By Laurence Sterne

Edited by way of Joan New and Melvyn New.

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And provided, in the second place, That the thing can be done, which Mr. Shandy apprehends it may, par le moyen d’une petite canulle, and, sans faire aucun tort a le pere. C HA P. XXI. ———–I wonder what’s all that noise, and running backwards and forwards for, above stairs, quoth my father, addressing himself, after an hour and a half ’s silence, to my uncle Toby, ——who you must know, was sitting on the opposite side of the fire, smoking his social pipe all the time, in mute contemplation of a new pair of black-plush-breeches which he had got on;—What can they be doing brother?

XIV. U PON looking into my mother’s marriage settlement, in order to satisfy myself and reader in a point necessary to be clear’d up, before we could proceed any further in this history; - - - I had the good fortune to pop upon the very thing I wanted before I had read a day and a half straight forwards,- - it might have taken me up a month; - - which shews plainly, that when a man sits down to write a history,- - - tho’ it be but the history of Jack Hickathrift or Tom Thumb, he knows no more than his heels what lets and confounded hinderances he is to meet with in his way,- - - or what a dance he may be led, by one excursion or another, before all is over.

William stood pretty high: - - - - - Numps again was low with him; - - and Nick, he said, was the DEVIL. —No - - -, he would say,- - - TRISTRAM ! - - - The thing is impossible. What could be wanting in my father but to have wrote a book CHAP. XIX–XX 5 to publish this notion of his to the world? Little boots it to the subtle speculatist to stand single in his opinions,- - - - unless he gives them proper vent: - - - It was the identical thing which my father did;—for in the year sixteen, which was two years before I was born, he was at the pains of writing an express DISSERTATION simply upon the word Tristram,—shewing the world, with great candour and modesty, the grounds of his great abhorrence to the name.

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