THE WINDOWThey became part of that unreal but penetratingand exciting universe which is the world seenthrough the eyes of love. The sky stuck to them;the birds sang through them. And, what was evenmore exciting, she felt, too, as she saw Mr. Ram-say bearing down and retreating, and Mrs. Ram-say sitting with James in the window and the cloudmoving and the tree bending, how life, from beingmade up of little separate incidents which one livedone by one, became curled and whole like a wavewhich bore one up with it and threw one down withit, there, with a dash on the beach.

Mr. Bankes expected her to answer. And she wasabout to say something criticising Mrs. Ramsay,how she was alarming, too, in her way, high-handed,or words to that effect, when Mr. Bankes made it en-tirely unnecessary for her to speak by his rapture.For such it was considering his age, turned sixty,and his cleanliness and his impersonality, and thewhite scientific coat which seemed to clothe him.For him to gaze as Lily saw him gazing at Mrs.Ramsay was a rapture, equivalent, Lily felt, to theloves of dozens of young men (and perhaps Mrs.Ramsay had never excited the loves of dozens ofyoung men). It was love, she thought, pretending tomove her canvas, distilled and filtered; love thatnever attempted to clutch its object; but, like the73
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