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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.(Volume4,chapter85)

2006-08-22 18:55

  Chapter 85

  —And here is the Maes—and this is the Sambre; said the corporal, pointing with his right hand extended a little towards the map, and his left upon Mrs. Bridget‘s shoulder—but not the shoulder next him—and this, said he, is the town of Namur—and this the citadel—and there lay the French—and here lay his honour and myself—and in this cursed trench, Mrs. Bridget, quoth the corporal, taking her by the hand, did he receive the wound which crush’d him so miserably here.—In pronouncing which, he slightly press‘d the back of her hand towards the part he felt for—and let it fall.

  We thought, Mr. Trim, it had been more in the middle,—said Mrs. Bridget—

  That would have undone us for ever—said the corporal.

  —And left my poor mistress undone too, said Bridget.

  The corporal made no reply to the repartee, but by giving Mrs. Bridget a kiss.

  Come—come—said Bridget—holding the palm of her left hand parallel to the plane of the horizon, and sliding the fingers of the other over it, in a way which could not have been done, had there been the least wart or protruberance—‘Tis every syllable of it false, cried the corporal, before she had half finished the sentence—

  —I know it to be fact, said Bridget, from credible witnesses.

  —Upon my honour, said the corporal, laying his hand upon his heart, and blushing, as he spoke, with honest resentment—‘tis a story, Mrs. Bridget, as false as hell—Not, said Bridget, interrupting him, that either I or my mistress care a halfpenny about it, whether ’tis so or no—only that when one is married, one would chuse to have such a thing by one at least—

  It was somewhat unfortunate for Mrs. Bridget, that she had begun the attack with her manual exercise; for the corporal instantly. . ……

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