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16 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEstood for a moment silent (as if she had been pre-tending up there, and for a moment let herself benow), stood quite motionless for a moment againsta picture of Queen Victoria wearing the blue ribbonof the Garter; and all at once he realized that it wasthis: it was this:—she was the most beautiful personhe had ever seen.

With stars in her eyes and veils in her hair, withcyclamen and wild violets—what nonsense was hethinking? She was fifty at least; she had eightchildren. Stepping through fields of flowers andtaking to her breast buds that had broken and lambsthat had fallen; with the stars in her eyes and thewind in her hair—He took her bag.

‘Good-bye, Elsie,' she said, and they walked upthe street, she holding her parasol erect and walkingas if she expected to meet someone round the corner,while for the first time in his life Charles Tansley feltan extraordinary pride; a man digging in a drainstopped digging and looked at her; let his arm falldown and looked at her; Charles Tansley felt anextraordinary pride; felt the wind and the cyclamenand the violets for he was walking with a beautifulwoman for the first time in his life. He had holdof her bag.2‘No going to the Lighthouse, James,’ he said, ashe stood by the window, speaking awkwardly, buttrying in deference to Mrs Ramsay to soften his voiceinto some semblance of geniality at least.

Odious little man, thought Mrs Ramsay, why goon saying that?