Though man is of all others the most curious vehicle, said my father, yet at the same time ’tis of so slight a frame, and so totteringly put together, that the sudden jerks and hard jostlings it unavoidably meets with in this rugged journey, would overset and tear it to pieces a dozen times a day⁠⸺⁠was it not, brother Toby, that there is a secret spring within us.⁠—Which spring, said my uncle Toby, I take to be Religion.⁠—Will that set my child’s nose on? cried my father, letting go his finger, and striking one hand against the other.⁠⸺⁠It makes everything straight for us, answered my uncle Toby.⁠⸺⁠Figuratively speaking, dear Toby, it may, for aught I know, said my father; but the spring I am speaking of, is that great and elastic power within us of counterbalancing evil, which, like a secret spring in a well-ordered machine, though it can’t prevent the shock⁠⸺⁠at least it imposes upon our sense of it.

Now, my dear brother, said my father, replacing his forefinger, as he was coming closer to the point⁠⸺⁠had my child arrived safe into the world, unmartyr’d in that precious part of him⁠—fanciful and extravagant as I may appear to the world in my opinion of christian names, and of that magic bias which good or bad names irresistibly impress upon our characters and conducts⁠—Heaven is witness! that in the warmest transports of my wishes for the prosperity of my child, I never once wished to crown his head with more glory and honour than what George or Edward would have spread around it.

But alas! continued my father, as the greatest evil has befallen him⁠⸺⁠I must counteract and undo it with the greatest good.

He shall be christened Trismegistus, brother.

I wish it may answer⁠⸺⁠replied my uncle Toby, rising up.