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120 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEbeautiful, so exciting, this love, that I tremble on theverge of it, and offer, quite out of my own habit, tolook for a brooch on a beach; also it is the stupidest,the most barbaric of human passions, and turns anice young man with a profile like a gem (Paul's wasexquisite) into a bully with a crowbar (he was swag-gering, he was insolent) in the Mile End Road. Yetshe said to herself, from the dawn of time odes havebeen sung to love; wreaths heaped and roses; and ifyou asked nine people out of ten they would say theywanted nothing but this; while the women, judgingfrom her own experience, would all the time befeeling, This is not what we want; there is nothingmore tedious, puerile, and inhumane than love; yetit is also beautiful and necessary. Well then, wellthen? she asked, somehow expecting the others togo on with the argument, as if in an argument likethis one threw one's own little bolt which fell shortobviously and left the others to carry it on. So shelistened again to what they were saying in case theyshould throw any light upon the question of love.

'Then,' said Mr Bankes, 'there is that liquid theEnglish call coffee.'

'Oh coffee!' said Mrs Ramsay. But it was muchrather a question (she was thoroughly roused, Lilycould see, and talked very emphatically) of realbutter and clean milk. Speaking with warmth andeloquence she described the iniquity of the Englishdairy system, and in what state milk was deliveredat the door, and was about to prove her charges, forshe had gone into the matter, when all round thetable, beginning with Andrew in the middle, like afire leaping from tuft to tuft of furze, her children