But it was not that they minded, the children said.It was not his face; it was not his manners. It washim—his point of view. When they talked aboutsomething interesting, people, music, history, any-thing, even said it was a fine evening so why notsit out of doors, then what they complained of aboutCharles Tansley was that until he had turned thewhole thing round and made it somehow reflecthimself and disparage them—he was not satisfied.And he would go to picture galleries they saidand he would ask one, did one like his tie? Godknows, said Rose, one did not.

Disappearing as stealthily as stags from thedinner-table directly the meal was over, the eightsons and daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay soughttheir bedrooms, their fastnesses in a house wherethere was no other privacy to debate anything,everything; Tansley’s tie; the passing of the Re-form Bill; sea birds and butterflies; people; whilethe sun poured into those attics, which a plank aloneseparated from each other so that every footstepcould be plainly heard and the Swiss girl sobbingfor her father who was dying of cancer in a valleyof the Grisons, and lit up bats, flannels, straw hats,ink-pots, paint-pots, beetles, and the skulls of smallbirds, while it drew from the long frilled strips ofseaweed pinned to the wall a smell of salt and weeds,16
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