TO THE LIGHTHOUSEhe hated him for interrupting them; he hated himfor the exaltation and sublimity of his gestures;for the magnificence of his head; for his exacting-ness and egotism (for there he stood, commandingthem to attend to him); but most of all he hatedthe twang and twitter of his father’s emotion which,vibrating round them, disturbed the perfect sim-plicity and good sense of his relations with hismother. By looking fixedly at the page, he hoped tomake him move on; by pointing his finger at aword, he hoped to recall his mother’s attention,which, he knew angrily, wavered instantly hisfather stopped. But, no. Nothing would make Mr.Ramsay move on. There he stood, demanding sym-pathy.

Mrs. Ramsay, who had been sitting loosely, fold-ing her son in her arm, braced herself, and, halfturning, seemed to raise herself with an effort, andat once to pour erect into the air a rain of energy,a column of spray, looking at the same time ani-mated and alive as if all her energies were beingfused into force, burning and illuminating (quietlythough she sat, taking up her stocking again), andinto this delicious fecundity, this fountain and sprayof life, the fatal sterility of the male plunged itself,like a beak of brass, barren and bare. He wantedsympathy. He was a failure, he said. Mrs. Ramsay58
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