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THE STORY O F LE FEVRE.
IT was fome time in the fummer of that year in which
Dendermond was taken by the allies,-which was about feven years before my father came into the country,and about as many, after the time, that my uncle Toby and Trim had privately decamped from my father's houfe in town, in order to lay fome of the finest fieges to fome of the fineft fortified cities in Europe-when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his fupper, with Trim fitting behind him at a fmall fideboard -The landlord of a little inn in the village came into the parlour with an empty phial in his hand to beg a glass or two of fack; 'Tis for a poor gentleman, -I think, of the army, faid the landlord, who has been taken ill at my house four days ago, and has never held up his head fince, or had a defire to tafte any thing, till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass of fack and a thin toaft,
-I think, fays he, taking his hand from his forehead, it would comfort me.-
IF I could neither beg, borrow, or buy such a thing, added the landlord,-I would almoft fteal it for the poor gentleman, he is fo ill.I hope in God he will fill mend, continued he-we are all of us concerned for him.
THOU art a good-natured foul, I will anfwer for thee, cried my uncle Toby; and thou fhalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glafs of fack thyfelf, and take a couple of bottles with my fervice, and tell him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more if they will do him good.
THOUGH I am perfuaded, faid my uncle Toby, as the landlord fhut the door, he is a very compaffionate fellow Trim, yet I cannot help entertaining a high opinion of his gueft too; there must be something more than common in him, that in fo fhort a time fhould win fo much upon the affections of his hoft; -And of his whole family, added the corporal, for they are all concerned for him.— Step after him, faid my uncle Toby, do Trim, and afk if he knows his name.
I HAVE quite forgot it, truly, faid the landlord, coming back into the parlour with the corporal,-but I can afk his fon again :- -Has he a fon with him then? faid my uncle Toby.A boy, replied the landlord, of about eleven or twelve years of age;--but the poor creature has tafted almost as little as his father; he does nothing but mourn and lament for him night and day:- He has not stirred from the bed-fide these two days.
My uncle Toby laid down his knife and fork, and thruft his plate from before him, as the landlord gave him the ac
count; and Trim, without being ordered, took away without faying one word, and in a few minutes after brought him his pipe and tobacco,
STAY in the room a little, faid my uncle Toby.TRIM!-faid my uncle Toby, after he lighted his pipe, and fmoaked about a dozen whiffs.-Trim came in front of his master and made his bow ;-my uncle Toby fmoaked on, and faid no more.Corporal! faid my uncle Toby
-the corporal made his bow.My uncle Toby proceeded no farther, but finished his pipe.
TRIM! faid my uncle Toby, I have a project in my head, as it is a bad night, of wrapping myfelf up warm in my roquelaure, and paying a vifit to this poor gentleman, -Your honour's roquelaure, replied the corporal, has not once been had on, fince the night before your ho nour received your wound, when we mounted guard in the trenches before the gate of St. Nicholas;and besides it is fo cold and rainy a night, that what with the roquelaure, and what with the weather, 'twill be enough to give your honour your death, and bring on your honour's torment in your groin. I fear fo, replied my uncle Toby: but I am not at reft in my mind, Trim, fince the account the landlord has given me.I wish I had not known fo much of this affair,-added my uncle Toby,-or that I had known more of it:How fhall we manage it? Leave it, an't please your honour, to me, quoth the corporal; -I'll take my hat and flick, and go to the house and reconnoitre, and act accordingly; and I will bring your honour a full account in an hour.-Thou shalt go, Trim, faid my uncle Toby, and here's a fhilling for thee to drink with his fervant.. -I fhall get it all out of him, faid the corporal, fhutting the door,
My uncle Toby filled his fecond pipe; and had it not been, that he now and then wandered from the point, with confidering whether it was not full as well to have the curtain of the tennaile a ftraight line, as a crooked one,-he might be faid to have thought of nothing else but poor Le Fevre and his boy the whole time he fmoaked it.
Ir was not till my uncle Toby had knocked the ashes out of his third pipe, that corporal Trim returned from the inn, and gave him the following account.
I DESPAIRED at first, said the corporal, of being able to bring back your honour any kind of intelligence concerning the poor fick lieutenant-Is he in the army then? faid my uncle Toby-He is; faid the corporal-And in what regiment? faid my uncle Toby-I'll tell your honour, replied the corporal, every thing ftraight forwards, as I learnt it. Then, Trim, I'll fill another pipe, faid my uncle Toby, and not interrupt thee till thou haft done; fo fit down at thy ease, Trim, in the window-feat, and begin thy ftory again. The corporal made his old bow, which generally spoke as plain as a bow could fpeak it Your honour is good:-And having done that, he fat down, as he was ordered,-and begun the ftory to my uncle Toby over again in pretty near the fame words.
I DESPAIRED at firft, faid the corporal, of being able to bring back any intelligence to your honour about the lieutenant and his fon; for when I asked where his fervant was, from whom I made myfelf fure of knowing every thing which was proper to be asked,-That's a right diftinction, Trim, faid my uncle Toby-I was anfwered, an' please your honour, that he had no fervant with him ;-that he had come to the inn with hired horfes, which, upon finding himself unable to proceed, (to join, I suppose, the regiment)
ment) he had difmiffed the morning after he came.—If I get better, my dear, faid he, as he gave his purse to his fun to pay the man, we can hire horfes from hence.But alas! the poor gentleman will never get from hence, faid the landlady to me,-for I heard the death-watch all night long; and when he dies, the youth, his fon, will certainly die with him; for he is broken-hearted already, I WAS hearing this account, continued the corporal, when the youth came into the kitchen, to order the thin toaft the landlord fpoke of; but I will do it for my 'father myself, faid the youth.Pray let me fave you the trouble, young gentleman, faid I, taking up a fork for the purpose, and offering him my chair to fit down upon by the fire, whilft I did it. I believe, Sir, faid he, very modeftly, I can please him beft myself.I am sure, faid I, his honour will not like the toast the worse for being toafted by an old foldier.-The youth took hold of my hand, and inftantly burst into tears.Poor youth! faid my uncle Toby, he has been bred up from an infant in the army, and the name of a foldier, Trim, founded in his ears like the name of a friend ;-I wish I had him here.
I NEVER, in the longest march, faid the corporal, had fo great a mind to my dinner, as I had to cry with him for company-What could be the matter with me, an' please your honour? Nothing in the world, Trim, faid my uncle Toby, blowing his nofe,-but that thou art a good-natured fellow.
WHEN I gave him the toast, continued the corporal, I thought it was proper to tell him I was captain Shandy's ferwant, and that your honour (though a stranger) was extremely concerned for his father;-And that if there was any thing in your houfe or cellar-(and thou might'ft have