Friday, July 17, 2009

First Lines Quiz

First Lines--Novels

1. "More than three centuries and a half ago, in the mid springtime of 1492, we are sure that the angel of the dawn, as he travelled with broad slow wing from the Levant to the Pillars of Hercules, and from the summits of the Caucasus across all the snowy Alpine ridges to the dark nakedness of the Western isles, saw nearly the same outline of firm land and unstable sea--saw the same great mountain shadows on the same valleys as he has seen today--saw olive mounts, and pine forests, and the broad plains green with young corn or rain-freshened grass--saw domes and spires of cities rising by the river-sides or mingled with the sedge-like masts on the many-curved sea-coast, in the same spots where they rise today."

2. "One may as well begin with Helen's letter to her sister."

3. "A youth sat upon a log by a clear stream in the Valley of Virginia, mending clothes."

4. "At the top of Agency Hill, Betsy Ray turned Old Mag off the road into the shade of an elm."

5. "This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child."

6. "Buck Mulligan came from a stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed."

7. "I address these lines--written in India--to my relatives in England."

8. "There are some fields near Manchester, well known to the inhabitants as 'Green Heys Fields,' through which runs a public footpath to the little village about two miles distant."

9. "Of late years, an abundant shower of curates has fallen upon the north of England: they lie very thick on the hills; every parish has one or more of them; they are young enough to be very active, and ought to be doing a great deal of good."

10. "On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York."

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