Obstetrics-Related Selections from Tristram Shandy

Edited by Jack Lynch

These short selections from the first two books of Tristram Shandy include the passages concerned with obstetrics. More details TK.



[1.1.1] I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly consider’d how much depended upon what they were then doing; — that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind; — and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost; —— Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly, —— I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world from that in which the reader is likely to see me. — Believe me, good folks, this is not so inconsiderable a thing as many of you may think it; — you have all, I dare say, heard of the animal spirits, as how they are transfused from father to son, &c., &c. — and a great deal to that purpose: — Well, you may take my word, that nine parts in ten of a man’s sense or his nonsense, his successes and miscarriages in this world depend upon their motions and activity, and the different tracts and trains you put them into, so that when they are once set a-going, whether right or wrong, ’tis not a halfpenny matter, — away they go cluttering like hey-go mad; and by treading the same steps over and over again, they presently make a road of it, as plain and as smooth as a garden-walk, which, when they are once used to, the Devil himself sometimes shall not be able to drive them off it.

[1.1.2] Pray, my Dear, quoth my mother, have you not forgot to wind up the clock? ——— Good G—! cried my father, making an exclamation, but taking care to moderate his voice at the same time, —— Did ever woman, since the creation of the world, interrupt a man with such a silly question? Pray, what was your father saying? ——— Nothing.


[1.2.1] ——— Then, positively, there is nothing in the question that I can see, either good or bad. —— Then, let me tell you, Sir, it was a very unseasonable question at least, — because it scattered and dispersed the animal spirits, whose business it was to have escorted and gone hand in hand with the HOMUNCULUS, and conducted him safe to the place destined for his reception.

[1.2.2] The Homunculus, Sir, in however low and ludicrous a light he may appear, in this age of levity, to the eye of folly or prejudice; — to the eye of reason in scientifick research, he stands confess’d — a Being guarded and circumscribed with rights. —— The minutest philosophers, who, by the bye, have the most enlarged understandings (their souls being inversely as their enquiries), shew us incontestably, that the Homunculus is created by the same hand, — engender’d in the same course of nature, — endow’d with the same locomotive powers and faculties with us: — That he consists as we do, of skin, hair, fat, flesh, veins, arteries, ligaments, nerves, cartilages, bones, marrow, brains, glands, genitals, humours, and articulations; — is a Being of as much activity, — and, in all senses of the word, as much and as truly our fellow-creature as my Lord Chancellor of England. — He may be benefited, — he may be injured, — he may obtain redress; — in a word, he has all the claims and rights of humanity, which Tully, Puffendorf, or the best ethick writers allow to arise out of that state and relation.

[1.2.3] Now, dear Sir, what if any accident had befallen him in his way alone! — or that, through terror of it, natural to so young a traveller, my little Gentleman had got to his journey’s end miserably spent; — his muscular strength and virility worn down to a thread; — his own animal spirits ruffled beyond description, — and that in this sad disordered state of nerves, he had lain down a prey to sudden starts, or a series of melancholy dreams and fancies, for nine long, long months together. — I tremble to think what a foundation had been laid for a thousand weaknesses both of body and mind, which no skill of the physician or the philosopher could ever afterwards have set thoroughly to rights.


[1.3.1] To my uncle Mr. Toby Shandy do I stand indebted for the preceding anecdote, to whom my father, who was an excellent natural philosopher, and much given to close reasoning upon the smallest matters, had oft, and heavily complained of the injury; but once more particularly, as my uncle Toby well remember’d, upon his observing a most unaccountable obliquity (as he call’d it) in my manner of setting up my top, and justifying the principles upon which I had done it, — the old gentleman shook his head, and in a tone more expressive by half of sorrow than reproach, — he said his heart all along foreboded, and he saw it verified in this, and from a thousand other observations he had made upon me, That I should neither think nor act like any other man’s child: — But alas! continued he, shaking his head a second time, and wiping away a tear which was trickling down his cheeks, My Tristram’s misfortunes began nine months before ever he came into the world.

[1.3.2] — My mother, who was sitting by, look’d up, — but she knew no more than her backside what my father meant, — but my uncle, Mr. Toby Shandy, who had been often informed of the affair, — understood him very well.


[1.4.1] I know there are readers in the world, as well as many other good people in it, who are no readers at all, who find themselves ill at ease, unless they are let into the whole secret from first to last, of everything which concerns you.

[1.4.2] It is in pure compliance with this humour of theirs, and from a backwardness in my nature to disappoint any one soul living, that I have been so very particular already. As my life and opinions are likely to make some noise in the world, and, if I conjecture right, will take in all ranks, professions, and denominations of men whatever, — be no less read than the Pilgrim’s Progress itself — and in the end, prove the very thing which Montaigne dreaded his Essays should turn out, that is, a book for a parlour-window; — I find it necessary to consult every one a little in his turn; and therefore must beg pardon for going on a little farther in the same way: For which cause, right glad I am, that I have begun the history of myself in the way I have done; and that I am able to go on, tracing everything in it, as Horace says, ab Ovo.

[1.4.3] Horace, I know, does not recommend this fashion altogether: But that gentleman is speaking only of an epic poem or a tragedy; — (I forget which), — besides, if it was not so, I should beg Mr. Horace’s pardon; — for in writing what I have set about, I shall confine myself neither to his rules, nor to any man’s rules that ever lived.

[1.4.4] To such, however, as do not choose to go so far back into these things, I can give no better advice, than that they skip over the remaining part of this chapter; for I declare before-hand, ’tis wrote only for the curious and inquisitive.

[1.4.5] —————— Shut the door. ————— I was begot in the night, betwixt the first Sunday and the first Monday in the month of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighteen. I am positive I was. — But how I came to be so very particular in my account of a thing which happened before I was born, is owing to another small anecdote known only in our own family, but now made publick for the better clearing up this point.

[1.4.6] My father, you must know, who was originally a Turkey merchant, but had left off business for some years, in order to retire to, and die upon, his paternal estate in the county of ———, was, I believe, one of the most regular men in everything he did, whether ’twas matter of business, or matter of amusement, that ever lived. As a small specimen of this extreme exactness of his, to which he was in truth a slave, — he had made it a rule for many years of his life, — on the first Sunday-night of every month throughout the whole year, — as certain as ever the Sunday-night came, —— to wind up a large house-clock, which we had standing on the back-stairs head, with his own hands: — And being somewhere between fifty and sixty years of age at the time I have been speaking of, — he had likewise gradually brought some other little family concernments to the same period, in order, as he would often say to my uncle Toby, to get them all out of the way at one time, and be no more plagued and pestered with them the rest of the month.

