Fanny Burney Quotes

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

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

We relate all our afflictions more frequently than we do our pleasures.

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

How little has situation to do with happiness. The happy individual uses their intelligence to realise things could be worse and therefore is grateful and happy. The unhappy individual does the opposite!

A little alarm now and then keeps life from stagnation.

How truly does this journal contain my real and undisguised thoughts–I always write it according to the humour I am in, and if astranger was to think it worth reading, how capricious–insolent & whimsical I must appear!–one moment flighty and half mad,–the next sad and melancholy. No matter! Its truth and simplicity are its sole recommendations.

Concealment is the foe of tranquility.

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

But authors before they write should read.

No man is in love when he marries. He may have loved before; I have even heard he has sometimes loved after: but at the time never. There is something in the formalities of the matrimonial preparations that drive away all the little cupidons.

I 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.

to diminish expectation is to increase enjoyment.

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

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

Credulity is the sister of innocence.

To despise riches, may, indeed, be philosophic, but to dispense them worthily, must surely be more beneficial to mankind.

To Nobody, then, will I write my Journal! since to Nobody can I be wholly unreserved, to Nobody can I reveal every thought, every wish of my heart, with the most unlimited confidence, the most unremitting sincerity, to the end of my life!

Tis best to build no castles in the air.

To 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.

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

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

an 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.

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

For 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.