[ 60 ]

The Story of the King of Bohemia
and his seven castles.

THERE was a certain king of
Bo - - he ------

  As the corporal was entering the con-
fines of Bohemia, my uncle Toby obliged
him to halt for a single moment ; he
had set out bare-headed, having, since he
pull'd off his Montero-cap in the latter
end of the last chapter, left it lying
beside him on the ground.

  ---- The eye of Goodness espieth all
things ---- so that before the corporal
had well got through the first five words

[ 61 ]

of his story, had my uncle Toby twice
touch'd his Montero-cap with the end of
his cane, interrogatively ---- as much as
to say, Why don't you put it on, Trim?
Trim took it up with the most respect-
ful slowness, and casting a glance of hu-
miliation as he did it, upon the em-
broidery of the fore-part, which being
dismally tarnish'd and fray'd moreover
in some of the principal leaves and bold-
est parts of the pattern, he lay'd it
down again betwixt his two feet, in or-
der to moralize upon the subject.

  ---- 'Tis every word of it but too true,
cried my uncleToby, that thou art about
to observe ----


[ 62 ]

  ``Nothing in this world, Trim, is
``made to last for ever.''

---- But when tokens, dear Tom, of
thy love and remembrance wear out,
said Trim, what shall we say?

  There is no occasion, Trim, quoth my
uncle Toby, to say any thing else ; and
was a man to puzzle his brains till
Doom's day, I believe, Trim, it would be

  The corporal perceiving my uncle
Toby was in the right, and that it would
be in vain for the wit of man to think
of extracting a purer moral from his cap,
without further attempting it, he put it
on ; and passing his hand across his fore-
             9              head

[ 63 ]

head to rub out a pensive wrinkle,
which the text and the doctrine between
them had engender'd, he return'd, with
the same look and tone of voice, to his
story of the king of Bohemia and his
seven castles.


[ 64 ]

The story of the king of Bohemia and
his seven castles, continued.

THERE was a certain king of
Bohemia, but in whose reign, ex-
cept his own, I am not able to inform
your honour ----

  I do not desire it of thee, Trim, by
any means, cried my uncleToby.

  ---- It was a little before the time,
an' please your honour, when giants
were beginning to leave off breeding ; --
but in what year of our Lord that
was ----
                          ---- I would

[ 65 ]

  ---- I would not give a half-penny
to know, said my uncle Toby.

  ---- Only, an' please your honour, it
makes a story look the better in the
face ----

  ---- 'Tis thy own, Trim, so orna-
ment it after thy own fashion ; and take
any date, continued my uncle Toby,
looking pleasantly upon him -- take any
date in the whole world thou choosest,
and put it to -- thou art heartily wel-
come ----

  The corporal bowed ; for of every
century, and of every year of that cen-
tury, from the first creation of the world
down to Noah's flood ; and from Noah's
   VOL. VIII        F            flood

[ 66 ]

flood to the birth of Abraham ; through
all the pilgrimages of the patriarchs, to
the departure of the Israelites out of
Egypt ---- and throughout all the Dy-
nasties, Olympiads, Urbecondita's, and
other memorable epochas of the differ-
ent nations of the world, down to the
coming of Christ, and from thence to
the very moment in which the cor-
poral was telling his story ---- had my
uncle Toby subjected this vast empire of
time and all its abysses at his feet ; but
as MODESTY scarce touches with a finger
what LIBERALITY offers her with both
hands open -- the corporal contented him-
self with the very worst year of the
whole bunch ; which, to prevent your
honours of the Majority and Minority
from tearing the very flesh off your bones
             8              in

[ 67 ]

in contestation, `Whether that year is not
always the last cast-year of the last cast-
almanack' ---- I tell you plainly it was ;
but from a different reason than you
wot of ----

  ---- It was the year next him ----
which being the year of our Lord
seventeen hundred and twelve, when
the duke of Ormond was playing
the devil in Flanders ---- the corpo-
ral took it, and set out with it afresh
on his expedition to Bohemia.

