[ 120 ]

lecture upon Crackenthorp or Burgersdi-
, or any Dutch logician or commenta-
tor ; -- he knew not so much as in what
the difference of an argument ad igno-
, and an argument ad hominem
consisted ; so that I well remember, when
he went up along with me to enter my
name at Jesus College in * * * *, -- it was
a matter of just wonder with my worthy
tutor, and two or three fellows of that
learned society, -- that a man who knew
not so much as the names of his tools,
should be able to work after that fashion
with 'em.

  To work with them in the best man-
ner he could, was what my father was,
however, perpetually forced upon ; ----
for he had a thousand little sceptical no-
tions of the comick kind to defend, ----
most of which notions, I verily believe,

[ 121 ]

at first enter'd upon the footing of mere
whims, and of a vive la Bagatelle ; and as
such he would make merry with them for
half an hour or so, and having sharpen'd
his wit upon 'em, dismiss them till an-
other day.

  I mention this, not only as matter of
hypothesis or conjecture upon the pro-
gress and establishment of my father's
many odd opinions, -- but as a warning to
the learned reader against the indiscreet
reception of such guests, who, after a
free and undisturbed enterance, for some
years, into our brains, -- at length claim
a kind of settlement there, ---- working
sometimes like yeast ; -- but more gene-
rally after the manner of the gentle pas-
sion, beginning in jest, -- but ending in
downright earnest.

[ 122 ]

   Whether this was the case of the sin-
gularity of my father's notions, -- or that
his judgment, at length, became the
dupe of his wit ; -- or how far, in many
of his notions, he might, tho' odd, be
absolutely right ; ---- the reader, as he
comes at them, shall decide. All that
I maintain here, is, that in this one, of
the influence of Christian names, how-
ever it gain'd footing, he was serious ; --
he was all uniformity ; -- he was systema-
tical, and, like all systematick reasoners,
he would move both heaven and earth,
and twist and torture every thing in na-
ture to support his hypothesis. In a
word, I repeat it over again ; -- he was
serious ; -- and, in consequence of it, he
would lose all kind of patience whenever
he saw people, especially of condition,
who should have known better, ---- as
careless and as indifferent about the name

[ 123 ]

they imposed upon their child, -- or more
so, than in the choice of Ponto or Cupid
for their puppy dog.

   This, he would say, look'd ill ; -- and
had, moreover, this particular aggrava-
tion in it, viz. That when once a vile
name was wrongfully or injudiciously
given, 'twas not like the case of a man's
character, which, when wrong'd, might
hereafter be clear'd ; ---- and, possibly,
sometime or other, if not in the man's life,
at least after his death, -- be, somehow
or other, set to rights with the world :
But the injury of this, he would say,
could never be undone ; -- nay, be doubt-
ed even whether an act of parliament
could reach it : ---- He knew as well as
you, that the legislature assum'd a power
over surnames ; -- but for very strong
reasons, which he could give, it had ne-

[ 124 ]

ver yet adventured, he would say, to go
a step further.
It was observable, that tho' my father,
in consequence of this opinion, had, as I
have told you, the strongest likings and
dislikings towards certain names ; -- that
there were still numbers of names which
hung so equally in the balance before
him, that they were absolutely indifferent
to him. Jack, Dick, and Tom were of
this class : These my father call'd neutral
names ; -- affirming of them, without a
satyr, That there had been as many
knaves and fools, at least, as wise and
good men, since the world began, who
had indifferently borne them ; -- so that,
like equal forces acting against each other
in contrary directions, he thought they
mutually destroyed each others effects ;
for which reason, he would often declare,

[ 125 ]

He would not give a cherry-stone to
choose amongst them. Bob, which was
my brother's name, was another of these
neutral kinds of Christian names, which
operated very little either way ; and as
my father happen'd tobe at Epsom, when
it was given him, -- he would oft times
thank heaven it was no worse. Andrew
was something like a negative quantity
in Algebra with him ; -- 'twas worse, he
said, than nothing. -- William stood pret-
ty high : ---- Numps again was low with
him ; -- and Nick, he said, was the DEVIL.

