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

Maule's well, all this time, though left in solitude, was throwing up a succession of kaleidoscopic pictures, in which a gifted eye might have seen foreshadowed the coming fortunes of Hepzibah and Clifford, and the descendant of the legendary wizard, and the village-maiden, over whom he had thrown Love's web of sorcery. The Pyncheon-elm, moreover, with what foliage the September gale had spared to it, whispered unintelligible prophecies. And wise Uncle Venner, passing slowly from the ruinous porch, seemed to hear a strain of music, and fancied that sweet Alice Pyncheon--after witnessing these deeds, this by-gone woe and this present happiness, of her kindred mortals--had given one farewell touch of a spirit's joy upon her harpsichord, as she floated heavenward from the HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES!
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne,
        The House of the Seven Gables [1851]

So said Hester Prynne, and glanced her sad eyes downward at the scarlet letter. And, after many, many years, a new grave was delved, near an old and sunken one, in that burial-ground beside which King's Chapel has since been built. It was near that old and sunken grave, yet with a space between, as if the dust of the two sleepers had no right to mingle. Yet one tomb-stone served for both. All around, there were monuments carved with armorial bearings; and on this simple slab of slate--as the curious investigator may still discern, and perplex himself with the purport--there appeared the semblance of an engraved escutcheon. It bore a device, a herald's wording of which may serve for a motto and brief description of our now concluded legend; so sombre is it, and relieved only by one ever-glowing point of light gloomier than the shadow:--"ON A FIELD, SABLE, THE LETTER A, GULES"
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter [1850]

This stone is perfectly plain. In cutting it the only thought was the requirements of the tomb, and no other care was taken than to make the stone long enough and narrow enough to cover a man.
  No name is to be read there.
    Only, many years ago, a hand wrote upon it in pencil these four lines, which have become gradually illegible beneath the rain and the dust, and which are, to-day, probably effaced:
      Il dort. Quoique le sort fut pour lui bien etrange,
        Il vivait. Il mourut quand il n'eut plus son ange.
          La chose simplement d'elle-meme arriva,
            Comme la nuit se fait lorsque le jour s'en va.
              Note: He sleeps. Although his fate was very strange, he lived. He died when he had no longer his angel. The thing came to pass simply, of itself, as the night comes when day is gone.
      - Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

If I seen him bearing down on me now under whitespread wings like he'd come from Arkangels, I sink I'd die down over his feet, humbly dumbly, only to washup. Yes tid. There's where. First. We pass through grass behush the bush to. Whish! A gull. Gulls. Far calls. Coming, far! End here. Us then. Finn, again! Take. Bussoftlhee, mememormee! Till thousendsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the
      - James Joyce, Finnegans Wake [1939]

Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
      - John Keats (1),
        On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer [1817]

In the summers there is one visitor, however, to that valley, of which the Yeehats do not know. It is a great, gloriously coated wolf, like, and yet unlike, all other wolves. He crosses alone from the smiling timber land and comes down into an open space among the trees. Here a yellow stream flows from rotted moose-hide sacks and sinks into the ground, with long grasses growing through it and vegetable mold overrunning it and hiding its yellow from the sun; and here he muses for a time, howling once, long and mournfully, ere he departs.
  But he is not always alone. When the long winter nights come on and the wolves follow their meat into the lower valleys, he may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows or throat a-bellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack.
      - Jack London, The Call of the Wild [1903]

He smiled and took her hand and pressed it. They got up and walked out of the gallery. They stood for a moment at the balustrade and looked at Trafalgar Square. Cabs and omnibuses hurried to and fro, and crowds passed, hastening in every direction, and the sun was shining.
      - William Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage [1915]

So, floating on the margin of the ensuing scene, and in full sight of it, when the half-spent suction of the sunk ship reached me, I was then, but slowly, drawn towards the closing vortex. When I reached it, it had subsided to a creamy pool. Round and round, then, and ever contracting towards the button-like black bubble at the axis of that slowly wheeling circle, like another ixion I did revolve. till gaining that vital centre, the black bubble upward burst; and now, liberated by reason of its cunning spring, and owing to its great buoyancy, rising with great force, the coffin like-buoy shot lengthwise from the sea, fell over, and floated by my side. Buoyed up by that coffin, for almost one whole day and night, I floated on a soft and dirge-like main. The unharming sharks, they glided by as if with padlocks on their mouths; the savage sea-hawks sailed with sheathed beaks. On the second day, a sail drew near, nearer, and picked me up at last. It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan.
      - Herman Melville, Moby Dick [1851]

