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40 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEwith equanimity what is to be and faces it, came tohis help again. R——

The lizard’s eye flickered once more. The veinson his forehead bulged. The geranium in the urnbecame startlingly visible and, displayed among itsleaves, he could see, without wishing it, that old, thatobvious distinction between the two classes of men;on the one hand the steady goers of superhumanstrength who, plodding and persevering, repeat thewhole alphabet in order, twenty-six letters in all,from start to finish; on the other the gifted, the in-spired who, miraculously, lump all the letters to-gether in one flash—the way of genius. He had notgenius; he laid no claim to that: but he had, or mighthave had, the power to repeat every letter of thealphabet from A to Z accurately in order. Mean-while, he stuck at Q. On, then, on to R.

Feelings that would not have disgraced a leaderwho, now that the snow has begun to fall and themountain-top is covered in mist, knows that he mustlay himself down and die before morning comes, stoleupon him, paling the colour of his eyes, giving him,even in the two minutes of his turn on the terrace,the bleached look of withered old age. Yet he wouldnot die lying down; he would find some crag of rock,and there, his eyes fixed on the storm, trying to theend to pierce the darkness, he would die standing.He would never reach R.

He stood stock still, by the urn, with the geraniumflowing over it. How many men in a thousandmillion, he asked himself, reach Z after all? Surelythe leader of a forlorn hope may ask himself that,and answer, without treachery to the expedition