TO THE LGHTHOUSEpeevishly) like a man who reaches from his horseto pick a bunch of roses, or stuffs his pockets withnuts as he ambles at his ease through the lanes andfields of a country known to him from boyhood. Itwas all familiar; this turning, that stile, that cutacross the fields. Hours he would spend thus, withhis pipe, of an evening, thinking up and down andin and out of the old familiar lanes and commons,which were all stuck about with the history of thatcampaign there, the life of this statesman here,with poems and with anecdotes, with figures too,this thinker, that soldier; all very brisk and clear;but at length the lane, the field, the common, thefruitful nut-tree and the flowering hedge led him onto that further turn of the road where he dismountedalways, tied his horse to a tree, and proceeded onfoot alone. He reached the edge of the lawn andlooked out on the bay beneath.

It was his fate, his peculiarity, whether he wishedit or not, to come out thus on a spit of land whichthe sea is slowly eating away, and there to stand,like a desolate sea-bird, alone. It was his power, hisgift, suddenly to shed all superfluities, to shrink anddiminish so that he looked barer and felt sparer, evenphysically, yet lost none of his intensity of mind,and so to stand on his little ledge facing the darkof human ignorance, how we know nothing and the68
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