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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.(Volume4,chapter77)

2006-08-22 18:55

  Chapter 77

  —You shall see the very place, Madam; said my uncle Toby.

  Mrs. Wadman blush‘d—look’d towards the door—turn‘d pale—blush’d slightly again—recover‘d her natural colour—blush’d worse than ever; which, for the sake of the unlearned reader, I translate thus—

  ‘L……d! I cannot look at it—

  ‘What would the world say if I look’d at it?

  ‘I should drop down, if I look’d at it—

  ‘I wish I could look at it—

  ‘There can be no sin in looking at it.

  —‘I will look at it.’

  Whilst all this was running through Mrs. Wadman‘s imagination, my uncle Toby had risen from the sopha, and got to the other side of the parlour door, to give Trim an order about it in the passage—

  。 . .—I believe it is in the garret, said my uncle Toby—I saw it there, an‘ please your honour, this morning, answered Trim—Then prithee, step directly for it, Trim, said my uncle Toby, and bring it into the parlour.

  The corporal did not approve of the orders, but most cheerfully obeyed them. The first was not an act of his will—the second was; so he put on his Montero-cap, and went as fast as his lame knee would let him. My uncle Toby returned into the parlour, and sat himself down again upon the sopha.

  —You shall lay your finger upon the place—said my uncle Toby.—I will not touch it, however, quoth Mrs. Wadman to herself.

  This requires a second translation:—it shews what little knowledge is got by mere words—we must go up to the first springs.

  Now in order to clear up the mist which hangs upon these three pages, I must endeavour to be as clear as possible myself.

  Rub your hands thrice across your foreheads—blow your noses—cleanse your emunctories—sneeze, my good people!—God bless you—

  Now give me all the help you can.

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