Study Guide

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Book 5, Chapter 12

By Laurence Sterne

Book 5, Chapter 12

  • The word "wife" catches Mrs. Shandy by the "weak part of her sex" (5.12.2)—that is, her curiosity—and she assumes that Toby and Mr. Shandy are talking about her. Mr. Shandy, in fact, was waxing eloquent about Socrates.
  • Tristram tells us that Mr. Shandy wrote a whole book about Socrates, although he never let it be published during his life.