That provision should be made for continuing the race of so great, so exalted and godlike a Being as manI am far from denyingbut philosophy speaks freely of every thing; and therefore I still think and do maintain it to be a pity, that it should be done by means of a passion which bends down the faculties, and turns all the wisdom, contemplations, and operations of the soul backwardsa passion, my dear, continued my father, addressing himself to my mother, which couples and equals wise men with fools, and makes us come out of our caverns and hiding-places more like satyrs and four-footed beasts than men.
I know it will be said, continued my father (availing himself of the Prolepsis), that in itself, and simply takenlike hunger, or thirst, or sleeptis an affair neither good or bador shameful or otherwise.Why then did the delicacy of Diogenes and Plato so recalcitrate against it? and wherefore, when we go about to make and plant a man, do we put out the candle? and for what reason is it, that all the parts thereofthe congredientsthe preparationsthe instruments, and whatever serves thereto, are so held as to be conveyed to a cleanly mind by no language, translation, or periphrasis whatever?
The act of killing and destroying a man, continued my father, raising his voiceand turning to my uncle Tobyyou see, is gloriousand the weapons by which we do it are honourableWe march with them upon our shouldersWe strut with them by our sidesWe gild themWe carve themWe in-lay them We enrich themNay, if it be but a scoundrel cannon, we cast an ornament upon the breach of it.
My uncle Toby laid down his pipe to intercede for a better epithetand Yorick was rising up to batter the whole hypothesis to pieces
When Obadiah broke into the middle of the room with a complaint, which cried out for an immediate hearing.
The case was this:
My father, whether by ancient custom of the manor, or as impropriator of the great tythes, was obliged to keep a Bull for the service of the Parish, and Obadiah had led his cow upon a pop-visit to him one day or other the preceding summerI say, one day or otherbecause as chance would have it, it was the day on which he was married to my fathers house-maidso one was a reckoning to the other. Therefore when Obadiahs wife was brought to bedObadiah thanked God
Now, said Obadiah, I shall have a calf: so Obadiah went daily to visit his cow.
Shell calve on Mondayon Tuesdayon Wednesday at the farthest
The cow did not calvenoshell not calve till next weekthe cow put it off terriblytill at the end of the sixth week Obadiahs suspicions (like a good mans) fell upon the Bull.
Now the parish being very large, my fathers Bull, to speak the truth of him, was no way equal to the department; he had, however, got himself, somehow or other, thrust into employmentand as he went through the business with a grave face, my father had a high opinion of him.
Most of the townsmen, an please your worship, quoth Obadiah, believe that tis all the Bulls fault
But may not a cow be barren? replied my father, turning to Doctor Slop.
It never happens: said Dr. Slop, but the mans wife may have come before her time naturally enoughPrithee has the child hair upon his head?added Dr. Slop
It is as hairy as I am; said Obadiah.Obadiah had not been shaved for three weeksWheu. . .u. . .u. . .cried my father; beginning the sentence with an exclamatory whistleand so, brother Toby, this poor Bull of mine, who is as good a Bull as ever p..ssd, and might have done for Europa herself in purer
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