My uncle Toby turn’d his head more than once behind him, to see how he was supported by the corporal; and the corporal as oft as he did it, gave a slight flourish with his stick⁠—but not vapouringly; and with the sweetest accent of most respectful encouragement, bid his honour “never fear.”

Now my uncle Toby did fear; and grievously too; he knew not (as my father had reproach’d him) so much as the right end of a Woman from the wrong, and therefore was never altogether at his ease near any one of them⁠⸺⁠unless in sorrow or distress; then infinite was his pity; nor would the most courteous knight of romance have gone further, at least upon one leg, to have wiped away a tear from a woman’s eye; and yet excepting once that he was beguiled into it by Mrs. Wadman, he had never looked steadfastly into one; and would often tell my father in the simplicity of his heart, that it was almost (if not about) as bad as talking bawdy.⁠⸺⁠

⸺⁠And suppose it is? my father would say.