Tristram Shandy

Full Text

Chapter 3.XXXIII.

Full Text Chapter 3.XXXIII.

Chapter 3.XXXIII.

O blessed health! cried my father, making an exclamation, as he turned over the leaves to the next chapter, thou art before all gold and treasure; 'tis thou who enlargest the soul,—and openest all its powers to receive instruction and to relish virtue.—He that has thee, has little more to wish for;—and he that is so wretched as to want thee,—wants every thing with thee.

I have concentrated all that can be said upon this important head, said my father, into a very little room, therefore we'll read the chapter quite through.

My father read as follows:

'The whole secret of health depending upon the due contention for mastery betwixt the radical heat and the radical moisture'—You have proved that matter of fact, I suppose, above, said Yorick. Sufficiently, replied my father.

In saying this, my father shut the book,—not as if he resolved to read no more of it, for he kept his fore-finger in the chapter:—nor pettishly,—for he shut the book slowly; his thumb resting, when he had done it, upon the upper-side of the cover, as his three fingers supported the lower side of it, without the least compressive violence.—

I have demonstrated the truth of that point, quoth my father, nodding to Yorick, most sufficiently in the preceding chapter.

Now could the man in the moon be told, that a man in the earth had wrote a chapter, sufficiently demonstrating, That the secret of all health depended upon the due contention for mastery betwixt the radical heat and the radical moisture,—and that he had managed the point so well, that there was not one single word wet or dry upon radical heat or radical moisture, throughout the whole chapter,—or a single syllable in it, pro or con, directly or indirectly, upon the contention betwixt these two powers in any part of the animal oeconomy—

'O thou eternal Maker of all beings!'—he would cry, striking his breast with his right hand (in case he had one)—'Thou whose power and goodness can enlarge the faculties of thy creatures to this infinite degree of excellence and perfection,—What have we Moonites done?'