Chapter 3.LVI.

Le Fever got up to the Imperial army just time enough to try what metal his sword was made of, at the defeat of the Turks before Belgrade; but a series of unmerited mischances had pursued him from that moment, and trod close upon his heels for four years together after; he had withstood these buffetings to the last, till sickness overtook him at Marseilles, from whence he wrote my uncle Toby word, he had lost his time, his services, his health, and, in short, every thing but his sword;—and was waiting for the first ship to return back to him.

As this letter came to hand about six weeks before Susannah's accident, Le Fever was hourly expected; and was uppermost in my uncle Toby's mind all the time my father was giving him and Yorick a description of what kind of a person he would chuse for a preceptor to me: but as my uncle Toby thought my father at first somewhat fanciful in the accomplishments he required, he forbore mentioning Le Fever's name,—till the character, by Yorick's inter-position, ending unexpectedly, in one, who should be gentle-tempered, and generous, and good, it impressed the image of Le Fever, and his interest, upon my uncle Toby so forcibly, he rose instantly off his chair; and laying down his pipe, in order to take hold of both my father's hands—I beg, brother Shandy, said my uncle Toby, I may recommend poor Le Fever's son to you—I beseech you do, added Yorick—He has a good heart, said my uncle Toby—And a brave one too, an' please your honour, said the corporal.

—The best hearts, Trim, are ever the bravest, replied my uncle Toby.—And the greatest cowards, an' please your honour, in our regiment, were the greatest rascals in it.—There was serjeant Kumber, and ensign—

—We'll talk of them, said my father, another time.