Laurence Sterne

(1713-1768 / Clonmel)

Laurence Sterne Quotes

  • ''I guard this box, as I would the instrumental parts of my religion, to help my mind on to something better.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "The Snuff Box. Calais." Ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967). Yorick's comment on the exchange of snuff-boxes with a monk of Calais, a scene central to the sentimental "cult of Sterne" in early 19th-century Germany and France.
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  • ''There are a thousand unnoticed openings ... which let a penetrating eye at once into a man's soul; and I maintain ... that a man of sense does not lay down his hat in coming into a room,—or take it up in going out of it, but something escapes, which discovers him.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1762), vol. 6, ch. 5, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''—My brother Toby, quoth she, is going to be married to Mrs. Wadman. "Then he will never," quoth my father, "be able to lie diagonally in his bed again as long as he lives."''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1762), vol. 6, ch. 39, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press.
  • ''They should have wiped it up ... and said no more about it.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1762), vol. 6, ch. 12, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978). response to learning about a child prodigy who "composed a work the day he was born."
  • ''Trust me, my dear Eugenius ... "there are worse occupations in this world than feeling a woman's pulse."''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "The Pulse. Paris." Ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967).
  • ''Delicious essence! how refreshing art thou to nature! how strongly are all its powers and all its weaknesses on thy side! how sweetly dost thou mix with the blood, and help it through the most difficult and tortuous passages to the heart!''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "The Riddle Explained. Paris." Ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967). The author's apostrophe to flattery.
  • ''When the heart flies out before the understanding, it saves the judgment a world of pains.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "The Remise Door. Calais." Ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967).
  • ''Sciences may be learned by rote, but wisdom not.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1762), vol. 5, ch. 32, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''An English man does not travel to see English men.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "Preface In the Desobligeant," ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967).
  • ''Thrice happy book! thou wilt have one page, at least, within thy covers, which MALICE will not blacken, and which IGNORANCE cannot misrepresent.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1762), vol. 6, ch. 38, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978). Tristram's comment on the blank page he has just inserted into his text.

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