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LAURENCE STERNE
Irish humorous and novelist
(1713 - 1768)
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When my way is too rough for my feet, or too steep for my strength, I get off it to some smooth velvet path which fancy has scattered over with rosebuds of delights; and, having taken a few turns in it, come back strengthened and refreshed.
      - [Fancy]

When, to gratify a private appetite, it is once resolved upon that an ignorant and helpless creature shall be sacrificed, it is an easy matter to pick up sticks enough from any thicket where it has strayed, to make a fire to offer it up with.
      - [Spite]

Writings may be compared to wine. Sense is the strength, but wit the flavor.
      - [Writing]

Yorick sometimes, in his wild way of talking, would say that gravity was an arrant scoundrel, and, he would add, of the most dangerous kind, too, because a sly one; and that he verily believed more honest well-meaning people were bubbled out of their goods and money by it in one twelvemonth than by pocket-picking and shoplifting in seven.
      - [Gravity]

Titles of honour are like the impressions on coin--which add no value to gold and silver, but only render brass current.
      - Koran (pt. II) [Man]

Solitude is the best nurse of wisdom.
      - Letters (no. 82) [Solitude]

God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.
      - Sentimental Journey [Proverbs : Providence]

I pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba and cry, "'Tis all barren!"
      - Sentimental Journey--In the Street--Calais
        [Traveling]

He gave a deep sigh; I saw the iron enter into his soul.
      - Sentimental Journey--The Captive [Grief]

Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still,
  Slavery! said I--still thou art a bitter draught.
      - Sentimental Journey--The Passport--The Hotel at Paris
        [Slavery]

This sad vicissitude of things.
      - Sermons (XVI, The Character of Shimel)
        [Change]

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; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;--that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;--and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost;--Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,--I am verily persuaded that I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that in which the reader is likely to see me.
      - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
        [Books (First Lines)]

There is no disputing about taste.
      - quoted by
        The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
        [Proverbs : Taste]

This world surely is wide enough to hold both thou and me.
      - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
         (bk. II, ch. XII) [World]

Trust that man in nothing who has not a Conscience in everything.
      - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
         (bk. II, ch. XVII) [Conscience]

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;--rumple the one,--you rumple the other.
      - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
         (bk. III, ch. IV) [Man]

Our armies swore terrible in Flanders.
      - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
         (bk. III, ch. XI) [Swearing]

"He shall not die, by God," cried by uncle Toby. The Accusing Spirit which flew up to heaven's chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in: and the Recording Angel as he wrote it down, dropped a tear upon the word and blotted it out forever.
      - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
         (bk. VI, ch. VIII) [Swearing]

Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world--though the cant of hyrocrites may be the worst--the cant of criticism is the most tormenting.
      - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
         (vol. III, ch. XII) [Criticism]


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