Dear SENSIBILITY! source inexhausted of all that's precious in our joys, or costly in our sorrows! thou chainest thy martyr down upon his bed of straw!—and 'tis thou who lifts him up to HEAVEN!—Eternal fountain of our feelings! 'tis here I trace thee. SEN. JOURNEY, P. 226.





WHEN I compiled this little volume from the writings of one of the first orna­ments of Britain, and of human genius, I did not look out long for a protector for the inestimable treasure. To whom, said all the powers of Feeling, kindling within me—to whom should these pages that breathe the spirit of humanity in such a supereminent degree be addressed, but to that illustrious Monarch whose benignity and unparalelled philanthropy has given a charm to every enlightened quarter of the universe!

When your Majesty retires from the busy scenes of Royalty, to commune with nature and [Page 6] her eminent works, of which study your dis­tinguished actions speak you an admirable pro­ficient, this volume will prove itself an enter­taining and excellent companion.

I rejoice in this opportunity of testifying my respect for such transcendent goodness! and be­lieve me to be with the most profound zeal,

Your Majesty's most Obedient, and most Devoted, Humble Servant, W. H.


A SELECTION of the Beauties of Sterne is what has been looked for by a number of his admirers for some time; well knowing they would form such a Volume as perhaps this, nor any other language, could equal. Indeed it was highly necessary on a particular score to make this selection: the chaste lovers of litera­ture were not only deprived themselves of the pleasure and instruction so conspicuous in this magnificent assemblage of Genius, but their rising offspring, whose minds it would polish to the highest perfection were prevented from tasting the enjoyment likewise. The chaste part of the world complained so loudly of the obscenity which taints the writings of Sterne, (and, in­deed, with some reason), that those readers un­der their immediate inspection were not suffered to penetrate beyond the title-page of his Tristram Shandy;—his Sentimental Journey, in some de­gree, escaped the general censure; though that is not entirely free of the fault complained of.

[Page 8] To accommodate those who are strangers to the first of these works, I have, (I hope with some degree of judgment), extracted the most distinguished passages on which the sun of Genius shines so resplendent, that all his competitors, in his manner of writing, are lost in an eclipse of affectation and unnatural rhapsody. I intended to have arranged them alphabetically, till I found the stories of Le Fever, the Monk, and Maria, would be too closely connected for the feeling reader, and would wound the bosom of sensibility too deeply: I therefore placed them at a proper distance from each other.—I need not explain my motive for introducing the Sermon on the abuses of Conscience, with the effusions of hu­manity throughout it; every parent and gover­nor, I believe, (unless a bigotted Papist), will thank me.—I wish I could insuse the pleasure that attended me in compiling this little work, into the breast of the reader, yet unacquainted with Sterne—as it is, I promise him, the hours he may devote to this great master of nature and the passions, will be marked with more fe­licity, than any, since genius led him to the love of letters.

The Author's opinion of many parts of the sacred writings may with truth be applied to [Page 9] a great part of his own, that there is to be found in them, ‘"Sublime and noble passages, which, by the rules of sound criticism and reason, may be demonstrated to be truly elo­quent and beautiful."’

‘"There is something in them so thoroughly affecting, and so noble and sublime withal, that one might challenge the writings of the most celebrated orators of antiquity to pro­duce any thing like them."’

Before I conclude, I cannot help observing with an excellent writer, that, ‘"there are minds upon which the rays of fancy may be pointed without effect, and which no fire of sentiment can agitate, or exalt."’—May such minds never violate the Beanties of Sterne; but let them be, while the virtues find sanctuary in the hearts of the amiable—their amusement only.

W. H.


  • THE Ass, Page. 39
  • The dead Ass, Page. 131
  • Humouring immoral Appetites, Page. 134
  • Tribute of Affection, Page. 175
  • Remainder of the Story of Trim's Brother, Page. 73
  • The Beguine, Page. 79
  • Beauty, Page. 214
  • Compassion, Page. 123
  • Consolation, Page. 144
  • The Captive, Page. 147
  • Charity, Page. 153
  • Compassion, Page. 170
  • A Subject for Compassion, Page. 167
  • Crosses in Life, Page. 176
  • The Contrast, Page. 177
  • Trim's Explanation of the Fifth Command­ment, Page. 187
  • Covetousness, Page. 208
  • Contentment, Page. 217
  • [Page 12]The Dwarf, Page. 149
  • Reflections on Death, Page. 157
  • Difference in Men, Page. 141
  • Defamation, Page. 201
  • Dissatisfaction, Page. 205
  • Distress, Page. 216
  • Corporal Trim's Reflections on Death, Page. 223
  • Ejaculation, Page. 185
  • Eloquence, Page. 203
  • Evils, Page. 218
  • Fellow-Feeling, Page. 120
  • Frailty, Page. 129
  • Feeling and Beneficence, Page. 160
  • Fatality, Page. 185
  • Friendship, Page. 189
  • Flattery, Page. 190
  • Forgiveness, Page. 192
  • Favours, Page. 193
  • Rustic Felicity, Page. 190
  • The Grace, Page. 104
  • Yorick's Opinion of Gravity, Page. 182
  • Ostentatious Generosity, Page. 200
  • Generosity, Page. 203
  • [Page 13]Cottage Happiness, Page. 106
  • Happiness, Page. 171
  • Conjugal Happiness, Page. 186
  • Health, Page. 188
  • Affected Honesty, Page. 198
  • Humility, Page. 210
  • Humility contrasted with Pride, Page. 211
  • Hunger, Page. 216
  • Illusion, Page. 106
  • Insensibility, Page. 130
  • Indolence, Page. 143
  • Power of slight Incidents, Page. 176
  • Imposture, Page. 217
  • Captain Shandy's Justification of his own Principles and Conduct, in wishing to continue the War, Page. 137
  • The Story of Le Fever, Page. 3
  • Le Dimanche, Page. 108
  • Life, Page. 187
  • Love, Page. 188
  • Maria, Page. 89
  • The Monk, Page. 112
  • [Page 14]House of Mourning, Page. 125
  • The Unmerciful Man, Page. 122
  • Mercy, Page. 141
  • Effects of Misfortune, Page. 181
  • Reflection upon Man, Page. 183
  • Opposition, Page. 136
  • Pleasures of Observation and Study, Page. 159
  • Oppression Vanquished, Page. 164
  • Opinion, Page. 200
  • Rooted Opinion not easily Eradicated, Page. 206
  • Oppression, Page. 219
  • Against Hasty Opinions, Page. 196
  • The Preceptor, Page. 1
  • The Pulse, Page. 23
  • The Pie-Man, Page. 32
  • Pity, Page. 123
  • Perfection, Page. 191
  • Affected Piety, Page. 198
  • Patience and Contentment, Page. 110
  • Pride, Page. 213
  • Revenge, Page. 184
  • Religion, Page. 202
  • Mr. Shandy's Resignation for the Loss of his Son, Page. 230
  • [Page 15]The Sword, Page. 36
  • The Sermon, Page. 43
  • Sensibility, Page. 100
  • The Supper, Page. 101
  • Slander, Page. 124
  • The Starling, Page. 144
  • Slavery, Page. 163
  • Selfishness and Meanness, Page. 180
  • Solitude, Page. 189
  • Solitude, Page. 190
  • Affected Sanctity, Page. 144
  • Society, Page. 203
  • Sorrow and Heaviness of Heart, Page. 205
  • Sin, Page. 220
  • Sincerity, Page. 221
  • Tribulation, Page. 189
  • Tyranny, Page. 202
  • Uncertainty, Page. 130
  • Unity, Page. 135
  • Vice not without Use, Page. 181
  • Vanity, Page. 197
  • Virtue and Vice, Page. 220
  • Wisdom, Page. 221
  • Ditto, Page. 215


IT is necessary to acquaint the Reader, that the references in this volume are marked from the last elegant London edition of Mr. Sterne's works in ten volumes. Price two Guineas.



YOU see 'tis high time, said my father, address­ing himself equally to my uncle Toby and Yorick, to take this young creature out of these womens' hands, and put him into those of a private governor.

Now as I consider the person who is to be about my son, as the mirror in which he is to view himself from morning to night, and by which he is to adjust his looks, his carriage, and perhaps the inmost sentiments of his heart;—I would have one, Yorick, if possible, polished at all points, fit for my child to look into.

There is, continued my father, a certain mien and motion of the body and all its parts, both in acting and speaking, which argues a man well [Page 2] within. There are a thousand unnoticed openings, continued my father, which let a penetrating eye at once into a man's soul; and I maintain it, add­ed he, that a man of sense does not lay down his hat in coming into a room,—or take it up in go­ing out of it, but something escapes, which disco­vers him.

I will have him, continued my father, cheerful, faceté, jovial; at the same time, prudent, atten­tive to business, vigilant, acute, argute, inventive, quick in resolving doubts and speculative questions;—he shall be wise and judicious, and learned:—And why not humble, and moderate, and gentle tempered, and good? said Yorick;—And why not, cried my uncle Toby, free, and generous, and bountiful, and brave?—He shall, my dear Toby, replied my father, getting up and shaking him by his hand.—Then, brother Shandy, answered my uncle Toby, raising himself off the chair, and lay­ing down his pipe to take hold of my father's other hand,—I humbly beg I may recommend poor Le Fever's son to you;—a tear of joy of the first water sparkled in my uncle Toby's eye,—and another, the fellow to it, in the Coporal's, as the proposition was made;—you will see why when you read Le Fever's story.


IT was some time in the summer of that year in which Dendermond was taken by the allies; when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard,—I say sitting—for in consideration of the Corporal's lame knee (which sometimes gave him exquisite pain)—when my uncle Toby dined or supped alone he would never suffer the Corporal to stand; and the poor fellow's veneration for his master was such, that with a proper artillery, my uncle Toby could have taken Dendermond itself, with less trouble than he was able to gain this point over him; for many a time when my uncle Toby supposed the Corporal's leg was at rest, he would look back, and detect him standing behind him with the most dutiful respect: this bred more little squabbles betwixt them, than all other causes for five-and-twenty years together—But this is neither here nor there—why do I mention it?—Ask my pen,—it governs me,—I govern not it.

[Page 4] He was one evening sitting thus at his supper, when the landlord of a little inn in the village came into the parlour with an empty phial in his hand, to beg a glass or two of sack; 'Tis for a poor gen­tleman,—I think of the army, said the landlord, who has been taken ill at my house four days ago, and has never held up his head since, or had a de­sire to taste any thing, till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass of sack and a thin toast,—"I think," says he, taking his hand from his forehead, "it would comfort me."—

—If I could neither beg, borrow, or buy such a thing,—added the landlord,—I would almost steal it for the poor gentleman, he is so ill.—I hope in God he will still mend, continued he,—we are all of us concerned for him.

Thou art a good-natured soul, I will answer for thee, cried my uncle Toby; and thou shalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glass of sack thyself,—and take a couple of bottles with my service, and tell him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more if they will do him good.

Though I am persuaded, said my uncle Toby, as the landlord shut the door, he is a very compas­sionate fellow—Trim,—yet I cannot help enter­taining [Page 5] a high opinion of his guest too; there must be something more than common in him, that in so short a time should win so much upon the affections of his host;—And of his whole family, added the Corporal, for they are all concerned for him.—Step after him, said my uncle Toby,—do Trim,—and ask if he knows his name.

—I have quite forgot it, truly, said the landlord, coming back into the parlour with the Corporal,—but I can ask his son again:—Has he a son with him then? said my uncle Toby.—A boy, replied the landlord, of about eleven or twelve years of age;—but the poor creature has tasted almost as little as his father; he does nothing but mourn and lament for him night and day:—He has not stir­red from the bedside these two days.

My uncle Toby laid down his knife and fork, and thrust his plate from before him, as the land­lord gave him the account; and Trim, without being ordered, took away, without saying one word, and in a few minutes after brought him his pipe and tobacco.

Trim! said my uncle Toby, I have a project in my head, as it is a bad night, of wrapping myself [Page 6] up warm in my roquelaure, and paying a visit to this poor gentleman.—Your honour's roquelaure, replied the Corporal, has not once been had on, since the night before your honour received your wound, when we mounted guard in the trenches before the gate of St. Nicholas;—and besides, it is so cold and rainy a night, that what with the roque­laure, and what with the weather, it will be enough to give your honour your death, and bring on your honour's torment in your groin. I fear so, replied my uncle Toby; but I am not at rest in my mind, Trim, since the account the landlord has given me.—I wish I had not known so much of this affair,—added my uncle Toby,—or that I had known more of it:—How shall we manage it? Leave it, an't please your honour, to me, quoth the Corporal;—I'll take my hat and stick and go to the house and reconnoitre, and act accordingly; and I will bring your honour a full account in an hour.—Thou shalt go, Trim, said my uncle Toby, and here's a shilling sor thee to drink with his servant.—I shall get it all out of him said the Corporal, shutting the door.

It was not till my uncle Toby had knocked the ashes out of his third pipe, that Corporal Trim re­turned from the inn, and gave him the following account.

[Page 7] I despaired, at first, said the Corporal, of being able to bring back your honour any kind of intelli­gence concerning the poor sick Lieutenant—Is he in the army, then? said my uncle Toby—He is: said the Corporal—And in what regiment? said my uncle Toby—I'll tell your honour, replied the Corporal, every thing straight forwards, as I learnt it.—Then, Trim, I will fill another pipe, said my uncle Toby, and not interrupt thee till thou hast done; so sit down at thy ease, Trim, in the win­dow-seat, and begin thy story again. The Corporal made his old bow, which generally spoke as plain as a bow could speak it—Your honour is good:—And having done that, he sat down, as he was ordered,—and began the story to my uncle Toby over again in pretty near the same words.

I despaired at first, said the Corporal, of being able to bring back any intelligence to your honour, about the Lieutenant and his son; for when I asked where his servant was, from whom I made myself sure of knowing every thing which was proper to be asked,—That's a right distinction, Trim, said my uncle Toby—I was answered, an' please your honour, that he had no servant with him;—that he had come to the inn with hired horses, which, upon finding himself unable to proceed, (to join, I [Page 8] suppose, the regiment), he had dismissed the morn­ing after he came.—If I get better, my dear, said he, as he gave his purse to his son to pay the man,—we can hire horses from hence.—But alas! the poor gentleman will never get from hence, said the landlady to me,—for I heard the death-watch all night long;—and when he dies, the youth, his son, will certainly die with him; for he is broken­hearted already.

I was hearing this account, continued the Cor­poral, when the youth came into the kitchen, to order the thin toast the landlord spoke of;—but I will do it for my father myself, said the youth.—Pray let me save you the trouble, young gentle­man, said I, taking up a fork for the purpose, and offering him my chair to sit down upon by the fire, whilst I did it.—I believe, Sir, said he, very modestly, I can please him best myself.—I am sure, said I, his honour will not like the toast the worse for being toasted by an old soldier.—The youth took hold of my hand, and instantly burst into tears.—Poor youth! said my uncle Toby,—he has been bred up from an infant in the army, and the name of a soldier, Trim, sounded in his ears like the name of a friend;—I wish I had him here.

[Page 9] —I never in the longest march, said the Cor­poral, had so great a mind to my dinner, as I had to cry with him for company:—What could be the matter with me, an' please your honour? Nothing in the world, Trim, said my uncle Toby, blowing his nose,—but that thou art a good na­tured fellow.

When I gave him the toast, Continued the Cor­poral, I thought it was proper to tell him I was Captain Shandy's servant, and that your honour (though a stranger) was extremely concerned for his father;—and that if there was any thing in your house or cellar—(And thou might'st have added my purse too, said my uncle Toby—he was heartily welcome to it:—He made a very low bow, (which was meant to your honour), but no answer,—for his heart was full—so he went up stairs with the toast;—I warrant you, my dear, said I, as I opened the kitchen-door, your father will be well again.—Mr. Yorick's curate was smoaking a pipe by the kitchen fire,—but said not a word good or bad to comsort the youth.—I thought it wrong; added the Corporal—I think so too, said my uncle Toby.

When the Lieutenant had taken his glass of sack and toast, he felt himself a little revived, and sent [Page 10] down into the kitchen, to let me know, that in about ten minutes he should be glad if I would step up stairs.—I believe, said the landlord, he is going to say his prayers,—for there was a book laid upon the chair by his bed-side, and as I shut the door, I saw his son take up a cushion.—

I thought, said the curate, that you gentlemen of the army, Mr. Trim, never said your prayers at all.—I heard the poor gentleman say his prayers last night, said the landlady, very devoutly, and with my own ears, or I could not have believed it.—Are you sure of it, replied the curate.—A soldier, an' please your reverence, said I, prays as often (of his own accord) as a parson;—and when he is fighting for his king, and for his own life, and for his honour too, he has the most reason to pray to God, of any one in the whole world.—'Twas well said of thee, Trim, said my uncle Toby.—But when a soldier, said I, an' please your reverence, has been standing for twelve hours together in the trenches, up to his knees in cold water,—or engaged, said I, for months to­gether in long and dangerous marches; harassed, perhaps, in his rear to-day;—harassing others to­morrow;—detached here;—countermanded there;—resting this night out upon his arms;—beat up [Page 11] in his shirt the next;—benumbed in his joints;—perhaps without straw in his tent to kneel on;—must say his prayers how and when he can.—I believe, said I,—for I was piqued, quoth the Corporal, for the reputation of the army, I believe an' please your reverence, said I, that when a soldier gets time to pray,—he prays as heartily as a parson,—though not with all his fuss and hypocrisy.—Thou shouldst not have said that, Trim, said my uncle Toby,—for God only knows who is a hypocrite, and who is not:—At the great and general review of us all, Corporal, at the day of judgment, (and not till then)—it will be seen who has done their duties in this world,—and who has not; and we shall be advanced, Trim, accordingly.—I hope we shall, said Trim,—It is in the Scripture, said my uncle Toby; and I will shew it thee to-morrow:—In the mean time we may depend upon it, Trim, for our com­fort, said my uncle Toby, that God Almighty is so good and just a Governor of the world, that if we have but done our duties in it,—it will never be enquired into, whether we have done them in a red coat or a black one:—I hope not; said the Corporal—But go on, Trim, said my uncle Toby, with the story.

[Page 12] When I went up, continued the Corporal, into the Lieutenant's room, which I did not do till the expiration of the ten minutes,—he was lying in his bed, with his head raised upon his hand, with his elbow upon the pillow, and a clean white cambrick handkerchief beside it:—The youth was just stooping down to take up the cushion, upon which I supposed he had been kneeling,—the book was laid upon the bed,—and as he rose, in taking up the cushion with one hand, he reached out his other to take it away at the same time. Let it remain there, my dear, said the Lieutenant.

He did not offer to speak to me, till I had walked up close to his bed-side:—If you are Cap­tain Shandy's servant, said he, you must present my thanks to your master. with my little boy's thanks along with them, for his courtesy to me;—if he was of Levens's—said the Lieutenant.—I told him your honour was—Then, said he, I served three campaigns with him in Flanders, and remember him,—but 'tis most likely, as I had not the honour of any acquaintance with him, that he knows nothing of me.—You will tell him, how­ever, that the person his good nature has laid un­der obligations to him, is one Le Fever, a Lieute­nant in Angus's—but he knows me not,—said he, [Page 13] a second time, musing;—possibly he may my story—added he—pray tell the Captain, I was the Ensign at Breda, whose wife was most unfortu­nately killed with a musket shot, as she lay in my arms in my tent.—I remember the story, an' please your honour, said I, very well.—Do you so? said he, wiping his eyes with his handker­chief,—then well may I.—In saying this, he drew a little ring out of his bosom, which seemed tied with a black ribband about his neck, and kiss'd it twice—Here, Billy, said he,—the boy flew across the room to the bed-side,—and falling down upon his knee, took the ring in his hand, and kissed it too,—then kissed his father, and sat down upon the bed and wept.

I wish, said my uncle Toby, with a deep sigh,—I wish, Trim, I was asleep.

Your honour, replied the Corporal, is too much concerned;—shall I pour your honour out a glass of sack to your pipe?—Do, Trim, said my uncle Toby.

I remember, said my uncle Toby, sighing again, the story of the Ensign and his wife,—and particu­larly well that he, as well as she, upon some account [Page 14] or other, (I forget what,) was universally pitied by the whole regiment;—but finish the story thou art upon:—'Tis finished already, said the Corporal,—for I could stay no longer,—so wished his honour a good night; young Le Fever rose from off the bed, and saw me to the bottom of the stairs; and as we went down together, told me, they had come from Ireland, and were on their route to join the regi­ment in Flanders.—But alas! said the Corporal,—the Lieutenant's last day's march is over.—Then what is to become of his poor boy? cried my uncle Toby.

It was to my uncle Toby's eternal honour, that he set aside every other concern, and only consi­dered how he himself should relieve the poor Lieu­tenant and his son.

—That kind BEING, who is a friend to the friend­less, shall recompence thee for this.

Thou hast left this matter short, said my uncle Toby to the Corporal, as he was putting him to bed,—and I will tell thee in what, Trim—In the first place, when thou madest an offer of my services to Le Fever,—as sickness and travelling are both expensive, and thou knowest he was but a poor [Page 15] Lieutenant, with a son to subsist as well as himself out of his pay,—that thou didst not make an offer to him of my purse; because, had he stood in need, thou knowest, Trim, he had been as welcome to it as myself.—Your honour knows, said the Cor­poral, I had no orders;—True, quoth my uncle Toby,—thou didst very right, Trim, as a soldier,—but certainly very wrong as a man.

In the second place, for which, indeed, thou hast the same excuse, continued my uncle Toby,—when thou offeredst him whatever was in my house,—thou shouldst have offered him my house too: A sick brother officer should have the best quarters, Trim, and if we had him with us,—we could tend and look to him:—Thou art an excellent nurse thyself, Trim, and what with thy care of him, and the old woman's, and his boy's, and mine together, we might recruit him again at once, and set him upon his legs.—

—In a fortnight or three weeks, added my uncle Toby, smiling,—he might march.—He will never march, an' please your honour, in this world, said the Corporal:—He will march; said my uncle Toby, rising up from the side of the bed, with one shoe off:—An' please your honour, said the Corporal, he [Page 16] will never march, but to his grave:—He shall march, cried my uncle Toby, marching the foot which had a shoe on, though without advancing an inch,—he shall march to his regiment.—He cannot stand it, said the Corporal;—He shall be support­ed, said my uncle Toby;—He'll drop at last, said the Corporal, and what will become of his boy?—He shall not drop, said my uncle Toby, firmly.—A-well-o'day,—do what we can for him, said Trim, maintaining his point,—the poor soul will die:—He shall not die, by G—,cried my uncle Toby.

—The ACCUSING SPIRIT, which flew up to hea­ven's chancery with the oath, blush'd as he gave it in;—and the RECORDING ANGEL, as he wrote it down, dropp'd a tear upon the word, and blotted it out for ever.

—My uncle Toby went to his bureau,—put his purse into his breeches pocket, and having or­dered the Corporal to go early in the morning for a physician,—he went to bed and fell asleep.

The sun looked bright the morning after, to every eye in the village but Le Fever's and his af­flicted son's; the hand of death press'd heavy upon [Page 17] his eye-lids,—and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn round its circle,—when my uncle Toby, who had rose up an hour before his wonted time, entered the Lieutenant's room, and without pre­face or apology, sat himself down upon the chair by the bed-side, and independently of all modes and customs, opened the curtain in the manner an old friend and brother officer would have done it, and asked him how he did,—how he had rested in the night,—what was his complaint,—where was his pain,—and what he could do to help him:—and without giving him time to answer any one of the enquiries, went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the Corporal the night before for him.—

—You shall go home directly, Le Fever, said my uncle Toby, to my house,—and we'll send for a doctor to see what's the matter,—and we'll have an apothecary,—and the Corporal shall be your nurse;—and I'll be your servant, Le Fever.

