Tristram Shandy C H A P. LVII

WHAT a jovial and a merry world would this be, may it please your worships, but for that inextricable labyrinth of debts, cares, woes, want, grief, discontent, melancholy, large jointures, impositions, and lies!

Doctor Slop, like a son of a w——, as my father called him for it,—to exalt himself,—debased me to death,—and made ten thousand times more of Susannah’s accident, than there was any grounds for; so that in a week’s time, or less, it was in every body’s mouth, That poor Master Shandy * * * * * * * * * * * * entirely.—And FAME, who loves to double every thing,—in three days more, had sworn, positively she saw it,—and all the world, as usual, gave credit to her evidence——“That the nursery window had not only * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ;—but that * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ’s also.”

Could the world have been sued like a BODY-CORPORATE,—my father had brought an action upon the case, and trounced it sufficiently; but to fall foul of individuals about it——as every soul who had mentioned the affair, did it with the greatest pity imaginable;——’twas like flying in the very face of his best friends:——And yet to acquiesce under the report, in silence—was to acknowledge it openly,—at least in the opinion of one half of the world; and to make a bustle again, in contradicting it,—was to confirm it as strongly in the opinion of the other half.——

——Was ever poor devil of a country gentleman so hampered? said my father.

I would shew him publickly, said my uncle Toby, at the market cross.

——’Twill have no effect, said my father.