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babe might both of them have been alive at cheer and hospitality flourish once more: this hour."
and that such weight and influence be put thereThis exclamation, my father knew, was unby into the hands of the 'Squirality of my king, answerable ;--and yet, it was not merely to dom, as should counterpoise what I perceive my shelter himself,-nor was it altogether for the Nobility are now taking from them. care of his offspring and wife, that he seemed so “Why are there so few palaces and gentle, extremely anxious about this point; my fa- men's seats,” he would ask, with some emotion. ther had extensive views of things,--and stood, as he walked across the room, “ throughout so moreover, as he thought, deeply concerned in it many delicious provinces in France ? Whence for the public good, from the dread he enter. is it that the few remaining chateaus amongst tained of the bad uses an ill-fated instance them are so dismantled,--so unfurnished, and in might be put to.
so ruinous and desolate a condition ?-Because, He was very sensible that all political writers sir (he would say,) in that kingdom no man has upon the subject had unanimously agreed and any country interest to support ;- the little lamented, from the beginning of Queen Eliza- interest of any kind, which any man has any beth's reign down to his own time, that the where in it, is concentrated in the court, and current of men and money towards the metro the looks of the Grand Monarque ; by the sunpolis, upon one frivolous errand or another, shine of whose countenance, or the clouds which set in so strong, -as to become dangerous to our pass across it, every Frenchman lives or dies.” civil rights; though, by the bye, a current Another political reason which prompted my was not the image he took most delight in a father so strongly to guard against the least evil distemper was here his favourite metaphor; and accident in my mother's lying-in in the country, he would run it down into a perfect allegory, —was, That any such instance would infallibly by maintaining it was identically the same in throw a balance of power, too great already, inthe body national as in the body natural ; where to the weaker vessels of the gentry, in his own, the blood and spirits were driven up into the or higher stations; which, with the many head faster than they could find their ways other usurped rights which that part of the down,-a stoppage of circulation must ensue, constitution was hourly establishing,~would, which was death in both cases.
in the end, prove fatal to the monarchial system . There was little danger, he would say, of lo- of domestic government established in the first sing our liberties by French politics or French creation of things by God. invasions ; nor was he so much in pain of a In this point he was entirely of Sir Robert consumption from the mass of corrupted matter Filmer's opinion, That the plans and institutions and ulcerated humours in our constitution, of the greatest monarchies in the eastern parts which he hoped was not so bad as it was ima, of the world, were originally all stolen from that gined,--but he verily feared, that in some vio- admirable pattern and prototype of this houselent push, we should go off, all at once, in a hold and paternal power ; which, for a century, state of apoplexy; and then he would say, he said, and more, had gradually been degeneThe Lord have mercy upon us all.
rating away into a mixed government; the My father was never able to give the history form of which, however desirable in great comof this distemper,—without the remedy along binations of the species, was very troublesome with it.
