Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 3.XLVI.

Full Text Chapter 3.XLVI.

Chapter 3.XLVI.

When the cataplasm was ready, a scruple of decorum had unseasonably rose up in Susannah's conscience, about holding the candle, whilst Slop tied it on; Slop had not treated Susannah's distemper with anodynes,—and so a quarrel had ensued betwixt them.

—Oh! oh!—said Slop, casting a glance of undue freedom in Susannah's face, as she declined the office;—then, I think I know you, madam—You know me, Sir! cried Susannah fastidiously, and with a toss of her head, levelled evidently, not at his profession, but at the doctor himself,—you know me! cried Susannah again.—Doctor Slop clapped his finger and his thumb instantly upon his nostrils;—Susannah's spleen was ready to burst at it;—'Tis false, said Susannah.—Come, come, Mrs. Modesty, said Slop, not a little elated with the success of his last thrust,—If you won't hold the candle, and look—you may hold it and shut your eyes:—That's one of your popish shifts, cried Susannah:—'Tis better, said Slop, with a nod, than no shift at all, young woman;—I defy you, Sir, cried Susannah, pulling her shift sleeve below her elbow.

It was almost impossible for two persons to assist each other in a surgical case with a more splenetic cordiality.

Slop snatched up the cataplasm—Susannah snatched up the candle;—A little this way, said Slop; Susannah looking one way, and rowing another, instantly set fire to Slop's wig, which being somewhat bushy and unctuous withal, was burnt out before it was well kindled.—You impudent whore! cried Slop,—(for what is passion, but a wild beast?)—you impudent whore, cried Slop, getting upright, with the cataplasm in his hand;—I never was the destruction of any body's nose, said Susannah,—which is more than you can say:—Is it? cried Slop, throwing the cataplasm in her face;—Yes, it is, cried Susannah, returning the compliment with what was left in the pan.