TIME PASSESdreams persisted, and it was impossible to resist thestrange intimation which every gull, flower, tree,man and woman, and the white earth itself seemedto declare (but if questioned at once to withdraw)that good triumphs, happiness prevails, order rules;or to resist the extraordinary stimulus to rangehither and thither in search of some absolute good,some crystal of intensity, remote from the knownpleasures and familiar virtues, something alien tothe processes of domestic life, single, hard, bright,like a diamond in the sand, which would render thepossessor secure. Moreover, softened and ac-quiescent, the spring with her bees humming andgnats dancing threw her cloak about her, veiled hereyes, averted her head, and among passing shadowsand flights of small rain seemed to have taken uponher a knowledge of the sorrows of mankind.

[Prue Ramsay died that summer in some illnessconnected with childbirth, which was indeed atragedy, people said, everything, they said, hadpromised so well.]

And now in the heat of summer the wind sent itsspies about the house again. Flies wove a web in thesunny rooms; weeds that had grown close to theglass in the night tapped methodically at the windowpane. When darkness fell, the stroke of the Light-house, which had laid itself with such authority199
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