in small ones,--and seldom produced any thing, “ Was I an absolute prince," he would say, that he saw, but sorrow and confusion. pulling up his breeches with both his hands, as For all these reasons, private and public, put he rose from his arm-chair, “ I would appoint together, my father was for having the manable judges at every avenue of my metropolis, midwife by all means,my mother by no means. who should take cognizance of every fool's busi- My father begged and entreated she would for ness who came there ; and if, upon a fair and once recede from her prerogative in this matter, candid hearing, it appeared not of weight suffin and suffer him to choose for her ;- my mocient to leave his own home, and come up, bag ther, on the contrary, insisted upon her priviand baggage, with his wife and children, farmers' lege in this matter, to choose for herself, and sons, &c. &c. at his backside, they should be all have no mortal's help but the old woman's. sent back from constable to constable, like va- What could my father do? He was almost at grants, as they were, to the place of their legal his wit's end ; talked it over with her in all settlements. By this means, I should take care, moods; placed his arguments in all lights; that my metropolis tottered not through its own argued the matter with her like a Christian, weight ;-that the head be no longer too big for --like a heathen,- like a husband,-like a fathe body; that the extremes, now wasted and ther, like a patriot, like a man. My pined in, be restored to their due share of mother answered every thing only like a woman; nourishment, and regain, with it, their natural which was a little hard upon her ; for as strength and beauty. I would effectually she could not assume and fight it out behind provide, that the meadows and corn fields of my such a variety of characters, -it was no fair dominions should laugh and sing ; that good match ;-'twas seven to one. What could
my mother do ? - She had the advantage great good sense, knowing, as the reader must (otherwise she would have been certainly over- have observed him, and curious too, in philoso, powered) of a small reinforcement of chagrin phy,--wise also in political reasoning, -and in personal at the bottom, which bore her up, and polemical (as he will find) no way ignorant, enabled her to dispute the affair with my father could be capable of entertaining a notion in his with so equal an advantage,--that both sides head, so out of the common track, that I fear sung Te Deum. In a word, my mother was to the reader, when I come to mention it to him, have the old woman,-and the operator was to if he is the least of a choleric temper, will ima, have licence to drink a bottle of wine with my mediately throw the book by if mercurial, father, and my uncle Toby Shandy, in the back he will laugh most heartily at it;-mand if he parlour,-for which he was to be paid five is of a grave and saturnine cast, he will, at first guineas.
sight, absolutely condemn as fanciful and extraI must beg leave, before I finish this chapter, vagant; and that was in respect to the choice to enter a caveat in the breast of my fair reader; and imposition of Christian names, on which he
and it is this: Not to take it absolutely thought a great deal more depended, than what for granted, from an unguarded word or two superficial minds were capable of conceiving. which I have dropped in it," that I am a His opinion, in this matter, was, That there married man.”- Iown, the tender appellation was a strange kind of magic bias, which good or of my dear, dear Jenny, with some other bad names, as he called them, irresistibly imstrokes of conjugal knowledge interspersed here pressed upon our characters and conduct. and there, might, naturally enough, have mis. The Hero of Cervantes argued not the point led the most candid judge in the world into with more seriousness,-nor had he more faith, such a determination against me. -All I or more to say on the powers of Necromancy plead for in this case, madam, is strict justice, in dishonouring his deeds, or on DULCINEA's and that you do so much of it, to me as well as name, in shedding lustre upon them, than my to yourself, -as not to prejudge or receive such father had on those of TRISMEGISTUS OG ARCHIan impression of me, till you have better evidence, MEDES, on the one hand,--or of Nyky and SIMthan, I am positive, at present can be produced KIN on the other. How many CÆSARS and against me:- Not that I can be so vain, or POMPEYS, he would say, by mere inspiration of unreasonable, madam, as to desire you should the names, have been rendered worthy of them? therefore think, that my dear, dear Jenny, is my And how many, he would add, are there, who kept mistress ;-90-ihat would be flattering might have done exceeding well in the world, my character in the other extreme, and giving had not their characters and spirits been totally it an air of freedom, which, perhaps, it has no depressed and NICODEMUS'd into nothing. kind of right to. All I contend for, is the utter I see plainly, sir, by your looks, (or as the impossibility for some volumes, that you, or the case happened) my father would say,-that you most penetrating spirit upon earth, should know do not heartily subscribe to this opinion of mine, how this matter really stands. It is not which, to those, he would add, who have not impossible, but that my dear, dear Jenny! ten- carefully sifted it to the bottom, -I own has an der as the appellation is, may be my child. air more of fancy than of solid reasoning in it; Consider,—I was born in the year eighteen. —and yet, iny dear sir, if I may presume to
-Nor is there any thing unnatural or ex- know your character, I am morally assured, I travagant in the supposition, that my dear Jenny should hazard little in stating a case to youmay be my friend.- Friend ! My not as a party in the dispute,-but as a judge, friend. Surely, madam, a friendship be- and trusting my appeal upon it to your own tween the two sexes may subsist, and be support- good sense and candid disquisition in this mated without- Fy! Mr Shandy
ter. You are a person free from as many without any thing, madam, but that tender and narrow prejudices of education as most men; delicious sentiment, which ever mixes in friend- and, if I may presume to penetrate farther into ship, where there is a difference of sex. Let me you,-of a liberality of genius above bearing entreat you to study the pure and sentimental down an opinion, merely because it wants friends. parts of the best French romances ; it will Your son your dear son, from whose sweet really, madam, astonish you to see with what a and open temper you have so much to expect,variety of chaste expressions this delicious sen- your BILLY, sir, would you for the world timent, which I have the honour to speak of, is have called him Judas? Would you, my dressed out.
