Full text: Mrs. Dalloway

was killed and now the old Manor House must go to a 
cousin ; or Lady Bexborough who opened a bazaar, 
they said, with the telegram in her hand, John, her 
favourite, killed; but it was over; thank Heaven—over. 
It was June. The King and Queen were at the Palace. 
And everywhere, though it was still so early, there was 
a beating, a stirring of galloping ponies, tapping of 
cricket bats; Lords, Ascot, Ranelagh and all the rest of 
it; wrapped in the soft mesh of the grey-blue morning 
air, which, as the day wore on, would unwind them, 
and set down on their lawns and pitches the bouncing 
ponies, whose forefeet just struck the ground and up 
they sprung, the whirling young men, and laughing 
girls in their transparent muslins who, even now, after 
dancing all night, were taking their absurd woolly dogs 
for a run; and even now, at this hour, discreet old 
dowagers were shooting out in their motor cars on er- 
rands of mystery; and the shopkeepers were fidgeting 
in their windows with their paste and diamonds, their 
lovely old sea-green brooches in eighteenth-century set- 
tings to tempt Americans (but one must economise, not 
buy things rashly for Elizabeth), and she, too, loving it 
as she did with an absurd and faithful passion, being 
part of it, since her people were courtiers once in the 
time of the Georges, she, too, was going that very 
night to kindle and illuminate; to give her party. But 
how strange, on entering the Park, the silence; the 
mist; the hum; the slow-swimming happy ducks; the 
pouched birds waddling; and who should be coming 
along with his back against the Government buildings, 
most appropriately, carrying a despatch box stamped 
with the Royal Arms, who but Hugh Whitbread; her 
old friend Hugh—the admirable Hugh! 
““Good-morning to you, Clarissa!” said Hugh, rather 

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