Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 3.XV.

Full Text Chapter 3.XV.

Chapter 3.XV.

Had this volume been a farce, which, unless every one's life and opinions are to be looked upon as a farce as well as mine, I see no reason to suppose—the last chapter, Sir, had finished the first act of it, and then this chapter must have set off thus.

Ptr...r...r...ing—twing—twang—prut—trut—'tis a cursed bad fiddle.—Do you know whether my fiddle's in tune or no?—trut...prut.. .—They should be fifths.—'Tis wickedly strung—tr...a.e.i.o.u.-twang.—The bridge is a mile too high, and the sound post absolutely down,—else—trut...prut—hark! tis not so bad a tone.—Diddle diddle, diddle diddle, diddle diddle, dum. There is nothing in playing before good judges,—but there's a man there—no—not him with the bundle under his arm—the grave man in black.—'Sdeath! not the gentleman with the sword on.—Sir, I had rather play a Caprichio to Calliope herself, than draw my bow across my fiddle before that very man; and yet I'll stake my Cremona to a Jew's trump, which is the greatest musical odds that ever were laid, that I will this moment stop three hundred and fifty leagues out of tune upon my fiddle, without punishing one single nerve that belongs to him—Twaddle diddle, tweddle diddle,—twiddle diddle,—twoddle diddle,—twuddle diddle,—prut trut—krish—krash—krush.—I've undone you, Sir,—but you see he's no worse,—and was Apollo to take his fiddle after me, he can make him no better.

Diddle diddle, diddle diddle, diddle diddle—hum—dum—drum.

—Your worships and your reverences love music—and God has made you all with good ears—and some of you play delightfully yourselves—trut-prut,—prut-trut.

O! there is—whom I could sit and hear whole days,—whose talents lie in making what he fiddles to be felt,—who inspires me with his joys and hopes, and puts the most hidden springs of my heart into motion.—If you would borrow five guineas of me, Sir,—which is generally ten guineas more than I have to spare—or you Messrs. Apothecary and Taylor, want your bills paying,—that's your time.