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

The flat roof of the American House, the most spacious and important hotel in Black Thread Center, Connecticut, was lined with sheet of red-painted tin, each embossed with "Phoenix, the Tin of Kings."
      - Sinclair Lewis, Work of Art [1934]

Overhead the clouds cloaked the sky; a ragged cloak it was, and, here and there, a star shone through a hole, to be obscured almost instantly as more cloud tatters were hurled across the rent.
      - Joseph Crosby Lincoln, The Portygee [1920]

To those who admire the kind of thing that it was, North Aston was one of the loveliest places to be found in England.
      - E. Lynn Linton,
        The Atonement of Leam Dundas [1877]
         (book 1, ch. 1)

San Francisco, July 30, 1901
  My dearest Mate:
    Behold a soldier on the eve of battle! I am writing this in a stuffy little hotel room and I don't dare stop whistling for a minute. You could cover my courage with a postage stamp. In the morning I sail for the Flowery Kingdom, and if the roses are waiting to strew my path it is more than they have done here for the past few years.
      - Frances Little (pseudonym of Fannie Macaulay),
        The Lady of the Decoration [1906]

I am going to pack my two shirts with my other socks and my best suit in the little blue cloth my mother used to tie round her hair when she did the house, and I am gong from the Valley.
      - Richard Llewellyn (pseudonym of Richard Dafydd Vivian Llewellyn),
        How Green Was My Valley [1939]

I received a letter the day before yesterday from my old friend Jaffery Chayne, which has inspired me to write the following account of that dear, bull-headed, Pantagruelian being. I must say that I have been egged on to do so by my wife, of whom hereafter.
      - William John Locke, Jaffery [1914] (ch. 1)

"I love Nunsmere," said the Literary Man from London. "It is a spot where faded lives are laid away in lavender."
      - William John Locke, Septimus [1908] (ch. 1)

I met Renniker the other day at the club. He is a man who knows everything--from the method of trimming a puppy's tail for a dog-show, without being disqualified, to the innermost workings of the mind of every European potentate. If I want information on any subject under heaven I ask Renniker.
      - William John Locke, Simon the Jester [1910]
         (ch. I)

Paul Kegworthy lived with his mother, Mrs. Button, his stepfather, Mr. Button, and six little Buttons, his half brothers and sisters. His was not an ideal home; it consisted in a bedroom, a kitchen and a scullery in a grimy little house in a grimy street made up of rows of exactly similar grimy little houses, and forming one of a hundred similar streets in a northern manufacturing town. Mr. and Mrs. Button worked in a factory and took in as lodgers grimy single men who also worked in factories. They were not a model couple; they were rather, in fact, the scandal of Budge Street, which did not itself enjoy, in Bludston, a reputation for holiness.
      - William John Locke, The Fortunate Youth [1914]
         (ch. 1)

"Lady Fenimore's compliments, sir, and will you be so kind as to step round to Sir Anthony at once?"
      - William John Locke, The Red Planet [1917] (ch. I)

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! Often, before I learned, did I wonder whence came the multitudes of pictures that thronged my dreams; for they were pictures the like of which I had never seen in real wake-a-day life. They tormented my childhood, making of my dreams a procession of nightmares and a little later convincing me that I was different from my kind, a creature unnatural and accursed.
      - Jack London, Before Adam [1906] (ch. 1)

Events happened very rapidly with Francis Morgan that late spring morning.
      - Jack London, Hearts of Three [1918]

The soft summer wind stirs the redwoods, and Wild-Water ripples sweet cadences over its mossy stones. There are butterflies in the sunshine, and from everywhere arises the drowsy hum of bees. It is so quiet and peaceful, and I sit here, and ponder, and am restless. It is the quiet that makes me restless. It seems unreal. All the world is quiet, but it is the quiet before the storm. I strain my ears, and all my senses, for some betrayal of that impending storm. Oh, that it may not be premature! That it may not be premature!
      - Jack London, Iron Heel [1907] (ch. 1)

Not until Mister Haggin abruptly picked him up under one arm and stepped into the sternsheets of the waiting whaleboat, did Jerry dream that anything untoward was to happen to him.
      - Jack London, Jerry of the Islands [1917]

The one opened the door with a latch-key and went in, followed by a young fellow who awkwardly removed his cap. He wore rough clothes that smacked of the sea, and he was manifestly out of place in the spacious hall in which he found himself. He did not know what to do with his cap, and was stuffing it into his coat pocket when the other took it from him. The act was done quietly and naturally, and the awkward young fellow appreciated it. "He understands," was his thought. "He'll see me through all right."
      - Jack London, Martin Eden [1909] (ch. 1)

But Michael never sailed out of Tulagi, nigger-chaser on the Eugenie.
      - Jack London, Michael, Brother of Jerry [1917]

In the beginning he was Christopher Bellew. By the time he was at college he had become Chris Bellew. Later, in the Bohemian crowd of San Francisco, he was called Kit Bellew. And in the end he has known by other name than Smoke Bellew.
      - Jack London, Smoke Bellew [1912]

Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tidewater dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego. Because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil, and furry coats to protect them from the frost.
      - Jack London, The Call of the Wild [1903]

"But you can't do it, you know," friends said, to whom I applied for assistance in the matter of sinking myself down into the East End of London. "You had better see the police for a guide," they added, on second thought, painfully endeavoring to adjust themselves to the psychological processes of a madman who had come to them with better credentials than brains.
      - Jack London, The People of the Abyss [1903]
         (ch. 1)

The way led along upon what had once been the embankment of a railroad.
      - Jack London, The Scarlet Plague [1915]

I scarcely know where to begin, though I sometimes facetiously place the cause of it all to Charley Furuseth's credit.
      - Jack London, The Sea Wolf [1904]

All my life I have had an awareness of other times and places. I have been aware of other persons in me. Oh, and trust me, so have you, my reader that is to be. Read back into your childhood, and this sense of awareness I speak of will be remembered as an experience of childhood. You were then not fixed, not crystallized. You were plastic, a soul in flux, a consciousness and an identity in the process of forming--ay, of forming and forgetting.
      - Jack London, The Star Rover [1914] (ch. 1),
        (also titled The Jacket)

"You hear me, Saxon? Come on along. What if it is the Bricklayers'? I'll have gentlemen friends there, and so'll you. The Al Vista band'll be along, an' you know it plays heavenly. An' you just love dancin'--"
      - Jack London, The Valley of the Moon [1913]
         (ch. 1)

Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean toward each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land.
      - Jack London, White Fang [1906]

THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
  Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
    Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
      Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
        Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
          Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline [1847]

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