Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tristram Shandy, Day Three

It is so long since the reader of this rhapsodical work has been parted from the midwife, that it is high time to mention her again to him, merely to put him in mind that there is such a body still in the world, and whom, upon the best judgment I can form upon my own plan at present, I am going to introduce to him for good and all: But as fresh matter maybe started, and much unexpected business fall out betwixt the reader and myself, which may require immediate dispatch, 'twas right to take care that the poor woman should not be lost in the mean time because when she is wanted, we can no way do without her.

So concludes Shandy's long digression about Parson Yorick, who paid--at his wife's behest--for the training and licensing of the midwife (so that his parish would have a midwife of its own). You'd think that at this point the narrator would tell us directly about this midwife. But first there is the matter of a particular article in his mother's marriage settlement. This brings us to Shandy's mother, of course, and his father, and honestly we must needs hear about them before we could possibly even think of further discussing the midwife.

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