Tuesday, 12 February 2013
"The carriage gave another lurch, and Maria Merryweather, Miss Heliotrope, and Wiggins once more fell into each other's arms, sighed, gasped, righted themselves and fixed their attention upon those objects which were for each of them at this trying moment the source of courage and strength.
"Maria gazed at her boots, pushing them out from under the carriage-rug for that purpose. Miss Heliotrope restored her spectacles, jolted from her aquiline nose by the jolting of the carriage, to their proper position, picked up the worn brown volume of French essays from the floor, popped a peppermint in her mouth and peered once more in the dim light at the wiggly black print on the yellowed page. Wiggins meanwhile pursued with his tongue the taste of the long-since-digested dinner that still lingered among his whiskers.
"Humanity can be roughly divided into three sorts of people - those who find comfort in literature, those who find comfort in personal adornment and those who find comfort in food; and Miss Heliotrope, Maria and Wiggins were typical representatives of their own sort of people."
The opening lines of Elizabeth's Goudge's The Little White Horse, my favourite book. It's one of the small collection of books that always lives next to my bed. I love the illustrations by C. Walter Hodges - I have just acquired a new, hardback edition (not the Folio one, though seeing that was what inspired me to find a new copy), but I'll always keep my battered old Puffin edition with its bad but loving handcolouring as well.