14 June 2008

Why I love Brideshead Revisited
Or: Why not to seek religious instruction from a 14-year-old

"I've had a long talk with a Catholic--a very pious, well-educated one, and I've learned a thing or two. For instance, that you have to sleep with your feet pointing East because that's the direction of heaven, and if you die in the night you can walk there. Now I'll sleep with my feet pointing any way that suits Julia, but d'you expect a grown man to believe about walking to heaven? And what about the Pope who made one of his horses a Cardinal? And what about the box you keep in the church porch, and if you put a pound note with someone's name on it, they get sent to hell. I don't say there mayn't be a good reason for all this," he said, "but you ought to tell me about it and not let me find out for myself."
"You can see he's a long way from the Church yet," said Father Mowbray.
"But who can he have been talking to? Did he dream it all? Cordelia, what's the matter?"
"What a chump! Oh, mummy, what a glorious chump!"
"Cordelia, it was you."
"Oh, mummy, who could have dreamed he'd swallow it? I told him such a lot besides. About the sacred monkeys in the Vatican--all kinds of things."
"Well, you've considerably increased my work," said Father Mowbray.

--Brideshead Revisited, Book II, Chapter II

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