Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 3.XXXVII.

Full Text Chapter 3.XXXVII.

Chapter 3.XXXVII.

The description of the siege of Jericho itself, could not have engaged the attention of my uncle Toby more powerfully than the last chapter;—his eyes were fixed upon my father throughout it;—he never mentioned radical heat and radical moisture, but my uncle Toby took his pipe out of his mouth, and shook his head; and as soon as the chapter was finished, he beckoned to the corporal to come close to his chair, to ask him the following question,—aside.—.... It was at the siege of Limerick, an' please your honour, replied the corporal, making a bow.

The poor fellow and I, quoth my uncle Toby, addressing himself to my father, were scarce able to crawl out of our tents, at the time the siege of Limerick was raised, upon the very account you mention.—Now what can have got into that precious noddle of thine, my dear brother Toby? cried my father, mentally.—By Heaven! continued he, communing still with himself, it would puzzle an Oedipus to bring it in point.—

I believe, an' please your honour, quoth the corporal, that if it had not been for the quantity of brandy we set fire to every night, and the claret and cinnamon with which I plyed your honour off;—And the geneva, Trim, added my uncle Toby, which did us more good than all—I verily believe, continued the corporal, we had both, an' please your honour, left our lives in the trenches, and been buried in them too.—The noblest grave, corporal! cried my uncle Toby, his eyes sparkling as he spoke, that a soldier could wish to lie down in.—But a pitiful death for him! an' please your honour, replied the corporal.

All this was as much Arabick to my father, as the rites of the Colchi and Troglodites had been before to my uncle Toby; my father could not determine whether he was to frown or to smile.

My uncle Toby, turning to Yorick, resumed the case at Limerick, more intelligibly than he had begun it,—and so settled the point for my father at once.