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my creed

Mount Coffee-house, Tuesday, 3 o'clock. THERE is a strange mechanical effect produced in writing a billet-doux within a stonecast of the lady who engrosses the heart and soul of an inamorato

for this cause (but mostly because I am to dine in this neighbourhood) have I, Tristram Shandy, come forth from my lodgings to a coffee-house the nearest I could find to my dear Lady — 's house, and have called for a sheet of gilt paper to try the truth of this article of

Now for it O, my dear lady, what a dish-clout of a soul hast thou made of me! — I think, by the bye, this is a little too familiar an introduction for so unfamiliar a situation as I stand in with you where, Heaven knows, I am kept at a di ance and despair of getting one inch nearer you, with all the steps and windings I can think of to recommend myself to you. Would not any man in his senses run diametrically

and as far as his legs would carry him, rather than thus carelessly, foolishly, and foolhardily expose himself afresh and afresh, where his heart and his reason tells him he shall be sure to come off loser, if not totally undone? — Why would you tell me you would be glad to see me?

Does it give you pleasure to make me more unhappy or does it add to your triumph that your eyes and lips have turned a man into a fool, whom the rest of the town is courting as a wit? I am a fool

the weakest, the most ductile, the most tender fool that ever woman tried the weakness of and the most unsettled in my purposes and resolutions of recovering my right mind. It is

from you

but an hour ago that I kneeled down and swore I never would come near you

and, after saying my

Lord's Prayer for the sake of the close, of not being led into temptation -- out I sallied like any christian hero, ready to take the field against the world, the flesh, and the devil; not doubting but I should finally trample them all down under my feet and now am I got so near you within this vile stone's cast of your house I feel myself drawn into a vortex, that has turned my brain upside downwards, and though I had purchased a box-ticket to carry me to Miss *******'s benefit, yet I know very well, that was a single line directed to me to let me know Lady would be alone at seven, and suffer me to spend the evening with her, she would in fallibly see every thing verified I have told her. I dine at Mr. C-r's, in Wigmore-street, in this neighbourhood, where I shall stay till seven, in hopes you purpose to put me to this proof. If I hear nothing by that time, I shall conclude you are better disposed of and shall take a sorry hack, and sorrily jog on to

Curse on the world. I know nothing but

except this one thing, that I love you (perhaps foolishly, but) most sincerely,


the play



Old Bond-street, April 21, 1767. I am sincerely affected, my dear Mr. and Mrs. J-, by your friendly enquiry, and the interest you are so good as to take in my health. God knows I am not able to give a good account of myself, having passed a bad night in much feverish agitation. My physician ordered me to bed, and to keep therein till some

- I was

favourable change

I fell ill the moment I got to my lodgings — he says it is owing to my taking James's Powder, and venturing out on so cold a day as Sunday but he is mistaken, for I am certain whatever bears the name must have efficacy with me. bled yesterday, and again to-day, and have been almost dead; but this friendly enquiry from Gerrard-street has poured balm into what blood I have left - I hope still, and (next to the sense of what I owe to my friends) it shall be the last pleasurable sensation I will part with

If I continue mending, it will yet be some time before I shall have strength enough to get out in a carriage my first visit will be a visit of true gratitude I leave my kind friends to guess where

a thousand blessings go along with this, and may Heaven preserve you both. -- Adieu, my dear Sir, and dear lady. I am, your ever obliged,



Bond-street, Saturday (April 25, 1767). I was very sorry, my good Sancho, that I was not at home to return my compliments by you for the great courtesy of the Duke of M-g's family to me in honouring my list of subscribers with their names for which I bear them all thanks. But you have something to add, Sancho, to what I owe your good-will also on this account, and that is, to send me the subscription-money, which I find a necessity of dunning my best friends for before I leave town to avoid the perplexities of both keeping pecuniary accounts (for which I have very slender talents), and collecting them (for which I have neither strength of body nor mind); and so, good Sancho, dun the Duke of M., the Duchess of M., and Lord M. for their subscriptions, and lay the sin, and money with it too, at my door. I wish so good a family every blessing they merit, along with my humblest compliments. You know, Sancho, that I am your friend and well-wisher,


P. S. I leave town on Friday morning and should on Thursday, but that I stay to dine with Lord and Lady S

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Old Bond-street, May 1, 1767. MY LORD, I was yesterday taking leave of all the town, with an intention of leaving it this day, but I am detained by the kindness of Lord and Lady S— who have made a party to dine and sup on my account. - I am impatient to set out for my solitude, for there the mind gains strength, and learns to lean upon herself

In the world it seeks or accepts of a few treacherous supports – the feigned compassion of one — the flattery of a second the civilities of a third the friendship of a fourth — they all deceive, and bring the mind back to where mine is retreating, to retirement, reflection and books. My departure is fixed for tomorrow morning, but I could not think of quitting a place where I have received such numberless and unmerited civilities from your lordship, without returning my most grateful thanks, as well as my hearty acknowledgements for your friendly enquiry from Bath. Illness, my lord, has occasioned

my silence Death knocked at my door, but I would not admit him the call was both unexpected and unpleasant — and I am seriously worn down to a shadow - and still very weak; but, weak as I am, I have as whimsical a story to tell you as ever befel one of my family — Shandy's nose, his name, his sashwindow, are fools to it - it will serve at least to amuse you. – The injury I did myself last month, in catching cold upon James's Powder — fell, you must know, upon the worst part it could the most painful, and most dangerous of any in the human body. It was on this crisis I called in an able surgeon, and with him an able physician (both my friends), to inspect my disaster.

'Tis a venereal case, cried my two scientific friends.

'Tis impossible, however, to be that, replied I for I have had no commerce whatever with the sex, not even with my wife, added I, these fifteen years. You are, however, my good friend, said the surgeon, or there is no such case in the world. What the devil, said I, without knowing woman? – We will not reason about it, said the physician, but you must undergo a course of mercury. I will lose my life first, said I and trust to nature, to time, or at the worst to death. So I put an end, with some indignation, to the conference and determined to bear all the torments I underwent, and ten times more, rather than submit to be treated like a sinner, in a point where I had acted like a saint. Now as the father of mischief would have it, who has no pleasure like that of dishonouring the righteous, it so fell out that, from the moment I dismissed my doctors, my pains began to rage with a violence not to be expressed, or supported. Every hour became more intolerable. I was got tobed, cried out, and raved the whole night, and was got

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