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of the tennaile a straight line , as a crooked
- he might be said to have thought of nothing else but poor Le Fevre and his boy the whole time he smoked it.
It was not till my uncle Toby had knocked the ashes out of his third pipe, that corporal Trim returned from the inn, and gave him the following account.
I despaired at first, said the corporal, of being able to bring back your honour any kind of intelligence concerning the poor sick lieutenant--Is he in the army, then ? said my uncle Toby--He is, said the corporal--And in what regiment ? said my uncle Toby--I'll tell your honour , replied the corporal , everything straight forward as I learnt it--Then, Trim, I'll fill another pipe, said my uncle Toby, and not interrupt thee till thou hast done; so sit down at thy ease, Trim , in the window-seat, and begin thy story again. The corporal made his old bow, which generally spoke as well as a bow could speak it -- « Your honour is good : »--And having done that, he sat down as he was ordered , --and begun the story to my uncle Toby over again in pretty near the same words.
I despaired at first , said the corporal, of being able to bring back any intelligence to your honour about the lieutenant and his son! for when I asked where his servant was, from whom I made myself sure of knowing every thing that was proper to be asked ,--That's a right distinction, Trim, said my uncle Toby-I was answered , an' please your honour, that he had no servant with him ; that he had come to the inn with hired horses , which, upon finding himself unable to proceed , (10
join, I suppose the regiment) he had dismissed the moruing after he came.--If I get better, my dear, said he, as he gave his purse to his son to pay the man, we can hire horses from hence. --But alas ; the poor gentleman will never get from hence, said ihe landlady to me ,--for I heard the death-watch all night long;--and when he dies, the youth, his son, will certainly die with him ; for he is broken-hearteci already.
I was hearing this account, continued the corporal, when the youth came into the kit.chen, to order the thin toast the landlord spoke of ; -- but I will do it for my father myself., said the youth. - Pray, let me save you the trouble, young gentleman, said I, taking up a fork for the purpose, and offering him my chair to sit down upon by the fire, whilst I did it. --I believe, Sir, said he, very modestly, I can please him best myself.--I am sure , said I, his honour will not like the toast the worso for being toasted by an old soldier.--The youtlı took hold of my hand, and instantly burst into tears.--Poor youth ! said my uncle Toby ,--he has been bred up from an infant in the army, and the name of a soldier, Trim , sounded in his ears like the name of a friend ;--I wish I had him here.
--I never, in the longest march, said the corporal, had so great a mind to my dinner, as I had to cry with him for company :--What could be the matter with me, an' please yonr honour ? Nothing in the world, Trim, said my uncle Toby, blowing his nose, --but that thou art a good-natured fellow.
When I gave him the toast, continued the corporal, I thought it was proper to tell binne
I was Captain Shandy's servant, and that your honour (though a stranger ) was extremely concerned for his father ; -- And that if there was any thing in your house or cellar--(and thou might'st have added , my purse too, said my uncle 'Toby)--he was heartily welcome to it: --He made a very low bow, (which was meant to your honour ) but no answer--for his heart' was full--so he went up stairs with the toast ;--1 warrant you, my dear , said I, as I opened the kitchen door , your father will be well again--Mr. Yorick's curate was smoaking a pipe by the kitchen fire, -- but said not a word good or bad to comfort the youth. --I thought it was wrong, added the corporal. -I think so too, said my uncle Toby.
When the lieutenant had taken his glass of sack and toast, he felt himself a little revived, and sent down into the kitchen, to let me know, that in about ten minutes he should be glad if I would step up stairs.--I believe said the landlord , he is going to say his prayers ,--for there was a book laid upon the chair by his bedside: and as I shut the door, I saw his son take up a cushion.-
I thought, said the curate, that you gentlemen of the army, Mr. Trim, never said your prayers at all--I heard the poor gentleman say his prayers last night, said the landlady, very devoutly, and with my own ears, or I could not have believed it.--Are you sure of it ? replied the curate.--A soldier , an' please your reverence, said I, prays as often (of his own accord) as a parson ;--and when he is fighting for his king, and for his own life, and for his honour too, he has the most reason to pray to God of any one in the whole world.--'Twas
well said of thee, Trim , said my uncle Toby. But when a soldier , said I, an' please your reverence, has been standing for twelve hours together in the trouches , up to his knees in cold water ; -- or engaged , said I, for months together, in long and dangerous marches ; harassed, perhaps, in his rear to-day ;--harassing others to-morrow ; --detached here; countermanded there ; resting this night out upon his arms ;--beat up in his shirt the next;--benumb’d in his joints ; perhaps without straw in bis tent to kneel on ;-- he must say
how and when he can. -- I believe , said I, for I was piqu’d, quoth the corporal, for the reputation of the army ,--I believe, an't please your reverence, said I, that when a soldier gets time to pray ,--he prays as heartily as a parson-though not with all his fuss and hypocrisy.-Thou should'st not have said that, Trim, said my uncle Toby,--for God only knows who is a bypocrite, and who is not :--At the great and general review of us all, corporal, at the day of judgment, (and not till then ? )-- it will beseen who have done their duties in this world, --and who have not; and we shall be advanced, Trim , accordingly. I hope we shall, said Trim
-- It is in the Scripture , said my uncle Toby ; and I will show it thee to-morrow :--In the mean time we may depend upon it, Trim, for our comfort, said my uncle Toby , that God Almighty is so good and just a governor of the world, that if we have but done our duties in it, -- it will never be enquired into, whether we have done them in a red coat or a black one :--I hope not, said the corporal. --But go on Trim , said my uncle Toby, with thy story, When I went up, continued the corporal,
into the lieutenant's room, which I did not do till the expiration of the ten minutes--he was lying in his bed with his head raised upon his hand, with his elbow upon the pillow, and a. clean white cambric handkerchief beside it.-The youth was just stooping down to take up the cushion , upon which I suppose he had been kneeling--the book was laid upon the bed -and as he rose, in taking up the cushion with one hand, he reached out his other to take it away at the same time--Let it remain there, my dear, said the lieutenant.
He did not offer to speak to me, till I had walked up close to his bed-side :-- If you are Capitain Shandy's servant, said he, you must present my thanks to your master, with
my little boy's thanks along with them, for his courtesy to me ;--if he was of Leven's , said the lieutenant--I told him your honour was-Then, said he, I serv'd three campaigns with him in Flanders, and remember him--but 'tis most likely, as I had not the honour of any acquaintance with him, that he knows nothing of me. --You will tell him, however, that the person his good - nature has laid under obligations to him, is one Le Fevre, a lieutenant in Angus's --but he knows me not--said he a second time, musing ;--possibly he may my story , added he --pray, tell the captain, I was the ensign at Breda , whose wife was most unfortunately killed with a musket shot, as she lay in my arms in my tent. I remember the story, an't please your honour, said I, very well. Do you so ? said he, wiping his eyes with his handkerchief, then well may |--In saying this he drew a little ring out of his bosom, which seemed tied with a black ribband about his neck,