A B E L L A.*

V E S P E R A quâdam frigidulâ, po-
steriori in parte mensis
peregrinus, mulo fusco colore insi-
dens, manticâ a tergo, paucis indusijs,
binis calceis, braccisque sericis coccinejs re-
Argentoratum ingressus est.

  Militi eum percontanti, quum portus in-
traret, dixit, se apud Nasorum promonto-
rium fuisse, Francofurtum proficisci, et Ar-
gentoratum, transitu ad fines Sarmatiæ
mensis intervallo, reversurum.

  * 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.


S L A W K E N B E R G I U S' s
T A L E.

IT was one cool refreshing evening,
at the close of a very sultry day, in
the latter end of the month of August,
when a stranger, mounted upon a dark
mule, with a small cloak-bag behind
him, containing a few shirts, a pair of
shoes, and a crimson-sattin pair of
breeches, entered the town of Strasburg.

  He told the centinel, who questioned
him as he entered the gates, that he had
been at the promontory of NOSES -- was
going on to Frankfort -- and should be
back again at Strasburg that day month,
in his way to the borders of Crim-
             B 2              The

[ 4 ]

  Miles peregrini in faciem suspexit -- Di
boni, nova forma nasi !

  At multum mihi profuit, inquit pere-
grinus, carpum amento extrahens, e quo
pependit acinaces : Loculo manum inse-
ruit ; & magnâ cum urbanitate, pilei parte
anteriore tactâ manu sinistrâ, ut extendit
dextram, militi florinum dedit et processit.

  Dolet mihi, ait miles, tympanistam na-
num et valgum alloquens, virum adeo ur-
banum vaginam perdidisse ; itinerari haud
poterit nudâ acinaci, neque vaginam toto

Argentorato, habilem inveniet. -- Nullam
unquam habui, respondit peregrinus respi-

             2              ciens,

[ 5 ]

  The centinel looked up into the stran-
ger's face -- never saw such a nose in his
life !

   -- I have made a very good venture of
it, quoth the stranger -- so slipping his
wrist out of the loop of a black ribband,
to which a short scymetar was hung : He
put his hand into his pocket, and with
great courtesy touching the forepart of
his cap with his left-hand, as he ex-
tended his right -- he put a florin into
the centinel's hand, and passed on.

  It grieves me, said the centinel, speak-
ing to a little dwarfish bandy-leg'd drum-
mer, that so courteous a soul should have
lost his scabbard -- he cannot travel with-
out one to his scymetar, and will not be
able to get a scabbard to fit it in all
             B 3          Strasburg.--

[ 6 ]

ciens, -- seque comiter inclinans -- hoc more
gesto, nudam acinacem elevans, mulo lentè
progrediente, ut nasum tueri possim.

  Non immerito, benigne peregrine, re-
spondit miles.

  Nihili æstimo, ait ille tympanista, e per-
gamenâ factitius est.

  Prout christianus sum, inquit miles, nasus
ille, ni sexties major sit, meo esset con-

  Crepitare audivi ait tympanista.

                          ` Me-


[ 7 ]

Strasburg. ---- I never had one, replied
the stranger, looking back to the centi-
nel, and putting his hand up to his cap
as he spoke ---- I carry it, continued he,
thus -- holding up his naked scymetar, his
mule moving on slowly all the time, on
purpose to defend my nose.

  It is well worth it, gentle stranger,
replied the centinel.

   -- 'Tis not worth a single stiver, said
the bandy-leg'd drummer -- 'tis a nose of

  As I am a true catholic -- except that
it is six times as big -- 'tis a nose, said
the centinel, like my own.

   -- I heard it crackle, said the drum-
             B 4              By

[ 8 ]

  Mehercule ! sanguinem emisit, respondit

  Miseret me, inquit tympanista, qui non
ambo tetigimus !

  Eodem temporis puncto, quo hæc res ar-
gumentata fuit inter militem et tympani-
stam, disceptabatur ibidem tubicine & ux-
ore suâ, qui tunc accesserunt, et peregrino
prætereunte, restiterunt.

  Quantus nasus ! æque longus est, ait
tubicina, ac tuba.

  Et ex eodem metallo, ait tubicen, velut
sternutamento audias.



[ 9 ]

  By dunder, said the centinel, I saw it

  What a pity, cried the bandy-legg'd
drummer, we did not both touch it !

  At the very time that this dispute was
maintaining by the centinel and the
drummer -- was the same point debating
betwixt a trumpeter and a trumpeter's
wife, who were just then coming up,
and had stopped to see the stranger pass

  Benedicity ! ---- What a nose ! 'tis as
long, said the trumpeter's wife, as a

  And of the same mettle, said the
trumpeter, as you hear by its sneez-
                          -- 'Tis

[ 10 ]

Tantum abest, respondit illa, quod fistu-
lam dulcedine vincit.
  Æneus est, ait tubicen.

  Nequaquam, respondit uxor.

  Rursum affirmo, ait tubicen, quod Æneus

  Rem penitus explorabo ; prius, enim
digito tangam, ait uxor, quam dormi-

  Mulus peregrini, gradu lento progressus
est, ut unumquodque verbum controversiæ,
non tantum inter militem et tympanistam,
verum etiam inter tubicinem et uxorem ejus,

  Nequaquam, ait ille, in muli collum
fræna demittens, & manibus ambabus in


[ 11 ]

   -- 'Tis as soft as a flute, said she.

   -- 'Tis brass, said the trumpeter.

   -- 'Tis a pudding's end -- said his wife.

  I tell thee again, said the trumpeter,
'tis a brazen nose.

  I'll know the bottom of it, said the
trumpeter's wife, for I will touch it with
my finger before I sleep.

  The stranger's mule moved on at so
slow a rate, that he heard every word of
the dispute, not only betwixt the centinel
and the drummer ; but betwixt the trum-
peter and the trumpeter's wife.

  No ! said he, dropping his reins upon
his mule's neck, and laying both his

[ 12 ]

pectus positis, (mulo lentè progrediente)
nequaquam ait ille, respiciens, non necesse
est ut res isthæc dilucidata foret. Minime
gentium ! meus nasus nunquam tangetur,
dum spiritus hos reget artus -- ad quid agen-
dum ? ait uxor burgomagistri.

