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138 TO THE LIGHTHOUSEuneasy about himself. That troubled her. He wouldalways be worrying about his own books—will theybe read, are they good, why aren’t they better, whatdo people think of me? Not liking to think of himso, and wondering if they had guessed at dinner whyhe suddenly became irritable when they talked aboutfame and books lasting, wondering if the childrenwere laughing at that, she twitched the stocking out,and all the fine gravings came drawn with steel in-struments about her lips and forehead, and she grewstill like a tree which has been tossing and quiveringand now, when the breeze falls, settles, leaf by leaf,into quiet.

It didn’t matter, any of it, she thought. A greatman, a great book, fame—who could tell? She knewnothing about it. But it was his way with him, histruthfulness—for instance at dinner she had beenthinking quite instinctively, If only he would speak!She had complete trust in him. And dismissing allthis, as one passes in diving now a weed, now a straw,now a bubble, she felt again, sinking deeper, as shehad felt in the hall when the others were talking,There is something I want—something I have cometo get, and she fell deeper and deeper without know-ing quite what it was, with her eyes closed. Andshe waited a little, knitting, wondering, and slowlythose words they had said at dinner, ‘the China roseis all abloom and buzzing with the honey bee,’ beganwashing from side to side of her mind rhythmically,and as they washed, words, like little shaded lights,one red, one blue, one yellow, lit up in the dark of hermind, and seemed leaving their perches up there tofly across and across, or to cry out and to be echoed;