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#6564The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth
And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change.
These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.
-- Wm. Shakespeare, "Richard II"
#6565The better part of valor is discretion.
-- William Shakespeare, "Henry IV"
#6566The bone-chilling scream split the warm summer night in two, the first
half being before the scream when it was fairly balmy and calm and
pleasant, the second half still balmy and quite pleasant for those who
hadn't heard the scream at all, but not calm or balmy or even very nice
for those who did hear the scream, discounting the little period of time
during the actual scream itself when your ears might have been hearing it
but your brain wasn't reacting yet to let you know.
-- Winning sentence, 1986 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
#6567The Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest is held ever year at San Jose State
Univ. by Professor Scott Rice. It is held in memory of Edward George
Earle Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), a rather prolific and popular (in his
time) novelist. He is best known today for having written "The Last
Days of Pompeii."

Whenever Snoopy starts typing his novel from the top of his doghouse,
beginning "It was a dark and stormy night..." he is borrowing from Lord
Bulwer-Lytton. This was the line that opened his novel, "Paul Clifford,"
written in 1830. The full line reveals why it is so bad:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents -- except
at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of
wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene
lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty
flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
#6568The camel died quite suddenly on the second day, and Selena fretted
sullenly and, buffing her already impeccable nails -- not for the first
time since the journey begain -- pondered snidely if this would dissolve
into a vignette of minor inconveniences like all the other holidays spent
with Basil.
-- Winning sentence, 1983 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
#6569The countdown had stalled at 'T' minus 69 seconds when Desiree, the first
female ape to go up in space, winked at me slyly and pouted her thick,
rubbery lips unmistakably -- the first of many such advances during what
would prove to be the longest, and most memorable, space voyage of my
-- Winning sentence, 1985 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest.
#6570The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
-- William Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice"
#6571The difference between a Miracle and a Fact is exactly the difference
between a mermaid and a seal.
-- Mark Twain
#6572The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the
difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
-- Mark Twain
#6573The fashion wears out more apparel than the man.
-- William Shakespeare, "Much Ado About Nothing"
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