“…However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighberhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.”
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Hey, I’m a guy who isn’t ashamed to admit that he reads this novel about once a year. In fact, I learned in a college lit. class that during the first World War Austen was considered an author for a male audience. Soldiers would be reminded of home and the women they fought for when reading the early nineteenth century novelists’ brilliant stories of love, courtship and propriety.
I’ll add two for someone else to try:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
“Amory Blaine inherited from his mother every trait, except the stray inexpressible few, that made him worth while.”