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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
by Laurence Sterne
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With all this, Madam,—and what confounded every thing as much on the other hand, my uncle Toby had that unparalleled modesty of nature I once told you of, and which, by the bye, stood eternal sentry upon his feelings, that you might as soon—But where am I going? these reflections crowd in upon me ten pages at least too soon, and take up that time, which I ought to bestow upon facts.



Chapter 3.LXXIII.

Of the few legitimate sons of Adam whose breasts never felt what the sting of love was,—(maintaining first, all mysogynists to be bastards,)—the greatest heroes of ancient and modern story have carried off amongst them nine parts in ten of the honour; and I wish for their sakes I had the key of my study, out of my draw-well, only for five minutes, to tell you their names—recollect them I cannot—so be content to accept of these, for the present, in their stead.

There was the great king Aldrovandus, and Bosphorus, and Cappadocius, and Dardanus, and Pontus, and Asius,—to say nothing of the iron-hearted Charles the XIIth, whom the Countess of K..... herself could make nothing of.—There was Babylonicus, and Mediterraneus, and Polixenes, and Persicus, and Prusicus, not one of whom (except Cappadocius and Pontus, who were both a little suspected) ever once bowed down his breast to the goddess—The truth is, they had all of them something else to do—and so had my uncle Toby—till Fate—till Fate I say, envying his name the glory of being handed down to posterity with Aldrovandus's and the rest,—she basely patched up the peace of Utrecht.

—Believe me, Sirs, 'twas the worst deed she did that year.



Chapter 3.LXXIV.

Amongst the many ill consequences of the treaty of Utrecht, it was within a point of giving my uncle Toby a surfeit of sieges; and though he recovered his appetite afterwards, yet Calais itself left not a deeper scar in Mary's heart, than Utrecht upon my uncle Toby's. To the end of his life he never could hear Utrecht mentioned upon any account whatever,—or so much as read an article of news extracted out of the Utrecht Gazette, without fetching a sigh, as if his heart would break in twain.

My father, who was a great Motive-Monger, and consequently a very dangerous person for a man to sit by, either laughing or crying,—for he generally knew your motive for doing both, much better than you knew it yourself—would always console my uncle Toby upon these occasions, in a way, which shewed plainly, he imagined my uncle Toby grieved for nothing in the whole affair, so much as the loss of his hobby-horse.—Never mind, brother Toby, he would say,—by God's blessing we shall have another war break out again some of these days; and when it does,—the belligerent powers, if they would hang themselves, cannot keep us out of play.—I defy 'em, my dear Toby, he would add, to take countries without taking towns,—or towns without sieges.

My uncle Toby never took this back-stroke of my father's at his hobby-horse kindly.—He thought the stroke ungenerous; and the more so, because in striking the horse he hit the rider too, and in the most dishonourable part a blow could fall; so that upon these occasions, he always laid down his pipe upon the table with more fire to defend himself than common.

I told the reader, this time two years, that my uncle Toby was not eloquent; and in the very same page gave an instance to the contrary:—I repeat the observation, and a fact which contradicts it again.—He was not eloquent,—it was not easy to my uncle Toby to make long harangues,—and he hated florid ones; but there were occasions where the stream overflowed the man, and ran so counter to its usual course, that in some parts my uncle Toby, for a time, was at least equal to Tertullus—but in others, in my own opinion, infinitely above him.

My father was so highly pleased with one of these apologetical orations of my uncle Toby's, which he had delivered one evening before him and Yorick, that he wrote it down before he went to bed.

I have had the good fortune to meet with it amongst my father's papers, with here and there an insertion of his own, betwixt two crooks, thus (.. .), and is endorsed,

My Brother Toby's Justification of His Own Principles and Conduct in Wishing to Continue the War.

I may safely say, I have read over this apologetical oration of my uncle Toby's a hundred times, and think it so fine a model of defence,—and shews so sweet a temperament of gallantry and good principles in him, that I give it the world, word for word (interlineations and all), as I find it.



Chapter 3.LXXV.

My Uncle Toby's Apologetical Oration.

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 the 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 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 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? (The devil a deed do I know of, dear Toby, but one for a hundred pounds, which I lent thee to carry on these cursed sieges.)

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 destruction of 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 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.—(Who told thee, my dear Toby, that cypress was used by the antients on mournful occasions?)

—'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 sixpence 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 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.



Chapter 3.LXXVI.

I told the Christian reader—I say Christian—hoping he is one—and if he is not, I am sorry for it—and only beg he will consider the matter with himself, and not lay the blame entirely upon this book—

I told him, Sir—for in good truth, when a man is telling a story in the strange way I do mine, he is obliged continually to be going backwards and forwards to keep all tight together in the reader's fancy—which, for my own part, if I did not take heed to do more than at first, there is so much unfixed and equivocal matter starting up, with so many breaks and gaps in it,—and so little service do the stars afford, which, nevertheless, I hang up in some of the darkest passages, knowing that the world is apt to lose its way, with all the lights the sun itself at noon-day can give it—and now you see, I am lost myself—!

—But 'tis my father's fault; and whenever my brains come to be dissected, you will perceive, without spectacles, that he has left a large uneven thread, as you sometimes see in an unsaleable piece of cambrick, running along the whole length of the web, and so untowardly, you cannot so much as cut out a..., (here I hang up a couple of lights again)—or a fillet, or a thumb-stall, but it is seen or felt.—

Quanto id diligentias in liberis procreandis cavendum, sayeth Cardan. All which being considered, and that you see 'tis morally impracticable for me to wind this round to where I set out—

I begin the chapter over again.



Chapter 3.LXXVII.

I told the Christian reader in the beginning of the chapter which preceded my uncle Toby's apologetical oration,—though in a different trope from what I should make use of now, That the peace of Utrecht was within an ace of creating the same shyness betwixt my uncle Toby and his hobby-horse, as it did betwixt the queen and the rest of the confederating powers.

There is an indignant way in which a man sometimes dismounts his horse, which, as good as says to him, 'I'll go afoot, Sir, all the days of my life before I would ride a single mile upon your back again.' Now my uncle Toby could not be said to dismount his horse in this manner; for in strictness of language, he could not be said to dismount his horse at all—his horse rather flung him—and somewhat viciously, which made my uncle Toby take it ten times more unkindly. Let this matter be settled by state-jockies as they like.—It created, I say, a sort of shyness betwixt my uncle Toby and his hobby-horse.—He had no occasion for him from the month of March to November, which was the summer after the articles were signed, except it was now and then to take a short ride out, just to see that the fortifications and harbour of Dunkirk were demolished, according to stipulation.

The French were so backwards all that summer in setting about that affair, and Monsieur Tugghe, the deputy from the magistrates of Dunkirk, presented so many affecting petitions to the queen,—beseeching her majesty to cause only her thunderbolts to fall upon the martial works, which might have incurred her displeasure,—but to spare—to spare the mole, for the mole's sake; which, in its naked situation, could be no more than an object of pity—and the queen (who was but a woman) being of a pitiful disposition,—and her ministers also, they not wishing in their hearts to have the town dismantled, for these private reasons,...—...; so that the whole went heavily on with my uncle Toby; insomuch, that it was not within three full months, after he and the corporal had constructed the town, and put it in a condition to be destroyed, that the several commandants, commissaries, deputies, negociators, and intendants, would permit him to set about it.—Fatal interval of inactivity!

The corporal was for beginning the demolition, by making a breach in the ramparts, or main fortifications of the town—No,—that will never do, corporal, said my uncle Toby, for in going that way to work with the town, the English garrison will not be safe in it an hour; because if the French are treacherous—They are as treacherous as devils, an' please your honour, said the corporal—It gives me concern always when I hear it, Trim, said my uncle Toby;—for they don't want personal bravery; and if a breach is made in the ramparts, they may enter it, and make themselves masters of the place when they please:—Let them enter it, said the corporal, lifting up his pioneer's spade in both his hands, as if he was going to lay about him with it,—let them enter, an' please your honour, if they dare.—In cases like this, corporal, said my uncle Toby, slipping his right hand down to the middle of his cane, and holding it afterwards truncheon-wise with his fore-finger extended,—'tis no part of the consideration of a commandant, what the enemy dare,—or what they dare not do; he must act with prudence. We will begin with the outworks both towards the sea and the land, and particularly with fort Louis, the most distant of them all, and demolish it first,—and the rest, one by one, both on our right and left, as we retreat towards the town;—then we'll demolish the mole,—next fill up the harbour,—then retire into the citadel, and blow it up into the air: and having done that, corporal, we'll embark for England.—We are there, quoth the corporal, recollecting himself—Very true, said my uncle Toby—looking at the church.



