TO THE LIGHTHOUSEOften he went without a greatcoat in winter. Hecould never "return hospitality" (those were hisparched stiff words) at college. He had to makethings last twice the time other people did; hesmoked the cheapest tobacco; shag; the same theold men did in the quays. He worked hard—sevenhours a day; his subject was now the influence ofsomething upon somebody—they were walking onand Mrs. Ramsay did not quite catch the meaning,only the words, here and there . . . dissertation . . . fellowship . . . readership . . . lectureship.She could not follow the ugly academic jargon, thatrattled itself off so glibly, but said to herself that shesaw now why going to the circus had knocked himoff his perch, poor little man, and why he came out,instantly, with all that about his father and motherand brothers and sisters, and she would see to it thatthey didn’t laugh at him any more; she would tellPrue about it. What he would have liked, she sup-posed, would have been to say how he had gone notto the circus but to Ibsen with the Ramsays. He wasan awful prig—oh yes, an insufferable bore. For,though they had reached the town now and were inthe main street, with carts grinding past on thecobbles, still he went on talking, about settlements,and teaching, and working men, and helping our ownclass, and lectures, till she gathered that he had got22
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