"But here the mind has all the evidence and facts within herself;--is conscious of the web she has wove;--knows its texture and fineness, and the exact share which every passion has had in working upon the several designs which virtue or vice has plann'd before her."
— Sterne, Laurence (1713-1768)
[The language is good, and I declare Trim reads very well, quoth my father.]
"Now,--as conscience is nothing else but the knowledge which the mind has within herself of this; and the judgment, either of approbation or censure, which it unavoidably makes upon the successive actions of our lives; 'tis plain you will say, from the very terms of the proposition,--whenever this inward testimony goes against a man, and he stands self-accused,--that he must necessarily be a guilty man. --And, on the contrary, when the report is favourable on his side, and his heart condemns him not;--that it is not a matter of trust, as the Apostle intimates, --but a matter of certainty and fact, that the conscience is good, and that the man must be good also."
(pp. 108-10, Norton 90)
See Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, 9 vols. (London: Printed for D. Lynch, 1760-1767). <Link to ECCO><Link to 1759 York edition in ECCO>
First two volumes available in ECCO-TCP: <Vol. 1><Vol. 2>. Most text drawn from second (London) edition <Link to LION>.
For vols. 3-4, see ESTC T14705 <R. and J. Dodsley, 1761>. For vols. 5-6, see ESTC T14706 <T. Becket and P. A. Dehondt, 1762>. For vols. 7-8, see ESTC T14820 <T. Becket and P. A. Dehont, 1765>. For vol. 9, <T. Becket and P. A. Dehondt, 1767>.
Reading in Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism, Ed. Howard Anderson (New York: Norton, 1980).