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146 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEdahlias, there the sharp edges and firm bulk of achest of drawers. Not only was furniture con-founded; there was scarcely anything left of body ormind by which one could say ‘This is he' or ‘This isshe.’ Sometimes a hand was raised as if to clutchsomething or ward off something, or somebodygroaned, or somebody laughed aloud as if sharing ajoke with nothingness.

Nothing stirred in the drawing-room or in thedining-room or on the staircase. Only through therusty hinges and swollen sea-moistened woodworkcertain airs, detached from the body of the wind (thehouse was ramshackle after all) crept round cornersand ventured indoors. Almost one might imaginethem, as they entered the drawing-room, questioningand wondering, toying with the flap of hanging wall-paper, asking, would it hang much longer, whenwould it fall? Then smoothly brushing the walls,they passed on musingly as if asking the red andyellow roses on the wall-paper whether they wouldfade, and questioning (gently, for there was time attheir disposal) the torn letters in the wastepaperbasket, the flowers, the books, all of which were nowopen to them and asking: Were they allies? Werethey enemies? How long would they endure?

So some random light directing them from anuncovered star, or wandering ship, or the Lighthouseeven, with its pale footfall upon stair and mat, thelittle airs mounted the staircase and nosed round bed-room doors. But here surely, they must cease.Whatever else may perish and disappear what lieshere is steadfast. Here one might say to thosesliding lights, those fumbling airs, that breathe and