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But why repeat this over and over again? Whybe always trying to bring up some feeling she hadnot got? There was a kind of blasphemy in it. Itwas all dry: all withered: all spent. They oughtnot to have asked her; she ought not to have come.One can’t waste one’s time at forty-four, she thought.She hated playing at painting. A brush, the onedependable thing in a world of strife, ruin, chaos—that one should not play with, knowingly even: shedetested it. But he made her. You shan’t touchyour canvas, he seemed to say, bearing down on her,till you’ve given me what I want of you. Here hewas, close upon her again, greedy, distraught. Well,thought Lily in despair, letting her right hand fallat her side, it would be simpler then to have it over.Surely she could imitate from recollection the glow,the rhapsody, the self-surrender she had seen on somany women’s faces (on Mrs Ramsay’s, for instance),when on some occasion like this they blazed up—she could remember the look on Mrs Ramsay’s face—into a rapture of sympathy, of delight in the re-ward they had, which, though the reason of itescaped her, evidently conferred on them the mostsupreme bliss of which human nature was capable.Here he was, stopped by her side. She would givehim what she could.3

She seemed to have shrivelled slightly, he thought.She looked a little skimpy, wispy; but not un-attractive. He liked her. There had been sometalk of her marrying William Bankes once, butnothing had come of it. His wife had been fond of