Quotations by Sterne, Laurence


‘Tis known by the name of perseverance in a good cause — and of obstinacy in a bad one.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Tristam Shandy, 1.17 (1759-67)
Added on 2-Sep-15 | Last updated 2-Sep-15
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For every ten jokes, thou hast got a hundred enemies.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Tristam Shandy, Book 1, ch. 12 (1760-1767)
Added on 18-Feb-16 | Last updated 18-Feb-16
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Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine; — & they are the life, the soul of reading; — take them out of this book for instance, — you might as well take the book along with them.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Tristam Shandy, Book 1, ch. 22 (1760-1767)
Added on 25-Feb-16 | Last updated 25-Feb-16
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The desire of knowledge, like the thirst of riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it.

Sterne - desire of knowledge - wist_info quote

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Tristam Shandy, Book 1, ch. 3 (1760-1767)
Added on 3-Mar-16 | Last updated 3-Mar-16
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So long as a man rides his hobbyhorse 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?

Sterne - hobbyhorse - wist_info quote

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Tristam Shandy, Book 1, ch. 7 (1760-1767)
Added on 11-Feb-16 | Last updated 11-Feb-16
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Writing, when properly managed, (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name for conversation.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Tristam Shandy, Book 2, ch. 11 (1760-1767)
Added on 10-Mar-16 | Last updated 10-Mar-16
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A man should know something of his own country too, before he goes abroad.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Tristam Shandy, Book 7, ch. 2 (1765)
Added on 17-Mar-16 | Last updated 17-Mar-16
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The brave only know how to forgive; it is the most refined and generous pitch of virtue human nature can arrive at. Cowards have done good and kind actions, cowards have even fought, nay some times, even conquered; but a coward never forgave. It is not in his nature; the power of doing it flows only from a strength and greatness of soul, conscious of its own force and security, and above the little temptations of resenting every fruitless attempt to interrupt its happiness.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Sermon 12, “Joseph’s History Considered”
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Added on 15-Jan-16 | Last updated 15-Jan-16
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