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THE LIGHTHOUSEthought Lily in despair, letting her right handfall at her side, it would be simpler then to haveit over. Surely she could imitate from recollection the glow, the rhapsody, the self—surrendershe had seen on so many women’s faces (on Mrs.Ramsay’s, for instance) when on some occasionlike this they blazed up—she could rememberthe look on Mrs. Ramsay’s face—into a raptureof sympathy, of delight in the reward they had,which, though the reason of it escaped her,evidently conferred on them the most supremebliss of which human nature was capable. Herehe was, stopped by her side. She would givehim what she could.

She seemed to have shrivelled slightly, hethought. She looked a little skimpy, wispy; butnot unattractive. He liked her. There hadbeen some talk of her marrying William BankesOnce, but nothing had come of it. His wife hadbeen fond of her. He had been a little out oftemper too at breakfast. And then, and thenthis was one of those moments when an enormousheed urged him, without being conscious whatwas, to approach any woman, to force them, heid not care how, his need was so great, to givehim what he wanted: sympathy.233