But No Methodist

It is scarcely possible to improve upon this title page, but it promises so much good fun that the book must invariably be a disappointment.—And why do you suppose it was necessary to disguise not only the name “M*D*N” but also the title “R*****D,” which one assumes stands for “RENOWNED,” since it has too many letters to be “ROTUND”?

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Unalterable Affection for Matrimony

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From the curious work by Edward Lewis, M.A., whose title page appears above. It should be noted that the Rector of Waterstock and Emington, in Oxfordshire, is entirely innocent of irony.

Sect. XXIX.
Henry’s unalterable affection for matrimony. Vindicated against Hume.

Few princes have given stronger proofs of their unalterable affection to God’s holy ordinance of matrimony than Henry VIII…

Best Opening Sentence

This is the first sentence of the five-volume novel Rosabella: Or, A Mother’s Marriage, written by an anonymous author (rumored to be one Catherine Cuthbertson) and published in London in 1817. It may possibly be the best opening sentence in the history of the modern novel.

It was in such a night as treason might conceive formed for its sanguinary projects, that many deluded individuals of a maritime province in Ireland stole from their straw-roofed cabins, and in the gloom of impenetrable darkness descended with cautious steps the craggy rocks to the seashore; there to meet the subtle agents of sedition, who had, with all the wiles of interested management, too successfully sown the noxious seeds of disaffection in the bosoms of the credulous, the ignorant, the idle, and the bigoted; leading them hoodwinked not only from their allegiance to the existing government, but into the commission of crimes hostile to their eternal welfare.