Page images

blowing his nose, but that thou art a piqued, quoth the corporal, for the reputagood-natured fellow.

tion of the ariny, I believe, an't please When I gaye him the toast, continued your reverence, said I, that when a soldier the corporal, I thought it was proper to gets time to pray,

,-- he prays as heartily as tell him I was Captain Shandy's servant, a parson-though not with all liis fuss and and that your honour (though a stranger hypocrisy-Thou thould'st not have said was extremely concerned for his father ;- thai, Trim, said my uncle Toby,- for God and that if there was any thing in your only knows who is a hypocrite, and who is house or cellar--(and thou might'l have not :- At the great and general review of added my purse too, said my uncle Toby) us all, corporal, at the day of judgment, he was heartily welcome to it:-he made (and not till then) it will be seen who a very low bow, (which was meant to has done their duties in this world, and your honour) but no answer,- for his heart who has not, and we shall be advanced, was full-lo he went up stairs with the Trim, accordingly.-I hope we shall, said toast:-1 warrant you, my dear, said I, as Trim.-- It is in the Scripture, said my I opened the kitchen-door, your father will uncle Toby; and I will thew it thee tobe well again.-Mr. Yorick's curate was morrow :- In the mean time we may desmoking a pipe by the kitchen fire-but pend upon it, Trim, for our comfort, said faid not a word good or bad to comfort the my uncle Toby, that God Almighty is so youth.--I thought it was wrong, added good and just a governor of the world, that the corporal - I think so too, said my if we have but done our duties in it,-it uncle Toby.

will never be enquired into, whether we When the lieutenant had taken his glass have done them in a red coat or a black of fack and toast, he felt himself a little one :-I hope not said the corporal.-But revived, and sent down into the kitchen, to go on, Trim, said my uncle Toby, with thy let me know, that in about ten minutes he fory. hould be glad if I would step up stairs.-I When I went up, continued the corporal, believe, said the landlord, he is going to into the lieutenant's room, which I did not fay his prayers-for there was a book laid do till the expi:ation of the ten minutes,upon the chair by his bed-fide; and as I he was lyingin his bed with his head raised thut the door I saw his son take up a upon his hand, with his elbow upon the cushion.

pillow, and a clean white cambric handI thought, said the curate, that you gen- kerchief beside it :--The youth was just tlemen of the army, Mr. Trim, never said stooping down to take up the cushion, upon your prayers at all.--I heard the poor which I supposed he had been kneelinggentleman fay his prayers last night, said the book was laid upon the bed,—and as the landlady, very devoutly, and with my he rose, in taking up the cushion with one own ears, or I could not have believed it.- hand, he reached out his other to take it Are you sure of it? replied the curate ;--- away at the same time.---Let it remain A soldier, an' please your reverence, said I, there, my dear, said the lieutenant. prays as often (of his own accord) as a par- He did not offer to speak to me, till I son ;-and when he is fighting for his king, had walked up close to his bed-side:-If and for his own life, and for his honour too, you are Captain Shandy's servant, said he, he has the moft reason to pray to God of any you muft pieient my thanks to your

master, one in the whole world. 'Twas well said with my little boy's thanks along with of thee, Trim, said my uncle Toby.—But them, for his courtesy to me-if he was when a soldier, said I, an' please your re- of Leven's-said the lieutenant.--I told verence, has been standing for twelve hours him your honour was.- -Then, said he, I together in the trenches, up to his knees in served three campaigns with him in Flancold water,-_orengaged, said I, for months ders, and remember him—but 'tis noft together in long and dangerous marches; likely, as I had not the honour of any ac-harafled, perhaps, in his rear to-day ;- quaintance with him, that he knows nothing haraffing others to-morrow :-detached of me. You will tell him, however, that here;-countermanded there ;-resting this the person his good-nature has laid under night upon his arms ;-beat up in his shirt obligations to hiin, is one Le Fevre, a lieuthe next;-benumbed in his joints ;-per- tenant in Angus's--but he knows me haps without straw in his tent to kneel on; not,-frid he, a second time, mufing ;-he must say his prayers how and when poflibly he may my story-added he-pray he can.-I believe, faid 1,--for I was tell the captain, I was the ensign at Breda,

