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THE LIGHTHOUSE 175Lily wished was that this enormous flood of grief,this insatiable hunger for sympathy, this demandthat she should surrender herself up to him entirely,and even so he had sorrows enough to keep her sup-plied for ever, should leave her, should be diverted(she kept looking at the house, hoping for an inter-ruption) before it swept her down in its flow.

‘Such expeditions,' said Mr Ramsay, scraping theground with his toe, ‘are very painful.' Still Lilysaid nothing. (She is a stock, she is a stone, he saidto himself.) 'They are very exhausting,’ he said,looking, with a sickly look that nauseated her (hewas acting, she felt, this great man was dramatizinghimself), at his beautiful hands. It was horrible, itwas indecent. Would they never come, she asked,for she could not sustain this enormous weight ofsorrow, support these heavy draperies of grief (hehad assumed a pose of extreme decrepitude; he eventottered a little as he stood there) a moment longer.

Still she could say nothing; the whole horizonseemed swept bare of objects to talk about; couldonly feel, amazedly, as Mr Ramsay stood there, howhis gaze seemed to fall dolefully over the sunny grassand discolour it, and cast over the rubicund, drowsy,entirely contented figure of Mr Carmichael, readinga French novel on a deck-chair, a veil of crape, as ifsuch an existence, flaunting its prosperity in a worldof woe, were enough to provoke the most dismalthoughts of all. Look at him, he seemed to be say-ing, look at me; and indeed, all the time he wasfeeling, Think of me, think of me. Ah, could thatbulk only be wafted alongside of them, Lily wished;had she only pitched her easel a yard or two closer