Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

know what he is.--He's nothing, Obadiah, at all in the field. But he's very frightful in a house, quoth Obadiah. I 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 weep. ing, 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 Fevre. 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 be tides, I will take care of Le Fevre's boy.-And with that, like a quieting draught, his honour would fall asleep.

I like to hear Trim's stories about the Captain, said Susannah. -He is a kindly-hearted gentleman, said Obadialı, as ever lived.- -Aye, and as brave a one too, said the Corporal, as ever 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

-year-than some for eight.—Thank thee, Jonaban! for thy twenty shillings,-as much, Jonahan, said the Corporal, shaking him by the hand, s if thou hadst put the money into my own locket.—I would serve him to the day of my leath out of love. He is a friend and a brother o me--and could I be sure my poor brother Tom vas dead, continued the Corporal, taking out is handerchief,—were I worth ten thousand sounds, I would leave every shilling of it to the Captain. Trim could not refrain from tears at this estamentary proof he gave of his affection to his naster. The whole kitchen was affected.

SHANDY.

MR. SHANDY'S RESIGNATION FOR THE LOSS OF

HIS SON.

PHILOSOPHY has a fine saying for every thingFor Death it has an entire set.

'Tis an inevitable chance—the first statute of 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, bave they not their periods ? and when those principles and

[ocr errors]

powers, which at first cemented and put them together, have performed their several revolutions, they fall back.

Where is Troy, and Mycenæ, and Thebes, and Delos, and Persepolis, and Agrigentum ?- What is become of Nineveh and Babylon, of Cyzicum, and Mitylene? 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-meal 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 Ægina towards Megara, I began to view the country round about. Ægina was behind me, Megara was before, Pyræus 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 pre

--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

sence.

[ocr errors]

it unlooses the chain of the captive, and puts the bondsman's task into another man's hands.

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

THE PRECEPTOR.

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 women's lands, 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 immost 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 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 :

с

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, niy dear Toby, cried my father, getting up and shaking hini 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 Fe e'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 Corporal's, as the proposition was made ;---you will see why, when you read Le Fevre's story.

THE STORY OF LE FEVRE.

[ocr errors]

It was some time in the summer of that year in wlrich 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 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 lock

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »