Chapter 4.XLII.

I think, an' please your honour, quoth Trim, the fortifications are quite destroyed—and the bason is upon a level with the mole—I think so too; replied my uncle Toby with a sigh half suppress'd—but step into the parlour, Trim, for the stipulation—it lies upon the table.

It has lain there these six weeks, replied the corporal, till this very morning that the old woman kindled the fire with it—

—Then, said my uncle Toby, there is no further occasion for our services. The more, an' please your honour, the pity, said the corporal; in uttering which he cast his spade into the wheel-barrow, which was beside him, with an air the most expressive of disconsolation that can be imagined, and was heavily turning about to look for his pickax, his pioneer's shovel, his picquets, and other little military stores, in order to carry them off the field—when a heigh-ho! from the sentry-box, which being made of thin slit deal, reverberated the sound more sorrowfully to his ear, forbad him.

—No; said the corporal to himself, I'll do it before his honour rises to-morrow morning; so taking his spade out of the wheel-barrow again, with a little earth in it, as if to level something at the foot of the glacis—but with a real intent to approach nearer to his master, in order to divert him—he loosen'd a sod or two—pared their edges with his spade, and having given them a gentle blow or two with the back of it, he sat himself down close by my uncle Toby's feet and began as follows.