TO THE LIGHTHOUSEwheelbarrow, the lawn-mower, the sound of poplartrees, leaves whitening before rain, rooks cawing,brooms knocking, dresses rustling—all thesewere so coloured and distinguished in his mindthat he had already his private code, his secretlanguage, though he appeared the image of starkand uncompromising severity, with his high fore-head and his fierce blue eyes, impeccably candidand pure, frowning slightly at the sight of humanfrailty, so that his mother, watching him guidehis scissors neatly round the refrigerator, imaginedhim all red and ermine on the Bench or directinga stern and momentous enterprise in some crisisof public affairs.

"But," said his father, stopping in front ofthe drawing-room window, "it won’t be fine."

Had there been an axe handy, a poker, or anyweapon that would have gashed a hole in hisfather’s breast and killed him, there and then,James would have seized it. Such were theextremes of emotion that Mr. Ramsay excitedin his children’s breasts by his mere presence;standing, as now, lean as a knife, narrow as theblade of one, grinning sarcastically, not only withthe pleasure of disillusioning his son and castingridicule upon his wife, who was ten thousandtimes better in every way than he was (Jamesthought), but also with some secret conceit at his12
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