Laurence Sterne

(1713-1768 / Clonmel)

Laurence Sterne Quotes

  • ''Heat is in proportion to the want of true knowledge.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. "Slawkenbergius's Tale" (1761), vol. 4, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
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  • ''When a man gives himself up to the government of a ruling passion,—or, in other words, when his HOBBY-HORSE grows head- strong,—farewell cool reason and fair discretion.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 2, ch. 5, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''[My father] was serious;Mhe was all uniformity;Mhe was systematical, and, like all systematick reasoners, he would move both heaven and earth, and twist and torture every thing in nature to support his hypothesis.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 1, ch. 19, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''What could be wanting ... but to have wrote a book.... Little boots it to the subtle speculatist to stand single in his opinions,—unless he gives them proper vent.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 1, ch. 19, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''It is the nature of an hypothesis, when once a man has conceived it, that it assimulates every thing to itself as proper nourishment; and, from the first moment of your begetting it, it generally grows the stronger by every thing you see, hear, read, or understand. This is of great use.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 2, ch. 19, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''How many thousands of [lives] are there every year that comes cast away, (in all civilized countries at least)—and consider'd as nothing but common air, in competition of an hypothesis.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 1, ch. 21, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''We lose the right of complaining sometimes by forbearing it;Mbut we oftener treble the force.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 2, ch. 4, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''De gustibus non est disputandum;Mthat is, there is no disputing against HOBBY-HORSES; and, for my part, I seldom do ... for ... I keep a couple of pads myself, upon which, in their turns ... I frequently ride out and take the air.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 1, ch. 8, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978). Sterne's version of the Latin tag, "there is no disputing about tastes."
  • ''The common consolation which some good christian or other, is hourly administering to himself,—that he thanks God his mind does not misgive him; and that, consequently, he has a good conscience, because he has a quiet one,—is fallacious.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 2, ch. 17, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978). From his previously published "Abuses of Conscience" sermon (1750), read by Corporal Trim to the Shandy family.
  • ''O my countrymen!—be nice;Mbe cautious of your language;—and never, O! never let it be forgotten upon what small particles your eloquence and your fame depend.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 2, ch. 6, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).

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