  But, of all the names in the universe,
he had the most unconquerable aversion
for TRISTRAM ; -- he had the lowest and
most contemptible opinion of it of any
thing in the world, -- thinking it could
possibly produce nothing in rerum naturâ,
but what was extreamly mean and piti-
             4              ful :

[ 126 ]

ful : So that in the midst of a dispute
on the subject, in which, by the bye, he
was frequently involved, ---- he would
sometimes break off in a sudden and spi-
rited EPIPHONEMA, or rather EROTESIS,
raised a third, and sometimes a full fifth,
above the key of the discourse, ---- and
demand it categorically of his antagonist,
Whether he would take upon him to say,
he had ever remember'd, ---- whether he
had ever read, -- or even whether he had
ever heard tell of a man, call'd Tristram,
performing any thing great or worth re-
cording ? -- No -- , he would say, -- TRI-
! -- The thing is impossible.

  What could be wanting in my father
but to have wrote a book to publish this
notion of his to the world ? Little boots
it to the subtle speculatist to stand single
in his opinions, ---- unless he gives them

[ 127 ]

proper vent : -- It was the identical thing
which my father did ; -- for in the year
sixteen, which was two years before I was
born, he was at the pains of writing an
express DISSERTATION simply upon the
word Tristram, -- shewing the world, with
great candour and modesty, the grounds
of his great abhorrence to the name.

  When this story is compared with the
title-page, -- Will not the gentle reader
pity my father from his soul ? ---- to see an
orderly and well-disposed gentleman, who
tho' singular, -- yet inoffensive in his no-
tions, -- so played upon in them by cross
purposes ; ---- to look down upon the
stage, and see him baffled and over-
thrown in all his little systems and wishes ;
to behold a train of events perpetually
falling out against him, and in so critical
and cruel a way, as if they had purposed-

[ 128 ]

ly been plann'd and pointed against him,
merely to insult his speculations. ---- In
a word, to behold such a one, in his old
age, ill-fitted for troubles, ten times in
a day suffering sorrow ; -- ten times in a
day calling the child of his prayers TRI-
! ---- Melancholy dissyllable of
sound ! which, to his ears, was unison
to Nincompoop, and every name vitupera-
tive under heaven. ---- By his ashes ! I
swear it, -- if ever malignant spirit took
pleasure, or busied itself in traversing the
purposes of mortal man, -- it must have
been here ; -- and if it was not necessary I
should be born before I was christened,
I would this moment give the reader an
account of it.

                          C H A P.

[ 129 ]

C H A P. XX.

  ------ How could you, Madam, be
so inattentive in reading the last chapter ?
I told you in it, That my mother was not a
. ---- Papist ! You told me no such
thing, Sir. Madam, I beg leave to re-
peat it over again, That I told you as
plain, at least, as words, by direct infer-
ence, could tell you such a thing. -- Then,
Sir, I must have miss'd a page. -- No, Ma-
dam, -- you have not miss'd a word. ----
Then I was asleep, Sir. -- My pride, Ma-
dam, cannot allow you that refuge. ----
Then, I declare, I know nothing at all
about the matter. -- That, Madam, is the
very fault I lay to your charge ; and as
a punishment for it, I do insist upon it,
that you immediately turn back, that is,
as soon as you get to the next full stop,
and read the whole chapter over again.
   VOL. I.        I           I

[ 130 ]

   I have imposed this penance upon the
lady, neither out of wantonness or cruelty,
but from the best of motives ; and there-
fore shall make her no apology for it
when she returns back : -- 'Tis to rebuke
a vicious taste which has crept into thou-
sands besides herself, -- of reading straight
forwards, more in quest of the adven-
tures, than of the deep erudition and
knowledge which a book of this cast, if
read over as it should be, would infalli-
bly impart with them. ---- The mind
should be accustomed to make wise re-
flections, and draw curious conclusions
as it goes along ; the habitude of which
made Pliny the younger affirm, ``That
he never read a book so bad, but he
drew some profit from it.'' The stories
of Greece and Rome, run over without this
turn and application, -- do less service, I
affirm it, than the history of Parismus and

[ 131 ]

Parismenus, or of the Seven Champions
of England, read with it.

