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

It was the middle of a bright tropical afternoon that we made good our escape from the bay.
      - Herman Melville, Omoo [1847]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

There are some strange summer mornings in the country, when he who is but a sojourner from the city shall early walk forth into the fields, and be wonder-smitten with the trance-like aspect of the green and golden world.
      - Herman Melville, Pierre [1852]

Wellingborough, as you are going to sea, suppose you take this shooting-jacket of mine along; it's just the thing--take it, it will save the expense of another.
      - Herman Melville, Redburn [1849]

At sunrise on a first of April, there appeared, suddenly as Manco Capac at the lake Titicaca, a man in cream-colors, at the waterside in the city of St. Louis.
      - Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man [1857]

Six months at sea!
      - Herman Melville, Typee [1846]

It was not a very white jacket, but white enough, in all conscience, as the sequel will show.
      - Herman Melville, White-Jacket [1850]

Among the Diaries beginning with the second quarter of our century, there is frequent mention of a lady then becoming famous for her beauty and her wit: "an unusual combination," in the deliberate syllables of one of the writers, who is, however, not disposed to personal irony when speaking of her.
      - George Meredith, Diana of the Crossways [1885]

When the thing was at its hottest, I bolted. Tom, like the darling he is--(Yes, you are, old fellow, you're as precious to me as--as you are to the police--if they could only get their hands on you)--well, Tom drew off the crowd, having passed the old gentleman's watch to me, and I made for the women's rooms.
      - Miriam Michelson, In the Bishop's Carriage [1904]
         (ch. I)

Cean turned and lifted her hand briefly in farewell as she rode away beside Lonzo in the ox-cart. Her mother and father and Jasper and Lias stood in front of the house, watching her go.
      - Caroline Miller, Lamb in His Bosom [1933]

I am living at the Villa Borghese. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere, nor a chair misplaced. We are all alone here and we are dead.
      - Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer [1934]

Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.
      - Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn [1939]

Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. And then he feels that perhaps there isn't. Anyhow, here he is at the bottom, and ready to be introduced to you. Winnie-the-Pooh.
      - A.A. (Alan Alexander) Milne,
        Winnie the Pooh [1926] (ch. 1)

Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more
  Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere.
      - John Milton, Lycidas [1638]

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
  Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
    Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
      With loss of Eden.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost [1667] (bk. I, l. 1)

Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
      - Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind [1936]

Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops, and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it was probably conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.
      - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables [1908]

Since the death of Lord Sparkenbroke, tourists from Chelmouth who would formerly have been content to wander through the corridors of his great house, gazing at its treasures and listening to the mechanical chatter of the guides, have added the church and the churchyard to their pilgrimage, for in the churchyard stands the Sparkenbroke Mound, an open, grassy sepulchre of a type familiar in Wales but rare so far east as Dorset, and through its iron-barred gate Lord Sparkenbroke's coffin may be seen among those of his ancestors.
      - Charles Morgan, Sparkenbroke [1936]
         (book 1, ch. 1)

On an afternoon of January 1915, a small train dragged itself across the flat Dutch countryside in the neighbourhood of Bodegraven, carrying a group of English officers under guard.
      - Charles Morgan, The Fountain [1932]

What a grand guy. Sometimes he used to sneak a slug of whiskey in the forenoon, against doctor's orders.
      - Christopher Darlington Morley, Kitty Foyle [1939]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

"Get out o' Mr. Fletcher's road, ye idle, lounging, little--"
  "Vagabond," I think the woman (Sally Walkins, once my nurse,) was going to say, but she changed her mind.
      - Dinah Maria Mulock (used pseudonym Mrs. Craik),
        John Halifax, Gentleman [1856]

The men who govern India--more power to them and her!--are few.
      - Talbot Mundy (pseudonym of William Lancaster Gribbon),
        King--Of the Khyber Rifles [1916]

Sophie Chattel-Monkheim was a Socialist by conviction and a Chattel-Monkheim by marriage.
      - Hector Hugh (H.H.) Munro (Saki),
        The Byzantine Omelet, a short story

A little station on the stretch leading towards Russia.
  Infinitely straight, four parallel iron tracks ran in both directions, between the yellow gravel of the wide track. Alongside each, like a dirty shadow, was the dark line burned into the ground by the exhaust.
      - Robert Edler von Musil,
        The Confusions of Young Toerless [1906]

Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster.
      - Vladimir Nabokov, Laughter in the Dark [1938]
         (ch. 1)

Sylvia was reading in her grandfather's library when the bell tinkled.
      - Meredith Nicholson, A Hoosier Chronicle [1912]


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