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‘But she’s no more aware of her beauty than achild,’ said Mr Bankes, replacing the receiver andcrossing the room to see what progress the workmenwere making with an hotel which they were buildingat the back of his house. And he thought of MrsRamsay as he looked at that stir among the un-finished walls. For always, he thought, there wassomething incongruous to be worked into the har-mony of her face. She clapped a deer-stalker’s haton her head; she ran across the lawn in goloshes tosnatch a child from mischief. So that if it was herbeauty merely that one thought of, one must re-member the quivering thing, the living thing (theywere carrying bricks up a little plank as he watchedthem), and work it into the picture; or if one thoughtof her simply as a woman, one must endow her withsome freak of idiosyncrasy; or suppose some latentdesire to doff her royalty of form as if her beautybored her and all that men say of beauty, and shewanted only to be like other people, insignificant.He did not know. He did not know. He must goto his work.)

Knitting her reddish-brown hairy stocking, withher head outlined absurdly by the gilt frame, thegreen shawl which she had tossed over the edge ofthe frame, and the authenticated masterpiece byMichael Angelo, Mrs Ramsay smoothed out whathad been harsh in her manner a moment before,raised his head, and kissed her little boy on the forehead. ‘Let’s find another picture to cut out,’ shesaid.