[1.4.7] It was attended but with one misfortune, which, in a great measure, fell upon myself, and the effects of which I fear I shall carry with me to my grave; namely, that from an unhappy association of ideas, which have no connection in nature, it so fell out at length, that my poor mother could never hear the said clock wound up, —— but the thoughts of some other things unavoidably popped into her head — and vice versâ: —— Which strange combination of ideas, the sagacious Locke, who certainly understood the nature of these things better than most men, affirms to have produced more wry actions than all other sources of prejudice whatsoever.

[1.4.8] But this by the bye.

[1.4.9] Now it appears by a memorandum in my father’s pocket-book, which now lies upon the table, “That on Lady-day, which was on the 25th of the same month in which I date my geniture, —— my father set out upon his journey to London, with my eldest brother Bobby, to fix him at Westminster school;” and, as it appears from the same authority, “That he did not get down to his wife and family till the second week in May following,” — it brings the thing almost to a certainty. However, what follows in the beginning of the next chapter, puts it beyond all possibility of doubt.

[1.4.10] ——— But pray, Sir, What was your father doing all December, January, and February? —— Why, Madam, — he was all that time afflicted with a Sciatica.


[1.5.1] On the fifth day of November, 1718, which to the æra fixed on, was as near nine calendar months as any husband could in reason have expected, — was I Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, brought forth into this scurvy and disasterous world of ours. —— I wish I had been born in the Moon, or in any of the planets (except Jupiter or Saturn, because I never could bear cold weather) for it could not well have fared worse with me in any of them (though I will not answer for Venus) than it has in this vile, dirty planet of ours, — which, o’ my conscience, with reverence be it spoken, I take to be made up of the shreds and clippings of the rest; —— not but the planet is well enough, provided a man could be born in it to a great title or to a great estate; or could any how contrive to be called up to publick charges, and employments of dignity or power; —— but that is not my case; —— and therefore every man will speak of the fair as his own market has gone in it; ——— for which cause I affirm it over again to be one of the vilest worlds that ever was made; — for I can truly say, that from the first hour I drew my breath in it, to this, that I can now scarce draw it at all, for an asthma I got in scating against the wind in Flanders; — I have been the continual sport of what the world calls Fortune; and though I will not wrong her by saying, She has ever made me feel the weight of any great or signal evil; —— yet with all the good temper in the world, I affirm it of her, that in every stage of my life, and at every turn and corner where she could get fairly at me, the ungracious duchess has pelted me with a set of as pitiful misadventures and cross accidents as ever small Hero sustained.


[1.6.1] In the beginning of the last chapter, I informed you exactly when I was born; but I did not inform you how. No, that particular was reserved entirely for a chapter by itself; — besides, Sir, as you and I are in a manner perfect strangers to each other, it would not have been proper to have let you into too many circumstances relating to myself all at once. — You must have a little patience. I have undertaken, you see, to write not only my life, but my opinions also; hoping and expecting that your knowledge of my character, and of what kind of a mortal I am, by the one, would give you a better relish for the other: As you proceed farther with me, the slight acquaintance, which is now beginning betwixt us, will grow into familiarity; and that, unless one of us is in fault, will terminate in friendship. — O diem præclarum! — then nothing which has touched me will be thought trifling in its nature, or tedious in its telling. Therefore, my dear friend and companion, if you should think me somewhat sparing of my narrative on my first setting out — bear with me, — and let me go on, and tell my story my own way: — Or, if I should seem now and then to trifle upon the road, — or should sometimes put on a fool’s cap with a bell to it, for a moment or two as we pass along, — don’t fly off, — but rather courteously give me credit for a little more wisdom than appears upon my outside; — and as we jog on, either laugh with me, or at me, or in short, do anything, — only keep your temper.


[1.15.2] The article in my mother’s marriage-settlement, which I told the reader I was at the pains to search for, and which, now that I have found it, I think proper to lay before him, — is so much more fully express’d in the deed itself, than ever I can pretend to do it, that it would be barbarity to take it out of the lawyer’s hand: — It is as follows.

