.

  In the first place, with regard to all
which concerns religion in the affair ----
though I perceive from a glow in my
cheek, that I blush as I begin to speak
to thee upon the subject, as well know-
ing, notwithstanding thy unaffected se-
crecy, how few of its offices thou neglect-
est -- yet I would remind thee of one
(during the continuance of thy courtship)
in a particular manner, which I would
not have omitted ; and that is, never to
go forth upon the enterprise, whether it
be in the morning or the afternoon, with-
             L 3             out

[ 150 ]

out first recommending thyself to the
protection of Almighty God, that he
may defend thee from the evil one.

  Shave the whole top of thy crown clean,
once at least every four of five days, but
oftener if convenient ; lest in taking off
thy wig before her, thro' absence of mind,
she should be able to discover how much
has been cut away by Time ---- how
much by Trim.

  -- 'Twere better to keep ideas of bald-
ness out of her fancy.

  Always carry it in thy mind, and act
upon it, as a sure maxim, Toby ----

  ``That women are timid :'' And 'tis
well they are -- else there would be no
dealing with them.


[ 151 ]

  Let not thy breeches be too tight, or
hang too loose about thy thighs, like the
trunk-hose of our ancestors.

  ---- A just medium prevents all con-

  Whatever thou hast to say, be it more
or less, forget not to utter it in a low soft
tone of voice. Silence, and whatever
approaches it, weaves dreams of mid-
night secrecy into the brain : For this
cause, if thou canst help it, never throw
down the tongs and poker.

  Avoid all kinds of pleasantry and face-
tiousness in thy discourse with her, and
do whatever lies in thy power at the same
time, to keep from her all books and
writings which tend thereto : there are
some devotional tracts, which if thou

[ 152 ]

canst entice her to read over -- it will be
well : but suffer her not to look into Ra-
belais, or Scarron, or Don Quixote ----

  ---- They are all books which excite
laughter ; and thou knowest, dear Toby,
that there is no passion so serious, as lust.

  Stick a pin in the bosom of thy shirt,
before thou enterest her parlour.

  And if thou art permitted to sit upon the
same sopha with her, and she gives thee
occasion to lay thy hand upon hers -- be-
ware of taking it ---- thou can'st not lay
thy hand on hers, but she will feel the
temper of thine. Leave that and as
many other things as thou canst, quite
undetermined ; by so doing, thou will
have her curiosity on thy side ; and if she
is not conquer'd by that, and thy ASSE

[ 153 ]

continues still kicking, which there is
great reason to suppose ---- Thou must
begin, with first losing a few ounces of
blood below the ears, according to the
practice of the ancient Scythians, who
cured the most intemperate fits of the
appetite by that means.

  Avicenna, after this, is for having the
part anointed with the syrrup of helle-
bore, using proper evacuations and
purges ---- and I believe rightly. But
thou must eat little or no goat's flesh,
nor red deer ---- nor even foal's flesh by
any means ; and carefully abstain ----
that is, as much as thou canst, from pea-
cocks, cranes, coots, didappers, and
water-hens, ----

  As for thy drink -- I need not tell
thee, it must be the infusion of VERVAIN,
and the herb HANEA, of which Ælian
             8             relates

[ 154 ]

relates such effects -- but if thy stomach
palls with it -- discontinue it from time to
time, taking cucumbers, melons, purs-
lane, water-lilies, woodbine, and lettice,
in the stead of them.

  There is nothing further for thee,
which occurs to me at present ----

  -- Unless the breaking out of a fresh
war ---- So wishing every thing, dear
Toby, for the best,

    I rest thy affectionate brother,

            WALTER SHANDY.


WHILST my father was writing
his letter of instructions, my
uncle Toby and the corporal were busy
in preparing every thing for the attack.
As the turning of the thin scarlet

[ 155 ]

breeches was laid aside (at least for the
present) there was nothing which should
put it off beyond the next morning ; so
accordingly it was resolv'd upon, for
eleven o'clock.

  Come, my dear, said my father to my
mother -- 'twill be but like a brother and
sister, if you and I take a walk down to
my brother Toby's ---- to countenance
him in this attack of his.

  My uncle Toby and the corporal had
been accoutred both some time, when
my father and mother enter'd, and the
clock striking eleven, were that moment
in motion to sally forth -- but the account
of this is worth more, than to be wove
into the fag end of the eighth volume
of such a work as this. ---- My father
had no time but to put the letter of in-
             2             structions

[ 156 ]

structions into my uncle Toby's coat-
pocket ---- and join with my mother in
wishing his attack prosperous.

  I could like, said my mother, to look
through the key-hole out of curiosity ----
Call it by it's right name, my dear,
quoth my father --

  And look through the key-hole as long as
you will.