Full text: Mrs. Dalloway

MRS. DALLOWAY 
Lady Bruton’s secretary, after her brother in South 
Africa, which, for some reason, Miss Brush, deficient 
though she was in every attribute of female charm, so 
much resented that she said “Thank you, he’s doing 
very well in South Africa,” when, for half-a-dozen 
years, he had been doing badly in Portsmouth. 
Lady Bruton herself preferred Richard Dalloway, 
who arrived at the same moment. Indeed they met 
on the doorstep. 
Lady Bruton preferred Richard Dalloway of course. 
He was made of much finer material. But she wouldn’t 
let them run down her poor dear Hugh. She could 
never forget his kindness—he had been really remark- 
ably kind—she forgot precisely upon what occasion. 
But he had been—remarkably kind. Anyhow, the 
difference between one man and another does not 
amount to much. She had never seen the sense of cut- 
ting people up, as Clarissa Dalloway did—cutting 
them up and sticking them together again; not at any 
rate when one was sixty-two. She took Hugh’s car- 
nations with her angular grim smile. There was nobody 
else coming, she said. She had got them there on false 
pretences, to help her out of a difficulty— 
‘“ But let us eat first,” she said. 
And so there began a soundless and exquisite passing 
to and fro through swing doors of aproned, white-capped 
maids, handmaidens not of necessity, but adepts in a 
mystery or grand deception practised by hostesses in 
Mayfair from one-thirty to two, when, with a wave of 
the hand, the traffic ceases, and there rises instead this 
profound illusion in the first place about the food—how 
it is not paid for; and then that the table spreads itself 
voluntarily with glass and silver, little mats, saucers of 
red fruit; films of brown cream mask turbot; In casse- 
X15
	        

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