TO THE LIGHTHOUSEsimpler form,was happening for the first time,perhaps for the last time, as a traveller, eventhough he is half asleep, must rub a space on thewindow,knows, looking out of the train,that hemust look now, for he will never see that town,or that mule-cart, or that woman at work in thefields, again. The lawn was the world; they wereup here together, on this exalted station, shethought, looking at old Mr. Carmichael, whoseemed (though they had not said a word all thistime) to share her thoughts. And she wouldnever see him again perhaps. He was growingold. Also, she remembered, smiling at the slipperthat dangled from his foot, he was growingfamous. People said that his poetry was "sobeautitul!” They went and published things hehad written forty years ago. There was a famousman now called Carmichael, she smiled, thinkinghow many shapes one person might wear, how hewas that in the newspapers, but here the same ashe had always been. He looked the same—greyer, rather. Yes, he looked the same, butsomebody had said, she recalled, that when hehad heard of Andrew Ramsay’s death (he waskilled in a second by a shell; he should have beena great mathematician) Mr. Carmichael had "lostall interest in life." What did it mean—that?she wondered. Had he marched through Tra-300THE LIGHTHOUSEother in their low arm-chairs. They werecrackling in front of them the pages of The Times,when she came in from the garden, all in a muddle,about something some one had said about Christ,or hearing thatabouta mammoth had been dug up in aLondon street, or wondering whataboutthe characterNapoleon waslike. Then they took all this with their cleanhands (they wore grey coloured clothes; theysmelt of heather) and they brushed the scrapstogether, turning the paper, crossing their knees,and saying something now and then very brief.Just to please herself she would take a book fromthe shelf and stand there, watching her fatherwrite, so equally, so neatly from one side of thepage to another, with a little cough now and thenor something said briefly to the other old gentle-man opposite. And she thought, standing therewith her book open, one could let whatever onethought expand here like a leaf in water; and if itdid well here, among the old gentlemen smokingand The Times crackling then it was right. Andwatching her father as he wrote in his study, shethought (now sitting in the boat) he was not vain,nor a tyrant (these were the things they hated himmost for) and did not wish to make you pity him.Indeed, if he saw she was there, reading a book,he would ask her, as gently as any one could, Wasthere nothing he could give her?293
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