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THE WINDOW 125the gravel, something to the right, something to theleft; and the whole is held together; for whereas inactive life she would be netting and separating onething from another; she would be saying she likedthe Waverley novels or had not read them; she wouldbe urging herself forward; now she said nothing.For the moment she hung suspended.

‘Ah, but how long do you think it’ll last?' saidsomebody. It was as if she had antennae tremblingout from her, which, intercepting certain sentences,forced them upon her attention. This was one ofthem. She scented danger for her husband. Aquestion like that would lead, almost certainly, tosomething being said which reminded him of his ownfailure. How long would he be read—he wouldthink at once. William Bankes (who was entirelyfree from all such vanity) laughed, and said heattached no importance to changes in fashion. Whocould tell what was going to last—in literature orindeed in anything else?

‘Let us enjoy what we do enjoy,’ he said. Hisintegrity seemed to Mrs Ramsay quite admirable.He never seemed for a moment to think, But howdoes this affect me? But then if you had the othertemperament, which must have praise, which musthave encouragement, naturally you began (and sheknew that Mr Ramsay was beginning) to be uneasy;to want somebody to say, Oh, but your work willlast, Mr Ramsay, or something like that. He showedhis uneasiness quite clearly now by saying, withsome irritation, that, anyhow, Scott (or was itShakespeare?) would last him his lifetime. He saidit irritably. Everybody, she thought, felt a little*E 949