  ------ But here comes my fair Lady.
Have you read over again the chapter,
Madam, as I desired you ? -- You have :
And did you not observe the passage,
upon the second reading, which admits
the inference ? ---- Not a word like it !
Then, Madam, be pleased to ponder well
the last line but one of the chapter, where
I take upon me to say, ``It was necessary
I should be born before I was christen'd.''
Had my mother, Madam, been a Papist,
that consequence did not follow. *
             I 2              It

  * The Romish Rituals direct the baptizing of the
child, in cases of danger, before it is born ; -- but
upon this proviso, That some part or other of the
child's body be seen by the baptizer : ---- But the
Doctors of the Sorbonne, by a deliberation held
amongst them, April 10, 1733, -- have enlarged the

[ 132 ]

   It is a terrible misfortune for this same
book of mine, but more so to the Re-
publick of Letters ; -- so that my own
is quite swallowed up in the considera-
tion of it, -- that this self-same vile pruri-
ency for fresh adventures in all things, has
got so strongly into our habit and
humours, -- and so wholly intent are we
upon satisfying the impatience of our
concupiscence that way, -- that nothing

powers of the midwives, by determining, That
tho' no part of the child's body should appear, ----
that baptism shall, nevertheless, be administered to
it by injection, -- par le moyen d'une petite Canulle. --
Anglicé, a squirt. -- 'Tis very strange that St. Tho-
mas Aquinas
, who had so good a mechanical head,
both for tying and untying the knots of school-di-
vinity, -- should, after so much pains bestowed upon
this, -- give up the point at last, as a second La chose
; -- ``Infantes in maternis uteris existentes
(quoth St. Thomas) baptizari possunt nullo modo.'' --
O Thomas ! Thomas !

[ 133 ]

but the gross and more carnal parts of a
composition will go down : -- The subtle
hints and sly communications of science
fly off, like spirits, upwards ; ---- the
heavy moral escapes downwards ; and
both the one and the other are as much
lost to the world, as if they were still left
in the bottom of the ink-horn.

  I wish the male-reader has not pass'd
by many a one, as quaint and curious as
this one, in which the female-reader has
been detected. I wish it may have its
effects ; -- and that all good people, both
male and female, from her example, may
be taught to think as well as read.
             I 3              ME-

If the reader has the curiosity to see the question
upon baptism, by injection, as presented to the Doc-
tors of the Sorbonne, -- with their consultation there-
upon, it is as follows.

[ 134 ]

M E M O I R E presenté a Messieurs les
Docteurs de SORBONNE *.

UN Chirurgien Accoucheur, represente á
Messieurs les Docteurs de
qu'il y a des cas, quoique très-rares, oú une
mere ne sçauroit accoucher, & même oú
l'enfant est tellement renfermé dans le sein
de sa mere, qu'il ne fait parôitre aucune
partie de son corps, ce qui seroit un cas, sui-
vant les Rituels, de lui conférer, du moins
sous condition, le baptême. Le Chirurgien,
qui consulte, prétend, par le moyen d'une

petite canulle, de pouvoir baptiser imme-
diatement l'enfant, sans faire aucun tort á
la mere. ---- Il demande si ce moyen, qu' il
vient de proposer, est permis & légitime, &
s'il peut s'en servir dans le cas qu' il vient

                          R E-

* Vide Deventer. Paris Edit. 4to, 1734. p. 366

[ 135 ]

R E P O N S E.

LE Conseil estime, que la question proposée
souffre de grandes difficultes. Les Théo-
logiens posent d'un coté pour principe, que
le baptême, qui est une naissance spirituelle,
suppose une premiere naissance ; il faut être né
dans le monde, pour renâitre en
Jesus Christ,
comme ils l'enseignent. S. Thomas, 3â. part.
quæst. 68. artic. II. suit cette doctrine
comme une verité constante ; l'on ne peut,
dit ce S. Docteur, baptiser les enfans qui sont
renfermés dans le sein de leurs meres, et S
Thomas est fondé sur ce, que les enfans ne
sont point nés, & ne peuvent être comptés
parmi les autres hommes ; d'ou il conclud,
qu'ils ne peuvent être l'objet d'une action
extérieure, pour recevoir par leur ministere
les sacremens nécessaires au salut :
pueri in
maternis uteris existentes nondum pro-
             I 4              dierunt

