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gination a thorny dance, and, before all was over, the week was well got round, as the famous Dr played the deuce and all with him ;
-for, sure Maningham was not to be had, she had come to as ever the word weakness was uttered, and a final determination in her mind,--notwithstruck full upon his brain, so sure it set him up- standing there was a scientific operator within on running divisions upon how many kinds of so near a call as eight miles of us, and who, weaknesses there were ; ---that there was such a moreover, had expressly wrote a five shilling thing as weakness of the body, as well as book upon the subject of midwifery, in which weakness of the mind ;-and then he would do he had exposed, not only the blunders of the nothing but syllogize within himself for a stage sisterhood itself, but had likewise superadded or two together, how far the cause of all these many curious improvements for the quicker exvexations might, or might not, have arisen out traction of the fætus in cross births, and some of himself.
other cases of danger which delay us in getting In short, he had so many little subjects of into the world ;-notwithstanding all this, my disquietude springing out of this one affair, all mother, I say, was absolutely determined to fretting successively in his mind as they rose up trust her life, and mine with it, into no soul's in it, that my mother, whatever was her jour- hand but this old woman's only.-Now this I ney up, had but an uneasy journey of it down. like ;--when we cannot get at the very thing we
- In a word, as she complained to my uncle wish, never to take up with the next best in deToby, he would have tired out the patience of gree to it;-no, that's pitiful beyond description. any fesh alive.
-It is no more than a week from this very day in which I am now writing this book for the edifica
tion of the world, which is March 9, 1759, CHAP. XVII.
that my dear, dear Jenny, observing I looked
a little grave, as she stood cheapening a silk of Though my father travelled homewards as I five and twenty shillings a yard,- told the mertold you, in none of the best of moods,-pshaw- cer she was sorry she had given him so much ing and pish-ing all the way dowi,—yet he had trouble ; and immediately went and bought here the complaisance to keep the worst part of the self a yard-wide stuff of ten-pence a yard. 'Tis story still to himself ; which was the resolution the duplication of one and the same greatness of he had taken, of doing himself the justice, which soul ; only, what lessened the honour of it somemy uncle Toby's clause in the marriage-settle- what, in my mother's case, was, that she could ment empowered him; nor was it till the very not heroine it into so violent and hazardous an night in which I was begot, which was thirteen extreme, as one in her situation might have months after, that she had the least intimation wished, because the old midwife had really some of his design ;
my father, happening, little claim to be depended upon,-as much, at as you remember, to be a little chagrined and least, as success could give her ; having, in the out of temper,--took occasion, as they lay chat- course of her practice of near twenty years in ting gravely in bed afterwards, talking over what the parish, brought every mother's son of them was to come,--to let her know that she must into the world without any one slip or accident accommodate herself as well as she could to the which could fairly be laid to her account. bargain made between them in their marriage These facts, though they had their weight, deeds; which was, to ly-in of her next child in yet did not altogether satisfy some few scruples the country, to balance the last year's journey. and uneasinesses which hung upon my father's
My father was a gentleman of many virtues, spirits in relation to this choice.--but he had a strong spice of that in his tem- nothing of the natural workings of humanity per, which might, or might not, add to the and justice, or of the yearnings of parental and number."Tis known by the name of per- connubial love, all which prompted bim to leave severance in a good cause, and of obstinacy in a as little to hazard as possible in a case of this bad one : of this my mother had so much know- kind,—he felt himself concerned in a particular ledge, that she knew 'twas to no purpose to make manner, that all should go right in the present any remonstrance ;-50 she e'en resolved to sit case,---from the accumulated sorrow he lay open dowo quietly, and make the most of it. to, should any evil betide his wife and child, in
lying-in at Shandy-hall-He knew the world
judged by events, and would add to his afflicCHAP. XVIII.
