Imagens das páginas

modesty omitted ; - and particularly well that he, as well as she, upon some account or other, (I forget what) was universally pitied by the whole regiment;- but finish the story thou art upon :-'Tis finish'd already, said the corporal, for I could stay no longer,--so wished his honour a good night; young Le Fever 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 the regiment in Flanders - But alas! said the corporal,--the lieutenant's last day's march is over. Then what is to become of his poor boy? cried my uncle Toby. :

It was to my uncle Toby's eternal honour,--though I tell it only for the sake 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 fiege 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 fiege of Dendermond into a blockade,—he left Dendermond to itselfto 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.

- That kind Being, who is a friend to the friend. (less, shall recompense thee for this.

Thou hast left this matter short, faid my uncle Toby


to the corporal, as he was putting him to bed, -Ănd I will Tell thee in what; Trim. -- In the first place, when thou madeft an offer of my services to Le Fever,—as sickness and travelling are both expenfive, and thou knöwest he was but a poor lieutenant, with a fon to Tubfift as well as himself, but of his pay, that thou didft not make an offer to him of my purse; because, had he stood in need, thou knoweft, Trim, he had been as welcome to it as myself. So Your Honour knows, faid the corporal, I had nd 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 fame excufe, continued my uncle Toby, when thou offeredit him whatever was in my house, thou thoulds have offered him my houfe too: fick brother officer should bave the best quarters, Trim, and if we had him with us, we could tend and look to him: Thou art an excellent nurse thyfelf, 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. . .

" In a fortnight or three weeks, added my uncle Toby, smiling-he might march.--He will never march, an* please your honour, in this world, said the corporal:He will march; said my uncle Toby, rifing up from the side of the bed, with one fhoe 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 fhoe on, though without advancing an inch,--he fall march to his regiment.--He cannot stand it, said the corporal.----He shall be fupported, Laid my uncle Toby ; He'll drop at last faid the cor

poral, poral, and whæt-will become of his boy?_ He'fhalf not drop, said my uncle Toby, firmly.---A-well-o'day, do what we-ean for him, 'faid Trim, maintaining his point, the poor foul will die He fall not die, by G cried my uncle Toby. : ?.? . WI! The ACCUSING 'SPIRIT which few up to heaven's chancery with the oath, bluth'd as he gave it in and the

RECORDING ANGEL as he wrote it down, dropp'd a tear . upon the word, and blotted it out for ever.

My uncle Toby went to this bureau, -put 'his purse into his breeches-podket, and having ordered the corporal to go early in the morning for a physician, --he'wetit to bed and fell asleep. .

. The sun looked bright the morning after, to 'every eye in the village but Le Fever's and his afflicted son's; the hand of death press’ą beavý upon His eye-lids;-—and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn tound its circle, when my uncle Toby, who had tofe up an hour before his wonted time, entered the lieutenant's room, and without preface or apology, fat himfelf down upon the chair, by the bed-fide, 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 complaint,-where was his pain, and what he could do to help him :-and without giving him time to answer any one of the inquiries, went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the corporal the night before for him.

You Thall go home directly, Le Fever, said my uncle Toby, to my house, and we'll send for a doctor to see what's the matter, and we'll have an apothecary, -and

. .the the corporal shall be your nurse; -- and I'll be your fervant, Le Fever......... i

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 thewed you the goodnefs of his nature; to this, there was fomething in his looks, and voice, and manner, superadded, which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take shelter under him ; fo 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 breaft of his coat, and was pulling it towards him. The blood and spirits of Le Fever, which were waxing cold and flow within him, and were retreating to their last citadel, the heart,—-rallied back, the film forfook his eyes for a 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 instantly ebb'd again, the film returned to its place the pulse futtered toppd w ent on throbbid o pp'd again moved topp'd hall I go on?---No. .. . .. . .

. ... .iiii. Proses : STERNE,


FE W hours before Yorick breathed his last, Eugenius A stept in with an intent to take his last fight and last farewel of him. Upon his drawing Yorick's curtain, and alking how he felt himself, Yorick looking up in his face, took hold of his hand, m and, after thanking him for the


[ocr errors]

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 slip 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 gentle squeeze of Eugenius's hand, and that was all,

but it cut Eugenius to the 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 most 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 fhook 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 left of thee to make a bishop, -- and that I may live to see it.-) beseech thee, Eugenius, quoth Yorick, taking off his night cap as well as he could with his left hand, his right still being grasped close in that of Eugenius, I beseech thee to take a view of my head.I see nothing that ails it, replied Eugenius. Then, alas ! my friend, faid Yorick, let me tell you, that it is so bruised and mis-Shapened with the blows which have been soʻunhandsomely given me in the dark, that I might say with Sancho Panca, that should I recover, and “ mitres thereupon be “ suffered to rain down from heaven as thick as hail, not “ one of them would fit it.” Yorick's last breath was hanging upon his trembling lips ready to depart as he utter


« AnteriorContinuar »