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THE WINDOWtooth in his head had bit him, for being (as Nancyput it) the hundred and tenth young man to chasethem all the way up to the Hebrides when it wasever so much nicer to be alone.

“Nonsense," said Mrs. Ramsay, with great sever-ity. Apart from the habit of exaggeration whichthey had from her, and from the implication (whichwas true) that she asked too many people to stay,and had to lodge some in the town, she could notbear incivility to her guests, to young men in partic-ular, who were poor as church mice, "exceptionallyable," her husband said, his great admirers, andcome there for a holiday. Indeed, she had the wholeof the other sex under her protection; for reasonsshe could not explain, for their chivalry and valour,for the fact that they negotiated treaties, ruledIndia, controlled finance; finally for an attitudetowards herself which no woman could fail to feelor to find agreeable, something trustful, childlike,reverential; which an old woman could take froma young man without loss of dignity, and woe betidethe girl—pray Heaven it was none of her daughters!—who did not feel the worth of it, and all that itimplied, to the marrow of her bones!

She turned with severity upon Nancy. He had notchased them, she said. He had been asked.

They must find a way out of it all. There might13