Though indeed we might look nearer home than the Talmud for similar absurdities; most Puritan communities could furnish strange freaks of Sabbatarian casuistry.
In one of his incomprehensible freaks he set off for Lyons, and, after abandoning his companion in an epileptic fit, returned to Annecy to find Madame de Warens gone.
There were crude medieval notions that fossils were " freaks " or " sports " of nature (lusus naturae), or that they represented failures of a creative force within the earth (a notion of Greek and Arabic origin), or that larger and smaller fossils represented the remains of races of giants or of pygmies (the mythical idea).
Sterne's clerical character was far from being universally injured by his indecorous freaks as a humorist: Lord Fauconberg presented the author of Tristram Shandy with the perpetual curacy of Coxwold.
The Toy-Shop is an amusing collection of these freaks of nature.