Chapter 3.LXXVIII.

A delusive, delicious consultation or two of this kind, betwixt my uncle Toby and Trim, upon the demolition of Dunkirk,—for a moment rallied back the ideas of those pleasures, which were slipping from under him:—still—still all went on heavily—the magic left the mind the weaker—Stillness, with Silence at her back, entered the solitary parlour, and drew their gauzy mantle over my uncle Toby's head;—and Listlessness, with her lax fibre and undirected eye, sat quietly down beside him in his arm-chair.—No longer Amberg and Rhinberg, and Limbourg, and Huy, and Bonn, in one year,—and the prospect of Landen, and Trerebach, and Drusen, and Dendermond, the next,—hurried on the blood:—No longer did saps, and mines, and blinds, and gabions, and palisadoes, keep out this fair enemy of man's repose:—No more could my uncle Toby, after passing the French lines, as he eat his egg at supper, from thence break into the heart of France,—cross over the Oyes, and with all Picardie open behind him, march up to the gates of Paris, and fall asleep with nothing but ideas of glory:—No more was he to dream, he had fixed the royal standard upon the tower of the Bastile, and awake with it streaming in his head.

—Softer visions,—gentler vibrations stole sweetly in upon his slumbers;—the trumpet of war fell out of his hands,—he took up the lute, sweet instrument! of all others the most delicate! the most difficult!—how wilt thou touch it, my dear uncle Toby?



Chapter 3.LXXIX.

Now, because I have once or twice said, in my inconsiderate way of talking, That I was confident the following memoirs of my uncle Toby's courtship of widow Wadman, whenever I got time to write them, would turn out one of the most complete systems, both of the elementary and practical part of love and love-making, that ever was addressed to the world—are you to imagine from thence, that I shall set out with a description of what love is? whether part God and part Devil, as Plotinus will have it—

—Or by a more critical equation, and supposing the whole of love to be as ten—to determine with Ficinus, 'How many parts of it—the one,—and how many the other;'—or whether it is all of it one great Devil, from head to tail, as Plato has taken upon him to pronounce; concerning which conceit of his, I shall not offer my opinion:—but my opinion of Plato is this; that he appears, from this instance, to have been a man of much the same temper and way of reasoning with doctor Baynyard, who being a great enemy to blisters, as imagining that half a dozen of 'em at once, would draw a man as surely to his grave, as a herse and six—rashly concluded, that the Devil himself was nothing in the world, but one great bouncing Cantharidis.—

I have nothing to say to people who allow themselves this monstrous liberty in arguing, but what Nazianzen cried out (that is, polemically) to Philagrius—

'(Greek)!' O rare! 'tis fine reasoning, Sir indeed!—'(Greek)' and most nobly do you aim at truth, when you philosophize about it in your moods and passions.

Nor is it to be imagined, for the same reason, I should stop to inquire, whether love is a disease,—or embroil myself with Rhasis and Dioscorides, whether the seat of it is in the brain or liver;—because this would lead me on, to an examination of the two very opposite manners, in which patients have been treated—the one, of Aoetius, who always begun with a cooling clyster of hempseed and bruised cucumbers;—and followed on with thin potations of water-lilies and purslane—to which he added a pinch of snuff, of the herb Hanea;—and where Aoetius durst venture it,—his topaz-ring.

—The other, that of Gordonius, who (in his cap. 15. de Amore) directs they should be thrashed, 'ad putorem usque,'—till they stink again.

These are disquisitions which my father, who had laid in a great stock of knowledge of this kind, will be very busy with in the progress of my uncle Toby's affairs: I must anticipate thus much, That from his theories of love, (with which, by the way, he contrived to crucify my uncle Toby's mind, almost as much as his amours themselves,)—he took a single step into practice;—and by means of a camphorated cerecloth, which he found means to impose upon the taylor for buckram, whilst he was making my uncle Toby a new pair of breeches, he produced Gordonius's effect upon my uncle Toby without the disgrace.

What changes this produced, will be read in its proper place: all that is needful to be added to the anecdote, is this—That whatever effect it had upon my uncle Toby,—it had a vile effect upon the house;—and if my uncle Toby had not smoaked it down as he did, it might have had a vile effect upon my father too.



Chapter 3.LXXX.

—'Twill come out of itself by and bye.—All I contend for is, that I am not obliged to set out with a definition of what love is; and so long as I can go on with my story intelligibly, with the help of the word itself, without any other idea to it, than what I have in common with the rest of the world, why should I differ from it a moment before the time?—When I can get on no further,—and find myself entangled on all sides of this mystic labyrinth,—my Opinion will then come in, in course,—and lead me out.

At present, I hope I shall be sufficiently understood, in telling the reader, my uncle Toby fell in love:

—Not that the phrase is at all to my liking: for to say a man is fallen in love,—or that he is deeply in love,—or up to the ears in love,—and sometimes even over head and ears in it,—carries an idiomatical kind of implication, that love is a thing below a man:—this is recurring again to Plato's opinion, which, with all his divinityship,—I hold to be damnable and heretical:—and so much for that.

Let love therefore be what it will,—my uncle Toby fell into it.

—And possibly, gentle reader, with such a temptation—so wouldst thou: For never did thy eyes behold, or thy concupiscence covet any thing in this world, more concupiscible than widow Wadman.



Chapter 3.LXXXI.

To conceive this right,—call for pen and ink—here's paper ready to your hand.—Sit down, Sir, paint her to your own mind—as like your mistress as you can—as unlike your wife as your conscience will let you—'tis all one to me—please but your own fancy in it.

(blank page)

—Was ever any thing in Nature so sweet!—so exquisite!

—Then, dear Sir, how could my uncle Toby resist it?

Thrice happy book! thou wilt have one page, at least, within thy covers, which Malice will not blacken, and which Ignorance cannot misrepresent.



Chapter 3.LXXXII.

As Susannah was informed by an express from Mrs. Bridget, of my uncle Toby's falling in love with her mistress fifteen days before it happened,—the contents of which express, Susannah communicated to my mother the next day,—it has just given me an opportunity of entering upon my uncle Toby's amours a fortnight before their existence.

I have an article of news to tell you, Mr. Shandy, quoth my mother, which will surprise you greatly.—

Now my father was then holding one of his second beds of justice, and was musing within himself about the hardships of matrimony, as my mother broke silence.—

'—My brother Toby,' quoth she, 'is going to be married to Mrs. Wadman.'

—Then he will never, quoth my father, be able to lie diagonally in his bed again as long as he lives.

It was a consuming vexation to my father, that my mother never asked the meaning of a thing she did not understand.

—That she is not a woman of science, my father would say—is her misfortune—but she might ask a question.—

My mother never did.—In short, she went out of the world at last without knowing whether it turned round, or stood still.—My father had officiously told her above a thousand times which way it was,—but she always forgot.

For these reasons, a discourse seldom went on much further betwixt them, than a proposition,—a reply, and a rejoinder; at the end of which, it generally took breath for a few minutes (as in the affair of the breeches), and then went on again.

If he marries, 'twill be the worse for us,—quoth my mother.

Not a cherry-stone, said my father,—he may as well batter away his means upon that, as any thing else,

—To be sure, said my mother: so here ended the proposition—the reply,—and the rejoinder, I told you of.

It will be some amusement to him, too,—said my father.

A very great one, answered my mother, if he should have children.—

—Lord have mercy upon me,—said my father to himself—....



Chapter 3.LXXXIII.

I am now beginning to get fairly into my work; and by the help of a vegetable diet, with a few of the cold seeds, I make no doubt but I shall be able to go on with my uncle Toby's story, and my own, in a tolerable straight line. Now,

(four very squiggly lines across the page signed Inv.T.S and Scw.T.S)

These were the four lines I moved in through my first, second, third, and fourth volumes (Alluding to the first edition.)—In the fifth volume I have been very good,—the precise line I have described in it being this:

(one very squiggly line across the page with loops marked A,B,C,C,C,C,C,D)

By which it appears, that except at the curve, marked A. where I took a trip to Navarre,—and the indented curve B. which is the short airing when I was there with the Lady Baussiere and her page,—I have not taken the least frisk of a digression, till John de la Casse's devils led me the round you see marked D.—for as for C C C C C they are nothing but parentheses, and the common ins and outs incident to the lives of the greatest ministers of state; and when compared with what men have done,—or with my own transgressions at the letters ABD—they vanish into nothing.

In this last volume I have done better still—for from the end of Le Fever's episode, to the beginning of my uncle Toby's campaigns,—I have scarce stepped a yard out of my way.