3 E 4


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

whose wife was most unfortunately killed king, as the French king thought good :
with a musket-shot, as the lay in my arms and only considered how he himself should
in my tent.--I remember the story, an’t relieve the poor lieutenant and his son.
please your honour, said I, very well. --That kind being, who is a friend
Do you so? said he, wiping his eyes with to the friendless, shall recompence thee
his handkerchief,--then well may I.--In for this.
taying this, he drew a little ring out of his Thou hast left this matter short, said my
bosom, which seemed tied with a black uncle Toby to the corporal, as he was put-
ribband, about his neck, and killed it twice. ting him to bed, and I will tell thee in what
---Here, Billy, faid he, the boy flew Triin,---]n the first place, when thou madeit
across the room to the bed-side, and falling an offer of my services to Le Fevre,-
down upon his knee, took the ring in his as fickness and travelling are both expen-
Jand, and killed it too,-then kified his fa- five, and thou knowelt he was but a poor
ther, and sat down upon the bed and wept. lieutenant, with a son to subsist as well as

I wish, said my uncie Toby with a deep himself, out of his pay,--that thou didit sigh. ---I will, Trim, I was asleep. not make an offer to him of my purse; be

Your honour, replied the corporal, is cause, had he food in need, thou knowelt, too much concerned ;-hall I pour your Trim, he had been as welcome to it as honour out a glais of fack to your pipe : myself.-----Your honour knows, said the -Do, Trim, riid my uncle Toby. corporal, I had no orders ;--- True, quoth

I remember, said my uncle Toby, figh- my uncle Toby,—thou didst very right, ing again, the story of the enfign and his Trim, as a soldier --but certainly very wite, with a circumitance his modesty omit- wrong as a man. ted ;-and particularly well that he, as well In the second place, for which, indeed, as ihe, upon some account or other, (I for- thou hast the same excule, continued my get what) was universally pitied by the uncle Toby, when thou offeredít him whole regiment;mbut finish the story thou whatever was in my house, thou shouldst art upon; - 'Tis finished already, said have offered him niy house too :-A fick the corporal,-for I could stay no longer, brother officer should have the beit quarso wished his honour a good night; young ters, Trim; and if we had him with us,Le Fevre rose from off the bed, and saw we could tend and look to him :--thou ine to the bottom of the stairs; and as we art an excellent nurse thyself, Trim,went down together, told me, they had and what with thy care of him, and the old come from Ireland, and were on their woman's, and his boy's, and mine together, route to join their regiment in Flanders we might recruit him again at once, and But alas! said the corporal,--the lieute- set him upon his legs.-nant's last day's march is over. Then In a fortnight or three weeks, added what is to become of his poor boy? cried my uncle Toby, smiling, -he might march, my uncle Toby,

-He will never march, an' please your It was to my uncle Toby's eternal ho- honour, in the world, said the corporal ; nourthough I tell it only for the sake of --He will march, said my uncle Toby, those, who, when cooped in betwixt a na- rising up from the side of the bed, with one tural and a positive law, know not for their fhoc off:-An' please your honour, said the souls which way in the world to turn them- corporal, he will never march but to his selves--- That notwithstanding my uncle grave:-He shall march, cried my uncle Toby was warmly engaged at that time in Toby, marching the foot which had a thoe carrying on the fiege of Dendermond, pa- on, though without advancing an inch, rallel with the allies, who prefled theirs on he Mall march to his regiment.--He can. fo vigorously that they scarce allowed him not stand it, faid the corporal.--He Mall be time to get his dinner that nevertheless supported, faid my uncle Toby:-He'll he gave up. Dendermond, though he had drop at last, said the corporal, and what already made a lodgment upon the coun- will become of his boy ! --He shall not tericarp: and bent his whole thoughts to drop, faid my uncle Toby, firmly.--A-wellwards the private distrefies at the inn; and, o’day,—do what we can for him, said Trim, except that he ordered the garden-gate to maintaining his point, the poor soul will be bolted up, by which he might be faid die:---He shall not die, by G-, cried to have turned the liege of Dendermond my uncle Toby. into a blockade--he left Dendermond to The accusing spirit, which flew up ittelf, to be relieved or not by the French to heaven's chancery with the oath, blumed



as he gave it in--and the recording angel, film returned to its place, the pulse as he wrote it down, dropp'd a tear upon flutter'd-oppd-went on--throbb’dthe word, and blotted it out for ever. ftoppdagain--mov'd-stopp'd-hall I go --My uncle Toby went to his bureau, on:- No.

