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THE WINDOW 45Grimm’s fairy story, while there throbbed throughher, like the pulse in a spring which has expanded toits full width and now gently ceases to beat, therapture of successful creation.

Every throb of this pulse seemed, as he walkedaway, to enclose her and her husband, and to give toeach that solace which two different notes, one high,one low, struck together, seem to give each other asthey combine. Yet, as the resonance died, and sheturned to the Fairy Tale again, Mrs Ramsay felt notonly exhausted in body (afterwards, not at the time,she always felt this) but also there tinged her physi-cal fatigue some faintly disagreeable sensation withanother origin. Not that, as she read aloud thestory of the Fisherman’s Wife, she knew preciselywhat it came from; nor did she let herself put intowords her dissatisfaction when she realized, at theturn of the page when she stopped and heard dully,ominously, a wave fall, how it came from this: shedid not like, even for a second, to feel finer than herhusband; and further, could not bear not beingentirely sure, when she spoke to him, of the truth ofwhat she said. Universities and people wantinghim, lectures and books and their being of thehighest importance—all that she did not doubt fora moment; but it was their relation, and his comingto her like that, openly, so that any one could see,

that discomposed her; for then people said he de-pended on her, when they must know that of thetwo he was infinitely the more important, and whatshe gave the world, in comparison with what he gave,negligible. But then again, it was the other thing too—not being able to tell him the truth, being afraid,