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Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 2.XXIX.

Full Text Chapter 2.XXIX.

Chapter 2.XXIX.

Of all the tracts my father was at the pains to procure and study in support of his hypothesis, there was not any one wherein he felt a more cruel disappointment at first, than in the celebrated dialogue between Pamphagus and Cocles, written by the chaste pen of the great and venerable Erasmus, upon the various uses and seasonable applications of long noses.—Now don't let Satan, my dear girl, in this chapter, take advantage of any one spot of rising ground to get astride of your imagination, if you can any ways help it; or if he is so nimble as to slip on—let me beg of you, like an unback'd filly, to frisk it, to squirt it, to jump it, to rear it, to bound it—and to kick it, with long kicks and short kicks, till like Tickletoby's mare, you break a strap or a crupper, and throw his worship into the dirt.—You need not kill him.—

—And pray who was Tickletoby's mare?—'tis just as discreditable and unscholar-like a question, Sir, as to have asked what year (ab. urb. con.) the second Punic war broke out.—Who was Tickletoby's mare!—Read, read, read, read, my unlearned reader! read—or by the knowledge of the great saint Paraleipomenon—I tell you before-hand, you had better throw down the book at once; for without much reading, by which your reverence knows I mean much knowledge, you will no more be able to penetrate the moral of the next marbled page (motley emblem of my work!) than the world with all its sagacity has been able to unravel the many opinions, transactions, and truths which still lie mystically hid under the dark veil of the black one.

(two marble plates)