There was a frankness in my uncle Toby,—not the effect of familiarity,—but the cause of it,—which let you at once into his soul,—and shewed you the goodness of his nature; to this, there was something in his looks, and voice, and manner, [Page 18] superadded, which eternally beckoned to the un­fortunate to come and take shelter under him; so that before my uncle Toby had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father, had the son insensibly pressed up close to his knees, and had taken hold of the breast of his coat, and was pulling it towards him.—The blood and spirits of Le Fever, which were waxing cold and slow within him, and were retreating to their last citadel, the heart,—rallied back,—the film forsook his eyes for a mo­ment,—he looked up wishfully in my uncle Toby's face,—then cast a look upon his boy,—and that ligament, fine as it was,—was never broken.—

Nature instantly ebb'd again,—the film returned to its place,—the pulse fluttered—stopp'd—went on—throbb'd—stopp'd again—moved—stopp'd—shall I go on?—No.

All that is necessary to be added is as follows—

That my uncle Toby, with young Le Fever in his hand, attended the poor Lieutenant, as chief mourners, to his grave.

When my uncle Toby had turned every thing into money, and settled all accounts betwixt the [Page 19] agent of the regiment and Le Fever, and betwixt Le Fever and all mankind,—there remained no­thing more in my uncle Toby's hands, than an old regimental coat and a sword; so that my uncle Toby found little or no opposition from the world in taking administration. The coat my uncle Toby gave the Corpora;—Wear it, Trim, said my uncle Toby as long as it will hold together, for the sake of the poor Lieutenant—And this, said my uncle Toby, taking up the sword in his hand, and drawing it out of the scabbard as he spoke—and this, Le Fever, I'll save for thee—'tis all the fortune, continued my uncle Toby, hanging it up upon a crook, and pointing to it,—'tis all the fortune, my dear Le Fever, which God has lest thee; but if he has given thee a heart to fight thy way with it in the world,—and thou doest it like a man of honour,—'tis enough for us.

As soon as my uncle Toby had laid a foundation, he sent him to a public school, where, excepting Whitsuntide and Christmas, at which times the Corporal was punctually dispatched for him,—he remained to the spring of the year, seventeen; when the stories of the Emperor's sending his army into Hungary against the Turks, kindling a spark of fire in his bosom, he left his Greek and Latin [Page 20] without leave, and throwing himself upon his knees before my uncle Toby, begged his father's sword, and my uncle Toby's leave along with it, to go and try his fortune under Eugene.—Twice did my uncle Toby forget his wound, and cry out, Le Fever! I will go with thee, and thou shalt fight beside me—And twice he laid his hand upon his groin, and hung down his head in sorrow and disconsolation.—

My uncle Toby took down the sword from the crook, where it had hung untouched ever since the Lieutenant's death, and delivered it to the Corporal to brighten up;—and having detained Le Fever a single fortnight to equip him, and contract for his passage to Leghorn,—he put the sword into his hand,—If thou art brave, Le Fever, said my uncle Toby, this will not fail thee,—but Fortune, said he, (musing a little)—Fortune may—And if she does,—added my uncle Toby, embracing him, come back again to me, Le Fever, and we will shape thee another course.

The greatest injury could not have oppressed the heart of Le Fever more than my uncle Toby's pa­ternal kindness;—he parted from my uncle Toby, as the best of sons from the best of fathers—both dropped tears—and as my uncle Toby gave him [Page 21] his last kiss, he slipped sixty guineas, tied up in an old purse of his father's, in which was his mother's ring, into his hand,—and bid God bless him.

Le Fever got up to the Imperial army just time enough to try what metal his sword was made of, at the defeat of the Turks before Belgrade; but a series of unmerited mischances had pursued him from that moment, and trod close upon his heels for four years together after: he had withstood these bussetings to the last, till sickness overtook him at Marseilles, from whence he wrote my uncle Toby word, he had lost his time, his services, his health, and, in short, every thing but his sword;—and was waiting for the first ship to return back to him

Le 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 choose 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 inter­position, ending unexpectedly, in one, who should be gentle tempered, and generous, and good, it im­pressed [Page 22] the image of Le Fever, and his interest upon my uncle Toby so forcibly, he rose instantly 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 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.




HAIL ye small sweet courtesies of life, for smooth do ye make the road of it! like grace and beauty which beget inclinations to love at first sight: 'tis ye who open this door and let the stranger in.

—Pray, Madame, said I, have the goodness to tell me which way I must turn to go to the Opera Comique:—Most willingly, Monsieur, said she, lay­ing aside her work—

I had given a cast with my eye into half a dozen shops as I came along in search of a face not likely to be disordered by such an interruption; till at last, this hitting my fancy, I had walked in.

She was working a pair of ruffles as she sat in a low chair on the far side of the shop facing the door—

Tres volontiers: most willingly, said she, lay­ing her work down upon a chair next her, and [Page 24] rising up from the low chair she was sitting in, with so cheerful a movement and so cheerful a look, that had I been laying out fifty louis d'ors with her, I should have said—"This woman is grateful."

You must turn, Monsieur, said she, going with me to the door of the shop, and pointing the way down the street I was to take—you must turn first to your left hand—mais prenez garde—there are two turns; and be so good as to take the second—then go down a little way and you'll see a church, and when you are past it, give yourself the trouble to turn directly to the right, and that will lead you to the foot of the pont neuf, which you must cross—and there any one will do himself the pleasure to shew you—

She repeated her instructions three times over to me with the same good natured patience the third time as the first;—and if tones and manners have a meaning, which certainly they have, unless to hearts which shut them out—she seemed really interested, that I should not lose myself.

I will not suppose it was the woman's beauty, notwithstanding she was the handsomest Grisset, I think, I ever saw, which had much to do with the [Page 25] sense I had of her courtesy; only I remember, when I told her how much I was obliged to her, that I looked very full in her eyes,—and that I repeated my thanks as often as she had done her instructions.

I had not got ten paces from the door, before I found I had forgot every tittle of what she had said—so looking back, and seeing her still standing in the door of the shop as if to look whether I went right or not—I returned back, to ask her whether the first turn was to my right or left—for that I had abso­lutely forgot.—Is it possible! said she, half laughing.—'Tis very possible, replied I, when a man is think­ing more of a woman, than of her good advice.

As this was the real truth—she took it, as every woman takes a matter of right, with a slight courtesy.

Attendez, said she, laying her hand upon my arm to detain me, whilst she called a lad out of the back-shop to get ready a parcel of gloves. am just going to send him, said she, with a packet into that quarter, and if you will have the complai­sance to step in, it will be ready in a moment, and he shall attend you to the place.—So I walked in with her to the far side of the shop, and taking up [Page 26] the ruffle in my hand which she laid upon the chair, as if I had a mind to sit, she sat down herself in her low chair, and I instantly sat myself down be­side her.

—He will be ready, Monsieur, said she, in a moment—And in that moment, replied I, most willingly would I say something very civil to you for all these courtesies. Any one may do a casual act of good nature, but a continuation of them shews it is a part of the temperature; and certainly, added I, if it is the same blood which comes from the heart, which descends to the ex­tremes (touching her wrist), I am sure you must have one of the best pulses of any woman in the world—Feel it, said she, holding out her arm. So laying down my hat, I took hold of her fingers in one hand, and applied the two sore-fingers of my other to the artery—

—Would to heaven! my dear Eugenius, thou hadst passed by, and beheld me sitting in my black coat, and in my lack-aday-sical manner, counting the throbs of it, one by one, with as much true devotion as if I had been watching the critical ebb or flow of her fever—How wouldst thou have laugh'd and moralized upon my new profession— [Page 27] and thou shouldst have laugh'd and moralized on—Trust me, my dear Eugenius, I should have said, "there are worse occupations in this world than feeling a woman's pulse."—But a Grisset's! thou wouldst have said—and in an open shop! Yorick—

—So much the better: for when my views are direct, Eugenius, I care not if all the world saw me feel it.

I had counted twenty pulsations, and was going on fast towards the fortieth, when her husband coming unexpected from a back parlour into the shop, put me a little out of my reckoning.—'Twas nobody but her husband, she said,—so I began a fresh score—Monsieur is so good, quoth she, as he pass'd by us, as to give himself the trouble of feeling my pulse—The husband took off his hat, and making a bow, said I did him too much honour—and having said that, he put on his hat and walked out.

Good God! said I to myself, as he went out—and can this man be the husband of this woman?

[Page 28] Let it not torment the few who know what must have been the grounds of this exclamation, if I ex­plain it to those who do not.

In London a shop-keeper and a shop-keeper's wife seem to be one bone and one flesh: in the several endowments of mind and body, sometimes the one, sometimes the other has it, so as in general to be upon a par, and to tally with each other as nearly as man and wife need to do.

In Paris, there are scarce two orders of beings more different: for the legislative and executive powers of the shop not resting in the husband, he seldom comes there—in some dark and dismal room behind, he sits commerceless in his thrum night-cap, the same rough son of Nature that Nature left him.

The genius of a people where nothing but the monarchy is salique, having ceded this department, with sundry others, totally to the women—by a continual higgling with customers of all ranks and sizes from morning to night, like so many rough pebbles shook long together in a bag, by amicable collisions they have worn down their asperities and sharp angles, and not only become round and [Page 29] smooth, but will receive, some of them, a polish like a brilliant—Monsieur Le Marli is little better than the stone under your foot—

—Surely—surely, man! it is not good for thee to sit alone—thou wast made for social intercourse and gentle greetings, and this improve­ment of our natures from it, I appeal to, as my evidence.

—And how does it beat, Monsieur? said she.—With all the benignity, said I, looking quietly in her eyes, that I expected—She was going to say some­thing civil in return—but the lad came into the shop with the gloves—A propos, said I, I want a couple of pair myself.

The beautiful Grisset rose up when I said this, and going behind the counter, reached down a parcel and untied it: I advanced to the side over against her: they were all too large. The beauti­ful Grisset measured them one by one across my hand—It would not alter the dimensions—She begged I would try a single pair, which seemed to be the least—She held it open—my hand slipped into it at once—It will not do, said I, shaking my head a little—No, said she, doing the same thing.

[Page 30] There are certain combined looks of simple subtlety—where whim, and sense, and serious­ness, and nonsense, are so blended, that all the languages of Babel set loose together could not ex­press them—they are communicated and caught so instantaneously, that you can scarce say which party is the infector. I leave it to your men of words to swell pages about it—it is enough in the present to say again, the gloves would not do; so folding our hands within our arms, we both loll'd upon the counter—it was narrow, and there was just room for the parcel to lay between us

The beautiful Grisset looked sometimes at the gloves, then side-ways to the window, then at the gloves—and then at me. I was not disposed to break silence—I followed her example: so I looked at the gloves, then to the window, then at the gloves, and then at her—and so on alternately.

I found I lost considerably in every attack—she had a quick black eye, and shot through two such long and silken eye-lashes with such penetration, that she looked into my very heart and reins—It may seem strange, but I could actually feel she did—

[Page 31] It is no matter, said I, taking up a couple of the pairs next me, and putting them into my pocket.

I was sensible the beautiful Grisset had not ask'd above a single livre above the price—I wish'd she had ask'd a livre more, and was puzzling my brains how to bring the matter about—Do you think, my dear Sir, said she, mistaking my embarrassment, that I could ask a sous too much of a stranger—and of a stranger whose politeness, more than his want of gloves, has done me the honour to lay himself at my mercy?—M'en croyez capable?—Faith! not I, said I; and if you were, you are welcome—so counting the money into her hand, and with a lower bow than one generally makes to a shopkeeper's wife, I went out, and her lad with his parcel followed me.



SEEING a man standing with a basket on the other side of a street, in Versailles, as if he had something to sell, I bid La Fleur go up to him and enquire for the Count de B***'s hotel.

La Fleur returned a little pale: and told me it was a Chevalier de St. Louis selling patés—It is im­possible, La Fleur! said I.—La Fleur could no more account for the phenomenon than myself; but persisted in his story: he had seen the croix set in gold, with its red ribband, he said, tied to his button-hole—and had looked into his basket and seen the patés which the Chevalier was selling; so could not be mistaken in that.

Such a reverse in a man's life awakens a better principle than curiosity: I could not help looking for some time at him as I sat in the remise—the more I looked at him, his croix and his basket, the stronger they wove themselves into my brain—I got out of the remise and went towards him.

[Page 33] He was begirt with a clean linen apron which fell below his knees, and with a sort of a bib which went half way up his breast; upon the top of this, but a little below the hem, hung his croix. His basket of little patés was covered over with a white damask napkin; another of the same kind was spread at the bottom; and there was a look of propreté and neatness throughout; that one might have bought his patés of him, as much from appe­tite as sentiment.

He made an offer of them to neither; but stood still with them at the corner of a hotel, for those to buy who chose it, without solicitation.

He was about forty-eight—of a sedatelook, some­thing approaching to gravity. I did not wonder.—I went up rather to the basket than him, and hav­ing lifted up the napkin and taken one of his patés into my hand—I begg'd he would explain the ap­pearance which affected me.

He told me in a few words, that the best part of his life had passed in the service, in which, after spending a small patrimony, he had obtained a company and the croix with it; but that, at the conclusion of the last peace, his regiment being [Page 34] reformed, and the whole corps, with those of some other regiments, left without any provision,—he found himself in a wide world without friends, without a livre—and indeed, said he, without any thing but this—(pointing, as he said it, to his croix)—The poor Chevalier won my pity, and he finished the scene with winning my esteem too.

The king, he said, was the most generous of princes, but his generosity could neither relieve or reward every one, and it was only his misfor­tune to be amongst the number. He had a little wise, he said, whom he loved, who did the patis­serie; and added, he felt no dishonour in defend­ing her and himself from want in this way—un­less providence had offered him a better.

It would be wicked to withhold a pleasure from the good, in passing over what happened to this poor Chevalier of St. Louis about nine months after.

It seems he usually took his stand near the iron gates which lead up to the palace, and as his croix had caught the eyes of numbers, numbers had made the same enquiry which I had done— [Page 35] He had told them the same story, and always with so much modesty and good sense, that it had reached at last the King's ears—who hearing the Chevalier had been a gallant officer, and re­spected by the whole regiment as a man of honour and integrity—he broke up his little trade by a pension of fifteen hundred livres a year.


As I have told this to please the reader, I beg he will allow me to relate another, out of its order, to please myself—the two stories reflect light upon each other—and 'tis a pity they should be parted.



WHEN states and empires have their periods of declension, and feel in their turns what distress and poverty is—I stop not to tell the causes which gradually brought the house d'E**** in Britanny into decay. The Marquis d'E**** had fought up against his condition with great firm­ness; wishing to preserve, and still shew to the world, some little fragments of what his ancestors had been—their indiscretions had put it out of his power. There was enough left for the little exigencies of obscurity—But he had two boys who looked up to him for light—he thought they deserved it. He had tried his sword—it could not open the way—the mounting was too expen­sive—and simple oeconomy was not a match for it—there was no resource but commerce.

In any other province in France, save Britanny, this was smiting the root for ever of the little tree his pride and affection wished to see re-blossom— [Page 37] But in Britanny, there being a provision for this, he availed himself of it; and taking an occasion when the states were assembled at Rennes, the Marquis, attended with his two sons, entered the court; and having pleaded the right of an ancient law of the duchy, which, though seldom claimed, he said, was no less in force; he took his sword from his side—Here, said he, take it; and be trusty guardians of it, till better times put me in condition to reclaim it.

The president accepted the Marquis's sword—he staid a few minutes to see it deposited in the archives of his house, and departed.

The Marquis and his whole family embarked the next day for Martinico, and in about nineteen or twenty years of successful application to busi­ness, with some unlooked for bequests from distant branches of his house—returned home to reclaim his nobility and to support it.

It was an incident of good fortune which will never happen to any traveller, but a sentimental one, that I should be at Rennes at the very time of this solemn requisition: I call it solemn—it was so to me.

[Page 38] The Marquis entered the court with his whole family: he supported his lady—his eldest son sup­ported his sister, and his youngest was at the other extreme of the line next his mother—he put his handkerchief to his face twice—

—There was a dead silence. When the Marquis had approached within six paces of the tribunal, he gave the Marchioness to his youngest son, and advancing three steps before his family—he reclaimed his sword.—His sword was given him, and the moment he got it into his hand he drew it almost out of the scabbard—it was the shining face of a friend he had once given up—he looked attentively a long it, beginning at the hilt, as if to see whether it was the same—when observing a little rust which it had contracted near the point, he brought it near his eye, and bending his head down over it—I think I saw a tear fall upon the place: I could not be deceived by what followed.

"I shall find, said he, some other way, to get it off."

When the Marquis had said this, he return­ed his sword into its scabbard, made a bow to [Page 39] the guardians of it—and, with his wife and daughter, and his two sons following him, walked out.

O how I envied him his feelings!



I WAS stopped at the gate of Lyons by a poor ass, who had just turned in with a couple of large panniers upon his back, to collect eleemosy­nary turnip-tops, and cabbage-leaves; and stood dubious, with his two fore-feet on the inside of the threshold, and with his two hinder feet towards the street, as not knowing very well whether he was to go in, or no.

Now, 'tis an animal (be in what hurry I may) I cannot bear to strike—there is a patient endurance of sufferings, wrote so unaffectedly in his looks and carriage, which pleads so mightily for him, that it always disarms me; and to that degree, that I [Page 40] do not like to speak unkindly to him: on the con­trary, meet him where I will—whether in town or country—in cart or under panniers—whether in liberty or bondage—I have ever something civil to say to him on my part; and as one word begets another (if he has as little to do as I)—I generally fall into conversation with him; and surely never is my imagination so busy, as in framing his re­sponses from the etchings of his countenance—and where those carry me not deep enough—in flying from my own heart into his, and seeing what is natural for an ass to think—as well as a man, upon the occasion.—In truth, it is the only creature of all the classes of beings below me, with whom I can do this:—for parrots, jackdaws, &c. I never exchange a word with them—nor with the apes, &c. for pretty near the same reason; they act by rote, as the others speak by it, and equally make me silent: nay my dog and my cat, though I value them both—(and for my dog he would speak if he could)—yet some how or other, they neither of them possess the talents for conversa­tion—I can make nothing of a discourse with them.

—But with an ass, I can commune for ever. come, Honesty! said I,—seeing it was impracticable [Page 41] to pass betwixt him and the gate—art thou for coming in, or going out?

The ass twisted his head round to look up the street—

Well—replied I—we'll wait a minute for [...] driver:

—He turned his head thoughtful about, and looked wishfully the opposite way—

I understand thee perfectly, answered I—if thou takest a wrong step in this affair, he will cudgel thee to death—Well! a minute is but a minute, and if it saves a fellow-creature a drubbing, it shall not be set down as ill-spent. He was eating the stem of an artichoke as this discourse went on, and in the little peevish contentions of nature betwixt hunger and unsavouriness, had dropt it out of his mouth half a dozen times, and picked it up again—God help thee, Jack! said I, thou hast a bitter breakfast on't—and many a bitter day's labour—and many a bitter blow, I fear for its wages—'tis all—all bitterness to thee, whatever life is to others.

[Page 42] And now thy mouth, if one knew the truth of it, is as bitter, I dare say, as soot—(for he had cast aside the stem) and thou hast not a friend per­haps in all this world, that will give thee a maca­roon.—In saying this, I pulled out a paper of them, which I had just purchased, and gave him one—and at this moment that I am telling it, my heart smites me, that there was more of plea­santry in the conceit, of seeing how an ass would eat a macaroon—than of benevolence in giving him one, which presided in the act.

When the ass had eaten his macaroon, I pres­sed him to come in—the poor beast was heavy loaded—his legs seemed to tremble under him—he hung rather backwards, and as I pulled at his halter, it broke short in my hand—he looked up pensive in my face—"Don't thrash me with it—but if you will, you may"—If I do, said I, I'll be d—d. The word was but one half of it pronounced, when a person coming in, let fall a thundering bastinado upon the poor devil's crup­per, which put an end to the ceremony. Out upon it! cried I.



HEBREWS XIII. 18.For we TRUST we have a good Conscience.

"TRUST!—Trust we have a good conscience!"

[Certainly, Trim, quoth my father, inter­rupting him, you give that sentence a very im­proper accent; for you curl up your nose, man, and read it with such a sneering tone, as if the Parson was going to abuse the Apostle.

He is, an' please your honour, replied Trim.

Pugh! said my father, smiling.

Sir, quoth Doctor Slop, Trim is certainly in the right; for the writer (who I perceive is a Pro­testant) by the snappish manner in which he takes up the apostle, is certainly going to abuse him; if this treatment of him has not done it already. [Page 44] But from whence, replied my father, have you concluded so soon, Doctor Slop, that the writer is of our church?—for aught I can see yet,—he may be of any church.—Because, answered Doctor Slop, if he was of ours,—he durst no more take such a licence,—than a bear by his beard:—If, in our communion, Sir, a man was to insult an apostle,—a saint,—or even the paring of a saint's nail,—he would have his eyes scratched out.—What, by the saint? quoth my uncle Toby. No, replied Doctor Slop, he would have an old house over his head. Pray, is the Inquisition an ancient building, answered my uncle Toby, or is it a mo­dern one?—I know nothing of architecture, re­plied Doctor Slop.—An' please your honours, quoth Trim, the Inquisition is the vilest—Prithee spare thy description, Trim, I hate the very name of it, said my father.—No matter for that, answered Doctor Slop,—it has its uses; for though I'm no great advocate for it, yet, in such a case as this, he would soon be taught better manners; and I can tell him, if he went on at that rate, would be flung into the Inquisition for his pains. God help him then, quoth my uncle Toby. Amen, added Trim, for heaven above knows I have a poor brother who has been fourteen years a captive in it.—I never heard one word of it before, said my [Page 45] uncle Toby, hastily:—How came he there, Trim?—O, Sir! the story will make your heart bleed,—as it has made mine a thousand times;—the short of the story is this:—My brother Tom went over a servant to Lisbon,—and married a Jew's widow, who kept a small shop, and sold sausages, which somehow or other, was the cause of his being taken in the middle of the night out of his bed, where he was lying with his wife and two small children, and carried directly to the Inquisition, where, God help him, continued Trim, fetching a sigh from the bottom of his heart,—the poor honest lad lies confined at this hour; he was as honest a soul, added Trim, (pulling out his handkerchief) as ever blood warmed.—

—The tears trickled down Trim's cheeks faster than he could well wipe them away.—A dead silence in the room ensued for some minutes.—Certain proof of pity! Come, Trim, quoth my father, after he saw the poor fellow's grief had got a little vent,—read on,—and put this me­lancholy story out of thy head:—I grieve that I interrupted thee; but prithee begin the Sermon again;—for if the first sentence in it is matter of abuse, as thou sayest, I have a great desire to know what kind of provocation the apostle has given.

[Page 46] Corporal Trim wiped his face, and returned his handkerchief into his pocket, and, making a bow as he did it,—he began again.]


HEBREWS, XIII. 18.For we TRUST we have a good Conscience.

"—TRUST! trust we have a good conscience! Surely if there is any thing in this life which a man may depend upon, and to the knowledge of which he is capable of arriving upon the most in­disputable evidence, it must be this very thing,—whether he has a good conscience or no."

[I am positive I am right, quoth Dr. Stop.]

"If a man thinks at all, he cannot well be a stranger to the true state of this account;—he must be privy to his own thoughts and desires;—he must remember his past pursuits, and know certainly the true springs and motives, which, in general, have governed the actions of his life."

[I defy him, without an assistant, quoth Dr. Slop.]

"In other matters we may be deceived by false appearances; and, as the wise man complains, hardly do we guess aright at the things that are upon the earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before us. But here the mind has all the evidence and facts within herself;—is conscious of the web she has wove;—knows its texture and fineness, and the exact share which every passion has had in working upon the several designs which virtue or vice has planned before her."

[The language is good, and I declare Trim reads very well, quoth my father.]

