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THE WINDOWconsidering his age, turned sixty, and his cleanliness and his impersonality, and the white scientific coat which seemed to clothe him. Forhim to gaze as Lily saw him gazing at Mrs.Ramsay was a rapture, equivalent, Lily felt, tothe loves of dozens of young men (and perhapsMrs. Ramsay had never excited the loves ofdozens of young men). It was love, she thought,pretending to move her canvas, distilled andfiltered; love that never attempted to clutch itsobject; but, like the love which mathematiciansbear their symbols, or poets their phrases, wasmeant to be spread over the world and becomepart of the human gain. So it was indeed. Theworld by all means should have shared it, couldMr. Bankes have said why that woman pleasedhim so; why the sight of her reading a fairy taleto her boy had upon him precisely the same effectas the solution of a scientific problem, so that herested in contemplation of it, and felt, as he feltwhen he had proved something absolute aboutthe digestive system of plants, that barbarity wastamed, the reign of chaos subdued.

Such a rapture—for by what other name couldone call it?—made Lily Briscoe forget entirelywhat she had been about to say. It was nothingof importance; something about Mrs. Ramsay.It paled beside this " rapture ", this silent stare,77