TO THE LIGHTHOUSEthought that if he had been alone dinner would havebeen almost over now; he would have been freeto work. Yes, he thought, it is a terrible waste oftime. The children were dropping in still. "I wishone of you would run up to Roger’s room," Mrs.Ramsay was saying. How trifling it all is, how bor-ing it all is, he thought, compared with the otherthing—work. Here he sat drumming his fingers onthe table-cloth when he might have been—he tooka flashing bird’s-eye view of his work. What a wasteof time it all was to be sure! Yet, he thought, sheis one of my oldest friends. I am by way of be-ing devoted to her. Yet now, at this moment herpresence meant absolutely nothing to him: herbeauty meant nothing to him; her sitting withher little boy at the window—nothing, noth-ing. He wished only to be alone and to takeup that book. He felt uncomfortable; he felt treach-erous, that he could sit by her side and feel nothingfor her. The truth was that he did not enjoy familylife. It was in this sort of state that one asked oneself,What does one live for? Why, one asked oneself,does one take all these pains for the human race togo on? Is it so very desirable? Are we attractive as aspecies? Not so very, he thought, looking at thoserather untidy boys. His favourite, Cam, was in bed,he supposed. Foolish questions, vain questions, ques-134
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