Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

- Best of honest and gallant servants !-But CHAPTER XXIX.

I have apostrophiz'd thee, Trim, once before ;It was like the momentary contest in the moist and could I apotheosize thee also (that is to say) eyeliils of an April morning, ‘Whether Brilget with good company, I would do it without cereshould laugh or cry.'

mony in tlre very next page. She snatch'd up a rolling-pin,-'twas ten to one she had laugh’d.

CHAPTER XXXI. She laid it down-she cried : and had one single tear of 'em but tasted of bitterness, full Now my uncle Toby had one evening laid down sorrowful would the Corporal's heart have been his pipe upon the table, and was counting over that he had used the argument; but the Cor- to himself, upon his fingers' ends (beginning at poral understood the sex, a quart major to a his thumb), all Mrs. Wadman's perfections, one terce, at least, better than my uncle Toby, and by one; and happening, two or three times accordingly he assailed Mrs. Bridget after this together, either by omitting some, or countmanner:

ing others twice over, to puzzle himself sadly I know, Mrs. Bridget, said the Corporal, before he could get beyond his middle finger giving her a most respectful kiss, that thou -Prithee, Trim, said he, taking up his pipe art good and modest by nature; and art withal again, bring me a pen and ink.- -Trim brought 80 generous a girl in thyself, that if I know paper also. thee rightly, thou would'st not wound an -Take a full sheet, Trim ! said my uncle insect, much less the honour of so gallant Toby, making a sign with his pipe at the same and worthy a soul as my master, wast thou time to take a chair and sit down close by him sure to be made a countess of; but thou hast at the table. The Corporal obeyed, -placed the been set on, and deluded, dear Bridget, as is paper directly beforo him—took a pon, and often a woman's case, 'to please others more dipp'd it in the ink. than themselves

-She has a thousand virtues, Trim! said my Bridget's eyes poured down at the sensations uncle Toby. the Corporal excited.

Am I to set them down, an' please your --Tell me,--tell me, then, my dear Bridget, Honour? quoth the Corporal. continued the Corporal, taking hold of her But they must be taken in their ranks, hand, which hung down dead by her side, - replied my uncle Toby; for of them all, Trim, and giving a second kiss,-whose suspicion has that which wins me most, and which is a misled thee?

security for all the rest, is the compassionate Bridget sobb'd a sob or two-then opened her turn and singular humanity of her character.-I eyes ;-the Corporal wiped 'em with the bottom protest, added my uncle Toby, looking up, as he of her apron ;-she then open'd her heart and protested it, towards the top of the ceilingtold him all.

that was I her brother, Trim, a thousand-fold,

she could not make more constant or more CHAPTER XXX.

tender inquiries after my sufferings--though My uncle Toby and the Corporal had gone on separately with their operations the greatest

The Corporal made no reply to my uncle part of the campaign, and as effectually cut off Toby's protestation, but by a short cough :from all communication of what either the one he dipp'd the pen a second time into the inkor the other had been doing as if they had been horn; and my uncle Toby, pointing with the separated from each other by the Maes or the end of his pipe as close to the top of the sheet Sambre.

at the left hand corner of it as he could get it, My uncle Toby, on his side, had presented --the Corporal wrote down the word humanity, himself every afternoon in his red and silver, thus : and blue and gold, alternately, and sustained Humanity. an infinity of attacks in them, without knowing them to be attacks ;-and so had nothing to communicate.

The Corporal, on his side, in taking Bridget, by it had gain'd considerable advantages, -and -consequently had much to communicate ;-but what were the advantages, as well as what was the manner by which he had seiz'd them, -Prithee, Corporal, said my uncle Toby, as required so nice an historian that the Corporal soon as Trim had done it, -how often does Mrs. durst not venture upon it; and, sensible as he Bridget inquire after the wound on the cap of was of glory, would rather have been contented thy knee, which thou received’st at the battle to have gone bare-headed and without laurels of Landen? for ever, than torture his master's modesty for She never, an' please your Honour, in. a single moment.

quires after it at all.

now no more.

