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said I, his honour will not like the toast the worse for being toasted by an old soldier.—The youth took hold of my hand, and instantly burst into tears.— Poor youth! said my uncle Toby,—he has been bred up from an infant in the army, and the name of a soldier, Trim, sounded in his ears like the name of a friend ;—I wish I had him here.
—I never in the longest march, said the corporal, had so great a mind to my dinner, as I had to cry with him for company :—What could be the matter with me, an'please your honour ?—Nothing in the world, Trim, said my uncle Toby, blowing his nose,—but that thou art a good-natured fellow.
When I gave him the toast, continued the corporal, I thought it was proper to tell him I was Captain Shandy's servant, and that your honour (though a stranger) was extiemely concerned for his father;—and that if there was any thing in your house or cellar—(and thou might'st have added my purse too, said my uncle Toby)—he was heartily welcome to it:—he made a verv low bow, (which was meant to your honour) but no answer,—for his heart was full—so he went up stairs with the toast ;—I warrant you, my dear, said I, as I opened the kitchen-door, your father will be well again.—Mr. Yorick's curate was smoking a pipe by the kitchen fire, —but said not a word good or bad to
comfort the youth. 1 thought it was
wrong, added the corporal 1 think
so too, said my uncle Toby.
When the lieutenant had taken his glass of sack and toast, he felt himself a little revived, and sent down into the kitchen, to let me know, that in about ten minutes he should be glad iff would step upstairs.—I believe, said the landlord, he is going to fay his prayers,—for there was a book laid upon the chair by his bed-side, and as I shut the door, 1 saw his son take up a cushion.—
I thought, said the curate, that you gentlemen of the army, Mr. Trim, never said your prayers at all. 1 heard
the poor gentleman fay his prayers last night, said the landlady, very devoutly, and with my own ears, or I could not have believed it.—Are you sure of it? replied the curate:—A soldier, an'
please your reverence, said I, prays as often (of his own accord) as a parson ;— and when he is fighting for his king, and for his own life, and for his honour too, he has the most reason to pray to God of any one in the whole world.—* 'Twaswell said of thee, Trim, said my uncle Toby.—But when a soldier, said. I, an' please your reverence, has been standing fortwelve hours togetherin the trenches, up to his knees in cold water, —or engaged, said I, for months together in long and dangerous marches ;— harrassed, perhaps, in his rear to-day ;— harraflingothers to-morrow;—detached here;—countermanded there;—resting this night upon his arms;—beat up in his shirt the next;—benumbed in his joints ;—perhaps without straw in his tent to kneel on;—he must fay his prayers how and when he can.—I believe, said I,—for I was piqued,quoth the corporal, for the reputation of the army,— I believe, an't please your reverence, said I, that when a soldier gets time to pray,—he prays as heartily as a parson—* though not with all his fuss and hypocrisy. Thou should'st not have said
that, Trim, said my uncle Toby,—sot God only knows who is a hypocrite^ and who is not:—At the great and general review of us all, corporal, at the* day of judgment, (and not till then)—* it will be seen who has done their duties in this world,—and who has not; and we shall be advanced, Trim, accordingly—I hope we shall, said Trim.—It it in the Scripture, said my uncle Tobv; and I will shew it thee to-morrow :—Ir the mean time we may depend upon it. Trim, for our comfort, said my uncle Toby, that God Almighty is so good and just a governor of the world, that if we have but done our duties in it,— it will never be enquired into, whether we have done them in a red coat or a black one:—I hope not, said the corporal.—But go on, Trim, said my uncle Toby, with thy story.
When I went up, continued the corporal, into the lieutenant's room, which I did not do till the expiration of the ten minutes,—he was lying in his bed with his head raised upon his hand, with his elbow upon the pillow, and a clean white cambric handkerchief beside it:
—The —The youth was just stooping down to take up the cushion, upon which I supposed he had been kneeling—the book was laid upon the bed,—and as he rose, in taking up the cushion with one hand, he reached out his other to take it away
at the fame time. Let it remain
there, my dear, said the lieutenant.
