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291it issupposed that reflected how much of a broken & fleeting it all is; howvery littleall alittleunsatisfactory: how, did one dare to say so, very but then he wasonly speaking for himself: how very little human re one's friends mattercompared with one's work.And here was a littleAnd to Looking at his hand, he could not help thinking of the waste of time.spent?AfterHe spent 20 minutes over dinner, at home. Then he was free towork. had he been alone, he would then have been free to work.Yes, he thought, it is a terrible waste of time. [Why, some of thechildren are not down yet - Nor could they they begin againwhere they broke off, when Mrs. Ramsay was ready to talk attend again;& the terrible"I wish one of you would run up toRoger's room" Mrs. Ramsay was saying - ] only & yetherespected & admired the Ramsays, & yet, he thought, even so,how pale this is, how trifling this is - as a how boring this is -for had he been free, he would have done nothing but read - Buthow could he think of his work now? - with sitting besideMrs. Ramsay? AllHe admired them; he was veryby way of being an old friend, all that: butMrs. Ramsay was thinking of something else.And in theshade of her presence, which preventedhim of course from fixinghis mind upon any regrets of hisown, he thought withcompared the excitement & thepleasure & the sense of beingpart of eternity (for ?in workingtime seemed to have noexistence) & hewhich he would have had, had he been alone,he compared that intensity thatexcitementwhich he hadputtingawayforegone, with this - this miserablesuspension of allactivity; this & then this sitting about drumming onesfingers on the table. This cynicism - yes, for what diddo human relationships amount to then?There arethe Careys & the Ramsays.I am by way of beinga great devoted to her, he thought. Yet Mrs.Ramsay meant nothing to him, nothing, he thought,stari<ng>glaringfrom his blue eyesso hopelessly that blankly: