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But she stopped. There was a smell of burning.Could they have let the Bœuf en Daube overboil,she wondered? pray heaven not! when the greatclangor of the gong announced solemnly, authori-tatively, that all those scattered about, in attics, inbedrooms, on little perches of their own, reading,writing, putting the last smooth to their hair, orfastening dresses, must leave all that, and the littleodds and ends on their washing-tables and dressing-tables, and the novels on the bed-tables, and thediaries which were so private, and assemble in thedining-room for dinner.17

But what have I done with my life? thought MrsRamsay, taking her place at the head of the table,and looking at all the plates making white circles onit. ‘William, sit by me,’ she said. ‘Lily,’ she said,wearily, ‘over there.’ They had that—Paul Rayleyand Minta Doyle—she, only this—an infinitely longtable and plates and knives. At the far end, was herhusband, sitting down, all in a heap, frowning. Whatat? She did not know. She did not mind. Shecould not understand how she had ever felt anyemotion or any affection for him. She had a senseof being past everything, through everything, out ofeverything, as she helped the soup, as if there wasan eddy—there—and one could be in it, or one couldbe out of it, and she was out of it. It’s all come toan end, she thought, while they came in one afteranother, Charles Tansley—‘Sit there, please,' shesaid—Augustus Carmichael—and sat down. And