"He maintained, that next to the due care to be taken in the act of propagation of each individual, which required all the thought in the world, as it laid the foundation of this incomprehensible contexture in which wit, memory, fancy, eloquence, and what is usually meant by the name of good natural parts, do consist;--that next to this and his Christian name, which were the two original and most efficacious causes of all;--that the third cause, or rather what logicians call the Causa sine quâ non, and without which all that was done was of no manner of significance,--was the preservation of this delicate and fine-spun web, from the havock which was generally made in it by the violent compression and crush which the head was made to undergo, by the nonsensical method of bringing us into the world by that part foremost."
— Sterne, Laurence (1713-1768)
(II.xix, pp. 171-2)
See Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, 9 vols. (London: Printed for D. Lynch, 1760-1767). <Link to ECCO><Link to 1759 York edition in ECCO>
First two volumes available in ECCO-TCP: <Vol. 1><Vol. 2>. Most text drawn from second (London) edition <Link to LION>.
For vols. 3-4, see ESTC T14705 <R. and J. Dodsley, 1761>. For vols. 5-6, see ESTC T14706 <T. Becket and P. A. Dehondt, 1762>. For vols. 7-8, see ESTC T14820 <T. Becket and P. A. Dehont, 1765>. For vol. 9, <T. Becket and P. A. Dehondt, 1767>.
Reading in Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism, Ed. Howard Anderson (New York: Norton, 1980).