[ 136 ]

dierunt in lucem ut cum aliis hominibus
vitam ducant ; unde non possunt subjici
actioni humanæ, ut per eorum ministe-
rium sacramenta recipiant ad salutem.
Les rituels ordonnent dans la pratique ce que
les theologiens ont établi sur les mêmes ma-
tiéres, & ils deffendent tous d'une maniére
uniforme de baptiser les enfans qui sont ren-
fermés dans le sein de leurs meres, s' ils ne
font paroitre quelque partie de leurs corps.
Le concours des théologiens, & des rituels,
qui sont les régles des diocéses, paroît former
une autorité qui termine la question presente;
cependant le conseil de conscience considerant
d'un côté, que le raisonnement des théologiens
est uniquement fondé sur une raison de con-
venance, & que la deffense des rituels, suppose
que l'on ne peut baptiser immediatement les
enfans ainsi renfermés dans le sein de leurs
meres, ce qui est contre la supposition presente ;
& d'un autre côté, considerant que les mêmes

[ 137 ]

théologiens enseignent, que l'on peut risquer
les sacremens qu'
Jesus Christ á établis comme
des moyens faciles, mais nécessaires pour
sanctifier les hommes ; & d'ailleurs estimant,
que les enfans renfermés dans le sein de leurs
meres, pourroient être capables de salut,
parce qu'ils sont capables de damnation ; --
pour ces considerations, & eu égard a l'ex-
posé, suivant lequel on assure avoir trouvé
un moyen certain de baptiser ces enfans ainsi
renfermés, sans faire aucun tort a la mere,
le Conseil estime que l'on pourroit se servir du
moyen proposé, dans la confiance qu'il a, que
Dieu n'a point laissé ces sortes d'enfans
sans aucuns secours, & supposant, comme
il est exposé, que le moyen dont il s'agit est
propre a leur procurer le baptême ; cependant
comme il s'agiroit, en autorisant la pratique
proposée, de changer une régle universellement
établie, le Conseil croit que celui qui consulte
doit s'addresser a son évêque, a qui il ap-

[ 138 ]

partient de juger de l'utilité, & du danger
du moyen proposé, & comme, sous le bon
plaisir de l'evêque, le conseil estime qu'il
faudroit recourir au Pape, qui a le droit d'ex-
pliquer les régles de l'eglise, & d' y déroger
dans le cas, ou la loi ne sçauroit obliger, quel-
que sage& quelque utile que paroisse la maniére
de baptiser dont il s'agit, le conseil ne pourroit
l'approuver sans le concours de ces deux auto-
rités. On conseille au moins a' celui qui consulte,
de s'adresser á son evêque, & de lui faire part
de la presente décision, afin que, si le prélat
entre dans les raisons sur lesquelles les docteurs
soussignés s'appuyent, il puisse être autorisé dans
le cas de nécessité, ou il risqueroit trop d'at-
tendre que la permission fût demandée & ac-
cordée d'employer le moyen qu' il propose si
avantageux au salut de l'enfant. Au reste
le conseil, en estimant que l'on pourroit s'en
servir, croit cependant que si les enfans dont
il s'agit venoient au monde, contre l'esperance

[ 139 ]

de ceux qui se seroient servis du même moyen,
il séroit nécessaire de les baptiser
sous condi-
tion, & en cela, le conseil se conforme a tous
les rituels, qui, en autorisant le baptême d'un
enfant qui fait paroître quelque partie de son
corps, enjoignent neanmoins, & ordonnent de
le baptiser
sous condition, s'il vient heu-
reusement au monde.

Déliberé en Sorbonne, le 10 Avril, 1733.

                     A. LE MOYNE,
                     L. DE ROMIGNY,
                     DE MARCILLY.

  Mr. Tristram Shandy's compliments to
Messrs. Le Moyne, De Romigny, and De
, hopes they all rested well the
night after so tiresome a consultation. --
He begs to know, whether, after the ce-
remony of marriage, and before that of