Nicholas Nickleby is my favourite novel.
I’ve only just read it but it is definitely my favourite novel.
In time, it may be toppled down the list but I don’t see how it could ever be ousted from the top ten. Maybe, by the end of my life, I will have found nineteen which I like better (though I doubt it.) Indeed it is so favourite, I might even read it again - and I NEVER - re-read novels.
I had thought of telling you all about it - but my enthusiasm ran away into so many words I scrubbed them out. I don’t want to ruin it by saying too much. (After all, you WILL be reading it, won’t you?)
So I’ll give you an extract instead. An elderly man and an elderly woman are deciding whether to marry. Her first response to his proposal was “You’re joking!” so he describes the life he hopes they will lead. It would do as a reading at any wedding.
(I’ve put X and Y for names so I’ll give nothing away.)
‘ “Come,” said Tim, “let's be a comfortable couple. We shall live in the old house here, where I have been for four-and-forty year; we shall go to the old church, where I’ve been, every Sunday morning, all through that time; we shall have all my old friends about us - Dick, the archway, the pump, the flower-pots, and Mr X’s children and Mr Y’s children, that we shall seem like grandfather and grandmother to. Let’s be a comfortable couple, and take care of each other! And if we should get deaf, or lame, or blind, or bed-ridden, how glad we shall be that we have somebody we are fond of, always to talk to and sit with! Let’s be a comfortable couple. Now, do, my dear!” ’
Imagine, that, when describing the kind of life you would like to live with the one you love, you include the friendship of flower-pots!