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104 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEone asked oneself, What does one live for? Why,one asked oneself, does one take all these pains forthe human race to go on? Is it so very desirable?Are we attractive as a species? Not so very, hethought, looking at those rather untidy boys. Hisfavourite, Cam, was in bed, he supposed. Foolishquestions, vain questions, questions one never askedif one was occupied. Is human life this? Is humanlife that? One never had time to think about it.But here he was asking himself that sort of question,because Mrs Ramsay was giving orders to servants,and also because it had struck him, thinking howsurprised Mrs Ramsay was that Carrie Manningshould still exist, that friendships, even the best ofthem, are frail things. One drifts apart. He re-proached himself again. He was sitting beside MrsRamsay and he had nothing in the world to say to her.

‘I’m so sorry,’ said Mrs Ramsay, turning to himat last. He felt rigid and barren, like a pair of bootsthat has been soaked and gone dry so that you canhardly force your feet into them. Yet he must forcehis feet into them. He must make himself talk.Unless he were very careful, she would find out thistreachery of his; that he did not care a straw for her,and that would not be at all pleasant, he thought.So he bent his head courteously in her direction.

‘How you must detest dining in this bear garden,'she said, making use, as she did when she was dis-tracted, of her social manner. So, when there is astrife of tongues at some meeting, the chairman,to obtain unity, suggests that every one shall speakin French. Perhaps it is bad French; French maynot contain the words that express the speaker's