"Now,—as conscience is nothing else but the knowledge which the mind has within herself of this; and the judgment, either of approbation or censure, which it unavoidably makes upon the successive actions of our lives; 'tis plain you will say, from the very terms of the proposition,—whenever this inward testimony goes against a man, and he stands self accused,—that he must necessarily be a guilty man.—And, on the con­trary, when the report is favourable on his side, [Page 48] and his heart condemns him not;—that it is not a matter of trust, as the apostle intimates, but a matter of certainty and fact, that the con­science is good, and that the man must be good also."

[Then the apostle is altogether in the wrong, I suppose, quoth Dr. Slop, and the Protestant divine is in the right. Sir, have patience, replied my father, for I think it will presently appear that Saint Paul and the Protestant divine are both of an opinion.—As nearly so, quoth Dr. Slop, as east is to west;—but this, continued he, lifting both hands, comes from the liberty of the press.

It is no more, at the worst, replied my uncle Toby, than the liberty of the pulpit, for it does not appear that the sermon is printed, or ever likely to be.

Go on, Trim, quoth my father.]

"At first sight this may seem to be a true state of the case; and I make no doubt but the know­ledge of right and wrong is so truly impressed upon the mind of man,—that did no such thing ever happen, as that the conscience of a man, by [Page 49] long habits of sin, might (as the scripture assures it may) insensibly become hard;—and, like some tender parts of his body, by much stress and con­tinual hard usage, lose by degrees that nice sense and perception with which God and nature endowed it:—Did this never happen;—or was it certain that self-love could never hang the least bias upon the judgment;—or that the little interests below could rise up and perplex the faculties of our upper regions, and encompass them about with clouds and thick darkness:—Could no such thing as favour and affection en­ter this sacred COURT:—Did WIT disdain to take a bribe in it;—or was ashamed to shew its face as an advocate for an unwarrantable enjoy­ment: Or, lastly, were we assured that INTEREST stood always unconcerned whilst the cause was hearing,—and that Passion never got into the judgment-seat, and pronounced sentence in the stead of Reason, which is supposed always to preside and determine upon the case:—Was this truly so, as the objection must suppose;—no doubt then the religious and moral state of a man would be exactly what he himself esteem­ed it;—and the guilt or innocence of every man's life could be known, in general, by no [Page 50] better measure, than the degrees of his own approbation and censure."

"I own, in one case, whenever a man's con­science does accuse him (as it seldom errs on that side) that he is guilty; and unless in melancholy and hypocondriac cases, we may safely pronounce upon it, that there is always sufficient grounds for the accusation."

"But the converse of the proposition will not hold true;—namely, that whenever there is guilt, the conscience must accuse; and if it does not, that a man is therefore innocent.—This is not fact—So that the common consolation which some good christian or other is hourly admini­stering to himself,—that he thanks God his mind does not misgive him; and that, consequently, he has a good conscience, because he hath a quiet one,—is fallacious;—and as current as the in­ference is, and as infallible as the rule appears at first sight, yet when you look nearer to it, and try the truth of this rule upon plain facts,—you see it liable to so much error from a false ap­plication;—the principal upon which it goes so often perverted;—the whole force of it lost, and sometimes so vilely cast away, that it is painful to [Page 51] produce the common examples from human life which confirm the account."

"A man shall be vicious and utterly debauched in his principles;—exceptionable in his conduct to the world; shall live shameless in the open commission of a sin, which no reason or pretence can justify,—a sin by which, contrary to all the workings of humanity, he shall ruin for ever the deluded partner of his guilt;—rob her of her best dowry; and not only cover her own head with dishonour;—but involve a whole virtuous family in shame and sorrow for her sake. Surely, you will think conscience must lead such a man a trou­blesome life;—he can have no rest night or day from its reproaches."

"Alas! CONSCIENCE had something else to do all this time, than break in upon him; as Elijah reproached the god Baal,—this domestic god was either talking or pursuing, or was in a jour­ney, or peradventure he slept and could not be awoke. Perhaps HE was gone out into company with HONOR to fight a duel; to pay off some debt at play;—or dirty annuity, the bargain of his lust; Perhaps CONSCIENCE all this time was engaged at home, talking aloud against petty [Page 52] larceny, and executing vengeance upon some such puny crimes as his fortune and rank of life se­cured him against all temptation of committing; so that he lives as merrily."—[If he was of our church, though, quoth Dr. Slop, he could not] "—sleeps as soundly in his bed;—and at last meets death as unconcernedly;—perhaps much more so, than a much better man."

[All this is impossible with us, quoth Dr. Slop, turning to my father,—the case could not happen in our church.—It happens in ours, however, replied my father, but too often.—I own, quoth Dr. Slop, (struck a little with my father's frank ac­knowledgment)—that a man in the Romish church may live as badly;—but then he cannot easily die so.—'Tis little matter, replied my father, with an air of indifference,—how a rascal dies.—I mean, answered Dr. Slop, he would be denied the benefits of the last sacraments.—Pray how many have you in all, said my uncle Toby,—for I always forget?—Seven, answered Dr. Slop.—Humph!—said my uncle Toby; though not accented as a note of acquiescence,—but as an interjection of that par­ticular species of surprise, when a man in looking into a drawer, finds more of a thing than he ex­pected.—Humph! replied my uncle Toby. Dr. [Page 53] Slop, who had an ear, understood my uncle Toby as well as if he had wrote a whole volume against the seven sacraments.—Humph! replied Dr. Slop, (stating my uncle Toby's argument over again to him)—Why, Sir, are there not seven cardinal virtues?—Seven mortal sins?—Seven golden can­dlesticks?—Seven heavens?—'Tis more than I know, replied my uncle Toby.—Are there not Seven wonders of the world?—Seven days of the creation?—Seven planets?—Seven plagues?—That there are, quoth my father, with a most af­fected gravity. But prithee, continued he, go on with the rest of thy characters, Trim.]

"Another is sordid, unmerciful," (here Trim waved his right hand) "a strait-hearted, selfish wretch, incapable either of private friendship or public spirit. Take notice how he passes by the widow and orphan in their distress, and sees all the miseries incident to human life without a sigh or a prayer." [An' please your honours, cried Trim, I think this a viler man than the other.]

"Shall not conscience rise up and sting him on such occasions?—No; thank God there is no occasion, I pay every man his own;—I have no fornication to answer to my conscience;—no faith­less [Page 54] vows or promises to make up;—I have de­bauched no man's wife or child; thank God, I am not as other men, adulterers, unjust, or even as this libertine, who stands before me. A third is crafty and designing in his nature. View his whole life,—'tis nothing but a cunning con­texture of dark arts and unequitable subterfuges, basely to defeat the true intent of all laws,—plain-dealing, and the safe enjoyment of our several properties.—you will see such a one working out a frame of little designs upon the ignorance and perplexities of the poor and needy man;—shall raise a fortune upon the inexperi­ence of a youth, or the unsuspecting temper of his friend, who would have trusted him with his life. When old age comes on, and repen­tance calls him to look back upon this black ac­count, and state it over again with his con­science—CONSCIENCE looks into the STATUTES at LARGE;—finds no express law broken by what he has done;—perceives no penalty or forseiture of goods and chattels incurred;—sees no scourge waving over his head, or prison opening his gates upon him:—What is there to affright his conscience?—Conscience has got safely entrenched behind the Letter of the Law; sits there invulnerable, fortified with Cases and [Page 55] Reports so strongly on all sides;—that it is not preaching can dispossess it of its hold."

[The character of this last man, said Dr. Slop, interrupting Trim, is more detestable than all the rest;—and seems to have been taken from some pettifogging lawyer amongst you:—amongst us, a man's conscience could not possibly continue so long blinded,—three times in a year, at least, he must go to confes­sion. Will that restore it to sight? quoth my uncle Toby.—Go on, Trim, quoth my father. 'Tis very short, replied Trim.—I wish it was longer, quoth my uncle Toby, for I like it hugely.—Trim went on.]

"A fourth man shall want even this refuge; shall break through all their ceremony of slow chicane;—scorns the doubtful workings of secret plots and cautious trains to bring a­bout his purpose:—See the bare-faced vil­lain, how he cheats, lies, perjures, robs, mur­ders!—Horrid!—But indeed much better was not to be expected, in the present case—the poor man was in the dark!—his Priest had got the keeping of his conscience;—and all he would let him know of it, was, That [Page 56] he must believe in the Pope;—go to Mass;—cross himself;—tell his beads;—be a good Catholic, and that this, in all conscience, was enough to carry him to heaven. What;—if he perjures!—Why;—he had a mental re­servation in it.—But if he is so wicked and abandoned a wretch as you represent him;—if he robs,—if he stabs, will not conscience, on every such act, receive a wound itself?—Aye,—but the man has carried it to con­fession;—the wound digests there, and will do well enough, and in a short time be quite healed up by absolution. O Popery! what hast thou to answer for?—when, not content with the too many natural and fatal ways, thro' which the heart of man is every day thus treacherous to itself above all things;—thou hast wilfully set open the wide gate of deceit before the face of this unwary tra­veller, too apt, God knows, to go astray of himself; and confidently speak peace to him­self, when there is no peace."

"Of this the common instances which I have drawn out of life, are too notorious to re­quire much evidence. If any man doubts the [Page 57] reality of them, or thinks it impossible for a man to be such a bubble to himself,—I must refer him a moment to his own reflections, and will then venture to trust my appeal with his own heart."

"Let him consider in how different a degree of detestation, numbers of wicked actions stand there, tho' equally bad and vicious in their own natures;—he will soon find, that such of them as strong inclination and custom have prompted him to commit, are generally dressed out and painted with all the false beauties, which a soft and a flattering hand can give them;—and that the others, to which he feels no propensity, appear, at once, naked and deformed, surrounded with all the true circumstances of folly and disho­nour."

"When David surprised Saul sleeping in the cave, and cut off the skirt of his robe—we read his heart smote him for what he had done:—But in the matter of Uriah, where a faithful and gallant servant, whom he ought to have loved and honoured, fell to make way for his lust,—where conscience had so [Page 58] much greater reason to take the alarm, his heart smote him not. A whole year had al­most passed from the first commission of that crime, to the time Nathan was sent to re­prove him; and we read not once of the least sorrow or compunction of heart which he testified, during all that time, for what he had done."

"Thus conscience, this once able monitor,—placed on high as a judge within us, and intended by our Maker as a just and equitable one too,—by an unhappy train of causes and impediments, takes often such imperfect cog­nizance of what passes,—does its office so negligently,—sometimes so corruptly,—that it is not to be trusted alone; and therefore we find there is a necessity, an absolute ne­cessity, of joining another principle with it, to aid, if not govern, its determinations."

"So that if you would form a just judgment of what is of infinite importance to you not to be misled in,—namely, in what degree of real merit you stand either as an honest man, an useful citizen, a faithful subject to your king, or a good servant to your God, [Page 59] —call in religion and morality.—Look, what is written in the law of God?—How readest thou?—Consult calm reason and the unchangeable obligations of justice and truth;—what say they?"

"Let CONSCIENCE determine the matter upon these reports;—and then if thy heart condemns thee not, which is the case the apostle supposes,—the rule will be infallible,"—[Here Dr. Slop fell asleep]—"thou wilt have confidence towards God;—that is, have just grounds to believe the judgment thou hast past upon thyself, is the judgment of God; and nothing else but an anticipation of that righteous sentence, which will be pro­nounced upon thee hereafter by that Being, to whom thou art finally to give an account of thy actions."

"Blessed is the man, indeed, then, as the author of the book of Ecclesiasticus expresses it, who is not pricked with the multitude of his sins: Blessed is the man whose heart hath not condemned him; whether he be rich, or whether he be poor, if he have a good heart, (a heart thus guided and informed) he shall [Page 60] at all times rejoice in a cheerful countenance; his mind shall tell him more than seven watch­men that sit above upon a tower on high."

"—In the darkest doubts it shall conduct him safer than a thousand casuists, and give the state he lives in, a better security for his behaviour than all the causes and re­strictions put together, which law-makers are forced to multiply:—Forced, as I say, as things stand; human laws not being a mat­ter of original choice, but of pure necessity, brought in to fence against the mischievous effects of those consciences which are no law unto themselves; well intending, by the many provisions made,—that in all such cor­rupt and misguided cases, where principles and the checks of conscience will not make us upright,—to supply their force, and, by the terrors of gaols and halters, oblige us to it."

[I see plainly, said my father, that this ser­mon has been composed to be preached at the Temple,—or at some Assize.—I like the reason­ing, and am sorry that Dr. Slop has fallen asleep before the time of his conviction:—for [Page 61] it is now clear, that the Parson, as I thought at first, never insulted St. Paul in the least;—nor has there been, brother, the least difference between them:—A great matter, if they had differed, replied my uncle Toby,—the best friends in the world may differ sometimes.—True,—brother Toby, quoth my father, shaking hands with him,—we'll fill our pipes, brother, and then Trim shall go on.—

He read on as follows.]

"To have the fear of God before our eyes, and, in our mutual dealings with each other, to govern our actions by the eternal mea­sures of right and wrong:—The first of these will comprehend the duties of religion;—the second, those of morality, which are so inse­perably connected together, that you cannot divide these two tables, even in imagination, (though the attempt is often made in prac­tice) without breaking and mutually destroy­ing them both."

"I said the attempt is often made; and so it is;—there being nothing more common than to see a man who has no sense at all of [Page 62] religion, and indeed has so much honesty as to pretend to none, who would take it as the bitterest affront, should you but hint at a suspicion of his moral character,—or imagine he was not conscientiously just and scrupulous" to the uttermost mite."

"When there is some appearance that it is so,—tho' one is unwilling even to suspect the appearance of so amiable a virtue as moral honesty, yet were we to look into the grounds of it, in the present case, I am per­suaded we should find little reason to envy such a one the honour of his motive."

"Let him declaim as pompously as he chooses upon the subject, it will be found to rest upon no better foundation than either his interest, his pride, his ease, or some such little and changeable passion as will give us but small dependance upon his actions in matters of great distress."

"I will illustrate this by an example.

"I know the banker I deal with, or the phy­sician I usually call in,"—

[Page 63] [There is no need, cried Dr. Slop, (waking) to call in any physician in this case]

"—To be neither of them men of much re­ligion: I hear them make a jest of it every day, and treat all its sanctions with so much scorn, as to put the matter past doubt. Well;—notwithstanding this, I put my for­tune into the hands of the one;—and what is dearer still to me, I trust my life to the honest skill of the other."

"Now let me examine what is my reason for this great confidence. Why, in the first place, I believe there is no probability that either of them will employ the power I put into their hands to my disadvantage;—I con­sider that honesty serves the purposes of this life:—I know their success in the world de­pends upon the fairness of their characters.—In a word, I'm persuaded that they cannot hurt me without hurting themselves more."

"But put it otherwise, namely, that interestlay, for once, on the other side; that a case should happen wherein the one, without stain to his reputation, could secrete my fortune, and [Page 64] leave me naked in the world;—or that the other could send me out of it, and enjoy an estate by my death, without dishonour to himself or his art:—In this case, what hold have I of either of them?—Religion, the strongest of all motives, is out of the ques­tion;—Interest, the next most powerful mo­tive in the world, is strongly against me:—What have I lest to cast into the opposite scale to balance this temptation?—Alas! I have nothing,—nothing but what is lighter than a bubble—I must lye at the mercy of HONOUR, or some such capricious principle Strait security for two of the most valuable blessings!—my property and myself."

"As, therefore, we can have no dependence upon morality without religion;—so, on the other hand, there is nothing better to be ex­pected from religion without morality; ne­vertheless, 'tis no prodigy to see a man whose real moral character stands very low, who yet entertains the highest notion of him­self, in the light of a religious man."

"He shall not only be covetous, revengeful, implacable,—but even wanting in points of [Page 65] common honesty; yet inasmuch as he talks aloud against the infidelity of the age,—is zealous for some points of religion,—goes twice a day to church,—attends the sacra­ments,—and amuses himself with a few in­strumental parts of religion,—shall cheat his conscience into a judgment, that, for this, he is a religious man, and has discharged truly his duty to God: And you will find that such a man, through force of this delu­sion, generally looks down with spiritual pride upon every other man who has less affectation of piety,—though, perhaps, ten times more real honesty than himself."

"This likewise is a sore evil under the sun: and, I believe, there is no one mistaken principle, which, for its time, has wrought more serious mischiefs."

"—For a general proof of this,—exa­mine the history of the Romish church;"—

[Well what can you make of that? cried Dr. Slop.]—"see what scenes of cruelty, murder, rapine, bloodshed,"—[They may thank their own obstinacy, cried Dr. Slop]—"have all [Page 66] been sanctified by a religion not strictly go­verned by morality."

"In how many kingdoms of the world has the crusading sword of this misguided saint­errant, spared neither age or merit, or sex, or condition?—and, as he fought under the banners of a religion which set him loose from justice and humanity, he shewed none; mercilessly trampled upon both,—heard nei­ther the cries of the unfortunate, nor pitied their distresses."

[I have been in many a battle, an' please your honour, quoth Trim, sighing, but never in so melancholy a one as this.—I would not have drawn a tricker in it against these poor souls,—to have been made a general officer.—Why? what do you understand of the affair? said Dr. Slop, looking towards Trim, with something more of contempt than the Corporal's honest heart deserved.—What do you know, friend, about this battle you talk of?—I know, replied Trim, that I never refused quarter in my life to any man who cried out for it;—but to a woman, or a child, continued Trim, be­fore I would level my musket at them, I would [Page 67] lose my life a thousand times.—Here's a crown for thee, Trim, to drink with Obadiah to-night, quoth my uncle Toby,—God bless your honour, replied Trim,—I had rather these poor women and children had it.—Thou art an honest fel­low, quoth my uncle Toby.—My father nodded his head,—as much as to say,—and so he is.—

But prithee, Trim, said my father, make an end,—for I see thou hast but a leaf or two left.

Corporal Trim read on.]

"If the testimony of past centuries in this matter is not sufficient,—consider at this instant, how the votaries of that religion are every day thinking to do service and honour to God, by actions which are a dishonour and scandal to themselves."

"To be convinced of this, go with me for a moment into the prisons of the Inquisition."—[God help my poor brother Tom]—"Be­hold Religion, with Mercy and Justice chained down under her feet,—there sitting ghastly upon a black tribunal, propped up with racks and instruments of torment. Hark!—hark! [Page 68] what a piteous groan!"—[Here Trim's face turned as pale as ashes]—"See the melancholy wretch who uttered it"—[Here the tears began to trickle down.]—"just brought forth to undergo the anguish of a mock trial, and endure the utmost pains that a studied system of cruelty has been able to invent."—[D—n them all, quoth Trim, his colour returning into his face as red as blood.]—"Behold this helpless victim delivered up to his tormentors,—his body so wasted with sorrow and confine­ment."—[Oh! 'tis my brother, cried poor Trim in a most passionate exclamation, dropping the sermon upon the ground, and clapping his hands together—I fear 'tis poor Tom. My fa­ther's and my uncle Toby's heart yearned with sympathy for the poor fellow's distress; even Slop himself acknowledged pity for him.—Why, Trim, said my father, this is not a history,—'tis a sermon thou art reading; prithee begin the sentence again.]—"Behold this helpless victim delivered up to his tormentors,—his body so wasted with sorrow and confinement, you will see every nerve and muscle as it suffers."

"Observe the last movement of that horrid engine!"—[I would rather face a cannon, [Page 69] quoth Trim, stamping.]—"See what convul­sions it has thrown him into!—Consider the nature of the posture in which he now lies stretched,—what exquisite tortures he en­dures by it!—'tis all nature can bear! Good God! see how it keeps his weary soul hanging upon his trembling lips!" [I would not read another line of it, quoth Trim, for all this world;—I fear, an' please your honours, all this is in Portugal, where my poor brother Tom is. I tell thee, Trim, again, quoth my father, 'tis not an historical account,—'tis a description.—'Tis only a description, honest man, quoth Slop, there's not a word of truth in it.—That's another story, replied my father.—However, as Trim reads it with so much con­cern,—'tis cruelty to force him to go on with it.—Give me hold of the sermon, Trim,—I'll finish it for thee, and thou may'st go. I must stay and hear it too, replied Trim, if your ho­nour will allow me;—though I would not read it myself for a Colonel's pay.—Poor Trim! quoth my uncle Toby.—My father went on.—

"Cosider the nature of the posture in which he now lies stretched,—what exquisite tor­ture he endures by it!—'Tis all nature can [Page 70] bear! Good God! See how it keeps his weary soul hanging upon his trembling lips,—wil­ling to take its leave,—but not suffered to depart!—Behold the unhappy wretch led back to his cell!"

—[Then, thank God, however, quoth Trim, they have not killed him.]—

"See him dragged out of it again to meet the flames, and the insults in his last agonies, which this principle,—this principle, that there can be religion without mercy, has prepared for him. The surest way to try the merit of any disputed notion is, to trace down the consequences such a notion has produced, and compare them with the spirit of christianity;—'tis the short and decisive rule which our Saviour hath left us, for these and such like cases, and it is worth a thousand arguments—By their fruits ye shall know them."

"I will add no farther to the length of this sermon, than by two or three short and in­dependent rules deducible from it."

[Page 71] "First, Whenever a man talks [...]dly against religion, always suspect that it is not his reason, but his passions, which have got the better of his CREED. A bad life and a good belief are disagreeable and troublesome neigh­bours, and where they separate, depend upon it, 'tis for no other cause but quietness sake."

"Secondly, When a man, thus represented, tells you in any particular instance,—That such a thing goes against his conscience,—always believe he means exactly the same thing, as when he tells you such a thing goes against his stomach;—a present want of appetite being generally the true cause of both."

"In a word,—trust that man in nothing, who has not a CONSCIENCE in every thing."

"And, in your own case, remember this plain distinction, a mistake in which has ruined thousands,—that your conscience is not a law:—No, God and reason made the law, and have placed conscience within you to determine;—not like an Asiatic Cadi, accord­ing [Page 72] to the ebbs and flows of his own passions,—but like a British judge in this land of liberty and good sense, who makes no new law, but faithfully declares that law which he knows already written."


T. SHANDY, V. 1. C. 40.


AS Tom's place an' please your honour, was easy—and the weather warm—it put him upon thinking seriously of settling himself in the world; and as it fell out about that time, that a Jew who kept a saugage shop in the same street, had the ill luck to die of a strangury, and leave his widow in possession of a rousing trade—Tom thought (as every body in Lisbon was doing the best he could divise for himself) there could be no harm in offering her his service to carry it on: so without any introduction to the widow, except that of buying a pound of sausages at her shop—Tom set out—counting the matter thus within himself, as he walked along; that let the worst come of it that could, he should at least get a pound of sausages for their worth—but, if things went well, he should be set up; inasmuch as he should get not only a pound of sausages—but a wife—and a sausage shop, an' please your honour, into the bargain.

[Page 74] Every servant in the family, from high to low, wished Tom success, and I can fancy, an' please your honour, I see him this moment with his white dimity waistcoat and breeches, and hat a little o'one side, passing jollily along the street, swinging his stick, with a smile and a cheerful word for every body he met.

But alas! Tom! thou smilest no more, cried the Corporal, looking on one side of him upon the ground, as if he apostrophised him in his dungeon.

Poor fellow! said my uncle Toby, feelingly.

He was an honest, light-hearted lad, an' please your honour, as ever blood warm'd—

Then he resembled thee, Trim, said my uncle Toby, rapidly.

The Corporal blush'd down to his fingers ends—a tear of sentimental bashfulness—another of gratitude to my uncle. Toby—and a tear of sorrow for his brother's misfortunes, started into his eye, and ran sweetly down his cheek together; my uncle Toby's kindled as one lamp does at [Page 75] another; and taking hold of the breast of Trim's coat (which had been that of Le Fever's), as if to ease his lame leg, but in reality to gratify a finer feeling—he stood silent for a minute and a half; at the end of which he took his hand away, and the Corporal making a bow, went on with his story of his brother and the Jew's widow.

