« PreviousContinue »
THE LIFE AND OPINIONS OF TRISTRAM SHANDY.
to my mother,--of none to my father, as a mark I am not such a bigot to Slawkenbergius, as in Slawkenbergius. Slawkenbergius, in every my father :—there is a fund in him, no doubt; page of him, was a rich treasury of inexhausti- but, in my opinion, the best, I don't say the ble knowledge to my father ;-he could not open most profitable, but the most amusing part of him amiss; and he would often say, in closing Hafen Slawkenbergius, is his Tales; and, conthe book, that if all the arts and sciences in the sidering he was a German, many of them told world, with the books which treated of them, not without fancy.—These take up his second were lost should the wisdom and policies of book, containing nearly one half of his folio, governments, he would say, through disuse, ever and are comprehended in ten decades; each dehappen to be forgot, and all that statesmen had cade containing ten tales.-Philosophy is not wrote, or caused to be written, upon the strong built upon tales ; and, therefore, 'twas certainor the weak sides of courts and kingdoms, should ly wrong in Slawkenbergius to send them into they be forgot also,—and Slawkenbergius only the world by that name. There are a few of left, there would be enough in him, in all them in his eighth, ninth, and tenth decades, conscience, he would say, to set the world a-go- which, I own, seem rather playful and sportive ing again. A treasure, therefore, was he in- than speculative;—but, in general, they are to deed ! an institute of all that was necessary to be looked upon by the learned as a detail of so be known of noses, and every thing else. -At many independent facts, all of them turning matin, noon, and vespers, was Hafen Slawken- round, somehow or other, upon the main hinges bergius his recreation and delight ;-'twas for of his subject, and collected by him with great ever in his hands ;- you would have sworn, sir, fidelity, and added to his work as so many ilit had been a canon's prayer-book, so worn, so lustrations upon the doctrines of noses. glazed, so contrited and attrited was it with fin- As we have leisure enough upon our hands, gers and with thumbs, in all its parts, from one if you give me leave, madam, I'll tell you end even unto the other.
the ninth tale of his tenth decade.
LIFE AND OPINIONS
TRISTRAM SHANDY, GENT.
- Multitudinis imperitæ non formido judicia, meis tamen, rogo parcant opusculis-- in quibus fuit propositi semper, à jocis ad seria, in seriis vicissim ad jocos transire.
VOL. IV. ORIG. EDIT.
Vespera quâdam frigidulâ, posteriori in parte It was one cool refreshing evening, at the close mensis Augusti, peregrinus, mulo fusco colore of a very sultry day, in the latter end of the insidens, manticâ a tergo, paucis indusiis, binis month of August, when a stranger, mounted calceis, braccisque sericis coccineis repleta Ar- upon a dark mule, with a small cloak-bag begentoratum ingressus est.
hind him, containing a few shirts, a pair of shoes, and a crimson-satin pair of breeches, en
tered the town of Strasburg. Militi eum percontanti, quum portus intraret, He told the sentinel, who questioned him as dixit, se apud Nasorum promortorium fuisse, he entered the gates, that he had been at the Francofurtum proficisci, et Argentoratum, tran- Promontory of Noses—was going on to Franksitu ad fines Sarmatiæ mensis intervallo, rever- fort- and should be back again at Strasburg
that day month, in his way to the borders of
Crim Tartary. Miles peregrini in faciem suspexit : --Di The sentinel looked up into the stranger's boni, nova forma nasi !
face :- he never saw such a nose in his life! At multum mihi profuit, inquit peregrinus, -I have made a very good venture of it, carpum amento extrahens, è quo pependit aci- uoth the stranger ;-so slipping his wrist out naces : Loculo manum inseruit ; et magnâ cum of the loop of a black ribbon, to which a short urþanitate, pilei parte anteriore tactâ manu si- scymitar was hung, he put his hand into his nistrâ, ut extendit dextram, militi florinum de- pocket, and with great courtesy touching the dit et processit.
fore-part of his cap with his left hand, as he extended his right-he put a florin into the sen
tinel's hand, and passed on. Dolet mihi, ait miles, tympanistam nanum et It grieves me, said the sentinel, speaking to a valgum alloquens, virum adeo urbanum vagi- little dwarfish bandy-legged drummer, that so nam perdidisse : itinerari haud poterit nudâ aci- courteous a soul should have lost his scabbard naci ; neque vaginam toto Argentorato, habilem -he cannot travel without one to his scymitar, inveniet. -Nullam unquam habui, respondit and will not be able to get a scabbard to fit it peregrinus respiciens_seque comiter incli- in all Strasburg.- -I never had one, replied nans hoc more gesto, nudam acinacem elevans, the stranger, looking back to the sentinel, and mulo lentè progrediente, ut nasum tueri pos- putting his hand up to his cap as he spokesim,
carry it, continued he, thus-holding up his naked scymitar, his mule moving on slowly all the time, on purpose to defend my nose.
