Full text: Mrs. Dalloway

MRS. DALLOWAY 
to break, but only gently split their surface, roll and 
conceal and encrust as they just turn over the weeds 
with pearl. 
She put the pad on the hall table. She began to go 
slowly upstairs, with her hand on the banisters, as if 
she had left a party, where now this friend now that had 
flashed back her face, her voice; had shut the door and 
gone out and stood alone, a single figure against the 
appalling night, or rather, to be accurate, against the 
stare of this matter-of-fact June morning; soft with the 
glow of rose petals for some, she knew, and felt it, as she 
paused by the open staircase window which let in 
blinds flapping, dogs barking, let in, she thought, feeling 
herself suddenly shrivelled, aged, breastless, the grind- 
ing, blowing, flowering of the day, out of doors, out of the 
window, out of her body and brain which now failed, 
since Lady Bruton, whose lunch parties were said to be 
extraordinarily amusing, had not asked her. 
Like a nun withdrawing, or a child exploring a tower, 
she went, upstairs, paused at the window, came to the 
bathroom. There was the green linoleum and a tap 
dripping. There was an emptiness about the heart of 
life; an attic room. Women must put off their rich 
apparel. At mid-day they must disrobe. She pierced the 
pincushion and laid her feathered yellow hat on the 
bed. The sheets were clean, tight stretched in a broad 
white band from side to side. Narrower and narrower 
would her bed be. The candle was half burnt down and 
she had read deep in Baron Marbot’s Memoirs. She had 
read late at night of the retreat from Moscow. For the 
House sat so long that Richard insisted, after her ill- 
ness, that she must sleep undisturbed. And really she 
preferred to read of the retreat from Moscow. He knew 
it. So the room was an attic; the bed narrow; and 
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