When Tom, an' please your honour, got to the shop, there was nobody in it, but a poor negro girl, with a bunch of white feathers slight­ly tied to the end of a long cane, flapping away flies—not killing them.—

'Tis a pretty picture! said my uncle Toby,—she had suffered persecution, Trim, and had learnt mercy—

—She was good, an' please your honour, from nature, as well as from hardships; and there are circumstances in the story of that poor friendless slut, that would melt a heart of stone, said Trim; and some dismal winter's evening when your honour is in the humour, they shall be told you with the rest of Tom's story, for it makes a part of it

[Page 76] Then do not forget, Trim, said my uncle Toby.

A negro has a soul? an' please your honour, said the Corporal, (doubtingly).

I am not much versed, Corporal, quoth my uncle Toby, in things of that kind; but I sup­pose, God would not leave him without one, any more than thee or me.

It would be putting one sadly over the head of another, quoth the Corporal.

It would so, said my uncle Toby.

Why then, an' please your honour, is a black wench to be used worse than a white one?

I can give no reason, said my uncle Toby.

—Only, cried the Corporal, shaking his head, because she has no one to stand up for her—

'Tis that very thing, Trim, quoth my uncle Toby,—which recommends her to protection—and her brethren with her; 'tis the fortune of war which has put the whip into our hands [Page 77] now—where it may be hereafter, heaven knows!—but be it where it will, the brave, Trim, will not use it unkindly.

—God forbid, said the Corporal.

Amen, responded my uncle Toby, laying his hand upon his heart.

The Corporal returned to his story, and went on—but with an embarrassment in doing it, which here and there a reader in this world will not be able to comprehend; for by the many sudden transitions all along, from one kind and cordial passion to another, in getting thus far on his way, he had lost the sportable key of his voice, which gave sense and spirit to his tale: he attempted twice to resume it, but could not please himself; so giving a stout hem! to rally back the retreating spirits, and aiding nature at the same time with his left arm a-kimbo on one side, and with his right a little extended, sup­ported her on the other—the Corporal got as near the note as he could; and in that attitude, continued his story.

As Tom, an' please your honour, had no busi­ness at that time with the Moorish girl, he passed [Page 78] on into the room beyond, to talk to the Jew's widow about love—and being, as I have told your honour, an open, cheary hearted lad, with his character wrote in his looks and carriage, he took a chair, and without much apology, but with great civility at the same time, placed it close to her at the table, and sat down.

Now a widow, an' please your honour, al­ways chooses a second husband as unlike the first as she can: so the affair was settled in her mind before Tom mentioned it.

She signed the capitulation—and Tom sealed it; and there was an end of the matter.

T. SHANDY, V. IV. c. 64.


SO, thou wast once in love, Trim! said my uncle Toby, smiling—

Souse! replied the Corporal—over head and ears! an' please your honour. Prithee when? where?—and how came it to pass?—I never heard one word of it before, quoth my uncle Toby:—I dare say, answered Trim, that every drummer and serjeant's son in the regiment knew of it—It's high time I should—said my uncle Toby.

Your honour remembers with concern, said the Corporal, the total rout and confusion of our camp, and the army, at the affair of Landen; every one was left to shift for himself; and if it had not been for the regiments of Wyndham, Lumley, and Galway, which covered the retreat over the bridge of Neerspeeken, the King him­self could scarce have gained it—he was pressed hard, as your honour knows, on every side of him—

[Page 80] Gallant mortal! cried my uncle Toby, caught up with enthusiasm—this moment, now that all is lost, I see him galloping across me, Corporal, to the left, to bring up the remains of the English horse along with him to support the right, and tear the laurel from Luxembourg's brows, if yet 'tis possible—I see him with the knot of his scarf just shot off, infusing fresh spirits into poor Galway's regiment—riding along the line—then wheeling about, and charging Conti at the head of it—Brave! brave, by heaven! cried my uncle Toby, he deserves a crown—as richly, as a thief a halter; shouted Trim.

My uncle Toby knew the Corporal's loyalty;—otherwise the comparison was not at all to his mind—it did not altogether strike the Corporal's fancy when he had made it—but it could not be recalled—so he had nothing to do, but proceed.

As the number of wounded was prodigious, and no one had time to think of any thing, but his own safety—Though Talmash, said my uncle Toby, brought off the foot with great prudence—but I was left upon the field, said the Corporal. Thou wast so; poor fellow! replied my uncle Toby—so that it was noon the next day, con­tinued the Corporal, before I was exchanged, [Page 81] and put into a cart with thirteen or four­teen more, in order to be conveyed to our hospital.—The anguish of my knee, continued the Corporal, was excessive in itself; and the un­easiness of the cart, with the roughness of the roads which were terribly cut up—making bad still worse—every step was death to me: so that with the loss of blood, and the want of care taking of me, and a fever I felt coming on be­sides—(Poor soul! said my uncle Toby) all to­gether, an' please your honour, was more than I could sustain.

I was telling my sufferings to a young woman at a peasant's house, where our cart, which was the last of the line, had halted, they had helped me in, and the young woman had taken a cordial out of her pocket and dropp'd it upon some sugar, and seeing it had cheer'd me, she had given it me a second and a third time—So I was telling her, an' please your honour, the anguish I was in, and was saying it was so in­tolerable to me, that I had much rather lie down upon the bed, turning my face towards one which was in the corner of the room—and die, than go on—when, upon her attempting to lead me to it, I fainted away in her arms. She was [Page 82] a good soul! as your honour, said the Coporal, wiping his eyes, will hear.

I thought love had been a joyous thing, quoth my uncle Toby.

'Tis the most serious thing, an' please your honour (sometimes), that is in the world.

By the persuasion of the young woman, con­tinued the Corporal, the cart with the wounded men set off without me: she had assured them I should expire immediately if I was put into the cart. So when I came to myself—I found my­self in a still quiet cottage, with no one but the young woman, and the peasant and his wife. I was laid across the bed in the corner of the room, with my wounded leg upon a chair, and the young woman beside me, holding the corner of her handkerchief dipp'd in vinegar to my nose with one hand, and rubbing my temples with the other.

I took her at first for the daughter of the peasant; (for it was no inn)—so had offered her a little purse with eighteen florins, which my poor brother Tom (here Trim wip'd his eyes) [Page 83] had sent me as a token, by a recruit, just before he set out for Lisbon.

The young woman called the old man and his wife into the room, to shew them the money, in order to gain me credit for a bed and what little necessaries I should want, till I should be in a condition to be got to the hospital—Come then! said she, tying up the little purse,—I'll be your banker—but as that office alone will not keep me employ'd, I'll be your nurse too.

I thought by her manner of speaking this, as well as by her dress, which I then began to con­sider more attentively—that the young woman could not be the daughter of the peasant. She was in black down to her toes, with her hair concealed under a cambrick border, laid close to her forehead: she was one of those kind of Nuns, an' please your honour, of which your honour knows, there are a good many in Flanders, which they let go loose—By thy des­cription, Trim, said my uncle Toby, I dare say she was a young Beguine, of which there are none to be found any where but in the Spanish Nether­lands—except at Amsterdam—they differ from Nuns in this, that they can quit their cloister if [Page 84] they choose to marry; they visit and take care of the sick by profession—I had rather, for my own part, they did it out of good-nature.

The young Beguine, continued the Corporal, had scarce given herself time to tell me "she would be my nurse," when she hastily turned about to begin the office of one, and prepare something for me—and in a short time—though I thought it a long one—she came back with flannels, &c. &c. and having fomented my knee soundly for a couple of hours, and made me a thin bason of gruel for my supper—she wish'd me rest, and promised to be with me early in the morning.—She wish'd me, an' please your honour, what was not to be had. My fever ran very high that night—her figure made sad dis­turbance within me—I was every moment cut­ting the world in two—to give her half of it—and every moment was I crying, that I had nothing but a knapsack and eighteen florins to share with her—The whole night long was the fair Beguine, like an angel, close by my bed side, holding back my curtain and offering me cordials—and I was only awakened from my dream by her coming there at the hour promised and giving them in reality. In truth, she was [Page 85] scarce ever from me, and so accustomed was I to receive life from her hands, that my heart sickened, and I lost colour when she left the room.—Love, an' please your honour, is ex­actly like war, in this; that a soldier, though he has escaped three weeks complete o' Saturday­night—may nevertheless be shot through his heart on Sunday morning—it happened so here, an' please your honour, with this difference only—that it was on Sunday in the afternoon, when I fell in love all at once with a sisserara—it burst upon me, an' please your honour, like a bomb—scarce giving me time to say, "God bless me."

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

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

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

—With all pleasure, said the Corporal, making a bow. I had escaped, continued the Corporal, all that time from falling in love, and [Page 86] 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; 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 succeeded 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 cloaths, she began with the fore-finger of her right-hand to rub under my knee, guiding her fore-finger backwards and 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 [Page 87] flat with the other, and she continued rubbing in that way round and round for a good while; it then came into my head, that I should fall in love—I blushed when I saw how white a hand she had—I shall never, an' please your honour, behold another hand so white whilst I live.—

The young Beguine, continued the Corporal, perceiving it was of great service 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 rubbed with her whole hand: I will never say another word, an' please your honour, upon hands again—but is 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 thanked 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.

The fair Beguine, said the Corporal, con­tinued rubbing with her whole hand under my knee,—till I feared her zeal would weary her—"I would do a thousand times more," said she, [Page 88] "for the love of Christ." As she continued rubbing—I felt it spread from under her hand, an' please your honour, to every part of my frame.—

The more she rubbed, and the longer strokes she took—the more the fire kindled in my veins—till at length, by two or three strokes longer than the rest—my passion rose to the highest pitch—I seized 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 terminated precisely in the way my uncle Toby described it, is not material; it is enough that it contained in it the essence of all the love-romances which ever have been wrote since the beginning of the world.

T. SHANDY, VOL. 4, CHAP. 43.


—THEY were the sweetest notes I ever heard; and I instantly let down the fore-glass to hear them more distinctly—'Tis Maria; said the postillion, observing I was listening—Poor Maria, continued he, (leaning his body on one side to let me see her, for he was in a line betwixt us), is sitting upon a bank playing her vespers upon her pipe, with her little goat beside her.

The young fellow utter'd this with an accent and a look so perfectly in tune to a feeling heart, that I instantly made a vow, I would give him a four-and-twenty sous piece, when I got to Moulines.

And who is poor Maria? said I.

The love and pity of all the villages around us; said the postillion—it is but three years ago, that the sun did not shine upon so fair, so quick­witted and amiable a maid; and better fate [Page 90] did Maria deserve, than to have her Banns for­bid by the intrigues of the curate of the parish who published them—

He was going on, when Maria, who had made a short pause, put the pipe to her mouth, and began the air again—they were the same notes;—yet were ten times sweeter: It is the evening service to the Virgin, said the young man—but who has taught her to play it—or how she came by her pipe, no one knows; we think that heaven has assisted her in both; for ever since she has been unsettled in her mind, it seems her only consolation—she has never once had the pipe out of her hand, but plays that service upon it almost night and day.

The postillion delivered this with so much dis­cretion and natural eloquence, that I could not help decyphering something in his face above his condition, and should have sifted out his history, had not poor Maria's taken such full possession of me.

We had got up by this time almost to the bank where Maria was sitting; she was in a thin white jacket, with her hair, all but two [Page 91] tresses, drawn up into a silk net, with a few olive leaves twisted a little fantastically on one side—she was beautiful; and if ever I felt the full force of an honest heart-ache, it was the moment I saw her—

—God help her! poor damsel! above a hundred masses, said the postillion, have been said in the several parish churches and convents around, for her,—but without effect; we have still hopes, as she is sensible for short intervals, that the Virgin at last will restore her to herself; but her parents who know her best, are hopeless upon that score, and think her senses are lost for ever.

As the postillion spoke this, Maria made a cadence so melancholy, so tender and querulous, that I sprung out of the chaise to help her, and found myself sitting betwixt her and her goat before I relapsed from my enthusiasm.

Maria look'd wistfully for some time at me, and then at her goat—and then at me—and then at her goat again, and so on, alternately—

—Well, Maria, said I, softly—What resem­blance do you find?

[Page 92] I do entreat the candid reader to believe me, that it was from the humblest conviction of what a Beast man is,—that I ask'd the question; and that I would not have let fallen an unseasonable pleasantry in the venerable presence of Misery, to be entitled to all the wit that ever Rabelais scat­tered—and yet I own my heart smote me, and that I so smarted at the very idea of it, that I swore I would set up for wisdom, and utter grave sentences the rest of my days—and never—never attempt again to commit mirth with man, woman, or child, the longest day I had to live.

As for writing nonsense to them—I believe, there was a reserve—but that I leave to the world.

Adieu, Maria!—adieu, poor hapless damsel! some time, but not now, I may hear thy sor­rows from thy own lips—but I was deceived; for that moment she took her pipe and told me such a tale of woe with it, that I rose up, and with broken and irregular steps walk'd softly to my chaise.

T. SHANDY, VOL. IV. C. 83.



I NEVER felt what the distress of plenty was in any one shape till now—to travel it through the Bourbonnois, the sweetest part of France—in the hey-day of the vintage, when Nature is pouring her abundance into every one's lap, and every eye is lifted up—a journey through each step of which music beats time to Labour, and all her children are rejoicing as they carry in their clusters—to pass through this with my affections flying out, and kindling at every group before me—and every one of them was pregnant with adventures.

Just heaven!—it would fill up twenty volumes—and alas! I have but a few small pages left of this to crowd it into—and half of these must be taken up with the poor Maria my friend Mr. Shandy met with near Moulines.

The story he had told of that disordered maid affected me not a little in the reading; but when [Page 94] I got within the neighbourhood where she lived, it returned so strong into my mind, that I could not resist an impulse which prompted me to go half a league out of the road, to the village where her parents dwelt, to enquire after her.

'Tis going, I own, like the knight of the Woe­ful Countenance, in quest of melancholy adven­tures—but I know not how it is, but I am never so perfectly conscious of the existence of a soul within me, as when I am entangled in them.

The old mother came to the door, her looks told me the story before she opened her mouth—She had lost her husband: he had died, she said, of anguish, for the loss of Maria's senses, about a month before—She had feared at first, she added, that it would have plundered her poor girl of what little understanding was left—but, on the contrary, it had brought her more to herself—still she could not rest—her poor daughter, she said, crying, was wandering somewhere about the road—

—Why does my pulse beat languid as I write this? and what made La Fleur, whose heart [Page 95] seemed only to be tun'd to joy, to pass the back of his hand twice across his eyes, as the woman stood and told it? I beckoned to the postillion to turn back into the road.

When we had got within half a league of Moulines, at a little opening in the road leading to a thicket, I discovered poor Maria sitting un­der a poplar—she was sitting with her elbow in her lap, and her head leaning on one side within her hand—a small brook ran at the foot of the tree.

I bid the postillion go on with the chaise to Moulines—and La Fleur to bespeak my supper—and that I would walk after him.

She was dressed in white, and much as my friend described her, except that her hair hung loose, which before was twisted within a silk-net.—She had, superadded likewise to her jacket, a pale green riband, which fell across her shoulder to the waist; at the end of which hung her pipe.—Her goat had been as faithless as her lover; and she had got a little dog in lieu of him, which she had kept tied by a string to her girdle; as I looked at her dog, she drew him to­wards [Page 96] her with the string—"Thou shalt not leave me, Sylvio," said she. I looked in Maria's eyes, and saw she was thinking more of her father than of her lover or her little goat; for as she uttered them the tears trickled down her cheeks.

I sat down close by her; and Maria let me wipe them away as they fell, with my handker­chief.—I then steep'd it in my own—and then in hers—and then in mine—and then I wip'd hers again—and as I did it, I selt such undescribable emotions within me, as I am sure could not be accounted for from any combinations of matter and motion.

I am positive I have a soul; nor can all the books with which materialists have pestered the world ever convince me to the contrary.

When Maria had come a little to herself, I asked her if she remembered a pale thin person of a man who had sat down betwixt her and her goat about two years before? She said, she was unsettled much at that time, but remem­bered it upon two accounts—that ill as she was, she saw the person pitied her; and next, that [Page 97] her goat had stolen his handkerchief, and she had beat him for the theft—she had wash'd it, she said, in the brook, and kept it ever since in her pocket to restore it to him in case she should ever see him again, which, she added, he had half promised her. As she told me this, she took the handkerchief out of her pocket to let me see it; she had folded it up neatly in a couple of vine leaves, tied round with a tendril—on opening it, I saw an S mark'd in one of the corners.

She had since that, she told me, stray'd as far as Rome, and walk'd round St. Peter's once—and return'd back—that she found her way alone across the Apennines—had travell'd over all Lombardy without money—and through the flinty roads of Savoy without shoes—how she had borne it, and how she had got supported, she could not tell—but God tempers the wind, said Maria, to the shorn lamb.

Shorn indeed! and to the quick, said I; and wast thou in my own land, where I have a cot­tage, I would take thee to it and shelter thee: thou shouldst eat of my own bread, and drink of my own cup—I would be kind to thy Sylvio—in all thy weaknesses and wanderings I [Page 98] would seek after thee and bring thee back—when the sun went down I would say my prayers; and when I had done thou shouldst play thy even­ing song upon thy pipe, nor would the incense of my sacrifice be worse accepted for entering heaven along with that of a broken heart.

Nature melted within me, as I utter'd this; and Maria observing, as I took out my handker­chief, that it was steep'd too much already to be of use, would needs go wash it in the stream—and where will you dry it, Maria? said I—I will dry it in my bosom, said she—'twill do me good.

And is your heart still so warm, Maria? said I.

I touch'd upon the string on which hung all her sorrows—she look'd with wistful disorder for sometime in my face; and then, without saying any thing, took her pipe, and play'd her service to the Virgin—The string I had touch'd ceased to vibrate—in a moment or two Maria returned to herself—let her pipe fall—and rose up.

And where are you going, Maria? said I.—She said, to Moulines.—Let us go, said I, toge­ther.—Maria [Page 99] put her arm within mine, and lengthening the string, to let the dog follow—in that order we entered Moulines.

Though I hate salutations and greetings in the market-place, yet when we got into the middle of this, I stopp'd to take my last look and last farewell of Maria.

Maria, though not tall, was nevertheless of the first order of fine forms—affliction had touch'd her looks with something that was scarce earthly—still she was feminine—and so much was there about her of all that the heart wishes, or the eye looks for in woman, that could the traces be ever worn out of her brain, and those of Eliza's out of mine, she should not only eat of my bread and drink of my own cup, but Maria should lie in my bosom, and be unto me as a daughter.

Adieu, poor luckless maiden!—imbibe the oil and wine which the compassion of a stranger, as he journeyeth on his way, now pours into thy wounds—the Being who has twice bruised thee can only bind them up for ever.



—DEAR Sensibility! source inexhausted of all that's precious in our joys, or costly in our sorrows! thou chainest thy martyr down upon his bed of straw—and 'tis thou who lifts him up to HEAVEN—eternal fountain of our feelings! 'tis here I trace thee—and this is thy "divinity which stirs within me"—not, that in some sad and sickening moments, "my soul shrinks back upon herself, and startles at destruction"—mere pomp of words!—but that I feel some generous joys and generous cares beyond myself—all comes from thee, great—great SENSORIUM of the world! which vibrates, if a hair of our heads but falls upon the ground, in the remotest desert of thy crea­tion.—Touch'd with thee, Eugenius draws my curtain when I languish—hears my tale of symptoms, and blames the weather for the dis­order of his nerves. Thou giv'st a portion of it sometimes to the roughest peasant who tra­verses the bleakest mountains—he finds the la­cerated lamb of another's flock—This moment [Page 101] I beheld him leaning with his head against his crook, with piteous inclination looking down upon it!—Oh! had I come one moment sooner!—it bleeds to death—his gentle heart bleeds with it—

Peace to thee, generous swain!—I see thou walkest off with anguish—but thy joys shall ba­lance it—for happy is thy cottage—and happy is the sharer of it—and happy are the lambs which sport about you.



A SHOE coming loose from the fore-foot of the thill-horse, at the beginning of the ascent of mount Taurira, the postillion dis­mounted, twisted the shoe off, and put it in his pocket; as the ascent was of five or six miles, and that horse our main dependence, I made a point of having the shoe fasten'd on again, as well as we could; but the postillion had thrown away the nails, and the hammer in the chaise­box, [Page 102] being of no great use without them, I sub­mitted to go on.

He had not mounted half a mile higher, when coming to a flinty piece of road, the poor devil lost a second shoe, and from off his other fore-foot; I then got out of the chaise in good ear­nest; and seeing a house about a quarter of a mile to the left-hand, with a great deal to do, I prevailed upon the postillion to turn up to it. The look of the house, and of every thing about it, as we drew nearer, soon reconciled me to the disaster.—It was a little farm-house surround­ed with about twenty acres of vineyard, about as much corn—and close to the house, on one side, was a potagerie of an acre and a half full of every thing which could make plenty in a French peasant's house—and on the other side was a little wood which furnished wherewithal to dress it. It was about eight in the evening when I got to the house—so I left the postillion to manage his point as he could—and for mine, I walk'd directly into the house.

The family consisted of an old grey-headed man and his wife, with five or six sons and sons-in-law and their several wives, and a joyous ge­nealogy out of them.

[Page 103] They were all sitting down together to their lentil-soup; a large wheaten loaf was in the middle of the table; and a flaggon of wine at each end of it promised joy thro' the stages of the repast—'twas a feast of love.

The old man rose up to meet me, and with a respectful cordiality would have me sit down at the table; my heart was set down the moment I entered the room; so I sat down at once like a son of the family; and to invest myself in the character as speedily as I could, I instantly bor­rowed the old man's knife, and taking up the loaf, cut myself a hearty luncheon; and as I did it, I saw a testimony in every eye, not only of an honest welcome, but of a welcome mix'd with thanks that I had not seem'd to doubt it.

Was it this; or tell me, Nature, what else it was that made this morsel so sweet—and to what magic I owe it, that the draught I took of their flaggon was so delicious with it, that they remain upon my palate to this hour?

If the supper was to my taste—the grace which followed it was much more so.


WHEN supper was over, the old man gave a knock upon the table with the haft of his knife, to bid them prepare for the dance: the moment the signal was given, the women and girls ran all together into the back apartment to tie up their hair—and the young men to the door to wash their faces, and change their sabots; and in three minutes every soul was ready upon a little esplanade before the house to begin—The old man and his wife came out last, and placing me betwixt them, sat down upon a sopha of turf by the door.

The old man had some fifty years ago been no mean performer upon the vielle—and, at the age he was then of, touched it well enough for the purpose. His wife sung now-and-then a little to the tune—then intermitted—and joined her old man again, as their children and grand-chil­dren danced before them.

It was not till the middle of the second dance, when for some pauses in the movement where­in [Page 105] they all seem'd to look up, I fancied I could distinguish an elevation of spirit different from that which is the cause or the effect of simple jollity.—In a word, I thought I beheld Religion mixing in the dance—but as I had never seen her so engaged, I should have look'd upon it now as one of the illusions of an imagination which is eternally misleading me, had not the old man, as soon as the dance ended, said, that this was their constant way; and that all his life long he made it a rule, after supper was over, to call out his family to dance and rejoice; believing, he said, that a cheerful and contented mind was the best sort of thanks to heaven that an illiterate peasant could pay—

—Or a learned prelate either, said I.



NATURE! in the midst of thy disorders, thou art still friendly to the scantiness thou hast created—with all thy great works about thee, little hast thou left to give, either to the scythe or to the sickle—but to that little thou grantest safety and protection; and sweet are the dwellings which stand so shelter'd.