[1.15.1]And this Indenture further witnesseth, That the said Walter Shandy, merchant, in consideration of the said intended marriage to be had, and, by God’s blessing, to be well and truly solemnised and consummated between the said Walter Shandy and Elizabeth Mollineux aforesaid, and divers other good and valuable causes and considerations him thereunto specially moving, — doth grant, covenant, condescend, consent, conclude, bargain, and fully agree to and with John Dixon, and James Turner, Esqrs. the above-named Trustees, &c. &c.to Wit, — That in case it should hereafter so fall out, chance, happen, or otherwise come to pass, — That the said Walter Shandy, merchant, shall have left off business before the time or times, that the said Elizabeth Mollineux shall, according to the course of nature, or otherwise, have left off bearing and bringing forth children; — and that, in consequence of the said Walter Shandy having so left off business, he shall in despight, and against the free-will, consent, and good-liking of the said Elizabeth Mollineux, — make a departure from the city of London, in order to retire to, and dwell upon, his estate at Shandy Hall, in the county of ——, or at any other country-seat, castle, hall, mansion-house, messuage or grainge-house, now purchased, or hereafter to be purchased, or upon any part or parcel thereof: — That then, and as often as the said Elizabeth Mollineux shall happen to be enceint with child or children severally and lawfully begot, or to be begotten, upon the body of the said Elizabeth Mollineux, during her said coverture, — he the said Walter Shandy shall, at his own proper cost and charges, and out of his own proper monies, upon good and reasonable notice, which is hereby agreed to be within six weeks of her the said Elizabeth Mollineux’s full reckoning, or time of supposed and computed delivery, — pay, or cause to be paid, the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds of good and lawful money, to John Dixon, and James Turner, Esqrs. or assigns, — upon trust and confidence, and for and unto the use and uses, intent, end, and purpose following: — That is to say, — That the said sum of one hundred and twenty pounds shall be paid into the hands of the said Elizabeth Mollineux, or to be otherwise applied by them the said Trustees, for the well and truly hiring of one coach, with able and sufficient horses, to carry and convey the body of the said Elizabeth Mollineux, and the child or children which she shall be then and there enceint and pregnant with, — unto the city of London; and for the further paying and defraying of all other incidental costs, charges, and expences whatsoever, — in and about, and for, and relating to, her said intended delivery and lying-in, in the said city or suburbs thereof. And that the said Elizabeth Mollineux shall and may, from time to time, and at all such time and times as are here covenanted and agreed upon, — peaceably and quietly hire the said coach and horses, and have free ingress, egress, and regress throughout her journey, in and from the said coach, according to the tenor, true intent, and meaning of these presents, without any let, suit, trouble, disturbance, molestation, discharge, hindrance, forfeiture, eviction, vexation, interruption, or incumbrance whatsoever. — And that it shall moreover be lawful to and for the said Elizabeth Mollineux, from time to time, and as oft or often as she shall well and truly be advanced in her said pregnancy, to the time heretofore stipulated and agreed upon, — to live and reside in such place or places, and in such family or families, and with such relations, friends, and other persons within the said city of London, as she at her own will and pleasure, notwithstanding her present coverture, and as if she was a femme sole and unmarried, — shall think fit. — And this Indenture further Witnesseth, That for the more effectually carrying of the said covenant into execution, the said Walter Shandy, merchant, doth hereby grant, bargain, sell, release, and confirm unto the said John Dixon, and James Turner, Esqrs. their heirs, executors, and assigns, in their actual possession now being, by virtue of an indenture of bargain and sale for a year to them the said John Dickson, and James Turner, Esqrs. by him the said Walter Shandy, merchant, thereof made; which said bargain and sale for a year, bears date the day next before the date of these presents, and by force and virtue of the statute for transferring of uses into possession, — All that the manor and lordship of Shandy, in the county of ——, with all the rights, members, and appurtenances thereof; and all and every the messuages, houses, buildings, barns, stables, orchards, gardens, backsides, tofts, crofts, garths, cottages, lands, meadows, feedings, pastures, marshes, commons, woods, underwoods, drains, fisheries, waters, and water-courses; — together with all rents, reversions, services, annuities, fee-farms, knights fees, views of frankpledge, escheats, reliefs, mines, quarries, goods and chattels of felons and fugitives, felons of themselves, and put in exigent, deodands, free warrens, and all other royalties and seigniories, rights and jurisdictions, privileges and hereditaments whatsoever. —— And also the advowson, donation, presentation, and free disposition of the rectory or parsonage of Shandy aforesaid, and all and every the tenths, tythes, glebe-lands.” —— In three words, —— “My mother was to lay in, (if she chose it) in London.”

[1.15.2] But in order to put a stop to the practice of any unfair play on the part of my mother, which a marriage-article of this nature too manifestly opened a door to, and which indeed had never been thought of at all, but for my uncle Toby Shandy; — a clause was added in security of my father, which was this: — “That in case my mother hereafter should, at any time, put my father to the trouble and expence of a London journey, upon false cries and tokens; —— that for every such instance, she should forfeit all the right and title which the covenant gave her to the next turn; —— but to no more, — and so on, toties quoties, in as effectual a manner, as if such a covenant betwixt them had not been made.” — This, by the way, was no more than what was reasonable; — and yet, as reasonable as it was, I have ever thought it hard that the whole weight of the article should have fallen entirely, as it did, upon myself.

[1.15.3] But I was begot and born to misfortunes: — for my poor mother, whether it was wind or water — or a compound of both, — or neither; — or whether it was simply the mere swell of imagination and fancy in her; — or how far a strong wish and desire to have it so, might mislead her judgment: — in short, whether she was deceived or deceiving in this matter, it no way becomes me to decide. The fact was this, That in the latter end of September 1717, which was the year before I was born, my mother having carried my father up to town much against the grain, — he peremptorily insisted upon the clause; — so that I was doom’d, by marriage-articles, to have my nose squeez’d as flat to my face, as if the destinies had actually spun me without one.

[1.15.4] How this event came about, — and what a train of vexatious disappointments, in one stage or other of my life, have pursued me from the mere loss, or rather compression, of this one single member, — shall be laid before the reader all in due time.



[2.6.1] —— What can they be doing, brother? said my father. — I think, replied my uncle Toby, — taking, as I told you, his pipe from his mouth, and striking the ashes out of it as he began his sentence; —— I think, replied he, — it would not be amiss, brother, if we rung the bell.

[2.6.2] Pray, what’s all that racket over our heads, Obadiah? —— quoth my father; —— my brother and I can scarce hear ourselves speak.

[2.6.3] Sir, answered Obadiah, making a bow towards his left shoulder, — my Mistress is taken very badly. — And where’s Susannah running down the garden there, as if they were going to ravish her? —— Sir, she is running the shortest cut into the town, replied Obadiah, to fetch the old midwife. — Then saddle a horse, quoth my father, and do you go directly for Dr. Slop, the man-midwife, with all our services, —— and let him know your mistress is fallen into labour —— and that I desire he will return with you with all speed.

[2.6.4] It is very strange, says my father, addressing himself to my uncle Toby, as Obadiah shut the door, —— as there is so expert an operator as Dr. Slop so near, — that my wife should persist to the very last in this obstinate humour of hers, in trusting the life of my child, who has had one misfortune already, to the ignorance of an old woman; —— and not only the life of my child, brother, —— but her own life, and with it the lives of all the children I might, peradventure, have begot out of her hereafter.

[2.6.5] Mayhap, brother, replied my uncle Toby, my sister does it to save the expense: — A pudding’s end, — replied my father, —— the Doctor must be paid the same for inaction as action, —— if not better, — to keep him in temper.

[2.6.6] —— Then it can be out of nothing in the whole world, quoth my uncle Toby, in the simplicity of his heart, — but Modesty. — My sister, I dare say, added he, does not care to let a man come so near her ****. I will not say whether my uncle Toby had completed the sentence or not; —— ’tis for his advantage to suppose he had, —— as, I think, he could have added no One Word which would have improved it.

[2.6.7] If, on the contrary, my uncle Toby had not fully arrived at the period’s end, — then the world stands indebted to the sudden snapping of my father’s tobacco-pipe for one of the neatest examples of that ornamental figure in oratory, which Rhetoricians stile the Aposiopesis. —— Just Heaven! how does the Poco piu and the Poco meno of the Italian artists; — the insensible more or less, determine the precise line of beauty in the sentence, as well as in the statute! How do the slight touches of the chisel, the pencil, the pen, the fiddle-stick, et cætera, — give the true swell, which gives the true pleasure! — O my countrymen; — be nice; — be cautious of your language; — and never, O! never let it be forgotten upon what small particles your eloquence and your fame depend.