  Peregrinus illi non respondit. Votum
faciebat tunc temporis sancto Nicolao, quo
facto, sinum dextram inserens, e quâ negli-
genter pependit acinaces, lento gradu pro-
cessit per plateam Argentorati latam quæ
ad diversorium templo ex adversum ducit.



[ 13 ]

hands upon his breast, the one over the
other in a saint-like position (his mule
going on easily all the time) No ! said
he, looking up, -- I am not such a deb-
tor to the world -- slandered and disap-
pointed as I have been ---- as to give it
that conviction -- no ! said he, my nose
shall never be touched whilst heaven gives
me strength -- To do what ? said a bur-
gomaster's wife.

  The stranger took no notice of the
burgomaster's wife -- he was making a
vow to saint Nicolas ; which done, hav-
ing uncrossed his arms with the same so-
lemnity with which he crossed them, he
took up the reins of his bridle with his
left-hand, and putting his right-hand in-
to his bosom, with his scymetar hanging
loosely to the wrist of it, he rode on as
slowly as one foot of the mule could fol-

[ 14 ]

  Peregrinus mulo descendens stabulo in-
cludi, & manticam inferri jussit : quâ aper-
tâ et coccineis sericis femoralibus extractis
cum argenteo laciniato
Perizomate, his sese
induit, statimque, acinaci in manu, ad
forum deambulavit.

  Quod ubi peregrinus esset ingressus, ux-
orem tubicinis obviam euntem aspicit ; illico
cursum flectit, metuens ne nasus suus explo-
raretur, atque ad diversorium regressus est
-- exuit se vestibus ; braccas coccineas se-


[ 15 ]

low another thro' the principal streets of
Strasburg, till chance brought him to the
great inn in the market-place over-against
the church.

  The moment the stranger alighted, he
ordered his mule to be led into the stable,
and his cloak-bag to be brought in ;
then opening, and taking out of it, his
crimson-sattin breeches, with a silver-
fringed -- (appendage to them, which I
dare not translate) -- he put his breeches,
with his fringed cod-piece on, and forth-
with with his short scymetar in his hand,
walked out to the grand parade.

  The stranger had just taken three turns
upon the parade, when he perceived the
trumpeter's wife at the opposite side of
it -- so turning short, in pain lest his nose
should be attempted, he instantly went

[ 16 ]

ricas manticæ imposuit mulumque educi

  Francofurtum proficiscor, ait ille, et
Argentoratum quatuor abhinc hebdomadis

  Bene curasti hoc jumentum ( ait ) muli
faciem manu demulcens ---- me, manticam-
que meam, plus sexcentis mille passibus por-

  Longa via est ! respondit hospes, nisi
plurimum esset negoti. ---- Enimvero ait
peregrinus a nasorum promontorio redij,
et nasum speciosissimum, egregiosissimumque


[ 17 ]

back to his inn ---- undressed himself,
packed up his crimson-sattin breeches,
&c. in his cloak-bag, and called for his

  I am going forwards, said the stranger,
for Frankfort ---- and shall be back at
Strasburg this day month.

  I hope, continued the stranger, stro-
king down the face of his mule with his
left-hand as he 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.

  -- 'Tis a long journey, Sir, replied the
master of the inn ---- unless a man has
great business. -- Tut ! tut ! said the stran-
ger, I have been at the promontory of
  VOL. IV.        C           Noses;

[ 18 ]

quem unquam quisquam sortitus est, acqui-
sivi !

  Dum peregrinus hanc miram rationem,
de seipso reddit, hospes et uxor ejus, oculis
intentis, peregrini nasum contemplantur --
Per sanctos, sanctasque omnes, ait hospitis
uxor, nasis duodecim maximis, in toto Ar-
gentorato major est ! -- estne ait illa mariti
in aurem insusurrans, nonne est nasus præ-
grandis ?

  Dolus inest, anime mi, ait hospes -- nasus
est falsus. --

  Verus est, respondit uxor. --

  Ex abiete factus est, ait ille, terebinthi-
num olet ----


[ 19 ]

Noses ; and have got me one of the
goodliest and jolliest, thank heaven, that
ever fell to a single man's lot.

  Whilst the stranger was giving this
odd account of himself, the master of
the inn and his wife kept both their
eyes fixed full upon the stranger's nose --
By saint Radagunda, said the inn-keeper's
wife to herself, there is more of it than
in any dozen of the largest noses put to-
gether in all Strasburg ! is it not, said
she, whispering her husband in his ear,
is it not a noble nose ?

  'Tis an imposture, my dear, said the
master of the inn -- 'tis a false nose. --

  'Tis a true nose, said his wife. --

  'Tis made of fir-tree, said he, -- I smell
the turpentine. --
             C 2              'Tis

[ 20 ]

  Carbunculus inest, ait uxor.

  Mortuus est nasus, respondit hospes.

  Vivus est, ait illa, ---- & si ipsa vivam

  Votum feci sancto Nicolao, ait peregrinus,
nasum meum intactum fore usque ad -- Quod-
nam tempus ? illico respondit illa.

  Minime tangetur, inquit ille (manibus in
pectus compositis) usque ad illam horam --
Quam horam ? ait illa. -- Nullam, respondit
peregrinus, donec pervenio, ad -- Quem lo-
cum, -- obsecro ? ait illa -- Peregrinus nil
respondens mulo conscenso discessit.


[ 21 ]

  There's a pimple on it, said she.

  'Tis a dead nose, replied the inn-

  'Tis a live nose, and if I am alive my-
self, said the inn-keeper's wife, I will
touch it.

  I have made a vow to saint Nicolas
this day, said the stranger, that my nose
shall not be touched till -- Here the stran-
ger, suspending his voice, looked up --
Till when ? said she hastily.

