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BOOKS (FIRST LINES)
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[ Also see Books Books (Last Lines) Books (Quotes) Quotations ]

Herein lie buried many things which if read with patience may show the strange meaning of being black here in the dawning of the Twentieth Century. This meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader; for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.
      - W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt) Du Bois,
        The Souls of Black Folk [1903]

Towards the end of the year 1340, on a cold but still beautiful Autumn night, a horseman was riding along the narrow road that follows the left bank of the Rhine. You might have thought, considering the lateness of the hour and the rapid pace at which he urged his horse, tired as it was with the long day's journey already done, that he was going to stop for a few hours in the little town of Oberwinter, which he had just reached. But nothing of the kind; without slackening his pace and like a man who is familiar with them, he plunged into the midst of narrow tortuous streets that might shorten his way by a few minutes, and soon reappeared on the other side of the town, going out by the opposite Gate to that by which he had come in.
  [Fr., Vers la fin de l'annee 1340, par une nuit froide, mais encore belle de l'automne, un cavalier suivant le chemin etroit qui cotoie la rive gauche du Rhin.]
      - Alexandre Dumas pere, Otho, the Archer [1840]
         (ch. 1),
        (also titled Othon l'Archer)

On the 20th of August, 1672, the city of the Hague, always so lively, so neat, and so trim that one might believe every day to be Sunday, with its shady park, with its tall trees, spreading over its Gothic houses, with its canals like large mirrors, in which its steeples and its almost Eastern cupolas are reflected,--the city of the Hague, the capital of the Seven Provinces, was swelling in all its arteries with a black and red stream of hurried, panting, and restless citizens, who, with their knives in their girdles, muskets on their shoulders, or sticks in their hands, were pushing on to the Buytenhof, a terrible prison, the grated windows of which are still shown, on the charge of attempted murder preferred against him by the surgeon Tyckelaer, Cornelius de Witt, the brother of the Grand Pensionary of Holland was confined.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere, The Black Tulip [1850]
         (ch. 1),
        (also titled La Tulipe Noire)

On the 22d of March, in the year of our Lord 1718, a young cavalier of high bearing, about twenty-six or twenty-eight years of age, mounted on a pure-bred Spanish charger, was waiting, towards eight o'clock in the morning, at that end of the Pont Neuf which abuts on the Quai de l'Ecole.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere, The Conspirators [1843]
         (ch. 1),
        (also titled Le Chevalier d'Harmental)

During the early part of the month of March, in the year 1841, I traveled in Corsica.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere,
        The Corsican Brothers [1845] (ch. I),
        (also titled Les Freres Corses)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

On the 24th of February, 1810, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.
  As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and rounding the Chateau d'If, got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and Rion island.
    Immediately, and according to custom, the ramparts of Fort Saint-Jean were covered with spectators; it is always an event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like the Pharaon, has been built, rigged, and laden at the old Phocee docks, and belongs to an owner of the city.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere,
        The Count of Monte Cristo [1845] (ch. 1),
        (also titled Le Comte de Monte-Cristo)

On the 26th of October, in the year 1585, the barriers of the gate of Saint Antoine were still closed, contrary to the usual custom, at half-past ten in the morning.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere,
        The Forty-Five Guardsmen [1848] (ch. 1),
        (also titled Les Quarante-cinq) (G.F. Maine editor)

Since Aramis's singular transformation into a confessor of the order, Baisemeaux was no longer the same man. Up to that period, the place which Aramis had held in the worthy governor's estimation was that of a prelate whom he respected and a friend to whom he owed a debt of gratitude; but now he felt himself an inferior, and that Aramis was his master.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere,
        The Man in the Iron Mask [1850] (ch. I),
        (also titled L'Homme au Masque de Fer)

The winter of 1784, that monster which devoured a sixth of France, we could not see, although he growled at the doors, while at the house of Monsieur de Richelieu, shut in as we were in that warm and comfortable dining-room.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere, The Queen's Necklace [1849]
         (ch. 1),
        (also titled Le Collier de al Reine)

It was the beginning of April, 1784, between twelve and one o'clock.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere, The Queen's Necklace [1849]
         (prologue),
        (also titled Le Collier de la Reine)

On the first Monday of the month of April, 1625, the market town of Meung, in which the author of Romance of the Rose was born, appeared to be in as perfect a state of revolution as if the Huguenots had just made a second La Rochelle of it. Many citizens, seeing the women flying toward the High Street, leaving their children crying at the open doors, hastened to don the cuirass, and supporting their somewhat uncertain courage with a musket or a partisan, directed their steps toward the hostelry of the Jolly Miller, before which was gathered, increasing every minute, a compact group, vociferous and full of curiosity.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere, The Three Musketeers [1844],
        (also titled Les Trois Mousquetaires)

In a splendid chamber of the Palais Royal, formerly styled the Palais Cardinal, a man was sitting in deep reverie, his head supported on his hands, leaning over a gilt and inlaid table which was covered with letters and papers. Behind this figure glowed a vast fireplace alive with leaping flames; great logs of oak blazed and crackled on the polished brass andirons whose flicker shone upon the superb habiliments of the lonely tenant of the room, which was illumined grandly by twin candelabra rich with wax-lights.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere, Twenty Years After [1845]
         (ch. 1),
        (also titled Vingt Ans Apres)

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
      - Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca [1938]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

"And what's your name?"
      - Umberto Eco,
        The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
         (ch. 1)

There was a man named Lessingham dwelt in an old low house in Wasdale, set in a gray old garden where yew-trees flourished that had seen Vikings in Copeland in their seedling time.
      - Eric Rucker Eddison, The Worm Ouroboros [1922]

It was the second day of their journey to their first home.
      - Walter D. Edmonds, Drums Along the Mohawk [1936]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

With a single drop of ink for a mirror, the Egyptian sorcerer undertakes to reveal to any chance comer far-reaching visions of the past. This is what I undertake to do for you, reader.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        Adam Bede [1859]

Was she beautiful or not beautiful? and what was the secret of form or expression which gave the dynamic quality to her glance? Was the good or the evil genius dominant in those beams? Probably the evil; else why was the effect that of unrest rather than of undisturbed charm? Why was the wish to look again felt as coercion, and not as a longing in which the whole being consents?
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        Daniel Deronda [1876]

Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        Middlemarch [1872] (book one, ch. 1)

Who that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa, has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand-in-hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors?
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        Middlemarch [1872] (prelude)

Shepperton Church was a very different looking building five-and-twenty years ago. To be sure, its substantial stone tower looks at you through its intelligent eye, the clock, with the friendly expression of former days; but in everything else what changes!
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        Scenes of Clerical Life [1858] (ch. 1)

In the days when the spinning wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses--and even great ladies, clothed in silk and thread lace, had their toy spinning wheels of polished oak--there might be seen, in districts far away among the lanes, or deep in the bosom of the hills, certain palled undersized men who, by the side of the brawny country-folk, looked like the remnants of a disinherited race.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        Silas Marner [1861]

The time of my end approaches. I have lately been subject to attacks of angina pectoris; and in the ordinary course of things, my physician tells me, I may fairly hope that my life will not be protracted many months. Unless, then, I am cursed with an exceptional physical constitution, as I am cursed with an exceptional mental character, I shall not much longer groan under the wearisome burthen of this earthly existence.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        The Lifted Veil [1859]

A wide plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its green banks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks its passage with an impetuous embrace.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        The Mill on the Floss [1860]

In my beginning is my end.
      - T.S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot),
        Four Quartets--East Coker [1940]


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