He was a failure, he repeated. Well, look then,feel then. Flashing her needles, glancing roundabout her, out of the window, into the room, atJames himself, she assured him, beyond a shadowof a doubt, by her laugh, her poise, her compe-tence (as a nurse carrying a light across a darkroom assures a fractious child), that it was real;the house was full; the garden blowing. If he putimplicit faith in her, nothing should hurt him; how-ever deep he buried himself or climbed high, notfor a second should he find himself without her.So boasting of her capacity to surround and pro-tect, there was scarcely a shell of herself left forher to know herself by; all was so lavished andspent; and James, as he stood stiff between herknees, felt her rise in a rosy-flowered fruit treelaid with leaves and dancing boughs into which thebeak of brass, the arid scimitar of his father, theegotistical man, plunged and smote, demandingsympathy.

Filled with her words, like a child who dropsoff satisfied, he said, at last, looking at her withhumble gratitude, restored, renewed, that he wouldtake a turn; he would watch the children playing

cricket. He went.

Immediately, Mrs. Ramsay seemed to fold her-self together, one petal closed in another, and the60

Resize Images  

Select Pane

Berg Materials

View Pane