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

There was a thoughtful frown on the face of the man who was the possessor of twenty million dollars.
      - Eleanor Hodgman Porter, Oh, Money! Money! [1918]

Miss Polly Harrington entered her kitchen a little hurriedly this June morning. Miss Polly did not usually make hurried movements; she specially prided herself on her repose of manner. But to-day she was hurrying--actually hurrying.
      - Eleanor Hodgman Porter, Pollyanna [1913]

Della Wetherby tripped up the somewhat imposing steps of her sister's Commonwealth Avenue home and pressed an energetic finger against the electric-bell button.
      - Eleanor Hodgman Porter, Pollyanna Grows Up [1915]

If Burke Denby had not given all the frosted cakes and toy shotguns he wanted at the age of ten, it might not have been so difficult to convince him at the age of twenty that he did not want to marry Helen Barnet.
      - Eleanor Hodgman Porter,
        The Road to Understanding [1917] (ch. 1)

Bright was the summer of 1296. The war which had desolated Scotland was then at an end.
      - Jane Porter, The Scottish Chiefs [1809]

She was a spirited-looking young woman, with dark curly hair cropped and parted on the side, a short oval face with straight eyebrows, and a large curved mouth. A round white collar rose from the neck of her tightly buttoned black basque, and round white cuffs set off lazy hands with dimples in them, lying at ease in the folds of her flounced skirt which gathered around to a bustle.
      - Katherine Anne Porter,
        Pale Horse, Pale Rider [1939] (pt. 1)

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were--Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.
      - Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit [1902]

Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree.
      - Terry Pratchett,
        Hogfather: A Novel of Discworld

The Sun rose slowly, as if it wasn't sure it was worth the effort.
      - Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic

She came gliding along London's broadest street, and then halted, swaying gently.
      - John Boynton Priestley, Angel Pavement [1930]

For a long time I would go to bed early.
  [Fr., Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure.]
      - Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past [1924]
         (Swann's Way, Overture),
        (also titled A la Recherche du Temps Perdu) (Moncrieff and Kilmartin translation)

"My uncle, a most worthy gentleman,
  When he fell seriously ill,
    Constrained everyone to respect him,
      Couldn't have done better if he tried.
        His behaviour was a lesson to us all."
      - Alexander Sergivich Pushkin, Eugene Onegin [1831]
         (bk. I), (G.R. Ledger translation)

Myles Falworth was but eight years of age at that time, and it was only afterwards, and when he grew old enough to know more of the ins and outs of the matter, that he could remember by bits and pieces the things that afterwards happened; how one evening a knight came clattering into the court-year upon a horse, red-nostrilled and smeared with the sweat and foam of a desperate ride--Sir John Dale, a dear friend of the blind Lord.
      - Howard Pyle, Men of Iron [1891]

In merry England in the time of old, when good King Henry the Second ruled the land, there lived within the green glades of Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham Town, a famous outlaw whose name was Robin Hood. No archer ever lived that could speed a gray goose shaft with such skill and cunning as his, nor were there ever such yeomen as the sevenscore merry men that roamed with him through the greenwood shades.
      - Howard Pyle,
        The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood [1883]
         (ch. I)

It happened that among those worthies who were summoned unto London Town by the mandate of the Archbishop as above recounted, there was a certain knight, very honorable and of high estate, by name Sir Ector of Bonmaison--surnamed the Trustworthy Knight, because of the fidelity with which he kept the counsel of those who confided in him, and because he always performed unto all men, whether of high or low degree, that which he promised to undertake, without defalcation as to the same.
      - Howard Pyle,
        The Story of King Arthur and his Knights [1903]
         (ch. 1)

In ancient days there lived a very noble King, named Uther-Pendragon, and he became Overlord of all of Britain. This King was very greatly aided unto the achievement of the Pendragonship of the realm by the help of two men, who rendered him great assistance in all that he did.
      - Howard Pyle,
        The Story of King Arthur and his Knights [1903]
         (prologue)

It is a sin to write this.
      - Ayn Rand, Anthem [1938]

Petrograd smelt of carbolic acid.
      - Ayn Rand, We the Living [1936]

A column of smoke rose thin and straight from the cabin chimney.
      - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, The Yearling [1938]

In a snowy villa, with a sloping lawn, just outside the great commercial seaport, Barkington, there live a few years ago a happy family. A lady, middle-aged, but still charming, two young friends of hers, and a periodical visitor.
  The lady was Mrs. Dodd; her occasional visitor was her husband; her friends were her son Edward, aged twenty, and her daughter Julia, nineteen; the fruit of a misalliance.
      - Charles Reade, Hard Cash [1863]

George Fielding cultivated a small farm in Berkshire.
      - Charles Reade,
        It Is Never Too Late to Mend [1856] (ch. I)

About the middle of the last century, at eight o'clock in the evening, in a large but poor apartment, a man was slumbering on a rough couch. His rusty and worn suit of black was of a piece with his uncarpeted room, the deal table of home manufacture, and its slim unsnuffed candle.
      - Charles Reade, Peg Woffington [1852]

Not a day passes over the earth, but men and women of no note do great deeds, speak great words, and suffer great sorrows. Of these obscure heroes, philosophers, and martyrs, the greater part will never be known till that hour, when many that are great shall be small, and the small great; but of others the world's knowledge may be said to sleep: their lives and characters lie hidden from nations in the annals that record them.
      - Charles Reade, The Cloister and the Hearth [1861]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

On the great plain of Texas, about a hundred miles southward from the old Spanish town of San Antonio de Bejar, the noonday sun is shedding his beams from a sky of cerulean brightness. Under the golden light appears a group of objects, but little in unison with the landscape around them: since they betoken the presence of human beings, in a spot where there is no sign of human habitation.
      - Capt. Mayne Reid (Thomas Mayne Reid),
        The Headless Horseman [1865] (ch. 1)

The stag of Texas, reclining in midnight lair, is startled from his slumbers by the hoofstroke of a horse.
      - Capt. Mayne Reid (Thomas Mayne Reid),
        The Headless Horseman [1865] (prologue)


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