dear sir, he would say, laying his hand upon your breast with the genteelest address, -and
in that soft and irresistible piano of voice, which CHAP. XIX.
the nature of the argumentum ad hominem ab
solutely requires Would you, sir, if a I WOULD sooner undertake to explain the Jew of a godfather had proposed the name of hardest problem in geometry, than pretend to your child, and offered you his purse along with account for it, that a gentleman of my father's it, would you have consented to such a desecra
tion of him? O my God! he would say, blishment of my father's many odd opinions, Looking up, if I know your temper right, sir, but as a warning to the learned reader against
you are incapable of it; you would have the indiscreet reception of such guests, who, trampled upon the offer you would have after a free and undisturbed entrance for some thrown the temptation at the tempter's head years, into our brains, at length claim a kind with abhorrence.
of settlement there,-working sometimes like Your greatness of mind in this action, which yeast, but more generally after the manner of I admire, with that generous contempt of money the gentle passion, beginning in jest,--but endwhich you shew me in the whole transaction, ising in downright earnest. really noble ;- and, what renders it more so. Whether this was the case of the singularity is the principle of it; the workings of a pa- of my father's notions, or that his judgment, at rent's love upon the truth and conviction of this length, became the dupe of his wit; or how far, very hypothesis, namely, that was your son called in many of his notions, he might, though odd, JUDAS,—the sordid and treacherous idea, so in- be absolutely right; the reader, as he comes separable from the name, would have accomat them, shall decide. All that I maintain here, panied him through life like his shadow, and, is, that, in this one, of the influence of Christian in the end, made a miser and a rascal of him, in names, however it gained footing, he was serispite, sir, of your example.
ous; he was all uniformity; he was sys- I never knew a man able to answer this argu- tematical, and, like all systematic reasoners, he ment. But, indeed, to speak of my father would move both heaven and earth, and 'twist as he was ;-he was certainly irresistible, both and torture every thing in nature to support his in his orations and disputations; he was born hypothesis. In a word, I repeat it over again, an orator ; orodidaxlos. Persuasion hung he was serious ! and, in consequence of it, upon his lips, and the elements of Logic and he would lose all kind of patience whenever he Rhetoric were so blended up in him,-and, saw people, especially of condition, who should withal, he had so shrewd a guess at the weak- have known better,-as careless and as indiffenesses and passions of his respondent,—that rent about the name they imposed upon their NATURE might have stood up and said,-“ This child, or more so, than in the choice of Ponto man is eloquent." In short, whether he was or Cupid for their puppy dog. on the weak or the strong side of the question, This, he would say, looked ill; and had, 'twas hazardous in either case to attack him: moreover, this particular aggravation in it, viz.
And yet, 'tis strange, he had never read That, when once a vile name was wrongfully or Cicero, nor Quintilian de Oratore, nor Isocrates, injudiciously given, it was not like the case of a nor Aristotle, nor Longinus, amongst the an- man's character, which, when wronged, might cients; nor Vossius, nor Skioppius, nor Ra- hereafter be cleared, -and, possibly, some time mus, nor Farnaby, amongst the moderns; or other, if not in the man's life, at least after and, what is more astonishing, he had never in his death, be, somehow or other, set to rights his whole life the least light or spark of subtilty with the world: But the injury of this, he struck into his mind, by one single lecture upon would say, could never be undone ;-nay, he Crakenthorp or Burgersdicius, or any Dutch doubted even whether an act of parliament could logician or commentator :-he knew not so much reach it:- He knew, as well as you, that the as in what the difference of an argument ad ig- legislature assumed a power over sirnames ; norantiam, and an argument ad hominem con- but, for very strong reasons which he could give, sisted; so that I well remember, when he went it had never yet adventured, he would say, to up along with me to enter my name at Jesus go a step farther. College in ****, -it was a matter of just won- It was observable, that though my father, in der with my worthy tutor, and two or three fel- consequence of this opinion, had, as I have told lows of that learned society, that a man who you, the strongest likings and dislikings towards knew not so much as the names of his tools, certain names, that there were still numbers should be able to work after that fashion with of names which hung so equally in the balance them.
