It is natural for a perfect stranger who is going from London to Edinburgh, to enquire before he sets out, how many miles to York; which is about the half waynor does any body wonder, if he goes on and asks about the corporation, &c. . ..
It was just as natural for Mrs. Wadman, whose first husband was all his time afflicted with a Sciatica, to wish to know how far from the hip to the groin; and how far she was likely to suffer more or less in her feelings, in the one case than in the other.
She had accordingly read Drakes anatomy from one end to the other. She had peeped into Wharton upon the brain, and borrowed Graaf (This must be a mistake in Mr. Shandy; for Graaf wrote upon the pancreatick juice, and the parts of generation.) upon the bones and muscles; but could make nothing of it.
She had reasond likewise from her own powerslaid down theoremsdrawn consequences, and come to no conclusion.
To clear up all, she had twice asked Doctor Slop, if poor captain Shandy was ever likely to recover of his wound?
He is recovered, Doctor Slop would say
But what do you mean by a recovery? Mrs. Wadman would say.
Doctor Slop was the worst man alive at definitions; and so Mrs. Wadman could get no knowledge: in short, there was no way to extract it, but from my uncle Toby himself.
There is an accent of humanity in an enquiry of this kind which lulls Suspicion to restand I am half persuaded the serpent got pretty near it, in his discourse with Eve; for the propensity in the sex to be deceived could not be so great, that she should have boldness to hold chat with the devil, without itBut there is an accent of humanityhow shall I describe it?tis an accent which covers the part with a garment, and gives the enquirer a right to be as particular with it, as your body-surgeon.
Was it without remission?
Was it more tolerable in bed?
Could he lie on both sides alike with it?
Was he able to mount a horse?
Was motion bad for it? et caetera, were so tenderly spoke to, and so directed towards my uncle Tobys heart, that every item of them sunk ten times deeper into it than the evils themselvesbut when Mrs. Wadman went round about by Namur to get at my uncle Tobys groin; and engaged him to attack the point of the advanced counterscarp, and pele mele with the Dutch to take the counterguard of St. Roch sword in handand then with tender notes playing upon his ear, led him all bleeding by the hand out of the trench, wiping her eye, as he was carried to his tentHeaven! Earth! Sea!- -all was lifted upthe springs of nature rose above their levelsan angel of mercy sat besides him on the sophahis heart glowd with fireand had he been worth a thousand, he had lost every heart of them to Mrs. Wadman.
And whereabouts, dear sir, quoth Mrs. Wadman, a little categorically, did you receive this sad blow?In asking this question, Mrs. Wadman gave a slight glance towards the waistband of my uncle Tobys
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