SWEET pliability of man's spirit, that can at once surrender itself to illusions, which cheat expectation and sorrow of their weary moments!—Long—long since had ye num­ber'd out my days, had I not trod so great a part of them upon this enchanted ground; when my way is too rough for my feet, or too steep for my strength, I get off it, to some smooth [Page 107] velvet path which fancy has scattered over with rose-buds of delights; and having taken a few turns in it, come back strengthen'd and refresh'd—When evils press sore upon me, and there is no retreat from them in this world, then I take a new course—I leave it—and as I have a clearer idea of the Elysian fields than I have of heaven, I force myself, like Aeneas, into them—I see him meet the pensive shade of his for­saken Dido—and wish to recognize it—I see the injured spirit wave her head, and turn off silent from the author of her miseries and dishonours—I lose the feelings for myself in her's—and in those affections which were wont to make me mourn for her when I was at school.

Surely this is not walking in a vain shadow—nor does man disquiet himself in vain by it—he oftener does so in trusting the issue of his com­motions to reason only—I can safely say for myself, I was never able to conquer any one single bad sensation in my heart so decisively, as by beating up as fast as I could for some kindly and gentle sensation to fight it upon its own ground.



IT was Sunday; and when La Fleur came in the morning, with my coffee and roll and butter, he had got himself so gallantly ar­ray'd, I scarce knew him.

I had covenanted at Montriul to give him a new hat with a silver button and loop, and four Louis d'ors pour s'adoniser, when we got to Paris; and the poor fellow, to do him justice, had done wonders with it.

He had bought a bright, clean, good scarlet coat, and a pair of breeches of the same—They were not a crown worse, he said, for the wearing—I wish'd him hang'd for telling me—They look'd so fresh, that though I knew the thing could not be done, yet I would rather have imposed upon my fancy with thinking I had bought them new for the fellow, than that they had come out of the Rue de Friperie.

This is a nicety which makes not the heart sore at Paris.

[Page 109] He had purchased moreover a handsome blue sattin waistcoat, fancifully enough embroidered—this was indeed something the worse for the service it had done, but 't was clean scour'd—the gold had been touch'd up, and upon the whole was rather showy than otherwise—and as the blue was not violent, it suited with the coat and breeches very well: he had squeez'd out of the money, moreover, a new bag and a solitaire; and had insisted with the Fripier, upon a gold pair of garters to his breeches knees—He had purchased muslin ruffles, bien brodées, with four livres of his own money,—and a pair of white silk stockings for five more—and, to top all, nature had given him a hand­some figure, without costing him a sous.

He entered the room thus set off, with his hair drest in the first stile, and with a hand­some bouquet in his breast—in a word, there was that look of festivity in every thing about him, which at once put me in mind it was Sun­day—and by combining both together, it instantly struck me, that the favour he wish'd to ask of me the night before, was to spend the day as every body in Paris spent it besides. I had scarce made the conjecture, when La [Page 110] Fleur, with infinite humility, but with a look of trust, as if I should not refuse him, begg'd I would grant him the day, pour faire le galant vis-à-vis de sa maitresse.

Now it was the very thing I intended to do myself vis-à-vis Madame de R****—I had retained the remise on purpose for it, and it would not have mortified my vanity to have had a servant so well dress'd as La Fleur was, to have got up behind it: I never could have worse spared him.

But we must feel, not argue in these embar­rassments—the sons and daughters of service part with liberty, but not with Nature, in their contracts; they are flesh and blood, and have their little vanities and wishes in the midst of the house of bondage, as well as their task mas­ters—no doubt, they have set their self-de­nials at a price—and their expectations are so unreasonable, that I would often disappoint them, but that their condition puts it so much in my power to do it.

Behold!—Behold, I am thy servant—disarms me at once of the powers of a master.—

[Page 111] —Thou shalt go, La Fleur! said I.

—And what mistress, La Fleur, said I, canst thou have pick'd up in so little a time at Paris? La Fleur laid his hand upon his breast, and said 'twas a petite Demoiselle at Monsieur Le Count de B****'s—La Fleur had a heart made for society; and, to speak the truth of him, let as few occasions slip him as his master—so that some how or other;—but how—heaven knows—he had connected himself with the demoiselle upon the landing of the stair-case, during the time I was taken up with my passport; and as there was time enough for me to win the Count to my interest, La Fleur had contrived to make it do to win the maid to his.—The family, it seems, was to be at Paris that day, and he had made a party with her, and two or three more of the Count's household, upon the boulevards.

Happy people! that once a week at least are sure to lay down all your cares together, and dance and sing, and sport away the weights of grievance, which bow down the spirit of other nations to the earth.

SENT. JOURN. P. 190.



A POOR monk of the order of St. Francis came into the room to beg something for his Convent. No man cares to have his virtues the sport of contingencies—or one man may be generous as another man is puissant—sed non, quo ad hanc—or be it as it may—for there is no regular reasoning upon the ebbs and flows of our humours; they may depend upon the same causes, for aught I know, which influence the tides themselves—'twould oft be no discredit to us, to suppose it was so: I'm sure at least for myself, that in many a case I should be more highly satisfied, to have it said by the world, "I had had an affair with the moon, in which there was neither sin nor shame," than have it pass altogether as my own act and deed, where­in there was so much of both.

—But be this as it may: The moment I cast my eyes upon him, I was predetermined not to [Page 113] give him a single sous, and accordingly I put my purse into my pocket—button'd it up—set my­self a little more upon my centre, and advanced up gravely to him: there was something, I fear, forbidding in my look: I have his figure this moment before my eyes, and think there was that in it which deserved better.

The monk, as I judged from the break in his tonsure, a few scatter'd white hairs upon his temples, being all that remained of it, might be about seventy—but from his eyes, and that sort of fire that was in them, which seemed more temper'd by courtesy than years, could be no more than sixty—Truth might lie be­tween—He was certainly sixty-five; and the general air of his countenance, notwithstanding something seemed to have been planting wrinkles in it before their time, agreed to the account.

It was one of those heads, which Guido has often painted—mild, pale—penetrating, free from all common-place ideas of fat contented ig­norance looking downwards upon the earth—it look'd forwards; but look'd, as if it look'd at something beyond this world. How one of his order came by it, heaven above, who let it fall [Page 114] upon a monk's shoulders, best knows: but it would have suited a Bramin, and had I met it upon the plains of Indostan, I had reverenced it.

The rest of his outline may be given in a few strokes; one might put it into the hands of any one to design, for 'twas neither elegant or other­wise, but as character and expression made it so: it was a thin, spare form, something above the common size, if it lost not the distinction by a bend forward in the figure—but it was the atti­tude of Intreaty; and as it now stands present to my imagination, it gain'd more than it lost by it.

When he had entered the room three paces, he stood still; and laying his left hand upon his breast, (a slender white staff with which he jour­ney'd being in his right)—when I had got close up to him, he introduced himself with the little story of the wants of his convent, and the pover­ty of his order—and did it with so sim­ple a grace—and such an air of deprecation was there in the whole cast of his look and figure—I was bewitch'd not to have been struck with it.

—A better reason was, I had predetermined not to give him a single sous.

[Page 115] —'Tis very true, said I, replying to a cast up­wards with his eyes, with which he had con­cluded his address—'tis very true—and heaven be their resource who have no other but the charity of the world, the stock of which, I fear, is no way sufficient for the many great claims which are hourly made upon it.

As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a slight glance with his eye downwards upon the sleeve of his tunick—I felt the full force of the appeal—I acknowledge it, said I,—a coarse habit, and that but once in three years with meagre diet—are no great matters: and the true point of pity is, as they can be earn'd in the world with so little industry, that your order should wish to procure them by pressing upon a fund which is the property of the lame, the blind, the aged, and the infirm—the captive who lies down counting over and over again the days of his afflictions, languishes also for his share of it; and had you been of the order of Mercy, instead of the order of St. Francis, poor as I am, continued I, pointing at my portman­teau, full cheerfully should it have been open'd to you, for the ransom of the unfortunate—The monk made me a bow—but of all others, resumed I, the unfortunate of our own country, surely, [Page 116] have the first rights; and I have left thousands in distress upon our own shore—The monk gave a cordial wave with his head—as much as to say, No doubt, there is misery enough in every cor­ner of the world, as well as within our convent—But we distinguish, said I, laying my hand upon the sleeve of his tunick, in return for his appeal—we distinguish, my good father! betwixt those who wish only to eat the bread of their own labour—and those who eat the bread of other people's, and have no other plan in life, but to get through it in sloth and ignorance, for the love of God.

The poor Franciscan made no reply: a hectic of a moment pass'd across his cheek, but could not tarry—Nature seemed to have had done with her resentments in him; he shewed none—but letting his staff fall within his arm, he press'd both his hands with resignation upon his breast, and retired.

My heart smote me the moment he shut the door—Psha! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several times—but it would not do: every ungracious syllable I had utter'd, crouded back into my imagination: I reflected, I had no right over the poor Franciscan, but to deny him; and [Page 117] that the punishment of that was enough to the dissappointed, without the addition of unkind language—I consider'd his grey hairs—his courteous figure seem'd to re-enter and gently ask me what injury he had done me?—and why I could use him thus?—I would have given twenty livres for an advocate—I have behaved very ill, said I within myself; but I have only just set out upon my travels; and shall learn better manners as I get along.

SEN. JOUR. P. 5.


THE good old monk was within six paces of us, as the idea of him cross'd my mind; and was advancing towards us a little out of the line, as if uncertain whether he should break in upon us or no.—He stopp'd, however, as soon as he came up to us, with a world of frankness; and having a horn snuff-box in his hand, he presented it open to me—You shall taste mine—said I, pulling out my box (which was a small tortoise one) and putting it into his hand—'Tis most ex­cellent, said the monk: Then do me the favour, I replied, to accept of the box and all, and when you take a pinch out of it, sometimes recollect [Page 118] it was the peace-offering of a man who once used you unkindly, but not from his heart.

The poor monk blush'd as red as scarlet. Mon Dieu! said he, pressing his hands together—you never used me unkindly.—I should think, said the lady, he is not likely. I blush'd in my turn; but from what movements, I leave to the few who feel to analyse—Excuse me, Madame, replied I—I treated him most unkindly; and from no provocations. 'Tis impossible said the lady.—My God! cried the monk, with a warmth of asseveration which seem'd not to belong to him—the fault was in me, and in the indiscretion of my zeal—the lady opposed it, and I joined with her in maintaining it was impossible, that a spirit so regulated as his, could give offence to any.

I knew not that contention could be rendered so sweet and pleasurable a thing to the nerves as I then felt it.—We remained silent, without any sensation of that foolish pain which takes place, when in such a circle you look for ten minutes in one another's faces without saying a word. Whilst this lasted, the monk rubb'd his horn-box upon the sleeve of his tunick; and as soon as it had acquired a little air of brightness by the [Page 119] friction—he made a low bow, and said 'twas too late to say whether it was the weakness or goodness of our tempers which had involved us in this contest—but be it as it would—he begg'd we might exchange boxes—In saying this he presented his to me with one hand, as he took mine from me in the other: and having kiss'd it—with a stream of good-nature in his eyes, he put it into his bosom—and took his leave.

I guard this box as I would the instrumental parts of my religion, to help my mind on to something better: in truth, I seldom go abroad without it; and oft and many a time have I called up by it the courteous spirit of its owner to regulate my own, in the justlings of the world; they had found full employment for his, as I learnt from his story, till about the forty-fifth year of his age, when upon some military services ill requited, and meeting at the same time with a disappointment in the tenderest of passions, he abandoned the sword and the sex to­gether, and took sanctuary, not so much in his convent as in himself.

I feel a damp upon my spirits, as I am going to add, that in my last return through Calais, [Page 120] upon inquiring after Father Lorenzo, I heard he had been dead near three months, and was buried, not in his convent, but, according to his desire, in a little cemetery belonging to it, about two leagues off: I had a strong desire to see where they had laid him—when upon pulling out his little horn box, as I sat by his grave, and plucking up a nettle or two at the head of it, which had no business to grow there, they all struck together so forcibly upon my affections, that I burst into a flood of tears—but I am as weak as a woman; and I beg the world not to smile, but pity me.



THERE is something in our nature which engages us to take part in every accident to which man is subject, from what cause soever it may have happened; but in such calamities as a man has fallen into through mere misfortune, to be charged upon no fault or indiscretion of himself, there is something then so truly interest­ing, that at the first sight we generally make them our own, not altogether from a reflection [Page 121] that they might have been or may be so, but oftener from a certain generosity and tenderness of nature which disposes us for compassion, ab­stracted from all considerations of self: so that without any observable act of the will, we suffer with the unfortunate, and feel a weight upon our spirits we know not why, on seeing the most common instances of their distress. But where the spectacle is uncommonly tragical, and com­plicated with many circumstances of misery, the mind is then taken captive at once, and were it inclined to it, has no power to make resistance, but surrenders itself to all the tender emotions of pity and deep concern. So that when one con­siders this friendly part of our nature without looking farther, one would think it impossible for man to look upon misery without finding himself in some measure attached to the interest of him who suffers it—I say, one would think it impossible—for there are some tempers—how shall I describe them?—formed either of such impenetrable matter, or wrought up by habitual selfishness to such an utter insensibility of what becomes of the fortunes of their fellow creatures, as if they were not partakers of the same nature, or had no lot or connection at all with the spe­cies.



LOOK into the world—how often do you behold a sordid wretch, whose strait heart is open to no man's affliction, taking shelter behind an appearance of piety, and putting on the garb of religion, which none but the merciful and compassionate have a title to wear. Take no­tice with what sanctity he goes to the end of his days, in the same selfish track in which he at first set out—turning neither to the right hand nor to the left—but plods on—pores all his life long upon the ground, as if afraid to look up, lest peradventure he should see aught which might turn him one moment out of that strait line where interest is carrying him;—or if, by chance, he stumbles upon a hapless object of distress, which threatens such a disaster to him—devou [...] passing by on the other side, as if unwilling to [...] himself to the impressions of nature, or [...] the inconveniences which pity might lead him into upon the occasion.



IN benevolent natures the impulse to pity is so sudden, that like instruments of music which obey the touch—the objects which are fit­ted to excite such impressions work so instanta­neous an effect, that you would think the will was scarce concerned, and that the mind was al­together passive in the sympathy which her own goodness has excited. The truth is—the soul is generally in such cases so busily taken up and wholly engrossed by the object of pity, that she does not attend to her own operations, or take leisure to examine the principles upon which she acts.



IN generous spirits, compassion is sometimes more than a balance for self preservation. God certainly interwove that friendly softness in our nature to be a check upon too great a pro­pensity towards self-love.



OF the many revengeful, covetous, false, and ill-natured persons which we complain of in the world, though we all join in the cry against them, what man amongst us singles out himself as a criminal, or ever once takes it into his head that he adds to the number?—or where is there a man so bad, who would not think it the hardest and most unfair imputation, to have any of those particular vices laid to his charge?

If he has the symptoms never so strong upon him, which he would pronounce infallible in another, they are indications of no such malady in himself—he sees what no one else sees, some secret and flattering circumstances in his favour, which no doubt make a wide difference betwixt his case, and the parties which he condemns.

What other man speaks so often and vehe­mently against the vice of pride, sets the weak­ness of it in a more odious light, or is more hurt with it in another, than the proud man himself? [Page 125] It is the same with the passionate, the designing, the ambitious, and some other common charac­ters in life; and being a consequence of the nature of such vices, and almost inseperable from them, the effects of it are generally so gross and absurd, that where pity does not for­bid, it is pleasant to observe and trace the cheat through the several turnings and windings of the heart, and detect it through all the shapes and appearances which it puts on.

SERMON, IV. P. 72.


LET us go into the house of mourning, made so by such afflictions as have been brought in, merely by the common cross accidents and disasters to which our condition is exposed,—where, perhaps, the aged parents sit broken­hearted, pierced to their souls with the folly and indiscretion of a thankless child—the child of their prayers, in whom all their hopes and expectations centered:—perhaps a more affect­ing scene—a virtuous family lying pinched with want, where the unfortunate support of it [Page 126] having long struggled with a train of misfor­tunes, and bravely fought up against them,—is now piteously borne down at the last—over-whelmed with a cruel blow which no forecast or frugality could have prevented.—O God! look upon his afflictions—behold him distracted with many sorrows, surrounded with the tender pledges of his love, and the partner of his cares—without bread to give them, unable, from the remembrance of better days, to dig;—to beg, ashamed.

When we enter into the house of mourning such as this—it is impossible to insult the unfor­tunate even with an improper look—under whatever levity and dissipation of heart, such objects catch our eyes,—they catch likewise our attentions, collect and call home our scat­tered thoughts, and exercise them with wisdom. A transient scene of distress, such as is here sketched, how soon does it furnish materials to set the mind at work? how necessarily does it engage it to the consideration of the miseries and misfortunes, the dangers and calamities to which the life of man is subject? By holding up such a glass before it, it forces the mind to see and reflect upon the vanity,—the perishing [Page 127] condition and uncertain tenure of every thing in this world. From reflections of this serious cast, how insensibly do the thoughts carry us farther?—and from considering what we are—what kind of world we live in, and what evils befal us in it, how naturally do they set us to look forwards at what possibly we shall be?—for what kind of world we are intended—what evils may befal us there—and what pro­vision we should make against them here, whilst we have time and opportunity. If these lessons are so inseparable from the house of mourning here supposed—we shall find it a still more in­structive school of wisdom when we take a view of the place in that more affecting light in which the wise man seems to confine it in the text, in which, by the house of mourning, I believe, he means that particular scene of sorrow, where there is lamentation and mourning for the dead. Turn in hither, I beseech you, for a moment. Behold a dead man ready to be car­ried out, the only son of his mother, and she a widow. Perhaps a more affecting spectacle a kind and indulgent father of a numerous fa­mily, lies breathless—snatched away in the strength of his age—torn in an evil hour from his children and the bosom of a disconsolate [Page 128] wife. Behold much people of the city gathered together to mix their tears, with settled sorrow in their looks, going heavily along to the house of mourning, to perform that last melancholy office, which, when the debt of nature is paid, we are called upon to pay to each other. If this sad occasion which leads him there, has not done it already, take notice, to what a serious and devout frame of mind every man is re­duced, the moment he enters this gate of afflic­tion. The busy and fluttering spirits, which in the house of mirth were wont to transport him from one diverting object to another—see how they are fallen! how peaceably they are laid! In this gloomy mansion full of shades and uncomfortable damps to sieze the soul—see, the light and easy heart, which never knew what it was to think before, how pensive it is now, how soft, how susceptible, how full of religious impressions, how deeply it is smitten with sense and with a love of virtue. Could we, in this crisis, whilst this empire of reason and religion lasts, and the heart is thus exercised with wis­dom and busied with heavenly contemplations—could we see it naked as it is—stripped of its passions, unspotted by the world, and regard­less of its pleasures—we might then safely rest [Page 129] our cause upon this single evidence, and appeal to the most sensual whether Solomon has not made a just determination here, in favour of the house of mourning? not for its own sake, but as it is fruitful in virtue, and becomes the oc­casion of so much good. Without this end, sorrow I own has no use but to shorten a man's days—nor can gravity, with all its studied so­lemnity of look and carriage, serve any end but to make one half of the world merry, and impose upon the other.

SERM. II. P. 33.


THE best of men appear sometimes to be strange compounds of contradictory quali­ties: and, were the accidental oversights and folly of the wisest man,—the failings and im­perfections of a religious man,—the hasty acts and passionate words of a meek man;—were they to rise up in judgment against them,—and an ill-natured judge be suffered to mark in this manner what has been done amiss—what cha­racter so unexceptionable as to be able to stand before him?

SERM. XXXI. P. 33.


IT is the fate of mankind, too often, to seem insensible of what they may enjoy at the easiest rate.

SERM. XLVI. P. 226.


THERE is no condition in life so fixed and per­manent as to be out of danger, or the rea [...] of change:—and we all may depend upon it, that we shall take our turns of wanting and desiring. By how many unforeseen causes may riches take wing!—The crowns of princes may be shaken, and the greatest that ever awed the world have experienced what the turn of the wheel can do.—That which hath happened to one man, may befal another; and, therefore, that excellent rule of our Saviour's ought to govern us in all our actions,—Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise.—Time [Page 131] and chance happens to all;—and the most affluent may be stript of all, and find his worldly com­forts like so many withered leaves dropping from him.

SERM. XLI. P. 209.


AND this, said he, putting the remains of a crust into his wallet—and this should have been thy portion, said he, hadst thou been alive to have shared it with me. I thought by the accent, it had been an apostrophe to his child; but 'twas to his ass, and to the very ass we had seen dead in the road, which had occasioned La Fleur's misadventure. The man seemed to lament it much; and it instantly brought into my mind Sancho's lamentation for his; but he did it with more true touches of nature.

The mourner was sitting upon a stone-bench at the door, with the ass's pannel and its bridle on one side, which he took up from time to time—then laid them down—look'd at them— [Page 132] and shook his head. He then took his crust of bread out of his wallet again, as if to eat it? held it some time in his hand—then laid it upon the bit of his ass's bridle—look'd wistfully at the little arrangement he had made—and then gave a sigh.

The simplicity of his grief drew numbers a­bout him, and La Fleur amongst the rest, whilst the horses were getting ready; as I continued sitting in the post-chaise, I could see and hear over their heads.

—He said he had come last from Spain, where he had been from the furthest borders of Fran­conia; and had got so far on his return home, when his ass died. Every one seem'd desi­rous to know what business could have taken so old and poor a man so far a journey from his own home.

It had pleased heaven, he said, to bless him with three sons, the finest lads in all Germany; but having in one week lost two of them by the small-pox, and the youngest falling ill of the same distemper, he was afraid of being berest of them all; and made a vow, if heaven would not take [Page 133] him from him also, he would go in gratitude to St. Jago in Spain,

When the mourner got thus far on his story, he stopp'd to pay nature her tribute—and wept bitterly.

He said heaven had accepted the conditions, and that he had set out from his cottage with this poor creature, who had been a patient part­ner of his journey—that it had eat the same bread with him all the way, and was unto him as a friend.

Every body who stood about heard the poor fellow with concern—La Fleur offered him money—The mourner said he did not want it—it was not the value of the ass—but the loss of him.—The ass, he said, he was assured, loved him—and upon this told them a long story of a mischance upon their passage over the Pyre­nean mountains which had separated them from each other three days; during which time the ass had sought him as much as he had sought the ass, and that they had neither scarce eat or drank till they met.

[Page 134] Thou hast one comfort, friend, said I, at least in the loss of thy poor beast; I'm sure thou hast been a merciful master to him,—Alas! said the mourner, I thought so, when he was alive—but now he is dead I think otherwise.—I fear the weight of myself and my afflictions together have been too much for him—they have shorten­ed the poor creature's days, and I fear I have them to answer for.—Shame on the world! said I to myself—Did we love each other as this poor soul but lov'd his ass—'twould be some­thing.



THE humouring of certain appetites, where morality is not concerned, seems to be the means by which the Author of nature intended to sweeten this journey of life,—and bear us up under the many shocks and hard jostlings, which we are sure to meet with in our way.—And a man might, with as much reason, musfle up him­self against sunshine and fair weather,—and at othertimes expose himself naked to the incle­mencies [Page 135] of cold and rain, as debar himself of the innocent delights of his nature, for affected re­serve and melancholy.

It is true, on the other hand, our passions are apt to grow upon us by indulgence, and become exorbitant, if they are not kept under exact dis­cipline, that by way of caution and prevention 'twere better, at certain times, to affect some degree of needless reserve, than hazard any ill consequences from the other extreme.



LOOK into private life,—behold how good and pleasant a thing it is to live together in unity;—it is like the precious ointment poured upon the head of Aaron, that run down to his skirts;—importing that this balm of life is felt and enjoyed, not only by governors of kingdoms, but is derived down to the lowest rank of life, and tasted in the most private recesses;—all, from the king to the peasant, are refreshed with its blessings, without which we can find no com­fort [Page 136] in any thing this world can give.—It is this blessing gives every one to sit quietly under his vine, and reap the fruits of his labour and industry:—in one word, which bespeaks who is the bestower of it—it is that only which keeps up the harmony and order of the world, and preserves every thing in it from ruin and confusion.

