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Heaven could never be sufficiently praised!She heard sounds in the house. James and Cammust be coming. But Mr. Ramsay, as if he knewthat his time ran short, exerted upon her solitaryfigure the immense pressure of his concentratedwoe; his age; his frailty; his desolation; whensuddenly, tossing his head impatiently, in hisannoyance—for, after all, what woman could resisthim?—he noticed that his boot-laces were untied.Remarkable boots they were too, Lily thought,looking down at them: sculptured; colossal; likeeverything that Mr. Ramsay wore, from hisfrayed tie to his half-buttoned waistcoat, his ownindisputably. She could see them walking tohis room of their own accord, expressive inhis absence of pathos, surliness, ill-temper,charm.

"What beautiful boots!" she exclaimed. Shewas ashamed of herself. To praise his boots whenhe asked her to solace his soul; when he hadshown her his bleeding hands, his lacerated heart,and asked her to pity them, then to say, cheer-fully, “Ah, but what beautiful boots you wear!"deserved, she knew, and she looked up expectingto get it, in one of his sudden roars of ill-temper,complete annihilation.

Instead, Mr. Ramsay smiled. His pall, hisdraperies, his infirmities fell from him. Ah yes,237