[2.6.8] —— “My sister, mayhap,” quoth my uncle Toby, “does not choose to let a man come so near her ****.” Make this dash, — ’tis an Aposiopesis. — Take the dash away, and write Backside, —— ’tis Bawdy. — Scratch Backside out, and put Cover’d way in, ’tis a Metaphor; — and, I dare say, as fortification ran so much in my uncle Toby’s head, that if he had been left to have added one word to the sentence, —— that word was it.

[2.6.9] But whether that was the case or not the case; — or whether the snapping of my father’s tobacco-pipe, so critically, happened through accident or anger, will be seen in due time.


[2.7.1] Tho’ my father was a good natural philosopher, — yet he was something of a moral philosopher too; for which reason, when his tobacco-pipe snapp’d short in the middle, — he had nothing to do, as such, but to have taken hold of the two pieces, and thrown them gently upon the back of the fire. —— He did no such thing; —— he threw them with all the violence in the world; — and, to give the action still more emphasis, — he started upon both his legs to do it.

[2.7.2] This looked something like heat; — and the manner of his reply to what my uncle Toby was saying, proved it was so.

[2.7.3] — “Not choose,” quoth my father, (repeating my uncle Toby’s words) “to let a man come so near her!” —— By Heaven, brother Toby! you would try the patience of Job; — and I think I have the plagues of one already without it. —— Why? —— Where? —— Wherein? —— Wherefore? —— Upon what account? replied my uncle Toby, in the utmost astonishment. — To think, said my father, of a man living to your age, brother, and knowing so little about women! —— I know nothing at all about them, — replied my uncle Toby: And I think, continued he, that the shock I received the year after the demolition of Dunkirk, in my affair with widow Wadman; — which shock you know I should not have received, but from my total ignorance of the sex, — has given me just cause to say, That I neither know nor do pretend to know anything about ’em or their concerns either. — Methinks, brother, replied my father, you might, at least, know so much as the right end of a woman from the wrong.

[2.7.4] It is said in Aristotle’s Master Piece, “That when a man doth think of anything which is past, —— he looketh down upon the ground; —— but that when he thinketh of something that is to come, he looketh up towards the heavens.”

[2.7.5] My uncle Toby, I suppose, thought of neither, for he look’d horizontally. — Right end! quoth my uncle Toby, muttering the two words low to himself, and fixing his two eyes insensibly as he muttered them, upon a small crevice, formed by a bad joint in the chimney-piece —— Right end of a woman! —— I declare, quoth my uncle, I know no more which it is than the man in the moon; —— and if I was to think, continued my uncle Toby (keeping his eye still fixed upon the bad joint) this month together, I am sure I should not be able to find it out.

[2.7.6] Then, brother Toby, replied my father, I will tell you.

[2.7.7] Everything in this world, continued my father (filling a fresh pipe) — every thing in this world, my dear brother Toby, has two handles. —— Not always, quoth my uncle Toby. —— At least, replied my father, everyone has two hands, —— which comes to the same thing. —— Now, if a man was to sit down coolly, and consider within himself the make, the shape, the construction, come-at-ability, and convenience of all the parts which constitute the whole of that animal, called Woman, and compare them analogically —— I never understood rightly the meaning of that word, — quoth my uncle Toby. —

[2.7.8] Analogy, replied my father, is the certain relation and agreement which different —— Here a devil of a rap at the door snapped my father’s definition (like his tobacco-pipe) in two, — and, at the same time, crushed the head of as notable and curious a dissertation as ever was engendered in the womb of speculation; — it was some months before my father could get an opportunity to be safely delivered of it: — And, at this hour, it is a thing full as problematical as the subject of the dissertation itself, — (considering the confusion and distresses of our domestick misadventures, which are now coming thick one upon the back of another) whether I shall be able to find a place for it in the third volume or not.


[2.13.1] —— Bless my soul! — my poor mistress is ready to faint —— and her pains are gone — and the drops are done — and the bottle of julap is broke —— and the nurse has cut her arm — (and I, my thumb, cried Dr. Slop,) and the child is where it was, continued Susannah, — and the midwife has fallen backwards upon the edge of the fender, and bruised her hip as black as your hat. — I’ll look at it, quoth Dr. Slop. — There is no need of that, replied Susannah, — you had better look at my mistress — but the midwife would gladly first give you an account how things are, so desires you would go up stairs and speak to her this moment.

[2.13.2] Human nature is the same in all professions.

[2.13.3] The midwife had just before been put over Dr. Slop’s head — He had not digested it, — No, replied Dr. Slop, ’twould be full as proper, if the midwife came down to me. — I like subordination, quoth my uncle Toby, — and but for it, after the reduction of Lisle, I know not what might have become of the garrison of Ghent, in the mutiny for bread, in the year Ten. — Nor, replied Dr. Slop, (parodying my uncle Toby’s hobby-horsical reflection; though full as hobby-horsical himself) ——— do I know, Captain Shandy, what might have become of the garrison above stairs, in the mutiny and confusion I find all things are in at present, but for the subordination of fingers and thumbs to ****** ——— the application of which, Sir, under this accident of mine, comes in so à propos, that without it, the cut upon my thumb might have been felt by the Shandy family, as long as the Shandy family had a name.


[2.14.1] Let us go back to the ****** —— in the last chapter.

[2.14.2] It is a singular stroke of eloquence (at least it was so, when eloquence flourished at Athens and Rome, and would be so now, did orators wear mantles) not to mention the name of a thing, when you had the thing about you in petto, ready to produce, pop, in the place you want it. A scar, an axe, a sword, a pink’d doublet, a rusty helmet, a pound and a half of pot-ashes in an urn, or a three-halfpenny pickle pot — but above all, a tender infant royally accoutred. — Tho’ if it was too young, and the oration as long as Tully’s second Philippick — it must certainly have beshit the orator’s mantle. — And then again, if too old, — it must have been unwieldy and incommodious to his action — so as to make him lose by his child almost as much as he could gain by it. — Otherwise, when a state orator has hit the precise age to a minute —— hid his BAMBINO in his mantle so cunningly that no mortal could smell it —— and produced it so critically, that no soul could say, it came in by head and shoulders — Oh Sirs! it has done wonders — It has open’d the sluices, and turn’d the brains, and shook the principles, and unhinged the politicks of half a nation.