Sterne. -put his purse into his breeches pocket, and having ordered the corporal to go early

2. YORICK's Death. in the morning for a playsician, he went A few hours before Yorick breathed his to bed and fell asleep.

laft, Eugenius itept in, with an intent to The sun looked bright the morning af- take his last sight and last farewel of him. ter, to every eye in the village but Le Upon his drawing Yorick's curtain, and Fevre's and his afflicted fon's; the hand of asking how he felt himself, Yorick looking death press'd heavy upon his eye-lids,– upin his face, took hold of his hand,and hardly could the wheel at the ciitern and, after thanking him for the many toturn round its circle --when my uncle kens of his friend thip to him, for which, Toby, who had rose up an hour before his he said, if it was their fate to meet herewonted time, entered the lieutenant's room, after, he would thank hiin again and again; and without preface or apology fat himself he told him, he was within a few hours of down upon the chair, by the bed- side, and giving his enemies the slip for ever.-I independently of all modes and customs hope not, answered Eugenius, with tears opened the curtain in the manner an old trickling down his cheeks, and with the friend and brother oficer would have done tenderelt tone that ever man spoke,-I hope it, and aked him how he did, how he had not, Yorick, faid he.- Yorick replied, relted in the night-what was his com- with a look up, and a gentle squeeze of plaint, where was his pain,-and what he Eugenius's hand, and that was all,—buç fould do to help him and without it cut Eugenius to his heart.-Come, come, giving him time to answer any one of the Yorick, quoth Eugenius, wiping his eyes, enquiries, went on and told him of the lit- and summoning up the man within him, tle plan which he had been concerling --my dear lad, he comforted, -let not with the corporal the night before for all thy spirits and fortitude forsake thee at him.

this crisis when thou most wantelt them ;-You shall go home directly, Le who knows what resources are in store, and Fevre, said my uncle Toby, to my house, what the power of God may yet do for and we'll send for a doctor to see what's thee?-Yorick laid his hand upon his heart,

a the matter,--and we'll have an apothecary, and gently shook his head; for my part, --and the corporal shall be your nurse;- continued Eugenius, crying bitterly as he and I'll be your servant, Le Fevre. uttered the words, I declare, I know not,

There was a frankness in my uncle Toby, Yorick, how to part with thee, and would --not the effect of familiarity,--but the gladly flatter my hopes, added Eugenius, cause of it - which let you at once into his chearing up his voice, that there is still foul, and thewed you the goodness of his enough of thee left to make a bishop, nature; to this, there was something in and that I may live to see it.---I beseech his looks, and voice, and manner, super- thee Eugenius, quoth Yorick, taking off added, which eternally beckoned to the his night-cap as well as he could with his unfortunate to come and take shelter under left hand, his right being still grasped him; so that before my uncle Toby had close in that of Eugenius,

I beseech thee half finished the kind offers he was mak- to take a view of my head. I see noing to the father, had the son infenfi- thing that ails it, replied Eugenius. Then, bly pressed up close to his knees, and had alas? my friend, faid Yorick, let me tell taken hold of the breast of his coat, and you, that it is so bruiled and mis-Mapened was pulling it towards him.- The blood with the blows which have been so unhandand spirits of Le Fevre, which were wax- somely given me in the dark, that I might ing cold and now within him, and were re- fay with Sancho Panca, that should I recover, treating to their last citadel, the heart, and “ mitres thereupon be suffered to rain rallied back, the film forsook his eyes for “ down from heaven as thick as hail, not a moment.-he looked up withfully in my one of them would fit it.”- Yorick's uncle Toby's face,—then cast a look upon last breath was hanging upon his trembling his boy,—and that ligament, fine as it was, lips, ready to depart as he uttered this ; -was never broken.

