Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 3.LXVII.

Full Text Chapter 3.LXVII.

Chapter 3.LXVII.

With two or three other trinkets, small in themselves, but of great regard, which poor Tom, the corporal's unfortunate brother, had sent him over, with the account of his marriage with the Jew's widow—there was

A Montero-cap and two Turkish tobacco-pipes.

The Montero-cap I shall describe by and bye.—The Turkish tobacco-pipes had nothing particular in them, they were fitted up and ornamented as usual, with flexible tubes of Morocco leather and gold wire, and mounted at their ends, the one of them with ivory,—the other with black ebony, tipp'd with silver.

My father, who saw all things in lights different from the rest of the world, would say to the corporal, that he ought to look upon these two presents more as tokens of his brother's nicety, than his affection.—Tom did not care, Trim, he would say, to put on the cap, or to smoke in the tobacco-pipe of a Jew.—God bless your honour, the corporal would say (giving a strong reason to the contrary)—how can that be?

The Montero-cap was scarlet, of a superfine Spanish cloth, dyed in grain, and mounted all round with fur, except about four inches in the front, which was faced with a light blue, slightly embroidered,—and seemed to have been the property of a Portuguese quarter-master, not of foot, but of horse, as the word denotes.

The corporal was not a little proud of it, as well for its own sake, as the sake of the giver, so seldom or never put it on but upon Gala-days; and yet never was a Montero-cap put to so many uses; for in all controverted points, whether military or culinary, provided the corporal was sure he was in the right,—it was either his oath,—his wager,—or his gift.

—'Twas his gift in the present case.

I'll be bound, said the corporal, speaking to himself, to give away my Montero-cap to the first beggar who comes to the door, if I do not manage this matter to his honour's satisfaction.

The completion was no further off, than the very next morning; which was that of the storm of the counterscarp betwixt the Lower Deule, to the right, and the gate St. Andrew,—and on the left, between St. Magdalen's and the river.

As this was the most memorable attack in the whole war,—the most gallant and obstinate on both sides,—and I must add the most bloody too, for it cost the allies themselves that morning above eleven hundred men,—my uncle Toby prepared himself for it with a more than ordinary solemnity.

The eve which preceded, as my uncle Toby went to bed, he ordered his ramallie wig, which had laid inside out for many years in the corner of an old campaigning trunk, which stood by his bedside, to be taken out and laid upon the lid of it, ready for the morning;—and the very first thing he did in his shirt, when he had stepped out of bed, my uncle Toby, after he had turned the rough side outwards,—put it on:—This done, he proceeded next to his breeches, and having buttoned the waist-band, he forthwith buckled on his sword-belt, and had got his sword half way in,—when he considered he should want shaving, and that it would be very inconvenient doing it with his sword on,—so took it off:—In essaying to put on his regimental coat and waistcoat, my uncle Toby found the same objection in his wig,—so that went off too:—So that what with one thing and what with another, as always falls out when a man is in the most haste,—'twas ten o'clock, which was half an hour later than his usual time, before my uncle Toby sallied out.