[2.14.3] These feats however are not to be done, except in those states and times, I say, where orators wore mantles —— and pretty large ones too, my brethren, with some twenty or five-and-twenty yards of good purple, superfine, marketable cloth in them — with large flowing folds and doubles, and in a great style of design. — All which plainly shews, may it please your worships, that the decay of eloquence, and the little good service it does at present, both within and without doors, is owing to nothing else in the world, but short coats, and the disuse of trunk-hose. —— We can conceal nothing under ours, Madam, worth shewing.


[2.15.1] Dr. Slop was within an ace of being an exception to all this argumentation: for happening to have his green bays bag upon his knees, when he began to parody my uncle Toby — ’twas as good as the best mantle in the world to him: for which purpose, when he foresaw the sentence would end in his new-invented forceps, he thrust his hand into the bag in order to have them ready to clap in, when your reverences took so much notice of the ***, which had he managed —— my uncle Toby had certainly been overthrown: the sentence and the argument in that case jumping closely in one point, so like the two lines which form the salient angle of a ravelin, —— Dr. Slop would never have given them up; — and my uncle Toby would as soon have thought of flying, as taking them by force: but Dr. Slop fumbled so vilely in pulling them out, it took off the whole effect, and what was a ten times worse evil (for they seldom come alone in this life) in pulling out his forceps, his forceps unfortunately drew out the squirt along with it.

[2.15.2] When a proposition can be taken in two senses — ’tis a law in disputation, That the respondent may reply to which of the two he pleases, or finds most convenient for him. —— This threw the advantage of the argument quite on my uncle Toby’s side. —— “Good God!” cried my uncle Toby, “are children brought into the world with a squirt?


[2.16.1] — Upon my honour, Sir, you have tore every bit of skin quite off the back of both my hands with your forceps, cried my uncle Toby — and you have crush’d all my knuckles into the bargain with them to a jelly. ’Tis your own fault, said Dr. Slop —— you should have clinch’d your two fists together into the form of a child’s head as I told you, and sat firm. I did so, answered my uncle Toby. —— Then the points of my forceps have not been sufficiently arm’d, or the rivet wants closing — or else the cut in my thumb has made me a little aukward — or possibly — ’Tis well, quoth my father, interrupting the detail of possibilities — that the experiment was not first made upon my child’s head-piece. ——— It would not have been a cherry-stone the worse, answered Dr. Slop. — I maintain it, said my uncle Toby, it would have broke the cerebellum (unless indeed the skull had been as hard as a granado) and turn’d it all into a perfect posset. ——— Pshaw! replied Dr. Slop, a child’s head is naturally as soft as the pap of an apple; — the sutures give way — and besides, I could have extracted by the feet after. — Not you, said she. —— I rather wish you would begin that way, quoth my father.

[2.16.2] Pray do, added my uncle Toby.


[2.17.1] —— And pray, good woman, after all, will you take upon you to say, it may not be the child’s hip, as well as the child’s head? ——— ’Tis most certainly the head, replied the midwife. Because, continued Dr. Slop (turning to my father) as positive as these old ladies generally are — ’tis a point very difficult to know — and yet of the greatest consequence to be known; —— because, Sir, if the hip is mistaken for the head — there is a possibility (if it is a boy) that the forceps * * * * * *

[2.17.2] —— What the possibility was, Dr. Slop whispered very low to my father, and then to my uncle Toby. —— There is no such danger, continued he, with the head. — No, in truth, quoth my father — but when your possibility has taken place at the hip — you may as well take off the head too.

[2.17.3] —— It is morally impossible the reader should understand this —— ’tis enough Dr. Slop understood it; —— so taking the green bays bag in his hand, with the help of Obadiah’s pumps, he tripp’d pretty nimbly, for a man of his size, across the room to the door ——— and from the door was shewn the way, by the good old midwife, to my mother’s apartments.


[2.18.1] Obadiah gained the two crowns without dispute; for he came in jingling, with all the instruments in the green bays bag we spoke of, slung across his body, just as Corporal Trim went out of the room.

[2.18.2] It is now proper, I think, quoth Dr. Slop (clearing up his looks), as we are in a condition to be of some service to Mrs. Shandy, to send upstairs to know how she goes on.

[2.18.3] I have ordered, answered my father, the old midwife to come down to us upon the least difficulty; — for you must know, Dr. Slop, continued my father, with a perplexed kind of a smile upon his countenance, that by express treaty, solemnly ratified between me and my wife, you are no more than an auxiliary in this affair, — and not so much as that, — unless the lean old mother of a midwife above stairs cannot do without you. — Women have their particular fancies, and in points of this nature, continued my father, where they bear the whole burden, and suffer so much acute pain for the advantage of our families, and the good of the species, — they claim a right of deciding, en Souveraines, in whose hands, and in what fashion, they choose to undergo it.

[2.18.4] They are in the right of it, —— quoth my uncle Toby. But, Sir, replied Dr. Slop, not taking notice of my uncle Toby’s opinion, but turning to my father, — they had better govern in other points; —— and a father of a family, who wishes its perpetuity, in my opinion, had better exchange this prerogative with them, and give up some other rights in lieu of it. —— I know not, quoth my father, answering a little too testily, to be quite dispassionate in what he said, — I know not, quoth he, what we have left to give up, in lieu of who shall bring our children into the world, unless that, — of who shall beget them. ——— One would almost give up anything, replied Dr. Slop. — I beg your pardon, —— answered my uncle Toby. — Sir, replied Dr. Slop, it would astonish you to know what improvements we have made of late years in all branches of obstetrical knowledge, but particularly in that one single point of the safe and expeditious extraction of the fœtus, —— which has received such lights, that, for my part (holding up his hands) I declare I wonder how the world has —— I wish, quoth my uncle Toby, you had seen what prodigious armies we had in Flanders.


[2.19.1] I have dropped the curtain over this scene for a minute, —— to remind you of one thing, —— and to inform you of another.

[2.19.2] What I have to inform you, comes, I own, a little out of its due course; —— for it should have been told a hundred and fifty pages ago, but that I foresaw then ’twould come in pat hereafter, and be of more advantage here than elsewhere. — Writers had need look before them, to keep up the spirit and connection of what they have in hand.