If I mend at this rate, it is not impossible—by the good leave of his grace of Benevento's devils—but I may arrive hereafter at the excellency of going on even thus:

(straight line across the page)

which is a line drawn as straight as I could draw it, by a writing-master's ruler (borrowed for that purpose), turning neither to the right hand or to the left.

This right line,—the path-way for Christians to walk in! say divines—

—The emblem of moral rectitude! says Cicero—

—The best line! say cabbage planters—is the shortest line, says Archimedes, which can be drawn from one given point to another.—

I wish your ladyships would lay this matter to heart, in your next birth-day suits!

—What a journey!

Pray can you tell me,—that is, without anger, before I write my chapter upon straight lines—by what mistake—who told them so—or how it has come to pass, that your men of wit and genius have all along confounded this line, with the line of Gravitation?



Chapter 3.LXXXIV.

No—I think, I said, I would write two volumes every year, provided the vile cough which then tormented me, and which to this hour I dread worse than the devil, would but give me leave—and in another place—(but where, I can't recollect now) speaking of my book as a machine, and laying my pen and ruler down cross-wise upon the table, in order to gain the greater credit to it—I swore it should be kept a going at that rate these forty years, if it pleased but the fountain of life to bless me so long with health and good spirits.

Now as for my spirits, little have I to lay to their charge—nay so very little (unless the mounting me upon a long stick and playing the fool with me nineteen hours out of the twenty-four, be accusations) that on the contrary, I have much—much to thank 'em for: cheerily have ye made me tread the path of life with all the burthens of it (except its cares) upon my back; in no one moment of my existence, that I remember, have ye once deserted me, or tinged the objects which came in my way, either with sable, or with a sickly green; in dangers ye gilded my horizon with hope, and when Death himself knocked at my door—ye bad him come again; and in so gay a tone of careless indifference, did ye do it, that he doubted of his commission—

'—There must certainly be some mistake in this matter,' quoth he.

Now there is nothing in this world I abominate worse, than to be interrupted in a story—and I was that moment telling Eugenius a most tawdry one in my way, of a nun who fancied herself a shell-fish, and of a monk damn'd for eating a muscle, and was shewing him the grounds and justice of the procedure—

'—Did ever so grave a personage get into so vile a scrape?' quoth Death. Thou hast had a narrow escape, Tristram, said Eugenius, taking hold of my hand as I finished my story—

But there is no living, Eugenius, replied I, at this rate; for as this son of a whore has found out my lodgings—

—You call him rightly, said Eugenius,—for by sin, we are told, he enter'd the world—I care not which way he enter'd, quoth I, provided he be not in such a hurry to take me out with him—for I have forty volumes to write, and forty thousand things to say and do which no body in the world will say and do for me, except thyself; and as thou seest he has got me by the throat (for Eugenius could scarce hear me speak across the table), and that I am no match for him in the open field, had I not better, whilst these few scatter'd spirits remain, and these two spider legs of mine (holding one of them up to him) are able to support me—had I not better, Eugenius, fly for my life? 'Tis my advice, my dear Tristram, said Eugenius—Then by heaven! I will lead him a dance he little thinks of—for I will gallop, quoth I, without looking once behind me, to the banks of the Garonne; and if I hear him clattering at my heels—I'll scamper away to mount Vesuvius—from thence to Joppa, and from Joppa to the world's end; where, if he follows me, I pray God he may break his neck—

—He runs more risk there, said Eugenius, than thou.

Eugenius's wit and affection brought blood into the cheek from whence it had been some months banish'd—'twas a vile moment to bid adieu in; he led me to my chaise—Allons! said I; the post-boy gave a crack with his whip—off I went like a cannon, and in half a dozen bounds got into Dover.



Chapter 3.LXXXV.

Now hang it! quoth I, as I look'd towards the French coast—a man should know something of his own country too, before he goes abroad—and I never gave a peep into Rochester church, or took notice of the dock of Chatham, or visited St. Thomas at Canterbury, though they all three laid in my way—

—But mine, indeed, is a particular case—

So without arguing the matter further with Thomas o'Becket, or any one else—I skip'd into the boat, and in five minutes we got under sail, and scudded away like the wind.

Pray, captain, quoth I, as I was going down into the cabin, is a man never overtaken by Death in this passage?

Why, there is not time for a man to be sick in it, replied he—What a cursed lyar! for I am sick as a horse, quoth I, already—what a brain!—upside down!—hey-day! the cells are broke loose one into another, and the blood, and the lymph, and the nervous juices, with the fix'd and volatile salts, are all jumbled into one mass—good G..! every thing turns round in it like a thousand whirlpools—I'd give a shilling to know if I shan't write the clearer for it—

Sick! sick! sick! sick—!

—When shall we get to land? captain—they have hearts like stones—O I am deadly sick!—reach me that thing, boy—'tis the most discomfiting sickness—I wish I was at the bottom—Madam! how is it with you? Undone! undone! un...—O! undone! sir—What the first time?—No, 'tis the second, third, sixth, tenth time, sir,—hey-day!—what a trampling over head!—hollo! cabin boy! what's the matter?

The wind chopp'd about! s'Death—then I shall meet him full in the face.

What luck!—'tis chopp'd about again, master—O the devil chop it—

Captain, quoth she, for heaven's sake, let us get ashore.



Chapter 3.LXXXVI.

It is a great inconvenience to a man in a haste, that there are three distinct roads between Calais and Paris, in behalf of which there is so much to be said by the several deputies from the towns which lie along them, that half a day is easily lost in settling which you'll take.

First, the road by Lisle and Arras, which is the most about—but most interesting, and instructing.

The second, that by Amiens, which you may go, if you would see Chantilly—

And that by Beauvais, which you may go, if you will.

For this reason a great many chuse to go by Beauvais.



Chapter 3.LXXXVII.

'Now before I quit Calais,' a travel-writer would say, 'it would not be amiss to give some account of it.'—Now I think it very much amiss—that a man cannot go quietly through a town and let it alone, when it does not meddle with him, but that he must be turning about and drawing his pen at every kennel he crosses over, merely o' my conscience for the sake of drawing it; because, if we may judge from what has been wrote of these things, by all who have wrote and gallop'd—or who have gallop'd and wrote, which is a different way still; or who, for more expedition than the rest, have wrote galloping, which is the way I do at present—from the great Addison, who did it with his satchel of school books hanging at his a..., and galling his beast's crupper at every stroke—there is not a gallopper of us all who might not have gone on ambling quietly in his own ground (in case he had any), and have wrote all he had to write, dry-shod, as well as not.

For my own part, as heaven is my judge, and to which I shall ever make my last appeal—I know no more of Calais (except the little my barber told me of it as he was whetting his razor) than I do this moment of Grand Cairo; for it was dusky in the evening when I landed, and dark as pitch in the morning when I set out, and yet by merely knowing what is what, and by drawing this from that in one part of the town, and by spelling and putting this and that together in another—I would lay any travelling odds, that I this moment write a chapter upon Calais as long as my arm; and with so distinct and satisfactory a detail of every item, which is worth a stranger's curiosity in the town—that you would take me for the town-clerk of Calais itself—and where, sir, would be the wonder? was not Democritus, who laughed ten times more than I—town-clerk of Abdera? and was not (I forget his name) who had more discretion than us both, town-clerk of Ephesus?—it should be penn'd moreover, sir, with so much knowledge and good sense, and truth, and precision—

—Nay—if you don't believe me, you may read the chapter for your pains.



Chapter 3.LXXXVIII.

Calais, Calatium, Calusium, Calesium.

This town, if we may trust its archives, the authority of which I see no reason to call in question in this place—was once no more than a small village belonging to one of the first Counts de Guignes; and as it boasts at present of no less than fourteen thousand inhabitants, exclusive of four hundred and twenty distinct families in the basse ville, or suburbs—it must have grown up by little and little, I suppose, to its present size.

Though there are four convents, there is but one parochial church in the whole town; I had not an opportunity of taking its exact dimensions, but it is pretty easy to make a tolerable conjecture of 'em—for as there are fourteen thousand inhabitants in the town, if the church holds them all it must be considerably large—and if it will not—'tis a very great pity they have not another—it is built in form of a cross, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary; the steeple, which has a spire to it, is placed in the middle of the church, and stands upon four pillars elegant and light enough, but sufficiently strong at the same time—it is decorated with eleven altars, most of which are rather fine than beautiful. The great altar is a master-piece in its kind; 'tis of white marble, and, as I was told, near sixty feet high—had it been much higher, it had been as high as mount Calvary itself—therefore, I suppose it must be high enough in all conscience.