tions in such a misfortune, by loading him with
the whole blame of it.-" Alas o' day had As the point was that night agreed, or rather Mrs Shandy, poor gentlewoman! had but her determined, that my mother should ly-in of me wish in going up to town just to ly-in and come in the country, she took her measures accord- down again, which, they say, she begged and ingly; for which purpose, when she was three prayed for upon her bare knees--and which, in days, or thereabouts, gone with child, she began my opinion, considering the fortune which Mr to cast her eyes upon the midwife whom you Shandy got with her,--was no such mighty ? have so often heard me mention; and before matter to have coinplied with, the lady and her
babe might both of them have been alive at cheer and hospitality flourish once more ;this hour.”
and that such weight and influence be put thereThis exclamation, my father knew, was un- by into the hands of the 'Squirality of my kinganswerable ;—and yet, it was not merely to dom, as should counterpoise what I perceive my shelter himself,—nor was it altogether for the Nobility are now taking from them. care of his offspring and wife, that he seemed so “ Why are there so few palaces and gentle. extremely anxious about this point;my fa- men's seats,” he would ask, with some emotion, ther had extensive views of things,—and stood, as he walked across the room, “ throughout so moreover, as he thought, deeply concerned in it many delicious provinces in France ? Wience for the public good, from the dread he enter- is it that the few remaining chateaus amongst tained of the bad uses an ill-fated instance them are so dismantled,---so unfurnished, and in might be put to
so ruinous and desolate a condition ?-Because, He was very sensible that all political writers sir (he would say,) in that kingdom no man has upon the subject had unanimously agreed and any country interest to support ;—the little lamented, from the beginning of Queen Eliza- interest of any kind, which any man has any beth's reign down to his own time, that the where in it, is concentrated in the court, and current of men and money towards the metro- the looks of the Grand Monarque ; by the sunpolis, upon one frivolous errand or another,– shine of whose countenance, or the clouds which set in so strong, -as to become dangerous to our pass across it, every Frenchman lives or dies.” civil rights ; -though, by the bye, a current Another political reason which prompted my was not the image he took most delight in,—a father so strongly to guard against the least evil distemper was here his favourite metaphor ; and accident in my mother's lying-in in the country, he would run it down into a perfect allegory, ,---was, That any such instance would infallibly by maintaining it was identically the same in throw a balance of power, too great already, inthe body national as in the body natural ; where to the weaker vessels of the gentry, in his own, the blood and spirits were driven up into the or higher stations ;
-which, with the many head faster than they could find their ways other usurped rights which that part of the down,-a stoppage of circulation must ensue, constitution was hourly establishing,—would, which was death in both cases.
in the end, prove fatal to the monarchial system There was little danger, he would say, of lo- of domestic government established in the first sing our liberties by French politics or French creation of things by God. invasions ; -nor was he so much in pain of a In this point he was entirely of Sir Robert consumption from the mass of corrupted matter Filmer's opinion, That the plans and institutions and ulcerated humours in our constitution,– of the greatest monarchies in the eastern parts which he hoped was not so bad as it was ina- of the world, were originally all stolen from that gined,—but he verily feared, that in some vio- admirable pattern and prototype of this houselent push, we should go off, all at once, in a hold and paternal power ; which, for a century, state of apoplexy ;- and then he would say, he said, and more, had gradually been degeneThe Lord have mercy upon us all.
rating away into a mixed government; the My father was never able to give the history form of which, however desirable in great comof this distemper,—without the remedy along binations of the species,—was very troublesome with it.
