Billeder på siden

he had been kneeling; the book was laid upon the bed; and, as he rofe, in taking up the cushion with one hand, he reached out his other to take the book away at the fame time.-Let it remain there, my dear, faid 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 fervant, faid he, you must present my thanks to your mafter, with my little boy's thanks along with them, for his courtesy to me. You will be fo good as tell him, that the perfon his good-nature has laid under obligations to him, is one Le Fever, a lieutenant in Angus's but he knows me not, faid he, mufing; poffibly he may my ftory, added he-pray tell the captain, I was the enfign at Breda, whofe wife was moft unfortunately killed with a mufket fhot, as fhe lay in my arms in my tent. I remember the story, an't please your honour, faid I, very well. Do you fo? faid he, wiping his eyes with his handkerchief; then, well may I In faying this, he drew a little ring out of his bofom, which feemed tied with a black riband about his neck, and kiffed it twice : here, Billy, faid he. The boy flew across the room to the bed-fide; and, falling down upon his knee, took the ring in his hand, and kiffed it too; then, kissed his father; and fat down upon the bed, and wept.

I wish faid my uncle Toby, with a deep figh,I wish, Trim, I was asleep.

YOUR honour, replied the corporal, is too much concerned fhall I pour your honour out a glass of fack to your pipe? Do, Trim, faid my uncle Toby.

I remember, faid my uncle Toby, fighing again, the ftory of the enfign and his wife, with a circum


stance his modesty omitted; and particularly well, that he, as well as fhe, upon fome account or other (I forget what) was univerfally pitied by the whole regiment: but finish the ftory.-'Tis finished already, faid the corporal, for I could ftay no longer; fo wifhed his honour a good night. Young Le Fever rofe from off the bed, and faw me to the bottom of the stairs; and, as we went down together, told me, they had come from Ireland, and were on their route to join the regiment in Flanders: but, alas! faid the corporal, the lieutenant's laft day's march is over. Then, what is to become of his poor boy? cried my uncle Toby.

THOU haft left this matter fhort, faid my uncle Toby to the corporal, as he was putting him to bed; and I will tell thee in what, Trim. In the firft place, when thou madeft an offer of my fervices to Le Fever, as fickness and travelling are both expenfive, and thou kneweft he was but a poor lieutenant, with a fon to fubfift, as well as himself, out of his pay, that thou didst not make an offer to him of my purfe; because, had he ftood in need, thou knoweft, Trim, he had been as welcome to it as myself. Your honour knows, faid the corporal, I had no orders. True, quoth my uncle Toby: thou didst very right, Trim, as a foldier; but, certainly, very wrong as a


IN the fecond place, for which indeed, thou haft the fame excufe, continued my uncle Toby, when thou offeredft him whatever was in my houfe, thou fhouldft have offered him my house too. A fick 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 fet him upon his legs. In a fortnight or three weeks, added my uncle Toby, fmiling, he might march. He will never march, an't please your honour, in this world, faid the corporal. He will march, faid my uncle Toby; rifing up from the fide of the bed, with one fhoe off. An't please your honour, faid the corporal, he will never march, but to his grave. He fhall march, cried my uncle Toby; marching the foot which had a fhoe on, though without advancing an inch he fhall march to his regiment. He cannot ftand it, faid the corporal. He shall be supported, faid my uncle Toby. He'll drop at laft, faid the corporal; and what will become of his boy? He fhall not drop, faid my uncle Toby, firmly. A-well-o'day, do what we can for him, faid Trim, maintaining his point, the poor foul will die. He fhall not die, by *** -The accufing spirit which flew up to heaven's chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in; and the recording angel, as he wrote it down, dropped a tear upon the word and blotted it out, for ever.

[ocr errors]

My uncle Toby went to his bureau; put his purfe into his pocket; and, having ordered the corporal to go early in the morning for a physician, he went to bed, and fell asleep.

'THE fun looked bright, the morning after, to every eye in the village, but Le Fever's and his afflcted fon's. The hand of death prefs'd heavy upon his eye-lids, and hardly could the wheel at the ciftern turn round its circle, when my uncle Toby, who had got 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-fide; and, independently of all modes and cuftoms, opened the


the curtain, in the manner an old friend and brother officer would have done it, and afking him how he did; how he had rested in the night; what was his complaint; where was his pain; and what he could do to help him and, without giving him time to answer any one of these inquiries, went on, and told him of the little plan, which he had been concerting with the corporal, the night before, for him.- You fhall go home directly, Le Fever, faid my uncle Toby, to my houfe; and we'll fend for a doctor to fee what's the matter; and we'll have an apothecary; and the corporal fhall be your nurfe; and I'll be your fervant, Le Fever.

THERE was a franknefs in my uncle Toby, not the effect of familiarity, but the cause of it, which let you at once into his foul, and fhewed you the goodnefs of his nature: to this, there was fomething in his looks, and voice, and manner, fuperadded, which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take fhelter under him; fo that, before my uncle Toby had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father, had the fon insensibly preffed up close to his knees, and had taken hold of the breaft of his coat, and was pulling it towards him.

THE blood and fpirits of Le Fever, which, were waxing cold and flow within him, and were retreating to their laft citadel, the heart, rallied back: the film for fook his eyes for a moment: he looked up wifhfully in my uncle Toby's face: then caft a look upon his boy and that ligament, fine as it was, was never broken. Nature inftantly ebbed again-the film returned to its place the pulle Aluttered-ftopped went on-throbbed-ftopped again-moved-stopped-fhall I go on ?—No.


[ocr errors]




"DUT, for mine own part, my lord, I could "be well contented to be there, in refpect of "the love I bear your house."- He could be contented to be there! Why is he not then?--In respect of the love he bears our house! He fhews in this, he loves his own barn, better than he loves our house. Let me fee fome more. "The purpose you under"take is dangerous." Why, that's certain: 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to fleep, to drink: but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this nettle danger, we pluck this flower safety. "The purpose you under"take is dangerous; the friends you have named, "uncertain; the time, itfelf, unforted; and your "whole plot too light, for the counterpoife of fo great an oppofition."-Say you fo, fay you to? I fay unto you again, you are a fhallow cowardly hind; and you lie. What a lackbrain is this! Our plot is a good plot as ever was laid; our friends true and conftant: a good plot, good friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot, very good friends. What a frofty-fpirited rogue this is? Why, my lord of York commends the plot, and the general course of the action. By this hand, if I were now by this rafcal, I could brain him with his lady's fan. Is there not my father, my uncle, and myfelf; lord Edmund Mortimer, my lord of York, and Owen Glendower? Is there riot, befides, the Douglas? Have I not all their letters, to meet me in arms by the ninth of the next month? And are there not fome of them fet forward already? What a Pagan rafcal is



« ForrigeFortsæt »