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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.(Volume4,chapter47)

2006-08-22 18:35

  Chapter 47

  As soon as the corporal had finished the story of his amour—or rather my uncle Toby for him—Mrs. Wadman silently sallied forth from her arbour, replaced the pin in her mob, pass‘d the wicker gate, and advanced slowly towards my uncle Toby’s sentry-box: the disposition which Trim had made in my uncle Toby‘s mind, was too favourable a crisis to be let slipp’d—

  —The attack was determin‘d upon: it was facilitated still more by my uncle Toby’s having ordered the corporal to wheel off the pioneer‘s shovel, the spade, the pick-axe, the picquets, and other military stores which lay scatter’d upon the ground where Dunkirk stood—The corporal had march‘d— the field was clear.

  Now, consider, sir, what nonsense it is, either in fighting, or writing, or any thing else (whether in rhyme to it, or not) which a man has occasion to do—to act by plan: for if ever Plan, independent of all circumstances, deserved registering in letters of gold (I mean in the archives of Gotham)- -it was certainly the Plan of Mrs. Wadman‘s attack of my uncle Toby in his sentry-box, By Plan—Now the plan hanging up in it at this juncture, being the Plan of Dunkirk—and the tale of Dunkirk a tale of relaxation, it opposed every impression she could make: and besides, could she have gone upon it—the manoeuvre of fingers and hands in the attack of the sentry- box—was so outdone by that of the fair Beguine’s, in Trim‘s story—that just then, that particular attack, however successful before—became the most heartless attack that could be made—

  O! let woman alone for this. Mrs. Wadman had scarce open‘d the wicker- gate, when her genius sported with the change of circumstances.

  —She formed a new attack in a moment.

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