Laurence Sterne Quotes

The circumstances with which every thing in this world is begirt, give every thing in this world its size and shape;—and by tightening it, or relaxing it, this way or that, make the thing to be, what it is—great—little—good—bad—indifferent or not indifferent, just as the case happens.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1761), vol. 3, ch. 2, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
But there is nothing unmixt in this world; and some of the gravest of our divines have carried it so far as to affirm, that enjoyment itself was attended even with a sigh—and that the greatest they knew of, terminated in a general way, in little better than a convulsion.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "The Passport. Versailles." Ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967).
A Man's body and his mind, with the utmost reverence to both I speak it, are exactly like a jerkin, and a jerkin's lining;Mrumple the one—you rumple the other.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1761), vol. 3, ch. 4, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in every thing, and who, having eyes to see, what time and chance are perpetually holding out to him as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "In the Street. Calais." Ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967).
Every thing in this world, said my father, is big with jest,—and has wit in it, and instruction too,—if we can but find it out.
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).
I am positive I have a soul; nor can all the books with which materialists have pester'd the world ever convince me of the contrary.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "Maria. Moulines." Ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967).
I pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and cry, 'Tis all barren—and so it is; and so is all the world to him who will not cultivate the fruits it offers.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick (1768), ch. "In the Street. Calais." Ed. Gardner D. Stout, Jr., University of California Press (1967).
But this is neither here nor there—why do I mention it?—Ask my pen,—it governs me,—I govern not it.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1762), vol. 6, ch. 6, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).
Hail ye small sweet courtesies of life, for smooth do ye make the road of it! like grace and beauty which beget inclinations to love at first sight; 'tis ye who open this door and let the stranger in.
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).
Certainly it was ordained as a scourge upon the pride of human wisdom, that the wisest of us all, should thus outwit ourselves, and eternally forego our purposes in the intemperate act of pursuing them.
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), British author, clergyman. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1762), vol. 5, ch. 16, eds. Melvyn New and Joan New, University of Florida Press (1978).