Laurence Sterne (November 24, 1713 March 18, 1768) was an Anglo-Irish novelist and clergyman. He is best known for his novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and A Sentimental Journey Through France and ...
When ever a person talks loudly against religion, always suspect that it is not their reason, but their passions, which have got the better of their beliefs. A bad life and a good belief are disagreeable and troublesome neighbors; and when they separate, depend on it that it is for the sake of peace and quiet.
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 I should have made a quite different figure in the world from that in which the reader is likely to see me.
All womankind, from the highest to the lowest love jokes; the difficulty is to know how they choose to have them cut; and there is no knowing that, but by trying, as we do with our artillery in the field, by raising or letting down their breeches, till we hit the mark.
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.
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; --one cold external winter would reign in every page of it; restore them to the writer; --he steps forth like a bridegroom, --bids All-hail; brings in variety, and forbids the appetite to fail.
First, whenever a man talks loudly against religion, always suspect that it is not his reason, but his passions, which have got the better of his creed. A bad life and a good belief are disagreeable and troublesome neighbors, and where they separate, depend upon it, 'Tis for no other cause but quietness sake.