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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.(Volume4,chapter56)

2006-08-22 18:35

  Chapter 56

  Well! dear brother Toby, said my father, upon his first seeing him after he fell in love—and how goes it with your Asse?

  Now my uncle Toby thinking more of the part where he had had the blister, than of Hilarion‘s metaphor—and our preconceptions having (you know) as great a power over the sounds of words as the shapes of things, he had imagined, that my father, who was not very ceremonious in his choice of words, had enquired after the part by its proper name: so notwithstanding my mother, doctor Slop, and Mr. Yorick, were sitting in the parlour, he thought it rather civil to conform to the term my father had made use of than not. When a man is hemm’d in by two indecorums, and must commit one of ‘em—I always observe—let him chuse which he will, the world will blame him—so I should not be astonished if it blames my uncle Toby.

  My A……e, quoth my uncle Toby, is much better—brother Shandy—My father had formed great expectations from his Asse in this onset; and would have brought him on again; but doctor Slop setting up an intemperate laugh—and my mother crying out L…… bless us!—it drove my father‘s Asse off the field—and the laugh then becoming general—there was no bringing him back to the charge, for some time—

  And so the discourse went on without him.

  Every body, said my mother, says you are in love, brother Toby,—and we hope it is true.

  I am as much in love, sister, I believe, replied my uncle Toby, as any man usually is—Humph! said my father—and when did you know it? quoth my mother—

  —When the blister broke; replied my uncle Toby.

  My uncle Toby‘s reply put my father into good temper—so he charg’d o‘ foot.

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