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Here he looked at her reading. She looked very

peaceful, reading. He liked to think that every onehad taken themselves off and that he and she werealone. The whole of life did not consist in going tobed with a woman, he thought, returning to Scottand Balzac, to the English novel and the Frenchnovel.

Mrs Ramsay raised her head and like a person ina light sleep seemed to say that if he wanted her towake she would, she really would, but otherwise,might she go on sleeping, just a little longer, just alittle longer? She was climbing up those branches,this way and that, laying hands on one flower andthen another.Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose,she read, and so reading she was ascending, she felt,on to the top, on to the summit. How satisfying!How restful! All the odds and ends of the day stuckto this magnet; her mind felt swept, felt clean. Andthen there it was, suddenly entire shaped in herhands, beautiful and reasonable, clear and complete,the essence sucked out of life and held rounded here—the sonnet.

But she was becoming conscious of her husbandlooking at her. He was smiling at her, quizzically,as if he were ridiculing her gently for being asleep inbroad daylight, but at the same time he was thinking,Go on reading. You don’t look sad now, he thought.And he wondered what she was reading, and ex-aggerated her ignorance, her simplicity, for he likedto think that she was not clever, not book-learned

at all. He wondered if she understood what she

was reading. Probably not, he thought. She was