Fanny Burney Quotes | Quotes by Fanny Burney

1How little has situation to do with happiness.

2Generosity without delicacy, like wit without judgment, generally gives as much pain as pleasure.

3an old woman ... is a person who has no sense of decency; if once she takes to living, the devil himself can't get rid of her.

4Misery is a guest that we are glad to part with, however certain of her speedy return.

5To have some account of my thoughts, manners, acquaintance and actions, when the hour arrives in which time is more nimble than memory, is the reason which induces me to keep a journal: a journal in which I must confess my every thought, must open my whole heart!

6. . . men seldom risk their lives where an escape is without hope of recompense.

7the right line of conduct is the same for both sexes, though the manner in which it is pursued, may somewhat vary, and be accommodated to the strength or weakness of the different travelers.

8don't be angry with the gentleman for thinking, whatever be the cause, for I assure you he makes no common practice of offending in that way.

9To save the mind from preying inwardly upon itself, it must be encouraged to some outward pursuit. There is no other way to elude apathy, or escape discontent; none other to guard the temper from that quarrel with itself, which ultimately ends in quarreling with all mankind.

10I cannot be much pleased without an appearance of truth; at least of possibility I wish the history to be natural though the sentiments are refined; and the characters to be probable, though their behaviour is excelling

Fanny Burney Quotes

11You must learn not only to judge but to act for yourself.

12People who live together naturally catch the looks and air of one another and without having one feature alike, they contract a something in the whole countenance which strikes one as a resemblance

13Nothing is so delicate as the reputation of a woman; it is at once the most beautiful and most brittle of all human things.

14Travelling is the ruin of all happiness. There's no looking at a building here after seeing Italy.

15But authors before they write should read.

16I am tired to death! tired of every thing! I would give the universe for a disposition less difficult to please. Yet, after all, what is there to give pleasure? When one has seen one thing, one has seen every thing.

17Wealth per se I never too much valued, and my acquaintance with its possessors has by no means increased my veneration for it.

18I cannot sleep - great joy is as restless as sorrow.

19Tis best to build no castles in the air.

20I wish the opera was every night. It is, of all entertainments, the sweetest and most delightful. Some of the songs seemed to melt my very soul.

Fanny Burney Quotes

21such is the effect of true politeness, that it banishes all restraint and embarassment.

22it has been long and justly remarked, that folly has ever sought alliance with beauty.

23Credulity is the sister of innocence.

24There is something in age that ever, even in its own despite, must be venerable, must create respect and to have it ill treated, is to me worse, more cruel and wicked than anything on earth

25Never shall I recollect the occasion he gave me of displeasure, without feeling it renewed.

26I love and honour [Paulus Aemilius, in Plutarch's Lives], for his fondness for his children, which instead of blushing at, he avows and glories in: and that at an age, when almost all the heros and great men thought that to make their children and family a secondary concern, was the first proof of their superiority and greatness of soul.

27I'd rather be done any thing to than laughed at, for, to my mind, it's one or other the disagreeablest thing in the world.

28The laws of custom make our [returning a visit] necessary. O how I hate this vile custom which obliges us to make slaves of ourselves! to sell the most precious property we boast, our time;--and to sacrifice it to every prattling impertinent who chooses to demand it!

29But if the young are never tired of erring in conduct, neither are the older in erring of judgment.

30Those who wander in the world avowedly and purposely in pursuit of happiness, who view every scene of present joy with an eye to what may succeed, certainly are more liable to disappointment, misfortune and unhappiness, than those who give up their fate to chance and take the goods and evils of fortune as they come, without making happiness their study, or misery their foresight.

Fanny Burney Quotes

31I never pretend to be so superior a being as to be above having and indulging a hobby horse [her journal writing], and while I keep mine within due bounds and limits, nobody, I flatter myself, would wish to deprive me of the poor animal: to be sure, he is not formed for labour, and is rather lame and weak, but then the dear creature is faithful, constant, and loving, and though he sometimes prances, would not kick anyone into the mire, or hurt a single soul for the world--and I would not part with him for one who could win the greatest prize that ever was won at any races.

