Meme from Ghoti
Right'n! I've chosen some books from next to my bed. Here's the first lines. See if you can guess 'em.
1. Polly cut off her hair in front of the mirror, feeling slightly guilty about not feeling very guilty about doing so.
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett.
Of all the ships upon the blue
No ship contained a better crew
Than that of worthy Captain Reece,
Commanding of The Mantlepiece.
The Bab Ballads. W.S. Gilbert
3. Ignoring the frantic cries of startled protest from the secretary, the thirteen-hole Prayer-Wear Boots of the Highest Priest smashed their way into the Bifurcated and tubular Sundial company Ltd and stomped onwards.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
It sounded like someone was knocking with a sledgehammer. I rolled over and cracked a bloodshot eye. I couldn't see a figure through the window, but that wasn't surprising. I could barely make out the lettering on the grimy glass:
Sweet Silver Blues, Glen Cook
5. It may be safely assumed that, two thousand years ago, before Cæsar set foot in southern Britain, the whole country-side visible from the windows of the room in which I write, was in what is called "the state of nature."
(Later, in part 14 of the Prolegomena)
What is often called the struggle for existance in society (I plead guilty to having used the term too loosely myself) is a contest, not for the means of existance, but for the means of enjoyment. Those who occupy the first places in this practical competitive examination are the rich and the influential; those who fail, more or less, occupy the lower places, down to the squalid obscurity of the pauper and the criminal. Upon the most liberal estimate, I suppose the former group will not amount to two per cent of the population. I doubt if the latter exceeds another two per cent.; but let it be supposed, for the sake of argument, thatit is as great as five per cent. [Footnote: Those who read the last Essay in thisvolume will not accuse me of wishing to attenuate the evil of the existance of this group, whether great or small.]
As it is only in the latter group that anything comparable to the struggle for existance in the state of nature can take place; as it is only among this twentieth of the whole people that numerous men, women, and children die of rapid or slow starvation, or of the diseases incidental to permanently bad conditions of life; and as there is nothing to prevent their multiplication before they are killed off, while, in spite of greater infant mortality, they increase faster than the rich; it seems clear that the struggle for existance in this class can have no appreciable selective influence upon the other 95 per cent of the population.
What sort of sheep breeder would he be who should content himself with picking out the worst fifty out of a thousand, leaving them on a barren common till the weakest starved, and then letting the urvivors go back to mix with the rest? And the parallel is too favourable; since in a large number of cases, the actual poor and the convicted criminals are neither the weakest nor the worst.
In the struggle for the means of enjoyment, the qualities which ensure success are energy, industry, intellectual capacity, tenacity of purpose, and, at least as much sympathy as is necessary to make a man understand the feelings of his fellows. Were there none of those artificial arrangements by which fools and knaves are kept at the top of society insterad of sinking to their natural place at the bottom, [Footnote: I have elsewhere lamented the absence from society of a machinery for facilitating the descent of incapacity, "Administrative Nihilism." Collected Essays, vol i. p. 54] the struggle for the means of enjoyment would ensure a constant circulation of the human units of the social compound.....
6. Chapter 1. In which there is more Ale than Arguement.
It was on a blusterous windy night in the early part of November, 1812, that three men were on the high road near to the little village of Grassford, in the south of Devonshire.
7.'Will you all be quiet!' hissed High Chancellor Querida. She pouched up her eyes and glared around the table.
'I was only trying to say--' a king, an emperor and several wizards began.
And Wizard Barnabas, who was Vice-chancellor of the University, simply went on talking. '...trying to say, Querida, that you don't understand what it's like. You're a woman. You only have to be the Glamorous Enchantress. Mr Chesney won't let women do the Dark Lord.'
Prince Rupert rode his unicorn into the Tanglewood, peering balefully through the drizzling rain as he searched half-heartedly for the flea hiding somewhere under his breastplate.
Blue Moon Rising, by Simon R. Green
9. Mr. George Lawrence, C.M.G., First Class District Officer of His Magesty's Civil Service, sat at the door of his tent and viewed the African desert scene with the eye of extreme disfavour.
From Part II of the book:
'I think, Perhaps, that if Very Small ______ were allowed to live, he might retreive his character and find a hero's grave,' said the Lieutenant.
'And what would he do if he found a hero's grave?' enquired the captain. 'Pinch the flowers off it and sell them, I suppose. As for retreiving his character, it is better not retreived. Better left where it is - if it is not near inhabited houses, or water used for drinking purposes...'
let him live,' interrupted Faithful Hound. 'He is very useful at times, if only to try things on.'
Enter Face, in a captain's uniform, with his sword drawn, and Subtle with a vial, quarrelling, and followed by Dol Common.
The Alchemist, by Ben Jonson
We are members of a secret society (Hush!)
Floating by the moon's uncertain disc
Our motto is "revenge without anxiety" (Hush!)
That is, without unnecessary risk.
The Mountebanks, by W.S. Gilbert and Alfred Cellier
Character Creation Basics, Follow these steps to create a beginning, 1st-level character.
D&D Player's Handbook 3.0 edition