The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman: The by Laurence Sterne

By Laurence Sterne

Edited by way of Joan New and Melvyn New.

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And if the subject was started in the fields,- - - with a hop, skip, and a jump, at the end of it; but if close pent up in the social chimney corner, where the culprit was barricado’d in, with a table and a couple of arm chairs, and could not so readily fly off in a tangent,- - - Eugenius would then go on with his lecture upon discretion, in words to this purpose, though somewhat better put together. ——In these sallies, too oft, I see, it happens, that a person laugh’d at, considers himself in the light of a person injured, with all the rights of such a situation belonging to him; and when thou viewest him in that light too, and reckons up his friends, his family, his kindred, and allies, - - - - and musters up with them the many recruits which will list under him from a sense of common danger; - - -’tis no extravagant arithmetic to say, that for every ten jokes,- - - thou hast got a hundred enemies; and till thou hast gone on, and raised a swarm of wasps about thy ears, and art half stung to death by them, thou will never be convinced it is so.

C HA P. XX. ———–How could you, Madam, be so inattentive in reading the last chapter? ——Papist! You told me no such thing, Sir. - - No, Madam,—you have 52 VOL. —That, Madam, is the very fault I lay to your charge; and as a punishment for it, I do insist upon it, that you immediately turn back, that is, as soon as you get to the next full stop, and read the whole chapter over again. ” The stories of Greece and Rome, run over without this turn and application,—do less service, I affirm it, than the history of Parismus and Parismenus, or of the Seven Champions of England, read with it.

CHAP. XVIII 45 For all these reasons, private and publick, put together,—my father was for having the man-midwife by all means,- - my mother by no means. — What could my father do? ——She had the advantage (otherwise she had been certainly overpowered) of a small reinforcement of chagrine personal at the bottom which bore her up, and enabled her to dispute the affair with my father with so equal an advantage, ——that both sides sung Te Deum. In a word, my mother was to have the old woman,—and the operator was to have licence to drink a bottle of wine with my father and my uncle Toby Shandy in the back parlour,—for which he was to be paid five guineas.

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