To A Lady Who Said It Was Sinful to Read Novels
Christian Milne 1773–1816
To love these books, and harmless tea,
Has always been my foible,
Yet will I ne’er forgetful be
To read my Psalms and Bible.
Travels I like, and history too,
Or entertaining fiction;
Novels and plays I’d have a few,
If sense and proper diction.
I love a natural harmless song,
But I cannot sing like Handel;
Deprived of such resource, the tongue
Is sure employed — in scandal.
Well, the youngest and first to fall ill has gone back to school today but now the other two are in the infirmary with fevers. So I am still on Personal and Carers Leave three days running. This has enabled me to catch up on washing and ironing, rake leaves, clean the refrigerator, cook leftovers and indulge in a bit of reading. Things I normally put off.
Novel reading is also an excellent invalid pastime. Charly is working her way through the Harry Potter series, while Ro-Ro and I are reading the Lemony Snicket 13-part journey through a Series of Unfortunate Events and Wanna is re-reading the Princess Poppy series and her beloved Pearlie books. Our imaginations are healthily engrossed in magical fantasy worlds while our fragile bodies recover.
Books are indeed the sugar to sweeten the medicine and the greatest cure for misery.