  It never shall be touched, said he,
clasping his hands and bringing them
close to his breasts, till that hour ----
What hour ? cried the inn-keeper's wife.
---- Never ! -- never ! said the stranger,
never till I am got -- For heaven sake
into what place ? said she. -- The stranger
rode away without saying a word.
             C 3              The

[ 22 ]

  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 the Strasburgers to
their devotions, and shut up the duties
of the day in prayer : ---- no soul in all
Strasburg heard 'em -- the city was like
a swarm of bees ---- men, women, and
children (the Compline-bells tinkling all
the time) flying here and there -- in at
one door, out at another -- this way and
that way -- long ways and cross ways --
up one street, down another street -- in at
this ally, out at that ---- did you see
it ? did you see it ? did you see it ? O !
did you see it ? -- who saw it ? who did
see it ? for mercy's sake, who saw it ?

  Alack o'day ! I was at vespers ! ---- I
was washing, I was starching, I was

[ 23 ]

scouring, I was quilting -- GOD help me !
I never saw it -- I never touch'd it ! ----
would I had been a centinel, a bandy-
leg'd drummer, a trumpeter, a trumpe-
ter's wife, was the general cry and la-
mentation in every street and corner of

  Whilst all this confusion and disorder
triumphed throughout the great city of
Strasburg, was the courteous stranger go-
ing on as gently upon his mule in his way
to Frankfort, as if he had had no concern
at all in the affair -- talking all the way
he rode in broken sentences, sometimes
to his mule -- sometimes to himself ----
sometimes to his Julia.

  O Julia, my lovely Julia ! -- nay I cannot
stop to let thee bite that thistle -- that ever
the suspected tongue of a rival should have
             C 4              robbed

[ 24 ]

robbed me of enjoyment when I was
upon the point of tasting it. --

   -- Pugh ! -- 'tis nothing but a thistle --
never mind it -- thou shalt have a better
supper at night. --

  ---- Banish'd from my country -- my
friends -- from thee. --

  Poor devil, thou'rt sadly tired with
thy journey ! -- come -- get on a little
faster -- there's nothing in my cloak-bag
but two shirts -- a crimson-sattin pair of
breeches, and a fringed -- Dear Julia !

   -- But why to Frankfort ? -- is it that
there is a hand unfelt, which secretly is
conducting me through these meanders
and unsuspected tracts ? --
                          -- Stumbling !

[ 25 ]

  -- Stumbling ! by saint Nicolas ! every
step ---- why, at this rate we shall be all
night in getting in ------

   -- To happiness -- or am I to be the
sport of fortune and slander -- destined to
be driven forth unconvicted -- unheard --
untouched ---- if so, why did I not stay
at Strasburg, where justice ---- but I had
sworn ! -- Come, thou shalt drink -- to St.
-- O Julia ! ---- What dost thou
prick up thy ears at ? -- 'tis nothing but a
man, &c. ------

  The stranger rode on communing in
this manner with his mule and Julia --
till he arrived at his inn, where, as soon
as he arrived, he alighted -- saw his mule,
as he had promised it, taken good care
of ---- took off his cloak-bag, with his
crimson-sattin breeches, &c. in it ----

[ 26 ]

called for an omelet to his supper, went
to his bed about twelve o'clock, and in
five minutes fell fast asleep.

  It was about the same hour when
the tumult in Strasburg being abated
for that night, ---- the Strasburgers had
all got quietly into their beds -- but not
like the stranger, for the rest either of
their minds or bodies ; queen Mab, like
an elf as she was, had taken the stranger's
nose, and without reduction of its bulk,
had that night been at the pains of slitting
and dividing it into as many noses of
different cuts and fashions, as there were
heads in Strasburg to hold them. The
abbess of Quedlingberg, who, with the
four great dignitaries of her chapter,
the prioress, the deaness, the sub-chan-
tress, and senior canoness, had that week
come to Strasburg to consult the university

[ 27 ]

upon a case of conscience relating to their
placket holes -- was ill all the night.

  The courteous stranger's nose had got
perched upon the top of the pineal gland
of her brain, and made such rousing
work in the fancies of the four great
dignitaries of her chapter, they could not
get a wink of sleep the whole night thro'
for it ---- there was no keeping a limb
still amongst them -- in short, they got
up like so many ghosts.

  The penitentiaries of the third order
of saint Francis ---- the nuns of mount
Calvary -- the Præmonstratenses ---- the
Clunienses * -- the Carthusians, and all the
severer orders of nuns who lay that
night in blankets or hair-cloth, were still

  * Hafen Slawkenbergius means the Benedictine
nuns of Cluny, founded in the year 940, by Odo,
abbé de Cluny.

[ 28 ]

in a worse condition than the abbess of
Quedlingberg -- by tumbling and tossing,
and tossing and tumbling from one side
of their beds to the other the whole
night long -- the several sisterhoods had
scratch'd and mawl'd themselves all to
death -- they got out of their beds almost
flead alive -- every body thought saint
Antony had visited them for probation
with his fire ---- they had never once, in
short, shut their eyes the whole night
long from vespers to matins.

  The nuns of saint Ursula acted the
wisest -- they never attempted to go to
bed at all.

  The dean of Strasburg, the prebenda-
ries, the capitulars and domiciliars (ca-
pitularly assembled in the morning to con-
sider the case of butter'd buns) all wished
             1              they

[ 29 ]

they had followed the nuns of saint
Ursula's example. ---- In the hurry and
confusion every thing had been in the
night before, the bakers had all forgot
to lay their leaven -- there were no but-
ter'd buns to be had for breakfast in all
Strasburg -- the whole close of the cathe-
dral was in one eternal commotion -- such
a cause of restlessness and disquietude,
and such a zealous inquiry into the
cause of that restlessness, had never hap-
pened in Strasburg, since Martin Luther,
with his doctrines, had turned the city
up-side down.