* As Hafen Slawkenbergius de Nasis, is extremely scarce, it may not be unacceptable to the learned reader to see the specimen of a few pages of his original. I will make no reflection upon it, but that his story telling Latin is much more concise than his philosophic-and, I think, has more of Latinity in it.
Non immerito, benigne peregrine, respondit It is well worth it, gentle stranger, replied the miles.
sentinel. Nihili æstimo, ait ille tympanista, è perga- -Tis not worth a single stiver, said the mená factitius est.
bandy-legged drummer,-'tis a nose of parch
ment. Prout christianus sum, inquit miles, nasus As I am a true Catholic-except that it is six ille, ni sexties major sit, meo esset conformis. times as big—'tis a nose, said the sentinel, like
my own. Crepitare audivi ait tympanista.
- I heard it crackle, said the drummer. Mehercule ! sanguinem emisit, respondit mi- By dunder, said the sentinel, I saw it bleed. les.
Miseret me, inquit tympanista, qui non am- What a pity, cried the bandy-legged drumbo tetigimus!
mer, we did not both touch it! Eodem temporis puncto, quo hæc res argu- At the very time that this dispute was mainmentata fuit inter militem et tympanistam, dis- taining by the sentinel and the drummer,—was ceptabatur ibidem tubicine et uxore suâ qui the same point debating betwixt a trumpeter tunc accesserunt, et peregrino prætereunte, re- and a trumpeter's wife, who were just then stiterunt.
coming up, and had stopped to see the stranger Quantus nasus ! æque longus est, ait tubici- Benedicite ! -What a nose ! 'tis as long, na, ac tuba.
said the trumpeter's wife, as a trumpet. Et ex eodem metallo, ait tubicen, velut stera And of the same metal, said the trumpeter, nutamento audias.
hear by its sneezing. Tantum abest, respondit illa, quod fistulam 'Tis as soft as a flute, said she, dulcedine vincit. Æneus est, ait tubicen.
_'Tis brass, said the trumpeter. Nequaquam, respondit uxor.
—'Tis a pudding's end, said his wife. Rursum affirmo, ait tubicen, quod æneus est. I tell thee again, said the trumpeter, 'tis a
brazen nose. Rem penitus explorabo ; prius, enim digito I'll know the bottom of it, said the trumpettangam, ait uxor, quam dormivero.
er's wife, for I will touch it with my finger be
fore I sleep. Mulus peregrini gradu lento progressus est, The stranger’s mule moved on at so slow a ut unumquodque verbum controversiæ, non rate that he heard every word of the dispute, tantum inter militem et tympanistam, vérum not only betwixt the sentinel and the drummer, etiam inter tubicinem et uxorem ejus, audiret. but betwixt the trumpeter and the trumpeter's
wife. Nequaquam, ait ille, in muli collum fræna No! said he, dropping his reins upon his demittens, et manibus ambabus in pectus posi- mule's neck, and laying both his hands upon tis (mulo lentè progrediente) nequaquam ait his breast, the one over the other in a saint-like ille respiciens, non necesse est ut res isthæc position (his mule going on easily all the time) dilucidata foret. Minime gentium ! meus na- No! said he, looking up, I am not such a sus nunquam tangetur, dum spiritus hos reget debtor to the world,-slandered and disappointartus-Ad quid agendum ? ait uxor burgoma- ed as I have been, -as to give it that convicgistri.
-no! said he, my nose shall never be touched whilst Heaven gives me strength
To do what? said a burgomaster's wife. Peregrinus illi non respondit. Votum facie- The stranger took no notice of the burgomasbat tunc temporis Sancto Nicolao ; quo facto, ter's wife ;-he was making a vow to Saint Niin sinum dextram inserens, e quâ negligenter cholas; which done, having uncrossed his arms pependit acinaces, lento gradu processit per pla- with the same solemnity with which he crossed team Argentorati latam quæ ad diversorium them, he took up the reins of his bridle with templo ex adversum ducit.