before him, that they were absolutely indifferent To work with them in the best manner he to him: Jack, Dick, and Tom, were of this could, was what my father was, however, per- class: these my father called neutral names ;petually forced upon ; for he had a thousand affirming of them, without a satire, that there little sceptical notions of the comic kind to de- had been as many knaves and fools, at least, as fend, most of which notions, I verily believe, wise and good men, since the world began, who at first entered upon the footing of mere whims, had indifferently borne them :- so that, like and of a vive la bagatelle ; and, as such, he would equal forces acting against each other in contrary make merry with them for half an hour or so, directions, he thought they mutually destroyed and, having sharpened his wit upon 'em, dismiss each other's effects; for which reason, he would them till another day.
often declare, he would not give a cherry-stone I mention this, not only as matter of hypo- to choose amongst them. Bob, which was my thesis or conjecture upon the progress and esta, brother's name, was another of these neutral
kinds of Christian names, which operated very By his ashes ! I swear it,-if ever malignant little either way; and as my father happened to spirit took pleasure, or busied itself in traverbe at Epsom when it was given him, he would sing the purposes of mortal man,-it must have oft-times thank Heaven it was no worse. An- been here and if it was not necessary I drew was something like a negative quantity in should be born before I was christened, I would algebra with him :-it was worse, he said, than this moment give the reader an account of it. nothing. William stood pretty high :Numps again was low with him-and Nick, he said, was the Devil.
CHAP. XX. But, of all the names in the universe, he had the most unconquerable aversion for TRISTRAM; - How could you, madam, be so inat
he had the lowest and most contemptible tentive in reading the last chapter ? I told you opinion of it, of any thing in the world, think- in it, That my mother was not a Papist. ing it could possibly produce nothing, in rerum Papist ! you told me no such thing, sir.-Manatura, but what was extremely mean and piti. dam, I beg leave to repeat it over again, that I ful: so that in the midst of a dispute on the told you as plain, at least, as words, by direct subject, in which, by the bye, he was frequently inference, could tell you such a thing. involved-he would sometimes break off in a Then, sir, I must have missed a page. sudden and spirited EPIPHONEMA, or rather No, madam,- you have not missed a word. EROTESIS, raised a third, and sometimes a full Then I was asleep, sir.. My pride, madam, fifth, above the key of the discourse, and de- cannot allow you that refuge. Then, I mand it categorically of his antagonist, whether declare, I know nothing at all about the matter. he would take upon him to say, he had ever
That, madam, is the very fault I lay to remembered,—whether he had ever read,-or your charge ; and, as a punishment for it, I do even whether he had ever heard tell of a man, insist upon it, that you immediately turn back, called Tristram, performing any thing great, or that is, as soon as you get to the next full stop, worth recording ? — No,-he would say- and read the whole chapter over again. TRISTRAM! The thing is impossible.
