"Well, the wedding is over, the good folks are joined for better for worse--a shocking clause that!--'tis preparing one to lead a long journey, and to know the path is not altogether strewed with roses."
"The young women [in England] are so mortally silly and insipid, that I cannot bear them. Upon my word ... I have scarce met with one worthy being spoke to. Their chat is all on caps--balls--cards--dress--nonsense."
"Thus has Homer proved his opinion of our poor sex--that the love of beauty is our most prevailing passion. It really grieves me to think that there certainly must be reason for the insignificant opinion the greatest men have of women--at least I fear there must.--But I don't in fact believe it--thank God!"
"She [Evelina] is a little angel!... Her face and person answer my most refined ideas of complete beauty.... She has the same gentleness in her manners, the same natural graces in her motions, that I formerly so much admired in her mother. Her character seems truly ingenuous and simple; and at the same time that nature has blessed her with an excellent understanding and great quickness of parts, she has a certain air of inexperience and innocency that is extremely interesting."
"In 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."
"I have very lately read the Prince of Abyssinia [Samuel Johnson's Rasselas]MI am almost equally charmed and shocked at it--the style, the sentiments are inimitable--but the subject is dreadful--and, handled as it is by Dr. Johnson, might make any young, perhaps old, person tremble--O heavens! how dreadful, how terrible it is to be told by a man of his genius and knowledge, in so affectingly probable a manner, that true, real happiness is ever unattainable in this world!"
"Those 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."
"Hetty [Burney's sister] set down to the harpsichord and sung ... we departed this life of anguish and misery, and rested our wearysouls in the Elysian field--my papa's study--there, freed from the noise and bustle of the world enjoyed the harmony of chattering--and the melody of music!"
"This artless young creature [Evelina], with too much beauty to escape notice, has too much sensibility to be indifferent to it; but she has too little wealth to be sought with propriety by men of the fashionable world."
"Thus has Homer proved his opinion of our poor sex--that the love of beauty is our most prevailing passion. It really grieves me tothink that there certainly must be reason for the insignificant opinion the greatest men have of women--at least I fear there must.--But I don't in fact believe it--thank God!"