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!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman


by Laurence Sterne

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Book 6, Chapter 17 Summary

  • The ancient Goths had a custom of debating twice: once drunk, and once sober. Mr. Shandy didn't drink, so he eventually hit on a modified version of the custom: once on the first Sunday night in a month, and once on the night just before it. (Remember what the Shandys do on the first Sunday of every month?)
  • Mr. Shandy calls these his "beds of justice," because he's a boss like that. Tristram has his own way of settling tricky spots in his book: he writes full and corrects while he's hungry, or the other way around.
  • This way, he finds a middle course and writes a careless kind of a civil, nonsensical, good-humoured Shandean book (6.17.8).

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...