THE WINDOW 9whole thing round and made it somehow reflect him-self and disparage them, put them all on edge some-how with his acid way of peeling the flesh and bloodoff everything, he was not satisfied. And he would goto picture galleries, they said, and he would ask one,did one like his tie? God knows, said Rose, one did not.Disappearing as stealthily as stags from the dinner-table directly the meal was over, the eight sons anddaughters of Mr and Mrs Ramsay sought their bed-rooms, their fastnesses in a house where there wasno other privacy to debate anything, everything;Tansley’s tie; the passing of the Reform Bill; sea-birds and butterflies; people; while the sun pouredinto those attics, which a plank alone separated fromeach other so that every footstep could be plainlyheard and the Swiss girl sobbing for her father whowas dying of cancer in a valley of the Grisons, andlit up bats, flannels, straw hats, ink-pots, paint-pots, beetles, and the skulls of small birds, while itdrew from the long frilled strips of seaweed pinnedto the wall a smell of salt and weeds, which was inthe towels too, gritty with sand from bathing.Strife, divisions, difference of opinion, prejudicestwisted into the very fibre of being, oh that theyshould begin so early, Mrs Ramsay deplored. Theywere so critical, her children. They talked such non-sense. She went from the dining-room, holdingJames by the hand, since he would not go with theothers. It seemed to her such nonsense—inventingdifferences, when people, heaven knows, were differ-ent enough without that. The real differences, shethought, standing by the drawing-room window, areenough, quite enough. She had in mind at the
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