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a wish that he were asleep. No ordinary author would have hit upon so delicate a touch of nature.
“ I wish, said my uncle Toby, with a deep sigh-I wish, Trim, I was asleep.
“ Your honour, replied the Corporal, is too much concerned. Shall I pour your honour out a glass of sack to your pipe ?-Do, Trim, said my uncle Toby."
How finely is the humanity of my uncle distinguished from that of Mr. Shandy and his brother.
“ Nature is nature, said Jonathan. And that is the reason, cried Susannah, I so much pity my mistress.-She will never get the better of it.—Now I pity the Captain the most of any one in the family, answered Trim.-Madam will get ease of heart in weeping,—and the Squire in talking about it, but my poor Master will keep it all in silence to himself:- I shall hear him sigh in his bed for a whole month together, as he did for Lieutenant Le Fevre. An' please your Honour, do not sigh so piteously, I would say to him as I lay beside him.-I cannot help it, Trim, my Master would say ;— 'tis so melancholy an accident,- I cannot get it off my heart.-Your Honour fears not death yourself. I hope, Trim, I fear nothing, he would say, but the doing a wrong thing.-Well, be would add, whatever besides, I will take care of Le Fevre's boy.-And with that, like a quieting draught, bis Honour would fall asleep."
My Uncle Toby cannot even curse the father of all evil :
“ I declare, quoth my uncle Toby, my heart would not let me curse the Devil himself with so much bitterness. He is the father of curses, replied Dr. Slop.So am not I, replied my uncle.—But he is cursed and damn'd already, to all eternity, replied Dr. Slop.
“ I am sorry for it, quoth my uncle Toby.
“ Dr. Slop drew up his mouth, and was just beginning to return my uncle Toby the compliment of his Whu-u-u-, or interjectional whistle, -when the door hastily opening in the next chapter but one,-put an end to the affair."
Trim is a kind of Sancho Panza to this gentle Quixote, but as much surpasses his brother squire in the qualities of the heart as his master surpasses the knight of La Mancha, who was nevertheless by no means ordinarily gifted as a man of virtue. The two masters are equally desirous to make their servants com
fortable ; but, it is curious to observe, that Don Quixote is unable to suppress a reference to his position as a gentleman, while my uncle Toby thinks exclusively of the convenience of his faithful adherent. Both servants are disposed to decline availing them. selves of their master's kindness, Trim from pure respect, and Sancho Panza with characteristic selfishness and vulgar cunning, because, he thinks he shall enjoy himself better in taking his meals alone :
“ My uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard,—I say, sitting,-for, in consideration of the Corporal's lame knee (which sometimes gave him exquisite pain) when my uncle Toby dined or supped alone, he would never suffer the Corporal to stand; and the poor fellow's veneration for his master was such, that, with a proper artillery, my uncle Toby could have taken Dendermond itself, with less trouble than he was able to gain this point over him ; for many a time when my uncle Toby supposed the Corporal's leg was at rest, he would look buck, and detect him standing behind him with the most dutifal respect. This bred more little squabbles betwixt them, than all other causes for five-and-twenty years together.”
Let us contrast the above with the account of Don Quixote's condescension to his squire in the goatherd's hut. Perhaps in a finer dwelling and in a finer company he would have been less obliging :
“ The knight sat down, and Sancho remained standing to serve the cup, which was of horn. His master, seeing him thus stationed, said to him; • That you may see, Sancho, the intrinsic worth of knight-errantry, and how fair a prospect its meanest retainers have of speedily gaining the respect and esteem of the world, my will is, that you sit here by my side, and in company with these good folks, and that you be one and the same thing with me, who am your master and natural lord ; that you eat from off my plate, and drink of the same cup in which I drink : for the same may be said of knight-errantry, which is said of love, that it makes all things equal.' 'I give you my most hearty thanks, sir,' said Sancho ; ' but let me tell your worship, that, provided I have victuals enough, I can eat as well, or better, standing, and alone by myself, than if I were seated close by an emperor. And farther, to tell you the truth, what I eat in my corner, without compliments or ceremonies, though it were nothing but bread and an onion, relishes better than turkeys at other folks' tables, where I am forced to chew leisurely, drink little, wipe my mouth often,
neither sneeze nor cough when I have a mind, nor do other things, which I may do being alone and at liberty. So that, good sir, as to these honour's your worship is pleased to confer upon me, as a menial servant, and hanger-on of knight-errantry, being squire to your worship, be pleased to convert them into something of more use and profit to me; for, though I place them to account, as received in full, I renounce them from this time forward to the end of the world.'”
The humour and pathos of Sterne are too well known and too highly appreciated to require the aid of criticism to enforce his merit.
The breezy cliff, the softly-swelling hill,
THE LADY TO HER BIRD*.
Gay minstrel-bird! Those prison bars
Ne'er check thy song, nor chill thy breast; Thy bliss no sad remembrance mars,
No wildering visions haunt thy rest. The past's soft hue, the future's veil,
With vain regrets and idle fears Ne'er make thy merriest music fail,
Nor dim thine eye with tears.
Alas! a darker doom is mine,
A dower 'tis well thou dost not share : For human hearts alone repine
At pleasures past or coming care ; And if perchance a moment's pain
Thy little panting breast may thrill, Thou dost not feed the transient bane
With some fantastic ill.
Sweet bird! The gift of one who gave
A dearer boon,-his own true heart, I fain a sadder song would crave
If thou couldst mimic sorrow's part ;
* These verses were written to illustrate an engraving in the Bengal Annual.
But as the rose with bright tints dyed
To summer's rule alone belongs, So thou to kindred fate allied
Can'st breathe but summer songs.
Yet oh! when he who charmed this breast
Is far away-what sound is sweet? And earth in wintry gloom is drest
When I no more his smile may meet. On thee, his living gift, I gaze
My hand his golden token bearsWhile he o'er unknown regions strays,
And unknown danger dares.
In vain I seize the lute he loved,
In vain his favorite airs would try, The songs that once but softly moved
My heart, now wake too wild a sigh ; And lighter strains but mock the mind
Intently turned on happier hours ;The sad no charm in mirth can find,
And kindred grief o'erpowers.