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THE LIGHTHOUSE 223yond things. Empty it was not, but full to the brim.She seemed to be standing up to the lips in some sub-stance, to move and float and sink in it, yes, for thesewaters were unfathomably deep. Into them hadspilled so many lives. The Ramsays’; the children’s;and all sorts of waifs and strays of things besides. Awasherwoman with her basket; a rook; a red-hotpoker; the purples and grey-greens of flowers: somecommon feeling which held the whole together.

It was some such feeling of completeness perhapswhich, ten years ago, standing almost where shestood now, had made her say that she must be in lovewith the place. Love had a thousand shapes. Theremight be lovers whose gift it was to choose out theelements of things and place them together and so,giving them a wholeness not theirs in life, make ofsome scene, or meeting of people (all now gone andseparate), one of those globed compacted things overwhich thought lingers, and love plays.

Her eyes rested on the brown speck of Mr Ram-say’s sailing boat. They would be at the Lighthouseby lunch time she supposed. But the wind hadfreshened, and, as the sky changed slightly and thesea changed slightly and the boats altered theirpositions, the view, which a moment before hadseemed miraculously fixed, was now unsatisfactory.The wind had blown the trail of smoke about; therewas something displeasing about the placing of theships.

The disproportion there seemed to upset someharmony in her own mind. She felt an obscure dis-tress. It was confirmed when she turned to herpicture. She had been wasting her morning. For