Laurence Sterne. (1713–1768). A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.
The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction. 1917.

The Conquest

YES—and then—Ye whose clay-cold heads and lukewarm hearts can argue down or mask your passions—tell me, what trespass is it that man should have them? or how his spirit stands answerable to the Father of spirits but for his conduct under them.

If Nature has so wove her web of kindness that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piece—must the whole web be rent in drawing them out?—Whip me such stoics, great Governor of nature! said I to myself.—Wherever thy providence shall place me for the trials of my virtue—whatever is my danger—whatever is my situation—let me feel the movements which rise out of it, and which belong to me as a man—and if I govern them as a good one—I will trust the issues to thy justice: for thou hast made us—and not we ourselves.

As I finish’d my address, I raised the fair fille de chambre up by the hand, and led her out of the room—she stood by me till I lock’d the door and put the key in my pocket—and then—the victory being quite decisive—and not till then, I press’d my lips to her cheek, and taking her by the hand again, led her safe to the gate of the hotel.