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[ Also see Books Books (Last Lines) Books (Quotes) Quotations ]

The sublimity connected with vastness, is familiar to every eye.
      - James Fenimore Cooper, The Pathfinder [1840]

A single glance at the map will make the reader acquainted with the position of the eastern coast of the island of Great Britain, as connected with the shores of the opposite continent.
      - James Fenimore Cooper, The Pilot [1823]

Near the centre of that State of New York lies an extensive district of country, whose surface is a succession of hills and dales, or, to speak with greater deference to geographical definitions, of mountains and valleys.
      - James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers [1823]

Much was said and written, at the time, concerning the policy of adding the vast regions of Louisiana, to the already immense, and but half-tenanted territories of the United-States.
      - James Fenimore Cooper, The Prairie [1827]

No one, who is familiar with the bustle and activity of an American commercial town, would recognise, in the repose which now reigns in the ancient mart of Rhode Island, a place that, in its day, has been ranked amongst the most important ports along the whole line of our extended coast.
      - James Fenimore Cooper, The Red Rover [1827]

It was near the close of the year 1780 that a solitary traveler was seen pursuing his way through one of the numerous little valleys of Westchester.*
  [*As each state of the American Union has its own counties, it often happens that there are several which bear the same name. The scene of this tale is in New York, whose county of Westchester is the nearest adjoining to the city.]
      - James Fenimore Cooper, The Spy [1821]

A long sultry Syrian day was drawing near its close.
  The heavy heat was almost insupportable, and a poisonous stench oozed up from the damp earth-floors of the Jewish prison, charging what little air there was with a deadly sense of suffocation.
      - Marie Corelli, Barabbas [1893]

In the swirling rain that came at dusk the broad avenue glistened with that deep bluish tint which is so widely condemned when it is put into pictures.
      - Stephen Crane, George's Mother [1896]

A very little boy stood upon a heap of gravel for the honour of Rum Alley. He was throwing stones at howling urchins from Devil's Row, who were circling madly about the heap and pelting him. His infantile countenance was livid with the fury of battle. His small body was writhing in the delivery of oaths.
      - Stephen Crane, Maggie [1893] (ch. 1)

The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors. It cast its eyes upon the roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares. A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army's feet; and at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distant hills.
      - Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage [1895]
         (ch. 1)

In spite of Jean-Jacques and his school, men are not everywhere born free, any more than they are everywhere in chains, unless these be of their own individual making.
      - Francis Marion Crawford, Mr. Isaacs [1882]

A great multitude of people filled the church, crowded together in the old black pews, standing closely thronged in the nave and aisles, pressing shoulder to shoulder even in the two chapels on right and left of the apse, a vast gathering of pale men and women whose eyes were sad and in whose faces was written the history of their nation.
      - Francis Marion Crawford,
        The Witch of Prague [1891]

Late one October afternoon in the year 1921, a shabby young man gazed with fixed intensity through the window of a third-class compartment in the almost empty train labouring up the Penowell valley from Swansea.
      - Archibald Joseph Cronin, The Citadel [1937]

When she had finished dressing, Lucy went to her bedroom window, but there was still no sign of Frank. And absently she stood behind the long lace curtain, letting her eyes mirror the white stretch of road which followed the estuary shore towards the town, nearly a mile away.
      - Archibald Joseph Cronin, Three Loves [1932]
         (book I, ch. I)

The charts were all spread out upon the table; the midnight gas burned steadily above my head; my pencil traced a dotted line down the paper under my hand.
      - Victoria Cross (pseudonym of Annie Sophie Cory),
        Six Chapters of a Man's Life [1903] (ch. 1)

Pierre Gourdon had the love of God in his heart, a man's love for a man's God, and it seemed to him that in this golden sunset of a July afternoon the great Canadian wilderness all abut him was whispering softly the truth of his faith and his creed.
      - James Oliver Curwood,
        A Gentleman of Courage [1923]

Between Conniston, of His Majesty's Royal Northwest Mounted Police, and Keith, the outlaw, there was a striking physical and facial resemblance.
      - James Oliver Curwood, The River's End [1919]

Before the railroad's thin lines of steel bit their way up through the wilderness, Athabasca Landing was the picturesque threshold over which one must step who would enter into the mystery and adventure of the great white North.
      - James Oliver Curwood,
        The Valley of Silent Men [1920]

Spring was stealing lightly over the Connecticut hills, a shy, tender thing of delicate green winging its way with witch-rod over the wooded ridges and the sylvan paths of Diane Westfall's farm.
      - Leona Dalrymple, Diane of the Green Van [1914]

The fourteenth of August was the day fixed upon for the sailing of the brig Pilgrim, on her voyage from Boston, round Cape Horn, to the Western coast of North America. As she was to get under way early in the afternoon, I made my appearance on board at twelve o'clock, in full sea-rig, with my chest, containing an outfit for a two or three years' voyage, which I had undertaken from a determination to cure, if possible, by an entire change of life, and by a long absence from books, with a plenty of hard work, plain food, and open air, a weakness of the eyes, which had obliged me to give up my studies, and which no medical aid seemed likely to remedy.
      - Richard Henry Dana, Jr.,
        Two Years Before the Mast [1840] (ch. I)

Midway along the path of our life.
  [It., Nel mezzo del cammin de nostra vita.]
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri"),
        The Divine Comedy, Inferno

Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
  from the straight road and woke to find myself
    alone in a dark wood.
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri"),
        The Divine Comedy, Inferno

In that part of the book of my memory before the which is little that can be read, there is a rubric, saying, Incipit Vita Nova. Under such rubric I find written many things; and among them the words which I purpose to copy into this little book; if not all of them, at the least their substance.
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri"), The New Life [1293],
        (Dante Gabriel Rosetti translation)

Yes, I truly think that in all the world there is nothing so dead as a young widow's deceased husband, and God ought to give His wisest man-angel special charge concerning looking after her and the devil at the same time. They both need it!
      - Maria Thompson Daviess,
        The Melting of Molly [1912] (leaf first)

"It is so good of you to come early," said Mrs. Porter, as Alice Langham entered the drawing-room. "I want to ask a favor of you. I'm sure you won't mind. I would ask one of the debutantes, except that they're always so cross if one puts them next to men they don't know and who can't help them, and so I thought I'd just ask you, you're so good-natured. You don't mind, do you?"
      - Richard Harding Davis, Soldiers of Fortune [1897]
         (ch. I)

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