THE WINDOWview of his work. What a waste of time it allwas to be sure! Yet, he thought, she is one ofmy oldest friends. I am by way of being devotedto her. Yet now, at this moment her presencemeant absolutely nothing to him: her beautymeant nothing to him; her sitting with her littleboy at the window-nothig,, nothing. He wishedonly to be alone and to take up that book. Hefelt uncomfortable; he felt treacherous, that hecould sit by her side and feel nothing for her.The truths was that he did not enjoy family life.It wasin this sort of state that one asked oneself,What does one live for? Why, one asked oneself, does one take all these pains for the humanrace to go on? Is it so very desirable? Are weattractive as a species? Not so very, he thought,looking at those rather untidy boys. His favourite, Cam, was in bed, he supposed. Foolishquestions, vain questions, questions one neverasked if one was occupied. Is human life this?Is human life that? One never had time to thinkabout it. But here he was asking himself that sortof question, because l\/Irs..Ramsay was givingorders to servants, and also because it had struckhim, thinking how surprised Mrs. Ramsay wasthat Carrie Manning should still exist, that friendships, even the best of them, are frail things. Onedrifts apart. He reproached himself again. HeI39
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