THE LIGHTHOUSEseemed a branch struck at him, a bramble blindedhim, but he was not going to let himself bebeaten by that; on he went, tossing over pageafter page. And she went on telling herself astory about escaping from a sinking ship, forshe was safe, while he sat there; safe, as shefelt herself when she crept in from the garden,and took a book down, and the old gentleman,lowering the paper suddenly, said somethingvery brief over the top of it about the characterof Napoleon.

She gazed back over the sea, at the island.But the leaf was losing its sharpness. It was verysmall; it was very distant. The sea was moreimportant now than the shore. Waves were allround them, tossing and sinking, with a logwallowing down one wave; a gull riding onanother. About here, she thought, dabbling herfingers in the water, a ship had sunk, and shemurmured, dreamily, half asleep, how we perished,each alone.I2

So much depends then, thought Lily Briscoe,looking at the sea which had scarcely a stain on it,which was so soft that the sails and thefcloudsseemed set in its blue, so much depends, shethought, upon distance: whether people are near293

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