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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.(Volume4,chapter76)

2006-08-22 18:55

  Chapter 76

  As Mrs. Bridget‘s finger and thumb were upon the latch, the corporal did not knock as often as perchance your honour’s taylor—I might have taken my example something nearer home; for I owe mine, some five and twenty pounds at least, and wonder at the man‘s patience—

  —But this is nothing at all to the world: only ‘tis a cursed thing to be in debt; and there seems to be a fatality in the exchequers of some poor princes, particularly those of our house, which no Economy can bind down in irons: for my own part, I’m persuaded there is not any one prince, prelate, pope, or potentate, great or small upon earth, more desirous in his heart of keeping straight with the world than I am—or who takes more likely means for it. I never give above half a guinea—or walk with boots- -or cheapen tooth-picks—or lay out a shilling upon a band-box the year round; and for the six months I‘m in the country, I’m upon so small a scale, that with all the good temper in the world, I outdo Rousseau, a bar length—for I keep neither man or boy, or horse, or cow, or dog, or cat, or any thing that can eat or drink, except a thin poor piece of a Vestal (to keep my fire in), and who has generally as bad an appetite as myself—but if you think this makes a philosopher of me—I would not, my good people! give a rush for your judgments.

  True philosophy—but there is no treating the subject whilst my uncle is whistling Lillabullero.

  —Let us go into the house.

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