There was nothing struck me more than the great Square; tho' I cannot say 'tis either well paved or well built; but 'tis in the heart of the town, and most of the streets, especially those in that quarter, all terminate in it; could there have been a fountain in all Calais, which it seems there cannot, as such an object would have been a great ornament, it is not to be doubted, but that the inhabitants would have had it in the very centre of this square,—not that it is properly a square,—because 'tis forty feet longer from east to west, than from north to south; so that the French in general have more reason on their side in calling them Places than Squares, which, strictly speaking, to be sure, they are not.

The town-house seems to be but a sorry building, and not to be kept in the best repair; otherwise it had been a second great ornament to this place; it answers however its destination, and serves very well for the reception of the magistrates, who assemble in it from time to time; so that 'tis presumable, justice is regularly distributed.

I have heard much of it, but there is nothing at all curious in the Courgain; 'tis a distinct quarter of the town, inhabited solely by sailors and fishermen; it consists of a number of small streets, neatly built and mostly of brick; 'tis extremely populous, but as that may be accounted for, from the principles of their diet,—there is nothing curious in that neither.—A traveller may see it to satisfy himself—he must not omit however taking notice of La Tour de Guet, upon any account; 'tis so called from its particular destination, because in war it serves to discover and give notice of the enemies which approach the place, either by sea or land;—but 'tis monstrous high, and catches the eye so continually, you cannot avoid taking notice of it if you would.

It was a singular disappointment to me, that I could not have permission to take an exact survey of the fortifications, which are the strongest in the world, and which, from first to last, that is, for the time they were set about by Philip of France, Count of Bologne, to the present war, wherein many reparations were made, have cost (as I learned afterwards from an engineer in Gascony)—above a hundred millions of livres. It is very remarkable, that at the Tete de Gravelenes, and where the town is naturally the weakest, they have expended the most money; so that the outworks stretch a great way into the campaign, and consequently occupy a large tract of ground—However, after all that is said and done, it must be acknowledged that Calais was never upon any account so considerable from itself, as from its situation, and that easy entrance which it gave our ancestors, upon all occasions, into France: it was not without its inconveniences also; being no less troublesome to the English in those times, than Dunkirk has been to us, in ours; so that it was deservedly looked upon as the key to both kingdoms, which no doubt is the reason that there have arisen so many contentions who should keep it: of these, the siege of Calais, or rather the blockade (for it was shut up both by land and sea), was the most memorable, as it with-stood the efforts of Edward the Third a whole year, and was not terminated at last but by famine and extreme misery; the gallantry of Eustace de St. Pierre, who first offered himself a victim for his fellow-citizens, has rank'd his name with heroes. As it will not take up above fifty pages, it would be injustice to the reader, not to give him a minute account of that romantic transaction, as well as of the siege itself, in Rapin's own words:



Chapter 3.LXXXIX.

—But courage! gentle reader!—I scorn it—'tis enough to have thee in my power—but to make use of the advantage which the fortune of the pen has now gained over thee, would be too much—No—! by that all-powerful fire which warms the visionary brain, and lights the spirits through unworldly tracts! ere I would force a helpless creature upon this hard service, and make thee pay, poor soul! for fifty pages, which I have no right to sell thee,—naked as I am, I would browse upon the mountains, and smile that the north wind brought me neither my tent or my supper.

—So put on, my brave boy! and make the best of thy way to Boulogne.



Chapter 3.XC.

Boulogne!—hah!—so we are all got together—debtors and sinners before heaven; a jolly set of us—but I can't stay and quaff it off with you—I'm pursued myself like a hundred devils, and shall be overtaken, before I can well change horses:—for heaven's sake, make haste—'Tis for high-treason, quoth a very little man, whispering as low as he could to a very tall man, that stood next him—Or else for murder; quoth the tall man—Well thrown, Size-ace! quoth I. No; quoth a third, the gentleman has been committing—

Ah! ma chere fille! said I, as she tripp'd by from her matins—you look as rosy as the morning (for the sun was rising, and it made the compliment the more gracious)—No; it can't be that, quoth a fourth—(she made a curt'sy to me—I kiss'd my hand) 'tis debt, continued he: 'Tis certainly for debt; quoth a fifth; I would not pay that gentleman's debts, quoth Ace, for a thousand pounds; nor would I, quoth Size, for six times the sum—Well thrown, Size-ace, again! quoth I;—but I have no debt but the debt of Nature, and I want but patience of her, and I will pay her every farthing I owe her—How can you be so hard-hearted, Madam, to arrest a poor traveller going along without molestation to any one upon his lawful occasions? do stop that death-looking, long-striding scoundrel of a scare-sinner, who is posting after me—he never would have followed me but for you—if it be but for a stage or two, just to give me start of him, I beseech you, madam—do, dear lady—

—Now, in troth, 'tis a great pity, quoth mine Irish host, that all this good courtship should be lost; for the young gentlewoman has been after going out of hearing of it all along.—

—Simpleton! quoth I.

—So you have nothing else in Boulogne worth seeing?

—By Jasus! there is the finest Seminary for the Humanities—

—There cannot be a finer; quoth I.



Chapter 3.XCI.

When the precipitancy of a man's wishes hurries on his ideas ninety times faster than the vehicle he rides in—woe be to truth! and woe be to the vehicle and its tackling (let 'em be made of what stuff you will) upon which he breathes forth the disappointment of his soul!

As I never give general characters either of men or things in choler, 'the most haste the worse speed,' was all the reflection I made upon the affair, the first time it happen'd;—the second, third, fourth, and fifth time, I confined it respectively to those times, and accordingly blamed only the second, third, fourth, and fifth post-boy for it, without carrying my reflections further; but the event continuing to befal me from the fifth, to the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth time, and without one exception, I then could not avoid making a national reflection of it, which I do in these words;

That something is always wrong in a French post-chaise, upon first setting out.

Or the proposition may stand thus:

A French postilion has always to alight before he has got three hundred yards out of town.

What's wrong now?—Diable!—a rope's broke!—a knot has slipt!—a staple's drawn!—a bolt's to whittle!—a tag, a rag, a jag, a strap, a buckle, or a buckle's tongue, want altering.

Now true as all this is, I never think myself impowered to excommunicate thereupon either the post-chaise, or its driver—nor do I take it into my head to swear by the living G.., I would rather go a-foot ten thousand times—or that I will be damn'd, if ever I get into another—but I take the matter coolly before me, and consider, that some tag, or rag, or jag, or bolt, or buckle, or buckle's tongue, will ever be a wanting or want altering, travel where I will—so I never chaff, but take the good and the bad as they fall in my road, and get on:—Do so, my lad! said I; he had lost five minutes already, in alighting in order to get at a luncheon of black bread, which he had cramm'd into the chaise-pocket, and was remounted, and going leisurely on, to relish it the better.—Get on, my lad, said I, briskly—but in the most persuasive tone imaginable, for I jingled a four-and-twenty sous piece against the glass, taking care to hold the flat side towards him, as he look'd back: the dog grinn'd intelligence from his right ear to his left, and behind his sooty muzzle discovered such a pearly row of teeth, that Sovereignty would have pawn'd her jewels for them.

Just heaven! What masticators!—/What bread—!

and so as he finished the last mouthful of it, we entered the town of Montreuil.



Chapter 3.XCII.

There is not a town in all France which, in my opinion, looks better in the map, than Montreuil;—I own, it does not look so well in the book of post-roads; but when you come to see it—to be sure it looks most pitifully.

There is one thing, however, in it at present very handsome; and that is, the inn-keeper's daughter: She has been eighteen months at Amiens, and six at Paris, in going through her classes; so knits, and sews, and dances, and does the little coquetries very well.—

—A slut! in running them over within these five minutes that I have stood looking at her, she has let fall at least a dozen loops in a white thread stocking—yes, yes—I see, you cunning gipsy!—'tis long and taper—you need not pin it to your knee—and that 'tis your own—and fits you exactly.—

—That Nature should have told this creature a word about a statue's thumb!

—But as this sample is worth all their thumbs—besides, I have her thumbs and fingers in at the bargain, if they can be any guide to me,—and as Janatone withal (for that is her name) stands so well for a drawing—may I never draw more, or rather may I draw like a draught-horse, by main strength all the days of my life,—if I do not draw her in all her proportions, and with as determined a pencil, as if I had her in the wettest drapery.—

—But your worships chuse rather that I give you the length, breadth, and perpendicular height of the great parish-church, or drawing of the facade of the abbey of Saint Austreberte which has been transported from Artois hither—every thing is just I suppose as the masons and carpenters left them,—and if the belief in Christ continues so long, will be so these fifty years to come—so your worships and reverences may all measure them at your leisures—but he who measures thee, Janatone, must do it now—thou carriest the principles of change within thy frame; and considering the chances of a transitory life, I would not answer for thee a moment; ere twice twelve months are passed and gone, thou mayest grow out like a pumpkin, and lose thy shapes—or thou mayest go off like a flower, and lose thy beauty—nay, thou mayest go off like a hussy—and lose thyself.—I would not answer for my aunt Dinah, was she alive—'faith, scarce for her picture—were it but painted by Reynolds—

But if I go on with my drawing, after naming that son of Apollo, I'll be shot—

So you must e'en be content with the original; which, if the evening is fine in passing thro' Montreuil, you will see at your chaise-door, as you change horses: but unless you have as bad a reason for haste as I have—you had better stop:—She has a little of the devote: but that, sir, is a terce to a nine in your favour— -L... help me! I could not count a single point: so had been piqued and repiqued, and capotted to the devil.