He did not offer to speak to me, till I had walked up close to his bed-fide: —If you are Captain Shandy's servant, said he, you must present my thanks to your master, with my little boy's thanks along with them, for his courtesy to me, —if he was of Leven's—said the lieutenant.——I told him your honour was. .11 Then,said he, I served three campaigns with him in Flanders, and remember him—but 'tis most likely, as I had not the honour of any acquaintance with him, that he knows nothing of me. —You will tell him, however, that the person his good-nature has laid under obligations to him, is one Le Fevre, a
lieutenant in Angus's but he knows
me not,—said he, a second time, musing;—possibly he may my story—added he—pray tell the captain, I was the ensign at Breda, whose wife was most unfortunately killed with a musket-shot, as she lay in my arms in my tent. I remember the story, an't please your
honour, said I, very well Do you
ib i said he, wiping his eyes with his handkerchief,—then well may I.—In saying this, he drew a little ring out of his bosom, which seemed tied with a black ribband about his neck, and killed it twice. Here, Billy, said he,—
tht boy flew across the room to the bedfide, and falling down upon his knee, took the ring in his hand, and kissed it too,—then kissed his father, and fat down upon the bed and wept.
I wish, said my uncle Toby with a deep sigh, I wish, Trim, I was
Your honour, replied the corporal, is too much concerned;—shall I pour your honour out a glass of sack to your pipe ?Do, Trim, said my uncle Toby.
I remember, said my uncle Toby, sighing again, the story of the ensign and his wife, with a circumstance his modesty omitted;—and particularly well that he, as well as she, upon some ac
count orother, (I forget what) was universally pitied by the whole regiment; —but finish the story thou art upon: ——'Tis finished already, said the corporal,—for I could stay no longer,—so wished his honour a good night; young Le Fevre rose from off the bed, and saw me to the bottom of the stairs; and as we went down together, told me, they had come from Ireland, and were on their route to join their regiment in Flanders—Eutalas! said the corporal, —the lieutenant's last day's march is over.—Then what is to become of hit poor boy? cried my uncle Toby.
It was to my uncle Toby's eternal honour,—though I tell it only for the fake of those, who, when cooped in betwixt a natural and a positive law, know not for their souls, which way in the world to turn themselves——That notwithstanding my uncle Toby was warmly engaged at that time in carrying on the siege of Dendermond, parallel with the allies, who pressed theirs on so vigorously that they scarce allowed him time to get his dinner that nevertheless he gave up Dendermond, though he had already made a lodgment upon the counterscarp; and bent his whole thoughts towards the private distresses at the inn ; and, except that he ordered the garden-gate to be bolted up, by which he might be said to have turned the siege of Dendermond into a blockade—he left Dendermond to itself,—to be relieved or not by the French king, as the French king thought good ; and only considered how he himself should relieve the poor lieutenant and his son.
r-That kind Being, who is a
friend to the friendless, shall recompense thee for this.
Thou hast left this matter short, said my uncle Toby to the corporal, as he
was putting him to bed, and I wilL
tell thee in what, Trim.—In the first place, when thou madest an offer of my services to Le Fevre, as sickness and travelling are both expensive, and thou knowest he was but a poor lieutenant, with a son to subsist as well as himself, out of his pay,—that thou didst not make an offer to him of my purse; because, had he stood in need, thou knowest, Trim, he had been as welcome to it
as myself. ■■ Your honour knows, said the corporal, I had no orders ;■*—True, quoth my uncle Toby, 'thou didst very right, Trim, as a soldier,—but certainly very wrong as a man.
In the second place, for which, indeed, thou hast the same excuse, continued my uncle Toby,——when thou offeredst him whatever was in my house, thou should'st have offered him my house too: ■ A sick brother officer should have the best quarters, Trim; and if we had him with us,—we could tend and look to him: thou art an excellent nurse thyself, Trim,-*-—and what with thy care of him, and the old woman's, and his boy's, and mine together, we might recruit him again at once, and set him upon his legs.—
■ ' T. In a fortnight ot three weeks, added my uncleToby, smiling,—he might march.—He will never march,an' please your honour, in the world, said the corporal: He will march, said my
uncle Toby, rising up from the side of the bed, with one shoe off:—An' please your honour, said the corporal, he will never march but to his grave :—He shall march, cried my uncle Toby, marching the foot which had a (hoe on, though without advancing an inch,—he shall march to his regiment.*— He cannot stand it, said the corporal.—He shall be supported, said my uncle Toby.— He'll drop at last, said the corporal, and what will become of his boy? — He fliall not drop, said my uncle Toby, firmly.— A-well-o'day,—do what we can for him, said Trim, maintaining his point,—the poor soul will die :— He shall not die, by G—, cried my uncle Toby.
