YOUR sudden and unexpected arrival, quoth my uncle Toby,
addressing himself to Dr Slop (all three of them sitting
down to the fire together, as my uncle Toby began to speak)
-instantly brought the great Stevinus into my head, who,
you must know, is a favourite author with me.-Then, added
my father, making use of the argument Ad Crumenam,-l
will lay twenty guineas to a single crown piece, (which will
serve to give away to Obadiah when he gets back) that this
same Stevinus was some engineer or other,-or has wrote
something or other, either directly or indirectly, upon the
science of fortification.
He has so,-replied my uncle Toby.-I knew it, said my
father;-though, for the soul of me, I cannot see what
kind of connection there can be betwixt Dr Slop's sudden
coming, and a discourse upon fortification;-yet I feared it.
-Talk of what we will, brother, - or let the occasion be
never so foreign or unfit for the subject,-you are sure to
bring it in: I would not, brother Toby, continued my
father,-I declare I would not have my head so full of curtins
and horn-works.-That I dare say you would not, quoth
Dr Slop, interrupting him, and laughing most immoder-
ately at his pun.
Dennis the critic could not detest and abhor a pun, or the
insinuation of a pun, more cordially than my father;-he
would grow testy upon it at any time;-but to be broke in
upon by one, in a serious discourse, was as bad, he would
say, as a fillip upon the nose;-he saw no difference.
Sir, quoth my uncle Toby, addressing himself to Dr Slop,
-the curtins my brother Shandy mentions here, have
nothing to do with bedsteads;-though, I know, Du Cange
says, 'That bed-curtains, in all probability, have taken their
name from them;'-nor have the horn-works he speaks of,
any thing in the world to do with the horn-works of cuckol-
dom: -But the curtin, Sir, is the word we used in forti-
fication, for that part of the wall or rampart which lies
between the two bastions and joins them.-Besiegers seldom
offer to carry on their attacks directly against the curtin, for
this reason, because they are so well flanked. ('Tis the case
of other curtins, quoth Dr Slop, laughing.) However, con-
tinued my uncle Toby, to make them sure, we generally
choose to place ravelins before them, taking care only to
extend them beyond the fossè or ditch: -The common
men, who know very little of fortification, confound the rave-
lin and the half-moon together,-though they are very
different things;-not in their figure or construction, for
we make them exactly alike in all points;-for they always
consist of two faces, making a salient angle, with the gorges,
not straight, but in form of a crescent.-Where then lies
the difference? (quoth my father, a little testily.)- In their
situations, answered my uncle Toby: -For when a ravelin,
brother, stands before the curtin, it is a ravelin; and when a
ravelin stands before a bastion, then the ravelin is not a
ravelin;-it is a half-moon;-a half-moon likewise is a half-
moon, and no more, so long as it stands before its bastion;-
but was it to change place, and get before the curtin,-
.'twould be no longer a half-moon; a half-moon, in that case,
is not a half-moon;-'tis no more than a ravelin.-I think,
quoth my father, that the noble science of defence has its
weak sides,-as well as others.
-As for the horn-works (high! ho! sighed my father)
which, continued my uncle Toby, my brother was speaking
of, they are a very considerable part of an outwork;-they
are called by the French engineers, Ouvrage a corne, and we
generally make them to cover such places as we suspect to
be weaker than the rest;-'tis formed by two epaulments or
demi-bastions,-they are very pretty, and if you will take a
walk, I'll engage to shew you one well worth your trouble.-
I own, continued my uncle Toby, when we crown them,-
they are much stronger, but then they are very expensive,
and take up a great deal of ground, so that, in my opinion,
they are most of use to cover or defend the head of a camp;
otherwise the double tenaille-By the mother who bore us!
-brother Toby, quoth my father, not able to hold out any
longer,-you would provoke a saint;-here ha%,e you got us,
I know not how, not only souse into the middle of the old
subject again: -But so full is your head of these confounded
works, that though my wife is this moment in the pains,of
labour,-and you hear her cry out,-yet nothing will
serve you but to carry off the man-midwife.-Accoucheur,
-if you please, quoth Dr Slop.-'With all my heart, re-
plied my father, I don't care what they call you,-but I wish
the whole science of fortification, with all its inventors, at
the devil;-it has been the death of thousands,-and it will
be mine, in the end.-I would not, I would not, brother
Toby, have my brains so full of saps, mines, blinds, gabions,
palisadoes, ravelins, half-moons, Ind such trumpery, to be
proprietor of Namur, and of all the towns in Flanders with
My uncle Toby was a man patient of injuries;-not from
want of courage,-l ha-,,e told you in the fifth chapter of this
second book, 'That he was a man of courage:'-And will add
here, that when just occasions presented, or called it forth,-
I know no man under whose arm I would sooner have taken
shelter; nor did this arise from any insensibility or obtuse-
ness of his intellectual parts;-for he felt this insult of my
father's as feelingly as a man could do;-but he was of a
peaceful, placid nature,-no jarring element in it,-all was
mixed up so kindly within him; my uncle Toby had scarce a
heart to retaliate upon a fly.
