Laurence Sterne Quotes

[I am] firmly persuaded that every time a man smiles,—but much more so, when he laughs, that it adds something to this Fragment of life.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 1, dedication, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
But the desire of knowledge, like the thirst of riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it.... ——Endless is the Search of Truth!
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 2, ch. 3, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
'Twas not by ideas,—by heaven! his life was put in jeopardy by words.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 2, ch. 2, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978). Said about uncle Toby's efforts to master the jargon of fortifications.
By this contrivance the machinery of my work is of a species by itself; two contrary motions are introduced into it, and reconciled, which were thought to be at variance with each other. In a word, my work is digressive, and it is progressive too,—and at the same time.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760), vol. 1, ch. 22, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
I am persuaded ... that both man and woman bear pain or sorrow, (and, for aught I know, pleasure too) best in a horizontal position.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1761), vol. 3, ch. 29, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
A dwarf who brings a standard along with him to measure his own size—take my word, is a dwarf in more articles than one.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1761), vol. 3, ch. 25, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978). Tristram's explanation for why he tore a chapter—better than the rest—from his book.
Alack-o-day, replied the corporal ... your honour knows I have neither wife or child—I can have no sorrows in this world.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1761), vol. 4, ch. 4, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
True Shandeism, think what you will against it, opens the heart and lungs, and like all those affections which partake of its nature, it forces the blood and other vital fluids of the body to run freely thro' its channels, and makes the wheel of life run long and chearfully round.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1761), vol. 4, ch. 32, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
Injuries come only from the heart.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1761), vol. 3, ch. 10, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
There are worse occupations in this world than feeling a woman's pulse.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author. A Sentimental Journey, "The Pulse, Paris," (1768).