[2.19.3] When these two things are done, — the curtain shall be drawn up again, and my uncle Toby, my father, and Dr. Slop, shall go on with their discourse, without any more interruption.

[2.19.4] First, then, the matter which I have to remind you of, is this; —— that from the specimens of singularity in my father’s notions in the point of christian-names, and that other previous point thereto, — you was led, I think, into an opinion (and I am sure I said as much), that my father was a gentleman altogether as odd and whimsical in fifty other opinions. In truth, there was not a stage in the life of man, from the very first act of his begetting, —— down to the lean and slippered pantaloon in his second childishness, but he had some favourite notion to himself, springing out of it, as sceptical, and as far out of the highway of thinking, as these two which have been explained.

[2.19.5] — Mr. Shandy, my father, Sir, would see nothing in the light in which others placed it; — he placed things in his own light; — he would weigh nothing in common scales; — no, he was too refined a researcher to lie open to so gross an imposition. — To come at the exact weight of things in the scientific steel-yard, the fulcrum, he would say, should be almost invisible, to avoid all friction from popular tenets; — without this the minutiæ of philosophy, which would always turn the balance, will have no weight at all. Knowledge, like matter, he would affirm, was divisible in infinitum; —— that the grains and scruples were as much a part of it, as the gravitation of the whole world. — In a word, he would say, error was error, — no matter where it fell, —— whether in a fraction, — or a pound, — ’twas alike fatal to truth, and she was kept down at the bottom of her well, as inevitably by a mistake in the dust of a butterfly’s wings, —— as in the disk of the sun, the moon, and all the stars of heaven put together.

[2.19.6] He would often lament that it was for want of considering this properly, and of applying it skilfully to civil matters, as well as to speculative truths, that so many things in this world were out of joint; —— that the political arch was giving way; —— and that the very foundations of our excellent constitution, in church and state, were so sapped as estimators had reported.

[2.19.7] You cry out, he would say, we are a ruined, undone people. Why? he would ask, making use of the sorites or syllogism of Zeno and Chrysippus, without knowing it belonged to them. — Why? why are we a ruined people? — Because we are corrupted. — Whence is it, dear Sir, that we are corrupted? —— Because we are needy; —— our poverty, and not our wills, consent. —— And wherefore, he would add, are we needy? — From the neglect, he would answer, of our pence and our halfpence: — Our bank notes, Sir, our guineas, — nay, our shillings take care of themselves.

[2.19.8] ’Tis the same, he would say, throughout the whole circle of the sciences; — the great, the established points of them, are not to be broke in upon. — The laws of nature will defend themselves; — but error —— (he would add, looking earnestly at my mother) —— error, Sir, creeps in thro’ the minute holes and small crevices which human nature leaves unguarded.

[2.19.9] This turn of thinking in my father, is what I had to remind you of: — The point you are to be informed of, and which I have reserved for this place, is as follows.

[2.19.10] Amongst the many and excellent reasons, with which my father had urged my mother to accept of Dr. Slop’s assistance preferably to that of the old woman, —— there was one of a very singular nature; which, when he had done arguing the manner with her as a Christian, and came to argue it over again with her as a philosopher, he had put his whole strength to, depending indeed upon it as his sheet-anchor. —— It failed him; tho’ from no defect in the argument itself; but that, do what he could, he was not able for his soul to make her comprehend the drift of it. —— Cursed luck! —— said he to himself, one afternoon, as he walked out of the room, after he had been stating it for an hour and a half to her, to no manner of purpose; — cursed luck! said he, biting his lip as he shut the door, —— for a man to be master of one of the finest chains of reasoning in nature, — and have a wife at the same time with such a headpiece, that he cannot hang up a single inference within side of it, to save his soul from destruction.

[2.19.11] This argument, though it was entirely lost upon my mother, —— had more weight with him, than all his other arguments joined together: — I will therefore endeavour to do it justice, — and set it forth with all the perspicuity I am master of.

[2.19.12] My father set out upon the strength of these two following axioms:

[2.19.13] First, That an ounce of a man’s own wit, was worth a ton of other people’s; and,

[2.19.14] Secondly (Which by the bye, was the ground-work of the first axiom, —— tho’ it comes last), That every man’s wit must come from every man’s own soul, —— and no other body’s.

[2.19.15] Now, as it was plain to my father, that all souls were by nature equal, —— and that the great difference between the most acute and the most obtuse understanding —— was from no original sharpness or bluntness of one thinking substance above or below another, —— but arose merely from the lucky or unlucky organisation of the body, in that part where the soul principally took up her residence, —— he had made it the subject of his enquiry to find out the identical place.

[2.19.16] Now, from the best accounts he had been able to get of this matter, he was satisfied it could not be where Des Cartes had fixed it, upon the top of the pineal gland of the brain; which, as he philosophized, formed a cushion for her about the size of a marrow pea; tho’, to speak the truth, as so many nerves did terminate all in that one place, — ’twas no bad conjecture; —— and my father had certainly fallen with that great philosopher plumb into the centre of the mistake, had it not been for my uncle Toby, who rescued him out of it, by a story he told him of a Walloon officer at the battle of Landen, who had one part of his brain shot away by a musket-ball, — and another part of it taken out after by a French surgeon; and after all, recovered, and did his duty very well without it.

[2.19.17] If death, said my father, reasoning with himself, is nothing but the separation of the soul from the body; and if it is true that people can walk about and do their business without brains, — then certes the soul does not inhabit there. Q.&mbsp;E. D.

[2.19.18] As for that certain, very thin, subtle and very fragrant juice which Coglionissimo Borri, the great Milanese physician affirms, in a letter to Bartholine, to have discovered in the cellulæ of the occipital parts of the cerebellum, and which he likewise affirms to be the principal seat of the reasonable soul (for, you must know, in these latter and more enlightened ages, there are two souls in every man living, — the one, according to the great Metheglingius, being called the Animus, the other, the Anima;) — as for the opinion, I say, of Borri, — my father could never subscribe to it by any means; the very idea of so noble, so refined, so immaterial, and so exalted a being as the Anima, or even the Animus, taking up her residence, and sitting dabbling, like a tadpole all day long, both summer and winter, in a puddle, —— or in a liquid of any kind, how thick or thin soever, he would say, shocked his imagination; he would scarce give the doctrine a hearing.

