My father had such a skirmishing, cutting kind of a slashing way with him in his disputations, thrusting and ripping, and giving every one a stroke to remember him by in his turnthat if there were twenty people in companyin less than half an hour he was sure to have every one of em against him.
What did not a little contribute to leave him thus without an ally, was, that if there was any one post more untenable than the rest, he would be sure to throw himself into it; and to do him justice, when he was once there, he would defend it so gallantly, that twould have been a concern, either to a brave man or a good-natured one, to have seen him driven out.
Yorick, for this reason, though he would often attack himyet could never bear to do it with all his force.
Doctor Slops Virginity, in the close of the last chapter, had got him for once on the right side of the rampart; and he was beginning to blow up all the convents in Christendom about Slops ears, when corporal Trim came into the parlour to inform my uncle Toby, that his thin scarlet breeches, in which the attack was to be made upon Mrs. Wadman, would not do; for that the taylor, in ripping them up, in order to turn them, had found they had been turnd beforeThen turn them again, brother, said my father, rapidly, for there will be many a turning of em yet before alls done in the affairThey are as rotten as dirt, said the corporalThen by all means, said my father, bespeak a new pair, brotherfor though I know, continued my father, turning himself to the company, that widow Wadman has been deeply in love with my brother Toby for many years, and has used every art and circumvention of woman to outwit him into the same passion, yet now that she has caught himher fever will be passd its height
She has gained her point.
In this case, continued my father, which Plato, I am persuaded, never thought ofLove, you see, is not so much a Sentiment as a Situation, into which a man enters, as my brother Toby would do, into a corpsno matter whether he loves the service or nobeing once in ithe acts as if he did; and takes every step to shew himself a man of prowesse.
The hypothesis, like the rest of my fathers, was plausible enough, and my uncle Toby had but a single word to object to itin which Trim stood ready to second himbut my father had not drawn his conclusion
For this reason, continued my father (stating the case over again) notwithstanding all the world knows, that Mrs. Wadman affects my brother Tobyand my brother Toby contrariwise affects Mrs. Wadman, and no obstacle in nature to forbid the music striking up this very night, yet will I answer for it, that this self-same tune will not be playd this twelvemonth.
We have taken our measures badly, quoth my uncle Toby, looking up interrogatively in Trims face.
I would lay my Montero-cap, said TrimNow Trims Montero-cap, as I once told you, was his constant wager; and having furbishd it up that very night, in order to go upon the attackit made the odds look more considerableI would lay, an please your honour, my Montero-cap to a shillingwas it proper, continued Trim (making a bow), to offer a wager before your honours
There is nothing improper in it, said my fathertis a mode of expression; for in saying thou wouldst lay thy Montero-cap to a shilling all thou meanest is thisthat thou believest
Now, What dost thou believe?
That widow Wadman, an please your worship, cannot hold it out ten days
And whence, cried Slop, jeeringly, hast thou all this knowledge of woman, friend?
By falling in love with a popish clergy-woman; said Trim.
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