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THE WINDOW 121laughed; her husband laughed; she was laughed at,fire-encircled, and forced to vail her crest, dismounther batteries, and only retaliate by displaying theraillery and ridicule of the table to Mr Bankes as anexample of what one suffered if one attacked theprejudices of the British Public.

Purposely, however, for she had it on her mindthat Lily, who had helped her with Mr Tansley, wasout of things, she exempted her from the rest; said'Lily anyhow agrees with me,’ and so drew her in, alittle fluttered, a little startled. (For she was think-ing about love.) They were both out of things, MrsRamsay had been thinking, both Lily and CharlesTansley. Both suffered from the glow of the othertwo. He, it was clear, felt himself utterly in thecold; no woman would look at him with Paul Rayleyin the room. Poor fellow! Still, he had his dis-sertation, the influence of somebody upon something:he could take care of himself. With Lily it wasdifferent. She faded, under Minta’s glow; becamemore inconspicuous than ever, in her little grey dresswith her little puckered face and her little Chineseeyes. Everything about her was so small. Yet,thought Mrs Ramsay, comparing her with Minta, asshe claimed her help (for Lily should bear her outshe talked no more about her dairies than her hus-band did about his boots—he would talk by the hourabout his boots), of the two Lily at forty will be thebetter. There was in Lily a thread of something; aflare of something; something of her own which MrsRamsay liked very much indeed, but no man would,she feared. Obviously not, unless it were a mucholder man, like William Bankes. But then he