Now my uncle Toby had one evening laid down his pipe upon the table, and was counting over to himself upon his finger ends (beginning at his thumb) all Mrs. Wadmans perfections one by one; and happening two or three times together, either by omitting some, or counting others twice over, to puzzle himself sadly before he could get beyond his middle fingerPrithee, Trim! said he, taking up his pipe again,bring me a pen and ink: Trim brought paper also.
Take a full sheetTrim! said my uncle Toby, making a sign with his pipe at the same time to take a chair and sit down close by him at the table. The corporal obeyedplaced the paper directly before himtook a pen, and dippd it in the ink.
She has a thousand virtues, Trim! said my uncle Toby
Am I to set them down, an please your honour? quoth the corporal.
But they must be taken in their ranks, replied my uncle Toby; for of them all, Trim, that which wins me most, and which is a security for all the rest, is the compassionate turn and singular humanity of her characterI protest, added my uncle Toby, looking up, as he protested it, towards the top of the ceilingThat was I her brother, Trim, a thousand fold, she could not make more constant or more tender enquiries after my sufferings though now no more.
The corporal made no reply to my uncle Tobys protestation, but by a short coughhe dippd the pen a second time into the inkhorn; and my uncle Toby, pointing with the end of his pipe as close to the top of the sheet at the left hand corner of it, as he could get itthe corporal wrote down the word HUMANITY. . .thus.
Prithee, corporal, said my uncle Toby, as soon as Trim had done ithow often does Mrs. Bridget enquire after the wound on the cap of thy knee, which thou receivedst at the battle of Landen?
She never, an please your honour, enquires after it at all.
That, corporal, said my uncle Toby, with all the triumph the goodness of his nature would permitThat shews the difference in the character of the mistress and maidhad the fortune of war allotted the same mischance to me, Mrs. Wadman would have enquired into every circumstance relating to it a hundred timesShe would have enquired, an please your honour, ten times as often about your honours groinThe pain, Trim, is equally excruciating,and Compassion has as much to do with the one as the other
God bless your honour! cried the corporalwhat has a womans compassion to do with a wound upon the cap of a mans knee? had your honours been shot into ten thousand splinters at the affair of Landen, Mrs. Wadman would have troubled her head as little about it as Bridget; because, added the corporal, lowering his voice, and speaking very distinctly, as he assigned his reason
The knee is such a distance from the main bodywhereas the groin, your honour knows, is upon the very curtain of the place.
My uncle Toby gave a long whistlebut in a note which could scarce be heard across the table.
The corporal had advanced too far to retirein three words he told the rest
My uncle Toby laid down his pipe as gently upon the fender, as if it had been spun from the unravellings of a spiders web
Let us go to my brother Shandys, said he.
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