-Go-says he, one day at dinner, to an over-grown one
which had buzzed about his nose, and tormented him
cruelly all dinner-time,-and which after infinite attempts,
he had caught at last, as it flew by him;-I'll not hurt thee,
says my uncle Toby, rising from his chair, and going across
the room, with the fly in his hand,-I'll not hurt a hair of
thy head: -Go, says he, lifting up the sash, and opening his
hand as he spoke, to let it escape;-go, poor devil, get thee
gone, why should I hurt thee?-This world surely is wide
enough to hold both thee and me.
I was but ten years old when this happened; but whether
it was, that the action itself was more in unison to my nerves
at that age of pity, which instantly set my whole frame into
one vibration of most pleasurable sensation;-Or how far the
manner and expression of it might go towards it;-or in what
degree, or by what secret magic,-a tone of voice and har-
mony of movement, attuned by mercy, might find a passage
to my heart, I know not;-this I know, that the lesson of
universal good-will then taught and imprinted by my uncle
Toby, has never since been worn out of my mind: And
though I would not depreciate what the study of the Literae
, at the university, have done for me in that res-
pect, or discredit the other helps of an expensive education
bestowed upon me, both at home and abroad since;-yet I
often think that I owe one half of my philanthropy to that
one accidental impression.
 This is to serve for parents and governors instead of
a whole volume upon the subject.
I could not give the reader this stroke in my uncle Toby's
picture, by the instrument with which I drew the other parts
of it,-that taking in no more than the mere HOBBY-
likeness;-this is a part of his moral character.
My father, in this patient endurance of wrongs, which I
mention, was very different, as the reader must long ago
have noted; he had a much more acute and quick sensibility
of nature, attended with a little soreness of temper; though
this never transported him to any thing which looked like
malignancy: -yet, in the little rubs and vexations of life,
'twas apt to shew itself in a drollish and witty kind of
peevishness:-He was, however, frank and generous in his
nature;-at all times open to conviction; and in the little
ebullitions of this subacid humour towards others, but par-
ticularly towards my uncle Toby, whom he truly loved;-
he would feel more pain, ten times told (except in the affair
of my aunt Dinah, or where an hypothesis was concerned)
than what he ever gave.
The characters of the two brothers, in this view of them,
reflected light upon each other, and appeared with great ad-
vantage in this affair which arose about Stevinus.
I need not tell the reader, if he keeps a H O B B Y - H 0 R S E
that a man's HOBBY-HORSE is as tender a part as he has
about him; and that these unprovoked strokes at my uncle
Toby's could not be unfelt by him. No;-as I said above,
my uncle Toby did feel them, and very sensibly too.
Pray, Sir, what said he?-How did he behave?-O, Sir!
-it was great: For as soon as my father had done insulting
his HOBBY-HORSE,-he turned his head without the least
emotion, from Dr Slop, to whom he was addressing his dis-
course, and looked up into my father's face, with a counten-
ance spread over with so much good-nature: -so placid;-so
fraternal;-so inexpressibly tender towards him;-it pene-
trated my father to his heart: He rose up hastily from his
chair, and seizing hold of both my uncle Toby's hands as he
spoke:-Brother Toby, said he,-l beg thy pardon;-forgive,
I pray thee, this rash humour which my mother gave me.-
My dear, dear brother, answered my uncle Toby, rising up
by my father's help, say no more about it;-you are heartily
welcome, had it been ten times as much, brother. But 'tis
ungenerous, replied my father, to hurt any man;-a brother
worse;-but to hurt a brother of such gentle manners, so un-
provoking,-and so unresenting;-'tis base: -By heaven, tis
cowardly.-You are heartily welcome, brother, quoth my
uncle Toby,-had it been fifty times as much.-Besides,
what have I to do, my dear Toby, cried my father, either
with your amusements or your pleasures, unless it was in my
power (which it is not) to increase their measure?
-Brother Shandy, answered my uncle Toby, looking wist-
fully in his face,-you are much mistaken in this point-l-
for you do increase my pleasure very much, in begetting
children for the Shandy family at your time of life.-But,
by that, Sir, quoth Dr Slop, Mr Shandy increases his own.
-Not a jot, quoth my father.

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