Laurence Sterne

(1713-1768 / Clonmel)

Laurence Sterne Quotes

  • ''REASON, is half of it, SENSE; and the measure of heaven itself is but the measure of our present appetites and concoctions.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1765), vol. 7, ch. 13, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
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  • ''Most of us are aware of and pretend to detest the barefaced instances of that hypocrisy by which men deceive others, but few of us are upon our guard or see that more fatal hypocrisy by which we deceive and over-reach our own hearts.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. Sermons, sermon 4, "Self knowledge" (1760), ed. Melvyn New, University Press of Florida (1996).
  • ''There is nothing so awkward, as courting a woman ... whilst she is making sausages.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1767), vol. 9, ch. 7, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''The soul and body are joint-sharers in every thing they get: A man cannot dress, but his ideas get cloath'd at the same time; and if he dresses like a gentleman, every one of them stands presented to his imagination, genteelized along with him.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1767), vol. 9, ch. 13, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''Keyholes are the occasions of more sin and wickedness, than all other holes in this world put together.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1767), vol. 9, ch. 1, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''My father, whose way was to force every event in nature into an hypothesis, by which means never man crucified TRUTH at the rate he did.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1767), vol. 9, ch. 32, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
  • ''So long as a man rides his Hobby-Horse peaceably and quietly along the King's highway, and neither compels you or me to get up behind him—pray, Sir, what have either you or I to do with it?''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author. Tristram Shandy, bk. 1, ch. 7 (1759-1767).
  • ''Of all duties, prayer certainly is the sweetest and most easy.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author. Sermons, sermon 43, "[Efficacy of prayer]" (1769), ed. Melvyn New, University Press of Florida (1996).
  • ''I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author. Tristram Shandy, bk. 1, ch. 1 (1759-1767). Opening words of book.
  • ''Alas! if the principles of contentment are not within us,—the height of station and worldly grandeur will as soon add a cubit to a man's stature as to his happiness.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. Sermons, sermon 44, "The ways of Providence justified to man" (1769), ed. Melvyn New, University Press of Florida (1996).

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