Slide to View Image: Opacity 0%
48 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEquietly, and talk alone over her fire. She bore aboutwith her, she could not help knowing it, the torch ofher beauty; she carried it erect into any room thatshe entered; and after all, veil it as she might, andshrink from the monotony of bearing that it imposedon her, her beauty was apparent. She had beenadmired. She had been loved. She had enteredrooms where mourners sat. Tears had flown in herpresence. Men, and women too, letting go the multi-plicity of things, had allowed themselves with her therelief of simplicity. It injured her that he shouldshrink. It hurt her. And yet not cleanly, notrightly. That was what she minded, coming as itdid on top of her discontent with her husband; thesense she had now when Mr Carmichael shuffledpast, just nodding to her question, with a book be-neath his arm, in his yellow slippers, that she wassuspected; and that all this desire of hers to give, tohelp, was vanity. For her own self-satisfaction wasit that she wished so instinctively to help, to give,that people might say of her: 'O Mrs Ramsay! dearMrs Ramsay . . . Mrs Ramsay, of course!' and needher and send for her and admire her? Was it notsecretly this that she wanted, and therefore whenMr Carmichael shrank away from her, as he did atthis moment, making off to some corner where he didacrostics endlessly, she did not feel merely snubbedback in her instinct, but made aware of the pettinessof some part of her, and of human relations, howflawed they are, how despicable, how self-seeking, attheir best. Shabby and worn out, and not presum-ably (her cheeks were hollow, her hair was white) anylonger a sight that filled the eyes with joy, she had