We should begin, said my father, turning himself half round in bed, and shifting his pillow a little towards my mother’s, as he opened the debate⁠⸺⁠We should begin to think, Mrs. Shandy, of putting this boy into breeches.⁠⸺⁠

We should so,⁠—said my mother.⁠⸺⁠We defer it, my dear, quoth my father, shamefully.⁠⸻

I think we do, Mr. Shandy,⁠—said my mother.

⸺⁠Not but the child looks extremely well, said my father, in his vests and tunicks.⁠⸻

⸻He does look very well in them,⁠—replied my mother.⁠⸻

⸺⁠And for that reason it would be almost a sin, added my father, to take him out of ’em.⁠⸺⁠

⸺⁠It would so,⁠—said my mother:⁠⸺⁠But indeed he is growing a very tall lad,⁠—rejoined my father.

⸺⁠He is very tall for his age, indeed,⁠—said my mother.⁠⸺⁠

⸺⁠I can not (making two syllables of it) imagine, quoth my father, who the deuce he takes after.⁠⸺⁠

I cannot conceive, for my life,⁠—said my mother.⁠⸺⁠

Humph!⁠⸺⁠said my father.

(The dialogue ceased for a moment.)

⸺⁠I am very short myself,⁠—continued my father gravely.

You are very short, Mr. Shandy,⁠—said my mother.

Humph! quoth my father to himself, a second time: in muttering which, he plucked his pillow a little further from my mother’s⁠—and turning about again, there was an end of the debate for three minutes and a half.

⸺⁠When he gets these breeches made, cried my father in a higher tone, he’ll look like a beast in ’em.

He will be very awkward in them at first, replied my mother.⁠⸺⁠

⸺⁠And ’twill be lucky, if that’s the worst on’t, added my father.

It will be very lucky, answered my mother.

I suppose, replied my father,⁠—making some pause first,⁠—he’ll be exactly like other people’s children.⁠⸺⁠

Exactly, said my mother.⁠⸻

⸺⁠Though I shall be sorry for that, added my father: and so the debate stopp’d again.

⸺⁠They should be of leather, said my father, turning him about again.⁠—

They will last him, said my mother, the longest.

But he can have no linings to ’em, replied my father.⁠⸻

He cannot, said my mother.

’Twere better to have them of fustian, quoth my father.

Nothing can be better, quoth my mother.⁠⸻

—Except dimity,⁠—replied my father:⁠⸺’Tis best of all,⁠—replied my mother.

⸺⁠One must not give him his death, however,⁠—interrupted my father.

By no means, said my mother:⁠⸺⁠and so the dialogue stood still again.

I am resolved, however, quoth my father, breaking silence the fourth time, he shall have no pockets in them.⁠—

⸺⁠There is no occasion for any, said my mother.⁠⸻

I mean in his coat and waistcoat,⁠—cried my father.

⸺⁠I mean so too,⁠—replied my mother.

⸺⁠Though if he gets a gig or top⁠⸺⁠Poor souls! it is a crown and a sceptre to them,⁠—they should have where to secure it.⁠⸻

Order it as you please, Mr. Shandy, replied my mother.⁠⸻

⸺⁠But don’t you think it right? added my father, pressing the point home to her.

Perfectly, said my mother, if it pleases you, Mr. Shandy.⁠⸻

⸺⁠There’s for you! cried my father, losing temper⁠⸺⁠Pleases me!⁠⸺⁠You never will distinguish, Mrs. Shandy, nor shall I ever teach you to do it, betwixt a point of pleasure and a point of convenience.⁠⸺⁠This was on the Sunday night:⁠⸺⁠and further this chapter sayeth not.