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THE LIGHTHOUSE 235ordinary experience, was on a level with the chair,with the table. Mrs Ramsay—it was part of herperfect goodness to Lily—sat there quite simply, inthe chair, flicked her needles to and fro, knitted herreddish-brown stocking, cast her shadow on the step.There she sat.

And as if she had something she must share, yetcould hardly leave her easel, so full her mind was ofwhat she was thinking, of what she was seeing, Lilywent past Mr Carmichael holding her brush to theedge of the lawn. Where was that boat now? MrRamsay? She wanted him.13

Mr Ramsay had almost done reading. One handhovered over the page as if to be in readiness to turnit the very instant he had finished it. He sat therebareheaded with the wind blowing his hair about,extraordinarily exposed to everything. He lookedvery old. He looked, James thought, getting hishead now against the Lighthouse, now against thewaste of waters running away into the open, likesome old stone lying on the sand; he looked as if hehad become physically what was always at the backof both of their minds—that loneliness which wasfor both of them the truth about things.

He was reading very quickly, as if he were eagerto get to the end. Indeed they were very close tothe Lighthouse now. There it loomed up, stark andstraight, glaring white and black, and one could seethe waves breaking in white splinters like smashedglass upon the rocks. One could see lines and creases