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

A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green. The water is warm too, for it has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the narrow pool.
      - John Ernst Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men [1937]

To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.
      - John Ernst Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath [1939]

"I don't mean to take advantage of my title of father to interfere with you, my son. You are free."
      - de Stendhal (pseudonym of Marie Henri Beyle),
        Lucien Leuwen [1894] (ch. 1),
        The Telegraph, the second of two parts (Louise Varese translation)

Lucien Leuwen was expelled from the Ecole Polytechnique for having gone for an untimely walk on a day when he, with his fellow students, had been ordered to keep to their quarters. It was on one of those famous days of June, 1832.
      - de Stendhal (pseudonym of Marie Henri Beyle),
        Lucien Leuwen [1894] (ch. 1),
        The Green Huntsman, the first of two parts (Louise Varese translation)

On the 15th of May, 1796, General Bonaparte made his entry into Milan at the head of that young army which had shortly before crossed the Bridge of Lodi and taught the world that after all these centuries Caesar and Alexander had a successor.
      - de Stendhal (pseudonym of Marie Henri Beyle),
        The Charterhouse of Parma [1839] (ch. 1),
        (C.K. Scott Moncrieff translation)

I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;--that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;--and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost;--Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,--I am verily persuaded that I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that in which the reader is likely to see me.
      - Laurence Sterne,
        The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman [1759]

The 25th day of August, 1751, about two in the afternoon, I, David Balfour, came forth of the British Linen Company, a porter attending me with a bag of money, and some of the chief of these merchants bowing me from their doors. Two days before, and even as yestermorning, I was like a beggar-man by the wayside, clad in rags, brought down to my last shillings, my companion a condemned traitor, a price set on my own head for a crime with the news of which the country rang. To-day I was served heir to my position in life, a landed laird, a bank porter by me carrying my gold, recommendations in my pocket, and (in the words of the saying) ball directly at my foot.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson, Catriona [1893] (ch. 1)

I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June, the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father's house.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped [1886]

It was in the month of May, 1813, that I was so unlucky as to fall into the hands of the enemy.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson, St. Ives [1897]

I saw that island first when it was neither night nor morning. The moon was to the west, setting but still broad and bright. To the east, and right amidships of the dawn, which was all pinks, the daystar sparkled like a diamond. The land breeze blew in our faces and smellt strong of wild lime and vanilla: other things besides, but these were the most plain; and the chill of it set me sneezing. I should say I had been for years on a low island near the line, living for the most part solitary among natives. Here was a fresh experience; even the tongue would be quite strange to me; and the look of these woods and mountains, and the rare smell of them, renewed my blood.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson,
        The Beach at Falesa [1892] (ch. 1)

On a certain afternoon, in the late springtime, the bell upon Tunstall Moat House was heard ringing at an unaccustomed hour.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson, The Black Arrow [1888]

There was a man in the island of Hawaii, whom I shall call Keawe; for the truth is, he still lives, and his name must be kept secret; but the place of his birth was not far from Honaunau, where the bones of Keawe the Great lie hidden in a cave.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson, The Bottle Imp [1891],
        a short story

The full truth of this odd matter is what the world has long been looking for and the public curiosity is sure to welcome.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson,
        The Master of Ballantrae [1889] (ch. 1)

Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson,
        The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [1886]
         (ch. 1)

Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17--, and go back to the time when my father kept the "Admiral Benbow" inn, and the brown old seaman, with the sabre cut, first took up his lodging under our roof.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island [1883]

The Lord Justice-Clerk was a stranger in that part of the country; but his lady wife was known there from a child, as her race had been before her.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson, Weir of Hermiston [1896]

It has always been a favorite idea of mine, that there is so much of the human in every man, that the life of any one individual, however obscure, if really and vividly perceived in all its aspirations, struggles, failures, and successes, would command the interest of all others.
      - Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe,
        Oldtown Folks [1869]

Mrs. Katy Scudder had invited Mrs. Brown, and Mrs. Jones, and Deacon Twitchel's wife to take tea with her on the afternoon of June second, A.D. 17--.
      - Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe,
        The Minister's Wooing [1859]

Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining-parlor, in the town of P-----, in Kentucky.
      - Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe,
        Uncle Tom's Cabin [1852]

Kate Bates followed the narrow footpath rounding the corner of the small country church, as the old minister raised his voice slowly and impressively to repeat the command he had selected for his text. Fearing that her head would be level with the windows, she bent and walked swiftly past the church; but the words went her, iterating and reiterating themselves in her brain.
      - Gene Stratton-Porter,
        A Daughter of the Land [1918] (ch. 1)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

"What makes you wear such funny shoes?"
      - Gene Stratton-Porter,
        Her Father's Daughter [1921] (ch. 1)

"Have I got a Little Sister anywhere in this house?" inquired Laddie at the door, in his most coaxing voice.
      - Gene Stratton-Porter, Laddie [1913]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

"Aw kid, come on! Be square!"
      - Gene Stratton-Porter, Michael O'Halloran [1915]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

"Bel, come here!"
      - Gene Stratton-Porter, The Harvester [1911]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

"JAMES LEWIS MACFARLAND."
  The bearer of this name swung his feet to the floor and sat up suddenly, cupping his big hands over his knees to steady himself.
      - Gene Stratton-Porter,
        The Keeper of the Bees [1925]


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