The accusing spirit which flew up to heaven's chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in 'and ihe recording angel as he wrote it down, dropp'd a tear upon the word, and blotted it out for ever.
My uncleToby went to his bureau,—put his purse into his breeches pocket, and having ordered the corporal to go early in the morning for a physician,—he went to bed and fell asleep.
The sun looked bright the morning after, to every eye in the village but Le Fevre's and his afflicted son's; the hand
of death press'd heavy upon his eyelids,—and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn round its circle,—when my uncle Toby, who had rose up an hour before his wonted time, entered the lieutenant's room, and without preface or apology fat himself down upon the chair, by the bed-side, and independently of all modes and customs opened the curtain in the manner an old friend and brother officer would have done it, and asked him how he did,—how he had rested in the night,—what was his complaintj-^where was his pain,—and what he could do to help him ?——and without giving him time to answer any one of the enquiries, went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the corporal the night before for him.—
'You shall go home directly, Le Fevre, said my uncleToby, to my house, and we'll send for a doctor to see what's the matter,—and well have an apothecary,—and the corporal shall be your
nurse; and I'll be your servant, Le
There was a frankness in my uncle Toby,—not the effect of familiarity,— but the cause of it,—which let you at once into his soul, and shewed you the goodness of his nature; to this, there was something in his looks, and voice, and manner, superadded, which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take shelter under him ; 'so that before my uncle Toby had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father, had the son insensibly pressed up close to his knees, and had taken hold of the breast of his coat, and was pulling it towards him.- The blood and spirits of Le Fevre, which were waxing cold and flow within him, and were retreating to their last citadel, the heart,—rallied back, the film forsook his eyes fora moment,—he looked up wishfully in my uncle Toby's face,
— then cast a look upon his boy,—and that ligament, fine as it was,—was never broken.
Nature instantlyebb'd again, < the film returned to its place, the pulse flutter'd—st"pp'd—went on—throbb'd
— stopp'd again—moved—stopp'd — shall I go on /——No. Sterne.
§ 2. Yorick'^ $ a. YOMCK's t)eath.
A few hours before Yorick breathed his last, Eugenius stept in, with an intent to take his last sight and last farewel of him. Upon his drawing Yorick's curtain, and asking how he felt himself, Yorick locking up in his face, took hold
of his hand, and, after thanking him
for the many tokens of his friendship to him, for which, he said, if it was their fate to meet hereafter, he would thank him again and again; he told him, he was within a few hours of giving his enemies the flip for ever.—I hope not, answered Eugenius, with tears trickling down his cheeks, and with the tenderest tone that ever man spoke,-—I hope not, Yorick, said he.——Yorick replied,with a look up, and a gentle squeeze osEueenius's hand,—and that was all,-—but it cut Eugenius to his heart.—Come, come, Yorick, quoth Eugenius, wiping his eyes, and summoning up the man within him, my dear lad, be comforted,—let not all thy spirits and fortitude forsake thee at this crisis when thou roost wantest them ;-—who knows what resources are in store, and what the power of God may yet do for thee ?— Yorick laid his hand upon his heart, and gently shook his head; for my part continued Eugenius, crying bitterly as he Uttered the words,—I declare, I know not, Yorick, how to part with thee, and would gladly flatter my hopes, added Eugenius, chearing up his voice, that there is still enough of thee left to make a bishop,—and that I may live to see it. -—I beseech thee, Eugenius, quoth Yorick, taking off his night-cap as well
as he could with his left hand, his
right being still grasped close in that of
Eugenius, 1 beseech thee to take a
view of my head. 1 see nothing that
ails it, replied Eugenius. Then, alas! my friend, said Yorick, let me tell you, that it is so bruised and mis-shapened with the blows which have been so unhandsomely given me in the dark, that I might say with Sancho Panca, that should I recover, and " mitres there*' upon be suffered to rain down from •« heaven as thick as hail, not one of
*« them would sit it. Yorick's last
breath wai hanging upon his trembling
lips, ready to depart as he ottered this ;yet still it was uttered with something of a Cervantic tone;—and as he spoke it, Eugenius could perceive a stream of lambent fire lighted up for a
moment in his eyes; faint picture
of those flashes of his spirit, which (as Shakespeare said of his ancestor) were wont to set the table on a roar!
