Tristram Shandy C H A P. XXXII

MY uncle Toby and the corporal had posted down with so much heat and precipitation, to take possession of the spot of ground we have so often spoke of, in order to open their campaign as early as the rest of the allies; that they had forgot one of the most necessary articles of the whole affair, it was neither a pioneer’s spade, a pickax, or a shovel—

—It was a bed to lie on: so that as Shandy-Hall was at that time unfurnished; and the little inn where poor Le Fever died, not yet built; my uncle Toby was constrained to accept of a bed at Mrs. Wadman’s, for a night or two, till corporal Trim (who to the character of an excellent valet, groom, cook, sempster, surgeon, and engineer, superadded that of an excellent upholsterer too), with the help of a carpenter and a couple of taylors, constructed one in my uncle Toby’s house.

A daughter of Eve, for such was widow Wadman, and ’tis all the character I intend to give of her—

—“ That she was a perfect woman—” had better be fifty leagues off—or in her warm bed—or playing with a case-knife—or any thing you please—than make a man the object of her attention, when the house and all the furniture is her own.

There is nothing in it out of doors and in broad day-light, where a woman has a power, physically speaking, of viewing a man in more lights than one—but here, for her soul, she can see him in no light without mixing something of her own goods and chattels along with him——till by reiterated acts of such combination, he gets foisted into her inventory——

—And then good night.

But this is not matter of SYSTEM; for I have delivered that above——nor is it matter of BREVIARY——for I make no man’s creed but my own——nor matter of FACT——at least that I know of; but ’tis matter copulative and introductory to what follows.