yet still it was uttered with something of a Nature instantly ebb’d again, the Cervantiç tone ;--and as he spoke it; Eu


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

genius could perceive a stream of lambent paling the first part of his youth in the infire lighted up for a moment in his eyes; dolence of philosophy, thought at length

faint picture of thote Halhes of his fpi- of entering into the busy world; and, as a rit, which (as Shakespear faid of his an- step previous to this, placed his affections cestor) were wont to set the table in a roar! on Hypatia, a lady of exquifite beauty.

Eugenius was convinced from this, that The day of their intended nuptials was the heart of liis friend was broke; he fixed; the previous ceremonies were persqueezed his hand, ---and then walked forn.ed; and nothing now remained but foftly out of the room, weeping as he walk- her being conducted in triumph to the ed. "Yorick followed Eugenius with his apartment of the intended bridegroom. eyes to the door, - he then closed them Alcander's exultation in his own happi.

-and never opened them more. ness, or being unable to enjoy any satisfac. He lies buried in a corner of his church- tion without making his friend Septimius yard, under a plain marble-ílab, which his a partner, prevailed upon him to introduce friend Eugenius, by leave of his executors, Hypatia to his fellow-student; which he laid upon his grave, with no more than these did with all the griety of a man who found three words of infcription, serving both for himfeli equally happy in friendship and love. his epitaph, and elegy

But this was an interview fatal to the future peace of both; for Septimius no sooner

faw her, but he was smitten with an invoAlas, poor YORICK!

luntary pallion; and, though he used every

effort to suppress desires at once so impruTen times a day has Yorick's ghost the dent and unjust

, the emotions of his mind

in confolation to hear his monumental inscrip

a short time became so ftrong, that they tion read over with such a variety of plain. brought on a fever, which the physicians tive tones, as denote a general pity and ef- judged incurable. teem for him ;--a foot-way crossing the

During this illness, Alcander watched church-yard close by his grave,-not a

him with all the anxiety of fondness, and passenger goes by, without flopping to cast brought his mistress to join in those amiaa look upon it,--and fighing as he walks ble offices of friendfhip. The fagacity of

the physicians, by these means fcon discoon, Alas, poor YORICK!

vered that the cause of their patient's difo

order was love: and Alcander being apSterne.

prized of their discovery, at length extort

ed a confeflion from the reluctant dying $ 3. The Story of ALCANDER and Sep

lover. Taken from a Byzantine Hiftorian.

It would bat delay the narrative to de

fcribe the conflict between love and friendAthens, long after the decline of the ship in the breast of Alcander on this occaRoman empire, ftill continued the seat of fion; it is enough to say, that the Athenians learning, politeness, and wisdom. Theo. were at that time arrived at such refinedoric the Oitrogoth repaired the schools ment in morals, that every

virtue was carwhich barbarity was suffering to fall into ried to excels. In short, 'forgetful of his decay, and continued those pentions to own felicity, he gave up his intended bride, men of learning which avaricious gover. in all her charms, to the young Roman. nors had monopolized.

They were married privately by his con. In this city, and about this period, Al- nivance, and this unlooked for change of cander and Septimius were fellow students fortune wrought as unexpected a change together: the one the most fubtle rea- in the constitution of the now happy Sepfoner of all the Lyceum, the other the timius: in a few days he was perfectly remost eloquent speaker in the academic covered, and set out with his fair partner grove. Mutual admiration foon begot a for Rome. Here, by an exertion of those friend thip. Their fortunes were nearly talents which he was so eminently poffeffed equal, and they were natives of the two of, Septimius in a few years arrived at the mert celebrated cities in the world ; for highest dignities of the state, and was conAlcarder was of Athens, Septimius came ftituted the city-judge, or prætor. from Rome.

