Tristram Shandy C H A P. LIX

THERE are a thousand resolutions, Sir, both in church and state, as well as in matters, Madam, of a more private concern;—which, though they have carried all the appearance in the world of being taken, and entered upon in a hasty, hare-brained, and unadvised manner, were, notwithstanding this, (and could you or I have got into the cabinet, or stood behind the curtain, we should have found it was so) weighed, poized, and perpended——argued upon——canvassed through——entered into, and examined on all sides with so much coolness, that the GODDESS OF COOLNESS herself (I do not take upon me to prove her existence) could neither have wished it, or done it better.

Of the number of these was my father’s resolution of putting me into breeches; which, though determined at once,—in a kind of huff, and a defiance of all mankind, had, nevertheless, been pro’d and conn’d, and judicially talked over betwixt him and my mother about a month before, in two several beds of justice, which my father had held for that purpose. I shall explain the nature of these beds of justice in my next chapter; and in the chapter following that, you shall step with me, Madam, behind the curtain, only to hear in what kind of manner my father and my mother debated between themselves, this affair of the breeches,—from which you may form an idea, how they debated all lesser matters.