My uncle Toby had scarce turned the corner of his yew hedge, which separated his kitchen-garden from his bowling-green, when he perceived the corporal had begun the attack without him.⁠⸻

Let me stop and give you a picture of the corporal’s apparatus; and of the corporal himself in the height of his attack, just as it struck my uncle Toby, as he turned towards the sentry-box, where the corporal was at work,⁠⸺⁠for in nature there is not such another,⁠⸺⁠nor can any combination of all that is grotesque and whimsical in her works produce its equal.

The corporal⁠⸻

⸺⁠Tread lightly on his ashes, ye men of genius,⁠⸺⁠for he was your kinsman:

Weed his grave clean, ye men of goodness,⁠—for he was your brother.⁠—Oh corporal! had I thee, but now,⁠—now, that I am able to give thee a dinner and protection,⁠—how would I cherish thee! thou should’st wear thy Montero-cap every hour of the day, and every day of the week,⁠—and when it was worn out, I would purchase thee a couple like it:⁠⸺⁠But alas! alas! alas! now that I can do this in spite of their reverences⁠—the occasion is lost⁠—for thou art gone;⁠—thy genius fled up to the stars from whence it came;⁠—and that warm heart of thine, with all its generous and open vessels, compressed into a clod of the valley!

⸺⁠But what⁠⸺⁠what is this, to that future and dreaded page, where I look towards the velvet pall, decorated with the military ensigns of thy master⁠—the first⁠—the foremost of created beings;⁠⸺⁠where, I shall see thee, faithful servant! laying his sword and scabbard with a trembling hand across his coffin, and then returning pale as ashes to the door, to take his mourning horse by the bridle, to follow his hearse, as he directed thee;⁠⸺⁠where⁠—all my father’s systems shall be baffled by his sorrows; and, in spite of his philosophy, I shall behold him, as he inspects the lackered plate, twice taking his spectacles from off his nose, to wipe away the dew which nature has shed upon them⁠⸺⁠When I see him cast in the rosemary with an air of disconsolation, which cries through my ears,⁠⸺⁠O Toby! in what corner of the world shall I seek thy fellow?

⸺⁠Gracious powers! which erst have opened the lips of the dumb in his distress, and made the tongue of the stammerer speak plain⁠⸺⁠when I shall arrive at this dreaded page, deal not with me, then, with a stinted hand.