  If the stranger's nose took this liberty
of thrusting itself thus into the dishes * of
  * Mr. Shandy's compliments to orators -- is very
sensible that Slawkenbergius has here changed his
metaphor -- which he is very guilty of ; -- that as a
translator, Mr. Shandy has all along done what he
could to make him stick to it -- but that here 'twas

[ 30 ]

religious orders, &c. what a carnival did
his nose make of it, in those of the laity !
-- 'tis more than my pen, worn to the
stump as it is, has power to describe ; tho'
I acknowledge, (cries Slawkenbergius,
with more gaiety of thought than I could
have expected from him)
that there is many
a good simile now subsisting in the world
which might give my countrymen some
idea of it ; but at the close of such a folio
as this, wrote for their sakes, and in
which I have spent the greatest part of
my life -- tho' I own to them the simile is
in being, yet would it not be unreason-
able in them to expect I should have ei-
ther time or inclination to search for it ?
Let it suffice to say, that the riot and dis-
order it occasioned in the Strasburgers fan-
tacies was so general -- such an overpow-
ering mastership had it got of all the
faculties of the Strasburgers minds -- so

[ 31 ]

many strange things, with equal confi-
dence on all sides, and with equal eloquence
in all places, were spoken and sworn to
concerning it, that turned the whole
stream of all discourse and wonder to-
wards it -- every soul, good and bad --
rich and poor -- learned and unlearned --
doctor and student -- mistress and maid --
gentle and simple -- nun's flesh and wo-
man's flesh in Strasburg spent their
time in hearing tidings about it -- every
eye in Strasburg languished to see it ----
every finger -- every thumb in Strasburg
burned to touch it.

  Now what might add, if any thing
may be thought necessary to add to so
vehement a desire -- was this, that the
centinel, the bandy-legg'd drummer, the
trumpeter, the trumpeter's wife, the
burgo-master's widow, the master of the
             1              inn,

[ 32 ]

inn, and the master of the inn's wife,
how widely soever they all differed every
one from another in their testimonies
and descriptions of the stranger's nose --
they all agreed together in two points --
namely, that he was gone to Frankfort,
and would not return to Strasburg till
that day month ; and secondly, whether
his nose was true or false, that the stran-
ger himself was one of the most perfect
paragons of beauty -- the finest made man !
-- the most genteel ! -- the most generous
of his purse -- the most courteous in his
carriage that had ever entered the gates
of Strasburg -- that as he rode, with his
scymetar slung loosely to his wrist, thro'
the streets -- and walked with his crimson-
sattin breeches across the parade -- 'twas
with so sweet an air of careless modesty,
and so manly withal -- as would have put
the heart in jeopardy (had his nose not

[ 33 ]

stood in his way) of every virgin who
had cast her eyes upon him.

  I call not upon that heart which is a
stranger to the throbs and yearnings of
curiosity, so excited, to justify the abbess
of Quedlingberg, the prioress, the deaness
and subchantress for sending at noon-day
for the trumpeter's wife : she went
through the streets of Strasburg with
her husband's trumpet in her hand ; --
the best apparatus the straitness of the
time would allow her, for the illustration
of her theory -- she staid no longer than
three days.

  The centinel and the bandy-legg'd
drummer ! -- nothing on this side of old
Athens could equal them ! they read
their lectures under the city gates to
comers and goers, with all the pomp
  VOL. IV.        D            of

[ 34 ]

of a Chrysippus and a Crantor in their

  The master of the inn, with his ostler
on his left-hand, read his also in the same
stile, -- under the portico or gateway of his
stable-yard -- his wife, hers more privately
in a back room : all flocked to their lectures;
not promiscuously -- but to this or that,
as is ever the way, as faith and credulity
marshal'd them -- in a word, each Stras-
came crouding for intelligence --
and every Strasburger had the intelligence
he wanted.

  'Tis worth remarking, for the benefit
of all demonstrators in natural philoso-
phy, &c. that as soon as the trumpeter's
wife had finished the abbess of Quedlin-
's private lecture, and had begun to
read in public, which she did upon a

[ 35 ]

stool in the middle of the great parade --
she incommoded the other demonstrators
mainly, by gaining incontinently the
most fashionable part of the city of Stras-
for her auditory -- But when a de-
monstrator in philosophy (cries Slawken-
has a trumpet for an apparatus,
pray what rival in science can pretend to
be heard besides him ?

  Whilst the unlearned, thro' these con-
duits of intelligence, were all busied in
getting down to the bottom of the well,
where TRUTH keeps her little court --
were the learned in their way as busy in
pumping her up thro' the conduits of
dialect induction -- they concerned them-
selves not with facts -- they reasoned --

  Not one profession had thrown more
light upon this subject than the faculty --
             D 2              had

[ 36 ]

had not all their disputes about it run into
the affair of Wens and oedematous swel-
lings, they could not keep clear of them
for their bloods and souls -- the stranger's
nose had nothing to do either with wens
or oedematous swellings.

  It was demonstrated however very sa-
tisfactorily, that such a ponderous mass of
heterogenious matter could not be con-
gested and conglomerated to the nose,
whilst the infant was in Utero, without
destroying the statical balance of the
foetus, and throwing it plump upon its
head nine months before the time. ----

   -- The opponents granted the theory --
they denied the consequences.

  And if a suitable provision of veins,
arteries, &c. said they, was not laid in,

[ 37 ]

for the due nourishment of such a nose,
in the very first stamina and rudiments
of its formation before it came into the
world (bating the case of Wens) it could
not regularly grow and be sustained af-

  This was all answered by a dissertation
upon nutriment, and the effect which
nutriment had in extending the vessels,
and in the increase and prolongation of
the muscular parts to the greatest growth
and expansion imaginable -- In the tri-
umph of which theory, they went so far
as to affirm, that there was no cause in
nature, why a nose might not grow to
the size of the man himself.

  The respondents satisfied the world
this event could never happen to them so
long as a man had but one stomach and
             D 3              one

[ 38 ]

one pair of lungs -- For the stomach, said
they, being the only organ destined for
the reception of food, and turning it into
chyle, -- and the lungs the only engine of
sanguification -- it could possibly work off
no more, than what the appetite brought
it : or admitting the possibility of a man's
overloading his stomach, nature had set
bounds however to his lungs -- the engine
was of a determined size and strength,
and could elaborate but a certain quantity
in a given time -- that is, it could produce
just as much blood as was sufficient for
one single man, and no more ; so that,
if there was as much nose as man -- they
proved a mortification must necessarily
ensue ; and forasmuch as there could not
be a support for both, that the nose must
either fall off from the man, or the man
inevitably fall off from his nose.


