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56 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEThat people should love like this, that Mr Bankesshould feel this for Mrs Ramsay (she glanced at himmusing) was helpful, was exalting. She wiped onebrush after another upon a piece of old rag, menially,on purpose. She took shelter from the reverencewhich covered all women; she felt herself praised.Let him gaze; she would steal a look at her picture.

She could have wept. It was bad, it was bad, itwas infinitely bad! She could have done it differ-ently of course; the colour could have been thinnedand faded; the shapes etherealized; that was howPaunceforte would have seen it. But then she didnot see it like that. She saw the colour burning on aframework of steel; the light of a butterfly’s winglying upon the arches of a cathedral. Of all thatonly a few random marks scrawled upon the canvasremained. And it would never be seen; never behung even, and there was Mr Tansley whispering inher ear, ‘Women can’t paint, women can't write . . .'

She now remembered what she had been going tosay about Mrs Ramsay. She did not know how shewould have put it; but it would have been some-thing critical. She had been annoyed the othernight by some highhandedness. Looking along thelevel of Mr Bankes’s glance at her, she thought thatno woman could worship another woman in the wayhe worshipped; they could only seek shelter underthe shade which Mr Bankes extended over themboth. Looking along his beam she added to it herdifferent ray, thinking that she was unquestionablythe loveliest of people (bowed over her book); thebest perhaps; but also, different too from the perfectshape which one saw there. But why different, and