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122 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEcared, well, Mrs Ramsay sometimes thought thathe cared, since his wife’s death, perhaps for her. Hewas not ‘in love’ of course; it was one of those un-classified affections of which there are so many. Ohbut nonsense, she thought; William must marryLily. They have so many things in common. Lilyis so fond of flowers. They are both cold and aloofand rather self-sufficing. She must arrange for themto take a long walk together.

Foolishly, she had set them opposite each other.That could be remedied to-morrow. If it were finethey should go for a picnic. Everything seemedpossible. Everything seemed right. Just now (butthis cannot last, she thought, dissociating herselffrom the moment while they were all talking aboutboots), just now she had reached security; shehovered like a hawk suspended; like a flag floatedin an element of joy which filled every nerve of herbody fully and sweetly, not noisily, solemnly rather,for it arose, she thought, looking at them all eatingthere, from husband and children and friends; all ofwhich rising in this profound stillness (she was help-ing William Bankes to one very small piece more andpeered into the depths of the earthenware pot)seemed now for no special reason to stay there likea smoke, like a fume rising upwards, holding themsafe together. Nothing need be said; nothing couldbe said. There it was, all round them. It partook,she felt, carefully helping Mr Bankes to a speciallytender piece, of eternity; as she had already feltabout something different once before that after-noon; there is a coherence in things, a stability; some-thing, she meant, is immune from change, and shines