[ 39 ]

  Nature accommodates herself to these
emergencies, cried the opponents -- else
what do you say to the case of a whole
stomach -- a whole pair of lungs, and but
half a man, when both his legs have
been unfortunately shot off ? --

  He dies of a plethora, said they -- or
must spit blood, and in a fortnight or
three weeks go off in a consumption --

   -- It happens otherways -- replied the
opponents. ----

  It ought not, said they.

  The more curious and intimate inqui-
rers after nature and her doings, though
they went hand in hand a good way to-
gether, yet they all divided about the
nose at last, almost as much as the fa-
culty itself.
             D 4              They

[ 40 ]

  They amicably laid it down, that there
was a just and geometrical arrangement
and proportion of the several parts of the
human frame to its several destinations,
offices, and functions, which could not
be transgressed but within certain limits
-- that nature, though she sported -- she
sported within a certain circle ; -- and they
could not agree about the diameter of it.

  The logicians stuck much closer to the
point before them than any of the classes
of the literati ; -- they began and ended
with the word nose ; and had it not been
for a petitio principii, which one of the
ablest of them ran his head against in the
beginning of the combat, the whole con-
troversy had been settled at once.

  A nose, argued the logician, cannot
bleed without blood -- and not only blood
                          -- but

[ 41 ]

-- but blood circulating in it to supply
the phænomenon with a succession of
drops -- (a stream being but a quicker
succession of drops, that is included, said
he) -- Now death, continued the logician,
being nothing but the stagnation of the
blood --

  I deny the definition -- Death is the
separation of the soul from the body,
said his antagonist -- Then we don't agree
about our weapon, said the logician --
Then there is an end of the dispute, re-
plied the antagonist.

  The civilians were still more concise ;
what they offered being more in the na-
ture of a decree -- than a dispute.

   -- Such a monstrous nose, said they,
had it been a true nose, could not possibly
have been suffered in civil society -- and if
             1              false

[ 42 ]

false -- to impose upon society with such
false signs and tokens, was a still greater
violation of its rights, and must have
had still less mercy shewn it.

  The only objection to this was, that
if it proved any thing, it proved the
stranger's nose was neither true nor false.

  This left room for the controversy to
go on. It was maintained by the advo-
cates of the ecclesiastic court, that there
was nothing to inhibit a decree, since
the stranger ex mero motu had confessed
he had been at the Promontory of Noses,
and had got one of the goodliest, &c. &c.
-- To this it was answered, it was impossi-
ble there should be such a place as the
Promontory of Noses, and the learned be
ignorant where it lay. The commissary
of the bishop of Strasburg undertook the

[ 43 ]

advocates, explained this matter in a
treatise upon proverbial phrases, shewing
them, that the Promontory of Noses was
a mere allegoric expression, importing no
more than that nature had given him a
long nose : in proof of which, with great
learning, he cited the underwritten au-
thorities *, which had decided the point
  * Nonnulli ex nostratibus eadem loquendi for-
mulâ utun. Quinimo et Legistæ & Canonistæ --
Vid. Parce Bar & Jas in d. L. Provincial. Constitut.
de conjec. vid. Vol. Lib. 4. Titul. l. N. 7. quà
etiam in re conspir. Om. de Promontorio Nas.
Tichmak. ff. d. tit. 3. fol. 189. passim. Vid. Glos.
de contrahend. empt.&c. nec non J. Scrudr. in cap.
§. refut. ff. per totum. cum his cons. Rever. J.
Tubal, Sentent. & Prov. cap. 9. ff. 11, 12. obiter.
V. et. Librum, cui Tit. de Terris & Phras. Belg.
ad finem, cum Comment. N. Bardy Belg. Vid.
Scrip. Argentoratens. de Antiq. Ecc. in Episc. Ar-
chiv. fid. coll. per Von Jacobum Koinshoven Fo-
lio Argent. 1583, præcip. ad finem. Quibus add.
Rebuff in L. obvenire de Signif. Nom. ff. fol. &
de Jure, Gent. & Civil. de prohib. aliena feud. per
federa, test. Joha. Luxius in prolegom. quem velim
videas, de Analy. Cap. 1, 2, 3. Vid. Idea.


[ 44 ]

incontestably, had it not appeared that a
dispute about some franchises of dean and
chapter-lands had been determined by it
nineteen years before.

  It happened -- I must not say unluckily
for Truth, because they were giving her
a lift another way in so doing ; that the
two universities of Strasburg -- the Luthe-
, founded in the year 1538 by Jacobus
, counsellor of the senate, -- and
the Popish, founded by Leopold, arch-duke
of Austria, were, during all this time,
employing the whole depth of their
knowledge (except just what the affair
of the abbess of Quedlinburg's placket-
holes required) -- in determining the point
of Martin Luther's damnation.

  The Popish doctors had undertaken to
demonstrate a priori ; that from the ne-

[ 45 ]

cessary influence of the planets on the
twenty-second day of October 1483 ----
when the moon was in the twelfth house
-- Jupiter, Mars, and Venus in the third,
the Sun, Saturn, and Mercury all got
together in the fourth -- that he must in
course, and unavoidably be a damn'd
man -- and that his doctrines, by a direct
corollary, must be damn'd doctrines too.

  By inspection into his horoscope, where
five planets were in coition all at once
with scorpio * (in reading this my father
  * Hæc mira, satisque horrenda. 5 Planetarum
coitio sub Scorpio Asterismo in nonâ coeli statione,
quam Arabes religioni deputabant effecit Martinum
sacrilegum hereticum, christianæ reli-
gionis hostem acerrimum atque prophanum, ex
horoscopi directione ad Martis coitum, religiosis-
simus obiit, ejus Anima scelestissima ad infernos
navigavit -- ab Alecto, Tisiphone, et Megera fla-
gellis igneis cruciata perenniter.
   -- Lucas Gauricus in Tractatu astrologico de
præteritis multorum hominum accidentibus per
genituras examinatis.

[ 46 ]

would always shake his head) in the
ninth house which the Arabians allotted
to religion -- it appeared that Martin Lu-
did not care one stiver about the
matter -- and that from the horoscope
directed to the conjunction of Mars --
they made it plain likewise he must die
cursing and blaspheming -- with the blast
of which his soul (being steep'd in guilt)
sailed before the wind, into the lake of
hell fire.

