Though my father was a good natural philosopher,⁠—yet he was something of a moral philosopher too; for which reason, when his tobacco-pipe snapp’d short in the middle,⁠—he had nothing to do, as such, but to have taken hold of the two pieces, and thrown them gently upon the back of the fire.⁠⸺⁠He did no such thing;⁠⸺⁠he threw them with all the violence in the world;⁠—and, to give the action still more emphasis,⁠—he started upon both his legs to do it.

This looked something like heat;⁠—and the manner of his reply to what my uncle Toby was saying, proved it was so.

—“Not choose,” quoth my father, (repeating my uncle Toby’s words) “to let a man come so near her!”⁠⸺⁠By Heaven, brother Toby! you would try the patience of Job;⁠—and I think I have the plagues of one already without it.⁠⸺⁠Why?⁠⸺⁠Where?⁠⸺⁠Wherein?⁠⸺⁠Wherefore?⁠⸺⁠Upon what account? replied my uncle Toby, in the utmost astonishment.⁠—To think, said my father, of a man living to your age, brother, and knowing so little about women!⁠⸺⁠I know nothing at all about them,⁠—replied my uncle Toby: And I think, continued he, that the shock I received the year after the demolition of Dunkirk, in my affair with widow Wadman;⁠—which shock you know I should not have received, but from my total ignorance of the sex,⁠—has given me just cause to say, That I neither know nor do pretend to know anything about ’em or their concerns either.⁠—Methinks, brother, replied my father, you might, at least, know so much as the right end of a woman from the wrong.

It is said in Aristotle’s Masterpiece, “That when a man doth think of anything which is past,⁠⸺⁠he looketh down upon the ground;⁠⸺⁠but that when he thinketh of something that is to come, he looketh up towards the heavens.”

My uncle Toby, I suppose, thought of neither, for he look’d horizontally.⁠—Right end! quoth my uncle Toby, muttering the two words low to himself, and fixing his two eyes insensibly as he muttered them, upon a small crevice, formed by a bad joint in the chimneypiece⁠⸺⁠Right end of a woman!⁠⸺⁠I declare, quoth my uncle, I know no more which it is than the man in the moon;⁠⸺⁠and if I was to think, continued my uncle Toby (keeping his eye still fixed upon the bad joint) this month together, I am sure I should not be able to find it out.

Then, brother Toby, replied my father, I will tell you.

Everything in this world, continued my father (filling a fresh pipe)⁠—everything in this world, my dear brother Toby, has two handles.⁠⸺⁠Not always, quoth my uncle Toby.⁠⸺⁠At least, replied my father, everyone has two hands,⁠⸺⁠which comes to the same thing.⁠⸺⁠Now, if a man was to sit down coolly, and consider within himself the make, the shape, the construction, come-at-ability, and convenience of all the parts which constitute the whole of that animal, called Woman, and compare them analogically⁠⸺⁠I never understood rightly the meaning of that word,⁠—quoth my uncle Toby.⁠—

Analogy, replied my father, is the certain relation and agreement which different⁠⸺⁠Here a devil of a rap at the door snapped my father’s definition (like his tobacco-pipe) in two,⁠—and, at the same time, crushed the head of as notable and curious a dissertation as ever was engendered in the womb of speculation;⁠—it was some months before my father could get an opportunity to be safely delivered of it:⁠—And, at this hour, it is a thing full as problematical as the subject of the dissertation itself,⁠—(considering the confusion and distresses of our domestick misadventures, which are now coming thick one upon the back of another) whether I shall be able to find a place for it in the third volume or not.