TO THE LIGHTHOUSEWaverley novels when he knew nothing about it,nothing about it whatsoever, Mrs. Ramsay thought,observing him rather than listening to what hesaid. She could see how it was from his manner—he wanted to assert himself, and so it would alwaysbe with him till he got his Professorship or marriedhis wife, and so need not be always saying, "I—I—I." For that was what his criticism of poor Sir Wal-ter, or perhaps it was Jane Austen, amounted to."I—I—I." He was thinking of himself and the im-pression he was making, as she could tell by thesound of his voice, and his emphasis and his un-easiness. Success would be good for him. At any ratethey were off again. Now she need not listen. It couldnot last, she knew, but at the moment her eyes wereso clear that they seemed to go round the table un-veiling each of these people, and their thoughts andtheir feelings, without effort like a light stealingunder water so that its ripples and the reeds in it andthe minnows balancing themselves, and the suddensilent trout are all lit up hanging, trembling. So shesaw them; she heard them; but whatever they saidhad also this quality, as if what they said was likethe movement of a trout when, at the same time, onecan see the ripple and the gravel, something to theright, something to the left; and the whole is heldtogether; for whereas in active life she would be160
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