Chapter 3.XCIII.

All which being considered, and that Death moreover might be much nearer me than I imagined—I wish I was at Abbeville, quoth I, were it only to see how they card and spin—so off we set.

(Vid. Book of French post-roads, page 36. edition of 1762.) de Montreuil a Nampont- poste et demi de Nampont a Bernay —- poste de Bernay a Nouvion —- poste de Nouvion a Abbeville poste —but the carders and spinners were all gone to bed.



Chapter 3.XCIV.

What a vast advantage is travelling! only it heats one; but there is a remedy for that, which you may pick out of the next chapter.



Chapter 3.XCV.

Was I in a condition to stipulate with Death, as I am this moment with my apothecary, how and where I will take his clyster—I should certainly declare against submitting to it before my friends; and therefore I never seriously think upon the mode and manner of this great catastrophe, which generally takes up and torments my thoughts as much as the catastrophe itself; but I constantly draw the curtain across it with this wish, that the Disposer of all things may so order it, that it happen not to me in my own house—but rather in some decent inn—at home, I know it,—the concern of my friends, and the last services of wiping my brows, and smoothing my pillow, which the quivering hand of pale affection shall pay me, will so crucify my soul, that I shall die of a distemper which my physician is not aware of: but in an inn, the few cold offices I wanted, would be purchased with a few guineas, and paid me with an undisturbed, but punctual attention—but mark. This inn should not be the inn at Abbeville—if there was not another inn in the universe, I would strike that inn out of the capitulation: so

Let the horses be in the chaise exactly by four in the morning—Yes, by four, Sir,—or by Genevieve! I'll raise a clatter in the house shall wake the dead.



Chapter 3.XCVI.

'Make them like unto a wheel,' is a bitter sarcasm, as all the learned know, against the grand tour, and that restless spirit for making it, which David prophetically foresaw would haunt the children of men in the latter days; and therefore, as thinketh the great bishop Hall, 'tis one of the severest imprecations which David ever utter'd against the enemies of the Lord—and, as if he had said, 'I wish them no worse luck than always to be rolling about.'—So much motion, continues he (for he was very corpulent)—is so much unquietness; and so much of rest, by the same analogy, is so much of heaven.

Now, I (being very thin) think differently; and that so much of motion, is so much of life, and so much of joy—and that to stand still, or get on but slowly, is death and the devil—

Hollo! Ho!—the whole world's asleep!—bring out the horses—grease the wheels—tie on the mail—and drive a nail into that moulding—I'll not lose a moment—

Now the wheel we are talking of, and whereinto (but not whereonto, for that would make an Ixion's wheel of it) he curseth his enemies, according to the bishop's habit of body, should certainly be a post-chaise wheel, whether they were set up in Palestine at that time or not—and my wheel, for the contrary reasons, must as certainly be a cart-wheel groaning round its revolution once in an age; and of which sort, were I to turn commentator, I should make no scruple to affirm, they had great store in that hilly country.

I love the Pythagoreans (much more than ever I dare tell my dear Jenny) for their '(Greek)'—(their) 'getting out of the body, in order to think well.' No man thinks right, whilst he is in it; blinded as he must be, with his congenial humours, and drawn differently aside, as the bishop and myself have been, with too lax or too tense a fibre—Reason is, half of it, Sense; and the measure of heaven itself is but the measure of our present appetites and concoctions.—

—But which of the two, in the present case, do you think to be mostly in the wrong?

You, certainly: quoth she, to disturb a whole family so early.



Chapter 3.XCVII.

—But she did not know I was under a vow not to shave my beard till I got to Paris;—yet I hate to make mysteries of nothing;—'tis the cold cautiousness of one of those little souls from which Lessius (lib. 13. de moribus divinis, cap. 24.) hath made his estimate, wherein he setteth forth, That one Dutch mile, cubically multiplied, will allow room enough, and to spare, for eight hundred thousand millions, which he supposes to be as great a number of souls (counting from the fall of Adam) as can possibly be damn'd to the end of the world.

From what he has made this second estimate—unless from the parental goodness of God—I don't know—I am much more at a loss what could be in Franciscus Ribbera's head, who pretends that no less a space than one of two hundred Italian miles multiplied into itself, will be sufficient to hold the like number—he certainly must have gone upon some of the old Roman souls, of which he had read, without reflecting how much, by a gradual and most tabid decline, in the course of eighteen hundred years, they must unavoidably have shrunk so as to have come, when he wrote, almost to nothing.

In Lessius's time, who seems the cooler man, they were as little as can be imagined—

—We find them less now—

And next winter we shall find them less again; so that if we go on from little to less, and from less to nothing, I hesitate not one moment to affirm, that in half a century at this rate, we shall have no souls at all; which being the period beyond which I doubt likewise of the existence of the Christian faith, 'twill be one advantage that both of 'em will be exactly worn out together.

Blessed Jupiter! and blessed every other heathen god and goddess! for now ye will all come into play again, and with Priapus at your tails—what jovial times!—but where am I? and into what a delicious riot of things am I rushing? I—I who must be cut short in the midst of my days, and taste no more of 'em than what I borrow from my imagination—peace to thee, generous fool! and let me go on.



Chapter 3.XCVIII.

—'So hating, I say, to make mysteries of nothing'—I intrusted it with the post-boy, as soon as ever I got off the stones; he gave a crack with his whip to balance the compliment; and with the thill-horse trotting, and a sort of an up and a down of the other, we danced it along to Ailly au clochers, famed in days of yore for the finest chimes in the world; but we danced through it without music—the chimes being greatly out of order—(as in truth they were through all France).

And so making all possible speed, from

Ailly au clochers, I got to Hixcourt, from Hixcourt I got to Pequignay, and from Pequignay, I got to Amiens, concerning which town I have nothing to inform you, but what I have informed you once before—and that was—that Janatone went there to school.



Chapter 3.XCIX.

In the whole catalogue of those whiffling vexations which come puffing across a man's canvass, there is not one of a more teasing and tormenting nature, than this particular one which I am going to describe—and for which (unless you travel with an avance-courier, which numbers do in order to prevent it)—there is no help: and it is this.

That be you in never so kindly a propensity to sleep—though you are passing perhaps through the finest country—upon the best roads, and in the easiest carriage for doing it in the world—nay, was you sure you could sleep fifty miles straight forwards, without once opening your eyes—nay, what is more, was you as demonstratively satisfied as you can be of any truth in Euclid, that you should upon all accounts be full as well asleep as awake—nay, perhaps better—Yet the incessant returns of paying for the horses at every stage,—with the necessity thereupon of putting your hand into your pocket, and counting out from thence three livres fifteen sous (sous by sous), puts an end to so much of the project, that you cannot execute above six miles of it (or supposing it is a post and a half, that is but nine)—were it to save your soul from destruction.

—I'll be even with 'em, quoth I, for I'll put the precise sum into a piece of paper, and hold it ready in my hand all the way: 'Now I shall have nothing to do,' said I (composing myself to rest), 'but to drop this gently into the post-boy's hat, and not say a word.'—Then there wants two sous more to drink—or there is a twelve sous piece of Louis XIV. which will not pass—or a livre and some odd liards to be brought over from the last stage, which Monsieur had forgot; which altercations (as a man cannot dispute very well asleep) rouse him: still is sweet sleep retrievable; and still might the flesh weigh down the spirit, and recover itself of these blows—but then, by heaven! you have paid but for a single post—whereas 'tis a post and a half; and this obliges you to pull out your book of post-roads, the print of which is so very small, it forces you to open your eyes, whether you will or no: Then Monsieur le Cure offers you a pinch of snuff—or a poor soldier shews you his leg—or a shaveling his box—or the priestesse of the cistern will water your wheels—they do not want it—but she swears by her priesthood (throwing it back) that they do:—then you have all these points to argue, or consider over in your mind; in doing of which, the rational powers get so thoroughly awakened—you may get 'em to sleep again as you can.