in small ones,-and seldom produced any thing, “ Was I an absolute prince,” he would say that he saw, but sorrow and confusion. pulling up his breeches with both his hands, as For all these reasons, private and public, put he rose from his arm-chair, “ I would appoint together,-my father was for having the manable judges at every avenue of my metropolis, midwife by all means,--my mother by no means. who should take cognizance of every fool's busi- My father begged and entreated she would for ness who came there ; and if, upon a fair and once recede from her prerogative in this matter, candid hearing, it appeared not of weight suffi- and suffer him to choose for her ;--my mocient to leave his own home, and come up, bag ther, on the contrary, insisted upon her priviand baggage, with his wife and children, farmers' lege in this matter, to choose for herself,—and sons, &c. &c. at his backside, they should be all have no mortal's help but the old woman's. sent back from constable to constable, like va- What could my father do? He was almost at grants, as they were, to the place of their legal his wit's end ; talked it over with her in all settlements. By this means, I should take care, moods ; -placed his arguments in all lights; that my metropolis tottered not through its own -argued the matter with her like a Christian, weight ;-—that the head be no longer too big for like a heathen,---like a husband,-like a fathe body; that the extremes, now wasted and ther,-like a patriot, like a man.- -Му pined in, be restored to their duc share of mother answered every thing only like a woman ; nourishment, and regain, with it, their natural which was a little hard upon her ;
-for as strength and beauty.- I would effectually she could not assume and fight it out behind provide, that the meadows and corn fields of my such a variety of characters,-it was no fair dominions should laugh and sing ; that good match ;-'twas seven to one. -What could VOL. V.
my mother do? She had the advantage great good sense,-knowing, as the reader must (otherwise she would have been certainly over- have observed him, and curious too, in philosopowered) of a small reinforcement of chagrin phy,---wise also in political reasoning, -and in personal at the bottom, which bore her up, and polemical (as he will find) no way ignorant,enabled her to dispute the affair with my father could be capable of entertaining a notion in his with so equal an advantage,—that both sides head, so out of the common track,--that I fear sung Te Deum. In a word, my mother was to the reader, when I come to mention it to him, have the old woman,—and the operator was to if he is the least of a choleric temper, will imhave licence to drink a bottle of wine with my mediately throw the book by ;
-if mercurial, father, and my uncle Toby Shandy, in the back he will laugh most heartily at it; and if he parlour,—for which he was to be paid five is of a grave and saturnine cast, he will, at first guineas.
sight, absolutely condemn as fanciful and extraI must beg leave, before I finish this chapter, vagant; and that was in respect to the choice to enter a caveat in the breast of my fair reader; and imposition of Christian names, on which he and it is this :
-Not to take it absolutely thought a great deal more depended, than what
child. air more of fancy than of solid reasoning in it; Consider,—I was born in the year eighteen. --and yet, my dear sir, if I may presume to
-Nor is there any thing unnatural or ex- know your character, I am morally assured, I travagant in the supposition, that my dear Jenny should hazard little in stating a case to youmay be my friend.
-Friend ! -My not as a party in the dispute,—but as a judge, friend. Surely, madlam, a friendship be- and trusting my appeal upon it to your own tween the two sexes may subsist, and be support- good sense and candid disquisition in this mated without -Fy! Mr Shandy
- You are a person free from as many without any thing, madam, but that tender and narrow prejudices of education as most men; delicious sentiment, which ever mixes in friend- and, if I may presume to penetrate farther into ship, where there is a difference of sex. Let me you, -of a liberality of genius above bearing entreat you to study the pure and sentimental down an opinion, merely because it wants friends. parts of the best French romances; it will Yourson your dear son,- -from whose sweet really, madam, astonish you to see with what a and open temper you have so much to expect,-variety of chaste expressions this delicious sen- your Billy, sir, would you for the world timent, which I have the honour to speak of, is have called him Judas?--Would you, my dressed out.
dear sir, he would say, laying his hand upon
in that soft and irresistible piano of voice, which
the nature of the argumentum ad hominem ab
solutely requires, -Would you, sir, if a I WOULD sooner undertake to explain the Jew of a godfather had proposed the name of hardest problem in geometry, than pretend to your child, and offered you his purse along with account for it, that a gentleman of my father's it, would you have consented to such a desecra
tion of him? - my God! he would say, blishment of my father's many odd opinions, looking up, if I know your temper right, sir, but as a warning to the learned reader against
-you are incapable of it; -you would have the indiscreet reception of such guests, who, trampled upon the offer ;- -you would have after a free and undisturbed entrance for some thrown the temptation at the tempter's head years, into our brains, at length claim a kind with abhorrence.
