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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.(Volume4,chapter7)

2006-08-22 18:35

  Chapter 7

  What a tract of country have I run!—how many degrees nearer to the warm sun am I advanced, and how many fair and goodly cities have I seen, during the time you have been reading and reflecting, Madam, upon this story! There‘s Fontainbleau, and Sens, and Joigny, and Auxerre, and Dijon the capital of Burgundy, and Challon, and Macon the capital of the Maconese, and a score more upon the road to Lyons—and now I have run them over—I might as well talk to you of so many market towns in the moon, as tell you one word about them: it will be this chapter at the least, if not both this and the next entirely lost, do what I will—

  —Why, ‘tis a strange story! Tristram.

  Alas! Madam, had it been upon some melancholy lecture of the cross—the peace of meekness, or the contentment of resignation—I had not been incommoded: or had I thought of writing it upon the purer abstractions of the soul, and that food of wisdom and holiness and contemplation, upon which the spirit of man (when separated from the body) is to subsist for ever—You would have come with a better appetite from it—

  —I wish I never had wrote it: but as I never blot any thing out—let us use some honest means to get it out of our heads directly.

  —Pray reach me my fool‘s cap—I fear you sit upon it, Madam—’tis under the cushion—I‘ll put it on—

  Bless me! you have had it upon your head this half hour.—There then let it stay, with a

  Fa-ra diddle di

  and a fa-ri diddle d

  and a high-dum—dye-dum

  fiddle. . .dumb-c.

  And now, Madam, we may venture, I hope a little to go on.

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