Slide to View Image: Opacity 0%
THE LIGHTHOUSE 203also ‘poor William—it makes me so unhappy, whenI go to see him, to find nothing nice in his house—noone to arrange the flowers.' So they were sent forwalks together, and she was told, with that fainttouch of irony that made Mrs Ramsay slip throughone’s fingers, that she had a scientific mind; she likedflowers; she was so exact. What was this mania ofhers for marriage? Lily wondered, stepping to andfro from her easel.

(Suddenly, as suddenly as a star slides in the sky, areddish light seemed to burn in her mind, coveringPaul Rayley, issuing from him. It rose like a firesent up in token of some celebration by savages on adistant beach. She heard the roar and the crackle.The whole sea for miles round ran red and gold. Somewiny smell mixed with it and intoxicated her, for shefelt again her own headlong desire to throw herselfoff the cliff and be drowned looking for a pearl broochon a beach. And the roar and the crackle repelledher with fear and disgust, as if while she saw itssplendour and power she saw too how it fed on thetreasure of the house, greedily, disgustingly, and sheloathed it. But for a sight, for a glory it surpassedeverything in her experience, and burnt year afteryear like a signal fire on a desert island at the edge ofthe sea, and one had only to say ‘in love' and in-stantly, as happened now, up rose Paul’s fire again.And it sank and she said to herself, laughing, 'TheRayleys’; how Paul went to coffee-houses and playedchess.)

She had only escaped by the skin of her teeththough, she thought. She had been looking at thetablecloth, and it had flashed upon her that she