AS Susannah was informed by an ex-
press from Mrs. Bridget, of my
uncle Toby's falling in love with her
mistress, fifteen days before it happened,
-- the contents of which express, Susan-
communicated to my mother the
next day, -- it has just given me an op-
portunity of entering upon my uncle
Toby's amours a fortnight before their
             2              I have

[ 149 ]

  I have an article of news to tell you,
Mr. Shandy, quoth my mother, which
will surprise you greatly. --    

  Now my father was then holding one
of his second beds of justice, and was
musing within himself about the hard-
ships of matrimony, as my mother
broke silence. --    

  ``   -- My brother Toby, quoth she,
`` is going to be married to Mrs. Wad-
`` man

    -- Then he will never, quoth my
father, be able to lie diagonally in his bed
again as long as he lives.

  It was a consuming vexation to my
father, that my mother never asked the
meaning of a thing she did not under-
             L 3                -- That

[ 150 ]

    -- That she is not a woman of sci-
ence, my father would say -- is her mis-
fortune -- but she might ask a question. --

  My mother never did.   -- In short,
she went out of the world at last without
knowing whether it turned round, or
stood still.   -- My father had officiously
told her above a thousand times which
way it was, -- but she always forgot.

  For these reasons a discourse seldom
went on much further betwixt them,
than a proposition, -- a reply, and a re-
joinder ; at the end of which, it gene-
rally took breath for a few minutes, (as
in the affair of the breeches) and then
went on again.

  If he marries, 'twill be the worse for
us, -- quoth my mother.
             8              Not

[ 151 ]

  Not a cherry-stone, said my father, --
he may as well batter away his means
upon that, as any thing else.

    -- To be sure, said my mother : so
here ended the proposition, -- the reply,
-- and the rejoinder, I told you of.

  lt will be some amusement to him,
too,   -- said my father.

  A very great one, answered my mo-
ther, if he should have children. --  

    -- Lord have mercy upon me, --
said my father to himself --   *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *  *.

                          C H A P.

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