I have imposed this penance upon the lady, What could be wanting in my father, but to neither out of wantonness nor cruelty, but from have wrote a book, to publish this notion of his the best of motives; and, therefore, shall make to the world ! Little boots it to the subtle spe- her no apology for it when she returns back: culatist to stand single in his opinions,-unless It is to rebuke a vicious taste which has he gives them proper vent: It was the iden- crept into thousands besides herself, -of reading tical thing which my father did; for in the straight forwards, more in quest of the advenyear sixteen, which was two years before I was tures, than of the deep erudition and knowledge born, he was at the pains of writing an express which a book of this cast, if read over as it DissERTATion simply upon the word Tristram, should be, would infallibly impart with them. -shewing the world, with great candour and
The mind should be accustomed to make modesty, the grounds of his great abhorrence to wise reflections, and draw curious conclusions the name.
as it goes along; the habitude of which made When this story is compared with the title. Pliny the younger affirm, “That he never read page-will not the gentle reader pity my father a book so bad, but he drew some profit from it." from his soul? To see an orderly and well. The stories of Greece and Rome, run over with. disposed gentleman, who, though singular, out this turn and application,-do less service, yet inoffensive in his notions,--so played upon I affirm it, than the history of Parismus and in them by cross-purposes ;- to look down Parismenes, or of the Seven Champions of Engupon the stage, and see him baffled and over- land, read with it. thrown in all his little systems and wishes ; . But here comes my fair lady. Have to behold a train of events perpetually falling you read over again the chapter, madam, as I out against him, and in so critical and cruel à desired you ? - You have : And did you not way, as if they had purposely been planned observe the passage, upon the second reading, and pointed against him, merely to insult his which admits the inference ? Not a word speculations in a word, to behold such a like it. Then, madam, be pleased to ponone, in his old age, ill-fitted for troubles, ten der well the last line but one of the chapter, times in a day suffering sorrow ;- ten times where I take upon me to say, “It was necessary in a day calling the child of his prayers TRIS- I should be born before I was christened.” Had TRAM! - Melancholy dissyllable of sound ! my mother, madam, been a Papist, that consewbich, to his ears, was unison to Nincompoop, quence did not follow.* and every name vituperative under heaven. Mr Tristram Shandy's compliments to Messrs
The Romish Rituals direct the baptizing of the child, in cases of danger, before it is born ;-but upon this proviso, That some part or other of the child's body be seen by the baptizer. -But the Doctors
Le Moyne, De Romigny, and De Marcilly, hopes after the ceremony of marriage, and before that they all rested well the night after so tiresome a of consummation, the baptizing all the Homunconsultation. He begs to know, whether, culi at once, slap-dash, by injection, would not
of the Sorbonne, by a deliberation held amongst them, April 10, 1733,-have enlarged the powers of the midwives, by determining, That though no part of the child's body should appear,— that baptism shall, nevertheless, be administered to it by injection,--par le moyen d'une petite canulle,—Anglice, a squirt. 'Tis very strange that St Thomas Aquinas, who had so good a mechanical head, both for tying and untying the knots of school-divinity,—should, after so much pains bestowed upon this,—give up the point at last, as a second La chose impossible. “ Infantes in maternis uteris existentes (quoth St Thomas !) baptizari possunt nullo modo."-0 Thomas ! Thomas !
If the reader has the curiosity to see the question upon baptism by injection, as presented to the Doctors of the Sorbonne, with their consultation thereupon, it is as follows:
MEMOIRE PRESENTE A MESSIEURS LES DOCTEURS DE SORBONNE. Un Chirurgien Accoucheur, represente à Messieurs les Docteurs de Sorbonne, qu'il y a des cas, quoique très rares, ou une mère ne sçauroit accoucher, et même où l'enfant est tellement renfermé dans le sein de sa mère, qu'il ne fait paroître aucune partie de son corps, ce qui seroit un cas, suivant les Rituels, de lui conférer, du moins sous condition, le baptême. Le Chirurgien, qui consulte, prétend, par le moyen d'une petite canulle, de pouvoir baptiser immediatement l'enfant, sans faire aucun tort à la mère. - -Il demande si ce moyen, qu'il vient de proposer, est permis et légitime, et s'il peut s'en servir dans les cas qu'il vient d'exposer.
