"If he had known Mrs. Gorgan's prayer, he would have tried it, but the prayer that Homer used to clam himself was the end of Chapter 43 of David Copperfield. There being twenty more chapters to go, these words were pehaps too uncertain for a prayer, and Homer spoke them to himself uncertainly -- not as if he believed the words were true, but as if he were trying to force them to be true; by repeating and repeating the words he might make the words true for him, for homer Wells:
I have stood aside to see the phantoms of those days go by me. They are gone, and I resume the journey of my story."
---From The Cider House Rules, by John Irving