Study Guide

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Book 6, Chapter 5

By Laurence Sterne

Book 6, Chapter 5

  • Mr. Shandy wants to find Tristram a superstar tutor. This might prove to be tough, because Mr. Shandy's got some pretty weird specifications in mind.
  • He cannot lisp, squint, wink, or shout; he can't look mean or dumb; he can't bite his lips, grind his teeth, or pick his nose; he can't walk fast, or slow, or fold his arms, or let them dangle, or put them in his pocket; he can't bite or cut his nails, or tap his feet, or talk while he's peeing, or point out excrement.
  • Toby thinks this is total nonsense, of course. But Mr. Shandy is on a roll.
  • He has to be cheerful and prudent, wise, and learned. Yorick chimes in that he should be humble, moderate, and gentle; and Toby suggests that he be free, generous, bountiful, and brave.
  • (We're starting to think that each man wants a tutor who resembles himself.)
  • But Toby has a potential candidate: Le Fever's son. Le Fever, if you remember from way back in Book 5, Chapter 10, is the man whose story Toby has been trying to tell.

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