Tristram Shandy C H A P. LXXVIII

A DELUSIVE, delicious consultation or two of this kind, betwixt my uncle Toby and Trim, upon the demolition of Dunkirk,—for a moment rallied back the ideas of those pleasures, which were slipping from under him:——still—still all went on heavily——the magic left the mind the weaker—STILLNESS, with SILENCE at her back, entered the solitary parlour, and drew their gauzy mantle over my uncle Toby’s head;—and LISTLESSNESS, with her lax fibre and undirected eye, sat quietly down beside him in his arm-chair.——No longer Amberg and Rhinberg, and Limbourg, and Huy, and Bonn, in one year,—and the prospect of Landen, and Trerebach, and Drusen, and Dendermond, the next,—hurried on the blood:—No longer did saps, and mines, and blinds, and gabions, and palisadoes, keep out this fair enemy of man’s repose:——No more could my uncle Toby, after passing the French lines, as he eat his egg at supper, from thence break into the heart of France,—cross over the Oyes, and with all Picardie open behind him, march up to the gates of Paris, and fall asleep with nothing but ideas of glory:——No more was he to dream, he had fixed the royal standard upon the tower of the Bastile, and awake with it streaming in his head.

——Softer visions,—gentler vibrations stole sweetly in upon his slumbers;—the trumpet of war fell out of his hands,—he took up the lute, sweet instrument! of all others the most delicate! the most difficult!——how wilt thou touch it, my dear uncle Toby?