SERMON, XLI. P. 203.


THERE are secret workings in human affairs, which over-rule all human contrivance, and counterplot the wisest of our councils, in so strange and unexpected a manner, as to cast a damp upon our best schemes and warmest endeavours.


Captain Shandy's Justification of his own Princi­ples and Conduct, in wishing to continue the War. Written to his Brother.

I AM not insensible, brother Shandy, that when a man, whose profession is arms, wishes, as I have done, for war—it has an ill aspect to the world;—and that, how just and right soever his motives and intentions may be,—he stands in an uneasy posture in vindicating himself from private views in doing it.

For this cause, if a soldier is a prudent man, which he may be, without being a jot the less brave, he will be sure not to utter his wish in the hearing of an enemy; for say what he will, an enemy will not believe him.—He will be cau­tious of doing it even to a friend,—lest he may suffer in his esteem:—But if his heart is over­charged, and a secret sigh for arms must have its vent, he will reserve it for the ear of a bro­ther, who knows his character to the bottom, and what his true notions, dispositions, and principles of honour are: What, I hope, I have [Page 138] been in all these, brother Shandy, would be un­becoming in me to say:—much worse, I know, have I been than I ought,—and something worse, perhaps, than I think: But such as I am, you, my dear brother Shandy, who have sucked the same breasts with me,—and with whom I have been brought up from my cradle,—and from whose knowledge, from the first hours of of our boyish pastimes, down to this, I have concealed no one action of my life, and scarce a thought in it—Such as I am, brother, you must by this time know me, with all my vices, and with all my weaknesses too, whether of my age, my temper, my passions, or my under­standing.

Tell me then, my dear brother Shandy, upon which of them it is, that when I condemned the peace of Utrecht, and grieved the war was not carried on with vigour a little longer, you should think your brother did it upon unworthy views; or that in wishing for war, he should be bad enough to wish more of his fellow-crea­tures slain,—more slaves made, and more fami­lies driven from their peaceful habitations, merely for his own pleasure:—Tell me, brother Shandy, upon what one deed of mine do you ground it?

[Page 139] If when I was a school-boy, I could not hear a drum beat, but my heart beat with it—was it my fault? Did I plant the propensity there? Did I sound the alarm within? or Na­ture?

When Guy, Earl of Warwick, and Parismus and Parismenus, and Valentine and Orson, and the Seven Champions of England were handed a­round the school,—were they not all purchased with my own pocket money? Was that selfish, brother Shandy? When we read over the siege of Troy, which lasted ten years and eight months,—though with such a train of artillery as we had at Namur, the town might have been car­ried in a week—was I not as much concerned for the Greeks and Trojans as any boy of the whole school? Had I not three strokes of a fe­rula given me, two on my right hand and one on my left, for calling Helena a bitch for it? Did any one of you shed more tears for Hector? And when king Priam came to the camp to beg his body, and returned weeping back to Troy without it,—you know, brother, I could not eat my dinner.

—Did that bespeak me cruel? Or because, brother Shandy, my blood flew out into the [Page 140] camp, and my heart panted for war,—was it a proof it could not ache for the distresses of war too?

O brother! 'tis one thing for a soldier to ga­ther laurels,—and 'tis another to scatter cypress.

—'Tis one thing, brother Shandy, for a sol­dier to hazard his own life—to leap first down into the trench, where he is sure to be cut in pieces:—'Tis one thing from public spirit and a thirst of glory, to enter the breach the first man,—to stand in the foremost rank, and march bravely on with drums and trumpets, and co­lours flying about his ears:—'Tis one thing, I say, brother Shandy, to do this,—and 'tis ano­ther thing to reflect on the miseries of war;—to view the desolations of whole countries, and consider the intolerable fatigues and hardships which the soldier himself, the instrument who works them, is forced (for six-pence a day, if he can get it) to undergo.

Need I be told, dear Yorick, as I was by you, in Le Fever's funeral sermon, That so soft and gentle a creature, born to love, to mercy, and kindness, as man is, was not shaped for this? But [Page 141] why did you not add, Yorick,—if not by NA­TURE—that he is so by NECESSITY?—For what is war? what is it, Yorick, when fought as ours has been, upon principles of liberty, and upon principles of honour—what is it, but the getting together of quiet and harmless people, with their swords in their hands, to keep the ambi­tious and the turbulent within bounds? And hea­ven is my witness, brother Shandy, that the plea­sure I have taken in these things,—and that in­finite delight, in particular, which has attended my sieges in my bowling green, has arose with­in me, and I hope in the Corporal too, from the consciousness we both had, that in carrying them on, we were answering the great ends of our creation.



MY uncle Toby was a man patient of inju­ries;—not from want of courage,—where just occasions presented, or called it forth,—I know no man under whose arm I would sooner have taken shelter;—nor did this arise from any [Page 142] insensibility or obtuseness of his intellectual parts;—he was of a peaceful, placid nature,—no jarring element in it,—all was mixed up so kindly within him; my uncle Toby had scarce a hear to retaliate upon a fly:—Go,—says he one day at dinner, to an overgrown one which had buzzed about his nose, and tormented him cruelly all dinner-time,—and which, after infi­nite attempts, he had caught at last—as it flew by him;—I'll not hurt thee, says my uncle Toby, rising from his chair, and going across the room, with the fly in his hand,—I'll not hurt a hair of thy head:—Go, says he, lifting up the sash, and opening his hand as he spoke, to let it escape;—go, poor devil,—get thee gone, why should I hurt thee?—This world surely is wide enough to hold both thee and me.

⁂ This is to serve for parents and gover­nors instead of a whole volume upon the subject.

T. SHANDY, VOL. 1. CHAP. 37.


INCONSISTENT soul that man is!—lan­guishing under wounds which he has the power to heal!—his whole life a contradiction to his knowledge!—his reason, that precious gift of God to him—(instead of pouring in oil) serving but to sharpen his sensibilities,—to multiply his pains and render him more melan­choly and uneasy under them!—Poor unhappy creature, that he should do so!—are not the necessary causes of misery in this life enow, but he must add voluntary ones to his stock of sor­row;—struggle against evils which cannot be avoided, and submit to others, which a tenth part of the trouble they create him, would re­move from his heart for ever?



BEFORE an affliction is digested,—consola­tion ever comes too soon;—and after it is digested—it comes too late:—there is but a mark between these two, as fine almost as a hair, for a comforter to take aim at.



—BESHREW the sombre pencil! said I vauntingly—for I envy not its powers, which paints the evils of life with so hard and deadly a colouring. The mind sits terrified at the objects she has magnified herself, and blackened: reduce them to their proper size and hue she overlooks them—'Tis true, said I, correcting the proposition—the Bastile is not an evil to be despised—but strip it of its towers—fill up the fosse—unbarricade the [Page 145] doors—call it simply a confinement, and sup­pose 'tis some tyrant of a distemper—and not of a man which holds you in it—the evil vanishes, and you bear the other half without complaint.

I was interrupted in the hey-day of this soli­loquy, with a voice which I took to be of a child, which complained "it could not get out."—I looked up and down the passage, and seeing neither man, woman, or child, I went out with­out further attention.

In my return back through the passage, I heard the same words repeated twice over; and look­ing up, I saw it was a starling hung in a little cage—"I can't get out—I can't get out," said the starling.

I stood looking at the bird: and to every person who came through the passage it ran fluttering to the side towards which they ap­proached it, with the same lamentations of its captivity—"I can't get out," said the star­ling—God help thee! said I, but I will let thee out, cost what it will; so I turned about the cage to get the door; it was twisted and [Page 146] double twisted so fast with wire, there was no getting it open without pulling the cage to pieces—I took both hands to it.

The bird flew to the place where I was at­tempting his deliverance, and thrusting his head through the trellis, pressed his breast against it, as if impatient—I fear, poor creature! said I, I cannot set thee at liberty—"No, said the starling—"I can't get out—I can't get out," said the starling.

I vow I never had my affections more ten­derly awakened; nor do I remember an inci­dent in my life, where the dissipated spirits, to which my reason had been a bubble, were so suddenly called home. Mechanical as the notes were, yet so true in tune to nature were they chanted, that in one moment they overthrew all my systematic reasonings upon the Bastile; and I heavily walked up stairs, unsaying every word I had said in going down them.

Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, slavery! said I—still thou art a bitter draught! and though thousands in all ages have been made to drink of thee, thou art no less bitter on that ac­count.—'Tis [Page 147] thou thrice sweet and gracious goddess, addressing myself to LIBERTY, whom all in public or in private worship, whose taste grateful, and ever will be so, till NATURE her­self shall change—no tint of words can spot thy snowy mantle, or chymic power turn thy sceptre into iron—with thee to smile upon him as he eats his crust, the swain is happier than his monarch, from whose court thou art exiled—Gracious heaven! cried I, kneeling down upon the last step but one in my ascent—Grant me but health, thou great Bestower of it, and give me but this fair goddess as my companion—and shower down thy mitres, if it seems good unto thy divine providence, upon those heads which are aching for them.



THE bird in his cage pursued me into my room; I sat down close by my table, and leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and so I gave full scope to my imagination.

[Page 148] I was going to begin with the millions of my fellow-creatures, born to no inheritance but slavery: but finding, however affecting the pic­ture was, that I could not bring it near me, and that the multitude of sad groups in it did but distract me—

—I took a single captive, and having first shut him up in his dungeon, I then looked through the twilight of his grated door to take his picture.

I beheld his body half wasted away with long expectation and confinement, and felt what kind of sickness of the heart it was which arises from hope deferr'd. Upon looking nearer I saw him pale and feverish: in thirty years the western breeze had not once fann'd his blood—he had seen no sun, no moon, in all that time—nor had the voice of friend or kinsman breathed through his lattice—his children—

—But here my heart began to bleed—and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait.

He was sitting upon the ground upon a little straw, in the furthest corner of his dungeon, [Page 149] which was alternately his chair and bed: a little calendar of small sticks were laid at the head, notch'd all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there—he had one of these little sticks in his hand, and with a rusty nail he was etching another day of misery to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door, then cast it down—shook his head, and went on with his work of affliction. I heard his chains upon his legs, as he turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle—He gave a deep sigh—I saw the iron enter into his soul—I burst into tears—I could not sustain the picture of confinement which my fancy had drawn.



I WAS walking down that which leads from the Carousal to the Palais Royal, and ob­serving a little boy in some distress at the side of the gutter, which ran down the middle of it, I took hold of his hand, and help'd him over. Upon turning up his face to look at him [Page 150] after, I perceived he was about forty—Never mind, said I; some good body will do as much for me, when I am ninety.

I feel some little principles within me, which incline me to be merciful towards this poor blighted part of my species, who have neither size or strength to get on in the world—I cannot bear to see one of them trod upon; and had scarce got seated beside an old French offi­cer at the Opera Comique, ere the disgust was exercised, by seeing the very thing happen under the box we sat in.

At the end of the orchestra, and betwixt that and the first side-box, there is a small esplenade left, where, when the house is full, numbers of all ranks take sanctuary. Though you stand, as in the parterre, you pay the same price as in the orchestra. A poor defenceless being of this order had got thrust somehow or other into this luck­less place—the night was hot, and he was surrounded by beings two feet and a half higher than himself. The dwarf suffered inexpressibly on all sides; but the thing which incommoded him most was a tall corpulent German, near seven feet high, who stood directly betwixt him [Page 151] and all possibility of seeing either the stage or the actors. The poor dwarf did all he could to get a peep at what was going forwards, by seek­ing for some little opening betwixt the German's arm and his body, trying first one side, then the other; but the German stood square in the most unaccommodating posture that can be imagined——the dwarf might as well have been placed at the bottom of the deepest draw-well in Paris; so he civilly reach'd up his hand to the German's sleeve, and told him his distress——The German turn'd his head back, look'd down upon him as Goliah did upon David—and unfeelingly resumed his posture.

I was just then taking a pinch of snuff out of my monk's little horn box—And how would thy meek and courteous spirit, my dear monk! so temper'd to bear and forbear!—how sweetly would it have lent an ear to this poor soul's complaint!

The old French officer seeing me lift up my eyes with an emotion, as I made the apostrophe, took the liberty to ask me what was the matter—I told him the story in three words; and added, how inhuman it was.

[Page 152] By this time the dwarf was driven to ex­tremes, and in his first transports, which are ge­nerally unreasonable, had told the German he would cut off his long queue with his knife—The German look'd back coolly, and told him he was welcome, if he could reach it.

An injury sharpened by an insult, be it to who it will, makes every man of sentiment a party: I could have leaped out of the box to have re­dressed it.—The old French officer did it with much less confusion; for leaning a little over, and modding to a centinel, and pointing at the same time with his finger to the distress—the centinel made his way up to it.—There was no occasion to tell the grievance—the thing told itself; so thrusting back the German instantly with his musket—he took the poor dwarf by the hand, and placed him before him—This is noble! said I, clapping my hands together—And yet you would not permit this, said the old offi­cer, in England.

—In England, dear Sir, said I, we sit all at our ease.

The old French officer would have set me at unity with myself, in case I had been at variance, [Page 153] —by saying it was a bon mot—and as a bon mot is always worth something at Paris, he offered me a pinch of snuff.



WHEN all is ready, and every article is disputed and paid for in the inn, unless you are a little sour'd by the adventure, there is always a matter to compound at the door, before you can get into your chaise, and that is with the sons and daughters of poverty, who surround you. Let no man say, "Let them go to the devil"—'tis a cruel journey to send a few miserables, and they have had sufferings enow without it: I always think it better to take a few sous out in my hand; and I would counsel every gentle traveller to do so likewise; he need not be so exact in setting down his motives for giving them—they will be register'd elsewhere.

For my own part, there is no man gives so little as I do; for few that I know have so little to give: but as this was the first public act of [Page 154] my charity in France, I took the more notice of it.

A well-a-way! said I. I have but eight sous in the world, shewing them in my hand, and there are eight poor men and eight poor women for 'em.

A poor tatter'd soul without a shirt on, instant­ly withdrew his claim, by retiring two steps out of the circle, and making a disqualifying bow on his part. Had the whole parterre cried out Place aux dames, with one voice, it would not have conveyed the sentiment of a deference for the sex with half the effect.

Just heaven! for what wise reasons hast thou order'd it that beggary and urbanity, which are at such variance in other countries, should find a way to be at unity in this?

—I insisted upon presenting him with a single sous, merely for his politesse.

A poor little dwarfish, brisk fellow, who stood over-against me in the circle, putting something first under his arm, which had once been a hat, [Page 155] took his snuff-box out of his pocket, and gene­rously offered a pinch on both sides of him: it was a gift of consequence and modestly declined—The poor little fellow press'd it upon them with a nod of welcomeness—Prenez en—Pre­nez, said he, looking another way; so they each took a pinch—Pity thy box should ever want one! said I to myself; so I put a couple of sous into it—taking a small pinch out of his box, to enhance their value, as I did it—He felt the weight of the second obligation more than that of the first—'twas doing him an honour—the other was only doing him a charity—and he made me a bow down to the ground for it.

—Here! said I, to an old soldier with one hand, who had been compaign'd and worn out to death in the service—here's a couple of sous for thee, Vive le Roi! said the old soldier.

I had then but three sous left; so I gave one, simply pour l'amour de Dieu, which was the foot­ing on which it was begg'd—The poor woman had a dislocated hip: so it could not be well, upon any other motive.

Mon cher et tres charitable Monsieur—There's no opposing this, said I.

[Page 156] My Lord Anglois—the very sound was worth the money—so I gave my last sous for it. But in the eagerness of giving, I had overlook'd a pauvre honteux, who had no one to ask a sous for him, and who, I believed, would have pe­rish'd, ere he could have ask'd one for himself: he stood by the chaise a little without the circle, and wiped a tear from a face which I thought had seen better days—Good God! said I—and I have not one single sous left to give him—But you have a thousand! cried all the powers of nature stirring within me—so I gave him—no matter what—I am ashamed to say how much, now—and was ashamed to think how little, then: so if the reader can form any con­jecture of my disposition, as these two fixed points are given him, he may judge within a livre or two what was the precise sum.

I could afford nothing for the rest, but Dieu vous benisse—Et le bon Dieu vous benisse encore—said the old soldier, the dwarf, &c. The pauvre honteux could say nothing—he pull'd out a little handkerchief, and wiped his face as he turned away—and I thought he thank'd me more than them all.



THE Corporal—

—Tread lightly on his ashes, ye men of genius,—for he was your kinsman:

Weed his grave clean ye men goodness,—for he was your brother.—Oh Corporal! had I thee but now,—now, that I am able to give thee a dinner and protection,—how would I cherish thee! thou should'st wear thy Montero­cap every hour of the day, and every day of the week,—and when it was worn out, I would purchase thee a couple like it:—but alas! alas! alas! now that I can do this, in spite of their reverences—the occasion is lost—for thou art gone;—thy genius fled up to the stars from whence it came;—and that warm heart of thine with all its generous and open vessels, compres­sed into a clod of the valley!

—But what is this—what is this, to that future and dreadful page, where I look towards the velvet pall, decorated with the military en­signs [Page 158] of thy master—the first—the foremost of created beings; where, I shall see thee, faithful servant! laying his sword and scabbard with a trembling hand across his coffin, and then return­ing pale as ashes to the door, to take his mourn­ing horse by the bridle, to follow his hearse, as he directed thee;—where—all my father's systems shall be baffled by his sorrows; and, in spite of his philosophy, I shall behold him, as he inspects the lackered plate, twice taking his spectacles from off his nose, to wipe away the dew which nature has shed upon them—When I see him cast in the rosemary with an air of dis­consolation, which cries through my ears,—O Toby! in what corner of the world shall I seek thy fellow?

—Gracious powers! which erst have opened the lips of the dumb in his distress, and made the tongue of the stammerer speak plain—when I shall arrive at this dreaded page, deal not with me, then, with a stinted hand.



—WHAT a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in every thing, and who, having eyes to see what tinse and chance are perpetually holding out to him as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on.—

—If this wont turn out something—another will—no matter—'tis an essay upon human nature—I get my labour for my pains—'tis enough—the pleasure of the experiment has kept my senses, and the best part of my blood awake, and laid the gross to sleep.

I pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and cry, 'Tis all barren—and so it is; and so is all the world to him who will not cul­tivate the fruits it offers. I declare, said I, clap­ping my hands cheerily together, that was I in [Page 160] a desert, I would find out wherewith in it to call forth my affections—If I could do no better, I would fasten them upon some sweet myrtle, or seek some melancholy cypress to connect my­self to—I would court their shade, and greet them kindly for their protection—I would cut my name upon them, and swear they were the loveliest trees throughout the desert: if their leaves wither'd, I would teach myself to mourn, and when they rejoiced, I would rejoice along with them.



WAS it Mackay's regiment, quoth my uncle Toby, where the poor grenadier was so unmercifully whipp'd at Bruges about the ducats?—O Christ! he was innocent! cried Trim, with a deep sigh,—And he was whipp'd, may it please your honour, almost to death's door.—They had better have shot him outright, as he begged, and he had gone directly to heaven, for he was as innocent as your honour.—I thank thee, Trim, quoth my uncle Toby. [Page 161] I never think of his, continued Trim, and my poor brother Tom's misfortunes, for we were all three school-fellows, but I cry like a coward.—Tears are no proof of cowardice, Trim, I drop them oft times myself, cried my uncle Toby—I know your honour does, replied Trim, and so am not ashamed of it myself.—But to think, may it please your honour, continued Trim, a tear stealing into the corner of his eye as he spoke—to think of two virtuous lads, with hearts as warm in their bodies, and as honest as God could make them—The children of honest people, going forth with gallant spirits to seek their fortunes in the world—and fall into such evils! poor Tom! to be tortured upon a rack for no­thing—but marrying a Jew's widow who sold sausages—honest Dick Johnson's soul to be scourged out of his body, for the ducats another man put into his knapsack!—O!—these are mis­fortunes, cried Trim, pulling out his handker­chief,—these are misfortunes, may it please your honour, worth laying down and crying over.

—'Twould be a pity, Trim, quoth my uncle Toby, thou should'st ever feel sorrow of thy own—thou feelest it so tenderly for others.—Alack-o-day, [Page 162] replied the Corporal, brightening up his face—your honour knows I have neither wife or child—I can have no sorrows in this world. As few as any man, Trim, replied my uncle Toby; nor can I see how a fellow of thy light heart can suffer, but from the distress of poverty in thy old age—when thou art passed all services, Trim,—and hast outliv'd thy friends.—An' please your honour, never fear, replied Trim, cheerily—But I would have thee never fear, Trim, re­plied my uncle Toby, and therefore, continued my uncle Toby, throwing down his crutch, and get­ting upon his legs as he uttered the word there­fore—in recompence, Trim, of thy long fidelity to me, and that goodness of thy heart I have had such proofs of—whilst thy master is worth a shilling—thou shalt never ask elsewhere, Trim, for a penny. Trim attempted to thank my uncle Toby,—but had not power—tears trickled down his cheeks faster than he could wipe them off—he laid his hands upon his breast—made a bow to the ground, and shut the door.

T. SHANDY, V. II. C. 39.


CONSIDER slavery,—what it is,—how bitter a draught, and how many millions have been made to drink of it;—which if it can poison all earthly happiness when exercised barely upon our bodies, what must it be, when it comprehends both the slavery of body and mind?—to conceive this, look into the history of the Romish church and her tyrants (or rather executioners), who seem to have taken pleasure in the pangs and convulsions of their fellow-creatures.—Examine the Inquisition, hear the melancholy notes sounded in every cell.—Consider the anguish of mock trials, and the ex­quisite tortures consequent thereupon mercilessly inflicted upon the unfortunate, where the racked and weary soul has so often wished to take its leave,—but cruelly not suffered to depart.—Consider how many of these helpless wretches have been haled from thence in all periods of this tyrannic usurpation, to undergo the massa­cres and flames to which a false and a bloody religion has condemned them.

[Page 164] —Let us behold him in another light.—

If we consider man as a creature full of wants and necessities (whether real or imaginary), which he is not able to supply of himself, what a train of disappointments, vexations and depen­dencies are to be seen, issuing from thence to perplex and make his being uneasy!—How many justlings and hard struggles do we undergo in making our way in the world!—How bar­barously held back!—How often and basely overthrown, in aiming only at getting bread!—How many of us never attain it—at least not comfortably,—but from various unknown causes—eat it all our lives long in bitterness!

SERMON, 10. PAGE, 202.


I HAVE not been a furlong from Shandy-hall, since I wrote to you last—but why is my pen so perverse? I have been to *****, and my errand was of so peculiar a nature, that I must give you an account of it.—You will scarce believe me, when I tell you, it was to out­juggle [Page 165] a juggling attorney; to put craft, and all its power, to defiance; and to obtain justice from one—who has a heart foul enough to take ad­vantage of the mistakes of honest simplicity, and who has raised a considerable fortune by arti­fice and injustice. However, I gained my point!—it was a star and garter to me!—the matter was as follows.—

"A poor man, the father of my Vestal, having by the sweat of his brow, during a course of many laborious years, saved a small sum of money, applied to this scribe to put it out to use for him: this was done and a bond given for the money.—The honest man, having no place in his cottage which he thought sufficiently secure, put it in a hole in the thatch, which had served instead of a strong box, to keep his money.—In this situation the bond remained till the time of receiving his interest drew nigh.—But alas!—the rain which had done no mischief to his gold, had found out his paper-security, and had rotted it to pieces!"—It would be a difficult matter to paint the distress of the old countryman upon this discovery;—Le came to me weeping, and begged my advice and assistance!—it cut me to the heart!

