THE LIGHTHOUSE 205way that was natural to a man who spent so muchtime in laboratories that the world when he cameout seemed to dazzle him, so that he walked slowly,lifted his hand to screen his eyes and paused, withhis head thrown back, merely to breathe the air.Then he would tell her how his housekeeper was onher holiday; he must buy a new carpet for the stair-case. Perhaps she would go with him to buy a newcarpet for the staircase. And once something ledhim to talk about the Ramsays and he had said howwhen he first saw her she had been wearing a greyhat; she was not more than nineteen or twenty. Shewas astonishingly beautiful. There he stood look-ing down the avenue at Hampton Court, as if hecould see her there among the fountains.

She looked now at the drawing-room step. Shesaw, through William’s eyes, the shape of a woman,peaceful and silent, with downcast eyes. She satmusing, pondering (she was in grey that day, Lilythought). Her eyes were bent. She would neverlift them. Yes, thought Lily, looking intently, Imust have seen her look like that, but not in grey;nor so still, nor so young, nor so peaceful. The figurecame readily enough. She was astonishingly beau-tiful, William said. But beauty was not everything.Beauty had this penalty—it came too readily, cametoo completely. It stilled life—froze it. One forgotthe little agitations; the flush, the pallor, some queerdistortion, some light or shadow, which made theface unrecognizable for a moment and yet added aquality one saw for ever after. It was simpler tosmooth that all out under the cover of beauty. Butwhat was the look she had, Lily wondered, when she

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