32I am ashamed of confessing that I have nothing to confess.

33while we all desire to live long, we have all a horror of being old!

34the mind naturally accommodates itself, even to the most ridiculous improprieties, if they occur frequently.

35... there's nothing but quarreling with the women; it's my belief they like it better than victuals and drink.

36To save the mind from preying inwardly upon itself, it must be encouraged to some outward pursuit.

37But how cool, how quiet is true courage!

38To a heart formed for friendship and affection the charms of solitude are very short-lived.

39Unused to the situations in which I find myself, and embarassed by the slightest difficulties, I seldom discover, till too late, how I ought to act.

40Far from having taken any positive step, I have not yet even fommed any resolution.

Fanny Burney Quotes

41This perpetual round of constrained civilities to persons quite indifferent to us, is the most provoking and tiresome thing in theworld, but it is unavoidable in a country town, where everybody is known.... 'Tis a most shocking and unworthy way of spending our precious irrecoverable time, to those who know not its value.

42The Spring is generally fertile in new acquaintances.

43falsehood is not more unjustifiable than unsafe.

44Tired, ashamed, and mortified, I begged to sit down till we returned home, which I did soon after. Lord Orville did me the honour to hand me to the coach, talking all the way of the honour I had done him ! O these fashionable people!

45For my part, I confess I seldom listen to the players: one has so much to do, in looking about and finding out one's acquaintance, that, really, one has no time to mind the stage. One merely comes to meet one's friends, and show that one's alive.

46Imagination took the reins, and reason, slow-paced, though sure-footed, was unequal to a race with so eccentric and flighty a companion.

47In England, I was quite struck to see how forward the girls are made--a child of 10 years old, will chat and keep you company, while her parents are busy or out etc.--with the ease of a woman of 26. But then, how does this education go on?--Not at all: it absolutely stops short.

48She [Evelina] is not, indeed, like most modern young ladies; to be known in half an hour; her modest worth, and fearful excellence, require both time and encouragement to show themselves.

49I looked about for some of my acquaintance, but in vain, for I saw not one person that I knew, which is very odd, for all the world seemed there.

50to be sure, marriage is all in all with the ladies; but with us gentlemen it's quite another thing!

Fanny Burney Quotes

51Look at your [English] ladies of quality are they not forever parting with their husbands - forfeiting their reputations - and is their life aught but dissipation? In common genteel life, indeed, you may now and then meet with very fine girls - who have politeness, sense and conversation - but these are few - and then look at your trademen's daughters - what are they? poor creatures indeed! all pertness, imitation and folly.

52You must not sneeze. If you have a vehement cold you must take no notice of it; if your nose membranes feel a great irritation you must hold your breath; if a sneeze still insists upon making its way you must oppose it keeping your teeth grinding together; if the violence of the pulse breaks some blood-vessel you must break the blood-vessel -- but not sneeze.

53The mind is but too naturally prone to pleasure, but too easily yielded to dissipation

54O! how short a time does it take to put an end to a woman's liberty!

55... it's vastly more irksome to give up one's own way, than to hear a few impertinent remarks.

56Can any thing, my good Sir, be more painful to a friendly mind than a necessity of communicating disagreeable intelligence? Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to determine, whether the relater or the receiver of evil tidings is most to be pitied.

57While all the pomp and circumstance of war animated others, it only saddened me; and all of past reflection, all of future dread, made the whole grandeur of the martial scene, and all the delusive seduction of martial music, fill my eyes frequently with tears.

58There si nothing upon the face of the earth so insipid as a medium. Give me love or hate! A friend that will go to jail for me, or an enemy that will run me through the body!

59To whom, then, must I dedicate my wonderful, surprising and interesting adventures? to whom dare I reveal my private opinion of my nearest relations? the secret thoughts of my dearest friends? my own hopes, fears, reflections and dislikes? Nobody!

60When young people are too rigidly sequestered from [the world], their lively and romantic imaginations paint it to them as a paradise of which they have been beguiled; but when they are shown it properly, and in due time, they see it such as it really is, equally shared by pain and pleasure, hope and disappointment.