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10. “Thou hast left this matter short,” said my uncle Toby to the corporal, as he was putting him to bed, “ and I will tell thee in what, Trim : in the first place, when thou madest an offer of my services to Le Fevre, as sickness and traveling are both expensive, and thou knowest he was but a poor lieutenant, with a son to subsist as well as himself out of his pay, that thou didst not make an offer to him of my purse; because, had he stood in need, thou knowest, Trim, he had been as welcome to it as myself.”
11. “Your honor knows,” said the corporal, “ I had no orders.” True," quoth my uncle Toby ; “ thou didst very right, Trim, as a soldier, but certainly very wrong
as a man.
In the second place, — for which, indeed, thou hast the same excuse,” continued my uncle Toby, - “when thou offeredst him whatever was in my house, thou shouldst have offered him my house too.
A sick brother-officer should have the best quarters, Trim; and if we had him with us, we could tend and look to him. Thou art an excellent nurse thyself, Trim; and what with thy care of him, and the old woman's, and his boy's, and mine together, we might recruit him again at once, and set him upon his legs. In a fortnight or three weeks,” added my uncle Toby, smiling, “he might march.”
12. “He will never march, an' please your honor, in this world,” said the corporal. “He will march,” said my uncle Toby, rising up from the side of the bed with one shoe off. “ An' please your honor,” said the corporal, “ he will never march but to his grave.” “He shall march,” cried my uncle Toby, marching the foot
which had a shoe on, though without advancing an inch, " he shall march to his regiment.” “He cannot stand it,” said the corporal. “He shall be supported,” said my uncle Toby. “He'll drop at last," said the corporal, " and what will become of his boy?” “He shall not drop,” said my uncle Toby, firmly. . “ A-well-a-day! do what we can for him," said Trim, maintaining his point, “the poor soul will die.” “ He shall not die," cried my uncle Toby.
13. The sun looked bright the morning after to every eye in the village but Le Fevre's and his afflicted son's; the hand of death pressed heavy upon his eyelids; and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn round its circle, when my uncle Toby, who had risen up an hour before his wonted time, entered the lieutenant's room, and, without preface or apology, sat himself down upon the chair by the bedside, and, independently of all modes and customs, opened the curtain in the manner an old friend and brother officer would have done it, and asked him how he did; how he had rested in the night; what was his complaint; where was his pain; and what he could do to help him ; and, without giving him time to answer any one of these inquiries, went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the corporal the night before for him.
14. “You shall go home directly, Le Fevre,” said my uncle Toby, “ to my house, and we'll send for a doctor to see what's the matter; and we'll have an apothecary; and the corporal shall be your nurse, and I'll be your servant, Le Fevre."
15. There was a frankness in my uncle Toby, not the effect of familiarity, but the cause of it, which let you at once into his soul, and showed you the goodness of his nature. To this, there was something in his looks, and voice, and manner, superadded, which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take shelter under him; so that, before my uncle Toby had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father, the son had insensibly pressed up close to his knees, and had taken hold of the breast of his coat, and was pulling it towards him.
16. The blood and spirits of Le Fevre, which were waxing cold and slow within him, and were retreating to their last citadel, the heart, rallied back; the film forsook his eyes for a moment; he looked up wishfully in my uncle Toby's face, then cast a look upon his boy; and that ligament, fine as it was, was never broken.
Nature instantly ebbed again; the film returned to its place; the pulse fluttered — stopped — went throbbed — stopped again — moved — stopped. — Shall I go on? No.
LXXXVI. - - AN EVENING REVERY.
The summer day is closed, — the Sun is set: Well they have done their office, those bright hours, The latest of whose train goes softly out In the red West. The green blade of the ground Has risen, and herds have cropped it; the young twig
Has spread its plaited tissues to the Sun;
Insects from the pools
In bright alcoves,
This day hath parted friends That ne'er before were parted; it hath knit New friendships ; it hath seen the maiden plight Her faith, and trust her peace to him who long Had woo’d; and it hath heard, from lips which late Were eloquent of love, the first harsh word, That told the wedded one her peace was flown. Farewell to the sweet sunshine !
One glad day Is added now to Childhood's merry days, And one calm day to those of quiet Age. Still the fleet hours run on; and, as I lean, Amid the thickening darkness lamps are lit By those who watch the dead, and those who twine Flowers for the bride. The mother from the eyes Of her sick infant shades the painful light, And sadly listens to his quick-drawn breath.
O thou great Movement of the Universe, Or Chinge, or Flight of Time, — for ye are one ! That bearest, silently, this visible scene Into night's shadow and the streaming rays Of starlight, whither art thou bearing me? I feel the mighty current sweep me on, Yet know not whither. Man foretells afar The courses of the stars; the very hour He knows when they shall darken or grow bright; Yet doth th' eclipse of Sorrow and of Death Come unforewarn’d.
Who next, of those I love, Shall pass from life, or, sadder yet, shall fall From virtue? Strife with foes, or bitterer strife With friends, or shame and general scorn of men, Which who can bear? or the fierce rack of pain, — Lie they within my path? Or shall the years Push me, with soft and inoffensive pace, Into the stilly twilight of my age ?