So Corporal Trim wants to tell Uncle Toby his story of the king of Bohemia and his seven castles, which he never gets around to doing, to cheer Toby up after some sadness related to their siege reenactment:
I’ll tell it to your honour, quoth the corporal, directly–Provided, said my uncle Toby, looking earnestly towards Dunkirk and the mole again–provided it is not a merry one; to such, Trim, a man should ever bring one half of the entertainment along with him; and the disposition I am in at present would wrong both thee, Trim, and thy story–It is not a merry one by any means, replied the corporal–Nor would I have it altogether a grave one, added my uncle Toby–It is neither the one nor the other, replied the corporal, but will suit your honor exactly–Then I’ll thank thee for it with all my heart, cried my uncle Toby; so prithee begin it, Trim.
I’ve disposed myself to like Tristram Shandy–it’s sort of merry, and I’m bringing half the entertainment. It makes my thoughts wander a bit, but I’m enjoying that lately. Book, prepare to be conquered.