Eugenius was convinced from this, that the heart of his friend was broke; he squeezed his hand, and then
walked softly out of the room, weeping as he walked. Yorick followed Eugenius with his eyes to the door,—-—»he
then closed them and never opened
He lies buried in a corner of his church-yard, under aplain marble-flab, which his friend Eugenius, by leave of his executors, laid upon his grave, with no more than these three words of inscription, serving both for his epitaph, and elegy
Alas, poor YORICK!
Ten times a day has Yorick's ghost the consolatien to hear his monumental inscription read over with such a variety of plaintive tones, as denote a general pity and esteem for him; a foot-way crossing the church-yard close by his grave,—not a paste nger goes by,without stopping to cast a look upon it, and sighing, as he walks on,
Alas, poor YORICK!
§3. The Story B/"alcandbr and S*PT I M I v s. Taken from a Byzantine Historian.
Athens, long after the decline of the Roman empire, still continued the seat of learning, politeness, and wisdom. Theodoric the Ostrogoth repaired the schools which barbarity was suffering to fall into decay, and continued those pensions to men of learning which avaricious governors had monopolized.
In this city, and about this period, Alcander and Septimius were fellowstudents together: the one the most subtle reasoner of all the Lyceum, the
other the most eloquent speaker in the academic grove. Mutual admiration soon begot a friendship. Their fortunes were nearly equal, and they were natives of the two most celebrated cities in the world ; for Alcander was of Athens, Septimius came from Rome.
In this stateof harmony they lived for some time together; when Alcander, after pasting the first part of his youth in the indolence of philosophy, thought at length of entering into the busy world; and, as a step previous to this, placed his affections on Hypatia, a lady of exquisite beauty. The day of their intended nuptials was fixed ; the previous ceremonies were performed; and nothing now remained but her being conducted in triumph to the apartment of the intended bridegroom,
Alcander's exultation in his own happiness, or being unable to enjoy any satisfaction without making his friend Septimius a partner, prevailed upon him to introduce Hypatia to his fellowstudent; which he did with all the gaiety of a man who found himself equally happy in friendship and love. But this was an interview fatal to the future peace of both ; for Septimius no sooner saw her, but he was smitten with an involuntary passion ; and, though he used every effort to suppress desires at once so imprudent and unjust, the emotions of his mind in a short time became so strong, that they brought on a fever, which the physicians judged inCurable,
During this illness, Alcander watched him with all the anxiety of fondness, and brought his mistress to join in those amiable offices of friendship. The sagacity of the physicians, by these means, soon discovered that the cause of their patient's disorder was love : and Alcander being apprized of their discovery, at length extorted a confession from the reluctant dying lover.
Jt would but delay the narrative to describe the conflict between love and friendship in the breast of Alcander on this occasion; it is enough to fay, that the Athenians were at that time arrived -at such refinement in morals, that every virtue was carried to excess. In short, forgetful of hi* own felicity, he gave
uphis intended bride, in all her charms, to the young Roman, They were mar. ried privately by his connivance, and this unlooked-for change of fortune wrought as unexpected a change in the constitution of the now happy Septimius: in a fewdayshe was perfectly recovered, and set out with his fair partner for Rome. Here, by an exertion of those talents which he was so eminently possessed of, Septimius in a few years arrived at the highest dignities of the state, and was constituted the city-judge, or prætor.
In the mean time Alcander not only felt the pain of being separated from his friend and his mistress, but a prosecution was also commenced against him by the relations of Hypatia, for having basely given up his bride, as was suggested, for money. His innocence of the crime laid to his charge, and even his eloquence in his own defence, were not able to withstand the influence of a powerful party. He was cast, and condemned to pay an enormous fine. How-, ever, being unable to raise so large a sum at the time appointed, his possessions were confiscated, he himself was stripped of the habit of freedom, exposed as a slave in the market-place, and sold to the highest bidder.
A merchant of Thrace becoming hi* purchaser, Alcander, with some other companions of distress, was carried into that region of desolation and sterility. His stated employment was to follow the herds of an imperious master, and his success in hunting was all that was allowed him to supply his precarious subsistence. Every morning awaked him to a renewal of famine or toil, and every change of season served but to aggravate his unsheltered distress. After seme years of bondage, however, an opportunity of escaping offered; he embraced it with ardour; so that travelling by night, and lodging in caverns by day, to shorten a long story, he at last arrived in Rome. The fame day on which Alcander arrived, Septimius fate administering justice in the forum, whither our wanderer came, expecting to be instantly known, and publicly acknowledged by his former friend. Here he stood the whole day amongst the crowd, watching the eyes of the judge, and