the room, then sat down and fi-
nished the chapter.
The verbs auxiliary we are concerned
in here, continued my father, are, am ;
was ; have ; had ; do ; did ; make ; made ; suf-
fer ; shall ; should ; will ; would ; can ; could ;
owe ; ought ; used ; or is wont. -- And these
varied with tenses, present, past, future, and
conjugated with the verb see, -- or with
these questions added to them, -- Is it ?
Was it ? Will it be ? Would it be ? May
it be ? Might it be ? And these again
put negatively, Is it not ? Was it not ?
Ought it not ? -- Or affirmatively, -- It is ;
It was ; It ought to be. Or chronologi-
cally, -- Has it been always ? Lately ?
How long ago ? -- Or hypothetically, -- If
it was ; If it was not ? What would
follow ? -- If the French should beat
the English ? If the Sun go out of the
Now, by the right use and application
of these, continued my father, in which
L 2 a
a child's memory should be exercised,
there is no one idea can enter his brain
how barren soever, but a magazine of
conceptions and conclusions may be
drawn forth from it. -- Didst thou e-
ver see a white bear ? cried my father,
turning his head round to Trim, who
stood at the back of his chair : -- No,
an' please your honour, replied the cor-
poral. -- But thou could'st discourse
about one, Trim, said my father, in
case of need ? -- How is it possible,
brother, quoth my uncle Toby, if the
corporal never saw one ? -- 'Tis the
fact I want ; replied my father, -- and
the possibility of it, is as follows.
A WHITE BEAR ! Very well. Have
I ever seen one ? Might I ever have seen
one ? Am I ever to see one ? Ought
I ever to have seen one ? Or can I ever
see one ?
Would I had seen a white bear ? (for
how can I imagine it ?)
If I should see a white bear, what
should I say ? If I should never see a
white bear, what then ?
If I never have, can, must or shall
see a white bear alive ; have I ever seen
the skin of one ? Did I ever see one
painted ? -- described ? Have I never
dreamed of one ?
Did my father, mother, uncle, aunt,
brothers or sisters, ever see a white bear ?
What would they give ? How would
they behave ? How would the white
bear have behaved ? Is he wild ?
Tame ? Terrible ? Rough ? Smooth ?
-- Is the white bear worth seeing ? --
-- Is there no sin in it ? --
Is it better than a BLACK ONE ?