It was entirely owing to one of these misfortunes, or I had pass'd clean by the stables of Chantilly—

—But the postillion first affirming, and then persisting in it to my face, that there was no mark upon the two sous piece, I open'd my eyes to be convinced—and seeing the mark upon it as plain as my nose—I leap'd out of the chaise in a passion, and so saw every thing at Chantilly in spite.—I tried it but for three posts and a half, but believe 'tis the best principle in the world to travel speedily upon; for as few objects look very inviting in that mood—you have little or nothing to stop you; by which means it was that I passed through St. Dennis, without turning my head so much as on one side towards the Abby—

—Richness of their treasury! stuff and nonsense!—bating their jewels, which are all false, I would not give three sous for any one thing in it, but Jaidas's lantern—nor for that either, only as it grows dark, it might be of use.



Chapter 3.C.

Crack, crack—crack, crack—crack, crack—so this is Paris! quoth I (continuing in the same mood)—and this is Paris!—humph!—Paris! cried I, repeating the name the third time—

The first, the finest, the most brilliant—

The streets however are nasty.

But it looks, I suppose, better than it smells—crack, crack—crack, crack—what a fuss thou makest!—as if it concerned the good people to be informed, that a man with pale face and clad in black, had the honour to be driven into Paris at nine o'clock at night, by a postillion in a tawny yellow jerkin, turned up with red calamanco—crack, crack—crack, crack—crack, crack,—I wish thy whip—

—But 'tis the spirit of thy nation; so crack—crack on.

Ha!—and no one gives the wall!—but in the School of Urbanity herself, if the walls are besh..t—how can you do otherwise?

And prithee when do they light the lamps? What?—never in the summer months!—Ho! 'tis the time of sallads.—O rare! sallad and soup—soup and sallad—sallad and soup, encore—

—'Tis too much for sinners.

Now I cannot bear the barbarity of it; how can that unconscionable coachman talk so much bawdy to that lean horse? don't you see, friend, the streets are so villanously narrow, that there is not room in all Paris to turn a wheelbarrow? In the grandest city of the whole world, it would not have been amiss, if they had been left a thought wider; nay, were it only so much in every single street, as that a man might know (was it only for satisfaction) on which side of it he was walking.

One—two—three—four—five—six—seven—eight—nine—ten.—Ten cooks shops! and twice the number of barbers! and all within three minutes driving! one would think that all the cooks in the world, on some great merry-meeting with the barbers, by joint consent had said—Come, let us all go live at Paris: the French love good eating—they are all gourmands—we shall rank high; if their god is their belly—their cooks must be gentlemen: and forasmuch as the periwig maketh the man, and the periwig-maker maketh the periwig—ergo, would the barbers say, we shall rank higher still—we shall be above you all—we shall be Capitouls (Chief Magistrate in Toulouse, &c. &c. &c.) at least—pardi! we shall all wear swords—

—And so, one would swear, (that is, by candle-light,—but there is no depending upon it,) they continued to do, to this day.



Chapter 3.CI.

The French are certainly misunderstood:—but whether the fault is theirs, in not sufficiently explaining themselves; or speaking with that exact limitation and precision which one would expect on a point of such importance, and which, moreover, is so likely to be contested by us—or whether the fault may not be altogether on our side, in not understanding their language always so critically as to know 'what they would be at'—I shall not decide; but 'tis evident to me, when they affirm, 'That they who have seen Paris, have seen every thing,' they must mean to speak of those who have seen it by day-light.

As for candle-light—I give it up—I have said before, there was no depending upon it—and I repeat it again; but not because the lights and shades are too sharp—or the tints confounded—or that there is neither beauty or keeping, &c....for that's not truth—but it is an uncertain light in this respect, That in all the five hundred grand Hotels, which they number up to you in Paris—and the five hundred good things, at a modest computation (for 'tis only allowing one good thing to a Hotel), which by candle-light are best to be seen, felt, heard, and understood (which, by the bye, is a quotation from Lilly)—the devil a one of us out of fifty, can get our heads fairly thrust in amongst them.

This is no part of the French computation: 'tis simply this,

That by the last survey taken in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, since which time there have been considerable augmentations, Paris doth contain nine hundred streets; (viz)

In the quarter called the City—there are fifty-three streets. In St. James of the Shambles, fifty-five streets. In St. Oportune, thirty-four streets. In the quarter of the Louvre, twenty-five streets. In the Palace Royal, or St. Honorius, forty-nine streets. In Mont. Martyr, forty-one streets. In St. Eustace, twenty-nine streets. In the Halles, twenty-seven streets. In St. Dennis, fifty-five streets. In St. Martin, fifty-four streets. In St. Paul, or the Mortellerie, twenty-seven streets. The Greve, thirty-eight streets. In St. Avoy, or the Verrerie, nineteen streets. In the Marais, or the Temple, fifty-two streets. In St. Antony's, sixty-eight streets. In the Place Maubert, eighty-one streets. In St. Bennet, sixty streets. In St. Andrews de Arcs, fifty-one streets. In the quarter of the Luxembourg, sixty-two streets.

And in that of St. Germain, fifty-five streets, into any of which you may walk; and that when you have seen them with all that belongs to them, fairly by day-light—their gates, their bridges, their squares, their statues...and have crusaded it moreover, through all their parish-churches, by no means omitting St. Roche and Sulpice...and to crown all, have taken a walk to the four palaces, which you may see, either with or without the statues and pictures, just as you chuse—

—Then you will have seen—

—but 'tis what no one needeth to tell you, for you will read of it yourself upon the portico of the Louvre, in these words,

Earth No Such Folks!—No Folks E'er Such A Town As Paris Is!—Sing, Derry, Derry, Down. (Non orbis gentem, non urbem gens habet ullam —ulla parem.)

The French have a gay way of treating every thing that is Great; and that is all can be said upon it.



Chapter 3.CII.

In mentioning the word gay (as in the close of the last chapter) it puts one (i.e. an author) in mind of the word spleen—especially if he has any thing to say upon it: not that by any analysis—or that from any table of interest or genealogy, there appears much more ground of alliance betwixt them, than betwixt light and darkness, or any two of the most unfriendly opposites in nature—only 'tis an undercraft of authors to keep up a good understanding amongst words, as politicians do amongst men—not knowing how near they may be under a necessity of placing them to each other—which point being now gain'd, and that I may place mine exactly to my mind, I write it down here—

Spleen.

This, upon leaving Chantilly, I declared to be the best principle in the world to travel speedily upon; but I gave it only as matter of opinion. I still continue in the same sentiments—only I had not then experience enough of its working to add this, that though you do get on at a tearing rate, yet you get on but uneasily to yourself at the same time; for which reason I here quit it entirely, and for ever, and 'tis heartily at any one's service—it has spoiled me the digestion of a good supper, and brought on a bilious diarrhoea, which has brought me back again to my first principle on which I set out—and with which I shall now scamper it away to the banks of the Garonne—

—No;—I cannot stop a moment to give you the character of the people—their genius—their manners—their customs—their laws—their religion—their government—their manufactures—their commerce—their finances, with all the resources and hidden springs which sustain them: qualified as I may be, by spending three days and two nights amongst them, and during all that time making these things the entire subject of my enquiries and reflections—

Still—still I must away—the roads are paved—the posts are short—the days are long—'tis no more than noon—I shall be at Fontainebleau before the king—

—Was he going there? not that I know—

End of the Third Volume.



THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF TRISTRAM SHANDY, GENT.—VOLUME THE FOURTH.

Non enim excursus hic ejus, sed opus ipsum est.

Plin. Lib. V. Epist. 6.

Si quid urbaniuscule lusum a nobis, per Musas et Charitas et omnium poetarum Numina, Oro te, ne me male capias.

A Dedication to a Great Man.

Having, a priori, intended to dedicate The Amours of my Uncle Toby to Mr. ...—I see more reasons, a posteriori, for doing it to Lord........

I should lament from my soul, if this exposed me to the jealousy of their Reverences; because a posteriori, in Court-latin, signifies the kissing hands for preferment—or any thing else—in order to get it.

My opinion of Lord....... is neither better nor worse, than it was of Mr. .... Honours, like impressions upon coin, may give an ideal and local value to a bit of base metal; but Gold and Silver will pass all the world over without any other recommendation than their own weight.

The same good-will that made me think of offering up half an hour's amusement to Mr.... when out of place—operates more forcibly at present, as half an hour's amusement will be more serviceable and refreshing after labour and sorrow, than after a philosophical repast.