That, Corporal, said my uncle Toby, My father, whose way was to force every with all the triumph the goodness of his event in nature into an hypothesis, by which nature would permit,-that shows the differ- means never man crucified Truth at the rate ence in the character of the mistress and maid. he did, had but just heard of the report as my -Had the fortune of war allotted the same mis- uncle Toby set out; and catching fire suddenly chance to me, Mrs. Wadman would have in- at the trespass done his brother by it, was quired into every circumstance relating to it an demonstrating to Yorick, notwithstanding my hundred times. . She would have inquired, mother was sitting by, -not only "That the an' please your Honour, ten times as often devil was in women, and that the whole of about your Honour's groin. ... The pain, the affair was lust;' but that every evil and Trim, is equally excruciating, -and compas- disorder in the world, of what kind or nature sion has as much to do with the one as the soever, from the first fall of Adam, down to other.

my uncle Toby's (inclusive), was owing, one .. God bless your Honour! cried the Cor- way or other, to the same unruly appetite. poral, -what has a woman's compassion to do Yorick was just bringing my father's hypowith a wound upon the cap of a man's knee? thesis to some temper, when my uncle Toby Had your Honour's been shot into ten thousand entering the room with marks of infinite bencsplinters at the affair of Landen, Mrs. Wadman volence and forgiveness in his looks, my father's would have troubled her head as little about it eloquence rekindled against the passion ;-and, as Bridget; because, added the Corporal, lower- as he was not very nice in the choice of his ing his voice, and speaking very distinctly, as he words when he was wroth, as soon as my uncle assigned his reason,

Toby was seated by the fire, and had filled his *The knee is such a distance from the main pipe, my father broke out in this manner :body; whereas the groin, your Honour knows, is upon the very curtain of the place.'

CHAPTER XXXIII. My uncle Toby gave a long whistle-but in a note which could scarce be heard across the That provision should be made for continuing table.

the race of so great, so exalted, and godlike a The Corporal had advanced too far to retire ; being as man-I am far from denying ;-but -in three words he told the rest.

philosophy speaks freely of everything; and My uncle Toby laid down his pipe as gently therefore I still think, and do maintain it to be upon the fender as if it had been spun from the a pity, that it should be done by means of a unravellings of a spider's web.

passion which bends down the faculties, and ... Let us go to my brother Shandy's, said turns all the wisdom, contemplations, and he.

operations of the soul backwards,-a passion,

my dear, continued my father, addressing himCHAPTER XXXII.

self to my mother, which couples and equals THERE will be just time, whilst my uncle Toby wise men with fools, and makes us come out and Trim are walking to my father's, to inform of our caverns and hiding places more like you that Mrs. Wadman had some moons before satyrs and four-footed beasts than men. this made a confidant of my mother; and that I know it will be said, continued my father Mrs. Bridget, who had the burden of her own (availing himself of the срѕі. that in as well as her mistress' secret to carry, had got itself, and simply taken, --like hunger, or thirst, happily delivered of both to Susannah, behind or sleep,-'tis an affair neither good nor badthe garden-wall.

nor shameful, or otherwise. Why, then, did As for my mother, she saw nothing at all in the delicacy of Diogenes and Plato so recalciit to make the least bustle about;—but Susannah trate against it? and wherefore, when we go was sufficient by herself for all the ends and about to make and plant a man, do we put out purposes you could possibly have, in exporting the candle ? and for what reason is it that all a family secret; for she instantly imparted it the parts thereof-the congredients—the preby signs to Jonathan; and Jonathan by tokens parations, the instruments, and whatever serves to the cook, as she was basting a loin of mutton; thereto, are so held, as to be conveyed to a the cook sold it with some kitchen-fat to the cleanly mind by no language, translation, or postillion for a groat, who truck'd it with the periphrasis whatever? dairy-maid for something of about the same The act of killing and destroying a man, convalue ;-and, though whispered in the hay-loft, tinued my father, raising his voice, and turning Fame caught the notes with her brazen trum- to my uncle Toby,---you see, is glorious, and the pet, and sounded them upon the house-top. In weapons by which we do it are honourable ;-we a word, not an old woman in the village, or five march with them upon our shoulders ;-we strut miles round, who did not understand the diffi-with them by our sides ;-we gild them ;-we culties of my uncle Toby's siege, and what were carve them ;-we inlay them ;-we enrich them; the secret articles which had delayed the sur- -nay, if it be but a scoundrel cannon, we cast render.

an ornament upon the breech of it.

--My uncle Toby laid down his pipe to inter- himself, somehow or other, thrust into employcede for a better epithet; and Yorick was rising ment, and as he went through the business with up to batter the whole hypothesis to pieces, a grave face, my father had a high opinion of

When Obadiah broke into the middle of the him. room with a complaint, which cried out for an ... Most of the townsmen, an' please your immediate hearing.

