Slide to View Image: Opacity 0%
THE WINDOWtions one never asked if one was occupied. Is humanlife this? Is human life that? One never had timeto think about it. But here he was asking himselfthat sort of question, because Mrs. Ramsay wasgiving orders to servants, and also because it hadstruck him, thinking how surprised Mrs. Ramsaywas that Carrie Manning should still exist, thatfriendships, even the best of them, are frail things.One drifts apart. He reproached himself again. Hewas sitting beside Mrs. Ramsay and he had nothingin the world to say to her.

"I’m so sorry," said Mrs. Ramsay, turning to himat last. He felt rigid and barren, like a pair of bootsthat have been soaked and gone dry so that youcan hardly force your feet into them. Yet he mustforce his feet into them. He must make himself talk.Unless he were very careful, she would find outthis treachery of his; that he did not care a straw forher, and that would not be at all pleasant, hethought. So he bent his head courteously in herdirection.

"How you must detest dining in this bear garden,"she said, making use, as she did when she was dis-tracted, of her social manner. So, when there is astrife of tongues, at some meeting, the chairman, toobtain unity, suggests that every one shall speak inFrench. Perhaps it is bad French; French may not135