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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.(Volume3,chapter100)

2006-08-22 18:35

  Chapter 100

  Crack, crack—crack, crack—crack, crack—so this is Paris! quoth I (continuing in the same mood)—and this is Paris!—humph!—Paris! cried I, repeating the name the third time—

  The first, the finest, the most brilliant—

  The streets however are nasty.

  But it looks, I suppose, better than it smells—crack, crack—crack, crack- -what a fuss thou makest!—as if it concerned the good people to be informed, that a man with pale face and clad in black, had the honour to be driven into Paris at nine o‘clock at night, by a postillion in a tawny yellow jerkin, turned up with red calamanco—crack, crack—crack, crack— crack, crack,—I wish thy whip—

  —But ‘tis the spirit of thy nation; so crack—crack on.

  Ha!—and no one gives the wall!—but in the School of Urbanity herself, if the walls are besh……t—how can you do otherwise?

  And prithee when do they light the lamps? What?—never in the summer months!—Ho! ‘tis the time of sallads.—O rare! sallad and soup—soup and sallad—sallad and soup, encore—

  —‘Tis too much for sinners.

  Now I cannot bear the barbarity of it; how can that unconscionable coachman talk so much bawdy to that lean horse? don‘t you see, friend, the streets are so villanously narrow, that there is not room in all Paris to turn a wheelbarrow? In the grandest city of the whole world, it would not have been amiss, if they had been left a thought wider; nay, were it only so much in every single street, as that a man might know (was it only for satisfaction) on which side of it he was walking.

  One—two—three—four—five—six—seven—eight—nine—ten.—Ten cooks shops! and twice the number of barbers! and all within three minutes driving! one would think that all the cooks in the world, on some great merry-meeting with the barbers, by joint consent had said—Come, let us all go live at Paris: the French love good eating—they are all gourmands—we shall rank high; if their god is their belly—their cooks must be gentlemen: and forasmuch as the periwig maketh the man, and the periwig- maker maketh the periwig—ergo, would the barbers say, we shall rank higher still—we shall be above you all—we shall be Capitouls (Chief Magistrate in Toulouse, &c. &c. &c.) at least—pardi! we shall all wear swords—

  —And so, one would swear, (that is, by candle-light,—but there is no depending upon it,) they continued to do, to this day.

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