TO THE LIGHTHOUSELest this should be wrong, she looked at himreading the little book with the shiny covermottled like a plover’s egg. No; it was right.Look at him now, she wanted to say aloud toJames. (But James had his eye on the sail.) Heis a sarcastic brute, James would say. He bringsthe talk round to himself and his books; Jameswould say. He is intolerably egotistical. Worstof all, he is a tyrant. But look! she said, lookingat him. He may be thinking.Look at him now.She looked at him reading the little book withhis legs curled; the little book whose yellowishpages she knew, without knowing what was writtenon them. It was small; it was closely printed;on the fly-leaf she knew, he had written that hehad spent fifteen francs on dinner; the wine hadbeen so much; he had given so much to thewaiter; all was added up nearly at the bottom ofthe page. But what might be written in the bookwhich had rounded its edges off in his pocket, shedid not know. What he thought they none ofthem knew. But he was absorbed in it, so thatwhen he looked up, as he did now for an instant,it was not to see anything; it was to pin downsome thought exactly. That done, his mindflew back again and he plunged into his reading.He read, she thought, as if he were guiding some-thing, or wheedling a large flock of sheep, or294THE LIGHTHOUSEher when she thought of Mrs. Ramsay; it evadedher now when she thought of her picture. Phrasescame. Visions came.  Beautiful pictures. Wreathsof flowers.Beautiful phrases. The Bride ofDeath.But what she wished to get hold of wasthat very jar on the nerves, the thing itself beforeit has been made anything. Get that and startafresh; get that and start afresh; she saiddesperately, pitching herself firmly again beforeher easel. It was a miserable machine, an in-efficient machine, she thought, the human appar-atus for painting or for feeling; it always brokedown at the critical moment; heroically, one mustforce it on. She stared, frowning. There was thehedge, sure enough. But one got nothing bysoliciting urgently. One got only a glare in theeye from looking at the line of the wall, or fromthinking. She wore a grey hat. She was aston-ishingly beautiful. Let it come, she thought, ifit will come. For there are moments when onecan neither think nor feel. And if onecan neitherthink nor feel, she thought, where is one?

Here on the grass, on the ground, she thought,sitting down, and examining with her brush alittle colony of plantains. For the lawn was veryrough. Here sitting on the world, she thought,for she could not shake herself free from the sensethat everything this morning was reduced to a299
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