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Laurence Sterne seems to be commenting on human nature and our endless pursuit of knowledge and understanding in this quote. Some key points:
- He draws a parallel between the “desire of knowledge” and the “thirst for riches”, suggesting they are both insatiable and never fully satisfied.
- Gaining more knowledge or riches does not diminish the desire, but rather increases it. As we learn more, we become aware of greater depths yet to explore.
- There is an implication that this endless quest is innate to human beings. No matter how much we attain, our curiosity and appetite for more is not quenched.
- Overall, Sterne portrays the pursuit of knowledge as an ongoing journey without a definitive end. Each answer uncovered spawns new questions, and our fascination grows along with our accumulating insights.
So in summary, the quote suggests that gaining knowledge has the paradoxical effect of intensifying rather than resolving our longing to understand – it is an endless and self-perpetuating drive within human nature.