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The Opening Paragraph of 
Persuasion, by  Jane Austen

     Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man

who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the 

Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and 

consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into 

admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the 

earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from 

domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned 

over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if 

every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an 

interest which never failed.  This was the page at which the favorite 

volume always opened:


"Walter Elliot, born March 1, 1760, married, July 15, 1784, Elizabeth,

daughter of James Stevenson, Esq. of South Park, in the county of

Gloucester, by which lady (who died 1800) he has issue Elizabeth,

born June 1, 1785; Anne, born August 9, 1787; a still-born son,

November 5, 1789; Mary, born November 20, 1791."

This border is based on an illustration by C. E. Brock for Persuasion
Source: The C.E. Brock Illustrations of Persuasion