TO THE LIGHTHOUSEdifferent ray, thinking that she was unquestionablythe loveliest of people (bowed over her book); thebest perhaps; but also, different too from the perfectshape which one saw there. But why different, andhow different? she asked herself, scraping herpalette of all those mounds of blue and green whichseemed to her like clods with no life in them now,yet she vowed, she would inspire them, force themto move, flow, do her bidding tomorrow. How didshe differ? What was the spirit in her, the essentialthing, by which, had you found a crumpled glove inthe corner of a sofa, you would have known it, fromits twisted finger, hers indisputably? She was like abird for speed, an arrow for directness. She was wil-ful; she was commanding (of course, Lily remindedherself, I am thinking of her relations with women,and I am much younger, an insignificant person,living off the Brompton Road). She opened bed-room windows. She shut doors. (So she tried to startthe tune of Mrs. Ramsay in her head.) Arriving lateat night, with a light tap on one’s bedroom door,wrapped in an old fur coat (for the setting of herbeauty was always that—hasty, but apt), she wouldenact again whatever it might be—Charles Tansleylosing his umbrella; Mr. Carmichael snuffling andsniffing; Mr. Bankes saying, "The vegetable saltsare lost." All this she would adroitly shape; even76
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