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202 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEwould be full of curiosity to know what had becomeof the Rayleys. She would feel a little triumphant,telling Mrs Ramsay that the marriage had not beena success.

But the dead, thought Lily, encountering someobstacle in her design which made her pause andponder, stepping back a foot or so, Oh the dead! shemurmured, one pitied them, one brushed them aside,one had even a little contempt for them. They areat our mercy. Mrs Ramsay has faded and gone, shethought. We can over-ride her wishes, improveaway her limited, old-fashioned ideas. She recedesfurther and further from us. Mockingly she seemedto see her there at the end of the corridor of yearssaying, of all incongruous things, 'Marry, marry!’(sitting very upright early in the morning with thebirds beginning to cheep in the garden outside).And one would have to say to her, It has all goneagainst your wishes. They’re happy like that; I'mhappy like this. Life has changed completely. Atthat all her being, even her beauty, became for amoment, dusty and out of date. For a moment Lily,standing there, with the sun hot on her back, sum-ming up the Rayleys, triumphed over Mrs Ramsay,who would never know how Paul went to coffee-houses and had a mistress; how he sat on the groundand Minta handed him his tools; how she stood herepainting, had never married, not even WilliamBankes.

Mrs Ramsay had planned it. Perhaps, had shelived, she would have compelled it. Already thatsummer he was ‘the kindest of men.’ He was ‘thefirst scientist of his age, my husband says.' He was