And she came in from the little room.
Her only gift was knowing people almost by instinct, she thought, walking on. If you put her in a room with someone, up went her back like a cat's; or she purred.
She belonged to a different age, but being so entire, so complete, would always stand up on the horizon, stone-white, eminent, like a lighthouse marking some past stage on this adventurous, long, long voyage, this interminable --- this interminable life.
Well, I've had my fun; I've had it, he thought, looking up at the swinging baskets of pale geraniums. And it was smashed to atoms-his fun, for it was half made up, as he knew very well; invented, this escapade with the girl; made up, as one makes up the better part of life, he thought-making onself up; making her up; creating an exquisite amusement, and something more. But odd it was, and quite true; all this one could never share-it smashed to atoms.
And there is a dignity in people; a solitude; even between husband and wife a gulf; and that one must respect, thought Clarissa, watching him open the door; for one would not part with it oneself, or take it, against his will, from one's husband, without losing one's independence, one's self-respect-something, after all, priceless.
His wife was crying, and he felt nothing; only each time she sobbed in this profound, this silent, this hopeless way, he descended another step into the pit.
She came into a room; she stood, as he had often seen her, in a doorway with lots of people round her. But it was Clarissa one remembered. Not that she was striking; not beautiful at all; there was nothing picturesque about her; she never said anything specially clever; there she was however; there she was.
What did it mean to her, this thing she called life? Oh, it was very queer.
And there rose in her an unmastering desire to overcome her; to unmask her. If she could have felled her it would have eased her. But it was not the body; it was the soul and its mockery that she wished to subdue; make feel her mastery.
It is a thousand pities never to say what one feels.
She had a right to his arm, though it was without feeling. He would give her, who was so simple, so impulsive, only twenty-four, without friends in England, who had left Italy for his sake, a piece of bone.
What does the brain matter compared with the heart?
But he could not taste, he could not feel. In the teashop among the tables and the chattering waiters the appalling fear came over him- he could not feel. He could reason; he could read, Dante for example, quite easilyàhe could add up his bill; his brain was perfect; it must be the fault of the world then- that he could not feel.
It might be possible that the world itself is without meaning.
She had influenced him more than any person he had ever known. And always in this way coming before him without his wishing it, cool, ladylike, critical; or ravishing, romantic..
When people are happy they have a reserve upon which to draw, whereas she was like a wheel without a tyre
But the close withdrew: the hand softened. It was over-- the moment.
It rasped her, though, to have stirring about in her this brutal monster! to hear twigs cracking and feel hooves planted down in the depths of that leaf-encumbered forest, the soul; never to be content quite, or quite secure, for at any moment the brute would be stirring, this hatred...
She had read a wonderful play about a man who scratched on the wall of his cell and she had felt that was true of life - one scratched on the wall.
Women's rights, that antediluvian topic.
But with Peter everything had to be shared; everything gone into.
It was a silly, silly dream, being unhappy.
She thought there were no Gods; no one was to blame; and so she evolved this atheist's religion of doing good for the sake of goodness.
You were given a sharp, acute, uncomfortable grain..; yet in absence, in the most unlikely places, it would flower out, open, shed its scent, let you touch, taste, look about you, get the whole feel of it and understanding, after years of lying lost.
Did it matter then, she asked herself, walking towards Bond Street, did it matter that she must inevitably cease completely? All this must go on without her; did she resent it; or did it not become consoling to believe that death ended absolutely?
Lord, lord, the snobbery of the English!
Still, life had a way of adding day to day
Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall
Love and religion! thought Clarissa, going back into the drawing room, tingling all over. How detestable, how detestable they are!
Straightening himself and stealthily fingering his pocket-knife he started after her to follow this woman, this excitement, which seemed even with its back turned to shed on him a light which connected them, which singled him out, as if the random uproar of the traffic had whispered through hallowed hands his name, not Peter, but his private name which he called himself in his own thoughts.
More Virginia Woolf Quotations (Based on Topics)
Mind - Life - World - Woman - Thought & Thinking - Man - People - Time - Literature - Sense & Perception - Body - Soul - Love - Emotions - Truth - Books - Sadness - Poetry - Water - View All Virginia Woolf Quotations
More Virginia Woolf Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Mrs. Dalloway
- To the Lighthouse
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