of settlement there,-working sometimes like Your greatness of mind in this action, which yeast,-but more generally after the manner of I admire, with that generous contempt of money the gentle passion, beginning in jest,—but endwhich you shew me in the whole transaction, is ing in downright earnest. really noble ; and, what renders it more so, Whether this was the case of the singularity is the principle of it ;- -the workings of a pa- of my father's notions, or that his judgment, at rent's love upon the truth and conviction of this length, became the dupe of his wit; or how far, very hypothesis, namely, that was your son called in many of his notions, he might, though odd, JUDAS,—the sordid and treacherous idea, so in- be absolutely right ;- -the reader, as he comes separable from the name, would have accom- at them, shall decide. All that I maintain bere, panied him through life like his shadow, and, is, that, in this one, of the influence of Christian in the end, made a miser and a rascal of him, in names, however it gained footing, he was serispite, sir, of your example.
- he was all uniformity; he was sysI never knew a man able to answer this argu- tematical, and, like all systematic reasoners, he ment. -But, indeed, to speak of my father would move both heaven and earth, and 'twist as he was ;-he was certainly irresistible, both and torture every thing in nature to support his in his orations and disputations; he was born hypothesis. In a word, I repeat it over again, an orator ;- _Biodidaxlos.- -Persuasion hung --he was serious and, in consequence of it, upon his lips, and the elements of Logic and he would lose all kind of patience whenever he Rhetoric were so blended up in him,-and, saw people, especially of condition, who should withal, he had so shrewd a guess at the weak- have known better,--as careless and as indiffenesses and passions of his respondent,--that rent about the name they imposed upon their NATURE might have stood up and said, "This child, or more so, than in the choice of Ponto man is eloquent." In short, whether he was or Cupid for their puppy dog. on the weak or the strong side of the question, This, he would say, looked ill;—and had, 'twas hazardous in either case to attack him: moreover, this particular aggravation in it, viz.
And yet, 'tis strange, he had never read That, when once a vile name was wrongfully or Cicero, nor Quintilian de Oratore, nor Isocrates, injudiciously given, it was not like the case of a nor Aristotle, nor Longinus, amongst the an- man's character, which, when wronged, might cients; nor Vossius, nor Skioppius, nor Ra- hereafter be cleared,-and, possibly, some time mus, nor Farnaby, amongst the moderns ;- or other, if not in the man's life, at least after and, what is more astonishing, he had never in his death, be, somehow or other, set to rights his whole life the least light or spark of subtilty with the world : But the injury of this, he struck into his mind, by one single lecture upon would say, could never be undone ;-—nay, he Crakenthorp or Burgersdicius, or any Dutch doubted even whether an act of parliament could logician or commentator :-he knew not so much reach it :- -He knew, as well as you, that the as in what the difference of an argument ad ig- legislature assumed a power over sirnames; norantiam, and an argument ad hominem con- but, for very strong reasons which he could give, sisted ; so that I well remember, when he went it had never yet adventured, he would say, to up along with me to enter my name at Jesus go a step farther. College in ****
-it was a matter of just won- It was observable, that though my father, in der with my worthy tutor, and two or three fel- consequence of this opinion, had, as I have told lows of that learned society, that a man who you, the strongest likings and dislikings towards knew not so much as the names of his tools, certain names,-that there were still numbers should be able to work after that fashion with of names which hung so equally in the balance them.
before him, that they were absolutely indifferent To work with them in the best manner he to him: Jack, Dick, and Tom, were of this could, was what my father was, however, per- class: these my father called neutral names ;petually forced upon ;- -for he had a thousand affirming of them, without a satire, that there little sceptical notions of the comic kind to de- had been as many knaves and fools, at least, as fend, most of which notions, I verily believe, wise and good men, since the world began, who at first entered upon the footing of mere whims, had indifferently borne them :- -so that, like and of a vive la bagatelle ; and, as such, he would equal forces acting against each other in contrary make merry with them for half an hour or so, directions, he thought they mutually destroyed and, having sharpened his wit upon 'em, dismiss each other's effects; for which reason, he would them till another day.