his left hand, and putting his right hand into his bosom, with his scymitar hanging loosely to the wrist of it, he rode on as slowly as one foot of the mule could follow another, through the principal streets of Strasburg, till chance brought him to the great inn in the market-place, over
against the church. Peregrinus mulo descendens stabulo includi, The moment the stranger alighted, he ordered et manticam inferri jussit : quâ apertà et coc- lis mule to be led into the stable, and his cloakcineis sericis femoralibus extractis cum argento bag to be brought in; then opening, and taking
laciniato Tlepus quarrè, his sese induit, statimque, out of it his crimson-satin breeches, with a silacinaci in manu, ad forum deambulavit. ver-fringed-(appendage to them, which I dare
not translate)—he put his breeches, with his fringed cod-piece on, and forthwith, with his short scymitar in his hand, walked out to the
grand parade. Quod ubi peregrinus esset ingressus, uxorem The stranger had just taken three turns upon tubicinis obviam euntem aspicit ; illico cursum the parade, when he perceived the trumpeter's flectit, metuens ne nasus suus exploraretur, at- wife at the opposite side of it ;-0, turning que ad diversorium regressus est-exuit se ves- short, in pain lest his nose should be attempted, tibus; braccas coccineas sericas manticæ impo- he instantly went back to his inn,-undressed suit mulumque educi jussit.
himself, packed up his crimson-satin breeches,
&c. in his cloak-bag, and called for his mule. Francofurtum proficiscor, ait ille, et Argen- I am going forwards, said the stranger, for toratum quatuor abhinc hebdomadis revertar. Frankfort,--and shall be back at Strasburg this
day month. Bene curasti hoc jumentum (ait) muli faciem Í hope, continued the stranger, stroking down manu demulcens-me, manticamque meam, the face of his mule with his left hand as he plus sexcentis mille passibus portavit.
was going to mount it, that you have been kind to this faithful slave of mine, it has carried me and my cloak-bag, continued he, tapping the
mule's back, above six hundred leagues. Longa via est ! respondit hospes, nisi pluri- 'Tis a long journey, sir, replied the masmum esset negotii.--Enimvero, ait peregrinus, ter of the inn—unless a man has great business. a Nasorum promontorio redivi, et nasum spe- Tut! tut! said the stranger, I have been ciosissimum, egregiosissimumque quem unquam at the Promontory of Noses ; and have got me quisquam sortitus est, acquisivi.
one of the goodliest and jolliest, thank Heaven,
that ever fell to a single man's lot. Dum peregrinus hanc miram rationem de se Whilst the stranger was giving this odd acipso reddit, hospes et uxor ejus, oculis intentis, count of himself, the master of the inn, and his peregrini nasum contemplantur Per sanctos wife, kept both their eyes fixed full upon the sanctasque omnes, ait hospitis uxor, nasis duo- stranger's nose.—By Saint Radagunda, said decim maximis in toto Argentorato major est! the inn-keeper's wife to herself, there is more -est ne, ait illa mariti in aurem insusurrans, of it than in any dozen of the largest noses put nonne est nasus prægrandis ?
together in all Strasburg! Is it not, said she, whispering her husband in his ear, is it not a
noble nose? Dolus inest, anime mi, ait hospes--nasus est 'Tis an imposture, my dear, said the master falsus.
of the inn ;-'tis a false nose. Verus est, respondit uxor.
"Tis a true nose, said his wife. Ex abiete factus est, ait ille, terebinthinum 'Tis made of fir-tree, said he ; I smell the olet.
turpentine.Carbunculus inest, ait uxor,
There's a pimple on it, said she. Mortuus est nasus, respondit hospes.
'Tis a dead nose, replied the inn-keeper. Vivus est ait illa, -et si ipsa vivam tangam. 'Tis a live nose, and if I am alive myself, said
the inn-keeper's wife, I will touch it. Votum feci Sancto Nicholao, ait peregrinus, I have made a vow to Saint Nicholas this day, nasum meum intactum fore usque ad-Quod- said the stranger, that my nose shall not be nam tempus ? illico respondit illa.
touched till -Here the stranger, suspending his voice, looked up. Till when ? said she,
hastily. Minimè tangetur, inquit ille (manibus in It never shall be touched, said he, clasping pectus compositis) usque ad illam horam.- his hands and bringing them close to his breast, Quam horam ? aít illa-Nullam, respondit till that hourWhat hour? cried the innperegrinus, donec pervenio ad—Quem locum,– keeper's wife. Never !--never! said the obsecro ? ait illa Peregrinus nil respondens stranger, never, till I am got-For Heaven's mulo conscenso discessit.
sake, into what place? said she.-The stranger rode away without saying a word.
The stranger had not got half a league on his way towards Frankfort, before all the city of Strasburg was in an uproar about his nose. The Compline bells were just ringing to call