The world was all before them, where to choose
  Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
    They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
      Through Eden took their solitary way.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost [1667]
         (bk. XII, l. 646)

After all, tomorrow is another day.
      - Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind [1936]
         (closing words)

The memories of both went back to a place in a desert land where the folds of the Tricolor drooped over one little grave turned westward toward the shores of France--a grave made where the beat of drum, and the sound of moving squadrons, and the ring of the trumpet-call, and the noise of the assembling battalions could be heard by night and day; a grave where the troops, as they passed it by, saluted and lowered their arms in tender reverence, in faithful, unasked homage, because beneath the Flag they honored there was carved in the white stone one name that spoke to every heart within the army she had loved, one name on which the Arab sun streamed as with a martyr's glory:
      - Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee),
        Under Two Flags [1867]

And, as I am an honest Puck,
  If we have unearned luck
    Now to scape the serpent's tongue,
      We will make amends ere long;
        Else the Puck a liar call.
          So, good night unto you all.
            Give me your hands, if we be friends,
              And Robin shall restore amends.
      - William Shakespeare,
        A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck at V, i)

The king's a beggar, now the play is done.
  All is well ended if this suit be won,
    That you express content; which we will pay
      With strife to please you, day exceeding day.
        Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts;
          Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.
      - William Shakespeare,
        All's Well That Ends Well
         (King of France at epilogue)

Our army shall
  In solemn show attend this funeral,
    And then to Rome. Come, Dolabella, see
      High order in this great solemnity.
      - William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
         (Caesar at V, ii)

If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not; and I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell.
      - William Shakespeare, As You Like It
         (Rosalind at V, iv)

My rage is gone,
  And I am struck with sorrow. Take him up.
    Help, three o' th' chiefest soldiers; I'll be one.
      Beat thou the drum, that it speaks mournfully,
        Trail your steel spikes. Though in this city he
          Hath widowed and unchilded many a one,
            Which to this hour bewail the injury,
              Yet he shall have a noble memory.
      - William Shakespeare, Coriolanus
         (Aufidus at V, vi)

Set we forward; let
  A Roman and a British ensign wave
    Friendly together. So through Lud's town march,
      And in the temple of the great Jupiter
        Our peace we'll ratify, seal it with feasts.
          Set on there! Never was a war did cease,
            Ere bloody hands were washed, with such a peace.
      - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
         (Cymbeline at V, v)

Go, bid the soldiers shoot.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Fortinbras at V, ii)

So call the field to rest, and let's away
  To part the glories of this happy day.
      - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
         (Octavius at V, v)

Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway,
  Meeting the check of such another day;
    And since this business so fair is done,
      Let us not leave till all our own be won.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (King Henry at V, iv)

One more word, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloyed with fat meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make you merry with fair Katharine of France. Where, for anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already 'a be killed with your hard opinions, for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is weary. When my legs are too, I will bid you good night, and so kneel down before you, but, indeed, to pray for the queen.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (Dancer at epilogue)

Thus Suffolk hath prevailed; and thus he goes,
  As did the youthful Paris once to Greece,
    With hope to find the like event of love
      But prosper better than the Trojan did.
        Margaret shall now be queen, and rule the king;
          But I will rule both her, the king, and realm.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part I
         (Suffolk at V, v)

After them? Nay, before them, if we can.
  Now, by my faith, lords, 'twas a glorious day.
    Saint Albans battle, won by famous York,
      Shall be eternalized in all age to come.
        Sound drum and trumpets, and to London all;
          And more such days as these to us befall!
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part II
         (Warwick at V, ii)

Away with her, and waft her hence to France.
  And now what rests but that we spend the time
    With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
      Such as befits the pleasure of the court?
        Sound drums and trumpets! Farewell sour annoy!
          For here I hope begins our lasting joy.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part III
         (King Edward at V, vi)

The weight of this sad time we must obey,
  Speak what we feel not what we ought to say.
    The oldest hath borne most; we that are young
      Shall never see so much, nor live so long.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Edgar at V, iii)

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