Worship, quoth Obadiah, believe that 'tis all The case was this :

the bull's fault. My father, whether by ancient custom of the ... But may not a cow be barren ? replied manor, or as impropriator of the great tithes, my father, turning to Doctor Slop. was obliged to keep a bull for the service of the ... It never happens, said Doctor Slop ; but parish ; and Obadiah had led his cow upon a the man's wife may have come before her time, pop-visit to him one day or other the preceding naturally enough. Prithee, has the child hair summer ;-I say, one day or other,-because, upon his head ? added Doctor Slop. as chance would have it, it was the day on

It is as hairy as I am, said Obadiah. which he was married to my father's house-Obadiah had not been shaved for three maid ;-so one was a reckoning to the other. weeks. Therefore, when Obadiah's wife was brought

Wheu-u-u- cried my father, beginto bed, Obadiah thanked God

ning the sentence with an exclamatory whistle ; Now, said Obadiah, I shall have a calf ; so -and so, brother Toby, this poor bull of mine, Obadiah went daily to visit his cow.

who is as good a bull as ever p-ss'd, and might She'll calve on Monday,- ,-or Tuesday,--or have done for Europa herself in purer times, Wednesday, at the farthest.

had he but two legs less, might have been driven The cow did not calve ;-no, she'll not calve into Doctor's Commons and lost his character ; till next week ;-the cow put it off terribly, till, which, to a town-bull, brother Toby, is the at the end of the sixth weck, Obadiah's sus- very same thing as his life. picions (like a good man's) fell upon the bull.

L-d! said my mother, what is all this Now the parish being very large, my father's story about? bull, to speak the truth of him, was no way .. A Cock and a Bull, said Yorick ;-and equal to the department; he had, however, got one of the best of its kind I ever heard.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

-THEY order, said I, this matter better in -No, said I, the Bourbon is by no means a France.

cruel race : they may be misled, like other ... You have been in France ? said my people ; but there is a mildness in their blood. gentleman, turning quick upon me, with the As I acknowledged this, I felt a suffusion of most civil triumph in the world. ... Strange ! a finer kind upon my cheek, more warm and quoth I, debating the matter with myself, that friendly to man than what Burgundy (at least one-and-twenty miles sailing, for 'tis absolutely of two livres a bottle, which was such as I had no farther from Dover to Calais, should give a been drinking) could have produced. man these rights :-I'll look into them. So, -Just God! said I, kicking my portmanteau giving up the argument, I went straight to my aside, what is there in this world's goods which lodgings, put up half a dozen shirts and a black should sharpen our spirits, and make so many pair of silk breeches ;-'The coat I have on,' kind-liearted brethren of us fall out so cruelly said I, looking at the sleeve, 'will do ;'-took as we do by the way? a place in the Dover stage; and, the packet When man is at peace with man, how much sailing at nine the next morning, by three I lighter than a feather is the heaviest of metals had got set down to my dinner upon a fricaseed in his hand ! He pulls out his purse, and holding chicken, so incontestably in France that, had I it airily and uncompressid, looks round him as died that night of an indigestion, the whole if he sought for an object to share it with.-In world could not have suspended the effects of doing this, I felt every vessel in my frame the droits d'aubaine ; ?my shirts, and black dilate,--the arteries beat all cheerily together, pair of silk breeches, portmanteau and all, must and every power which sustained life performed have gone to the King of France ;-even the it with so little friction that 'twould have conlittle picture which I have so long worn, and founded the most physical precieuse in France : so often told thee, Eliza, I would carry with with all her materialism, she could scarce have me into my grave, would have been torn from called me a machine. my neck !- Ungenerous ! to seize upon the I'm confident, said I to myself, I should have wreck of an unwary passenger, whom your sub- overset her creed. jects had beckoned to their coast! By Heaven! The accession of that idea carried Nature, at Sire, it is not well done ; and much does it that time, as high as she could go ;-I was at grieve me 'tis the monarch of a people so civil- peace with the world before, and this finish'd ised and courteous, and so renowned for senti- the treaty with myself. ment and fine feclings, that I have to reason -Now, was I a King of France, cried I, what with!

a moment for an orphan to have begg'd his Lut I have scarce set a foot in your domi- ; father's portmanteau of me! nions.

CALAIS.