often declare, he would not give a cherry-stone I mention this, not only as matter of hypo- to choose amongst them. Bob, which was my thesis or conjecture upon the progress and esta- brother's name, was another of these neutral
kinds of Christian names, which operated very By his ashes ! I swear it,-if ever walignant
-he had the lowest and most contemptible tentive in reading the last chapter ? I told you opinion of it, of any thing in the world, think- in it, That my mother was not a Papist.ing it could possibly produce nothing, in rerum Papist ! you told me no such thing, sir.-Manatura, but what was extremely mean and piti- dam, I beg leave to repeat it over again, that I ful: so that in the midst of a dispute on the told you as plain, at least, as words, by direct subject, in which, by the bye, he was frequently inference, could tell you such a thing. involved-he would sometimes break off in a Then, sir, I must have missed a page.sudden and spirited EPIPHONEMA, or rather No, madam,—you have not missed a word.Erotesis, raised a third, and sometimes a full Then I was asleep, sir.- -My pride, madam, fifth, above the key of the discourse,-and de- cannot allow you that refuge.- -Then, I mand it categoricaủy of his antagonist, whether declare, I know nothing at all about the matter. he would take upon him to say, he had ever - That, madam, is the very fault I lay to remembered, --whether he had ever read, or your charge; and, as a punishment for it, I do even whether he had ever heard tell of a man, insist upon it, that you immediately turn back, called Tristram, performing any thing great, or that is, as soon as you get to the next full stop, worth recording? —No,-he would say— and read the whole chapter over again. Tristram!
-The thing is impossible. I have imposed this penance upon the lady, What could be wanting in my father, but to neither out of wantonness nor cruelty, but from have wrote a book, to publish this notion of his the best of motives; and, therefore, shall make to the world ! Little boots it to the subtle spe- her no apology for it when she returns back: culatist to stand single in his opinions,-unless -It is to rebuke a vicious taste which has he gives them proper vent: -It was the iden- crept into thousands besides herself,—of reading tical thing which my father did ;- -for in the straight forwards, more in quest of the advenyear sixteen, which was two years before I was tures, than of the deep erudition and knowledge born, he was at the pains of writing an express which a book of this cast, if read over as it Dissertation simply upon the word Tristram, should be, would infallibly impart with them. -shewing the world, with great candour and -The mind should be accustomed to make modesty, the grounds of his great abhorrence to wise reflections, and draw curious conclusions the name.
as it goes along; the habitude of which made When this story is compared with the title- Pliny the younger affirm, “That he never read page- will not the gentle reader pity my father a book so bad, but he drew some profit from it." from his soul? -To see an orderly and well- The stories of Greece and Rome, run over withdisposed gentleman, who, though singular,— out this turn and application,-do less service, yet inoffensive in his notions,- ,-so played upon I affirm it, than the history of Parismus and in them by cross-purposes ;- -to look down Parismenes, or of the Seven Champions of Engupon the stage, and see him baffled and over- land, read with it. thrown in all his little systems and wishes ;
-But here comes my fair lady. Have to behold a train of events perpetually falling you read over again the chapter, madam, as I out against him, and in so critical and cruel à desired you ? - You have: And did you not way, as if they had purposely been planned observe the passage, upon the second reading, and pointed against him, merely to insult his which admits the inference ?- -Not a word speculations, in a word, to behold such a like it.---Then, madam, be pleased to ponone, in his old age, ill-fitted for troubles, ten der well the last line but one of the chapter, times in a day suffering sorrow; -ten times where I take upon me to say, “ It was necessary in a day calling the child of his prayers Tris- I should be born before I was christened.” Had TRAM!
-Melancholy dissyllable of sound ! my mother, madam, been a Papist, that consewhich, to his ears, was unison to Nincompoop, quence did not follow.* and every name vituperative under heaven.- Mr Tristram Shandy's compliments to Messrs
The Romish Rituals direct the baptizing of the child, in cases of danger, before it is born ;-but upon this proviso, That some part or other of the child's büdy be seen by the baptizer. -But the Doctors