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and sentry-box were painted, which was the third year of my uncle Toby's campaigns; when upon his taking Amberg, Bonn, and Rhinberg, and Huy and Limbourg, one after another, a thought came into the corporal's head that to talk of taking so many towns, without one town to show for it, was a very nonsensical way of going to work, and so proposed to my uncle Toby that they should have a little model of a town built for them, to be run up together of slit deals, and then painted, and clapped within the polygon to serve for all.
My uncle Toby felt the good of the project instantly, and instantly agreed to it, but with the addition of two singular improvements, of which he was almost as proud as if he had been the original inventor of the project itself.
The one was to have the town built exactly in the style of those of which it was most likely to be the representative, with grated windows and the gable-ends of the houses facing the streets, etc., as those in Ghent and Bruges, and the rest of the towns in Brabant and Flanders.
The other was not to have the houses run up together, as the corporal proposed, but have every house independent, to hook on or off, so as to form into the plan of whatever town they pleased. This was put directly into hand; and many and many a look of mutual congratulation was exchanged between my uncle Toby and the corporal as the carpenter did the work.
It answered prodigiously the next summer; the town was a perfect Proteus. It was Landen, and Trerebach, and Santvliet, and Drusen, and Hakenau; and then it was Ostend, and Menin, and Aeth, and Dendermond.
In the fourth year my uncle Toby, thinking a town looked foolishly without a church, added a very fine one with a
steeple. Trim was for having bells in it. My uncle Toby said the metal had better be cast into cannon.
This led the way, the next part of the campaign, for half a dozen brass field-pieces, to be planted three on each side of my uncle Toby's sentry-box; and in a short time these led the way for a train somewhat larger, and so on (as must always be the case in hobby-horsical affairs), from pieces of half-an-inch bore till it came at last to my father's jackboots.
The next year, which was that in which Lisle was besieged, and at the close of which both Ghent and Bruges fell into our hands, my uncle Toby was sadly put to it for proper ammunition. I say proper ammunition, because his great artillery would not bear powder; and 'twas well for the Shandy family they would not; for so full were the papers, from the beginning to the end of the siege, of the incessant firings kept up by the besiegers, and so heated was my uncle Toby's imagination with the accounts of them, that he had infallibly shot away all his estate.-" Tristram Shandy."
Madame De V's Religion
I HAD the honour of being introduced to the old Marquis de B. In days of yore he had signalis'd himself by some small feats of chivalry in the Cour d'amour, and had dress'd himself out to the idea of tilts and tournaments ever since. The Marquis de B― wish'd to have it thought the affair was somewhere else than in his brain. He "could like to take a trip to England," and would ask much of the English ladies. "Stay where you are, I beseech you, Monsieur le
Marquis," said I. "Les Messieurs Anglais can scarce get a kind look from them as it is." The Marquis invited me to supper.
Monsieur P, the farmer-general, was just as inquisitive about our taxes. They were very considerable, he heard. "If we but knew how to collect them," said I, making him a low bow.
I could never have been invited to Monsieur P's concerts upon any other terms.
I had been misrepresented to Madame de Q― as an esprit. Madame de Q- was an esprit herself: she burned with impatience to see me, and hear me talk. I had not taken my seat, before I saw she did not care a sou whether I had any wit or no. I was let in, to be convinced she had. I call Heaven to witness I never once open'd the door of my lips.
Madame de V― vow'd to every creature she met, she had “never had a more improving conversation with a man in her life."
There are three epochas in the empire of a French woman: she is coquette, then deist, then dévote; the empire during these is never lost; she only changes her subjects. When thirty-five years and more have unpeopled her dominions of the slaves of love, she repeoples it with slaves of infidelity, and then with the slaves of the Church.
Madame de V― was vibrating betwixt the first of these epochas; the colour of the rose was fading fast away; she ought to have been a deist five years before the time I had the honour to pay my first visit.
She placed me upon the same sofa with her, for the sake of disputing the point of religion more closely. In short, Madame de V told me she believed nothing.
I told Madame de V—
it might be her principle, but I
was sure it could not be her interest to level the outworks, without which I could not conceive how such a citadel as hers could be defended; that there was not a more dangerous thing in the world than for a beauty to be a deist; that it was a debt I owed my creed not to conceal it from her; that I had not been five minutes seated upon the sofa beside her, but I had begun to form designs; and what was it but the sentiments of religion, and the persuasion they had excited in her breast, which could have check'd them as they rose up?
"We are not adamant," said I, taking hold of her hand, "and there is need of all restraints, till age is her own time steals in and lays them on us; but, my dear lady,” said I, kissing her hand, "'tis too-too soon."
I declare I had the credit all over Paris of unperverting Madame de V. She affirmed to Monsieur D and the Abbé M— that in one-half hour I had said more for revealed religion than all their encyclopedia had said against it. I was lifted directly into Madame de V's coterie, and she put off the epocha of deism for two years.
-"A Sentimental Journey."
THE learned Smelfungus travelled from Boulogne to Paris, from Paris to Rome, and so on. But he set out with the spleen and jaundice, and every object he pass'd by was discoloured or distorted. He wrote an account of them, but 'twas nothing but the account of his miserable feelings.
I met Smelfungus in the grand portico of the Pantheon.
He was just coming out of it. ""Tis nothing but a huge cockpit," said he. "I wish you had said nothing worse of the Venus of Medici," replied I, for in passing through Florence, I had heard he had fallen foul upon the goddess, and used her worse than a common wench, without the least provocation in nature.
I popp'd upon Smelfungus again at Turin, in his return home; and a sad tale of sorrowful adventures he had to tell; "wherein he spoke of moving accidents by flood and field, and of the cannibals which each other eat-the Anthropophagi." He had been flay'd alive, and bedevil'd, and used worse than St. Bartholomew, at every stage he had come at.
"I'll tell it,” cried Smelfungus, "to the world." "You had better tell it," said I, "to your physician. -"A Sentimental Journey."
The Case of Delicacy
WHEN you have gain'd the top of Mount Taurira, you run presently down to Lyons; adieu, then, to all rapid movements. 'Tis a journey of caution, and it fares better with sentiments not to be in a hurry with them. So I contracted with a voiturin to take his time with a couple of mules, and convey me in my own chaise safe to Turin through Savoy.
Poor, patient, quiet, honest people, fear not; your poverty, the treasury of your simple virtues, will not be envied you by the world, nor will your valleys be invaded by it. Nature, in the midst of thy disorders, thou art still friendly to the scantiness thou hast created. With all thy great works about thee, little hast thou left to give either to the scythe or to the