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Just in his former trim he now appears ;
And King's detested voice, astonish’d, hears.
As if some hideous spectre struck his sight,
His face, indeed, bespoke a heart full sore-
Away he ran—and ne'er was heard of more!
MEETING OF DR. SLOP AND OBADIAH.-STERNE.
IMAGINE to yourself a little squat, uncourtly figure of a Dr. Slop, of about four feet and a half, perpendicular height, with a breadth of back, and a sesquipedality of body, which might have done honor to a sergeant in the horse-guards.
Such were the outlines of Dr. Slop's figure, which—if you have read Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty, (and if you have not, I wish you would, you must know, may as certainly be caricatured, and conveyed to the mind by three strokes as three hundred.
Imagine such a one—for such, I say, were the outlines of Dr. Slop's figure—coming slowly along, foot by foot, waddling through the dirt upon the vertebræ of a little diminutive pony, of a pretty color, but of strength, alack! scarce able to have made an amble of it, under such a fardel, had the roads been in an ambling condition. They were not. Imagine to yourself Obadiah, mounted upon a strong monster of a coach-horse, urged into a full gallop, and making all practicable speed the
Pray, sir, let me interest you a moment in this description.
Had Dr. Slop beheld Obadiah a mile off, posting in a narrow lane directly towards him, at that monstrous rate
splashing and plunging like a demon through thick and thin as he approached—would not such a phenomenon, with such a vortex of mud and water moving along with it, round its axis, have been a subject of juster apprehension to Dr. Slop, in his situation, than the worst of Whiston's comets; to say nothing of the nucleus—that is, of Obadiah and the coach-horse ? In my idea, the vortex alone of them was enough to have involved and carried, if not the doctor, at least the doctor's pony, quite
away with it.
What, then, do you think must the terror and hydrophobia of Dr. Slop have been, when you read (which you are just going to do) that he was advancing thus warily along towards Shandy Hall, and had approached within sixty yards of it, and within five yards of a sudden turn, made by an acute angle of the garden wall, and in the dirtiest part of a dirty lane, when Obadiah and his coach-horse turned the corner, rapid, furious— pop-full upon him? Nothing, I think, in nature can be supposed more terrible than such a rencontre, --so imprompt ! so ill-prepared to stand the shock of it, as Dr. Slop was !
What could Dr. Slop do?- -he crossed himself—-Pugh! —but the doctor, sir, was a Papist.-No matter; he had better have kept hold of the pommel. He had so; nay, as it happened, he had better have done nothing at all; for in crossing himself, he let go his whip; and in attempting to save his whip between his knee and his saddle's skirt, as it slipped, he lost his stirrup,-in losing which, he lost his seat; and in the multitude of all these losses,-in the multitude of all these losses, I say, coming in quick succession, the unfortunate doctor lost his presence of mind. So that, without waiting for Obadiah's onset, he left his pony to its destiny, tumbling off it diagonally, something in the style and manner of a pack of wool, and without any other consequence from the fall, save that of being left (as it would have been) with the broadest part of him sunk about twelve inches deep in the mire.
Obadiah pulled off his cap twice to Dr. Slop; once as he was falling, and then again when he saw him seated. Ill-timed complaisance! Had not the fellow better have stopped his horse, and got off and helped him? Sir, he did all that his situation would allow; but the momentum of the coach-horse was so great, that Obadiah could not do it all at once. He rode in a circle three times round Dr. Slop, before he could. fully accomplish it any how; and at last, when he did stop the beast, it was done with such an explosion of mud, that Obadiah had better have been a league off. In short, never was a Dr. Slop so beluted and so transubstantiated since that gentleman came into the world.
ACCOUNT OF HUDIBRAS.-BUTLER.
A wight he was, whose very sight would
Complains she thought him but an ass,
His mouth, but out there flew a trope;