RESPONSE. Le Conseil estime, qui la question proposée souffre de grandes difficultés. Les Théologiens posent d'une côté pour principe, que le baptême, qui est une naissance spirituelle, suppose une premiere naissance; il faut être né dans le monde, pour renaître en Jesus Christ, comme ils l'enseignent. S. Thomas, 3 part quæst 88. artic. ll, suit cette doctrine comme une vérité constante ; l'on ne peut, dit ce S. Docteur, baptiser les enfans qui sont renfermés dans le sein de leurs mères, et S. Thomas est fondé sur ce, que les enfans ne sont point nés et ne peuvent être comptés parmi les autres hommes ; d'où il conclud, qu'ils ne peuvent étre l'objet d'une action extérieure pour recevoir par leur ministère les sacremens nécessaires au salut : Pueri in maternis uteris existentes nondum prodierunt in lucem ut cum aliis hominibus vitam ducant ; unde non possunt subjici actioni humanæ, ut per eorum ministerium sacramenta recipiant ad salutam. Les rituels ordonnent dans la pratique ce que les théologiens ont établi sur les mêmes matières, et ils defendent tous d'une manière uniforme, de baptiser les enfans qui sont renfermés dans le sein de leurs mères, s'ils ne font paroître quelque partie de leurs corps. Le concours des théologiens, et des rituels, qui sont les régles des diocéses, paroit former une autorité qui termine la question presente ; cependant le conseil de conscience considerant d'un côté, que le raisonnement des théologiens est uniquement fondé sur une raison de convenance, et que la defense des rituels suppose que l'on ne peut baptiser immediatement les enfans ainsi renfermés dans le sein de leurs meres, ce qui est contre la supposition presente ; et d'un autre côté, considerant que les mêmes théologiens enseignent, que l'on peut risquer les sacremens que Jesus Christ a établis comme des moyens faciles, mais nécessaires pour sanctifier les hommes ; et d'ailleurs estimant, que les enfans renfermés dans le sein de leurs mères, pourroient être capables de salut, parcequ'ils sont capables de damnation ; pour ces considerations, et en egard à l'exposé, suivant lequel on assure avoir trouvé un moyen certain de baptiser ces enfans ainsi renfermés, sans faire aucun tort à la mère, le Conseil estime que l'on pourroit se servir du moyen proposé, dans la confiance qu'il a, que Dieu n'a point laissé ces sortes d'enfans sans aucuns secours, et supposant, comme il est erposé, que le moyen dont il s'agit est propre à leur procurer le baptême ; cependant comme il s'agiroit, en autorisant la pratique proposée, de changer une regle universellement établie, le Conseil croit que celui qui consulte doit s'addresser à son evéque, et à qui il appartient de juger de l'utilité, et du danger du moyen proposé, et comme, sous le bon plaisir de l'evéque, le Conseil estime qu'il faudroit recourir au Pape, que a le droit d'expliquer le régles de l'eglise, et d'y déroger dans le cas, ou la loi ne sçauroit obliger, quelque sage et quelque utile que paroisse la manière de baptiser dont il s'agit, le Conseil ne pourroit l’approuver sans le concours de ces deux autorités. On conseile au moins à celui qui consulte, de s'addresser à son evéque, et de lui faire part de la presente décision, afin que, si le prelat entre dans les raisons sur lesquelles les docteurs soussignés s'appuyent, il puisse être autorisé, dans le cas de nécessité, où il risqueroit trop d'attendre que la permission fút demandée et accordée d'employer le moyen qu'il propose si avantageur au salut de l'enfant. Au reste, le Conseil, en estimant que l'on pourroit s'en servir, croit cependant, que si les enfans dont il s'agit, venoient au monde, contre l'esperance de ceux qui se seroient servis du même moyen, il seroit necessaire de les baptiser sous condition ; et en cela le Conseil se conforme à tous les rituels, qui en autorisant le baptême d'un enfant qui fait paroître quelque partie de son corps, exjoignent néant moins, et ordonnent de le baptiser sous condition, s'il vient heureusement au monde.
Déliberé en Sorbonné, le 10 Avril, 1733.
A. LE MOYNE.