In the mean time Alcander not only felt In this state of harmony they lived for the pain of being feparated from his friend feine time together; when Alcaider, after and his mistress, but a prosecution was alio




commenced against him by the relations of As he continued here, about midnight Hypatia, for having bafely given up

his two robbers came to make this their rebride, as was suggested, for money. His treat; but happening to disagree about the innocence of the crime laid to his charge, division of their plunder, one of them and even bis eloquence in his own defence, stabbed the other to the heart, and left him were not able to withstand the influence of weltering in blood at the entrance. In a powerful party. He was cast, and con- these circumstances he was found next demned to pay an enormous fine. How. morning dead at the mouth of the vault. ever, being unable to raise so large a sum at This naturally inducing a farther enquiry, the time appointe), his poffeffions were con- an alarm was spread; the cave was exafiscated, he himself was stripped of the habit mined; and Alcander being found, was of freedom, expofed as a flive in the mar- immediately apprehended, and accused of ket-place, and sold to the highest bidder. robbery and murder. The circumstances

A merchant of Thrace becoming his against him were strong, and the wretchpurchaser, Alcander, with some other com- eness of his appearance confirmed fufpipanions of distress, was carried into that cion. Misfortune and he were now so long region of desolation and fterility. His stated acquainted, that he at last became regard employment was to follow the herds of an leis of life. He deteíted a world where he imperious master, and his success in hunt. had found only ingratitude, falsehood, and ing was all that was allowed him to supply cruelty; he was determined to make no his precarious subsiitence. Every morning defence, and thus, lowering with resolution awaked him to a renewal of famine or toil, he was dragged, bound with cords, before and every change of season served but to the tribunal of Septimius. As the proofs aggravate his unsheltered distress. After were positive against him, and he offered fome years of bondage, however, an op- nothing in his own vindication, the judge portunity of escaping ofiered; he embraced was proceeding to doom him to a most it with ardour; so that travelling by night, cruel and ignominious death, when the atand lodging in caverns by day, to shorten tention of the multitude was soon divided a long itory, he at lail arrived in Rome. by another object. The robber, who had The fame day on which Alcander arrived, been really guilty, was apprehended selling Septimius fat administering juftice in the his plunder, and, ftruck with a panic, had forum, whither our wanderer came, expect. confessed his crime. He was brought bound ing to be instantly known, and publicly ac

to the fame tribunal, and acquitted every knowledged by his foriner friend. Here other person of any partnership in his guilt. he stood the whole day amongst the crowd, Alcander's innocence therefore appeared, watching the eyes of the judge, and ex- but the fullen rashness of his conduct repecting to be taken notice of; but he was mained a wonder to the surrounding mulso much altered by a long succeilion of titude; but their astonishment was still farhardships, that he continued unnoted among ther encreased, when they saw their judge the rest; and, in the evening, when he was tlart from his tribunal to embrace the supgoing up to the prætor's chair, he was bru- posed criminal; Septimius recollected his tally repulsed by the attending lictors. The friend and former benefactor, and hung attention of the poor is generally driven upon his neck with tears of pity and of joy. from one ungrateful object to another; for Necd the sequel be related ? Alcander was night coming on, he now found himself acquitted: Mared the friendship and hounder a neceility of seeking a place to lie nours of the principal citizens of Rome; in, and yet knew not where to apply. All lived afterwards in happiness and ease; and emaciated, and in rags as he was, none of left it to be engraved on his tomb, That the citizens would harbour so much wretch- no circumstances are so desperate, which edness; and sleeping in the streets might Providence may not relieve. be attended with interruption or danger: in short, he was obliged to take up his lodg.

§ 4. The Monk. ing in one of the tombs without the city,

Monk of the order of St. Franthe usual retreat of guilt, poverty, and de- cis came into the room to beg fomething spair. In this mantion of horror, laying for his convent. The moment I cast my his head upon an inverted urn, he forgot eyes upon him, I was pre-determined not his miseries for a while in Sleep; and found, to give him a single sous, and accordingly on his flinty couch, more ease than beds of I put my purse into my pocket--buttoned down can supply to the guilty.

it up-let myself a little more upon my


A poor

« PreviousContinue »