If my health had grown stronger and my parents allowed me, if not actually to go down to stay at Balbec, at least to take, just once, in order to become acquainted with the architecture and landscapes of Normandy or of Brittany, that 1.22 train into which I had so often clambered in imagination, I should have wished to stop, for preference, at the most beautiful of its towns; but in vain did I compare and contrast them- how to choose, any more than between individual persons who are not interchangeable, between Bayeaux, so lofty in its noble coronet of russet lacework, whose pinnacle was illumined by the old gold of its second syllable; Vitre, whose acute accent barred its ancient glass with wooden lozenges; gentle Lamballe, whose whiteness ranged from egg-shell yellow to pearl grey; Coutances, a Norman cathedral which its final consonants, rich and yellowing, crowned with a tower of butter; Lannion with the rumbling noise, in the silence of its village street, of a coach with a fly buzzing after it; Questambert, Pontorson, ridiculous and naive, white feathers and yellow beaks strewn along the road to those well-watered and poetic spots; Benodet, a name scarcely moored that the river seemed to be striving to drag down into its tangle of algae; Pont-Aven, pink-white flash of the wing of a lightly posed coif, tremulously reflected in the greenish waters of a canal; Quimperle, more firmly anchored, ever since the Middle Ages, among its babbling rivulets threading their pearls in a grey iridescence like the pattern made, tthrough the cobwebs on a church window, by rays of sunlight changed into blunted points of tarnished silver?

-Marcel Proust, from Swann's Way