Nothing is so perfectly amusement as a total change of ideas; no ideas are so totally different as those of Ministers, and innocent Lovers: for which reason, when I come to talk of Statesmen and Patriots, and set such marks upon them as will prevent confusion and mistakes concerning them for the future—I propose to dedicate that Volume to some gentle Shepherd,

Whose thoughts proud Science never taught to stray, Far as the Statesman's walk or Patriot-way; Yet simple Nature to his hopes had given Out of a cloud-capp'd head a humbler heaven; Some untam'd World in depths of wood embraced— Some happier Island in the wat'ry-waste— And where admitted to that equal sky, His faithful Dogs should bear him company.

In a word, by thus introducing an entire new set of objects to his Imagination, I shall unavoidably give a Diversion to his passionate and love-sick Contemplations. In the mean time,

I am

The Author.



Chapter 4.I.

Now I hate to hear a person, especially if he be a traveller, complain that we do not get on so fast in France as we do in England; whereas we get on much faster, consideratis considerandis; thereby always meaning, that if you weigh their vehicles with the mountains of baggage which you lay both before and behind upon them—and then consider their puny horses, with the very little they give them—'tis a wonder they get on at all: their suffering is most unchristian, and 'tis evident thereupon to me, that a French post-horse would not know what in the world to do, was it not for the two words...... and...... in which there is as much sustenance, as if you give him a peck of corn: now as these words cost nothing, I long from my soul to tell the reader what they are; but here is the question—they must be told him plainly, and with the most distinct articulation, or it will answer no end—and yet to do it in that plain way—though their reverences may laugh at it in the bed-chamber—full well I wot, they will abuse it in the parlour: for which cause, I have been volving and revolving in my fancy some time, but to no purpose, by what clean device or facette contrivance I might so modulate them, that whilst I satisfy that ear which the reader chuses to lend me—I might not dissatisfy the other which he keeps to himself.

—My ink burns my finger to try—and when I have—'twill have a worse consequence—It will burn (I fear) my paper.

—No;—I dare not—

But if you wish to know how the abbess of Andouillets and a novice of her convent got over the difficulty (only first wishing myself all imaginable success)—I'll tell you without the least scruple.



Chapter 4.II.

The abbess of Andouillets, which if you look into the large set of provincial maps now publishing at Paris, you will find situated amongst the hills which divide Burgundy from Savoy, being in danger of an Anchylosis or stiff joint (the sinovia of her knee becoming hard by long matins), and having tried every remedy—first, prayers and thanksgiving; then invocations to all the saints in heaven promiscuously—then particularly to every saint who had ever had a stiff leg before her—then touching it with all the reliques of the convent, principally with the thigh-bone of the man of Lystra, who had been impotent from his youth—then wrapping it up in her veil when she went to bed—then cross-wise her rosary—then bringing in to her aid the secular arm, and anointing it with oils and hot fat of animals—then treating it with emollient and resolving fomentations—then with poultices of marsh-mallows, mallows, bonus Henricus, white lillies and fenugreek—then taking the woods, I mean the smoak of 'em, holding her scapulary across her lap—then decoctions of wild chicory, water-cresses, chervil, sweet cecily and cochlearia—and nothing all this while answering, was prevailed on at last to try the hot-baths of Bourbon—so having first obtained leave of the visitor-general to take care of her existence—she ordered all to be got ready for her journey: a novice of the convent of about seventeen, who had been troubled with a whitloe in her middle finger, by sticking it constantly into the abbess's cast poultices, &c.—had gained such an interest, that overlooking a sciatical old nun, who might have been set up for ever by the hot-baths of Bourbon, Margarita, the little novice, was elected as the companion of the journey.

An old calesh, belonging to the abbesse, lined with green frize, was ordered to be drawn out into the sun—the gardener of the convent being chosen muleteer, led out the two old mules, to clip the hair from the rump-ends of their tails, whilst a couple of lay-sisters were busied, the one in darning the lining, and the other in sewing on the shreds of yellow binding, which the teeth of time had unravelled—the under-gardener dress'd the muleteer's hat in hot wine-lees—and a taylor sat musically at it, in a shed over-against the convent, in assorting four dozen of bells for the harness, whistling to each bell, as he tied it on with a thong.—

—The carpenter and the smith of Andouillets held a council of wheels; and by seven, the morning after, all look'd spruce, and was ready at the gate of the convent for the hot-baths of Bourbon—two rows of the unfortunate stood ready there an hour before.

The abbess of Andouillets, supported by Margarita the novice, advanced slowly to the calesh, both clad in white, with their black rosaries hanging at their breasts—

—There was a simple solemnity in the contrast: they entered the calesh; the nuns in the same uniform, sweet emblem of innocence, each occupied a window, and as the abbess and Margarita look'd up—each (the sciatical poor nun excepted)—each stream'd out the end of her veil in the air—then kiss'd the lilly hand which let it go: the good abbess and Margarita laid their hands saint-wise upon their breasts—look'd up to heaven—then to them—and look'd 'God bless you, dear sisters.'

I declare I am interested in this story, and wish I had been there.

The gardener, whom I shall now call the muleteer, was a little, hearty, broad-set, good-natured, chattering, toping kind of a fellow, who troubled his head very little with the hows and whens of life; so had mortgaged a month of his conventical wages in a borrachio, or leathern cask of wine, which he had disposed behind the calesh, with a large russet-coloured riding-coat over it, to guard it from the sun; and as the weather was hot, and he not a niggard of his labours, walking ten times more than he rode—he found more occasions than those of nature, to fall back to the rear of his carriage; till by frequent coming and going, it had so happen'd, that all his wine had leak'd out at the legal vent of the borrachio, before one half of the journey was finish'd.

Man is a creature born to habitudes. The day had been sultry—the evening was delicious—the wine was generous—the Burgundian hill on which it grew was steep—a little tempting bush over the door of a cool cottage at the foot of it, hung vibrating in full harmony with the passions—a gentle air rustled distinctly through the leaves—'Come—come, thirsty muleteer,—come in.'

—The muleteer was a son of Adam, I need not say a word more. He gave the mules, each of 'em, a sound lash, and looking in the abbess's and Margarita's faces (as he did it)—as much as to say 'here I am'—he gave a second good crack—as much as to say to his mules, 'get on'—so slinking behind, he enter'd the little inn at the foot of the hill.

The muleteer, as I told you, was a little, joyous, chirping fellow, who thought not of to-morrow, nor of what had gone before, or what was to follow it, provided he got but his scantling of Burgundy, and a little chit-chat along with it; so entering into a long conversation, as how he was chief gardener to the convent of Andouillets, &c. &c. and out of friendship for the abbess and Mademoiselle Margarita, who was only in her noviciate, he had come along with them from the confines of Savoy, &c. &c.—and as how she had got a white swelling by her devotions—and what a nation of herbs he had procured to mollify her humours, &c. &c. and that if the waters of Bourbon did not mend that leg—she might as well be lame of both—&c. &c. &c.—He so contrived his story, as absolutely to forget the heroine of it—and with her the little novice, and what was a more ticklish point to be forgot than both—the two mules; who being creatures that take advantage of the world, inasmuch as their parents took it of them—and they not being in a condition to return the obligation downwards (as men and women and beasts are)—they do it side-ways, and long-ways, and back-ways—and up hill, and down hill, and which way they can.—Philosophers, with all their ethicks, have never considered this rightly—how should the poor muleteer, then in his cups, consider it at all? he did not in the least—'tis time we do; let us leave him then in the vortex of his element, the happiest and most thoughtless of mortal men—and for a moment let us look after the mules, the abbess, and Margarita.

By virtue of the muleteer's two last strokes the mules had gone quietly on, following their own consciences up the hill, till they had conquer'd about one half of it; when the elder of them, a shrewd crafty old devil, at the turn of an angle, giving a side glance, and no muleteer behind them,—

By my fig! said she, swearing, I'll go no further—And if I do, replied the other, they shall make a drum of my hide.—

And so with one consent they stopp'd thus—



Chapter 4.III.

—Get on with you, said the abbess.

—Wh...ysh—ysh—cried Margarita.

Sh...a—shu..u—shu..u—sh..aw—shaw'd the abbess.

—Whu—v—w—whew—w—w—whuv'd Margarita, pursing up her sweet lips betwixt a hoot and a whistle.

Thump—thump—thump—obstreperated the abbess of Andouillets with the end of her gold-headed cane against the bottom of the calesh—

The old mule let a f...



Chapter 4.IV.

We are ruin'd and undone, my child, said the abbess to Margarita,—we shall be here all night—we shall be plunder'd—we shall be ravished—

—We shall be ravish'd, said Margarita, as sure as a gun.

Sancta Maria! cried the abbess (forgetting the O!)—why was I govern'd by this wicked stiff joint? why did I leave the convent of Andouillets? and why didst thou not suffer thy servant to go unpolluted to her tomb?

