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Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 2.LXI.

Full Text Chapter 2.LXI.

Chapter 2.LXI.

—See if he is not cutting it into slips, and giving them about him to light their pipes!—'Tis abominable, answered Didius; it should not go unnoticed, said doctor Kysarcius—he was of the Kysarcii of the Low Countries.

Methinks, said Didius, half rising from his chair, in order to remove a bottle and a tall decanter, which stood in a direct line betwixt him and Yorick—you might have spared this sarcastic stroke, and have hit upon a more proper place, Mr. Yorick—or at least upon a more proper occasion to have shewn your contempt of what we have been about: If the sermon is of no better worth than to light pipes with—'twas certainly, Sir, not good enough to be preached before so learned a body; and if 'twas good enough to be preached before so learned a body—'twas certainly Sir, too good to light their pipes with afterwards.

—I have got him fast hung up, quoth Didius to himself, upon one of the two horns of my dilemma—let him get off as he can.

I have undergone such unspeakable torments, in bringing forth this sermon, quoth Yorick, upon this occasion—that I declare, Didius, I would suffer martyrdom—and if it was possible my horse with me, a thousand times over, before I would sit down and make such another: I was delivered of it at the wrong end of me—it came from my head instead of my heart—and it is for the pain it gave me, both in the writing and preaching of it, that I revenge myself of it, in this manner—To preach, to shew the extent of our reading, or the subtleties of our wit—to parade in the eyes of the vulgar with the beggarly accounts of a little learning, tinsel'd over with a few words which glitter, but convey little light and less warmth—is a dishonest use of the poor single half hour in a week which is put into our hands—'Tis not preaching the gospel—but ourselves—For my own part, continued Yorick, I had rather direct five words point-blank to the heart.—As Yorick pronounced the word point-blank, my uncle Toby rose up to say something upon projectiles—when a single word and no more uttered from the opposite side of the table drew every one's ears towards it—a word of all others in the dictionary the last in that place to be expected—a word I am ashamed to write—yet must be written—must be read—illegal— uncanonical—guess ten thousand guesses, multiplied into themselves— rack—torture your invention for ever, you're where you was—In short, I'll tell it in the next chapter.