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

Being an author actually at work, and not an author being photographed at work by a lady admirer, he did not gaze large-eyed at a poppy in a crystal vase, one hand lightly touching his forehead, the other tossing off page after page in high godlike frenzy.
      - Henry Sydnor Harrison, Angela's Business [1915]
         (ch. 1)

It was a five of a November afternoon, crisp and sharp, and already running into dusk. Down the street came a girl and a dog, rather a small girl and quite a behemothian dog. If she had been a shade smaller, or he a shade more behemothian, the thing would have approached a parody on one's settled idea of a girl and a dog. She had enough height to save that, but it was the narrowest sort of squeak.
      - Henry Sydnor Harrison, Queed [1911] (ch. 1)

V. Vivian, M.D., by the paint upon his window, dwelt in the Dabney House; Mr. Heth--pronounced Heath if you value his wife's good opinion--dwelt in the House of his cognomen. Between the two lay a scant mile of city streets. But then this happened to be the particular mile which traversed, while of course it could not span, the Great Gulf fixed.
      - Henry Sydnor Harrison, V.V.'s Eyes [1913] (ch. 1)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

Snow. Everywhere. As far as the eye could reach--fifty miles, looking southward from the highest peak.
      - Bret Harte (Francis Bret Harte),
        Gabriel Conroy [1875] (bk. 1, ch. 1)

There was commotion in Roaring Camp. It could not have been a fight, for in 1850 that was not novel enough to have called together the entire settlement.
      - Bret Harte (Francis Bret Harte),
        The Luck of Roaring Camp [1870]

As Mr. John Oakhurst, gambler, stepped into the main street of Poker Flat on the morning of the twenty-third of November, 1850, he was conscious of a change in its moral atmosphere since the preceding night. Two or three men, conversing earnestly together, ceased as he approached, and exchanged significant glances. There was a Sabbath lull in the air, which, in a settlement unused to Sabbath influences, looked ominous.
      - Bret Harte (Francis Bret Harte),
        The Outcasts of Poker Flat [1870]

Great times call for great men.
      - Jaroslav Hasek, The Good Soldier Schweik [1921]
         (author's preface),
        (also titled The Good Soldier Svejk) (Cecil Parrott translation)

"And so they've killed out Ferdinand,"1 said the charwoman to Mr Svejk, who had left military service years before, after having been finally certified by an army medical board as an imbecile, and now lived by selling dogs--ugly, mongrel monstrosities whose pedigrees he forged.
  1 The archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew of the Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph, was assassinated with his wife at Sarajevo by the Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, in 1914.
      - Jaroslav Hasek, The Good Soldier Schweik [1921]
         (ch. 1),
        (also titled The Good Soldier Svejk) (Cecil Parrott translation)

Philip Marsham was bred to the sea as far back as the days when he was cutting his milk teeth, and he never thought he should leave it; but leave it he did, and once and again, as I shall tell you.
      - Charles Boardman Hawes, The Dark Frigate [1923]
         (ch. 1)

My father's study, as I entered it on an April morning in 1809, to learn his decision regarding a matter that was to determine the course of all my life, was dim and spacious and far removed from the bustle and clamor of the harbor-side.
      - Charles Boardman Hawes, The Mutineers [1919]
         (ch. 1)

A long time ago, in a town with which I used to be familiarly acquainted, there dwelt an elderly person of grim aspect, known by the name and title of Doctor Grimshawe, whose household consisted of a remarkably pretty and vivacious boy, and a perfect rosebud of a girl, two or three years younger than he, and an old maid of all work, of strangely mixed breed, crusty in temper and wonderfully sluttish in attire.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne,
        Doctor Grimshawe's Secret [1883]

In an ancient though not very populous settlement, in a retired corner of one of the New England states, arise the walls of a seminary of learning, which, for the convenience of a name, shall be entitled "Harley College."
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fanshawe [1828]

It was a day in early spring; and as that sweet, genial time of year and atmosphere calls out tender greenness from the ground,--beautiful flowers, or leaves that look beautiful because so long unseen under the snow and decay,--so the pleasant air and warmth had called out three young people, who sat on a sunny hill-side enjoying the warm day and one another.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne, Septimius Felton [1872]

The evening before my departure for Blithedale, I was returning to my bachelor-apartments, after attending the wonderful exhibition of the Veiled Lady, when an elderly-man of rather shabby appearance met me in an obscure part of the street.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne,
        The Blithedale Romance [1852] (ch. 1)

Dr. Dolliver, a worthy personage of extreme antiquity, was aroused rather prematurely, one summer morning, by the shouts of the child Pansie, in an adjoining chamber, summoning old Martha (who performed the duties of nurse, housekeeper, and kitchen-maid, in the Doctor's establishment) to take up her little ladyship and dress her.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Dolliver Romance [1876]

Half-way down a by-street of one of our New England towns, stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst. The street is Pyncheon street; the house is the old Pyncheon-house; and an elm-tree, of wide circumference, rooted before the door, is familiar to every town-born child by the title of the Pyncheon-elm. On my occasional visits to the town aforesaid, I seldom fail to turn down Pyncheon-street, for the sake of passing through the shadow of these two antiquities--the great elm-tree, and the weather-beaten edifice.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne,
        The House of the Seven Gables [1851]

A throng of bearded men in sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods, and other bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter [1850]
         (ch. 1, The Prison-Door)

It is a little remarkable, that--though disinclined to talk overmuch of myself and my affairs at the fireside, and to my personal friends--an autobiographical impulse should twice in my life have taken possession of me, in addressing the public.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter [1850]
         (The Custom-House--Introductory)

My, but it 's nice an' cold this mornin'! The thermometer 's done fell up to zero!"
      - Alice Caldwell Hegan (Alice Caldwell Rice),
        Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch [1902] (ch. 1)

The boy stood on the burning deck
  Whence all but he had fled;
    The flame that lit the battle's wreck,
      Shone round him o'er the dead.
        . . . .
          The flames roll'd on--he would not go
            Without his Father's word;
              That father, faint in death below,
                His voice no longer heard.
      - Mrs. Felicia D. Hemans, Casabianca [1849]

In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels. Troops went by the house and down the road and the dust they raised powdered the leaves of the trees. The trunks of the trees were too dusty and the leaves fell early that year and we saw the troops marching along the road and the dust rising and leaves, stirred by the breeze, falling and the soldiers marching and afterward the road bare and white except for the leaves.
      - Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms [1929]

He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees. The mountainside sloped gently where he lay; but below it was steep and he could see the dark of the oiled road winding through the pass. There was a stream alongside the road and far down the pass he saw a mill beside the stream and the falling water of the dam, white in the summer sunlight.
      - Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls [1940]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it any more.
      - Ernest Hemingway, In Another Country,
        a short story

The strange thing was, he said, how they screamed every night at midnight. I do not know why they screamed at that time. We were in the harbor and they were all on the pier and at midnight they started screaming.
      - Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time [1925]

Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn. He cared nothing for boxing, in fact he disliked it, but he learned it painfully and thoroughly to counteract the feeling of inferiority and shyness he had felt on being treated as a Jew at Princeton.
      - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises [1926]


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