             F 2              The

[ 68 ]

The story of the king of Bohemia and
his seven castles, continued.

IN the year of our Lord one thou-
sand seven hundred and twelve, there
was, an' please your honour ----

   ---- To tell thee truly, Trim, quoth
my uncle Toby, any other date would
have pleased me much better, not only
on account of the sad stain upon our
history that year, in marching off our
troops, and refusing to cover the siege of
Quesnoi, though Fagel was carrying on
the works with such incredible vigour --
but likewise on the score, Trim, of thy
own story ; because if there are -- and
which, from what thou hast dropt, I

[ 69 ]

partly suspect to be the fact -- if there
are giants in it ----

  There is but one, an' please your ho-
nour ----

  ---- 'Tis as bad as twenty, replied my
uncle Toby ---- thou should'st have
carried him back some seven or eight
hundred years out of harm's way, both
of criticks and other people ; and there-
fore I would advise thee, if ever thou
tellest it again ----

  ---- If I live, an' please your honour,
but once to get through it, I will ne-
ver tell it again, quoth Trim, either to
man, woman, or child ---- Poo -- poo!
said my uncle Toby -- but with accents
of such sweet encouragement did he
             F 3              utter

[ 70 ]

utter it, that the corporal went on with
his story with more alacrity than ever.

The story of the King of Bohemia and
his seven castles, continued.

THERE was, an' please your
honour, said the corporal, raising
his voice and rubbing the palms of his
two hands cheerily together as he begun,
a certain king of Bohemia ----

   ---- Leave out the date entirely,
Trim, quoth my uncleToby, leaning
forwards, and laying his hand gently
upon the corporal's shoulder to temper
the interruption -- leave it out entirely,
Trim ; a story passes very well without
these niceties, unless one is pretty sure

[ 71 ]

of 'em ---- Sure of 'em! said the cor-
poral, shaking his head ----

  Right ; answered my uncle Toby, it
is not easy, Trim, for one, bred up as
thou and I have been to arms, who sel-
dom looks further forwards than to the end
of his musket, or backwards beyond his
knapsack, to know much about this
matter ---- God bless your honour! said
the corporal, won by the manner of my
uncle Toby's reasoning, as much as by
the reasoning itself, he has something
else to do ; if not on action, or a
march, or upon duty in his garrison -- he
has his firelock, an' please your honour,
to furbish -- his accoutrements to take care
of -- his regimentals to mend -- himself to
shave and keep clean, so as to appear al-
             F 4              ways

[ 72 ]

ways like what he is upon the parade ;
what business, added the corporal tri-
umphantly, has a soldier, an' please your
honour, to know any thing at all of geo-

   ---- Thou would'st have said chro-
Trim, said my uncle Toby ;
for as for geography, 'tis of absolute
use to him ; he must be acquainted in-
timately with every country and its boun-
daries where his profession carries him ;
he should know every town and city,
and village and hamlet, with the canals,
the roads, and hollow ways which lead up
to them ; there is not a river or a rivu-
let he passes, Trim, but he should be
able at first sight to tell thee what is its
name -- in what mountains it takes its

[ 73 ]

rise -- what is its course -- how far it is na-
vigable -- where fordable -- where not ; he
should know the fertility of every val-
ley, as well as the hind who ploughs it ;
and be able to describe, or, if it is re-
quired, to give thee an exact map of all
the plains and defiles, the forts, the ac-
clivities, the woods and morasses, thro'
and by which his army is to march ;
he should know their produce, their plants,
their minerals, their waters, their ani-
mals, their seasons, their climates, their
heats and cold, their inhabitants, their
customs, their language, their policy,
and even their religion.

