Slide to View Image: Opacity 0%

THE WINDOWthese days, he would read aloud, to one or twofriends. There, in a society where one could saywhat one liked he would sarcastically describe‘ staying with the Ramsays " and what nonsensethey talked. lt was worth while doing it once,he would say; but not again. The women boredone so, he would say. Of course Ramsay haddished himself by marrying a beautiful woman andhaving eight children. It would shape itselfsomething like that, but now, at this moment,sitting stuck there with an empty seat beside himnothing had shaped itself at all. It was all inscraps and fragments. He felt extremely, evenphysically, uncomfortable. He wanted somebody to give him a chance of asserting himself.He wanted it so urgently that he fidgeted in hischair, looked at this person, then at that person,tried to break into their talk, opened his mouthand shut it again. They were talking about thefishing industry. Why did no one ask him hisopinion? What did they know about the fishingindustry?

Lily Briscoe knew all that. Sitting oppositehim could she not see, as in an X-ray photograph,the ribs and thigh bones of the young man’s desireto impress himself lying dark in the mist of hisiiesh—that thin mist which convention had laidover his burning desire to break into theI4.I