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289fa?amused that Mrs. Ramsay should be so astonished at Mrs. Careyscontinued existence, gratified that he was the link between them.He knew them both; he had not drifted apart, he thought,laying down his spoon & wiping his clean shaved lips punctiliously,But perhaps he was rather unusual in this he thought,in this, that he never let himself get into a groove.He never had friends in all circles -But the natreason why he preferred dining alone was to avoid the kind ofwait whic was inevitableunavoidable in a family partybigThey kept one waiting while they changed the plates.Mrs. Ramsay had to break off & tell the maid something.At home he never spent more than twentyminutes dining.For say what one will, work is the great pleasurein life: thegreat excitement: The poets talk of life being short. work isthe great excitement; Indeed,all these things waste time.Well, thought Mr. Bankes, preservinga demeanuor of theexquisite courtesy, & merely spreadingthe fingers of his lefthand on the tablecloth, as a mechanicexamines atool which is beautifully polished &ready for work inonean interval of leisure;such are the little sacrifices whichhisone's friends demand of one.And He gave up an evening's workmakeswillinglytofriendship.readily.gladlyYet he knew that if he spoke the truthhe knew that it wasnot worth it; not for him.Hissocial appetite was soon satisfied.He would notButdo it again.?It was not worth it, for him.No, he thought, &thinkinghow Mrs. Ramsay had been astonished to hear ofit is not worth itMrs. Carey'sexistence; & whether he was unusually cold-blooded, orwhether his the pursuit of silence is soexacting that itfor human people drift apartexcept for one or two one or two people; silence is moresatisfactory: the difficulties ofAfter all, one seespeople; one talks to people; but what solidhe