TO THE LIGHTHOUSEwas sitting beside Mrs. Ramsay and he hadnothing in the world to say to her.

“I’m so sorry," said Mrs. Ramsay, turning tohim at last. He felt rigid and barren, like a pairof boots that have been soaked and gone dry sothat you can hardly force your feet into them.Yet he must force his feet into them. He mustmake himself talk. Unless he were very careful,she would find out this treachery of his; that hedid not care a straw for her, and that would notbe at all pleasant, he thought. So he bent hishead courteously in her direction.

“How you must detest dining in this beargarden," she said, making use, as she did whenshe was distracted, of her social manner. So, whenthere is a strife of tongues, at some meeting, thechairman, to obtain unity, suggests that every oneshall speak in French. Perhaps it is bad French;French may not contain the words that express thespeaker’s thoughts; nevertheless speaking Frenchimposes some order, some uniformity. Replyingto her in the same language, Mr. Bankes said,“No, not at all," and Mr. Tansley, who had noknowledge of this language, even spoken thus inwords of one syllable, at once suspected its in-sincerity. They did talk nonsense, he thought,the Ramsays; and he pounced on this freshinstance with joy, making a note which, one of140
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