  The little objection of the Lutheran
doctors to this, was, that it must certainly
be the soul of another man, born Oct.
22, 1483, which was forced to sail down
before the wind in that manner -- inasmuch
as it appeared from the register of Islaben,
in the county of Mansfelt, that Luther
was not born in the year 1483, but in
84 ; and not on the 22d day of October ,

[ 47 ]

but on the 10th of November, the eve of
Martinmas-day, from whence he had the
name of Martin.

  [-- I must break off my translation for
a moment ; for if I did not, I know I
should no more be able to shut my eyes
in bed, than the abbess of Quedlinburg --
It is to tell the reader, that my father
never read this passage of Slawkenbergius
to my uncle Toby but with triumph -- not
over my uncle Toby, for he never opposed
him in it -- but over the whole world.

   -- Now you see, brother Toby, he would
say, looking up, `` that christian names
`` are not such indifferent things ;'' --
had Luther here been called by any other
name but Martin, he would have been
damned to all eternity -- Not that I look
upon Martin, he would add, as a good

[ 48 ]

name -- far from it -- 'tis something better
than a neutral, and but a little -- yet little
as it is, you see it was of some service to

  My father knew the weakness of this
prop to his hypothesis, as well as the best
logician could shew him -- yet so strange
is the weakness of man at the same time,
as it fell in his way, he could not for his
life but make use of it ; and it was cer-
tainly for this reason, that though there
are many stories in Hafen Slawkenbergius's
Decads full as entertaining as this I am
translating, yet there is not one amongst
them which my father read over with
half the delight -- it flattered two of his
strangest hypotheses together -- his NAMES
and his NOSES -- I will be bold to say,
he might have read all the books in the
Alexandrian library, had not fate taken

[ 49 ]

other care of them, and not have met
with a book or a passage in one, which
hit two such nails as these upon the head
at one stroke.]

  The two universities of Strasburg were
hard tugging at this affair of Luther's
navigation. The Protestant doctors had
demonstrated, that he had not sailed right
before the wind, as the Popish doctors
had pretended ; and as every one knew
there was no sailing full in the teeth of
it, -- they were going to settle, in case he
had sailed, how many points he was off ;
whether Martin had doubled the cape,
or had fallen upon a lee-shore ; and no
doubt, as it was an enquiry of much edi-
fication, at least to those who understood
this sort of NAVIGATION, they had gone on
with it in spite of the size of the stranger's
nose, had not the size of the stranger's
   VOL. IV.        E            nose

[ 50 ]

nose drawn off the attention of the world
from what they were about -- it was their
business to follow. ----

  The abbess of Quedlinburg and her four
dignitaries was no stop ; for the enormity
of the stranger's nose running full as much
in their fancies as their case of conscience
-- The affair of their placket-holes kept
cold -- In a word, the printers were or-
dered to distribute their types -- all con-
troversies dropp'd.

  'Twas a square cap with a silk tassel
upon the crown of it -- to a nut shell --
to have guessed on which side of the nose
the two universities would split.

  'Tis above reason, cried the doctors on
one side.

  'Tis below reason, cried the others.

  'Tis faith, cried the one.

[ 51 ]

  'Tis a fiddle-stick, said the other.

  'Tis possible, cried the one.

  'Tis impossible, said the other.

  God's power is infinite, cried the No-
sarians, he can do any thing.

  He can do nothing, replied the Anti-
nosarians, which implies contradictions.

  He can make matter think, said the

  As certainly as you can make a velvet cap
out of a sow's ear, replied the Antinosarians.

  He can make two and two five,
replied the Popish doctors. -- 'Tis false,
said their opponents. --

  Infinite power is infinite power, said
the doctors who maintained the reality
             E 2              of

[ 52 ]

of the nose. ---- It extends only to all
possible things, replied the Lutherans.

  By God in heaven, cried the Popish
doctors, he can make a nose, if he thinks
fit, as big as the steeple of Strasburg.

  Now the steeple of Strasburg being the
biggest and the tallest church-steeple to
be seen in the whole world, the Antino-
sarians denied that a nose of 575 geome-
trical feet in length could be worn, at
least by a middle-siz'd man -- The Popish
doctors swore it could -- The Lutheran
doctors said No ; -- it could not.

  This at once started a new dispute,
which they pursued a great way upon the
extent and limitation of the moral and
natural attributes of God -- That contro-
versy led them naturally into Thomas

[ 53 ]

Aquinas, and Thomas Aquinas to the

  The stranger's nose was no more heard
of in the dispute -- it just served as a frigate
to launch them into the gulph of school-
divinity, -- and then they all sailed before
the wind.

  Heat is in proportion to the want of
true knowledge.

  The controversy about the attributes,
&c. instead of cooling, on the contrary
had inflamed the Strasburgers imagina-
tions to a most inordinate degree -- The
less they understood of the matter, the
greater was their wonder about it -- they
were left in all the distresses of desire
unsatisfied -- saw their doctors, the Parch-
, the Brassarians, the Turpen-
, on one side -- the Popish doctors
             E 3              on

[ 54 ]

on the other, like Pantagruel and his
companions in quest of the oracle of the
bottle, all embarked and out of sight.

   ---- The poor Strasburgers left upon
the beach !

  -- What was to be done ? -- No delay
-- the uproar increased -- every one in dis-
order -- the city gates set open. --

  Unfortunate Strasburgers ! was there
in the store-house of nature -- was there
in the lumber-rooms of learning -- was there
in the great arsenal of chance, one
single engine left undrawn forth to torture
your curiosities, and stretch your desires,
which was not pointed by the hand of
fate to play upon your hearts ? -- I dip
not my pen into my ink to excuse the
surrender of yourselves -- 'tis to write your

[ 55 ]

panegyrick. Shew me a city so macera-
ted with expectation -- who neither eat,
or drank, or slept, or prayed, or heark-
ened to the calls either of religion or na-
ture for seven and twenty days together,
who could have held out one day longer.

