Chapter 2.XII.

—What a conjuncture was here lost!—My father in one of his best explanatory moods—in eager pursuit of a metaphysical point into the very regions, where clouds and thick darkness would soon have encompassed it about;—my uncle Toby in one of the finest dispositions for it in the world;—his head like a smoke-jack;—the funnel unswept, and the ideas whirling round and round about in it, all obfuscated and darkened over with fuliginous matter!—By the tomb-stone of Lucian—if it is in being—if not, why then by his ashes! by the ashes of my dear Rabelais, and dearer Cervantes!—my father and my uncle Toby's discourse upon Time and Eternity—was a discourse devoutly to be wished for! and the petulancy of my father's humour, in putting a stop to it as he did, was a robbery of the Ontologic Treasury of such a jewel, as no coalition of great occasions and great men are ever likely to restore to it again.