From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Tristram interrupts again to settle a brief matter. He asks the reader to let the previous chapter stand in for the promised chapter on chamber-maids and button-holes, because that would have been a chapter full of bawdy allusions.
(Giving a woman a "green gown" means to have sex with her on the grass; "old hat" is slang for female genitalia.)