Laurence Sterne

(1713-1768 / Clonmel)

Laurence Sterne Quotes

  • ''Nothing is so perfectly amusing as a total change of ideas.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author. Tristram Shandy, dedication to bk. 9 (1760-1767).
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  • ''Look into the world—how often do you behold a sordid wretch, whose straight heart is open to no man's affliction, taking shelter behind an appearance of piety, and putting on the garb of religion, which none but the merciful and compassionate have a title to wear.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. Sermons, sermon 3, "Philanthropy recommended" (1760), ed. Melvyn New, University Press of Florida (1996).
  • ''Writing, when properly managed (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name for conversation.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author. Tristram Shandy, bk. 2, ch. 11 (1759-1767).
  • '''Tis no extravagant arithmetic to say, that for every ten jokes,—thou hast got an hundred enemies; and till thou hast gone on, and raised a swarm of wasps about thine ears, and art half stung to death by them, thou wilt never be convinced it is so.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author. Tristram Shandy, bk. 1, ch. 12 (1759-1767).
  • ''When the affections so kindly break loose, Joy, is another name for Religion.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. Sermons, sermon 20, "The prodigal son" (1766), ed. Melvyn New, University Press of Florida (1996). Sterne's comment on the welcomed return of the prodigal.
  • ''The history of a soldier's wound beguiles the pain of it.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author. Tristram Shandy, bk. 1, ch. 25 (1759-1767).
  • ''The insolence of base minds in success is boundless; and would scarce admit of a comparison, did not they themselves furnish us with one in the degrees of their abjection when evil returns upon them.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. Sermons, sermon 16, "The character of Shimei" (1766), ed. Melvyn New, University Press of Florida (1996).
  • ''The truth and regularity of a character is not, in justice, to be looked upon as broken, from any one single act or omission which may seem a contradiction to it:Mthe best of men appear sometimes to be strange compounds of contradictory qualities.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. Sermons, sermon 31, "St. Peter's character" (1769), ed. Melvyn New, University Press of Florida (1996).
  • ''There have been no sects in the christian world, however absurd, which have not endeavoured to support their opinions by arguments drawn from Scripture.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. Sermons, sermon 38, "On enthusiasm" (1769), ed. Melvyn New, University Press of Florida (1996).
  • ''Almost one half of our time is spent in telling and hearing evil of one another ... and every hour brings forth something strange and terrible to fill up our discourse and our astonishment.''
    Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. Sermons, sermon 18, "The Levite and his concubine" (1766), ed. Melvyn New, University Press of Florida (1996).

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