  On the twenty-eighth the courteous
stranger had promised to return to Stras-

  Seven thousand coaches (Slawkenber-
must certainly have made some mis-
take in his numerical characters) 7000
coaches -- 15000 single horse chairs ----
20000 waggons, crouded as full as they
could all hold with senators, counsellors,
syndicks -- beguines, widows, wives, vir-
gins, canons, concubines, all in their
coaches -- The abbess of Quedlinburg, with
the prioress, the deaness and sub-chantress
             E 4              leading

[ 56 ]

leading the procession in one coach, and
the dean of Strasburg, with the four great
dignitaries of his chapter on her left-
hand -- the rest following higglety-pigglety
as they could ; some on horseback ----
some on foot -- some led -- some driven --
some down the Rhine -- some this way --
some that -- all set out at sun-rise to meet
the courteous stranger on the road.

  Haste we now towards the catastrophe
of my tale -- I say Catastrophe (cries Slaw-
inasmuch as a tale, with parts
rightly disposed, not only rejoiceth (gau-
in the Catastrophe and Peripeitia of
a DRAMA, but rejoiceth moreover in all
the essential and integrant parts of it --
it has its Protasis, Epitasis, Catastasis,
its Catastrophe or Peripeitia growing one
out of the other in it, in the order Aristotle]
first planted them -- without which a tale

[ 57 ]

had better never be told at all, says
Slawkenbergius, but be kept to a man's

  In all my ten tales, in all my ten de-
cads, have I, Slawkenbergius, tied down
every tale of them as tightly to this rule,
as I have done this of the stranger and
his nose.

   -- From his first parley with the centi-
nel, to his leaving the city of Strasburg,
after pulling off his crimson-sattin pair of
breeches, is the Protasis or first entrance
---- where the characters of the Personæ
are just touched in, and the
subject slightly begun.

  The Epitasis, wherein the action is
more fully entered upon and heightened,
till it arrives at its state or height called
             1              the

[ 58 ]

the Catastasis, and which usually takes
up the 2d and 3d act, is included within
that busy period of my tale, betwixt the
first night's uproar about the nose, to
the conclusion of the trumpeter's wife's
lectures upon it in the middle of the
grand parade ; and from the first em-
barking of the learned in the dispute --
to the doctors finally sailing away, and
leaving the Strasburgers upon the beach
in distress, is the Catastasis or the ripen-
ing of the incidents and passions for their
bursting forth in the fifth act.

  This commences with the setting out
of the Strasburgers in the Frankfort road,
and terminates in unwinding the laby-
rinth and bringing the hero out of a
state of agitation (as Aristotle calls it)
to a state of rest and quietness.
             4              This,

[ 59 ]

  This, says Hafen Slawkenbergius, con-
stitutes the catastrophe or peripeitia of
my tale -- and that is the part of it I am
going to relate.

  We left the stranger behind the curtain
asleep -- he enters now upon the stage.

   -- What dost thou prick up thy ears
at ? -- 'tis nothing but a man upon a horse
-- was the last word the stranger uttered
to his mule. It was not proper then to
tell the reader, that the mule took his
master's word for it ; and without any
more ifs or ands, let the traveller and his
horse pass by.

  The traveller was hastening with all
diligence to get to Strasburg that night
--- What a fool am I, said the traveller
to himself, when he had rode about a

[ 60 ]

league farther, to think of getting into
Strasburg this night -- Strasburg ! -- the
great Strasburg ! -- Strasburg , the capital
of all Alsatia ! Strasburg , an imperial
city ! Strasburg , a sovereign state ! Stras-
, garrisoned with five thousand of
the best troops in all the world ! -- Alas !
if I was at the gates of Strasburg this
moment, I could not gain admittance into
it for a ducat, -- nay a ducat and half --
'tis too much -- better go back to the last
inn I have passed -- than lie I know not
where -- or give I know not what. The
traveller, as he made these reflections in
his mind, turned his horse's head about,
and three minutes after the stranger had
been conducted into his chamber, he ar-
rived at the same inn.

   -- We have bacon in the house, said
the host, and bread ---- and till eleven
o'clock this night had three eggs in it --

[ 61 ]

but a stranger, who arrived an hour ago,
has had them dressed into an omelet, and
we have nothing. ------

   -- Alas ! said the traveller, harrassed
as I am, I want nothing but a bed -- I
have one as soft as is in Alsatia, said the

   -- The stranger, continued he, should
have slept in it, for 'tis my best bed, but
upon the score of his nose -- He has got
a defluxion, said the traveller -- Not that
I know, cried the host -- But 'tis a camp-
bed, and Jacinta, said he, looking to-
wards the maid, imagined there was not
room in it to turn his nose in -- Why so ?
cried the traveller starting back -- It is so
long a nose, replied the host -- The tra-
veller fixed his eyes upon Jacinta, then
upon the ground -- kneeled upon his right

[ 62 ]

knee -- had just got his hand laid upon
his breast -- Trifle not with my anxiety,
said he, rising up again -- 'Tis no trifle,
said Jacinta 'tis the most glorious nose !
-- The traveller fell upon his knee again --
laid his hand upon his breast -- then said he,
looking up to heaven ! thou hast con-
ducted me to the end of my pilgrimage
---- 'Tis Diego !

  The traveller was the brother of the
Julia, so often invoked that night by the
stranger as he rode from Strasburg upon
his mule ; and was come, on her part,
in quest of him. He had accompanied
his sister from Valadolid across the Pyre-
mountains thro' France, and had
many an entangled skein to wind off in
pursuit of him thro' the many meanders
and abrupt turnings of a lover's thorny
                          -- Julia

[ 63 ]

   -- Julia had sunk under it -- and had
not been able to go a step farther than to
Lyons, where, with the many disquietudes
of a tender heart, which all talk of -- but
few feel -- she sicken'd, but had just
strength to write a letter to Diego ; and
having conjured her brother never to see
her face till he had found him out, and
put the letter into his hands, Julia took
to her bed.

  Fernandez (for that was her brother's
name) -- tho' the camp-bed was as soft as
any one in Alsace, yet he could not shut
his eyes in it. -- As soon as it was day he
rose, and hearing Diego was risen too,
he enter'd his chamber, and discharged
his sister's commission.

