"But for sleep--I know I shall make nothing of it before I begin--I am no dab at your fine sayings in the first place--and in the next, I cannot for my soul set a grave face upon a bad matter, and tell the world--'tis the refuge of the unfortunate--the enfranchisement of the prisoner--the downy lap of the hopeless, the weary and the broken-hearted; nor could I set out with a lye in my mouth, by affirming, that of all the soft and delicious functions of our nature, by which the great Author of it, in his bounty, has been pleased to recompence the sufferings wherewith his justice and his good pleasure has wearied us,--that this is the chiefest (I know pleasures worth ten of it) or what a happiness it is to man, when the anxieties and passions of the day are over, and he lays down upon his back, that his soul shall be so seated within him, that which ever way she turns her eyes, the heavens shall look calm and sweet above her--no desire--or fear--or doubt that troubles the air, nor any difficulty pass'd, present, or to come, that the imagination may not pass over without offence, in that sweet secession."
— Sterne, Laurence (1713-1768)
(IV.xv, pp. 115-7; Norton, 210)
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).