Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 3.XCVI.

Full Text Chapter 3.XCVI.

Chapter 3.XCVI.

'Make them like unto a wheel,' is a bitter sarcasm, as all the learned know, against the grand tour, and that restless spirit for making it, which David prophetically foresaw would haunt the children of men in the latter days; and therefore, as thinketh the great bishop Hall, 'tis one of the severest imprecations which David ever utter'd against the enemies of the Lord—and, as if he had said, 'I wish them no worse luck than always to be rolling about.'—So much motion, continues he (for he was very corpulent)—is so much unquietness; and so much of rest, by the same analogy, is so much of heaven.

Now, I (being very thin) think differently; and that so much of motion, is so much of life, and so much of joy—and that to stand still, or get on but slowly, is death and the devil—

Hollo! Ho!—the whole world's asleep!—bring out the horses—grease the wheels—tie on the mail—and drive a nail into that moulding—I'll not lose a moment—

Now the wheel we are talking of, and whereinto (but not whereonto, for that would make an Ixion's wheel of it) he curseth his enemies, according to the bishop's habit of body, should certainly be a post-chaise wheel, whether they were set up in Palestine at that time or not—and my wheel, for the contrary reasons, must as certainly be a cart-wheel groaning round its revolution once in an age; and of which sort, were I to turn commentator, I should make no scruple to affirm, they had great store in that hilly country.

I love the Pythagoreans (much more than ever I dare tell my dear Jenny) for their '(Greek)'—(their) 'getting out of the body, in order to think well.' No man thinks right, whilst he is in it; blinded as he must be, with his congenial humours, and drawn differently aside, as the bishop and myself have been, with too lax or too tense a fibre—Reason is, half of it, Sense; and the measure of heaven itself is but the measure of our present appetites and concoctions.—

—But which of the two, in the present case, do you think to be mostly in the wrong?

You, certainly: quoth she, to disturb a whole family so early.