[2.19.19] What, therefore, seemed the least liable to objections of any, was that the chief sensorium, or head-quarters of the soul, and to which place all intelligences were referred, and from whence all her mandates were issued, — was in, or near, the cerebellum, — or rather somewhere about the medulla oblongata, wherein it was generally agreed by Dutch anatomists, that all the minute nerves from all the organs of the seven senses concentered, like streets and winding alleys, into a square.

[2.19.20] So far there was nothing singular in my father’s opinion, — he had the best of philosophers, of all ages and climates, to go along with him. —— But here he took a road of his own, setting up another Shandean hypothesis upon these corner-stones they had laid for him; —— and which said hypothesis equally stood its ground; whether the subtilty and fineness of the soul depended upon the temperature and clearness of the said liquor, or of the finer network and texture in the cerebellum itself; which opinion he favoured.

[2.19.21] He maintained, that next to the due care to be taken in the act of propagation of each individual, which required all the thought in the world, as it laid the foundation of this incomprehensible contexture, in which wit, memory, fancy, eloquence, and what is usually meant by the name of good natural parts, do consist; — that next to this and his christian-name, which were the two original and most efficacious causes of all; —— that the third cause, or rather what logicians call the Causa sine quâ non, and without which all that was done was of no manner of significance, —— was the preservation of this delicate and fine-spun web, from the havock which was generally made in it by the violent compression and crush which the head was made to undergo, by the nonsensical method of bringing us into the world by that foremost.

[2.19.22] —— This requires explanation.

[2.19.23] My father, who dipped into all kinds of books, upon looking into Lithopædus Senonesis de Partu difficili, published by Adrianus Smelvgot, had found out, that the lax and pliable state of a child’s head in parturition, the bones of the cranium having no sutures at that time, was such, —— that by force of the woman’s efforts, which, in strong labour-pains, was equal, upon an average, to the weight of 470 pounds averdupois acting perpendicularly upon it; — it so happened, that in 49 instances out of 50, the said head was compressed and moulded into the shape of an oblong conical piece of dough, such as a pastry-cook generally rolls up in order to make a pye of. — Good God! cried my father, what havock and destruction must this make in the infinitely fine and tender texture of the cerebellum! — Or if there is such a juice as Borri pretends, — is it not enough to make the clearest liquid in the world both feculent and mothery?

[2.19.24] But how great was his apprehension, when he farther understood, that this force acting upon the very vertex of the head, not only injured the brain itself, or cerebrum, — but that it necessarily squeezed and propelled the cerebrum towards the cerebellum, which was the immediate seat of the understanding! —— Angels and ministers of grace defend us! cried my father, —— can any soul withstand this shock? — No wonder the intellectual web is so rent and tattered as we see it; and that so many of our best heads are no better than a puzzled skein of silk, —— all perplexity, —— all confusion within-side.

[2.19.25] But when my father read on, and was let into the secret, that when a child was turned topsy-turvy, which was easy for an operator to do, and was extracted by the feet; — that instead of the cerebrum being propelled towards the cerebellum, the cerebellum, on the contrary, was propelled simply towards the cerebrum, where it could do no manner of hurt: —— By heavens! cried he, the world is in conspiracy to drive out what little wit God has given us, —— and the professors of the obstetric art are lifted into the same conspiracy. — What is it to me which end of my son comes foremost into the world, provided all goes right after, and his cerebellum escapes uncrushed?

[2.19.26] It is the nature of an hypothesis, when once a man has conceived it, that it assimilates every thing to itself, as proper nourishment; and, from the first moment of your begetting it, it generally grows the stronger by every thing you see, hear, read, or understand. This is of great use.

[2.19.27] When my father was gone with this about a month, there was scarce a phænomenon of stupidity or of genius, which he could not readily solve by it; — it accounted for the eldest son being the greatest blockhead in the family. —— Poor devil, he would say, — he made way for the capacity of his younger brothers. —— It unriddled the observations of drivellers and monstrous heads, —— shewing à priori, it could not be otherwise, —— unless **** I don’t know what. It wonderfully explained and accounted for the acumen of the Asiatic genius, and that sprightlier turn, and a more penetrating intuition of minds, in warmer climates; not from the loose and common-place solution of a clearer sky, and a more perpetual sunshine, &c. — which for aught he knew, might as well rarefy and dilute the faculties of the soul into nothing, by one extreme, — as they are condensed in colder climates by the other; —— but he traced the affair up to its spring-head; — shewed that, in warmer climates, nature had laid a lighter tax upon the fairest parts of the creation; — their pleasures more; — the necessity of their pains less, insomuch that the pressure and resistance upon the vertex was so slight, that the whole organisation of the cerebellum was preserved; —— nay, he did not believe, in natural births, that so much as a single thread of the net-work was broke or displaced, —— so that the soul might just act as she liked.

[2.19.28] When my father had got so far, ——— what a blaze of light did the accounts of the Cæsarian section, and of the towering geniuses who had come safe into the world by it, cast upon this hypothesis? Here you see, he would say, there was no injury done to the sensorium; — no pressure of the head against the pelvis; —— no propulsion of the cerebrum towards the cerebellum, either by the os pubis on this side, or the os coxygis on that; ——— and pray, what were the happy consequences? Why, Sir, your Julius Cæsar, who gave the operation a name; — and your Hermes Trismegistus, who was born so before ever the operation had a name; —— your Scipio Africanus; your Manlius Torquatus; our Edward the Sixth, — who, had he lived, would have done the same honour to the hypothesis: —— These, and many more who figured high in the annals of fame, — all came side-way, Sir, into the world.

[2.19.29] The incision of the abdomen and uterus ran for six weeks together in my father’s head; —— he had read, and was satisfied, that wounds in the epigastrium, and those in the matrix, were not mortal; — so that the belly of the mother might be opened extremely well to give a passage to the child. — He mentioned the thing one afternoon to my mother, ——— merely as a matter of fact; but seeing her turn as pale as ashes at the very mention of it, as much as the operation flattered his hopes, — he thought it as well to say no more of it, —— contenting himself with admiring, — what he thought was to no purpose to propose.