  Is it else to be conceived, corporal,
continued my uncle Toby, rising up in his
sentry-box, as he began to warm in this

[ 74 ]

part of his discourse -- how Marlborough
could have marched his army from the
banks of the Maes to Belburg ; from Bel-
burg to Kerpenord -- (here the corporal
could sit no longer) from Kerpenord,
Trim, to Kalsaken ; from Kalsaken to
Newdorf ; from Newdorf to Landen-
bourg ; from Landenbourg to Milden-
heim ; from Mildenheim to Elchingen ;
from Elchingen to Gingen ; from Gingen
to Balmerchoffen ; from Balmerchoffen to
Skellenburg, where he broke in upon the
enemy's works ; forced his passage over
the Danube ; cross'd the Lech -- pushed on
his troops into the heart of the empire,
marching at the head of them through
Friburg, Hokenwert, and Schonevelt,
to the plains of Blenheim and Hochstet?
---- Great as he was, corporal, he could

[ 75 ]

not have advanced a step, or made one
single day's march without the aids of
Geography ---- As for Chronology, I own,
Trim, continued my uncle Toby, sitting
down again coolly in his sentry-box,
that of all others, it seems a science which
the soldier might best spare, was it not
for the lights which that science must one
day give him, in determining the inven-
tion of powder ; the furious execution of
which, renversing every thing like thun-
der before it, has become a new æra to
us of military improvements, changing so
totally the nature of attacks and defences
both by sea and land, and awakening so
much art and skill in doing it, that the
world cannot be too exact in ascertaining
the precise time of its discovery, or too
inquisitive in knowing what great man

[ 76 ]

was the discoverer, and what occasions
gave birth to it.

  I am far from controverting, conti-
nued my uncle Toby, what historians
agree in, that in the year of our Lord
1380, under the reign of Wenceslaus,
son of Charles the fourth ---- a certain
priest, whose name was Schwartz, shew'd
the use of powder to the Venetians, in
their wars against the Genoese ; but 'tis
certain he was not the first ; because if
we are to believe Don Pedro the bishop
of Leon -- How came priests and bishops,
an' please your honour, to trouble their
heads so much about gun-powder? God
knows, said my uncle Toby ---- his pro-
vidence brings good out of every thing
-- and he avers, in his chronicle of King
Alphonsus, who reduced Toledo, That

[ 77 ]

in the year 1343, which was full thirty
seven years before that time, the secret
of powder was well known, and employ-
ed with success, both by Moors and
Christians, not only in their sea-combats,
at that period, but in many of their most
memorable sieges in Spain and Barbary --
And all the world knows, that Friar
Bacon had wrote expressly about it, and
had generously given the world a receipt
to make it by, above a hundred and fifty
years before even Schwartz was born --
And that the Chinese, added my uncle
Toby, embarass us, and all accounts of
it still more, by boasting of the inven-
tion some hundreds of years even before
him ----

  -- They are a pack of liars, I believe,
cried Trim ----
                          ---- They

[ 78 ]

  ---- They are some how or other de-
ceived, said my uncle Toby, in this mat-
ter, as is plain to me from the present
miserable state of military architecture
amongst them ; which consists of nothing
more than a fossè with a brick wall with-
out flanks -- and for what they give us as
a bastion at each angle of it, 'tis so bar-
barously constructed, that it looks for all
the world ---------- Like one of my
seven castles, an' please your honour,
quoth Trim.

  My uncle Toby, tho' in the utmost
distress for a comparison, most courte-
ously refused Trim's offer -- till Trim tell-
ing him, he had half a dozen more in
Bohemia, which he knew not how to get
off his hands ---- my uncle Toby was so

[ 79 ]

touch'd with the pleasantry of heart
of the corporal ---- that he discontinued
his dissertation upon gunpowder ---- and
begged the corporal forthwith to go on
with his story of the King of Bohemia
and his seven castles.

The story of the King of Bohemia and
his seven castles, continued.

THIS unfortunate King of Bohemia,
said Trim ---- Was he unfortu-
nate then? cried my uncle Toby, for he
had been so wrapt up in his dissertation
upon gun-powder and other military
affairs, that tho' he had desired the cor-
poral to go on, yet the many interrup-
tions he had given, dwelt not so strong
upon his fancy, as to account for the