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Fanny Burney quotes (showing 1-30 of 30)

“Unused 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.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“Generosity without delicacy, like wit without judgement, generally gives as much pain as pleasure.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“She [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.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“What arguments, what persuasions can I make use of, with any prospect of success, to such a woman as Madame Duval? ...She is too ignorant for instruction, too obstinate for entreaty, and too weak for reason.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“To despise riches, may, indeed, be philosophic, but to dispense them worthily, surely, must be more beneficial to mankind.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“Never shall I recollect the occasion he gave me of displeasure, without feeling it renewed.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“But alas, my dear child, we are the slaves of custom, the dupes of prejudice, and dare not stem the torrent of the opposing world, even though our judgments condemn our compliance! However, since the die is cast, we must endeavor to make the best of it.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“I have the honour to be quite of your Lordship's opinion," said Mr. Lovel, looking maliciously at Mrs. Selwyn, "for I have an insuperable aversion to strength, either of body or mind, in a female."

"Faith, and so have I," said Mr. Coverley; "for egad I'd as soon see a woman chop wood, as hear her chop logic."

"So would every man in his senses," said Lord Merton; "for a woman wants nothing to recommend her but beauty and good nature; in every thing else she is either impertinent or unnatural. For my part, deuce take me if ever I wish to hear a word of sense from a woman as long as I live!"

"It has always been agreed," said Mrs. Selwyn, looking round her with the utmost contempt, "that no man ought to be connected with a woman whose understanding is superior to his own. Now I very much fear, that to accommodate all this good company, according to such a rule, would be utterly impracticable, unless we should chuse subjects from Swift's hospital of idiots.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“There is nothing", answered he, "which requires more immediate notice than impertinence, for it ever encroaches when it is tolerated.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“Lord Orville seemed by no means to think the Captain worthy an argument, upon a subject concerning which he had neither knowledge nor feeling.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“The world...is too full of real evil for me at least, to cause one moment of unnecessary uneasiness to any of its poor pilgrims. 'Tis strange...that this is not more generally considered, since the advantage would be so reciprocal from man to man. But wrapt up in our own short moment, we forget our neighbour's long hour! and existence is ultimately embittered to all, by the refined susceptibility for ourselves that monopolizes our feelings.”
Fanny Burney, Camilla
“She [Madame Duvall] seems desirious to repair the wrongs she has done, yet wishes the world to believe her blameless.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina, Or, the History of a Young Lady's Entrance Into the World. the Third Edition. Volume 2 of 3
“..-and the honour you did me, no man could have been more sensible of; I am ignorant, therefore, how I have been so unfortunate as to forfeit it:-but, at present, all is changed! you fly me,-your averted eye shuns to meet mine, and you sedulously avoid my conversation.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“he has no more manners than a bear,”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“You must learn not only to judge but to act for yourself.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“Another gentleman ... desired to know if I was engaged, or would honour him with my hand [to dance]. So he was pleased to say, tho... Another gentleman ... desired to know if I was engaged, or would honour him with my hand [to dance]. So he was pleased to say, though I am sure I know not what honour he could receive from me; but these sort of expressions, I find, are used as words of course, without any distinction of persons, or study of propriety.”
Fanny Burney
“O! I must tell you that I have fallen in love with a gentleman whom I have lately come acquainted with: he is about 60 or 70—has... O! I must tell you that I have fallen in love with a gentleman whom I have lately come acquainted with: he is about 60 or 70—has the misfortune to be humpbacked, crooked legged, and rather deformed in his face.—But, in sober sadness, I am delighted with the Dean of Coleraine, whose picture this is, and which I have very lately read. The piety, the zeal, the humanity, goodness and humility of this charming old man have won my heart. Ah! who will not envy him the invaluable treasure!”
Fanny Burney
“Mock you!" repeated he earnestly, "no I revere you! I esteem and I admire you above all human beings! you are the friend to whom my soul is attached as to its better half! you are the most amiable, the most perfect of women! and you are dearer to me than language has the power of telling.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina, Or, the History of a Young Lady's Entrance Into the World. the Third Edition. Volume 2 of 3
“There was an exceeding good concert, but too much talking to hear it well. Indeed I am quite astonished to find how little music is attended to in silence; for, though every body seems to admire, hardly any body listens.”
Fanny Burney
“No, my Lord," answered she, "it would have been from mere shame, that, in an age so daring, you alone should be such a coward as to forbear to frighten women."

"o", cried he, laughing, "when a man is in a fright for himself, the ladies cannot but be in security; for you have not had half the apprehension for the safety of your persons, that I have for that of my heart.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“There is no young creature, my Lord, who so greatly wants, or so earnestly wishes for, the advice and assistance of her friends, as I do: I am new to the world, and unused to acting for myself;-my intentions are never willfully blameable, yet I err perpetually!”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“Young, animated, entirely off your guard, and thoughtless of consequences, Imagination took the reins; and Reason, slow-paced, though sure-footed, was unequal to the race of so eccentric and flighty a companion. How rapid was then my Evelina's progress through those regions of fancy and passion whither her new guide conducted her!-She saw Lord Orville at a ball,-and he was the most amiable of men! -She met him again at another,-and he had every virtue under Heaven!”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“I revere you. I esteem and admire you above all human beings. You are the friend to whom my soul is attached as to its better half. You are the most amiable, the most perfect of women. And you are dearer to me than language has the power of telling… You are now all my own… How will my soul find room for its happiness? It seems already bursting!”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“To Sir Clement, my Lord," said I, "attribute nothing. He is the last man in the world who would have any influence over my conduct.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“it is sometimes dangerous to make requests to men, who are too desirous of receiving them.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“Why he's a poet, you know, so he may live upon learning.”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“The civility of young Branghton, I much suspect, was merely the result of his father's commands”
Fanny Burney
“...let me counsel you to remember that a lady, whether so called form birth or only from fortune, should never degrade herself by being put on a level with writers, and such sort of people.”
Fanny Burney, Cecilia
“In all ranks and all stations of life, how strangely characters and manners differ!”
Fanny Burney, Evelina
“...the easiness with which she hears of her faults, is only another effect of the levity with which she commits them.”
Fanny Burney


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