C H A P. XIV.

  -- THEN reach me my breeches
off the chair, said my father to
Susannah -- There is not a moment's
time to dress you, Sir, cried Susannah --
the child is as black in the face as my --
                          As




[ 110 ]

As your what ? said my father, for like
all orators, he was a dear searcher into
comparisons -- Bless me, Sir, said Susan-
nah
, the child's in a fit -- And where's
Mr. Yorick -- Never where he should be,
said Susannah, but his curate's in the
dressing-room, with the child upon his
arm, waiting for the name ---- and my
mistress bid me run as fast as I could to
know, as captain Shandy is the godfather,
whether it should not be called after
him.

  Were one sure, said my father to him-
self, scratching his eye-brow, that the
child was expiring, one might as well
compliment my brother Toby as not --
and 'twould be a pity, in such a case, to
throw away so great a name as Trismegistus
upon him -- But he may recover.
                          No,
                          1




[ 111 ]

  No, no, -- said my father to Susannah,
I'll get up ---- There is no time, cried
Susannah, the child's as black as my shoe.
Trismegistus, said my father -- But stay
-- thou art a leaky vessel, Susannah, ad-
ded my father ; canst thou carry Trisme-
gistus
in thy head, the length of the gal-
lery without scattering -- Can I ? cried
Susannah, shutting the door in a huff --
If she can, I'll be shot, said my father,
bouncing out of bed in the dark, and
groping for his breeches.

  Susannah ran with all speed along the
gallery.

  My father made all possible speed to
find his breeches.

  Susannah got the start, and kept it --
'Tis Tris -- something, cried Susannah --
                          There




[ 112 ]

There is no christian name in the world,
said the curate, beginning with Tris --
but Tristram. Then 'tis Tristram-gistus,
quoth Susannah.

  -- There is no gistus to it, noodle ! --
'tis my own name, replied the curate,
dipping his hand as he spoke into the
bason -- Tristram ! said he, &c. &c. &c.
&c
. so Tristram was I called, and Tristram
shall I be to the day of my death.

  My father followed Susannah with his
night-gown across his arm, with nothing
more than his breeches on, fastened
through haste with but a single button,
and that button through haste thrust
only half into the button-hole.

  -- She has not forgot the name, cried
my father, half opening the door -- No,
                          no,




[ 113 ]

no, said the curate, with a tone of intel-
ligence -- And the child is better, cried
Susannah -- And how does your mistress ?
As well, said Susannah, as can be ex-
pected -- Pish ! said my father, the button
of his breeches slipping out of the button
hole -- So that whether the interjection
was levelled at Susannah, or the button-
hole, -- whether pish was an interjection
of contempt or an interjection of modesty,
is a doubt, and must be a doubt till I
shall have time to write the three follow-
ing favorite chapters, that is, my chap-
ter of chamber-maids -- my chapter of
pishes, and my chapter of button-holes.

  All the light I am able to give the
reader at present is this, that the moment
my father cried Pish ! he whisk'd him-
self about -- and with his breeches held
up by one hand, and his night-gown
  VOL. IV.        I            thrown




[ 114 ]

thrown across the arm of the other, he
returned along the gallery to bed, some-
thing slower than he came.


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