  The letter was as follows :

[ 64 ]

     Seig. DIEGO.
   `` Whether my suspicions of your nose
`` were justly excited or not -- 'tis not now
`` to inquire -- it is enough I have not
`` had firmness to put them to farther
`` tryal.

   `` How could I know so little of my-
`` self, when I sent my Duena to forbid
`` your coming more under my lattice ?
`` or how could I know so little of you,
`` Diego, as to imagine you would not
`` have staid one day in Valadolid to have
`` given ease to my doubts ? -- Was I to
`` be abandoned, Diego, because I was
`` deceived ? or was it kind to take me
`` at my word, whether my suspicions
`` were just or no, and leave me, as you
`` did, a prey to much uncertainty and
`` sorrow.
                          `` In

[ 65 ]

  `` In what manner Julia has resented
`` this -- my brother, when he puts this
`` letter into your hands, will tell you :
`` He will tell you in how few moments
`` she repented of the rash message she
`` had sent you -- in what frantic haste
`` she flew to her lattice, and how many
`` days and nights together she leaned
`` immoveably upon her elbow, looking
`` thro' it towards the way which Diego
`` was wont to come.

   `` He will tell you, when she heard
`` of your departure -- how her spirits de-
`` serted her -- how her heart sicken'd --
`` how piteously she mourn'd -- how low
`` she hung her head. O Diego ! how
`` many weary steps has my brother's
`` pity led me by the hand languishing
`` to trace out yours ! how far has desire
`` carried me beyond strength -- and how
  VOL.        F            `` oft

[ 66 ]

`` oft have I fainted by the way, and
`` sunk into his arms, with only power
`` to cry out -- 0 my Diego !

  `` If the gentleness of your carriage
`` has not belied your heart, you will fly
`` to me, almost as fast as you fled from
`` me -- haste as you will, you will arrive
`` but to see me expire. -- 'Tis a bitter
`` draught, Diego, but oh ! 'tis embitter'd
`` still more by dying un----.''

  She could proceed no farther.

  Slawkenbergius supposes the word in-
tended was unconvinced, but her strength
would not enable her to finish her letter.

  The heart of the courteous Diego
overflowed as he read the letter -- he or-
dered his mule forthwith and Fernandez's

[ 67 ]

horse to be saddled ; and as no vent in
prose is equal to that of poetry in such
conflicts -- chance, which as often directs
us to remedies as to diseases, having
thrown a piece of charcoal into the win-
dow -- Diego availed himself of it, and
whilst the ostler was getting ready his
mule, he eased his mind against the wall
as follows.

O D E.

  Harsh and untuneful are the notes of love,
     Unless my Julia strikes the key,
  Her hand alone can touch the part,
     Whose dulcet move-
  -ment charms the heart,
     And governs all the man with sympa-
       thetic sway

    O Julia !
             F 2              The

[ 68 ]

  The lines were very natural -- for they
were nothing at all to the purpose, says
Slawkenbergius, and 'tis a pity there were
no more of them ; but whether it was
that Seig. Diego was slow in composing
verses -- or the ostler quick in saddling
mules -- is not averred ; certain it was,
that Diego's mule and Fernandez's horse
were ready at the door of the inn, before
Diego was ready for his second stanza ;
so without staying to finish his ode, they
both mounted, sallied forth, passed the
Rhine, traversed Alsace, shaped their
course towards Lyons, and before the
Strasburgers and the abbess of Quedlinberg
had set out on their cavalcade, had Fer-
, Diego, and his Julia, crossed
the Pyrenean mountains, and got safe to


[ 69 ]

  'Tis needless to inform the geographi-
cal reader, that when Diego was in Spain,
it was not possible to meet the courteous
stranger in the Frankfort road ; it is
enough to say, that of all restless desires,
curiosity being the strongest -- the Stras-
felt the full force of it ; and that
for three days and nights they were tossed
to and fro in the Frankfort road, with
the tempestuous fury of this passion, be-
fore they could submit to return home --
When alas ! an event was prepared for
them, of all others the most grievous
that could befal a free people.

  As this revolution of the Strasburgers
affairs is often spoken of, and little un-
derstood, I will, in ten words, says Slaw-
, give the world an explanation
of it, and with it put an end to my
             F 3              Every

[ 70 ]

  Every body knows of the grand sy-
stem of Universal Monarchy, wrote by
order of Mons. Colbert, and put in ma-
nuscript into the hands of Lewis the
fourteenth, in the year 1664.

  'Tis as well known, that one branch
out of many of that system, was the
getting possession of Strasburg, to favour
an entrance at all times into Suabia, in
order to disturb the quiet of Germany --
and that in consequence of this plan,
Strasburg unhappily fell at length into
their hands.

  It is the lot of few to trace out the
true springs of this and such like revolu-
tions -- The vulgar look too high for
them -- Statesmen look too low -- Truth
(for once) lies in the middle.

[ 71 ]

  What a fatal thing is the popular pride
of a free city ! cries one historian -- The
Strasburgers deemed it a diminution of
their freedom to receive an imperial gar-
rison -- and so fell a prey to a French one.

  The fate, says another, of the Stras-
, may be a warning to all free
people to save their money -- They anti-
cipated their revenues -- brought them-
selves under taxes, exhausted their
strength, and in the end became so weak
a people, they had not strength to keep
their gates shut, and so the French pushed
them open.

  Alas ! alas ! cries Slawkenbergius, 'twas
not the French -- 'twas CURIOSITY pushed
them open -- The French indeed, who are
ever upon the catch, when they saw the
Strasburgers, men, women, and children,
             F 4              all

[ 72 ]

all marched out to follow the stranger's
nose -- each man followed his own, and
marched in.

  Trade and manufactures have decayed
and gradually grown down ever since --
but not from any cause which commer-
cial heads have assigned ; for it is owing
to this only, that Noses have ever so run
in their heads, that the Strasburgers could
not follow their business.

  Alas ! alas ! cries Slawkenbergius, mak-
ing an exclamation -- it is not the first --
and I fear will not be the last fortress
that has been either won ---- or lost by

The E N D of
Slawkenbergius's TALE.

                          C H A P.

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vol. I
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vol. III
vol. IV
vol. V
vol. VI
vol. VII
vol. VIII
vol. IX