[Page 166] Frame to yourself the picture of a man up­wards of sixty years of age—who having with much penury and more toil, with the addition of a small legacy, scraped together about four­score pounds to support him in the infirmities of old age, and to be a little portion for his child when he should be dead and gone—lost his little hoard ot once; and to aggravate his misfortune, by his own neglect and incaution.—"If I was young, Sir, (said he) my affliction would have been light—and I might have obtained it again!—but I have lost my comfort when I most wanted it!—my staff is taken from me when I cannot go alone; and I have nothing to expect in future life, but the unwilling charity of a Parish-Officer."—Never in my whole life, did I wish to be rich, with so good a grace, as at this time!—What a luxury would it have been to have said to this afflict­ed fellow creature,—"There is thy money—go thy ways—and be at peace."—But, alas! the Shandy family were never much encumbered with money; and I (the poorest of them all) could only assist him with good council:—but I did not stop here.—I went myself with him to ****, where by persuasion, threats, and some art, which (by the bye) in such a cause, and [Page 167] with such an opponent, was very justifiable—I sent my poor client back to his home, with his comfort and his bond restored to him.—Bravo!—bravo!

If a man has a right to be proud of any thing,—it is of a good action, done as it ought to be, without any base interest lurking at the bottom of it.



IF there is a case under heaven which calls out aloud for the more immediate exercise of compassion, and which may be looked upon as the compendium of all charity, surely it is this: and I am persuaded there would want nothing more to convince the greatest enemy to these kind of charities that it is so, but a bare oppor­tunity of taking a nearer view of some of the more distressful objects of it.

Let him go into the dwellings of the unfor­tunate, into some mournful cottage, where [Page 168] poverty and affliction reign together. There let him behold the disconsolate widow—sitting—steeped in tears;—thus sorrowing over the in­fant she knows not how to succour.—"O my child, thou art now left exposed to a wide and a vicious world, too full of snares and temptations for thy tender and unpractised age. Perhaps a parent's love may magnify those dangers—but when I consider thou art driven out naked into the midst of them without friends, without fortune, without in­struction, my heart bleeds beforehand for the evils which may come upon thee. God, in whom we trusted, is witness, so low had his providence placed us, that we never indulged one wish to have made thee rich,—virtu­ous we would have made thee;—for thy fa­ther, my husband, was a good man, and feared the Lord,—and though all the fruits of his care and industry were little enough for our support, yet he honestly had determined to have spared some portion of it, scanty as it was, to have placed thee safely in the way of knowledge and instruction—But alas! he is gone from us, never to return more, and with him are fled the means of doing it:—For, Behold the creditor is come upon us, to [Page 169] take all that we have." Grief is eloquent, and will not easily be imitated.—But let the man who is the least friend to distresses of this nature, conceive some disconsolate widow uttering her complaint even in this manner, and then let him consider, if there is any sorrow like THIS sorrow, wherewith the Lord has afflicted her? or whether there can be any charity like that, of taking the child out of the mother's bosom, and rescuing her from these apprehensions? Should a hea­then, a stranger to our holy religion and the love it teached, should he, as he journeyed, come to the place where SHE LAY, when he saw, would he not have compassion on her? God forbid a Christian should this day want it! or at any time look upon such a distress, and pass by on the other side. Rather let him do, as his Saviour taught him, bind up the wounds, and pour comfort into the heart of one, whom the hand of God has so bruised. Let him practise what it is, with Eli­jah's transport, to say to the afflicted widow,—See, thy Son liveth! liveth by my charity, and the bounty of this hour, to all the purposes which make life desirable,—to be made a good man, and a profitable subject: on one hand, to be trained up to such a sense of his duty, as may secure him an interest in the world to come; [Page 170] and with regard to this world, to be so brought up in it to a love of honest labour and industry, as all his life long to earn and eat his bread with joy and thankfulness.



I CANNOT conceive but that the very me­chanical motions which maintain life, must be performed with more equal vigour and free­dom in that man whom a great and good soul perpetually inclines to shew mercy to the mise­rable, than they can be in a poor, sordid, selfish wretch, whose little contracted heart melts at no man's affliction; but sits brooding so intently over its own plots and concerns, as to see and feel nothing; and in truth, enjoy nothing be­yond himself: and of whom one may say what that great master of nature has, speaking of a natural sense of harmony, which I think with more justice may be said of compassion, that the man who had it not,— [Page 171] —Was fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils: The MOTIONS of his spirits are dull as night; And his affections dark as EREBUS:—Let no such man be trusted:—

SERMON V. P. 102


THE great pursuit of man is after happiness: it is the first and strongest desire of his na­ture;—in every stage of his life, he searches for it as for hid treasure;—courts it under a thou­sand different shapes,—and though perpetually disappointed,—still persists,—runs after and en­quires for it afresh—asks every passenger who comes in his way, Who will shew him any good? who will assist him in the attainment of it or di­rect him to the discovery of this great end of all his wishes?

He is told by one to search for it among the more gay and youthful pleasures of life, in scenes of mirth and sprightliness, where happiness ever presides, and is ever to be known by the joy and laughter which he will see at once painted in her looks. A second, with a graver aspect, points [Page 172] out to the costly dwellings which pride and ex­travagance have erected:—tells the enquirer that the object he is in search of inhabits there,—that happiness lives only in company with the great, in the midst of much pomp and outward state. That he will easily find her out by the coat of many colours she has on, and the great luxury and expense of equipage and furniture with which she always sits surrounded.

The Miser blesses God!—wonders how any one would mislead and wilfully put him upon so wrong a scent—convinces him that happiness and extravagance never inhabited under the same roof;—that if he would not be disappoint­ed in his search, he must look into the plain and thrifty dwelling of the prudent man, who knows and understands the worth of money, and cau­tiously lays it up against an evil hour: that it is not the prostitution of wealth upon the passions, or the parting with it at all that constitutes hap­piness—but that it is the keeping it together, and the having and holding it fast to him and his heirs for ever, which are the chief attri­butes that form this great idol of human wor­ship, to which so much incense is offered up every day.

[Page 173] The Epicure, though he easily rectifies so gross a mistake, yet at the same time he plunges him, if possible, into a greater; for hearing the object of his pursuit to be happiness, and know­ing of no other happiness than what is seated immediately in his senses—he sends the enquirer there;—tells him 'tis in vain to search elsewhere for it, than where nature herself has placed it—in the indulgence and gratification of the appe­tites, which are given us for that end: and in a word—if he will not take his opinion in the matter—he may trust the word of a much wiser man, who has assured us—that there is nothing better in this world, than that a man should eat and drink and rejoice in his works, and make his soul enjoy good in his labour—for that is his portion.

To rescue him from this brutal experiment—ambition takes him by the hand and carries him into the world,—shews him all the king­doms of the earth and the glory of them,—points out the many ways of advancing his for­tune and raising himself to honour,—lays before his eyes all the charms and bewitching tempta­tions of power, and asks if there can be any happiness in this world like that of being ca­ressed, courted, flattered, and followed?

[Page 174] To close all, the philosopher meets him bustling in the full career of this pursuit—stops him—tells him, if he is in search of happiness, he is far gone out of his way. That this deity has long been banished from noise and tumults, where there was no rest found for her, and was fled into folitude far from all commerce of the world; and, in a word, if he would find her, he must leave this busy and intriguing scene, and go back to that peaceful scene of retirement and books, from which he first set out.

In this circle too often does a man run, tries all experiments, and generally sits down wearied and dissatisfied with them all at last—in utter despair of ever accomplishing what he wants—nor knowing what to trust to after so many disappointments; or where to lay the fault, whether in the incapacity of his own nature, or in the insufficiency of the enjoyments them­selves.



MY heart stops me to pay to thee, my dear uncle Toby, once for all, the tribute I owe thy goodness;—here let me thrust my chair aside, and kneel down upon the ground, whilst I am pouring forth the warmest sentiments of love for thee, and veneration for the excellency of thy character, that ever virtue and nature kindled in a nephew's bosom.—Peace and comfort rest for evermore upon thy head!—Thou enviedst no man's comforts,—insultedst no man's opinions.—Thou blackenedst no man's character,—devouredst no man's bread: gently, with faithful Trim behind thee, didst thou amble round the little circle of thy pleasures, jostling no creature in thy way:—for each one's ser­vice thou hadst a tear,—for each man's need, thou hadst a shilling. Whilst I am worth one, to pay a weeder,—thy path from thy door to thy bowling green shall never be grown up.—Whilst there is a rood and a half of land in the Shandy family, thy fortifications, my dear uncle Toby, shall never be demolish'd.



IT is curious to observe the triumph of slight in­cidents over the mind;—What incredible weight they have in forming and governing our opinions, both of men and things—that trifles light as air, shall waft a belief into the soul, and plant it so immoveable within it,—that Euclid's demonstrations, could they be brought to batter it in breach, should not all have power to overthrow it.

T. SHANDY, VOL. 2. CHAP. 62.


MANY, many are the ups and downs of life, and fortune must be uncommonly gracious to that mortal who does not experience a great variety of them:—though perhaps to these may be owing as much of our pleasures as our pains: there are scenes of delight in the vale as well as the mountain; and the inequalities of na­ture [Page 177] may not be less necessary to please the eye—than the varieties of life to improve the heart. At best we are but a short-sighted race of beings, with just light enough to discern our way—to do that is our duty, and should be our care; when a man has done this, he is safe, the rest is of little consequence—

" Cover his head with a turf or a stone,
" It is all one, it is all one!


THINGS are carried on in this world, some­times so contrary to all our reasonings, and the seeming probabilities of success,—that even the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong;—nay, what is stranger still—nor yet bread to the wise, who should last stand in want of it,—nor yet riches to the men of un­derstanding, who you would think best qualified to acquire them,—nor yet favour to men of skill, whose merit and pretences bid the fairest for it,—but that there are some secret and unseen workings [Page 178] in human affairs, which baffle all our endeavours, and turn aside the course of things in such a man­ner,—that the most likely causes disappoint and fail of producing for us the effect which we wished, and naturally expected from them.

You will see a man, of whom was you to form a conjecture from the appearances of things in his favour,—you would say was set­ting out in the world, with the fairest prospect of making his fortune in it;—with all the ad­vantages of birth to recommend him,—of personal merit to speak for him,—and of friends to push him forwards: you will behold him, notwithstanding this, disappointed in every effect you might naturally have looked for, from them; every step he takes towards his advancement, something invisible shall pull him back, some unforeseen obstacle shall rise up perpetually in his way, and keep there.—In eve­ry application he makes—some untoward cir­cumstance shall blast it.—He shall rise early,—late take rest,—and eat the bread of carefulness,—yet some happier man shall still rise up, and ever step in before him, and leave him struggling to the end of his life, in the very same place in which he first began it.

[Page 179] The history of a second, shall in all respects be the contrast to this. He shall come into the world with the most unpromising appearance,—shall set forwards without fortune, without friends,—without talents to procure him either the one or the other. Nevertheless, you will see this clouded prospect brighten up insensibly, unaccountably before him; every thing present­ed in his way shall turn out beyond his expecta­tions, in spite of that chain of unsurmountable difficulties which first threatened him,—time and chance shall open him a way,—a series of successful occurrences shall lead him by the hand to the summit of honour and fortune, and, in a word, without giving him the pains of thinking, or the credit of projecting, it shall place him in a safe possession of all that ambition could wish for.



THAT there is selfishness and meanness enough in the souls of one part of the world, to hurt the credit of the other part of it, is what I shall not dispute against; but to judge of the whole from this bad sample, and because one man is plotting and artful in his nature;—or, a second openly makes his pleasure or his profit the whole center of all his designs;—or because a third strait-hearted wretch sits con­fined within himself,—feels no misfortunes, but those which touch himself; to involve the whole race without mercy under such detested charac­ters, is a conclusion as false as it is pernicious; and was it in general to gain credit, could serve no end, but the rooting out of our nature all that is generous, and planting in the stead of it such an aversion to each other, as must untie the bands of society, and rob us of one of the great­est pleasures of it, the mutual communications of kind offices; and by poisoning the fountain, rendering every thing suspected that flows through it.



THE lives of bad men are not without use,—and whenever such a one is drawn, not with a corrupt view to be admired,—but on purpose to be detested—it must excite such a horror against vice, as will strike indirectly the same good impression. And though it is painful to the last degree to paint a man in the shades which his vices have cast upon him, yet when it serves this end, it carries its own excuse with it.



WHAT by successive misfortunes; by fail­ings and cross accidents in trade; by mis­carriage of projects:—what by unsuitable ex­pences of parents, extravagances of children, and the many other secret ways whereby riches make themselves wings and fly away; so many surprising revolutions do every day happen in [Page 182] families, that it may not seem strange to say, that the posterity of some of the most liberal con­tributors here, in the changes which one century may produce, may possibly find shelter under this very plant which now they so kindly water. Nay, so quickly sometimes has the wheel turn­ed round, that many a man has lived to enjoy the benefit of that charity which his own piety projected.



SOMETIMES, in his wild way of talking, he would say that gravity was an errant scoundrel; and he would add, of the most dan­gerous kind too,—because a sly one; and that he verily believed, more honest, well-meaning people were bubbled out of their goods and mo­ney by it in one twelvemonth, than by pocket-picking and shop-lifting in seven. In the naked temper which a merry heart discovered, he would say, there was no danger,—but to itself:—whereas the very essence of gravity was de­sign, and consequently deceit;—'twas a taught [Page 183] trick to gain credit of the world for more sense and knowledge than a man was worth; and that, with all its pretensions,—it was no better, but often worse than what a French wit had long ago defined it, viz.—A mysterious car­riage of the body to cover the defects of the mind.

T. SHANDY, VOL. 1. C. 11.


WHEN I reflect upon man; and take a view of that dark side of him which represents his life as open to so many causes of trouble—when I consider how oft we eat the bread of af­fliction, and that we are born to it, as to the portion of our inheritance—when one runs over the catalogue of all the cross reckonings and sor­rowful items with which the heart of man is over-charged, 'tis wonderful by what hidden resources the mind is enabled to stand it out, and bear itself up, as it does against the impositions laid upon our nature.

T. SHANDY, VOL. 11. CHAP. 42.


REVENGE from some baneful corner shall level a tale of dishonour at thee, which no innocence of heart or integrity of conduct shall set right.

—The fortunes of thy house shall totter,—thy character, which led the way to them, shall bleed on every side of it,—thy faith questioned,—thy works belied,—thy wit forgotten,—thy learning trampled on. To wind up the last scene of thy tragedy, CRUELTY and COWARDICE, twin ruffians, hired and set on by MALICE in the dark, shall strike together at all thy infirmities and mistakes: the best of us, lie open there,—and trust me,—trust me,—when, to gratify a private appetite, it is once resolved upon, that an inno­cent and an helpless creature shall be sacrificed, 'tis an easy matter to pick up sticks enow from any thicket where it has strayed, to make a fire to offer it up with.

T. SHANDY, V. 1. C. 12.


TIME wastes too fast: every letter I trace tells me with what rapidity life follows my pen; the days and hours of it, more precious, my dear Jenny! than the rubies about thy neck, are flying over our heads like light clouds of a windy day, never to return more—every thing presses on—whilst thou art twisting that lock,—see! it grows grey; and every time I kiss thy hand to bid adieu, and every absence which fol­lows it, are preludes to that eternal separation which we are shortly to make.

T. SHANDY, V. IV. C. 67.


THERE is a fatality attends the actions of some men: order them as they will, they pass through a certain medium which so twists and refracts them from their true directions—that, with all the titles to praise which a recti­tude of heart can give, the doers of them are nevertheless forced to live and die without it.

T. SHANDY, V. I. C. 10.


IT must have been observed by many a peri­pateric philosopher, that nature has set up by her own unquestionable authority certain boundaries and fences to circumscribe the discon­tent of man: she has effected her purpose in the quietest and easiest manner by laying him under almost insuperable obligations to work out his ease, and to sustain his sufferings at home. It is there only that she has provided him with the most suitable objects to partake of his happiness, and bear a part of that burden which, in all countries and ages, has ever been too heavy for one pair of shoulders. 'Tis true we are endued with an imperfect power of spreading our hap­piness sometimes beyond her limits, but 'tis so ordered, that from the want of languages, con­nections, and dependencies, and from the diffe­rence in education, customs and habits, we lie under so many impediments in communicating our sensations out of our own sphere, as often amount to a total impossibility.



WHAT is the life of man! is it not to shift from side to side!—from sorrow to sorrow?—to button up one cause of vexation;—and unbutton another!



—PR'YTHEE, Trim, quoth my father,—What do'st thou mean, by "honour­ing thy father and mother?"

Allowing them, an' please your honour, three halfpence a-day out of my pay, when they grow old.—And didst thou do that, Trim? said Yorick.—He did indeed, replied my uncle Toby.[Page 188] Then, Trim, said Yorick, springing out of his chair, and taking the Corporal by the hand, thou art the best commentator upon that part of the Decalogue; and I honour thee more for it, Corporal Trim, than if thou hadst had a hand in the Talmud itself.



O Blessed health! thou art above all gold and treasure; 'tis thou who enlargest the soul,—and openest all it's powers to receive instruc­tion, and to relish virtue.—He that has thee has little more to wish for! and he that is so wretch­ed as to want thee,—wants every thing with thee.



'TIS sweet to feel by what fine-spun threads our affections are drawn together.

SEN. JOUR. P. 126.


CROWDED towns, and busy societies, may delight the unthinking, and the gay—but solitude is the best nurse of wisdom.



THE way to Fame is like the way to Heaven—through much tribulation.



FRIENDSHIP is the balm and cordial of life, and without it, 'tis a heavy load not worth sustaining.



IN solitude the mind gains strength, and learns to lean upon herself:—in the world it seeks or accepts of a few treacherous supports—the feigned compassion of one—the flattery of a second—the civilities of a third—the friend­ship of a fourth—they all deceive, and bring the mind back to retirement, reflection, and books.



DELICIOUS essence! how refreshing art thou to nature! how strongly are all its powers and all its weaknesses on thy side! how sweetly dost thou mix with the blood, and help it through the most difficult and tortuous pas­sages to the heart.

SEN. JOUR. P. 210.


MAN has a certain compass, as well as an in­strument; and the social and other calls have occasion by turns for every key in him; so that if you begin a note too high or too low, there must be a want either in the upper or un­der part, to fill up the system of harmony.—A polished nation makes every one its debtor; and besides, urbanity itself, like the fair sex, has so many charms, it goes against the heart to say it can do ill; and yet, I believe, there is but a certain line of perfection, that man, take him al­together, is empowered to arrive at—if he gets beyond, he rather exchanges qualities, than gets them. I must not presume to say, how far this has affected the French—But should it ever be the case of the English, in the progress of their resentments, to arrive at the same polish which distinguishes the French, if we did not lose the politesse de caeur, which inclines men more to humane actions, than courteous ones—we should at least lose that distinct variety and originality of character, which distinguishes [Page 192] them, not only from each other, but from all the world besides.

SEN. JOUR. P. 171.


THE brave only know how to forgive;—it is the most refined and generous pitch of virtue human nature can arrive at.—Cowards have done good and kind actions*,—cowards have even fought—nay sometimes even conquered; but a coward never forgave.—It is not in his nature;—the power of doing it flows only from a strength and greatness of soul, conscious of its own force and security, and above the little temptations of resenting every fruitless attempt to interrupt its happiness.

SERM. XII. P. 244.


IN returning favours, we act differently from what we do in conferring them: in the one case we simply consider what is best,—in the other what is most acceptable. The reason is, that we have a right to act according to our own ideas of what will do the party most good, in the case where we bestow a favour;—but where we return one, we lose this right, and act according to his conceptions, who has obliged us, and endeavour to repay in such a manner as we think it most likely to be accept­ed in discharge of the obligation.

SERM. XIII. P. 260.


MANY are the silent pleasures of the honest peasant; who rises cheerfully to his la­bour:—look into his dwelling,—where the scene of every man's happiness chiefly lies;— [Page 194] he has the same domestic endearments,—as much joy and comfort in his children,—and as flattering hopes of their doing well,—to en­liven his hours and glad his heart, as you could conceive in the most affluent station.—And I make no doubt, in general, but if the true ac­count of his joys and sufferings were to be bal­lanced with those of his betters,—that the up­shot would prove to be little more than this,—that the rich man had the more meat,—but the poor man the better stomach;—the one had more luxury,—more able physicians to attend and set him to rights;—the other, more health and soundness in his bones, and less occasion for their help;—that, after these two articles betwixt them were balanced,—in all other things they stood upon a level:—that the sun shines as warm,—the air blows as fresh, and the earth breathes as fragrant upon the one as the other; and that they have an equal share in all the beauties and real benefits of nature.

SERM. XLIV. P. 260.


POVERTY, exile, loss of fame or friends, the death of children, the dearest of all pledges of a man's happiness, make not equal impressions upon everytemper.—You will see one man under­go, with scarce the expence of a sigh,—what another, in the bitterness of his soul, would go mourning for all his life long:—nay, a hasty word, or an unkind look, to a soft and tender nature, will strike deeper than a sword to the hardened and senseless.—If these reflections hold true with regard to misfortunes,—they are the same with regard to enjoyments:—we are form­ed differently,—have different tastes and percep­tions of things;—by the force of habit, educa­tion, or a particular cast of mind,—it happens that neither the use or possession of the same en­joyments and advantages, produce the same hap­piness and contentment;—but that it differs in every man almost according to his temper and complexion: so that the self-same happy acci­dents in life, which shall give raptures to the choleric or sanguine man, shall be received with [Page 196] indifference by the cold and phlegmatic;—and so oddly perplexed are the accounts of both hu­man happiness and misery in this world,—that trifles, light as air, shall be able to make the hearts of some men sing for joy;—at the same time that others, with real blessings and advan­tages, without the power of using them, have their hearts heavy and discontented.

Alas! if the principles of contentment are not within us,—the height of station and worldly grandeur will as soon add a cubit to a man's stature as to his happiness.



THERE are numbers of circumstances which attend every action of a man's life, which can never come to the knowledge of the world,—yet ought to be known, and well weighed, before sentence with any justice can be passed upon him.—A man may have different views and a different sense of things from what his judges have; and what he understands and [Page 197] feels and what passes within him, may be a secret treasured up deeply there for ever—A man, through bodily infirmity, or some complectional defect, which perhaps is not in his power to correct, may be subject to inadvertencies,—to starts—and unhappy turns of temper; he may lay open to snares he is not always aware of; or, through ignorance and want of information and proper helps, he may labour in the dark:—in all which cases, he may do many things which are wrong in themselves, and yet be innocent;—at least an object rather to be pitied than cen­sured with severity and ill will.—These are difficulties which stand in every one's way in the forming a judgment of the characters of others.



VANITY bids all her sons to be generous and brave,—and her daughters to be chaste and courteous.—But why do we want her instruc­tions?—Ask the comedian who is taught a part he feels not.—



LOOK out of your door,—take notice of that man: see what disquieting, intriguing, and shifting, he is content to go through, merely to be thought a man of plain-dealing:—three grains of honesty would save him all this trouble—alas! he has them not.—



BEHOLD a second, under a show of piety hiding the impunities of a debauched life:—he is just entering the house of God:—would he was more pure—or less pious:—but then he could not gain his point.



ABSERVE a third going on almost in the same track, with what an inflexible sanc­tity of deportment he sustains himself as he ad­vances:—every line in his face writes abstinence;—every stride looks like a check upon his de­sires: see, I beseech you, how he is cloak'd up with sermons, prayers, and sacraments; and so bemuffled with the externals of religion, that he has not a hand to spare for a worldly purpose;—he has armour at least—Why does he put it on? Is there no serving God without all this? Must the garb of religion be extended so wide to the danger of its rending?—Yes truly, or it will not hide the secret—and, what is that?—That the saint has no religion at all.



—BUT here comes GENEROSITY; giving—not to a decayed artist—but to the arts and sciences themselves.—See,—he builds not a chamber in the wall apart for the prophet; but whole schools and colleges for those who come after. Lord! how they will magnify his name!—'tis in capitals already; the first—the highest, in the gilded rent-roll of every hospital and asylum.—

—One honest tear shed in private over the unfortunate, is worth it all.