[2.19.30] This was my father Mr. Shandy’s hypothesis; concerning which I have only to add, that my brother Bobby did as great honour to it (whatever he did to the family) as any one of the great heroes we spoke of: For happening not only to be christened, as I told you, but to be born too, when my father was at Epsom, —— being moreover my mother’s first child, — coming into the world with his head foremost, — and turning out afterwards a lad of wonderful slow parts, —— my father spelt all these together into his opinion: and as he had failed at one end, — he was determined to try the other.

[2.19.31] This was not to be expected from one of the sisterhood, who are not easily to be put out of their way, —— and was therefore one of my father’s great reasons in favour of a man of science, whom he could better deal with.

[2.19.32] Of all men in the world, Dr. Slop was the fittest for my father’s purpose; —— for though this new-invented forceps was the armour he had proved, and what he maintained to be the safest instrument of deliverance, yet, it seems, he had scattered a word or two in his book, in favour of the very thing which ran in my father’s fancy; —— tho’ not with a view to the soul’s good in extracting by the feet, as was my father’s system, — but for reasons merely obstetrical.

[2.19.33] This will account for the coalition betwixt my father and Dr. Slop, in the ensuing discourse, which went a little hard against my uncle Toby. —— In what manner a plain man, with nothing but common sense, could bear up against two such allies in science, — is hard to conceive. — You may conjecture upon it, if you please, —— and whilst your imagination is in motion, you may encourage it to go on, and discover by what causes and effects in nature it could come to pass, that my uncle Toby got his modesty by the wound he received upon his groin. — You may raise a system to account for the loss of my nose by marriage-articles, — and shew the world how it could happen, that I should have the misfortune to be called Tristram, in opposition to my father’s hypothesis, and the wish of the whole family, Godfathers and Godmothers not excepted. — These, with fifty other points left yet unravelled, you may endeavour to solve if you have time; —— but I tell you beforehand it will be in vain, for not the sage Alquife, the magician in Don Belianis of Greece, nor the no less famous Urganda, the sorceress his wife, (were they alive), could pretend to come within a league of the truth.

[2.19.34] The reader will be content to wait for a full explanation of these matters till the next year, —— when a series of things will be laid open which he little expects.


[2.30.1] —— “All is not gain that is got into the purse.” — So that notwithstanding my father had the happiness of reading the oddest books in the universe, and had moreover, in himself, the oddest way of thinking that ever man in it was bless’d with, yet it had this drawback upon him after all ——— that it laid him open to some of the oddest and most whimsical distresses; of which this particular one, which he sunk under at present, is as strong an example as can be given.

[2.30.2] No doubt, the breaking down of the bridge of a child’s nose, by the edge of a pair of forceps — however scientifically applied — would vex any man in the world, who was at so much pains in begetting a child, as my father was — yet it will not account for the extravagance of his affliction, nor will it justify the unchristian manner he abandoned and surrendered him self up to.

[2.30.3] To explain this, I must leave him upon the bed for half an hour — and my uncle Toby in his old fringed chair sitting beside him.


[2.31.1] —— I think it a very unreasonable demand — cried my great-grandfather, twisting up the paper, and throwing it upon the table. —— By this account, madam, you have but two thousand pounds fortune, and not a shilling more — and you insist upon having three hundred pounds a year jointure for it. ———

[2.31.2] — “Because,” replied my great-grandmother, “you have little or no nose, Sir,” —

[2.31.3] Now before I venture to make use of the word Nose a second time — to avoid all confusion in what will be said upon it, in this interesting part of my story, it may not be amiss to explain my own meaning, and define, with all possible exactness and precision, what I would willingly be understood to mean by the term: being of opinion, that ’tis owing to the negligence and perverseness of writers in despising this precaution, and to nothing else —— that all the polemical writings in divinity are not as clear and demonstrative as those upon a Will o’ the Wisp, or any other sound part of philosophy, and natural pursuit; in order to which, what have you to do, before you set out, unless you intend to go puzzling on to the day of judgment —— but to give the world a good definition, and stand to it, of the main word you have most occasion for —— changing it, Sir, as you would a guinea, into small coin? — which done — let the father of confusion puzzle you, if he can; or put a different idea either into your head, or your reader’s head, if he knows how.

[2.31.4] In books of strict morality and close reasoning, such as this I am engaged in — the neglect is inexcusable; and Heaven is witness, how the world has revenged itself upon me for leaving so many openings to equivocal strictures — and for depending so much as I have done, all along, upon the cleanliness of my readers’ imaginations.

[2.31.5] —— Here are two senses, cried Eugenius, as we walk’d along, pointing with the forefinger of his right hand to the word Crevice, in the one hundred and seventy-eighth page of the first volume of this book of books; ——— here are two senses — quoth he — And here are two roads, replied I, turning short upon him —— a dirty and a clean one —— which shall we take? — The clean, by all means, replied Eugenius. Eugenius, said I, stepping before him, and laying my hand upon his breast —— to define — is to distrust. —— Thus I triumph’d over Eugenius; but I triumph’d over him as I always do, like a fool. —— ’Tis my comfort, however, I am not an obstinate one: therefore

[2.31.6] I define a nose as follows — intreating only beforehand, and beseeching my readers, both male and female, of what age, complexion, and condition soever, for the love of God and their own souls, to guard against the temptations and suggestions of the devil, and suffer him by no art or wile to put any other ideas into their minds, than what I put into my definition — For by the word Nose, throughout all this long chapter of noses, and in every other part of my work, where the word Nose occurs — I declare, by that word I mean a nose, and nothing more, or less.


[2.32.1] —— “Because,” quoth my great-grandmother, repeating the words again — “you have little or no nose, Sir,” ———

[2.32.2] S’death! cried my great-grandfather, clapping his hand upon his nose, — ’tis not so small as that comes to; —— ’tis a full inch longer than my father’s. — Now, my great-grandfather’s nose was for all the world like unto the noses of all the men, women, and children, whom Pantagruel found dwelling upon the island of Ennasin. ——— By the way, if you would know the strange way of getting a-kin amongst so flat-nosed a people —— you must read the book; —— find it out yourself, you never can. ——

[2.32.3] — ’Twas shaped, Sir, like an ace of clubs.

[2.32.4] — ’Tis a full inch, continued my grandfather, pressing up the ridge of his nose with his finger and thumb; and repeating his assertion —— ’tis a full inch longer, madam, than my father’s —— You must mean your uncle’s, replied my great-grandmother.

[2.32.5] ——— My great-grandfather was convinced. — He untwisted the paper, and signed the article.