restricted access “Scholia” to the Florida Tristram Shandy Annotations
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212 Assume London if no place is given. The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Stuart Bennett, James Burmester, Christopher Edwards, A. C. Elias, Jr., Theodore Hofmann, Oliver Irvine, C. R. Johnson, Hermann J. Real, George Riser, and Stephen Weissman. Pennsylvania State University—DuBois ‘‘SCHOLIA’’ TO THE FLORIDA TRISTRAM SHANDY ANNOTATIONS The annotators of the Florida edition of Tristram Shandy have noted similarities to Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693), and admit that ‘‘while we cannot be convinced that Sterne actually knew this work, its influence was widespread in the century and it does have interesting points of confluence with various statements concerning Tristram’s education’’ (3:17). The first such point may well be in the first chapter of the first volume. The Florida note to I.1.2.2-8 (3:42–43) draws attention to Tristram’s recall of Locke’s language for the association of ideas in ECHU, II.33.6 (‘‘. . . Trains of Motion in the Animal Spirits, which once set a going continue on in the same steps they have been used to, which by often treading are worn into a smooth path, and the Motion in it becomes easy and as it were Natural’’), in his own discussion of an unhappy association of ideas: —you have all, I dare say, heard of the animal spirits, as how they are transfused from father to son, &c. &c.—and a great deal to that purpose :—Well, you may take my word, that nine parts in ten of a man’s sense or hisnonsense,hissuccesses and miscarriages in this world depend upon their motions and activity, and the different tracks and trains you put them into; . . . and by treading the same steps over and over again, they presently make a road of it, as plain and as smooth as a garden-walk,which,whentheyare once used to, the Devil himself sometimes shall not be able to drive them off it. (TS, I.1.1–2) Because his parents were distracted during his conception, they jeopardized‘‘not only the production of a rational Being,’’ but also ‘‘possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind.’’ And, Tristram adds: ‘‘Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me’’(TS, I.1.1). Locke opens Some Thoughts with a sentence from Juvenal (‘‘A Sound Mind in a sound Body, is a short, but full description of a Happy State in this World’’), and two pages later writes: ‘‘How necessary Health is to our Business and Happiness: And how requisite a strong Constitution, able to endure Hardships and Fatigue, is to one that will make any Figure in the World, is too obvious to need Proof’’ (Some Thoughts, sec. 3; see James L. Axtell, The Educational Writings of John Locke, Cambridge , 1968, 115). There is enough similarity between Locke’s thoughts in his opening pages and Tristram’s to amplify the present note to 2.2–8 with a passage from Some Thoughts as well: 213 2.2–8 the different tracks . . . off it.] (Add after present note) In addition to this very specific borrowing from ECHU, Sterne’s opening pages seem indebted also to Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693). In particular, this opening paragraph bears comparison to Locke’s opening paragraph, both as it agrees with Locke and as it points, ironically , in a rather different direction: A Sound Mind in a sound Body, is a short, but full Description of a Happy State in this World: He that has these Two, has little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be but little the better for any thing else. . . . I confess, there are some Men’s Constitutions of Body and Mind so vigorous, and well framed by Nature, that they need not much Assistance from others , but by the Strength of their natural Genius, they are from their Cradles carried towards what is Excellent . . . . But Examples of this Kind are but few, and I think...