Full text: Mrs. Dalloway

MRS. DALLOWAY 
Horror! horror! she wanted to cry. (She had left her 
people; they had warned her what would happen.) 
Why hadn’t she stayed at home? she cried, twisting 
the knob of the iron railing. 
That girl, thought Mrs. Dempster (who saved crusts 
for the squirrels and often ate her lunch in Regent's 
Park), don’t know a thing yet; and really it seemed to 
her better to be a little stout, a little slack, a little 
moderate in one’s expectations. Percy drank. Well, 
better to have a son, thought Mrs. Dempster. She had 
had a hard time of it, and couldn’t help smiling at a girl 
like that. You'll get married, for you're pretty enough, 
thought Mrs. Dempster. Get married, she thought, and 
then you’ll know. Oh, the cooks, and so on. Every man 
has his ways. But whether I'd have chosen quite like 
that if I could have known, thought Mrs. Dempster, and 
could not help wishing to whisper a word to Maisie 
Johnson; to feel on the creased pouch of her worn old 
face the kiss of pity. For it’s been a hard life, thought 
Mrs. Dempster. What hadn’t she given to it? Roses; 
figure; her feet too. (She drew the knobbed lumps 
beneath her skirt.) 
Roses, she thought sardonically. All trash, m’dear. 
For really, what with eating, drinking, and mating, the 
bad days and good, life had been no mere matter of 
roses, and what was more, let me tell you, Carrie 
Dempster had no wish to change her lot with any 
woman’s in Kentish Town! But, she implored, pity. 
Pity, for the loss of roses. Pity she asked of Maisie 
Johnson, standing by the hyacinth beds. 
Ah, but that aeroplane! Hadn’t Mrs. Dempster 
always longed to see foreign parts? Che had a nephew, 
a missionary. It soared and shot. She always went on 
the sea at Margate, not out o’ sight of land, but she had 
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