O my finger! my finger! cried the novice, catching fire at the word servant—why was I not content to put it here, or there, any where rather than be in this strait?

Strait! said the abbess.

Strait—said the novice; for terror had struck their understandings—the one knew not what she said—the other what she answer'd.

O my virginity! virginity! cried the abbess.

...inity!...inity! said the novice, sobbing.



Chapter 4.V.

My dear mother, quoth the novice, coming a little to herself,—there are two certain words, which I have been told will force any horse, or ass, or mule, to go up a hill whether he will or no; be he never so obstinate or ill-will'd, the moment he hears them utter'd, he obeys. They are words magic! cried the abbess in the utmost horror—No; replied Margarita calmly—but they are words sinful—What are they? quoth the abbess, interrupting her: They are sinful in the first degree, answered Margarita,—they are mortal—and if we are ravished and die unabsolved of them, we shall both-but you may pronounce them to me, quoth the abbess of Andouillets—They cannot, my dear mother, said the novice, be pronounced at all; they will make all the blood in one's body fly up into one's face—But you may whisper them in my ear, quoth the abbess.

Heaven! hadst thou no guardian angel to delegate to the inn at the bottom of the hill? was there no generous and friendly spirit unemployed—no agent in nature, by some monitory shivering, creeping along the artery which led to his heart, to rouse the muleteer from his banquet?—no sweet minstrelsy to bring back the fair idea of the abbess and Margarita, with their black rosaries!

Rouse! rouse!—but 'tis too late—the horrid words are pronounced this moment—

—and how to tell them—Ye, who can speak of every thing existing, with unpolluted lips—instruct me—guide me—



Chapter 4.VI.

All sins whatever, quoth the abbess, turning casuist in the distress they were under, are held by the confessor of our convent to be either mortal or venial: there is no further division. Now a venial sin being the slightest and least of all sins—being halved—by taking either only the half of it, and leaving the rest—or, by taking it all, and amicably halving it betwixt yourself and another person—in course becomes diluted into no sin at all.

Now I see no sin in saying, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, a hundred times together; nor is there any turpitude in pronouncing the syllable ger, ger, ger, ger, ger, were it from our matins to our vespers: Therefore, my dear daughter, continued the abbess of Andouillets—I will say bou, and thou shalt say ger; and then alternately, as there is no more sin in fou than in bou—Thou shalt say fou—and I will come in (like fa, sol, la, re, mi, ut, at our complines) with ter. And accordingly the abbess, giving the pitch note, set off thus:

Abbess,.....) Bou...bou...bou.. Margarita,..) —-ger,..ger,..ger.

Margarita,..) Fou...fou...fou.. Abbess,.....) —-ter,..ter,..ter.

The two mules acknowledged the notes by a mutual lash of their tails; but it went no further—'Twill answer by an' by, said the novice.

Abbess,.....) Bou. bou. bou. bou. bou. bou. Margarita,..) —-ger, ger, ger, ger, ger, ger.

Quicker still, cried Margarita. Fou, fou, fou, fou, fou, fou, fou, fou, fou.

Quicker still, cried Margarita. Bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou, bou.

Quicker still—God preserve me; said the abbess—They do not understand us, cried Margarita—But the Devil does, said the abbess of Andouillets.



Chapter 4.VII.

What a tract of country have I run!—how many degrees nearer to the warm sun am I advanced, and how many fair and goodly cities have I seen, during the time you have been reading and reflecting, Madam, upon this story! There's Fontainbleau, and Sens, and Joigny, and Auxerre, and Dijon the capital of Burgundy, and Challon, and Macon the capital of the Maconese, and a score more upon the road to Lyons—and now I have run them over—I might as well talk to you of so many market towns in the moon, as tell you one word about them: it will be this chapter at the least, if not both this and the next entirely lost, do what I will—

—Why, 'tis a strange story! Tristram.

Alas! Madam, had it been upon some melancholy lecture of the cross—the peace of meekness, or the contentment of resignation—I had not been incommoded: or had I thought of writing it upon the purer abstractions of the soul, and that food of wisdom and holiness and contemplation, upon which the spirit of man (when separated from the body) is to subsist for ever—You would have come with a better appetite from it—

—I wish I never had wrote it: but as I never blot any thing out—let us use some honest means to get it out of our heads directly.

—Pray reach me my fool's cap—I fear you sit upon it, Madam—'tis under the cushion—I'll put it on—

Bless me! you have had it upon your head this half hour.—There then let it stay, with a

Fa-ra diddle di and a fa-ri diddle d and a high-dum—dye-dum fiddle...dumb-c.

And now, Madam, we may venture, I hope a little to go on.



Chapter 4.VIII.

—All you need say of Fontainbleau (in case you are ask'd) is, that it stands about forty miles (south something) from Paris, in the middle of a large forest—That there is something great in it—That the king goes there once every two or three years, with his whole court, for the pleasure of the chace—and that, during that carnival of sporting, any English gentleman of fashion (you need not forget yourself) may be accommodated with a nag or two, to partake of the sport, taking care only not to out-gallop the king—

Though there are two reasons why you need not talk loud of this to every one.

First, Because 'twill make the said nags the harder to be got; and

Secondly, 'Tis not a word of it true.—Allons!

As for Sens—you may dispatch—in a word—''Tis an archiepiscopal see.'

—For Joigny—the less, I think, one says of it the better.

But for Auxerre—I could go on for ever: for in my grand tour through Europe, in which, after all, my father (not caring to trust me with any one) attended me himself, with my uncle Toby, and Trim, and Obadiah, and indeed most of the family, except my mother, who being taken up with a project of knitting my father a pair of large worsted breeches—(the thing is common sense)—and she not caring to be put out of her way, she staid at home, at Shandy Hall, to keep things right during the expedition; in which, I say, my father stopping us two days at Auxerre, and his researches being ever of such a nature, that they would have found fruit even in a desert—he has left me enough to say upon Auxerre: in short, wherever my father went—but 'twas more remarkably so, in this journey through France and Italy, than in any other stages of his life—his road seemed to lie so much on one side of that, wherein all other travellers have gone before him—he saw kings and courts and silks of all colours, in such strange lights—and his remarks and reasonings upon the characters, the manners, and customs of the countries we pass'd over, were so opposite to those of all other mortal men, particularly those of my uncle Toby and Trim—(to say nothing of myself)—and to crown all—the occurrences and scrapes which we were perpetually meeting and getting into, in consequence of his systems and opiniotry—they were of so odd, so mix'd and tragi-comical a contexture—That the whole put together, it appears of so different a shade and tint from any tour of Europe, which was ever executed—that I will venture to pronounce—the fault must be mine and mine only—if it be not read by all travellers and travel-readers, till travelling is no more,—or which comes to the same point—till the world, finally, takes it into its head to stand still.—

—But this rich bale is not to be open'd now; except a small thread or two of it, merely to unravel the mystery of my father's stay at Auxerre.

—As I have mentioned it—'tis too slight to be kept suspended; and when 'tis wove in, there is an end of it.

We'll go, brother Toby, said my father, whilst dinner is coddling—to the abbey of Saint Germain, if it be only to see these bodies, of which Monsieur Sequier has given such a recommendation.—I'll go see any body, quoth my uncle Toby; for he was all compliance through every step of the journey—Defend me! said my father—they are all mummies—Then one need not shave; quoth my uncle Toby—Shave! no—cried my father—'twill be more like relations to go with our beards on—So out we sallied, the corporal lending his master his arm, and bringing up the rear, to the abbey of Saint Germain.

Every thing is very fine, and very rich, and very superb, and very magnificent, said my father, addressing himself to the sacristan, who was a younger brother of the order of Benedictines—but our curiosity has led us to see the bodies, of which Monsieur Sequier has given the world so exact a description.—The sacristan made a bow, and lighting a torch first, which he had always in the vestry ready for the purpose; he led us into the tomb of St. Heribald—This, said the sacristan, laying his hand upon the tomb, was a renowned prince of the house of Bavaria, who under the successive reigns of Charlemagne, Louis le Debonnair, and Charles the Bald, bore a great sway in the government, and had a principal hand in bringing every thing into order and discipline—

Then he has been as great, said my uncle, in the field, as in the cabinet—I dare say he has been a gallant soldier—He was a monk—said the sacristan.

My uncle Toby and Trim sought comfort in each other's faces—but found it not: my father clapped both his hands upon his cod-piece, which was a way he had when any thing hugely tickled him: for though he hated a monk and the very smell of a monk worse than all the devils in hell—yet the shot hitting my uncle Toby and Trim so much harder than him, 'twas a relative triumph; and put him into the gayest humour in the world.

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