THE LIGHTHOUSEstopping there he stood over her and looked downat her. Lily could see him.

He stretched out his hand and raised her fromher chair. It seemed somehow as if he had done itbefore; as if he had once bent in the same way andraised her from a boat which, lying a few inches offsome island, had required that the ladies shouldthus be helped on shore by the gentlemen. An old-fashioned scene that was, which required, verynearly, crinolines and peg-top trousers. Letting her-self be helped by him, Mrs. Ramsay had thought(Lily supposed) the time has come now. Yes, shewould say it now. Yes, she would marry him. Andshe stepped slowly, quietly on shore. Probably shesaid one word only, letting her hand rest still inhis. I will marry you, she might have said, with herhand in his; but no more. Time after time the samethrill had passed between them—obviously it had,Lily thought, smoothing a way for her ants. Shewas not inventing; she was only trying to smoothout something she had been given years ago foldedup; something she had seen. For in the rough andtumble of daily life, with all those children about,all those visitors, one had constantly a sense ofrepetition—of one thing falling where another hadfallen, and so setting up an echo which chimed inthe air and made it full of vibrations.295
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