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Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 2.LVII.

Full Text Chapter 2.LVII.

Chapter 2.LVII.

Albeit, gentle reader, I have lusted earnestly, and endeavoured carefully (according to the measure of such a slender skill as God has vouchsafed me, and as convenient leisure from other occasions of needful profit and healthful pastime have permitted) that these little books which I here put into thy hands, might stand instead of many bigger books—yet have I carried myself towards thee in such fanciful guise of careless disport, that right sore am I ashamed now to intreat thy lenity seriously—in beseeching thee to believe it of me, that in the story of my father and his christian-names—I have no thoughts of treading upon Francis the First—nor in the affair of the nose—upon Francis the Ninth—nor in the character of my uncle Toby—of characterizing the militiating spirits of my country—the wound upon his groin, is a wound to every comparison of that kind—nor by Trim—that I meant the duke of Ormond—or that my book is wrote against predestination, or free-will, or taxes—If 'tis wrote against any thing,—'tis wrote, an' please your worships, against the spleen! in order, by a more frequent and a more convulsive elevation and depression of the diaphragm, and the succussations of the intercostal and abdominal muscles in laughter, to drive the gall and other bitter juices from the gall-bladder, liver, and sweet-bread of his majesty's subjects, with all the inimicitious passions which belong to them, down into their duodenums.