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230 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEthe hedge mean to her, what did the garden mean toher, what did it mean to her when a wave broke?(Lily looked up, as she had seen Mrs Ramsay lookup; she too heard a wave falling on the beach.) Andthen what stirred and trembled in her mind whenthe children cried: ‘How’s that? How’s that?'cricketing? She would stop knitting for a second.She would look intent. Then she would lapse again,and suddenly Mr Ramsay stopped dead in his pacingin front of her, and some curious shock passedthrough her and seemed to rock her in profoundagitation on its breast when stopping there he stoodover her, and looked down at her. Lily couldsee him.

He stretched out his hand and raised her from herchair. It seemed somehow as if he had done itbefore; as if he had once bent in the same way andraised her from a boat which, lying a few inches offsome island, had required that the ladies should thusbe helped on shore by the gentlemen. An old-fashioned scene that was, which required, verynearly, crinolines and peg-top trousers. Lettingherself be helped by him, Mrs Ramsay had thought(Lily supposed) the time has come now; Yes, shewould say it now. Yes, she would marry him. Andshe stepped slowly, quietly on shore. Probably shesaid one word only, letting her hand rest still in his.I will marry you, she might have said, with her handin his; but no more. Time after time the same thrillhad passed between them—obviously it had, Lilythought, smoothing a way for her ants. She was notinventing; she was only trying to smooth out some-thing she had been given years ago folded up; some-