Study Guide

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Book 3, Chapter 10

By Laurence Sterne

Book 3, Chapter 10

  • Knots—not slipknots, which we'll hear about later; or bow-knots—but good, hard knots like those Obadiah made, can be cut, although it's better to use your teeth or fingers.
  • Unfortunately, Dr. Slop has short fingernails and lost his teeth in an obstetrical accident.
  • No, you don't get any more explanation about that bizarre occurrence. When he tries to use a knife, he slices his thumb open and begins to cuss out Obadiah again.
  • Mr. Shandy isn't having it. Cursing, he says, has to be proportionate to the situation. There's no good in swearing just a little when something bad happens; you have to swear a lot.
  • In fact, it's probably a good idea to get all your curses ready ahead of time and then bust them out when the time is right. Mr. Shandy just happens to have a nice violent one handy, if Dr. Slop would like.
  • Well, duh. Dr. Slop says bring it on!