THE MONK. WHEN I had finished my dinner, and drunk the

CALAIS. King of France's health, to satisfy my mind that I bore him no spleen, but, on the contrary, HAD scarce uttered the words, when a poor high honour for the humanity of his temper, I monk, of the order of St. Francis, came into rose up an inch taller for the accommodation. the room, to beg something for his convent.-No humours; they may depend upon the same -A better reason was, I had predetermined causes, for aught I know, which influence the not to give him a single sous. 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 should be

man cares to have his virtues the sport of con

tingencics, ---or one man may be generous, as 1 All the effects of strangers (Swiss and Scots excepted) dying in France are scized, by virtue of this

another man is puissant ;--scd non quoad hanc, law, though the heir be upon the spot. The profit of -or be it as it may,--for there is no regular these contingencies being farmed, there is no redress. reasoning upon the ebbs and flows of our

THE MONK. more highly satisfied to have it said by the

CALAIS. world—'I had an affair with the moon, in which there was neither sin nor shame,' than —'Tis very true, said I, replying to a cast have it pass altogether as my own act and deed, upwards with his eyes, with which he had conwherein there was so much of both.

cluded his address :-'tis very true,--and Heaven -But be this as it may, the moment I cast be their resource who have no other but the my eyes upon him, I was predetermined not to charity of the world ! the stock of which, I give him a single sous; and accordingly I put fear, is no way sufficient for the many great my purse into my pocket, button'd it up, set claims which are hourly made upon it. myself a little more upon my centre, and ad- As I pronounced the words great claims, he vanced up gravely to him. There was some- gave a slight glance with his eye downwards thing, I fear, forbidding in my look: I have upon the sleeve of his tunic.--I felt the full his figure this moment before my eyes, and force of the appeal.-I acknowledge it, said I: think there was that in it which deserved --a coarse habit, and that but once in three better.

years, with meagre diet, are no great matters; The monk, as I judged from the break in his and the true point of pity is, as they can be tonsure, a few scatter'd white hairs upon his earn'd in the world with so little industry, that temples being all that remained of it, might be your order should wish to procure them by about seventy; but from his eyes, and that sort pressing upon a fund which is the property of of fire which was in them, which seemed more the lame, the blind, the aged, and the infirm! tempered by courtesy than years, could be no -the captive, who lies down counting over and more than sixty :-truth might lie between, - over again the days of his afflictions, languishes he was certainly sixty-five ; and the general air also for his share of it; and had you been of of his countenance, notwithstanding something the order of Mercy, instead of the order of St. seem'd to have been planting wrinkles in it Francis, poor as I am, continued I, pointing at before their time, agreed to the account. my portmanteau, full cheerfully should it have

It was one of those heads which Guido has been opened to you, for the ransom of the unoften painted,-mild, pale, penetrating, free fortunate. - The monk made me a bow.from all commonplace ideas of fat contented But of all others, resum'd I, the unfortunate of ignorance looking downwards upon the earth ; our own country, surely, have the first rights : -it look'd forwards, but look'd as if it look'd and I have left thousands in distress upon our at something beyond this world. How one of own shore. The monk gave a cordial wave his order came by it, Heaven above, who let it with his head—as much as to say, No doubt fall upon a monk's shoulders, best knows; but there is misery enough in every corner of the it would have suited a Brahmin, and, had I world, as well as within our convent. -But met it upon the plains of Indostan, I had we distinguish, said I, laying my hand upon the reverence it.

sleeve of his tunic in return for his appeal,-W The rest of his outline may be given in a few distinguish, my good father, betwixt those who strokes. One might put it into the hands of wish only to eat the bread of their own labour, any one to design, for 'twas neither elegant nor and those who eat the bread of other people's, otherwise, but as character and expression made and have no other plan in life but to get it so : it was a thin, spare form, something through it in sloth and ignorance, for the love above the common size, if it lost not the dis- of God. tinction by a bend forward in the figure--but The poor Franciscan made no reply: a hectic it was the attitude of Intreaty; and, as it now of a moment pass'd across his cheek, but could stands presented to my imagination, it gained not tarry :-Nature seemed to have had done more than it lost by it.

with her resentments in him ; he showed When he had entered the room three paces, none;-but letting his staff fall within his arm, he stood still ; and laying his left hand upon he press'd both his hands with resignation upon his breast (a slender white staff with which he his breast, and retired. journeyed 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

THE MONK. 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, --My heart smote me the moment he shut the I was bewitch'd not to have been struck with door.--Psha! said I, with an air of carelessness, it.

three several times, - but it would not do; every

CALAIS,

« ПредишнаНапред »