I had escaped, continued the corporal, all that time from falling in love, and had gone on to the end of the chapter, had it not been predestined otherwisethere is no resisting our fate.
It was on a Sunday, in the afternoon, as I told your honour.
The old man and his wife had walked out
Every thing was still and hush as midnight about the house
There was not so much as a duck or a duckling about the yard
When the fair Beguine came in to see me.
My wound was then in a fair way of doing wellthe inflammation had been gone off for some time, but it was succeeded with an itching both above and below my knee, so insufferable, that I had not shut my eyes the whole night for it.
Let me see it, said she, kneeling down upon the ground parallel to my knee, and laying her hand upon the part below itit only wants rubbing a little, said the Beguine; so covering it with the bed-clothes, she began with the fore-finger of her right hand to rub under my knee, guiding her fore-finger backwards and forwards by the edge of the flannel which kept on the dressing.
In five or six minutes I felt slightly the end of her second fingerand presently it was laid flat with the other, and she continued rubbing in that way round and round for a good while; it then came into my head, that I should fall in loveI blushd when I saw how white a hand she hadI shall never, an please your honour, behold another hand so white whilst I live
Not in that place, said my uncle Toby
Though it was the most serious despair in nature to the corporalhe could not forbear smiling.
The young Beguine, continued the corporal, perceiving it was of great service to mefrom rubbing for some time, with two fingersproceeded to rub at length, with threetill by little and little she brought down the fourth, and then rubbd with her whole hand: I will never say another word, an please your honour, upon hands againbut it was softer than sattin
Prithee, Trim, commend it as much as thou wilt, said my uncle Toby; I shall hear thy story with the more delightThe corporal thankd his master most unfeignedly; but having nothing to say upon the Beguines hand but the same over againhe proceeded to the effects of it.
The fair Beguine, said the corporal, continued rubbing with her whole hand under my kneetill I feard her zeal would weary herI would do a thousand times more, said she, for the love of ChristIn saying which, she passd her hand across the flannel, to the part above my knee, which I had equally complaind of, and rubbd it also.
I perceivd, then, I was beginning to be in love
As she continued rub-rub-rubbingI felt it spread from under her hand, an please your honour, to every part of my frame
The more she rubbd, and the longer strokes she tookthe more the fire kindled in my veinstill at length, by two or three strokes longer than the restmy passion rose to the highest pitchI seizd her hand
And then thou clappedst it to thy lips, Trim, said my uncle Tobyand madest a speech.
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