WE are perpetually in such engagements and situations, that 'tis our duties to speak what our opinions are—but God forbid that this ever should be done but from its best [Page 201] motive—The sense of what is due to virtue, governed by discretion and the utmost fellow­feeling: were we to go on otherwise, beginning with the great broad cloak of hypocrisy, and so down through all its little trimmings and fa­cings, tearing away without mercy all that look'd seemly,—we should leave but a tatter'd world of it.



DOES humanity clothe and aducate the unknown orphan?—Poverty thou hast no genealogies:—See! is he not the father of the child? Thus do we rob heroes of the best part of their glory—their virtue. Take away the motive of the act, you take away all that is worth having in it;—wrest it to ungenerous ends, you load the virtuous man who did it with infamy:—undo it all—I beseech you: give him back his honour,—restore the jewel you have taken from him—replace him in the eye of the world—

It is too late.

IBID. P. 52


IT is the mild and quiet half of the world, who are generally outraged and borne down by the other half of it: but in this they have the advantage; whatever be the sense of their wrongs, that pride stands not so watchful a cen­tinel over their forgiveness, as it does in the breasts of the fierce and froward; we should all of us, I believe, be more forgiving than we are, would the world but give us leave; but it is apt to interpose its ill-offices in remissions, especially of this kind: the truth is, it has its laws, to which the heart is not always a party; and acts so like an unfeeling engine in all cases without distinction, that it requires all the firmness of the most settled humanity to bear up against it.



THERE are no principles but those of reli­gion to be depended on in cases of real dis­tress, and that these are able to encounter the worst emergencies; and to bear us up under all the changes and chances to which our life is subject.



GREAT is the power of eloquence; but never is it so great as when it pleads along with nature, and the culprit is a child strayed from his duty, and returned to it again with tears.



GENEROSITY sorrows as much for the overmatched, as Pity herself does.



NOTWITHSTANDING all we meet with in books, in many of which, no doubt, there are a good many handsome things said upon the sweets of retirement, &c. . . . yet still "it is not [Page 204] good for man to be alone:" nor can all which the cold-hearted pedant stuns our ears with upon the subject, ever give one answer of satisfaction to the mind; in the midst of the loudest vaunt­ings of philosophy, Nature will have her yearn­ings for society and friendship;—a good heart wants some object to be kind to—and the best parts of our blood, and the purest of our spirits, suffer most under the destitution.

Let the torpid monk seek heaven comfortless and alone.—God speed him! For my own part, I fear, I should never so find the way: let me be wise and religious—but let me be Man: wherever thy Providence places me, or whatever be the road I take to get to thee—give me some companion in my journey, be it only to remark to, How our shadows lengthen as the sun goes down;—to whom I may say, How fresh is the face of Nature! How sweet the flowers of the field! How delicious are these fruits!



I PITY the men whose natural pleasures are burdens, and who fly from joy (as these sple­netic and morose souls do), as if it was really an evil in itself.



IF there is an evil in this world, 'tis sorrow and heaviness of heart.—The loss of goods,—of health,—of coronets and mitres, are only evil, as they occasion sorrow;—take that out—the rest is fancy, and dwelleth only in the head of man.

Poor unfortunate creature that he is! as if the causes of anguish in the heart were not enow—but he must fill up the measure with those of caprice; and not only walk in a vain shadow,—but disquiet himself in vain too.

We are a restless set of beings; and as we are likely to continue so to the end of the world,— [Page 206] the best we can do in it, is to make the same use of this part of our character, which wise men do of other bad propensities—when they find they cannot conquer them,—they endeavour, at least, to divert them into good channels.

If therefore we must be a solicitous race of self-tormentors,—let us drop the common ob­jects which make us so,—and for God's sake be solicitous only to live well.



HOW difficult you will find it to convince a miserly heart, that any thing is good which is not profitable? or a libertine one, that any thing is bad, which is pleasant?



THERE are many instances of men, who have received the news of death with the greatest ease of mind, and even entertained the [Page 207] thoughts of it with smiles upon their counte­nances,—and this, either from strength of spirits and the natural cheerfulness of their temper,—or that they knew the world, and cared not for it—or expected a better—yet thousands of good men, with all the helps of philosophy, and against all the assurances of a well-spent life, that the change must be to their account,—upon the ap­proach of death have still lean'd towards this world, and wanted spirits and resolution to bear the shock of a separation from it for ever.



SWEET is the look of sorrow for an offence, in a heart determined never to commit it more!—upon that alter only could I offer up my wrongs.



SIMPLICITY is the great friend to Nature, and if I would be proud of any thing in this silly world, it should be of this honest alliance.



TO know truly what it is, we must know what masters it serves;—they are many, and of various casts and humours,—and each one lends it something of its own complexional tint and character.

This, I suppose, may be the cause that there is a greater and more whimsical mystery in the love of money, than in the darkest and most nonsensical problem that ever was pored on.

Even at the best, and when the passion seems to seek something more than its own amusement, [Page 209] —there is little—very little, I fear, to be said for its humanity.—It may be a sport to the Miser,—but consider,—it must be death and destruction to others.—The moment this sor­did humour begins to govern—farewell all honest and natural affection! farewell, all he owes to parents, to children, to friends!—how fast the obligations vanish! see—he is now strip­ped of all feelings whatever:—the shrill cry of justice—and the low lamentation of humble distress, are notes equally beyond his compass.—Eternal God! see!—he passes by one whom thou hast just bruised, without one pensive reflec­tion:—he enters the cabin of the widow whose husband and child thou hast taken to thyself,—exacts his bond, without a sigh!—Heaven! if I am to be be tempted,—let it be by glory,—by ambition,—by some generous and manly vice:—if I must fall, let it be by some passion which thou hast planted in my nature, which shall not harden my heart, but leave me room at last to retreat and come back to thee!



HE that is little in his own eyes, is little too in his desires, and consequently moderate in his pursuit of them: like another man he may fail in his attempts and lose the point he aimed at,—but that is all,—he loses not himself,—he loses not his happiness and peace of mind with it,—even the contentions of the humble man are mild and placid.—Blessed character! when such a one is thrust back, who does not pity him?—when he falls, who would not stretch out a hand to raise him up?



PATIENCE and Contentment,—which like the treasure hid in the field for which a man sold all he had to purchase—is of that price that it cannot be had at too great a purchase, since without it, the best condition in life cannot make [Page 211] us happy,—and with it, it is impossible we should be miserable even in the worst.



WHEN we reflect upon the character of Humility,—we are apt to think it stands the most naked and defenceless of all virtues whatever,—the least able to support its claims against the insolent antagonist who seems ready to bear him down, and all opposition which such a temper can make.

Now, if we consider him as standing alone,—no doubt, in such a case he will be overpowered and trampled upon by his opposer;—but if we consider the meek and lowly man, as he is—fen­ced and guarded by the love, the friendship and wishes of all mankind,—that the other stands alone, hated, discountenanced, without one true friend or hearty well-wisher on his side;—when this is balanced, we shall have reason to change our opinion, and be convinced that the humble man, strengthened with such an alliance, is far [Page 212] from being so overmatched as at first sight he may appear;—nay I believe one might venture to go further and engage for it, that in all such cases, where real fortitude and true personal courage were wanted, he is much more likely to give proof of it, and I would sooner look for it in such a temper than in that of his adversary. Pride may make a man violent,—but Humility will make him firm:—and which of the two, do you think, likely to come off with honour?—he who acts from the changeable impulse of heated blood, and follows the uncertain motions of his pride and fury,—or the man who stands cool and collected in himself; who governs his re­sentiments, instead of being governed by them, and on every occasion acts upon the steady mo­tives of principle and duty.


WITH regard to the provocations and of­fences which are unavoidably happening to a man in his commerce with the world,—take it as a rule,—as a man's pride is,—so is always his displeasure; as the opinion of himself rises,—so does the injury,—so does his resentment: 'tis this which gives edge and force to the instru­ment which has struck him,—and excites that heat in the wound which renders it incurable.

[Page 213] See how different the case is with the humble man: one half of these painful conflicts he actu­ally escapes; the other part fall lightly on him:—he provokes no man by contempt; thrusts himself forward as the mark of no man's envy; so that he cuts off the first fretful occasions of the greatest part of these evils; and for those in which the passions of others would involve him, like the humble shrub in the valley, gently gives way, and scarce feels the injury of those stormy encounters which rend the proud cedar, and tear it up by its roots.



THE proud man,—see!—he is sore all over; touch him—you put him to pain: and though of all others, he acts as if every mortal was void of all sense and feeling, yet is possessed with so nice and exquisite a one himself, that the slights, the little neglects and instances of disesteem, which would be scarce felt by ano­ther man, are perpetually wounding him, and oft-times piercing him to his very heart.


[Page 214] Pride is a vice which grows up in society so insensibly;—steals in unobserved upon the heart upon so many occasions;—forms itself upon such strange pretensions, and when it has done, veils itself under such a variety of unsus­pected appearances,—sometimes even under that of Humility itself;—in all which cases, Self-love, like a false friend, instead of checking, most treacherously feeds this humour,—points out some excellence in every soul to make him vain, and think more highly of himself than he ought to think;—that, upon the whole, there is no one weakness into which the heart of man is more easily betray'd—or which requires greater helps of good sense and good principles to guard against.



BEAUTY has so many charms, one knows not how to speak against it; and when it hap­pens that a graceful figure is the habitation of a virtuous soul, when the beauty of the face speaks out the modesty and humility of the mind, and [Page 215] the justness of the proportion raises our thoughts up to the art and wisdom of the great Creator, something may be allowed it,—and something to the embellishments which set it off;—and yet, when the whole apology is read,—it will be found at last, that Beauty, like Truth, never is so glorious as when it goes the plainest.



LESSONS of wisdom have never such power over us, as when they are wrought into the heart, through the ground—work of a story which engages the passions: Is it that we are like iron, and must first be heated before we can wrought upon? or, Is the heart so in love with deceit, that where a true report will not reach it, we must cheat it with a fable, in order to come at truth?



OF all the terrors of nature, that of one day or other dying by hunger, is the greatest, and it is wisely wove into our frame to awaken man to industry, and call forth his talents; and though we seem to go on carelessly, sporting with it as we do with other terrors,—yet, he that sees this enemy fairly, and in his most frightful shape, will need no long remonstrance to make him turn out of the way to avoid him.



NOTHING so powerfully calls home the mind as distress: the tense fibre then relaxes,—the soul retires to itself,—sits pensive and susceptible of right impressions: if we have a friend, 'tis then we think of him; if a bene­factor, at that moment all his kindnesses press upon our mind.



IMPOSTURE is all dissonance, let what master soever of it undertake the part; let him harmonise and modulate it as he may, one tone will contradict another; and whilst we have ears to hear, we shall distinguish it: 'tis truth only which is consistent and ever in harmony with itself: it sits upon our lips, like the natural notes of some melodies, ready to drop out, whether we will or no;—it racks no inven­tion to let ourselves alone, and needs fear no critic, to have the same excellency in the heart, which appears in the action.



THERE is scarce any lot so low, but there is something in it to satisfy the man whom it has befallen; providence having so ordered things, that in every man's cup, how bitter [Page 218] soever, there are some cordial drops—some good circumstances, which, if wisely extracted, are sufficient for the purpose he wants them,—that is, to make him contented, and if not happy, at least resigned.



UNWILLINGLY does the mind digest the evils prepared for it by others;—for those we prepare ourselves,—we eat but the fruit which we have planted and watered:—a shattered fortune—a shattered frame, so we have but the satis­faction of shattering them ourselves, pass natu­rally enough into the habit, and by the ease with which they are both done, they save the spectator a world of pity: but for those, like Jacob's, brought upon him by the hands from which he look'd for all his comforts,—the avarice of a parent—the unkindness of a rela­tion,—the ingratitude of a child,—they are evils which leave a scar;—besides, as they hang over the heads of all, and therefore may fall upon any;—every looker-on has an interest in [Page 219] the tragedy;—but then we are apt to interest ourselves no otherwise, than merely as the inci­dents themselves strike our passions, without car­rying the lesson further:—In a word—we realize nothing:—we sigh—we wipe away the tear,—and there ends the story of misery, and the moral with it.



SOLOMON says, Oppression will make a wise man mad.—What will it do then to a ten­der and ingenuous heart, which feels itself ne­glected,—too full of reverence for the author of its wrongs to complain?—see, it sits down in silence, robbed by discouragements, of all its natural powers to please,—born to see others loaded with caresses—in some uncheery corner it nourishes its discontent,—and with a weight upon its spirits, which its little stock of fortitude is not able to withstand,—it droops, and pines away.—Sad victim of caprice!



WHOEVER considers the state and condition of human nature, and upon this view, how much stronger the natural motives are to virtue than to vice, would expect to find the world much better than it is, or ever has been.—For who would suppose the generality of man­kind to betray so much folly, as to act against the common interest of their own kind, as every man does who yields to the temptation of what is wrong.



NO motives have been great enough to re­strain those from sin who have secretly loved it, and only sought pretences for the prac­tice of it.



AN inward sincerity will of course influence the outward deportment; but where the one is wanting, there is great reason to suspect the absence of the other.



THERE is no one project to which the whole race of mankind is so universally a bubble, as to that of being thought wise; and the af­fectation of it is so visible, in men of all com­plexions, that you every day see some one or other so very solicitous to establish the character, as not to allow himself leisure to do the things which fairly win it;—expending more art and stratagem to appear so in the eyes of the world, than what would suffice to make him so in truth.

It is owing to the force of this desire, that you see in general, there is no injury touches a man so sensibly, as an insult upon his parts and [Page 222] capacity: tell a man of other defects, that he wants learning, industry or application,—he will hear your reproof with patience.—Nay you may go further: take him in a proper season, you may tax his morals,—you may tell him he is irregular in his conduct,—passionate or revengeful in his nature—loose in his princi­ples;—deliver it with the gentleness of a friend,—possibly he'll not only bear with you,—but, if ingenuous, he will thank you for your lecture, and promise a reformation;—but hint,—hint but at a defect in his intellectuals,—touch but that sore place,—from that moment you are look'd upon as an enemy sent to torment him before his time, and in return may reckon upon his resentment and ill-will for ever; so that in general you will find it safer to tell a man, he is a knave than a fool,—and stand a better chance of being forgiven, for proving he has been wanting in a point of common honesty, than a point of common sense.—Strange souls that we are! as if to live well was not the greatest argument of wisdom;—and, as if what reflected upon our morals, did not most of all reflect upon our understandings!



MY young master in London is dead! said Obadiah.

—A green sattin night-gown of my mother's, which had been twice scoured, was the first idea which Obadiah's exclamation brought into Susan­nah's head.—Then, quoth Susannah, we must all go into mourning.—

—O! 'twill be the death of my poor Mistress, cried Susannah.—my mother's whole wardrobe followed.—What a procession! her red damask,—her orange-tawny,—her white and yellow-lutestrings,—her brown taffata,—her bone-laced caps, her bed-gowns,—and comfortable under­petticoats,—Not a rag was left behind.—"No,—she will never look up again," said Susannah.

We had a fat, foolish scullion—my father, I think, kept her for her simplicity;—she had been all autumn struggling with a dropsy.—He is [Page 222] [...] [Page 223] [...] [Page 224] dead!—said Obadiah,—he is certainly dead!—So am not I, said the foolish scullion.

—Here is sad news, Trim! cried Susannah, wiping her eyes, as Trim stepp'd into the kitchen,—master Bobby is dead and buried,—the funeral was an interpolation of Susannah's we shall have all to go into mourning, said Susannah.

I hope not, said Trim.—You hope not! cried Susannah earnestly.—The mourning ran not in Trim's head, whatever it did in Susannah's.—I hope—said Trim, explaining himself, I hope in God the news is not true. I heard the letter read with my own ears, answered Obadiah; Oh! he's dead, said Susannah—As sure, said the scullion, as I am alive.

I lament for him from my heart and my soul, said Trim, fetching a sigh.—Poor creature!—poor boy! poor gentleman!

—He was alive last Whitsuntide, said the coach­man.—Whitsuntide! alas! cried Trim, extending his right arm, and falling instantly into the same attitude in which he read the sermon,—what is Whitsuntide, Jonathan, (for that was the coach­man's [Page 225] name), or Shrovetide, or any tide or time past, to this? Are we not here now, continued the Corporal, (striking the end of his stick per­pendicularly upon the floor, so as to give an idea of health and stability)—and are we not—(drop­ping his hat upon the ground) gone! in a mo­ment!—'Twas infinitely striking! Susannah burst into a flood of tears.—We are not stocks and stones.—Jonathan, Obadiah, the cook-maid, all melted.—The foolish fat scullion herself, who was scouring a fish-kettle upon her knees, was roused with it.—The whole kitchen crouded about the Corporal.

—To us, Jonathan, who know not what want or care is,—who live here in the service of two of the best of masters—(bating in my own case his majesty King William the Third, whom I had the honour to serve both in Ireland and Flan­ders)—I own it, that from Whitsuntide to with­in three weeks of Christmas,— 'tis not long—'tis like nothing;—but to those, Jonathan, who know what death is, and what havock and de­struction he can make, before a man can well wheel about,—'tis like a whole age.—O Jona­than! 'twould make a good-natured man's heart [Page 226] bleed, to consider, continued the Corporal, (stand­ing perpendicularly), how low many a brave and upright fellow has been laid since that time!—And trust me, Susy, added the Corporal, turning to Susannah, whose eyes were swimming in wa­ter,—before that time comes round again,—many a bright eye will be dim.—Susannah placed it to the right side of the page—she wept—but she curt'sied too.—Are we not, continued Trim, looking still at Susannah,—are we not like a flower of the field—a tear of pride stole in be­twixt every two tears of humiliation—else no tongue could have described Susannah's affliction—is not all flesh grass?—'Tis clay,—'tis dirt.—They all look'd directly at the scullion,—the scullion, had just been scouring a fish-kettle—It was not fair.—

—What is the finest face that ever man looked at!—I could hear Trim talk so for ever, cried Susannah,—what is it! (Susannah laid her hand upon Trim's shoulder)—but corruption?—Su­sannah took it off.

—Now I love you for this—and 'tis this de­licious mixture within you, which makes you [Page 227] dear creatures what you are—and he who hates you for it—all I can say of the matter is—That he has either a pumpkin for his head—or a pippen for his heart,—and whenever he is dis­sected 'twill be found so.

For my own part, I declare it, that out of doors, I value not death at all:—not this . . ad­ded the Corporal, snapping his fingers,—but with an air which no one but the Corporal could have given to the sentiment.—in battle, I value death not this. . . and let him not take me coward­ly, like poor Joe Gibbins, in scouring his gun.—What is he? A pull of a trigger—a push of a bayonet an inch this way or that—makes the difference.—Look along the line—to the right—see! Jack's down! well,—'tis worth a regi­ment of horse to him.—No—'tis Dick, Then Jack's no worse. Never mind which,—we pass on,—in hot pursuit the wound itself which brings him is not felt,—the best way is to stand up to him,—the man who flies, is in ten times more danger than the man who marches up into his jaws.—I've look'd him, added the Corporal, an hundred times in the face,—and know what he is—He's nothing, Obadiah, at all in the field.—But he's very frightful in a house, quoth Oba­diah.—I [Page 228] never mind it myself, said Jonathan, upon a coach-box.

I pity my mistress.—She will never get the better of it, cried Susannah.—Now I pity the Captain the most of any one in the family, an­swered Trim.—Madam will get ease of heart in weeping,—and the Squire in talking about it,—but my poor master will keep it all in silence to himself.—I shall hear him sigh in his bed for a whole month together, as he did for Lieutenant Le Fever. An' please your honour, do not sigh so piteously, I would say to him as I laid beside him. I cannot help it, Trim, my master would say,—'tis so melancholy an accident—I cannot get it off my heart.—Your honour fears not death yourself.—I hope, Trim, I fear nothing, he would say, but the doing a wrong thing.—Well, he would add, whatever betides, I will take care of Le Fever's boy.—And with that, like a quieting draught, his honour would sall asleep.

I like to hear Trim's stories about the Captain, said Susannah.—He is a kindly-hearted gentle­man, said Obadiah, as ever lived.—Aye,—and as brave a one too, said the Corporal, as ever [Page 229] stept before a platoon. There never was a better officer in the king's army,—or a better man in God's world; for he would march up to the mouth of a cannon, though he saw the lighted match at the very touch-hole,—and yet, for all that, he has a heart as soft as a child for other people.—He would not hurt a chicken.—I would sooner, quoth Jonathan, drive such a gentle­man for seven pounds a year—than some for eight.—Thank thee, Jonathan! for thy twenty shillings,—as much, Jonathan, said the Corporal, shaking him by the hand, as if thou hadst put the money into my own pocket.—I would serve him to the day of my death out of love. He is a friend and a brother to me,—and could I be sure my poor brother Tom was dead,—continued the Corporal, taking out his handkerchief,—was I worth ten thousand pounds, I would leave every shilling of it to the Captain.—Trim could not refrain from tears at this testamentary proof he gave of his affection to his master.—The whole kitchen was affected.



PHILOSOPHY has a fine saying for every thing—For Death it has an entire set.

"'Tis an inevitable chance—the first statute in Magna Charta—it is an everlasting act of parliament—All must die."

"Monarchs and princes dance in the same ring with us."

"—To die, is the great debt and tribute due unto nature: tombs and monuments, which should perpetuate our memories, pay it them­selves; and the proudest pyramid of them all, which wealth and science have erected, has lost its apex, and stands obtruncated in the traveller's horizon.—Kingdoms and provin­ces, and towns and cities, have they not their [Page 231] periods? and when those principles and powers, which at first cemented and put them toge­ther, have performed their several Revolu­tions, they fall back.—"

"Where is Troy, and Mycenae, and Thebes, and Delos, and Persepolis, and Agrigentum?—What is become of Nineveh and Babylon, of Cyzicum, and Mitylenae? The fairest towns that ever the sun rose upon, are now no more: the names only are left, and those [for many of them are wrong spelt] are falling them­selves by piece-meals to decay, and in length of time will be forgotten, and involved with every thing in a perpetual night: the world itself—must must come to an end."

"Returning out of Asia, when I sailed from Aegina towards Megara, I began to view the country round about. Aegina was behind me, Megara was before, Pyraeus on the right hand, Corinth on the left.—What flourishing towns now prostrate upon the earth! Alas! alas! said I to myself, that man should disturb his soul for the loss of a child, when so much as this lies awfully buried in his presence.— [Page 232] Remember, said I to myself again—remem­ber thou art a man.—"

"My son is dead!—so much the better;—'tis a shame in such a tempest to have but one anchor."

"But he is gone for ever from us!—be it so. He is got from under the hands of his bar­ber before he was bald—he is, but risen from a feast before he was surfeited—from a ban­quet before he had got drunken."

"The Thracians wept when a child was born—and feasted and made merry when a man went out of the world; and with reason. Death opens the gate of fame, and shuts the gate of envy after it,—it unlooses the chain of the captive, and puts the bondsman's task into another man's hands."

"Shew me the man, who knows what life is, who dreads it, and I'll shew thee a prisoner who dreads his liberty."


Printed by C. ETHERINGTON, No. 3, Peterborough-Court, Fleet-Street.

Just Published for the Improvement of Youth of both Sexes, in two Parts, the fourth Edition, with the Head of the Author, Price 4s. 6d. sewed.

THE BEAUTIES OF JOHNSON: CONSISTING OF MAXIMS AND OBSERVATIONS, MORAL, CRITICAL, AND MISCELLANEOUS Accurately extracted from the Works of DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON, And arranged in Alphabetical Order, after the Manner of the Duke de la Roche-Foucault's Maxims.

‘"We frequently fall into error and folly, not because the true principles of action are not known, but because for a time they are not remembered: he may therefore be justly numbered among the bene­factors of mankind, who CONTRACTS THE GREAT RULES OF LIFE INTO SHORT SENTENCES, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to recur habitually to the mind." RAMBLER.

[Also, Price 3s. 6d.]



This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.