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

The door opened, and the men of the congregation began to come out of the church at Peribonka.
      - Louis Hemon, Maria Chapdelaine [1913] (ch. I)

One dollar and eighty-seven cents.
      - O. Henry (pseudonym of William Sydney Porter),
        The Gift of the Magi

"I don't know what to say, my dear."
      - George Alfred Henty,
        In the Reign of Terror [1887]

It was late in the afternoon in the spring of the year 1630; the hilltops of the south of Scotland were covered with masses of cloud, and a fierce wind swept the driving rain before it with such force that it was not easy to make way against it.
      - George Alfred Henty, The Lion of the North [1886]

A mounted officer, followed by two orderlies, was proceeding at a brisk trot from Paris to St. Denis, in October, 1639, when he came upon a large party of boys, who, armed with sticks, were advancing in something like military order against a wall on the top of a low hill.
      - George Alfred Henty, Won by the Sword [1899]
         (ch. I)

I shall begin my story with an experience I had when I was ten and attended our small town's Latin school.
      - Hermann Hesse, Demian [1923]

The day had gone by just as days go by. I had killed it in accordance with my primitive and retiring way of life.
      - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf [1927]

I choose to record how Richard Count of Poictou rode all through one smouldering night to see Jehane Saint-Pol a last time.
      - Maurice Hewlett,
        The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay [1900]
         (book 1, ch. 1)

I like this good man's account of leopards, and find it more pertinent to my matter than you might think.
      - Maurice Hewlett,
        The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay [1900]
         (book 1, exordium)

It was no mere chance that, during the first decade of the new century, brought Mamba out of the darkness of the underworld into the light of the Wentworths' kitchen.
      - DuBose Heyward, Mamba's Daughters [1929]

Amedeo Dorini, the hall porter of the Hotel Cavour in Milan, stood on the pavement before the hotel one autumn afternoon in the year 1894, waiting for the omnibus, which had gone to the station, and which was now due to return, bearing--Amedeo hoped--a load of generously inclined travelers. During the years of his not unpleasant servitude Amedeo had become a student of human nature. He had learnt to judge shrewdly and soundly, to sum up quickly, to deliver verdicts which were not unjust.
      - Robert Smythe Hichens, In the Wilderness [1917]
         (book I, ch. I)

The fatigue caused by a rough sea journey, and, perhaps, the consciousness that she would have to be dressed before dawn to catch the train for Beni-Mora, prevented Domini Enfilden from sleeping. There was deep silence in the Hotel de la Mer at Robertville. The French officers who took their pension there had long since ascended the hill of Addouna to the barracks. The cafes had closed their doors to the drinkers and domino players. The lounging Arab boys had deserted the sandy Place de la Marine.
      - Robert Smythe Hichens, The Garden of Allah [1904]
         (bk. I, ch. I)

When you are getting on in years (but not ill, of course), you get very sleepy at times, and the hours seem to pass like lazy cattle moving across a landscape.
      - James Hilton, Good-Bye, Mr. Chips [1934] (ch. 1)

Cigars had burned low, and we were beginning to sample the disillusionment that usually afflicts old school friends who have met again as men and found themselves with less in common than they had believed they had.
      - James Hilton, Lost Horizon [1933]

One cold gusty night in December a boy rang the bell of the doctor's house in Shawgate, and when Susan came to the door left word that there had been an accident to a dancer at the local theatre and would the doctor please come at once.
      - James Hilton, We Are Not Alone [1937] (ch. 1)

In a small cathedral town where changes are few, there are always people who remember who used to live in a particular house, what happened to them there and afterwards, and so on.
      - James Hilton, We Are Not Alone [1937] (prologue)

To the north where the red plains of Manchuria draw near to Siberia the light of the September dawn lay along the horizon.
      - Alice Tisdale Hobart (Alice Nourse Hobart),
        Oil for the Lamps of China [1933]
         (pt. 1, ch. 1)

It appears from tradition, as well as some parish registers still extant, that the lands of Dalcastle (or Dalchastel, as it is often spelled) were possessed by a family of the name of Colwan, about one hundred and fifty years ago, and for at least a century previous to that period.
      - James Hogg ("The Ettrick Shepherd"),
        The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner [1824]

There is nothing in New England corresponding at all to the feudal aristocracies of the Old World.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Elsie Venner [1859]

Achilles' cursed anger sing, O goddess, that son of Peleus, which stated a myriad sufferings for the Achaeans.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad

Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
  Of woes unnumbered, heavenly goddess, sing!
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad,
        (Pope's translation)

Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage
  Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
    Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls
      Of heroes into Hades' dark
        And left their bodies to rot as feasts
          For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (book I), (Lombardo translation)

Tell me, Muse, of the man of many devices, who wandered far and wide after he had sacked Troy's sacred city, and saw the towns of many men and knew their mind.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey

"I wonder when in the world you're going to do anything, Rudolf?" said my brother's wife.
      - Anthony Hope (pseudonym of Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins),
        The Prisoner of Zenda [1894]

"Then you offer me no hope, Doctor?"
      - Emerson Hough, 54-40 or Fight [1909]


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