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6 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEthem, for he was sharing Mr Ramsay’s evening walkup and down, up and down the terrace. That is tosay, the wind blew from the worst possible directionfor landing at the Lighthouse. Yes, he did say dis-agreeable things, Mrs Ramsay admitted; it wasodious of him to rub this in, and make James stillmore disappointed; but at the same time, she wouldnot let them laugh at him. 'The atheist,’ theycalled him; 'the little atheist.’ Rose mocked him;Prue mocked him; Andrew, Jasper, Roger mockedhim; even old Badger without a tooth in his headhad bit him, for being (as Nancy put it) the hundredand tenth young man to chase them all the way upto the Hebrides when it was ever so much nicer tobe alone.

‘Nonsense,’ said Mrs Ramsay, with great severity.Apart from the habit of exaggeration which theyhad from her, and from the implication (which wastrue) that she asked too many people to stay, andhad to lodge some in the town, she could not bearincivility to her guests, to young men in particular,who were poor as church mice, ‘exceptionally able,’her husband said, his great admirers, and come therefor a holiday. Indeed, she had the whole of theother sex under her protection; for reasons she couldnot explain, for their chivalry and valour, for thefact that they negotiated treaties, ruled India, con-trolled finance; finally for an attitude towards her-self which no woman could fail to feel or to findagreeable, something trustful, childlike, reverential,which an old woman could take from a young manwithout loss of dignity, and woe betide the girl—pray Heaven it was none of her daughters!—who